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Showing posts from July 14, 2020

Mircea Eliade and Hinduism

Mircea Eliade (1907 – 86), born in Romania, was a renowned scholar of philosophy, psychology of religion and mythology. Mircea Eliade association with Hinduism began when studied Hindu Philosophy and Yoga at the University of Calcutta for three years (1928 – 31), and for six months (in 1931) at Rishikesh under Hindu teachers. He was a prolific writer, and his works include monographs on Yoga, Shamanism, folk-religions and alchemy, autobiography, drama, stories of the occult and some novels. His book Patanjali and Yoga is a study of the various systems of Yoga as a means of liberation, with particular focus on Patanjali’s treatise. Eliade also wrote Yoga: Immortality and Freedom in which he discusses the tradition of Yoga. He deals in great details with the concept of Yoga Sutras and Patanjali, yogic techniques, postures and respiratory discipline, and Yoga in relation to Vedic Dharma and Tantra. Eliade was the editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia of Religions, but unfo

Madhucchista – Technique Of Iron Casting In Ancient Hindu World

The word Madhucchista means beeswax. It attains a wider significance in Hindu metallic iconography and iconometry as well as in iron-casting by what is known as the “lost-wax” process. The roots of this technique can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappa Culture (3 rd millennium BCE) and it is still used for casting bronze icons of gods and goddesses, particularly in South India. In accordance with agamic prescriptions and mensuration, a craftsman prepares in beeswax a model of the image, complete with all its bodily components as well as weapons, if any. After placing beeswax tubes of the length of a datura flower on the back, shoulders, neck, or crown of the image he smears it with a past of refined clay. This paste is applied three or four times all over the image. The first clay layer is thin and is dried in the shade.  A few days later, a second thick layer is applied leaving the mouths of the tubes open and so on. The quality of metal

Story Of Vishnu Cursing Goddess Lakshmi To Become Mare

The story of Bhagavan Vishnu cursing Goddess Lakshmi to become mare is associated with Uchaishravas, the white horse mount of Indra. As per Mahabharata (Adi Parva Chapter 17 verses 1-2), Uchaishravas was a gem among horses, with all auspicious markings, every young, divine, graceful, and irresistible. In the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Sri Krishna stays that he is Uchaishravas among the horses. As per Devi Bhagavata (Skanda VI), Goddess Lakshmi had to be born as a mare on account of Uchaishravas. Once, a friend of Indra, Prince Revanta, reached Vaikunta, the abode of Vishnu, riding on the Uchaishravas. Goddess Lakshmi considered the divine white horse as her brother as they both arose from the milky ocean during the churning by Devas and Asuras. She was so much lost in admiration of the divine horse and did not pay attention to Lord Vishnu talking to her. An angry Vishnu, cursed her to become a mare in the world of human beings. She was then born as a mare in the He

Nava Harathi On The Banks Of Krishna River Near Vijayawada

The daily Nava Harathi to the Krishnaveni is an evening ritual held at Pavitra Sangamam, point of confluence of the Godavari and the Krishna River, not far from Vijayawada. Nava Harathi (nine aratis) are Omkara, Nandi, Kumbha, Naga, Pancha, Surya, Chandra and, most importantly, the Nakshatra. A permanent stage to host the Nava Harathi was built on a large platform close to the Krishna River Bank. The nine mandapams for each of the nine harathis, are highly illuminated and can be watched from the Pushkar Ghat. The 30-minute light and sound program before the Nava Harathi ritual begins with an introduction to the sthala puranam of Sri Kanaka Durga, the history of the Krishna River and explains the significance of each harathi and its beneficial consequences.

Importance of Impersonal Interest In Spirituality

Interest is of two kinds, personal interest and impersonal interest. Swami Tapasyananda Ji (1904 – 1991), was one of the Vice-Presidents of the Ramakrishna Order, Swamiji writes about the importance of impersonal interest in spirituality. Personal interest, as in business, is always motivated by considerations of personal gain. Under this inducement, man can do much for the advancement of society, provided he is guided by a proper sense of discipline and a code of honour. Give and take is the norm to be followed here. It is the generally prevailing law of life. Impersonal interest is applicable only to people who have risen to a higher level of thought and living, who feel that life is not worth living if it offers opportunity only to live for oneself and to work only for personal gain. They want a higher sanction for human effort than mere interest born of personal gain. Now the ideal of work without attachment is applicable only to such persons. In the questions raised