Kumbh Mela 2021

homage to Ma Ganga
Paying homage to the sacred river – waving the arathi lamps
The Kumbh Mela is a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism.[1] It is celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: the Allahabad (Ganges-Yamuna Sarasvati rivers confluence), Haridwar (Ganges), Nashik (Godavari), and Ujjain. The festival is marked by a ritual dip in the waters, but it is also a celebration of community commerce with numerous fairs, education, religious discourses by saints, mass feedings of monks or the poor, and entertainment spectacle. The seekers believe that bathing in these rivers is a means to atonement, penance for past mistakes, and that it cleanses them of their sins. Approximately 50 and 30 million people attended the Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019 and Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013 respectively to bathe in the holy river Ganges, making them the largest peaceful gathering events in the world. In 2021 the Kumbh Mela will be held in Hardiwar.

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The New Year: Make Every Moment Divine

open doorIf you wish to embark on a new life, you need not wait for the arrival of a new year. To wait for a whole year means waiting for twelve months and so many days, hours, minutes and seconds. Treat every second as new. Sanctify every moment of your life. This has to be done by realising the unity of the Divine and the individual Consciousness. When this union is achieved, Spiritual Bliss is experienced. This is the primary task before everyone.

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Nazi Germany, the swastika and the problem of cultural appropriation

RangoliMuch confusion exists over use of the Swastika by the Third Reich. Nazi Germany appropriated an ancient sacred symbol for their own purposes. For thousands of years, this symbol has been used in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Many people brook no argument nor debate and refuse to accept the sacred origins of a symbol Nazi Germany has damaged. This continues to be a problem wherever this symbol is used in sacred settings, nearly 100 years later.

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How to Die

Coffin into burial groundAkshara Brahma Yoga (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7) speaks of the imperishable Godhead. The atma (soul), too, is imperishable. What is not imperishable is the round of birth-death-and-birth again. One day we tire of these experiences and seek the return to our eternal source. How to do this? Most are afraid to speak of dying, and even, afraid to speak in the presence of the dying. Perhaps this selection from the Bhagavad Gita will explain why one or another guru tells those who surround the dying to chant the Om, the manifestation of Source and its creation.

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Swaminarayan Jayanti 2020

Swaminarayan
Jayanti means birthday. Swaminarayan was a divine incarnation in India, from 1781-1830. India has many, many divine incarnations of men and women. Swaminarayan was one such divine birth. The divine always comes to correct humans on the path and to destroy evils and impediments to following that path to liberation, freedom from the cycle of birth and death, and birth again.

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Ascension: The Yogas of Shiva

Lord ShivaYoga means “path of union” with the Divine. Lord Shiva of Hinduism features in many yogic disciplines and elicits much self-disciple and control of the senses – which, in essence, is the path of union with the Divine. Here we give account of several different kinds of yoga practices and how Lord Shiva is the object of the devotion contained therein.

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