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1456
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 19, 2013, 08:58:41 AM »
Sage of Kanchi
Sankara, who has expounded the ideals of Selfrealisation and jnana, says: "Vedo nityam adhiyatam taduditam karma svanusthiyatam" (Chant the vedas every day. Perform with care the sacrifices and other rites they enjoin upon you). The Acharya wants us to conduct sacrifices not for happiness in this world, nor for the enjoyment of the pleasure of paradise. No, not for any petty rewards. Sankara exhorts us to carry out Vedic works without our hearts being vitiated by desire. This, according to his teaching, is the way to make our mind pure in order to realise the Self.

1457
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: September 18, 2013, 10:10:26 AM »


Top Ten Buddhism facts you should know


by Jaya
http://www.bbncommunity.com/2013/09/18/top-ten-buddhism-facts-you-should-know-2/
About 2500 years ago, Siddhartha Gautama, a prince likely to become king of several northern states in India, stepped out of his palace to see the real world. He was shocked to learn that the world, contrary to what he had seen inside the palace, was full of suffering. Siddhartha set out on a quest to find the truth and the permanent solution to sufferings such as death, disease, old age, etc. After many years, Siddhartha became the ‘Buddha’ – the Enlightened One. Buddhism as a religion, practice or philosophy as you choose to call it, is based on his teachings. Listed below are top 10 Buddhism facts that you should know.

1)      Cause and effect is the universal law of universe

bbncommunity.comBuddhism recognizes ‘Cause and Effect’ or Karma as the universal law. According to Buddhism, in the transient world, all humans receive good, bad or other outcomes according to the nature of their dispositions and actions. Heaven, in terms of Buddhist principles is the point when the mind of a seeker is freed from the Karmic cycle. It is the point at which a person masters himself. The mind, at that point, is like a tranquil ocean with no ripples of thoughts or emotions.

2)      Buddhism as a religion was born because of the Hinduism


bbncommunity.comSiddhartha Gautama was a Hindu prince by birth. He was born at a time when Hinduism, the oldest religion in the world, was in the grip of superstitions, caste-system and corruption in Vedic way of life. Siddha systems of learning had nearly vanished from the society. Gautama went on to find his own answers (which later become guiding principles of Buddhism) because Hinduism could not satisfy his urge for absolute truth. It is due to this reason that Hinduism and Buddhism, the two spiritual traditions of the East, are quite similar and dissimilar at the same time

3)     It’s the 4th largest religion in the world


bbncommunity.comThe spread of Buddhism, as many people presume, is not limited to Tibet, Thailand & Sri lanka. There are well over 360 million people all over the world who practice and adhere to the teachings of Buddhism. The number is growing with each passing year as people in the West have begun taking deep interest in Buddhism, its teachings and rituals

4)     Buddha is not a god. He is a teacher.

bbncommunity.comBuddhists do not look up to Buddha as God, as most people think they do. He’s revered as a teacher or spiritual guide. Buddhists look up to Buddha for wisdom and guidance. Many Buddhists meditate upon Buddha to find their own answers or absolute wisdom.

5)     Buddhism does not teach that everyone in the world destined to suffer.

bbncommunity.comIt is a common misconception about Buddhism. The fact is: Buddhism accepts the world as ‘temporary’ or ‘transitory’. Therefore, the suffering, too, is temporary and there’s a way out of this suffering called the Middle Path. The whole religion or philosophy of Buddhism is based on it.

6)     Non attachment does not imply Buddhists can’t have relationships.


bbncommunity.comWhen most people learn that monks and other Buddhists practice non-attachment, they simply presume that the religion has no place for relationships or a so called ‘normal life’. To be detached, in terms of Buddhism, is to be control of one’s one self and be detached to everything happening in the world. If practiced regularly, this non-attachment can indeed help a person have the most fulfilling relationships.

 

7)      Buddhism compliments science


bbncommunity.comBuddhist principles and doctrines, like Vedic scriptures in Hinduism, complement science to a great degree. Over the last couple of years, many parallels have been drawn between Buddhist literature and findings in Quantum Physics. These parallels have, in particular, been drawn by considering ‘spiritual’ principles of Buddhism that appear to indicate sublime truths now being discovered by quantum physicists.

The next three facts we bring you are highly controversial matters. They have to be analyzed with the right mind set. We wish to bring you separate discussions on these three subjects as one may argue the authenticity of these three points. For an example we believe Buddhists should be vegetarians and there are enough evidences, facts and reasons to justify that Buddha was vegetarian himself. Besides, the doctrine clearly condition that eating meat does not fulfill the main percepts on Buddhism.

  However we state this hoping that we can have a fruitful discussion later on these three subjects.

8)      Reincarnation is a doctrine, not an absolute truth

bbncommunity.comA large number of people all over the world, especially those who’ve recently heard about Buddhism, think that it fully accepts the system of reincarnation. Yes, it is true, but it’s only partial truth. It’s only a Buddhist doctrine based on the belief that energy or soul conditioned by experiences takes birth over and over again until it’s finally liberated. The higher truth propagated by Buddhism, however, is that a seeker should hold break free from all ‘views or opinions’ about the world. The doctrine is, but a stepping stone to that point.

9)      Buddhists may or may not believe in god

bbncommunity.comWhile some Buddhists believe in God, others are agnostic. Yet, few others believe in demigods like Hindus do. Whether they believe in God or not, they make it a point to meditate on their own selves to find the higher truth, beyond an accepted belief. Like Hinduism or any other religion in the world, Buddhism, too, has a multitude of different traditions. It’s in the core philosophy of Buddhism (e.g. Bhagavad Gita or Upanishads in Hinduism) that a seeker can truly rely on for wisdom and direction.

10)   Vegetarianism is not a commandment


bbncommunity.com

Many schools of Buddhism preach non-violence and motivate all their students to turn vegetarians. However, the fact is – vegetarianism is NOT an absolute requirement or commandment for Buddhists. To eat or not to eat meat is a personal choice in Buddhism. A Buddhist can quit eating meat when he or she has a reason or feels an inner calling to do so. Buddhism strictly prescribes that no living being should be killed but it does not prohibits consumption of a naturally dead animal.


1458
Humour / Re: Funny pictures,quotes,videos...
« on: September 17, 2013, 01:49:42 PM »

1459
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 16, 2013, 06:54:44 PM »
Quote
Kaupina Panchakam:

Sri Sankaracharya:
Subramaniam Sir

It seems Adi Shankara wrote Kaupina Panchakam keeping Bhagavan Ramana in Mind .It completely reflects the way Bhagavan Ramana lived especially in the early stages before the Ashram came .

1460
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 16, 2013, 02:17:45 PM »
Bhavani Ashtakam
A Prayer to Mother Divine,Bhavani, written by Shri Aadi Shankaracharya.

This poem addressed to Mother Bhavani by a helpless devotee who feels he has not done any religious duties , has no idea of yoga , tantra , mantra , has done lot of bad deeds in the past  etc yet he wants to be devoted to Mother Bhavani and prays to her that she is the only refuge for him . The spirit of the prayer can be used when praying to one's Ishta Devata like Shiva , Subramanya , Narayana , Krishna , Arunachala etc

http://www.greenmesg.org/mantras_slokas/devi_bhavani-bhavani_ashtakam.php

Meaning:
1.1: Neither the Father, nor the Mother; Neither the Relation and Friend, nor the Donor,
1.2: Neither the Son, nor the Daughter; Neither the Servant, nor the Husband,
1.3: Neither the Wife, nor the (worldly) Knowledge; Neither my Profession,
1.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

Meaning:
2.1: In this Ocean of Worldly Existence which is Endless, I am full of Sorrow and Very much Afraid,
2.2: I have Fallen with Excessive Desires and Greed, Drunken and Intoxicated,
2.3: Always Tied in the Bondage of this miserable Samsara (worldly existence),
2.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

3.1: Neither do I know Charity, nor Meditation and Yoga,
3.2: Neither do I know the practice of Tantra, nor Hymns and Prayers,
3.3: Neither do I know Worship, nor dedication to Yoga,
3.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

4.1: Neither do I Know Virtuous Deeds, nor Pilgrimage,
4.2: I do not know the way to Liberation, and with little Concentration and Absorption,
4.3: I know neither Devotion, nor Religious Vows; Nevertheless Oh Mother,
4.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

5.1: I performed Bad Deeds, associated with Bad Company, cherished Bad Thoughts, have been a Bad Servant,
5.2: I did not perform my Traditional Duties, deeply engaged in Bad Conducts,
5.3: My eyes Saw with Bad Intentions, tongue always Spoke Bad Words,
5.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

6.1: Little do I know about The Lord of Creation (Brahma), The Lord of Ramaa (Goddess Lakshmi) (Vishnu), The Great Lord (Shiva), The Lord of the Devas (Indra),
6.2: The Lord of the Day (Surya) or The Lord of the Night (Chandra),
6.3: I do not know about other gods, but always seeking Your Refuge,
6.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

7.1: During Dispute and Quarrel, during Despair and Dejection, during Intoxication and Insanity, in Foreign Land,
7.2: In Water, and Fire, in Mountains and Hills, amidst Enemies,
7.3: In Forest, please Protect me,
7.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

8.1: I am Helpless, Poor, Afflicted by Old Age and Disease,
8.2: Very Weak and Miserable, always with a Pale Countenance,
8.3: Fallen Asunder, Always surrounded by and Lost in Troubles and Miseries,
8.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

1461
General topics / Re: Discussion on the Quotes of Shankaracharya's
« on: September 16, 2013, 02:00:30 PM »
Though this thread had been opened a long time before to discuss the quotes ,teachings and incidents of Adi Shankara and other Shankaracharyas ( of Kanchi , Sringeri etc ) ,it was not used much and I thought of reviving the same today after discussing about Bhavani Ashtakam in another thread .
So let all future discussions related to Shankaracharya's , their life and work be posted here and the other thread can be used to just post the quotes and incidents so that it helps those who want to just read them alone without getting distracted by the discussions .I myself went through some of the old posts and really felt refreshed and inspired reading them again .



The quote for discussion today is this :

Quote
What does the statement, “Ishwara protects us” mean? Does it mean that Ishwara handles us like a shepherd herding his cattle with a stick in his hand? No, what is meant is that the Lord protects us by entering our minds and inducing appropriate thoughts. There is a prayer in the Vedas:” May the supreme Lord who is the sole cause of the entire cosmos and of even Hiranyagarbha, the creator, induce noble thoughts in my mind”.- Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

There is a saying in Sanskrit "vinasha kale vipreet buddhi "i.e when one looses ones sense of discrimination then it is a sign of bad time and sign of good times is when noble and elevating thoughts come to our mind . Thousands of thoughts flow through our mind but only few selected one bring a great positive transformation in a person . This is the work of Grace /Ishwara who plants those positive thoughts in our mind .
We may have seen this in our own lives i.e some people may have gifted us some good spiritual book or we may have bought it in some spiritual shop or ashram but would not have read it fully and it might be just lying there accumulating dust but suddenly one day we will take it and read it and find that book to be a great spiritually transforming one .
Or it can be through reading some random quote / post in this forum or any other forums that we might have overlooked in the past and after some time the same quote / post becomes very spiritually inspiring for us .
Is this a random event ?
It appears on the outside like that but actually it is not so . Some small good deeds and activities that we have done over the past have blessed us with this positive thought at this point of time .
That is why Hindu Sashtras always advice us to do daily prayers , fasts , charity , pilgrimage ,helping others  in distress etc etc which might look very trivial to start with but over a period of time this has a cumulative affect .
Many years back I chanced to listen a talk on "Thirumandiram" and there the speaker told that according to Thirumular doing Tapas need not be very big and elaborate , it can be simple thing like feeding a crow , feeding a cow , feeding a guest etc and this "small tapas" over a period of time will have a cumulative positive effect on your life .

Others can share their thoughts on this .

1462
MS Subbulakshmi was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna.Today i.e Mon 16 Sept 2013 is her 97th Birthday and so in tribute to her sharing this small piece of shloka "Hrudaya Kuhara Madhye" that was composed by Bhagavan Ramana in 1915 . There is a tamil version following this sasnkrit version and I do not know much about it .If anyone can elaborate more about this shloka I will be happy .


Hrudaya Kuhara Madhye - Sung by MS Subbalakshmi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdjOVztkjOs


This sloka arose in the following circumstances: In 1915, the Maharshi spent the rainy season at Skandasramam. One day Jagadeesa Sastry, sat with a paper in his hand which the Maharshi noticed and enquired about. Sastry said "I have commenced writing a sloka. I could compose only the first phrase but could not go any further' Bhagavan took up the paper containing the phrase "Hridaya kuhara madhye' (In the interior of the Heart cave). Thereupon he completed the sloka.

Sri Ramana Gita appears to be a commentary on the sloka "Hridaya kuhara madhye".

Sanskrit Shloka :


Hridaya Kuhara Madhye Kevalam BrahmaMaatram

Hyahamahamiti Saakshaat Aatma Rupenena Bhati

Hridi Visha Manasa Svam Chinvata Majjata Va

Pavanachalana Rodhat Aatmanishto Bhavatvam

Meaning :

Brahman is glowing lustrously in the middle of the cave

of the Heart in the shape of the Self, always proclaiming

‘I am, I am’. Become an Atmanishta, a Self-realised person,

either by making the mind absorbed in the search of the

Self or by making the mind drown itself through control

of the breath.




1463
General Discussion / Re: Happy Onam...
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:34:26 PM »

1464
Arunachala / Re: We shoud not lose that sweet innocent prayer attidue
« on: September 16, 2013, 10:42:40 AM »
Deepaji

I concur with what Ravi and Subramaniam Sir with regard to these poems i.e there really need not be any specific reason why they composed and it can be a divine play and sometimes for humility sake and also to boost the confidence of ordinary sadhaks who are struggling on the spiritual paths these poems could be written .This trait is visible in many poems of Adi Shankra as well as Tamil Jnanis like Manickavachagar , Tayumanavar , Ramalinga Swamigal etc .

However there are specific contexts in which certain poems came like Manisha Panchkam ( in Kasi ) when Acharya Sankara was humbled by a Chandala , Subramanya Bhujangam ( in Tirechendur ) when he was suffering from a severe stomach ailment .I will find out from Swami Paramarthananda in what context Bhavani Ashtakam was written and for whom it was addressed . In case it was written for general purpose how we must take its meaning .

BTW Happy to note that you met  Swami Paramarthananda and got his blessings during your visit to Chennai and that you follow his talks on BG . Most of his talks are uploaded in the sumukam site . I was able to get a bit clarity on Bhagavan Ramana's  Teachings only after attending his talks on BG seriously since last Gita Jayanti ( in Dec 2012 ) and right now only in 6th Chapter and still a long way to go .

1465
Arunachala / Re: We shoud not lose that sweet innocent prayer attidue
« on: September 16, 2013, 07:48:16 AM »
Deepaji

Next time when I meet Swami Paramarthananda ( my Vedantic Teacher ) I will put the above questions to him and get the answer and share the same . Adi Shankara apart from writing extensive Commentary on the Gita , 10 Upanishads , Brahmasutras also wrote many minor Vedanta Works ( from Ekashloki to Upadesa Sahasri ) and also lot of Hymns addressing various deities that are worshiped in most parts of India .
Why he wrote them , for whom he wrote them ,is it  a contradiction between what he wrote in his Gita /Upanishad Bhaashyams v/s what he expressed in his poems I do not want to speculate as there is lot of speculative and superficial interpretation of Adi Shankara's works by many people without studying his Bhashyas and works in depth and I do not want to add to that confusion by my own superficial interpretation .
I will get the answer from Swami Paramarthananda himself when I meet him next in person as he is the person whom I rely for all answers relating  to Adi Shankra and his works  and currently I am attending his Bhagavad Gita lectures .

1466
Arunachala / Re: We shoud not lose that sweet innocent prayer attidue
« on: September 15, 2013, 09:26:30 PM »
Bhavani Ashtakam
A Prayer to Mother Divine,Bhavani, written by Shri Aadi Shankaracharya.

This poem addressed to Mother Bhavani by a helpless devotee who feels he has not done any religious duties , has no idea of yoga , tantra , mantra , has done lot of bad deeds in the past  etc yet he wants to be devoted to Mother Bhavani and prays to her that she is the only refuge for him . The spirit of the prayer can be used when praying to one's Ishta Devata like Shiva , Subramanya , Narayana , Krishna , Arunachala etc

http://www.greenmesg.org/mantras_slokas/devi_bhavani-bhavani_ashtakam.php

Meaning:
1.1: Neither the Father, nor the Mother; Neither the Relation and Friend, nor the Donor,
1.2: Neither the Son, nor the Daughter; Neither the Servant, nor the Husband,
1.3: Neither the Wife, nor the (worldly) Knowledge; Neither my Profession,
1.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

Meaning:
2.1: In this Ocean of Worldly Existence which is Endless, I am full of Sorrow and Very much Afraid,
2.2: I have Fallen with Excessive Desires and Greed, Drunken and Intoxicated,
2.3: Always Tied in the Bondage of this miserable Samsara (worldly existence),
2.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

3.1: Neither do I know Charity, nor Meditation and Yoga,
3.2: Neither do I know the practice of Tantra, nor Hymns and Prayers,
3.3: Neither do I know Worship, nor dedication to Yoga,
3.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

4.1: Neither do I Know Virtuous Deeds, nor Pilgrimage,
4.2: I do not know the way to Liberation, and with little Concentration and Absorption,
4.3: I know neither Devotion, nor Religious Vows; Nevertheless Oh Mother,
4.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

5.1: I performed Bad Deeds, associated with Bad Company, cherished Bad Thoughts, have been a Bad Servant,
5.2: I did not perform my Traditional Duties, deeply engaged in Bad Conducts,
5.3: My eyes Saw with Bad Intentions, tongue always Spoke Bad Words,
5.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

6.1: Little do I know about The Lord of Creation (Brahma), The Lord of Ramaa (Goddess Lakshmi) (Vishnu), The Great Lord (Shiva), The Lord of the Devas (Indra),
6.2: The Lord of the Day (Surya) or The Lord of the Night (Chandra),
6.3: I do not know about other gods, but always seeking Your Refuge,
6.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

7.1: During Dispute and Quarrel, during Despair and Dejection, during Intoxication and Insanity, in Foreign Land,
7.2: In Water, and Fire, in Mountains and Hills, amidst Enemies,
7.3: In Forest, please Protect me,
7.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.

8.1: I am Helpless, Poor, Afflicted by Old Age and Disease,
8.2: Very Weak and Miserable, always with a Pale Countenance,
8.3: Fallen Asunder, Always surrounded by and Lost in Troubles and Miseries,
8.4: You are my Refuge, You Alone are my Refuge, Oh Mother Bhavani.



1467
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 15, 2013, 07:16:31 PM »
What does the statement, “Ishwara protects us” mean? Does it mean that Ishwara handles us like a shepherd herding his cattle with a stick in his hand? No, what is meant is that the Lord protects us by entering our minds and inducing appropriate thoughts. There is a prayer in the Vedas:” May the supreme Lord who is the sole cause of the entire cosmos and of even Hiranyagarbha, the creator, induce noble thoughts in my mind”.- Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

1468
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 15, 2013, 04:19:27 PM »
Deivathin Kural (Corrected  Tamil Version)

http://mahaperiyavaa.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/deivathin-kural-corrected-version/


Kindly go through the above link for the corrected Tamil Version of Volume 1- 6 of Deivathin Kural of Kanchi Mahaswamigal

1469
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 15, 2013, 04:15:46 PM »
Dear Ravi

I have also read of that beedi smoking person incident . No idea what happened to him after that incident . The thing with Kanchi Paramacharya is that if he fails in something he will go in to extreme tapas like not eating for many days or go to Kashta mouna  as a punishment for himself .

1470
General Discussion / Re: The Significance of Ekadasi
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:58:27 AM »
Given below is an excerpt from the auto biography of Swami Chaitanyananda , a Senior Direct Disciple of Swami Sivananda , who is not known much to the outside world as he maintained lot of seclusion in Uttarkashi ,Himalayas.I was blessed to meet him in person many years back when he came to chennai ( after a gap of more than 50 years ) .His message is simple and direct :
http://chaitanyadham.tripod.com/teachings.htm
People ask, "What should I do? How should I practice?" although our Swamiji's( Swami Sivananda )  books are full of answers to these questions."Meditate daily, pray, do Japa, fast on Ekadasi, observe mouna daily for two hours, do charity 1/10th  of your income, etc."
So he has given everything. But we imagine that these things are commonplace, and we want something new.  We feel it is all commonplace, we have out-grown all that.

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