Sunday, February 1, 2015

If the world were 100 people

If the world were 100 people

Gender
50 would be female
50 would be male

Age

26 would be 0-14
66 would be 15-64
8 would be 65 and older

Geography

60 would be from Asia
15 would be from Africa
11 would be from Europe
9 would be from Latin America & the Caribbean
5 would be from North America

Religion

33 would be Christian
22 would be Muslim
14 would be Hindu
7 would be Buddhist
12 would believe in other religions
12 would not be religious or identify themselves as being aligned with a particular faith

First Language

12 would speak Chinese
5 would speak Spanish
5 would speak English
3 would speak Arabic
3 would speak Hindi
3 would speak Bengali
3 would speak Portuguese
2 would speak Russian
2 would speak Japanese
62 would speak other languages

Overall Literacy

83 would be able to read and write
17 would not

Literacy by Gender

88% of males would be able to read and write
12% of males would not be able to read and write
79% of females would be able to read and write
21% of females would not be able to read and write

Education

76% of eligible males would have a primary school education
72% of eligible females would have a primary school education
66% of eligible males would have a secondary school education
63% of eligible females would have a secondary school education
7 would have a college degree

Urban/Rural

51 would be urban dwellers
49 would be rural dwellers

Drinking Water

87 would have access to safe drinking water
13 would use unimproved water

Food

15 would be undernourished

Poverty

48 would live on less than $2 USD per day
1 out of 2 children would live in poverty

Electricity

78 would have electricity
22 would not

Technology

75 would be cell phone users
30 would be active internet users
22 would own or share a computer

Sanitation

65 would have improved sanitation
16 would have no toilets
19 would have unimproved toilets

Source:
Stats:  http://www.100people.org/statistics_detailed_statistics.php?section=statistics

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

‘हनुमान चालीसा’ में है आपके हर कष्ट का निवारण, जानिए क्या अर्थ है इस महान पाठ की प्रत्येक पंक्ति का

शक्ति व बल के प्रतीक पवन पुत्र हनुमान, भगवान राम के परम भक्त थे. भक्तगण उन्हें भय और कष्ट से मुक्ति पाने के लिए पूजते हैं व उनकी अराधना में ‘हनुमान चालीसा’ का पाठ पढ़ते हैं. यह पाठ हमारे लिए किसी भी विकार व डर को दूर करने में सहायक होता है. लेकिन क्या आपने कभी हनुमान चालीसा के प्रत्येक अक्षर का अर्थ समझा है? यदि नहीं, तो आईए जानने की कोशिश करते हैं.



दोहा: श्रीगुरु चरण सरोज रज, निज मनु मुकुर सुधारि।
बरनउ रघुवर बिमल जसु, जो दायकु फल चारि॥

बुद्धिहीन तनु जानिके, सुमिरौं पवन कुमार।
बल बुधि विद्या देहु मोहि, हरहु कलेश विकार॥

अर्थ: इन पंक्तियों में राम भक्त हनुमान कहते हैं कि चरण कमलों की धूल से अपने मन रूपी दर्पण को स्वच्छ कर, श्रीराम के दोषरहित यश का वर्णन करता हूं जो धर्म, अर्थ, काम और मोक्ष रूपी चार फल देने वाला है. इस पाठ का स्मरण करते हुए स्वयं को बुद्धिहीन जानते हुए, मैं पवनपुत्र श्रीहनुमान का स्मरण करता हूं जो मुझे बल, बुद्धि और विद्या प्रदान करेंगे और मेरे मन के दुखों का नाश करेंगे.

‘हनुमान चालीसा’ में है आपके हर कष्ट का निवारण, जानिए क्या अर्थ है इस महान पाठ की प्रत्येक पंक्ति का

पोस्टेड ओन: 16 Sep, 2014 Religious, जनरल डब्बा में
शक्ति व बल के प्रतीक पवन पुत्र हनुमान, भगवान राम के परम भक्त थे. भक्तगण उन्हें भय और कष्ट से मुक्ति पाने के लिए पूजते हैं व उनकी अराधना में ‘हनुमान चालीसा’ का पाठ पढ़ते हैं. यह पाठ हमारे लिए किसी भी विकार व डर को दूर करने में सहायक होता है. लेकिन क्या आपने कभी हनुमान चालीसा के प्रत्येक अक्षर का अर्थ समझा है? यदि नहीं, तो आईए जानने की कोशिश करते हैं.



दोहा: श्रीगुरु चरण सरोज रज, निज मनु मुकुर सुधारि।
बरनउ रघुवर बिमल जसु, जो दायकु फल चारि॥

बुद्धिहीन तनु जानिके, सुमिरौं पवन कुमार।
बल बुधि विद्या देहु मोहि, हरहु कलेश विकार॥

अर्थ: इन पंक्तियों में राम भक्त हनुमान कहते हैं कि चरण कमलों की धूल से अपने मन रूपी दर्पण को स्वच्छ कर, श्रीराम के दोषरहित यश का वर्णन करता हूं जो धर्म, अर्थ, काम और मोक्ष रूपी चार फल देने वाला है. इस पाठ का स्मरण करते हुए स्वयं को बुद्धिहीन जानते हुए, मैं पवनपुत्र श्रीहनुमान का स्मरण करता हूं जो मुझे बल, बुद्धि और विद्या प्रदान करेंगे और मेरे मन के दुखों का नाश करेंगे.


Read: पत्नी की इच्छा पूरी करने के लिए श्री कृष्ण ने किया इन्द्र के साथ युद्ध जिसका गवाह बना एक पौराणिक वृक्ष….



जय हनुमान ज्ञान गुन सागर, जय कपीस तिहुँ लोक उजागर॥१॥
राम दूत अतुलित बल धामा, अंजनि पुत्र पवनसुत नामा॥२॥
महाबीर बिक्रम बजरंगी, कुमति निवार सुमति के संगी॥३॥
कंचन बरन बिराज सुबेसा, कानन कुंडल कुँचित केसा॥४॥

अर्थ: इसका अर्थ है कि हनुमान स्वंय ज्ञान का एक विशाल सागर हैं जिनके पराक्रम का पूरे विश्व में गुणगान होता है. वे भगवान राम के दूत, अपरिमित शक्ति के धाम, अंजनि के पुत्र और पवनपुत्र नाम से जाने जाते हैं. हनुमान महान वीर और बलवान हैं, उनका अंग वज्र के समान है, वे खराब बुद्धि दूर करके शुभ बुद्धि देने वाले हैं, आप स्वर्ण के समान रंग वाले, स्वच्छ और सुन्दर वेश वाले हैं व आपके कान में कुंडल शोभायमान हैं.



हाथ बज्र अरु ध्वजा बिराजे,काँधे मूँज जनेऊ साजे॥५॥
शंकर सुवन केसरी नंदन, तेज प्रताप महा जगवंदन॥६॥
विद्यावान गुनी अति चातुर, राम काज करिबे को आतुर॥७॥
प्रभु चरित्र सुनिबे को रसिया, राम लखन सीता मनबसिया॥८॥
सूक्ष्म रूप धरि सियहि दिखावा, विकट रूप धरि लंक जरावा॥९॥
भीम रूप धरि असुर संहारे, रामचंद्र के काज सवाँरे॥१०॥
अर्थ: अर्थात हनुमान के कंधे पर अपनी गदा है और वे हरदम श्रीराम की अराधना व उनकी आज्ञा का पालन करते हैं. हनुमान सूक्ष्म रूप में श्रीसीताजी के दर्शन करते हैं, भयंकर रूप लेकर लंका का दहन करते हैं, विशाल रूप लेकर राक्षसों का नाश करते हैं. आप विद्वान, गुणी और अत्यंत बुद्धिमान हैं व श्रीराम के कार्य करने के लिए सदैव उत्सुक रहते हैं. हनुमान के महान तेज और प्रताप की सारा जगत वंदना करता है.



लाय सजीवन लखन जियाए, श्री रघुबीर हरषि उर लाए॥११॥
रघुपति कीन्ही बहुत बड़ाई, तुम मम प्रिय भरत-हि सम भाई॥१२॥
सहस बदन तुम्हरो जस गावै, अस कहि श्रीपति कंठ लगावै॥१३॥

अर्थ: भगवान राम के छोटे भाई लक्ष्मण की जान बचाने के लिए संजीवनी बूटी लाकर हनुमान जी ने अपने आराध्य श्रीराम का मन मोह लिया. श्रीराम इतने खुश हुए कि उन्होंने अपने भाई भरत की तरह अपना प्रिय भाई माना. इससे हमें सीख लेनी चाहिए. किसी काम को करने में देर नहीं करनी चाहिए, अच्छे फल अवश्य मिलेंगे.



सनकादिक ब्रह्मादि मुनीसा, नारद सारद सहित अहीसा॥१४॥
जम कुबेर दिगपाल जहाँ ते,कवि कोविद कहि सके कहाँ ते॥१५॥

अर्थ: हनुमान जी का ऐसा व्यक्तित्व है जिसका कोई भी सनक आदि ऋषि, ब्रह्मा आदि देव और मुनि, नारद, यम, कुबेर आदि वर्णन नहीं कर सकते हैं, फिर कवि और विद्वान कैसे उसका वर्णन कर सकते हैं.

तुम उपकार सुग्रीवहि कीन्हा, राम मिलाय राज पद दीन्हा॥१६॥

अर्थ: भाव, हनुमान ने ही श्रीराम और सुग्रीव को मिलाने का काम किया जिसके चलते सुग्रीव अपनी मान-प्रतिष्ठा वापस हासिल कर पाए.



तुम्हरो मंत्र बिभीषण माना, लंकेश्वर भये सब जग जाना॥१७॥

अर्थ: हनुमान की सलाह से ही विभीषण को लंका का सिंघासन हासिल हुआ.



जुग सहस्त्र जोजन पर भानू, लिल्यो ताहि मधुर फ़ल जानू॥१८॥
प्रभु मुद्रिका मेलि मुख माही, जलधि लाँघि गए अचरज नाही॥१९॥

अर्थ: इन पंक्तियों से हनुमान के बचपन का ज्ञात होता है जब उन्हें भीषण भूख सता रही थी और वे सूर्य को मीठा फल समझकर उसे खाने के लिए आकाश में उड़ गए. आपने वयस्कावस्था में श्रीराम की अंगूठी को मुंह में दबाकर लंका तक पहुंचने के लिए समुद्र पार किया.



दुर्गम काज जगत के जेते, सुगम अनुग्रह तुम्हरे तेते॥२०॥
राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे, होत ना आज्ञा बिनु पैसारे॥२१॥

अर्थ: जब आपकी जिम्मेदारी में कोई काम होता है, तो जीवन सरल हो जाता है. आप ही तो स्वर्ग यानी श्रीराम तक पहुंचने के द्वार की सुरक्षा करते हैं और आपके आदेश के बिना कोई भी वहां प्रवेश नहीं कर सकता.



सब सुख लहैं तुम्हारी सरना, तुम रक्षक काहु को डरना॥२२॥
आपन तेज सम्हारो आपै, तीनों लोक हाँक तै कापै॥२३॥
भूत पिशाच निकट नहि आवै, महावीर जब नाम सुनावै॥२४॥
नासै रोग हरे सब पीरा, जपत निरंतर हनुमत बीरा॥२५॥

अर्थ: अर्थात हनुमान के होते हुए हमें किसी प्रकार का भय सता नहीं सकता. हनुमान के तेज से सारा विश्व कांपता है. आपके नाम का सिमरन करने से भक्त को शक्तिशाली कवच प्राप्त होता है और यही कवच हमें भूत-पिशाच और बीमारियों बचाता है.



संकट तै हनुमान छुडावै, मन क्रम वचन ध्यान जो लावै॥२६॥
सब पर राम तपस्वी राजा, तिनके काज सकल तुम साजा॥२७॥
और मनोरथ जो कोई लावै,सोई अमित जीवन फल पावै॥२८॥

अर्थ: इसका अर्थ है कि जब भी हम रामभक्त हनुमान का मन से स्मरण करेंगे और उन्हें याद करेंगे तो हमारे सभी काम सफल होंगे. हनुमान का मन से जाप करने से सभी संकट दूर हो जाते हैं.



चारों जुग परताप तुम्हारा, है परसिद्ध जगत उजियारा॥२९॥
साधु संत के तुम रखवारे, असुर निकंदन राम दुलारे॥३०॥
अष्ट सिद्धि नौ निधि के दाता, अस बर दीन जानकी माता॥३१॥

अर्थ: आप सभी जगह समाए हो, आपकी छवि चारों लोकों से भी बड़ी है व आपका प्रकाश सारे जगत में प्रसिद्ध है. आप स्वंय साधु- संतों की रक्षा करने वाले हैं, आप ही तो असुरों का विनाश करते हैं जिसके फलस्वरूप आप श्रीराम के प्रिय भी हैं. इतने बल व तेज के बावजूद भी आप कमजोर व मददगार की सहायता करते हैं व उनकी रक्षा के लिए तत्पर तैयार रहते हैं.





राम रसायन तुम्हरे पासा, सदा रहो रघुपति के दासा॥३२॥
तुम्हरे भजन राम को पावै, जनम जनम के दुख बिसरावै॥३३॥
अंतकाल रघुवरपुर जाई, जहाँ जन्म हरिभक्त कहाई॥३४॥
और देवता चित्त ना धरई,हनुमत सेई सर्व सुख करई॥३५॥

अर्थ: इस पंक्ति का अर्थ है कि केवल हनुमान का नाम जपने से ही हमें श्रीराम प्राप्त होते हैं. आपके स्मरण से जन्म- जन्मान्तर के दुःख भूल कर भक्त अंतिम समय में श्रीराम धाम में जाता है और वहाँ जन्म लेकर हरि का भक्त कहलाता है. दूसरे देवताओं को मन में न रखते हुए, श्री हनुमान से ही सभी सुखों की प्राप्ति हो जाती है.



संकट कटै मिटै सब पीरा, जो सुमिरै हनुमत बलबीरा॥३६॥
जै जै जै हनुमान गुसाईँ, कृपा करहु गुरु देव की नाई॥३७॥

अर्थ: अर्थात हनुमान का स्मरण करने से सभी दुख-दर्द खत्म हो जाते हैं. आपका दयालु हृदय नम्र स्वभाव लोगों पर हमेशा दया करता है.



जो सत बार पाठ कर कोई, छूटहि बंदि महा सुख होई॥३८॥
जो यह पढ़े हनुमान चालीसा, होय सिद्ध साखी गौरीसा॥३९॥

अर्थ: इस पंक्ति से तात्पर्य है कि यदि आप सौ बार हनुमान चालीसा का पाठ करते हैं तो आपको सिर्फ सुख व शांति प्राप्त होगी बल्कि शिव-सिद्धी भी हासिल होगी और साथ ही मनुष्य जन्म-मृत्यु से भी मुक्त हो जाता है.



तुलसीदास सदा हरि चेरा, कीजै नाथ हृदय मह डेरा॥४०॥

अर्थ: महान कवि तुलसीदास ने अपनी इस कविता का समापन करते हुए बताया है कि वे क्या हैं?…वे स्वयं को भगवान का भक्त कहते हैं, सेवक मानते हैं और प्रार्थना करते हैं कि प्रभु उनके हृदय में वास करें।



पवन तनय संकट हरन, मंगल मूरति रूप।
राम लखन सीता सहित, हृदय बसहु सुर भूप॥

अर्थ: आप पवनपुत्र हैं, संकटमोचन हैं, मंगलमूर्ति हैं व आप देवताओं के ईश्वर श्रीराम, श्रीसीता जी और श्रीलक्ष्मण के साथ मेरे हृदय में निवास कीजिए.

http://www.facebook.com/ayurvedastreet



Monday, August 4, 2014

Differences Between Buddhism and Hinduism

Buddhism and Hinduism have a common past, and while there are many similar beliefs between the two religions, there are just as many differences between the Buddhist and Hindu religions.

REBIRTH, REINCARNATION, SAMSARA

Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe in an (almost) endless cycle of births, known as samsara. They also both seek release from this cycle of rebirths.
Hindus believe in an everlasting soul (atman) that is reincarnated more-or-less intact from birth to birth. Through spiritual practice, Hindus seek release (moksha, also known as liberation) so that the soul can join with the Universal Divine Force (Brahman, often simply translated as God).
The Buddha, however, taught that there wasn’t a constant soul, but a collection of feelings, perceptions, senses, and other intangibles that made up all living beings. The concept of the lack of a constant sould is known as anatta.
Hence, for Buddhists, the ultimate goal is something more abstract: ending suffering by escaping the cycle of rebirths, and entering into a state of Nirvana. It is a common misconception to translate Nirvana as meaning “Paradise,” or as “Heaven.” Nirvana itself is something of an abstract concept. One meaning is “cool,” which implies that one is far away from the fires of desire and Kilesa (defilement).

KARMA: CAUSE AND EFFECT

Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe in the concept of Karma, which states that our past actions affect our present and future life states. One could do evil in this life and be reborn a worm in the next life. Similarly, afflictions in this life are often explained away as the effects of Karma from a previous life (or from misdeeds earlier in this life).

DHARMA: THE WAY OF LIFE

The word Dharma is common to both Buddhist and Hindu religions. Buddhists generally use the word Dharma to refer to the collective teachings of the Buddha, and the Buddha used the word Dharma to roughly mean “how the universe works.”
The Hindu concept of Dharma might be thought of as being “one’s role in the universe.” The concept includes not only one’s performance of religious acts, but how they act in society and how they act toward their family responsibilities.
In Hindu society, one’s dharma may vary depending upon their caste, and in what stage of life they are in. An older man from a higher caste might have a different dharma than a young man from a lower caste.

DEVOTION TO GOD

Hinduism, which has thousands of gods and goddesses, is for the most part actually a monotheistic religion. Each god is seen as one manifestation of the one Supreme God.
In Hinduism, each family will be devoted to a particular deity. Most Hindus practice devotion (bhakti) to either a form of Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva. They see this as one essential part of religious practice.
The Buddha, on the other hand, taught that we should not concern ourselves with worship or devotion to a particular God. The Buddha did not deny the existence of a Supreme God: he just said that we are responsible for our on enlightenment, and not to believe that a supreme being could help us.
The Buddha did decry the practice of animal sacrifices in devotional acts to the gods and goddesses that were commonplace. Eventually, this belief in the sacredness of all life spread to Hinduism, and animal sacrifice became the exception instead of the norm. In fact, the Buddha’s impact on Hinduism was so strong that followers of Vishnu believe that the Buddha was one of Vishnu’s avatars (a being that helps humanity in times of distress). Buddhists do not share this belief.

MEDITATION AND YOGA

Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe strongly in developing awareness and mental concentration in the spiritual quest. In Buddhism, meditation is near ubiquitous, with insight meditation (Vipassana) being the most emphasized form of meditation. Buddhist monks are expected to spend hours each day in meditation, while the lay people are expected to practice regularly, and are free to attend meditation sessions at local temples. The Mahayana Schools of Buddhism also emphasize Metta (compassion) meditation.

In Hinduism, Yoga is more than a series of postures to be held as a form of exercise. Instead, Yoga (which literally means Yoke, as in to be yoked to God), consists of 8 different practices as follow:
Abstention from sins such as theft, violence, sex, greed, dishonesty
Observance of self and tolerance
Postures (known as Asana), which are familiar to most Westerners
Breath Control
Withdrawal of senses
Mental concentration and stilling the mind
Meditation
Contemplation

7 Life Hacks You Can Learn From Mahabharat

Indian mythology is known for its grandeur and its emphasis on the goodness quotient. However, seldom we look at mythology as something that has practical lessons to make our life easier. Yes, you heard it right, we are talking about practical lessons from mythology. And what better way to look at one of the biggest epic available in Indian mythology: Mahabharat.

Mahabharat is known to be a tale of the victory of good over evil.

When you are activated emotionally, don't trust yourself

There are times when we are very submerged in emotions (mostly negative) and we take big decisions in that state of mind. Mahabharat teaches us how disastrous that can be. For example, when Pandu (the father of Pandavas) accidently killed a sage disguised as deer, he is filled with guilt and remorse. In that breath of guilt and remorse, he decides to quit his throne, kingdom & palace and live in forest. Its this decision which starts the main problem in the kingdom of Hastinapur and his brother Dhritrashtra (who is considered inefficient and insecure) who was earlier deemed misfit to be a king is given the throne, with no other option left.

Had Pandu not decided in his spell of guilt and remorse and let the emotional upheaval pass, things could have been different. If he would have taken considered the situation in a more stable emotional state, he would have been able to look at the situation objectively and realized that his elder brother may not be effective as a king. For the good of the people and his kingdom, he would have chosen to stay as king and opted for some other way as a punishment for himself (if he wanted to). If that would have happened, the story of Mahabharat could have been different.

So, the life hack we learn here is that when we are emotionally activated, we can't see clearly. Mahabharat teaches us not to trust ourselves in those moments and avoid taking any decisions in that state. Rather, just let it pass and when you are back to normal then look and contemplate the situation objectively and take whatever action and decision is required.

Express yourself and do it lovingly

One of the most important lesson that one can learn from this great epic is to express yourself, express what you feel and do it gently with loving gloves. At her 'Swayamvar', Draupadi (the wife of Pandavas) rejects Karn sighting his low caste. She chooses very harsh words and humiliates him so he is discouraged and does not participate in the process. She succeeds in her attempt but in the process creates such a hatred in Karn's heart that he is always burning in that fire to take revenge against her and humiliate her publicly in a similar fashion. Driven by that hatred and revenge, when he gets his chance in Duryodhan's court, he instigates the Kauravas in their act of humiliating Droupadi by disrobing her.

The life hack here is to express yourself lovingly. For whatever reason if Droupadi didn't want Karn to participate in her Swayamvar, she could have done the same in gentle words without humiliating him. If she would have spared him of the humiliation, he would not have been so driven by revenge to humiliate her in Duryodhan's court. So, remember express yourself but with love and gentle care.

Use challenging times as preparation for a big victory

Before the great war begins, the Pandavas had to spend challenging 13 years in exile in a forest. If one looks at those thirteen years, one realizes that the Pandavas' victory would not have been possible without those years in exile. It was in the exile that they met many learned saints who shared their wisdom that came handy for the Pandavas during the Kurukshetra war. It was during this period when Arjuna acquires the best of his weapons that play a deciding role in them winning the war. It is in this exile Bhima learns the lesson of humility which keeps his head leveled during the war. There are many such things that Pandavas learned during their exile that brought them victory.

We can apply the same approach to challenging times in our life and look at what can we learn from that situation. If we can do that, we will come out victorious.

Passion is the best teacher

One cannot miss the story of 'Eklavya' who was so passionate about learning the art of archery, that when the royal guru 'Dronacharya' refuses to teach him, he hides behind trees and watch him teach the Pandavas and Kauravas. It is his passion that he learns all the techniques of archery just by watching from far away without a teacher actually teaching him. Not just that, he becomes so good at it that Drona feels, he is actually better than (or at par with) Arjuna.

The life hack for us is to live with passion and put our heart and soul in to what we really want. If we do that, whatever we want will come to us.

Be solution oriented

This is a very big lesson that Mahabharat teaches us. Krishna goes to the Kauravas as Pandavas messenger and asks them to give only five villages to the Pandavas and solve the dispute. But the Kauravas refuse even that as their focus is not on finding a solution to their dispute with Pandavas. Rather, they are driven by ego and power. Eventually, they lose their kingdom and their lives in the epic war. Had they been solution oriented and given the 5 villages to the Pandavas, they would have ruled their kingdom and lived longer. So remember to be solution oriented for a long and happy life!

Forgiveness

One of the biggest lessons to be learned from Mahabharat is of forgiveness: To forgive others and to forgive ourselves! If Pandu would have forgiven himself for killing a saint, if Karn would have forgiven Droupadi and Kunti (his mother for abandoning him), if Duryodhan would have forgiven Droupadi for laughing at him, if Droupadi would have forgiven the Kauravas... the list is endless. If forgiveness was given in these and many other cases, the story of Mahabharat would not have revolved so much around pain and suffering.

The life hack for us: Forgiveness always helps us.

Gambling is no good!

Well, this one is a no brainer and almost self explanatory! Gambling can take away the wisdom from someone as learned as Yudhisthir so much so that he gambles his own brothers and his wife over a game. Well, it reiterates the message to stay away from this dangerous addiction.

http://www.lifehacker.co.in/jugaad/7-Life-Hacks-You-Can-Learn-From-Mahabharat/articleshow/29151071.cms

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lord Shiva in Hinduism



In the Hindu trinity of Gods, Shiva is the destroyer and renewer. Known as the Finger of God, this powerful being represents the Will which determines the rhythm of the worlds.
Thousands of years before scientists discovered the similarity in structure of the atomic nucleus of solar systems, the Hindus asserted that the same rhythm must be found at all stages of creation and in all domains. For a moment consider rhythm and density, as rhythm acts first and foremost on density (matter), and plays a role in Hindu thought comparable to that which we associate with weight and shape.
One of the forms of Shiva is Nataraja, the Lord of the Cosmic Dance. He stands in his flaming circle of fire with the upper right hand holding a little drum-shaped hourglass, the rhythm of which is the world ~ creating the beat of time, which draws a veil across the face of eternity. His extended left hand holds the flame of spiritual light that burns this veil, revealing the void of eternity.
Nataraja's second right hand is in fear-dispelling posture, and the second left hand is pointing to the raised left foot. That hand is called the Elephant Hand and signifies teaching, for where the elephant has gone through the jungle, all animals can follow. Likewise wherever a teacher leads the way, disciples may follow.
The raised left foot signifies release, while the right foot stomps on the back of Tripurasura, demon of the three lower worlds ~ the mental, astral and physical planes. Tripurasura is the dwarf of ignorance, who drives souls into the vortex of rebirth. Shiva gazes in fascination at the poisonous world serpent, representing humanity’s psychological attraction into the realm of bondage into unending birth, suffering and death.
The god’s head is poised, serene and still in the midst of all creation and destruction. His right earring is said to be a man’s and his left is a woman’s, for he includes and transcends opposites. In his streaming hair is found a skull, the crescent moon, the datura flower, and a tiny image of the goddess Ganges.
In former times the Ganges, which now waters the three worlds, washed only the sky. One day the earth had become so cluttered with the ashes of the dead that there seemed no possible way to cleanse it. The sage Bhagiratha thought of bringing the purifying Ganges down to earth, for its mere proximity was enough to wash away all uncleanness.
But the sacred river was so large that its descent entailed the risk of shaking and destroying the earth, just as the sudden descent of willful divine light on a person insufficiently prepared can destroy their physical body. Shiva invited the Ganges to fall upon his head, and from there the river, meandering through the god’s hair, divided into seven torrents (the seven rays), then flowed on slowly and smoothly over the surface of the terrestrial world.
There is an esoteric and close analogy between the purifying Ganges, which circulates in the universe like the blood in our bodies, and Shiva, who like the heart, is motionless in rhythm, invoking and directing life-giving and purifying energy in the universe and in humanity. The real place of purification for the disciple is the heart; it is in the heart that the personality and the fruits of action are consumed, and all that is left is the Divine Spark, the Will of God: ATMA.
The posture of the dancing Shiva, Nataraja, suggests the shape of the sign OM, in the head, hands and raised foot. The appearance of this god resounds the wonder of existence ~ the seed sound, the energy sound, and the essence of all being.


Symbology of Shiva
Here is a key explaining what the different symbols in Lord Shiva's portrayals depict.
Cremation ground Shiva sitting in the cremation ground signifies that he is the controller of death in the physical world.
Matted locks The three matted locks on Lord Shiva's head convey the idea that integration of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects is the ideal of yoga.
Tiger skin The tiger skin symbolizes potential energy.
Crescent moon The crescent moon is only one of Shiva's ornaments. In Vedic astrology, the moon is the mother of planets. Shiva, for creation of the universe, lends importance to the mother aspect, this is shown by the moon.
The moon also is a measure of time, and thus the crescent on Lord Shiva's head signifies his control over time. Lord Shiva is the Eternal Reality and he is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon is only one of His ornaments, and not an integral part of him.
Three eyes Lord Shiva, also called Tryambaka Deva, is depicted as having three eyes: the sun is his right eye, the moon the left eye and fire, the third eye.
Nandi The bull is associated with Shiva and said to be his vehicle.
Kundalas Two Kundalas ~ Alakshya and Niranjan ~ in the ears of the Lord symbolize the Shiva and Shakti (male and female) or Ardha-Nariswara principle of creation.
Kamandalu A water pot ~ Kamandalu ~ made from a dry pumpkin contains nectar and is shown on the ground next to Shiva signifies that an individual must break away from attachment to the physical world and clean his inner self of egoistic desires in order to experience the bliss of the Self.
Snake ~ Vasuki Naga The snake is shown curled three times around the neck of the Lord and is looking towards his right side. The three coils of the snake symbolize the past, present and future ~ time in cycles.
Rudraksha necklace Rudra is another name of Shiva. The Rudraksha necklace worn by the Lord illustrates that he uses the cosmic laws firmly, without compromise, to maintain law and order in the universe.
Ganga Ganga, symbolically represented on the head of the Lord by a female (Mother Ganga), with a jet of water emanating from her mouth and falling on the ground, signifies that the Lord destroys sin, removes ignorance, and bestows knowledge, purity and peace on the devotees.
Snake around the neck The snakes symbolize the yogic power of Lord Shiva with which he dissolves and recreates the universe.
Varda Mudra Lord Shiva's right hand is shown in a boon-bestowing and blessing pose, which annihilates evil, bestows grace, destroys ignorance, and awakens wisdom in his devotees.
Trident (Trisula) The three-pronged trident shown adjacent to the Lord symbolizes his three fundamental powers (shakti) ~ of will (iccha), action (kriya) and knowledge (jnana).
Damaru (drum) Damaru symbolizes the two utterly dissimilar states of existence ~ unmanifest and manifest.
Half-open eyes When Lord Shiva opens his eyes a new cycle of creation emerges, and when he closes them the universe dissolves for creation of the next cycle. The half-open eyes convey the idea that creation is going through this cyclic process, with no beginning no end.

http://www.souledout.org/healing/healingdeities/shiva/shiva.html

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Why do #Jews and #Arabs / #Muslims hate each other?"

Question: "Why do Jews and Arabs / Muslims hate each other?"

Answer:
First, it is important to understand that not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. While a majority of Arabs are Muslims, there are many non-Muslim Arabs. Further, there are significantly more non-Arab Muslims in areas such as Indonesia and Malaysia than there are Arab Muslims. Second, it is important to remember that not all Arabs hate Jews, not all Muslims hate Jews, and not all Jews hate Arabs and Muslims. We must be careful to avoid stereotyping people. However, generally speaking, Arabs and Muslims have a dislike of and distrust for Jews, and vice-versa.

If there is an explicit biblical explanation for this animosity, it goes all the way back to Abraham. The Jews are descendants of Abraham’s son Isaac. The Arabs are descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael. With Ishmael being the son of a slave woman (Genesis 16:1-16) and Isaac being the promised son who would inherit the blessings of Abraham (Genesis 21:1-3), obviously there would be some animosity between the two sons. As a result of Ishmael’s mocking Isaac (Genesis 21:9), Sarah talked Abraham into sending Hagar and Ishmael away (Genesis 21:11-21). Likely, this caused even more contempt in Ishmael’s heart towards Isaac. An angel prophesied to Hagar that Ishmael would “live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:11-12).

The religion of Islam, to which a majority of Arabs are adherents, has made this hostility more profound. The Qur'an contains somewhat contradictory instructions for Muslims regarding Jews. At one point it instructs Muslims to treat Jews as brothers and at another point commands Muslims to attack Jews who refuse to convert to Islam. The Qur’an also introduces a conflict as to which son of Abraham was truly the son of promise. The Hebrew Scriptures say it was Isaac. The Qur’an says it was Ishmael. The Qur’an teaches that it was Ishmael whom Abraham almost sacrificed to the Lord, not Isaac (in contradiction to Genesis chapter 22). This debate over who was the son of promise contributes to the hostility today.

However, the ancient root of bitterness between Isaac and Ishmael does not explain all of the hostility between Jews and Arabs today. In fact, for thousands of years of Middle Eastern history, Jews and Arabs lived in relative peace and indifference towards each other. The primary cause of the hostility has a modern origin. After World War II, when the United Nations gave a portion of the land of Israel to the Jewish people, the land was at that time primarily inhabited by Arabs (the Palestinians). Most Arabs protested vehemently against the nation of Israel occupying that land. Arab nations united and attacked Israel in an attempt to drive them out of the land, but they were defeated. Ever since, there has been great hostility between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Israel exists on one tiny piece of land surrounded by much larger Arab nations such as Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt. It is our viewpoint that, biblically speaking, Israel has a right to exist as a nation in its own land that God gave to the descendants of Jacob, grandson of Abraham. At the same time, we strongly believe that Israel should seek peace and display respect for its Arab neighbors. Psalm 122:6 declares, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.”

Friday, July 18, 2014

India, the Most Pro-Israel Country

A study undertaken on behalf of Israel's foreign ministry by an international market research company found that India is the most pro-Israel country in the world, beating out the United States by two percentage points.
The study, undertaken as part of the "Branding Israel" project, looked at what it calls the world's 13 most important countries and included 5,215 interviewees. Asked a series of questions, participants graded their sympathy for Israel on a 1-to-10 scale. Some results, given in terms of percentage expressing sympathy to the Jewish State:
58% India
56% United States
52% Russia
52% Mexico
50% China
34% Great Britain
27% France
23% Spain
Indians and Israelis have many common platforms:

1) Indians are pro development, peace loving, pro democracy and intellectual people just like israelis and indians have high praise for Israel for defending itself from the clutches of surrounding muslim nations in a brave and aggressive manner. India is not able to do that with pakistan , bangladesh, afghanistan, china. Indians crave for that aggression and bravery so they love and highly appreciate Israel.
2) In any international dispute the indians have a 100 percent inclination in favour of israel because indians better understand the mentality of muslim nations. although indian government do not openly favour israel due to some international equations and due to large population of muslims here in india.
3) It is for sure that india and muslim nations are not natural allies due to vast differences in culture, society, government,way of thinking etc. Indians find Israel close to their heart because everything including religion has very high degree of similarities.

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2009/04/india-the-most-pro-israel-country