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Deconstructing Brahmn Through Devotion

Pranav Khullar

Within you is the power that can heal any internal disease. And within you is the treasure that can deliver you from any financial crisis. Within you is a tremendous power. Trust it … it can never fail in delivering you.

Sadhu TL Vaswani

Ramanuja’s position in Vedantic metaphysics is unique in its attempt to resolve the nature of reality, the ontological paradox of reality as ‘one and many’ by seeing the two not as opposites, but as being complementary to each other. His Vishishtadvaita philosophy presents a world in which the ‘one’ unity expresses itself in and through a multiplicity of forms, the ‘many’. Both are held together in an organic whole, the Absolute expressing itself through multiple finite beings, immanent in them, yet transcending them. Both the Absolute and the plural world are real, and both realise their value in and through the other.

Having addressed the core metaphysical issue, Ramanuja then applies this principle to map out and define Brahmn as Parama Purusha, not an abstract principle, but as “God qualified by individual selves and matter”. The philosophical concept of Brahmn, the Absolute, gets merged with the religious concept of Ishwara, God, and reality is now realisable through devotional experience. The earlier Vaishnava mystic devotional tradition of the Alwars gets merged in the metaphysics of Vishishtadvaita, where the empirical world is controlled and supported by a Saguna, personal god, and the relation between God and the plural world is described as the sarira-sariri-bhava, that is, the connect between body and soul.

Ramanuja’s ‘Sri Bhasya’, a commentary on the Brahma Sutras, presents a theological framework to metaphysics by establishing Supreme Brahmn as Vishnu, Narayana or Srinivasa. He states that liberation for human beings consists in surrendering to Him, in the spirit of saranagati, seeking refuge in Him. This philosophy was later elaborated upon by Vallabha and Chaitanya.

Shankara’s Advaita philosophy that the world is unreal, that the individual soul and Brahmn are one, that only Brahmn is knowledge-bliss and not the one who possesses these attributes, are all countered by Ramanuja in the Sri Bhasya. Vedanta Desika was to later define Ramanuja. His position as reflected in Vishishtadvaita, qualified monism, as opposed to Shankara’s Advaita, absolute monism, says he comes closer to the original intent of the Brahma Sutras than Shankara does.

This metaphysical position of holding the phenomenal world and the Absolute as both being real worlds, also acted as the trigger for major social reform which Ramanuja pioneered in his time. His philosophy of synthesis allowed him to view the world with a very large heart, and gave him the conviction that there can be no caste, community or gender restrictions in the eyes of God. All are equal in the opportunity to serve and realise God.

Ramanuja threw open temple entry to the so-called untouchables of his day. He personally supervised their entry into the temple of Lord Thirunarayana at Melkote, in Karnataka, giving them a new, ennobling name, Thiru-Kulattar, as belonging to the family of Lakshmi, the Divine Mother.

Ramanuja publicly shared the Ashtakshari Mantra – Aum Namo Narayana – with one and all, to the dismay of his guru. Later, seeing his compassion for people, his guru exclaimed that Ramanuja had truly imbibed the spirit of the mantra.

As one stands before the figure of Ramanuja inside the sanctum complex of the Srirangam temple, his real nature as a bhakta strikes on, a devotee who deconstructed the abstract notion of Brahmn and turned it into a vision of a personal God who can be reached and realised through devotion.

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Becoming An Authentic Human Being

Becoming a true individual is a long process and requires considerable effort: it is about becoming an authentic human being. If we make no effort, we become slaves to conditioning; we go through our lives half-asleep and slide down into darkness and ignorance. The work begins through the ego, which is why so much effort has to be applied. It must be done consciously and the individual opens the ego to change, simultaneous to constructing this individuality.

It is the first stage of yoga. In Sri Aurobindo’s words, “He has to work by means of the lower Nature, but aided more and more from above.”

The usual human being is like a caged animal, tethered to the past and a creature of habit that remains enslaved by the routines and motions of ordinary life, a victim of societal and environmental conditioning. The process begins from birth and during adulthood it becomes more complicit in building its own dungeon.

The reason for this is false identification. The human being is immersed in what are only his instruments: mind, life and body. He loses his true identity. This only reduces the effectiveness of the instruments themselves! The innate divinity gets shielded from our gaze and a thick crust proceeds and covers our true nature. We identify ourselves with the body and personality. But the conscious individual, however, centres his entire being in the Truth. It is not something that can be put into words. It is not really a list of attributes and qualities. One just ‘is’ and automatically knows when any action or thought is out of resonance. It is a spontaneous condition. It is the connection inside which facilitates this: there is something very true within and it is only this consciousness that can steer us back to our genuine source.

But humanity is conditioned into a herd mentality so it takes strength and courage to break free of the pack for the pack evokes safety and compromise. As long as one stays within the tramlines, one gets the accustomed benefits of the ordinary life. But it is this false notion which must first be shed if one aims to become an authentic human being. The true individual is and if one can recognise this, even for a few seconds, the momentum will be entirely reversed.

Amid the effort, there is a descending Force at work, moulding the personality into an individual. We need to give ourselves to this Force. If we remain open, it can go right down to the deepest cells of our body. Initially it works behind the scenes but as soon as we consciously experience its workings, its effect can be one of alchemy.

There is a process of inner alignment. We consciously watch our internal movements and gradually everything aligns. It is by a progressive harmony that a true individual is created. Individuality needs to be cemented and harmony is the glue that holds it all together. As the harmony becomes more perfect, a truer integer evolves. The aim is wholeness and this takes great persistence. Finally though, when this construction of will and effort is cemented, and it is surrendered to the Divine, no ego remains. This is the culmination of the Integral Yoga.

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RARE CLOSE-UP: An Asian cuckoo also called koel perched on a tree at CSMT

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योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा Yogi Chalisa

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
Home उत्तर प्रदेश

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
यूपी के गोंडा जिले में रहने वाले एक युवक पर सीएम योगी आदित्यनाथ की भक्ति ऐसी छाई कि उसने योगी चालीसा ही रच डाली. ये युवक सुबह शाम योगी चालीसा का पाठ करता है और सीएम योगी आदित्यनाथ की पूजा करता है.

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
उमरीबेगमगंज इलाके में रहने वाला सोनू ठाकुर, योगी को भगवान मानता है. उसका कहना है कि योगी प्रदेश के लिए, देश के लिए और समाज के लिए इतना कुछ कर रहे हैं कि मैं उन्हें अपना भगवान मानता हूं.

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
योगी की पूजा करने वाले सोनू अकेले नहीं हैं. उनके साथ कई और लोग भी इस पूजा में शामिल होते हैं और योगी चालीसा पढ़ते हैं. ये सभी युवक समाज में बदलाव भी लाने की इच्छा रखते हैं जिसके लिए यह योगी को फॉलो करते हैं.

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
ये सभी लोग गऊ सेवा, सड़कों की सफाई समेत अन्य अभियान चलाते हैं और बाकी लोगों से भी ऐसा करने को कहते हैं. सोनू का कहना है कि वह अपना पूरा जीवन योगी आदित्यनाथ के बताए रास्ते पर ही चलना चाहता है.

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
ऐसा नहीं है कि सोनू हाल ही में योगी भक्त बना हो, वह 2007 से ही योगी का अनुयायी है. बहुत से लोग उससे जुड़ गए हैं और उसके साथ पूजा करते हैं और बहुत से लोग केवल उसे देखने के लिए पहुंचते हैं.

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
योगी की पूजा करता सोनू

योगी आदित्यनाथ के इस भक्त ने लिखी योगी चालीसा, सुबह-शाम करता है पूजा-अर्चना
रोजाना सुबह शाम करता है योगी चालीसा का पाठ

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तीन तलाक से मुक्ति पाने के लिए बनारस की मुस्लिम महिलाओं ने बुधवार को हनुमान चालीसा का सामूहिक पाठ

तीन तलाक से लड़ने के लिए हनुमान चालीसा का पाठ

तीन तलाक से लड़ने के लिए हनुमान चालीसा का पाठ

तीन तलाक से मुक्ति पाने के लिए बनारस की मुस्लिम महिलाओं ने बुधवार को हनुमान चालीसा का सामूहिक पाठ किया। इसका आयोजन पतालपुरी मठ में किया गया। देखिए तस्वीरें…
गुरुवार को सुनवाई

तीन तलाक मसले पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट में 11 मई से लगातार सुनवाई होनी है। इससे पहले धर्म नगरी काशी में बुधवार को मुस्लिम महिलाओं ने जीवन के सबसे बड़े संकट तीन तलाक से हमेशा के लिए मुक्ति पाने को बजरंग बली के दरबार में गुहार लगाई। मुस्लिम महिला फाउंडेशन की अगुवाई में पतालपुरी मठ में करीब 50 मुस्लिम महिलाओं ने दक्षिणमुखी हनुमान मंदिर में आरती उतारकर 100 बार हनुमान चालीसा का पाठ किया। इस मौके पर मठ के महंत बालक दास, राष्‍ट्रीय स्‍वयं सेवक संघ की अखिल भारतीय कार्यकारिणी के सदस्‍य इंद्रेश कुमार, जिला प्रचारक ओमप्रकाश आदि मौजूद रहे।
10 मई है खास

देश के इतिहास के पन्‍नों में 10 मई का दिन बेहद खास है। अंग्रेजों की गुलामी से मुक्ति के लिए स्‍वतंत्रता आंदोलन की शरुआत 10 मई 1857 को हुई थी। इस घटना के ठीक 160 साल बाद इसी दिन मुस्लिम महिलाओं के बजरंग बली का पूजन करने को तीन तलाक और हलाला जैसी सामाजिक कुप्रथाओं के खिलाफ सामाजिक क्रांति की शुरुआत के रूप में देखा जा रहा है।
सामूहिक पाठ

मुस्लिम महिला फाउंडेशन की सदर नाजनीत अंसारी का कहना है कि जिस तरह प्रभु श्रीराम के जीवन में आए संकट को हनुमान ने दूर किया, उसी तरह मुस्लिम बहनों का संकट भी अब दूर होगा। हनुमान जी तीन तलाक से मुक्ति दिलाएंगे। सुप्रीम कोर्ट मुस्लिम महिलाओं की तकलीफ और दुर्दशा को समझ रहा है। हलाला जैसी कुप्रथा को मानवीय अत्‍याचार की चरम सीमा बताया। कहा कि इसे कानूनन बलात्‍कार घोषित किया जाना चाहिए।
पीड़ितों के लिए भवन बने

राष्‍ट्रीय स्‍वयं सेवक संघ के अखिला भारतीय कार्यकारिणी के सदस्‍य इंद्रेश कुमार ने केंद्र सरकार से तलाकशुदा मुस्लिम महिलाओं के लिए अलग भवन बनाने की मांग की है। कहा कि सरकार तलाकशुदा बहनों के पुर्नवास और उनके बच्‍चों के पढ़ने-लिखने की व्‍यवस्‍था कर तकलीफों को दूर करने का प्रयास करे। पतालपुरी मठ के महंत बालक दास ने कहा कि सभ्‍य समाज में मुस्लिम महिलाओं पर अत्‍याचार अशोभनीय है। धर्म का काम विपत्ति में रास्‍ता दिखाना है न कि शोषण करना।

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An Aching Longing Only For The Divine

We have an aching longing for many things in life – we pine for a deceased loved one, hanker after a position that brings us fame and prestige, long for a bigger house, fatter salary, power and pelf. The reality is that all these create a desire for things and people, which diminish us. We are meant to have an aching longing only for God because He is the only one who can lift us to the state of the divine.

Kabir Das called God the breath of all breath. Rabindranath Tagore described this longing for God: “I am restless, I am athirst for far away things. My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance. O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute. I forget, ever forget, that I have no wings to fly, that I am bound to this spot ever more.”

Longing is something we have by nature. Positively, we long for the truth, eternity, peace, love and appreciation, for support. Ne gatively, we long for many unhealthy things, like more wealth, out of sheer greed; we have selfish desires, sometimes develop a craving for toxic things like cigarettes and alcohol; we long for a higher position to put others down and to prove ourselves superior.

When we long for impermanent things, they can never satisfy us. They leave us with a deep inner loneliness and sense of despair.

Teresa of Avila, the Christian mystic, said: “Let nothing disturb thee … All things pass, God never changes … He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.” St John of the Cross says that the soul is wearied and fatigued by its desires. Desires disturb it, allowing it not to rest in any place or in anything whatsoever. Desires cause greater emptiness and hunger. He says that darkness and coarseness will always be with a soul until its appetites are extinguished. He compares the appetites to a cataract on the eye or specks of dust in it; which until removed obstruct vision.

A pure vision is one that allows us to see reality as it is. It brings us a sense of completion when every other thing has failed. It gives us a sense of being united to God and therefore to all of his creation.

Despite all the falsities we are or may be caught up with, there is implanted in our very nature a longing for the truth. If we seek God, we will seek the truth. We will experience his benevolence in our lives. A beautiful hymn captures this longing: “Like the deer that pants for running waters, so my soul longs after you. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you.”

The desire to see God face to face is the deepest longing in every human being. But, we are sometimes not aware of our deepest longings. In our day-to-day transactions we either neglect to love and relate to others meaningfully, or seek pleasure in devious things. Some of us are unaware of the daily presence of God in our midst. But once we become true seekers, we shall at once be able to sense His presence and see Him. We have to first purify ourselves of every other heart’s desire and long for Him alone.

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Kinnar Akhara steals the show at Kumbh

It was the first peshwai, or ‘Devatva Yatra’ as they preferred to call it, taken out by the Kinnar Akhara in the Prayag Kumbh on Sunday. Despite being denied recognition by the 13 main akharas, the kinnars literally stole the show with their procession, drawing the largest crowd one has ever seen at a peshwai.

The moment came for the akhara about three years after it was formed. They participated in Ujjain Kumbh last where they took out their first peshwai ever. “We don’t need certification from the akharas. We are Sanatani Hindus and demi-gods as per shastras. Despite how patriarchy has tried to keep out of the system, we are here,” she said.

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Grand preparations won’t soften demand for Ram mandir: Seers


If the BJP government had hoped that they would divert attention from the Ram Temple issue by hosting the Kumbh on a massive scale this year, seers collecting in Allahabad for the event say they have no plans of allowing that to happen.

Several hoardings demanding the construction of the Ram temple have sprung up across Kumbh tent city while the VHP has announced it will hold a dharam sansad on January 31 and February 1 to demand temple construction.

The massive hoardings, put up by Swami Narendracharyaji Maharaj of Ramanandcharya Dakshin Peeth in Maharashtra, carry a clear missive for BJP: Construct the Ram Temple.

“ Yeshu Allah kar rahe Vatican Mecca par raj, Hinduon ka Ram phir beghar kyon hai aaj” says a hoarding.

Another says, “Tulsi tere desh mein Ram kachahari jaye, sarkaron ke beech mein mandir gota khaye”, referring to the court case.

Many seers believe that by projecting Ardhkumbh as Mahakumbh, the government is trying to deflect attention from its failure to construct the temple.

Dandi Swami Brahmashram, the national general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Dandi Sanyasi Prabandhak Samiti, said that if BJP was unable to come up with a solution for the Ram temple, it need not contest elections this year. “We are happy that the Kumbh is being organized on such a grand scale but if BJP thinks it will benefit by politicizing the event, it is mistaken. Agar mandir nahin to sarkar nahin,” he said.

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Kumbh Mela transforms Prayag city into a giant outdoor art gallery…

Allahabad has a new name Prayag. The city also has a new look.

From the railway station to the civil lines, from Arail village to the Sangam area, about 300 murals have brightened the city’s landscape. Even the trees on the Arail road have been painted in bold, barking colours. Kumbh 2019 is less than a fortnight away and Allahabad already looks like an open-air art gallery.

The murals are largely Hindu mythological in content. Scenes of samudra manthan mentioned in the Puranas have been recreated. In times when building a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is among the hottest political topics, Ram, Sita and Hanuman are well-represented on the city’s walls. One of them, in flaming red and bold yellow, just says “Jai Shri Ram”. Medieval saints such as Kabir and Sankaracharya also find a place. So do scenes from the common pilgrim’s life: women praying at the ghats, for instance. Buildings have been symmetrically painted to create the feel of a temple in some murals.

The painted trees depict a wide variety of animals. Looking at them a child can be taught to spot a penguin, a zebra, a giraffe, and more. Some are just geometric representations. The angry Hanuman is one of the paintings. The initiative is inventive but it does raise the question whether the paint would end up hurting the trees. “Tree-friendly painting material was used to ensure that their health is not damaged,” says Ashish Kumar Goyal, commissioner, Allahabad.

DM (Kumbh Mela) Vijay Kiran Anand says the idea of ‘Paint My City’ was to ensure community participation. “It was meant to conserve heritage and beautify the city as well as highlight Union government campaigns such as Namami Gange,” he says. Among the flagship programmes of the Narendra Modi government, the project had the ambitious objective of reducing pollution of the river and help its rejuvenation. Quite a few murals carry the Namami Gange logo.

The painting over of Allahabad has generally resonated positively in the city. Interior designer Satyendra Pratap Singh is one of those who appreciates the city’s new look. “The religious paintings give a sense of what Allahabad is, a punya bhoomi. The whole city looks like an ashram,” he says. Harishankar Patel, who runs a sweetshop in Arail village, says the street art has transformed his village even though fretful pigs run amok on a garbage heap next door.

Several organisations, such as Delhi Street Art, took part in the project. “About 100 painters with street art experience from my team alone were involved in the job from October to December. Five of them came from foreign countries such as the UK, Russia and US,” says Yogesh Saini, founder, Delhi Street Art.

However, social scientist Badri Narayan bemoans the lack of representation given to all communities in the murals. “Allahabad was also a seat of Sufi knowledge but that aspect of the city doesn’t find any representation. It would have been nice if poets like Akbar Allahabadi and Firaq Gorakhpuri (real name: Raghupati Sahay) were given space,” says Narayan, director, Gobind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute. Renowned litterateur Harivansh Rai Bachchan is among those who does.

Novelist Neelum Saran Gour says the city has three co-existing and interlinked narratives: Indic, Islamicate and European. “However, the walls and the trees show only one of the three. The freedom struggle, to which the city was central and integral, is missing,” she says.

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Scientists slam ‘irrational’ claims about ancient India, plan nationwide protests


Eminent Indian scientists and researchers from several institutions as well as laypersons interested in science have condemned the “irrational and unscientific claims” made by two scientists at the ongoing Indian Science Congress.

On Friday, Andhra University vice-chancellor G Nageswara Rao claimed to an audience of children and teachers at the Children’s Science Congress that Kauravas were born using stem cell technology, Ravana had 24 types of aircraft and Sri Lanka at that time had airports. A scientist from Tamil Nadu had also claimed during the session that Newton and Einstein’s theories would be disproved and that gravitational waves would shortly be named ‘Modi waves’.

On Sunday, representatives of the Akhila Karnataka Vicharavadigala Vedike (Karnataka Rationalists’ Forum), the Breakthrough Science Society (BSS), which seeks to popularise science among the masses, and other organisations led a silent protest outside the Indian Institute of Science.

BSS to protest in 10 cities today against Andhra Univ V-C’s claims

This has been happening at the ISC year after year. We had met the president of the ISC Association after the Mumbai session in 2015 and handed him a petition raising our concerns. After that we’ve had the congress in Mysuru, Tirupati and so on, and the same things continue. People must ask the organisers how they allow this,” Rajani KS, secretary, BSS Karnataka said. BSS will hold protests in multiple Indian cities on Monday, including outside Andhra University, to protest claims made by its V-C.

Sunday’s protest saw participation from students and IT professionals too. “We will be holding protests in more than 10 cities tomorrow. It is important that we tell people that such claims should have no place at an event like the ISC,” Rajani said.

The statement issued by the All India Committee of BSS said, “It is absolutely distressing that these claims were made in the Children Science Congress section of ISC where the audience was largely comprised of teachers and young students.”

Reputed Indian scientists also decried such claims about ancient Indian inventions, made on an eminent platform like the congress. Aerospace scientist Roddam Narasimha pointed out that previous sessions had also seen such claims. CNR Rao, noted chemistry professor said, “I now avoid attending sessions of the congress. If I attend, it might appear as if I am endorsing these statements and claims.”

Meanwhile, as the Children’s Science Congress concluded in Jalandhar on Friday, ISCA general president Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti told the attendees to forget the claims made by the two scientists on Friday.

“In your meeting with the scientists you heard about some stories from the Mahabharata and their connection to latest scientific techniques. The claims were not correct. Science is always based on truth, experiments,” Chakrabarti said. He did not, however, name the two scientists.

Both Chakrabarti, himself a biologist, and ISCA general secretary P P Mathur said they were considering putting new checks in place even for invited lecturers for ‘meet the scientist’ programme in Children’s Science Congress, a part of ISC events.

“We are thinking of having a scientist as chairman during the meet and if any speaker deviates from science-related issues, the chairman could intervene. Next time, we shall screen all invited lecturers,” Mathur said.

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