Monday, November 1, 2010

HINDUISM:Deepavali: Light of wisdom, peace and unity..!!!

Deepavali: Light of wisdom, peace and unity
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

Deepavali or the festival of lights which is celebrated by Hindus all over the world, on November 05, is a variable pointer to our sacred calling. It brings to the fore the tremendous potential in man and his ability to fight his lower nature with all its base instincts and sordid cravings. Deepavali symbolizes the shedding of light and retreat of darkness.

Deepavali signifies emergence from ignorance into knowledge

Deepavali stands for the triumphant entry of the resplendent light of peace, unity and understanding among men and the dramatic defeat of evil. It also signifies the emergence of the soul from the darkness of Avidya to the light of Vidya or awakening. In other words the awakening of knowledge in an ignorant man indicates light being brought into the lives of silently suffering people immersed in utter misery and gloom.

It is exactly to depict this truth, the Deepavali festival is celebrated with a row of lights in Hindu households. According to Hindu calendar in the month of November (Karthikai) bright and beautiful lamps and candles are lit in Hindu homes like a garland of lamps offered in dedication to the deities. This shows the annihilation of sorrow of the people who are overpowered by the forces of darkness and later inspired with the hopes and aspirations for better times ahead.

Certain people believe that Deepavali is associated with the popular legend of Lord Krishna’s victory over Narakasura who by the practice of austerity had gained strength to drive the Gods out of the celestial kingdom but Lord Krishna with his power killed him and saved mankind.

In another instance Lord Krishna was designed to free the world from the deprivation of the Demon King Hiranyakasa who forbade the worship of Lord Vishnu and substituted the worship of himself. But his son Prahalad refused to give up his worship of Lord Vishnu.

Hiranyaksa was enraged and resolved to kill his son whereupon Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narasinha and tore Hiranyaksa to pieces.

Among some Hindus there is a belief that this festival day marks the day of rejoicing when Lord Skanda triumphed over the evil regime of Suraparman. Some even say that on this Deepavali day Sri Rama’s grand coronation took place after his long exile in the jungle.

Indeed Deepavali is a festival of freedom, peace, unity and compassion crystallised in the last hymn in unity and peace in the Indian spiritual hymn Ria Veda.

“Let your aim be one and single, let your heart be joined in one, the mind at rest in unison at peace with all, so may you be.”

“Love and peace are the central theme of Deepavali. Peace is a by-product of love. Hatred will never cease by hatred, but will cease only by love alone.”

A Hindu family adorns their doorstep with Kolam on Deepavali

We have the brilliant light of the sun and the mellow light of the moon and stars, but in everyday’s heart and mind, a different light burns the light of knowledge and warmth of love and compassion which will strengthen ourselves for sacrifice and service and gradually dispel the gloom of poverty, ignorance and egoistic arrogance.

Let our light of knowledge and wisdom shine far and wide scattering the soft but brilliant beams to bring peace, wisdom and the splendour of light. Even the Atharva Veda pronounces Peace be to the earth and to the air, peace be to the heaven, peace to the waters. By this invocations of peace, may peace bring peace.

As the ancients have said “whatever you have, you are its master, whatever you hate you are its slave.” The Deepavali Festival reminds us that when senseless hatred and killings reign on earth and men hide their faces from one another then Heaven to hide its face. But, when Love, Peace and Wisdom come to rule on earth and men reveal their faces to one another, then the splendour of God will be revealed.

Deepavali is a festival which confirms a new beginning - the beginning of reconciliation and peace between communities. Indeed Deepavali festival reminds us that “where there is Dharma peace, righteousness, justice and fair play, there victory shall be.”

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free, where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls, where words come out from the depth of truth, where tireless striving trenches its arms towards perfection, where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreamy desert sand of dead habitat, where the mind is led forward by thee into ever widening thought and action, into the heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake,” said the great poet Rabindranath Tagore.


Kali Ma:

Hindu Goddess of Destruction
As one of the most widely recognized Hindu goddesses Kali or Kali Ma (mother Kali) is said to destroy ignorance and liberate those devoted to God. Kali’s name is

Goddess Kali has a frightening appearance and a fearsome countenance

derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kala,’ which means ‘time’ and also means ‘the black one.’ She appears in many Vedic texts and is sometimes described as an expansion of the goddess Durga.

Hindu Scriptures and Goddess Kali
Shakta Hindus and Tantric believers worship Kali as Brahman (the ultimate reality.) Most Hindus pray to Kali as a benevolent mother goddess and the consort of Lord Shiva. Kali is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Parvati and Chamunda, and is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas (ten Tantric goddesses.)

According to David Kinsley, Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism around 600 CE, and “In the Agni- and Garuda-puranas she is mentioned in invocations that aim at success in war and against one’s enemies.” In the Bhagavata-purana Kali is the deity worshipped by a band of thieves who are annihilated by the goddess herself when they attempt to offer a saintly Brahman for a blood sacrifice.

Kali destroys Demon Raktabija
The Devi Mahatmyam describes Kali’s most famous myth where she springs out from Durga’s frown and destroys the demon Raktabija. Fighting Raktabija was creating problems as the demon reproduces a clone of himself with every drop of blood that falls on the battlefield. The Devas (gods) could not kill the demon Raktabija. Within a few minutes of attacking him the battlefield was covered with millions of demons. In despair, the gods turned to Shiva. But Shiva was in Samadhi (deep meditation), so they asked his consort Durga for help.

The goddess set out for battle and the form of Kali arose from her anger. Kali drank the demon’s blood to prevent any of Raktabija’s blood from falling to the ground and reproducing. Becoming intoxicated on Raktabija’s blood; Kali raged across the world killing anyone in her path and adorned herself with the dismembered parts of her victims. Shiva threw himself under her feet to pacify the goddess and Kali returned to the benevolent form of Durga.

The appearance of Kali
The Goddess Kali has a frightening appearance and has a fearsome countenance with a gaping mouth, tongue lolling out and deep reddish eyes. Most texts describe Kali as dark, naked with long nails and dishevelled hair. Armed with a sword, noose and Khatvanga (skull-topped staff) the goddess is decorated with a garland of skulls and only wears a tiger’s skin.

The skulls, limbs and entrails decorating Kali represent the temporary nature of the material world. Kali’s fierce appearance has a deeper meaning and shows the importance of destroying the ego’s attachment to the body.

Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva
Her form when depicted standing on Shiva’s form is revered as Bhavatarini or the saviour of the universe. In the book Hindu Goddesses David Kinsley states that many texts “treat Kali as an independent deity, unassociated with any male deity. When she is associated with a god, however it is almost always Shiva.”

Bengali devotional hymns often describe Kali and Shiva as possessing similar chaotic habits and are regarded to inhabit cremation grounds – reminding us that the body is only temporary.

Kinsley also emphasizes the dominant nature of Kali in relation to Shiva: “She is usually standing or dancing on Siva’s body, and when the two are depicted in sexual intercourse, she is shown above him.

Although Siva is said to have tamed Kali in the myth of the dance contest, it seems clear that she was never finally subdued by him and is most popularly represented as a being who is uncontrollable and more apt to provoke Shiva to dangerous activity than to be controlled by him.”

Kali Pooja: Praying to Mother Kali
Kali Pooja is celebrated on the new day of the Hindu month Ashwin in Bengal and other parts of India. This celebration coincides with Lakshmi Pooja during the five day festivities of Diwali. Kali’s most well known temples are in Kalighat and Dakshineshvara in India.

Kali Pooja aims to invoke the help of the goddess in destroying evil. The worship takes place at midnight with Tantric rites and mantras. Some devotees offer red hibiscus flowers, sweets, rice and even meat.


2012 apocalypse in Hinduism
Facts about Kalki, Planet X and end of Kaliyugam:


Year 2012 will bring incessant rain and flood according to Hindu predictions

‘2012’ has become a buzzword these days, thanks to the incessant end of days programs on History Channel and the movie. People are freaking everywhere and want to know the predictions in every civilisation from Mayans to Hopis to Aztecs, from the Book of Revelations to I-Ching and Nostradamus Quatrains and of late the end of world connections to the world’s oldest religion Hinduism.

The four Yugas or ages described in the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam are Satya or Krita Yuga that will span the first 100,000 years, Treta Yuga next 1,296 million years and Dvapara Yuga 864, 000 years and the last Kali Yuga 432, 000 years. In Kali Yuga people will live for up to 100 years and will be engaged in irreligious practices solely for sense gratification/Kama. People in the age of Kali will be lazy, quarrelsome, greedy and deceitful.

The end of Kali Yuga is marked by the arrival of ‘Kalki’ the last incarnation of Vishnu. The 10th avatar of God.

Also it is interesting to note that coincidentally the 10th planet of the solar system or planet X was named Kalki.

The last avatar of God, Kalki will ride a white horse and would punish all the people who were sinful. Bhavishya Purana , literal meaning ‘story about the future’, is a book of predictions written by Vyasa who also wrote Mahabharatha has predicted the birth of Jesus, Allah and many other religious leaders.

The year 2012 will bring incessant rain and flooding according to the predictions.

According to Puranas the city Dwaraka, where Lord Krishna was born, was under the sea. This ‘underwater city of Dwarka’ was discovered in 1994 and it lies in the Arabian sea in the coast of Gujarat in close proximity to the present Dwarka temple in Saurashtra.

According to archaeologists this underwater city where the real Dwarka where Lord Krishna lived, has stunning golden pillars and remnants of a palace.


Thiruvalluvar’s wisdom
Elaiya Sivayoganathan

The Thirukkural is the masterpiece of Tamil literature and one of the highest and purest of expressions of human thought, says scholar M Ariel. Kural is a treasure of wisdom that dates over 2000 years. St Thiruvalluvar produced this masterpiece dealing with virtue, wealth and love which has immediate impact on human

Thiruvalluvar Statue in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India

activities. This has more practicability than any other piece of Hindu literature.

Thiruvalluvar’s message is not only for his period but for all times and for all mankind. Learned scholars thought that this masterpiece deserved wider attention and began to translate it. Dr GU Pope translated it in to English, followed by few other scholars. Thirukkural is an outstanding thinker who showed mankind a greater way of life.

The specialty of this great work is above all cults and religions.

The utterance of pleasant words
Pleasant words are those that flow from the mouth of virtuous. Spoken with love and free from guile. Sweet speech with cheerfulness is better than a gift made with joyous mind. Speaking from the heart with a cheerful look and happy face is true virtue. Poverty provoking sorrow will not be there to those who speak pleasant words to all.

Humility with pleasant speech are the ornaments of man. If a man speaks good words his sins will diminish and his virtue increases. Pleasing words of good effect give righteousness in this world and merit for the next. Good speech free from meanness will give happiness both in this world and next.

What is the use in using harsh words when one sees the pleasure which sweet words yield? Using unpleasant words when pleasant words are available is like eating unripe fruit when ripe fruit is available.

Avoid pointless speech
He who speaks senseless words to the disgust of many will be despised by all.

Speaking useless words in the presence of wise is a greater evil than speaking unkind words among friends.

Speech of useless words proclaims man who has no righteous wisdom. The words devoid of sense for a man deprives him of virtue, removes him from goodness.


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