Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘holistic’

What it meant to be a Hindu for me

Posted by Admin on May 26, 2012

http://cosmicstories.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/what-it-meant-to-be-a-hindu-for-me/

What it meant to be a Hindu for me

Even before I opened my eyes for the first time in this world, I was a Hindu. I was a Hindu by default because I was born in a Hindu family. I was marked with this word. Although, I didn’t know what that word really meant, I used to write my religion as Hindu in all the school and college forms. I still do that.

In this essay, I am not going to argue about what Hindu really means. I will do that in the next Blog. In this Blog, I will rather tell my readers about what I have experienced and how I see Hinduism. I am not religious anymore. I wonder if I was ever so religious. I was born in a Brahmin Family in one of the most underdeveloped states in India. It is necessary to talk about my birthplace because it has a good significance here. An underdeveloped state means that most of my family members and almost all of the society were too much inculcated with the idea of religion. But, can we here make a comparison of extremely religious Muslim or Christian society with an extremely religious Hindu society? How did I find my way out of this trap of irrational religious beliefs? Simple! Because Hinduism generally does not enforces its beliefs on anyone.

My friends in west or Pakistan are unable to understand how a Hindu really lives or practices his faith. That is warranted because they compare Hinduism with their own prejudices and religion.

Muslims laugh on Hinduism thinking that Hindus worship a million gods in Idols and drink Cow piss (Yuck!). I never did that. Nor any of my family members ever did that too. We have a few cows in our farm-house but we only used them to get milk. Yes, we did have idols of Gods in our temple at home, but they were just 3 or 4 of different kinds. Nobody can build a temple of a million Gods.

This is Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga is worshiped as the principle God in our family and village. We do consider all other Hindu Gods like Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva. A Hindu can choose what God he wants to worship. We worshiped Durga and had idols of a few other Gods in our temple. How many times did we used to worship? Well! My father worships everyday but mostly it was unnecessary. Anyone could worship or just bow his head sometimes before the idol, anytime of the day or week or even month. There are no strict enforced laws for worshiping-Every Hindu is to himself.

Yesterday, a few boys came in my Room with a collection of audio jokes in their mobile. Some of these jokes were sexual and directed towards Hindu Gods. Everyone just laughed- Even my room-partner who is a staunch believer in Hinduism. Even he laughed when his God was brutally mocked in the joke. One important thing to say: Nobody was killed. I was so astonished to see that. How can a believing Hindu joke crudely on his Gods? But that is a relieving truth that I have lived from the last 25 years. Hindus do not just get angry and kill anyone for mocking their Gods. Just think about what would have happened to those boys if we were Muslims and their crude jokes were directed towards Muhammad. *Stoning*??

River Ganga is considered Holy in Hinduism. It is said that anyone who dies at its banks gets heaven as reward in afterlife. I have never considered Ganga as a Holy river. It is just like any other river. I used to say that before my other Hindu friends in my early youth. None of them ever replied back with an angry tone, saying that I was offending Hinduism. No! All the other Hindus would easily accept that it was my choice. Anyways, I love River Ganga as I would love River Nile; it has served for centuries as the cradle of civilization.

There is a concept of heaven and hell in Monotheistic religions. There is some concept like that in Hinduism too. But I don’t know any Hindus in my friend or family circle who really think or care about that. Though, they all believe in Hinduism but still they don’t have the knowledge of any Heaven or Hell. They just live their life easily, doing their everyday duties. I was never frightened with Hell. I have never done anything good only because of some reward of heaven. That’s just a way of life for ordinary Hindus. What most of the Hindus think is that when you die, your soul becomes a part of the greater soul (God) or based on your actions, you reincarnate.

All of my family members think that God is everywhere. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He answers prayers and he loves his creation. Many of the followers of like Christianity and Islam think that Hindus worship idols thinking that idols are God. But this is not true- Many Hindus only worship idols because they think that they are worshipping an infinite through the finite- that they are worshipping an unknowable thorough a knowable object.

All of the scholars of Hinduism agree that Hindu is not specifically a religious term. It is a nationalistic term which means people living to the east of river Indus. I call myself a Hindu because of that definition only. I was born in India, therefore I am a Hindu. Like in the same way, a person born in America is American.

Hinduism is a strange religion. It gives a lot of space to its believers to paint any picture of God that he/she likes. It is not prescriptive and even an Atheist can be a Hindu.

A person can be a Hindu, even if:

He worships daily or even rarely in a year.

He eats whatever he likes or doesn’t eat Non- Veg. ever.

He thinks Ganga is holy or not.

He is free to respect or revile any of the Hindu Gods. But he will still remain a Hindu. You can’t take that away from him. There is a lot of space given in this religion. Do what you want!  But with all that freedom, you are still bound under the chains of irrational beliefs.

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The Sun Temple of Modhera

Posted by Admin on May 20, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/the-sun-temple-of-modhera-slideshow/

The Sun Temple of Modhera

The Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat was built in the early 11th century by King Bhimdev, in dedication to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. The temple’s magnificent exterior is intricately carved, and designed in such a way that the sun’s rays illuminate the temple’s sanctum at dawn during the equinoxes. Besides the sanctum, the temple has a pradakshina patha and a sabha mandap, as well as a Surya Kund, a massive tank with stunning miniature shrines that adorn its steps. Yahoo! reader DHARTI PATEL, a student of sculpture and art of Gujarat, shares her experience as she visits the temple of Surya.

Note from Admin : – Behold the grandeur, grandness, magnanimity, intricacy, harmonious and holistic architecture and structural materialisation of this revered and renowned architectural masterpiece dedicated to the Higher Forces of Consciousness shaping Our World perpetually.

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Temple & Kunda: The Sun Temple at Modhera’s dates back to early 11th century CE and was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026 CE.

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Sabha Mandap View South West: The mandapa as usual is peristylar with an octagonal nave covered by a splendidly carved dome.

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Sabha Mandap: This hall of religious gatherings is a magnificent pillared hall. It is open from all sides and has 52 intricately carved pillars representing 52 weeks in a year. The carvings depict episodes from the Hindu epics of Ramayan, Mahabharat and Krishna Lila (i.e., story of Lord Krishna).

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Toran:Two huge ornamental arches called Torans form a gateway to the Sabha Mandap.

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View of the Toran, north to south.

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Front view of the Toran.

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The exterior of the temple walls have 12 different postures of Aditya, the Sun God, along with eight Dikpals.

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The eight Dikpalas are the Guardians of Direction, guarding specific directions of space. They are traditionally represented on the walls and ceilings of Hindu temples.

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The inner half occupies the Garbhagriha and the front one the mandapa (hall). The sanctum sanctorum is 11 feet square inside. Between the outer walls of the sanctum sanctorum and that of the temple is the pradakshina marg (the circumambulatory passage). This passage was roofed with flat slabs laid across and carved with rosettes on the undersides and above this, rose the sikhara.

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The exterior of the sanctum has many carved images of the Sun God, portrayed as wearing Irani Style Tiara, Long Shoes and Jeweled Belt.

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The god Surya portrayed here with with seven horses.

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Lord Vishwakarma – who constructed the golden Dwarka city for Shri Krishna.

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Goddess Parvati with an apsara.

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Goddess Parvati with dancing Shiva.

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The Surya-kunda, also known as Rama-kunda is rectangular, and measures 176 feet north to south, by 120 feet east to west.

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The Suryakund is a fine example of geometry and pattern art. It has108 miniature shrines carved between the steps inside the tank.

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There are many terraces and steps leading to the water level. On its sides and corners are various small shrines with the images of gods and goddesses.

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The missing Toran Arch: Outside this sabha-mandapa are two pillars of a toran from which the arch is missing. From the toran a flight of steps leads down to the kunda.

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In viewing the Modhera temple as a whole the aesthetic sense at once responds to the elegance of its proportions, the entire composition being lit with the living flame of inspiration. But apart from its material beauty, its designer has succeeded in communicating to it an atmosphere of spiritual grace. The temple faces the east to that the rising sun at the equinoxes filters in a golden cadence through its openings, from door way to corridor, past columned vestibules finally to fall on the image in its innermost chamber.

 

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