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The nation’s largest full color monthly spiritual. The nation’s largest full color monthly spiritual and metaphysical magazine. Submission & Disclaimers : We accept articles, photography, and art work that is in keeping with our mission. We do not endorse any particular opinion, program, or advertisement. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material we receive. We will do our best to honor the integrity of our readership…. It is merely our sincere hope that we help our reader to achieve success in their lives. Please visit our online publication at: www.siddhiusa.com. The Siddhi Times USA is published and owned by The Hindu Temple and Community Center of Georgia, a 501 (c) 3, not-for-profit corporation, located at 5900 Brook Hollow Parkway, Norcross, GA 30071 (USPS 590). Periodical postage paid at Norcross, GA 30071, and other office locations. Post Masters: Send address changes to Siddhi Times USA, 5900 Brook Hollow Prkwy. Norcross, GA 30071 Note: Siddhi Times USA does not accept any responsibility for products or services advertised. The publisher has the right to deny any advertising at its sole discretion.

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Reception Ravi Krishnamurthy............................................................

MEDITATION

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editation is witnessing. To meditate means to become a witness, to become aware. Meditation means awareness. One who engaged in meditation, with all his care, observes the atmosphere of the surrounding. Attention will be based with awareness. He can create a healthy relation with all the people nearby. The love will form a good culture of morality. That will certainly create a world of peace. The journey of love leads to meditation. Where there is love, there will be definitely the discipline. The pure atmosphere of innocence can prevail.

modification, he is sure to enjoy huge profit. By such selfish thought, the brilliancy is utilized. This will certainly create a sense of competition between people. Such kind of competition will lead for clashes and disputes. The peace will not there. The actions based on love will create a peaceful atmosphere. Where we find the peace, there the silence will rule. The status of silence permits everything to a peaceful nature.

reach. That status will act to show the fact. Have you ever observed a child’s play? Our attentions are completely merged with the play of the child. During those moments, nothing except the actions of child could intermingle in the mind. The action seeing by a person and the playing of a child, relate to attention of concentration. No exterior thoughts can surround here. In an affair of control, one does the deed of controlling. The other person happens to be controlled. In this deed, the peace of mind will be wobbled. The storm of thoughts will rise in the mind. There will be two branches. The conflict

To find a fact, one should relieve from his own thoughts of opinions. There should be no kind of self analyze in the mind. You have to keep the Through the brilliancy, mind in a form of emptiness. we observe entirety of the Peace will begin to rule in world. If one makes certain mind and a clear status will

between one who impose power to control and the other who protest the control, comes to the existence. Similarly, the thoughts of a thinker, the thoughts of arguer, the thoughts of observer and the thoughts of experience are likely to form. In each formations, the groups of far and against will peep out and the worldly conflicts and wars will challenge the human lives in a destructive way.

than experience. This inter transformation stage should be merged and the state of meditation could be obtained. A broad minded nature and the ability to understand these stages by easy means could provide the merged status of meditation. Just take the example of keeping the home in order. We look the disorderly occupation of things. We observe it and modify it properly. Similarly, the life with troubles and the reasons for confusion, we feel very well and question ourselves the reason for the hatred upon us by the others.

Thoughts should not rise. One the basic way of remedial should transform as thoughts measures, when applied, this itself. A controller, himself stage can be averted. Similar should control. A looker, he to that, arranging perfect mind himself merges as vision. A is essential before we start researcher, himself should meditation. This is the early be in form of research. An stage of meditation. Arranging experience should be no other After exact planning and of the mind in proper way is the beginning of meditation. If we fail to do this, then the prayer will be just considered as Bajan. It is not the meaning that the enlightenment can be obtained through meditation. Enlightenment will rise when one is able to control the desire. Enlightenment will naturally reach when we detach the passions. That too, when we realize ourselves in meditation, this subject enlightenment will enlighten us. When we inhale in and exhale out the gap in breath can be
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confined. An occasion will come when we breathe inside and leave the air out side, the breath inside and leave the air out side; the breath itself will have a stop. That time, is so called enlightenment through meditation. We inhale the breath and exhale it. Like wise, the continuation with change happens. In a particular point of a short moment, the breath stops. By that time, you are not in the world. It is considered as death. The breath that gets entrance is considered as rebirth. The breath that exists out conferred as death. So, your status of facing the death and getting the rebirth continues. The gap between these two is highly negligible. This you

can observe on action. After that nothing is needed for you. You will be with joy. You can observe everything. You can understand the truth. The explanation is this that nothing gets generated or destructed. Nothing is given to you and nothing is imposed to you. Everything that existed is already with you. Only little awareness is essential. You have to watch sharply the breath which enters in, in the first in-hale. You can forget everything. Just by touching the edge of nose, you can in-hale the breath. Your consciousness will register the inhaling. When the breath enters in, the consciousness also should simultaneously enter. If these two jointly when get in, you

can find the gap between inhaling and exhaling. Let the system of breath in and breath out continue. The joining of consciousness also can be observed. With all the awareness and the continued process of inhaling and exhaling of the breath, there is a moment to come and make a situation absolutely without breath. That is just for a small time. When you reach that moment, you are positively at the point of happiness. Through that the attainment, enlightenment is possible. That is the same way Buddha attained the enlightenment.

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reader with all the ingredients needed to face ordeals and conquer obstructions in the way of the world. The story of the birth of Hanuman goes thus: Brihaspati, the preceptor of the gods, had an attendant called Punjikasthala. She was cursed to assume the form of a female monkey — a curse that could only be nullified if she would give birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Reborn as Anjana, she performed intense

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anuman, the mighty ape that aided Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu, in his expedition against evil forces, is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu pantheon. Believed to be an avatar of Lord Shiva, Hanuman is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. Hanuman’s tale in the epic Ramayana wherein he is assigned the responsibility to locate Rama’s wife Sita abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka — is known for its astounding ability to inspire and equip a
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birth to Hanuman. Thus Lord Shiva incarnated as a monkey, and was born as Hanuman to Anjana, by the blessings of Pavana, who thus became Hanuman’s godfather. The birth of Hanuman released Anjana from the curse. Before she returned to heaven, Hanuman asked his mother about his life ahead. She assured him that he would never die, and said that fruits as ripe as the rising sun would be his food. Mistaking the glowing sun as his food, the divine baby leapt for it. Indra, the king of heavens struck him with his thunderbolt and hurled him down to earth. But Hanuman’s godfather Pavana carried him to the nether world (“Patala”). As he departed from the earth, all life panted for air, and Brahma had to beg him to return. In order to appease him they conferred a lot of boons and blessings on his foster child that made Hanuman invincible, immortal and super powerful. Hanuman selected Surya, the sun god as his preceptor, and approached him with the request to teach the scriptures. Surya agreed and Hanuman became his disciple, but had to

austerities to please Shiva, who finally granted her the boon that would cure her of the curse. When Agni, the god of fire gave Dasharath, the king of Ayodhya, a bowl of sacred sweet food to share among his wives so that they may have divine children, an eagle snatched a part of the pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Pavana, the god of wind delivered the drop to her outstretched hands. After she took the divine dessert, she gave

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face his constantly moving guru by traversing the sky backwards at equal pace, while taking his lessons. Hanuman’s phenomenal concentration took him only 60 hours to master the scriptures. Surya considered the manner in which Hanuman accomplished his studies as his tuition fees, but when Hanuman requested him to accept something more than that, the sun god asked Hanuman to assist his son Sugriva, by being his minister and compatriot.

his massive search for Sita. Finding out her whereabouts, he consoled Sita, and burnt down the city of Lanka. Hanuman then brought Rama to Lanka, fought the battle against Ravana with his simian army, and vanquished the demons. Hanuman’s greatest feat was saving the life of Lakshmana by fetching the life-giving herb “Sanjivani” from the Himalayas. He flew fast towards the Himalayas, but unable to recognize the right herb, picked up the whole mountain on his hand and flew back to Lanka, just in time to Hanuman met Rama and his brother save Lakshmana. Thereafter Hanuman served Lakshmana while Rama was in exile in the Rama forever. jungle, and searching for his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravana. Their quest brought The venerable ape also features in the great them near Pampa Lake at the foot of Mount epic Mahabharata. How Hanuman met the Risyamukha, where the monkey king Sugriva valiant Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers is and his ministers were hiding. Sugriva, who itself a marvelous tale. He recognized Bhima was being persecuted by his brother Vali, as his spiritual brother, since both were born suspected that Rama and Lakshmana might with the blessings of Pavana, the Wind God, have been sent by Vali to slay him. To find and promised to aid the Pandavas in the big out the facts, Hanuman approached them in battle of Kurukshetra. Hanuman positioned the guise of a Brahmin. himself in the flag of Arjuna’s chariot to secure and stabilize the war-craft. The Hanuman’s initial words highly impressed triangular saffron flag of Hanuman stands for Rama, and made him comment: “None can stability and equilibrium, sense-control and talk this way without mastering the Vedas. He mind-control, and a sure sign of victory over has such a flawless countenance, a wonderful all that is base and evil.From the life history accent, and a captivating way of speaking. of Sri.Hanumanji, we can understand what is He has the ability to move even an enemy...” dedication and devotion. After he revealed his identity as the prince of Ayodhya, Hanuman fell prostrate before him in respect of the Lord. Rama picked him up and embraced him. There began the story of Hanuman, which is inextricably interwoven with Rama, and dealt with in detail in Valmiki’s Ramayana and the Tulsidas’ Ramacharita manas and Hanuman Chaleesa. To cut the long story of Hanuman short, he then introduced Rama to Sugriva, and began
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ow much water should you drink each day? - A simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. Though no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. consuming beverages and foods that contain water. A couple of approaches attempt to approximate water needs for the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate. • Replacement approach. The average u r i n e output f o r

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to Water is your body’s principal function properly, you must chemical component, replenish its water supply by comprising, on average, 60 percent of your weight. Every system in your body depends on water. F o r

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adults is 1.5 liters a day. You lose close to an additional liter of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids. • Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3.0 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Even apart from the above approaches, it is generally the case that if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce between one and two liters of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.

sweat and reduce the chances of developing You may need to modify your total fluid intake hyponatremia, which can be life threatening. depending on how active you are, the climate Fluid also should be replaced after exercise. you live in, your health status, and if you’re Drinking 16 ounces of fluid per pound of body weight lost during exercise is recommended. pregnant or breast-feeding. • Exercise. The more you exercise, the more fluid you’ll need to keep your body hydrated. An extra 1 or 2 cups of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires additional fluid. How much additional fluid is needed depends on how much you sweat during the exercise, but 13 to26 ounces (or about 2 to 3 cups) an hour will generally be adequate, unless the weather is exceptionally warm. • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.

• Illnesses or health conditions. Signs of illnesses, such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, cause your body to lose additional During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s fluids. In these cases you should drink more best to use sports drink that contains sodium, water and may even need oral rehydration as this will help replace sodium lost in solutions, such as Gatorade, PowerAde
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or Ceralyte. Certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones, also require increased water intake. On the other hand, certain conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake. •Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are lost especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.4 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.0 liters (about 12.5 cups) of fluids a day. Although it’s a great idea to keep water within reach at all times, you don’t need to rely only on what you drink to satisfy your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant

portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake, while the remaining 80 percent comes from water and beverages of all kinds. For example, many fruits and vegetables - such as watermelon and cucumbers - are nearly 100 percent water by weight. Beverages such as milk and juice are also comprised mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea or soda can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is one of your best bets because it’s caloriefree, inexpensive and readily available. Failing to take in more water than your body uses can lead to dehydration. Even mild dehydration - as little as a 1 percent to 2 percent loss of your body weight - can sap your energy and make you tired. Common causes

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of dehydration include strenuous activity, excessive sweating, vomiting and diarrhea. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include: • Mild to excessive thirst • Fatigue • Headache • Dry mouth • Little or no urination • Muscle weakness • Dizziness • Lightheadedness Mild dehydration rarely results in complications - as long as the fluid is replaced quickly - but more-severe cases can be life threatening, especially in the very young and the elderly. In extreme situations, fluids or electrolytes may need to be delivered intravenously. It’s generally not a good idea to use thirst alone as a guide for when to drink. By the time one becomes thirsty, it is possible to already be slightly dehydrated. Further, be aware that as you get older your body is less able to sense dehydration and send your brain signals of thirst. Excessive thirst and increased urination can be signs of a more serious medical condition. Talk to your doctor if you experience either. If you drink water from a bottle, thoroughly clean or replace the bottle often. Refill only bottles that are designed for reuse.

Though uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in a condition called hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood). Endurance athletes - such as marathon runners - who To ward off dehydration and make sure your drink large amounts of water are at higher risk body has the fluids it needs, make water your of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking beverage of choice. Nearly every healthy adult too much water is rare in healthy adults who can consider the following: consume an average American diet. • Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal. • Hydrate before, during and after exercise. • Substitute sparkling water for alcoholic drinks at social gatherings.
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If you’re concerned about your fluid intake, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that’s best for you.

looking for her checkbook, she discovered that she had left it at home. All of the groceries had been checked and sacked. “I’m so sorry,” she said, “I thought I had it with me. If I could just leave the groceries here for a few minutes, I’ll run home and get the checkbook.” “Don’t worry about it,” the cashier told her. “Take the groceries home. The next time you’re in the store you can pay for them.” We had just moved from a large city and she couldn’t believe what she was hearing! This clerk had never seen her before. But she treated her as if she is a VIP. She was somebody! Don’t you love it when you are treated like you are somebody? Because the truth is, we are all somebody. We are all important. And maybe most businesses cannot (and should not) let everybody pay with credit, but even strangers can be treated with honor and respect. If she has told a lie she might have faced a lot of problems. Here is an exercise that may dramatically change your life: for one month treat everybody you meet as if she or he is the most important person in the world. The man sweeping the sidewalk, your spouse and children, a teenager in the neighborhood, the elderly woman seated across the aisle from you -- honor that which is sacred in all of them.

“Namaste” is a polite Indian gesture of greeting or farewell. From Hindi, the word literally means “bowing to you.” Namaste has also been used to mean, “I honor the sacred truth that is within you.” What a remarkable thing it would be to actually honor the sacred that is within each person we meet! Even strangers. Nobody would go unnoticed and everybody would count. The following is an example for the truth. I wish to state an example for the truthfulness. The Indian word “Namaste” has a lot of meanings; Give your undivided attention. By your words and One of it is “Truth”. actions, communicate to them all how important they A man narrates his experience as follows to note the are to you. Show them great respect and kindness. effect of truth. The day after we moved to a small You may be amazed at what happens to your town in Colorado my wife Bev did grocery shopping. relationships! We moved few food items with us so she filled four grocery carts full. She asked if she could pay with You may not single-handedly solve the problem of an out of state check. “We just moved here,” she world peace -- but in one small way at least, you will make a great difference. explained, “and don’t have local checks yet.” They said, “Yes, no problem.” But when she began Namaste. Siddhi Times USA 17

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he writings of Tulsidas, especially the Ramcharitmanas are works of great literary merit, as well as being examples of an extraordinary combination of supreme devotion and pure non-dualistic philosophy. Tulsidas was born in Rajpur, in the district of Banda in Uttar Pradesh, in Samvat 1589 or 1532 A.D. He was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth and is regarded as an incarnation of Valmiki, the author of Ramayana written in Sanskrit. His father’s name was Atmaram Shukla Dube and his mother’s name Hulsi. Tulsidas did not cry at the time of his birth. He was born with all the thirty-two teeth intact. In childhood his name was Tulsiram or Ram Bola. Tulsidas’s wife’s name was Buddhimati (Ratnavali). Tulsidas’s son’s name was Tarak. Tulsidas was passionately attached to his wife. He could not bear even a day’s separation from her. One day his wife went to her father’s house without informing her husband. Tulsidas stealthily went to see her at night at his father-in-law’s house. This produced a sense of shame in Buddhimati. She said to Tulsidas, “My body is but a network of flesh and bones.

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If you would develop for Lord Rama even half the love that you have for my filthy body, you would certainly cross the ocean of Samsara and attain immortality and eternal bliss”. These words pierced the heart of Tulsidas like an arrow. He did not stay there even for a moment. He abandoned home and became an ascetic. He spent fourteen years in visiting the various sacred places of pilgrimage. While returning from answering the calls of nature, Tulsidas used to throw the water that was left in his water-pot at the roots of a tree, which a spirit was occupying. The spirit was very much pleased with Tulsidas. The spirit said, “O man! Get a boon from me”. Tulsidas replied, “Let me have Darshan of Lord Rama”. The spirit said, “Go to the Hanuman temple. There Hanuman comes in the guise of a leper to hear the Ramayana as the first hearer and leaves the place last of all. Get hold of him.

He will help you”. Accordingly, Tulsidas met Hanuman, and through His grace, had Darshan or vision of Lord Rama. Tulsidas wrote twelve books. The most famous book is his Ramayana—Ram-charitmanas—in Hindi. He wrote this book under the directions of Hanuman. This Ramayana is read and worshipped with great reverence in every Hindu home in Northern India. It is an inspiring book. It contains sweet couplets in beautiful rhyme. Vinaya Patrika is another important book written by Tulsidas. Some thieves came to Tulsidas’s Ashram to take away his goods. They saw a bluecomplexioned guard, with bow and arrow in his hands, keeping watch at the gate. Wherever they moved, the guard followed them. They were frightened. In the morning they asked Tulsidas, “O venerable saint! We saw a young guard with bow and arrow in his hands at the gate of your residence. Who is this man?” Tulsidas remained silent and wept. He came to know that Lord Rama Himself had been taking the trouble to protect his goods. He at once distributed all his wealth among the poor.

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Tulsidas lived in Ayodhya for some time. Then he shifted to Varanasi. One day a murderer came and cried, “For the love of Rama give me alms. I am a murderer”. Tulsi called him to his house gave him sacred food, which had been offered to the Lord and declared that the murderer was purified. The Brahmins of Varanasi reproached Tulsidas and said, “How can the sin of a murderer be absolved? How could you eat with him? If the sacred bull of Siva—Nandi—would eat from the hands of the murderer, then only we would accept that he had been purified”. Then the murderer was taken to the temple and the bull ate from his hands. The Brahmins were put to shame.

He said, “How shall I describe Thy beauty, O Lord! But Tulsi will bow his head only when you take up bow and arrow in your hands”. The Lord revealed Himself before Tulsidas in the form of Lord Rama with bow and arrows. Tulsidas’s blessings brought the dead husband of a poor woman back to life. The Mogul emperor at Delhi came to know of the great miracle done by Tulsidas. He sent for Tulsidas. Tulsidas came to the emperor’s court. The emperor asked the saint to perform some miracle. Tulsidas replied, “I have no superhuman power. I know only the name of Rama”. The emperor put Tulsi in prison and said, “I will release you only if you show me a miracle”. Tulsi then prayed to Hanuman. Tulsidas once went to Brindavan. He visited Countless bands of powerful monkeys entered a temple. He saw the image of Lord Krishna. the royal court. The emperor got frightened and said, “O saint, forgive me. I know your greatness now”. He at once released Tulsi from prison. Tulsi left his mortal coil and entered the Abode of Immortality and Eternal Bliss in 1623 A.D. at the age of ninety-one at Asighat in Varanasi.

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Pandit L.V. Sharma

indescribable power of the Lord which hides the real and manifests itself as the unreal: Maya is not real, because it vanishes when you attain knowledge of the Eternal. It is not unreal also, because it exists till knowledge dawns in you. The superimposition of the world on Brahman is due to Avidya or ignorance. To Sankara, the individual soul is only relatively real. Its individuality lasts only so long as it is subject to unreal limiting conditions due to Avidya. The Jiva identifies itself with the body, mind and the senses, when it is deluded by Avidya or ignorance. It thinks, it acts and

I

’m blessed a lot to share my ideas with you all through the past issues. In this issue also I wish to share some more ideas about spirituality. Adi Shankara is considered as a re incarnation of Lord Shiva. Even though he born and died thousands of years back he had foreseen thousands of years forward. His thoughts were highly spiritual. Even though he was a Hindu, he has written a lot about self realization and spirituality, which is highly useful to the metaphysical society of today. In this issue I wish to discuss about the thoughts of Sri.Adi Shankara.The world is not an illusion according to Sankara. The world is relatively real, while Brahman is absolutely real. The world is the product of Maya or Avidya. The unchanging Brahman appears as the changing world through Maya. Maya is a mysterious
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enjoys, on account of Avidya. In reality it is not different from Brahman or the Absolute. The Upanishads declare emphatically: “Tat Tvam ASI—That Thou Art.” Just as the bubble becomes one with the ocean when it bursts, just as the pot-ether becomes one with

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superimposition. Just as snake is superimposed on the rope in twilight, this world and body are superimposed on Brahman or the Supreme Self. If you get knowledge of the rope, the illusion of snake in the rope will vanish. Even so, if you get knowledge of Brahman or the Imperishable, the illusion of body and world will disappear. In VivartaVada, the cause produces the effect without undergoing any change in itself. Snake is only an appearance on the rope. The rope has not transformed itself into a snake, like milk into curd. Brahman is immutable and eternal. Therefore, it cannot change itself into the world. Brahman becomes the cause of the world through Maya, which is its inscrutable mysterious power or Sakti. When you come to know that it is only a rope, your fear disappears. You do not run away from it. Even so, when you realize the eternal immutable Brahman, you are not affected by the phenomena or the names and forms of this world. When Avidya or the veil of ignorance is destroyed through knowledge of the Eternal, when Mithya Jnana or false knowledge is removed by real knowledge of the Imperishable or the living Reality, you shine in your true, pristine, divine splendor and glory. I wish to quote some more from another great saint Sri Ramana Maharishi. He has also written a lot about spirituality. To Have a spiritual life we should raise some questions to oureself. By getting the proper answer, we will have the best guidance to lead a highly spiritual life. He has given the questions and answers , that one should ask himself. Then only one can ahave the self realization and by ralizing one, will lead the life in the path of spirituality. He has given them as the basic instructions to lead a spiritual life.

the universal ether when the pot is broken, so also the Jiva or the empirical self becomes one with Brahman when it gets knowledge of Brahman. When knowledge dawns in it through annihilation of Avidya, it is freed from its individuality and finitude and realizes its essential Sachidanand nature. It merges itself in the ocean of bliss. The river of life joins the ocean of existence. This is the Truth. The release from Samsara means, according to Sankara, the absolute merging of the individual soul in Brahman due to dismissal of the erroneous notion that the soul is distinct from Brahman. According to Sankara, Karma and Bhakti are means to Jnana (wisdom) which is Moksha. To Sankara the world is only relatively real . He advocated , the theory of appearance or
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own real nature without differentiation. Upadesa also means showing a distant object quite near. It is brought home to the disciple that the Brahman which he believes to be distant and different from him is near and not different from himself. 4. If it be true that the Guru is one’s own Self (atman), what is the principle underlying the doctrine which says that, however learned a disciple may be or whatever occult powers he may possess, he cannot attain self-realization (atma-siddhi) without the grace of the Guru? Although in absolute truth the state of the Guru is that of oneself it is very hard for the Self 1. What are the marks of a real teacher (Sad which has become the individual soul (jiva) guru)? through ignorance to realize its true state or Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with nature without the grace of the Guru. an equal eye, unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances, etc. All mental concepts are controlled by the mere presence of the real Guru. If he were to say 2. What are the marks of an earnest disciple to one who arrogantly claims that he has seen (sadsisya)? the further shore of the ocean of learning or An intense longing for the removal of sorrow one who claims arrogantly that he can perform and attainment of joy and an intense aversion deeds which are well-nigh impossible, “Yes, for all kinds of mundane pleasure and to lead a you learnt all that is to be learnt, but have you highly spiritual life. learnt (to know) yourself? And you who are capable of performing deeds which are almost 3. What are the characteristics of instruction impossible, have you seen yourself?”, they (upadesa)? will bow their heads (in shame) and remain The word ‘upadesa’ means: ‘near the place silent. Thus it is evident that only by the grace or seat’ (upa - near, desa - place or seat). The of the Guru and by no other accomplishment is Guru who is the embodiment of that which is it possible to know oneself. indicated by the terms sat, chit, and ananda (existence, consciousness and bliss), prevents 5. What are the marks of the Guru’s grace? the disciple who, on account of his acceptance It is beyond words or thoughts. of the forms of the objects of the senses, has swerved from his true state and is consequently 6. If that is so, how is it that it is said that the distressed and buffeted by joys and sorrows, disciple realizes his true state by the Guru’s from continuing so and establishes him in his grace?
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It is like the elephant which wakes up on seeing a lion in its dream. Even as the elephant wakes up at the mere sight of the lion, so too is it certain that the disciple wakes up from the sleep of ignorance into the wakefulness of true knowledge through the Guru’s benevolent look of grace.

the sense of ‘I’ or the path of devotion which removes the sense of ‘mine’, will suffice. So there is no doubt that the end of the paths of devotion and knowledge is one and the same.

NOTE: So long as the ‘I’ exists it is necessary to accept the Lord also. If any one wishes to regain easily the supreme state of identity 7. What is the significance of the saying (sayujya) now lost to him, it is only proper that the nature of the real Guru is that of the that he should accept this conclusion. Supreme Lord? In the case of the individual soul which desires 10. What is the mark of the ego? to attain the state of true knowledge or the The individual soul of the form of ‘I’ is state of Godhood (super human power) and the ego The Self which is of the nature of with that object always practices devotion, intelligence (chit) has no sense of ‘I’. Nor when the individual’s devotion has reached does the insentient body possess a sense of a mature stage, the Lord who is the witness ‘I’. The mysterious appearance of a delusive of that individual soul and identical with it, ego between the intelligent and the insentient, comes forth in human form with the help of being the root cause of all these troubles, upon sat-chit-ananda, His three natural features, its destruction by whatever means, which and form and name which he also graciously which really exists will be seen as it is. This is assumes, and in the guise of blessing the called Liberation (moksha). disciple, absorbs him in Himself. According to this doctrine the Guru can truly be called I thank Sri Sri Siddhar Swamiji for giving me the Lord. a chance to share my ideas with you all and I pray the almighty to make all of us to have a 8. What is the end of the path of knowledge beautiful spiritual walk of life. If we all have (jnana) or Vedanta? the spiritual walk of life the entire universe It is to know the truth that the ‘I’ is not will lead a very peaceful life. different from the Lord (supre human Power, and to be free from the feeling of being the doer (kartrtva, ahamkara). 9. How can it be said that the end of both these paths is the same? Whatever the means, the destruction of the sense ‘I’ and ‘mine’ is the goal, and as these are interdependent, the destruction of either of them causes the destruction of the other; therefore in order to achieve that state of Silence which is beyond thought and word, either the path of knowledge which removes
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uring the past issues I described a lot about Vedic astrology and how to get the best out of it. In this issue we will discuss in detail about the various types of Rasis (moon signs), their nature and about a problem faced by a lot of people those who are abroad. It is Immigration problem. According to Vedic astrology the zodiac is divided into 12 un equal parts. Each one of the part is called as “Rasi” or “moon sign”. Their names are Mesham (Aries), Rishabam (Taurus), Mithunam (Gemini), Katagam (Cancer), Simmam (Leo), Kanni (Virgo), Thulam (Libra), Viruchikam (Scorpio), Dhanus (Sagittarius), Makaram (Capricorn), Kumbam (Aquarius) and Meenam (Pisces). They are classified into three major categories as Charam, sthiram and ubayam. Charam means always moving.

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Sthiram means stand still position, ubhayam means both combined and Jalam means water. The chara rasis are mesham, katkam, thulam and makaram. The sthira rasis are rishabam, simmam, viruchikam and kumbam. The ubhaya rasis are mithunam, kanni, dhanus and meenam. The rasis that are related to water are called as Jala rasis. The owners of those jala rasis are moon for katakam, Saturn for makaram and kumbam and Jupiter for meenam. Now we will see how the planets work in getting a citizenship or permanent resident ship of a country other than the motherland. The owner of the jala rasi or water related rasi should be very powerful. Then only one can have the citizenship or permanent resident ship of an another country. If the planet is in a deblated or malficious position it is impossible to get a citizenship of a different country. As according to Veda, the karma or destiny can’t be changed but it can be altered accordingly. By practicing the rituals as prescribed by the Veda scriptures, we can alter the karma or destiny. The planets are the third major powers according to Vedas. The first major power is God or Almighty. The second powers are

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called as Yaksha and Yakshini Devathas or Angels. Then only the planet powers come. The God or almighty controls the Angels. The angels control the planets and the planets control the human beings. We have to pray the yaksha devathas or angel powers to alter the karma or destiny. The yaksha devatha upasana procedures are detailly explained in Atharva Veda. By properly adopting the procedures for the prescribed period we can easily solve the problems faced by us. The planets moon, Saturn and Jupiter play a major role in getting the citizenship of an another country other than the mother country. If any of these planets is seated in their own house, it is very sure that the person will get a citizenship or permanent resident ship of an another country. If the planets are weak, even though they come to a foreign country, they will face a lot of problems in getting the immigration status. Atharva Veda has told a of ways to get good and proper immigration status.

mal practices. Even though the mal practice is the worst in the view of law, fatally the mal practice itself becomes a business to a few. Let us see how it happens. We have seen and heard about somebody. They might be the worst persons. Their activities have made even the government to be stand still. For example the Osama- Bin – Laden of Afghanistan. His movements made even the government of USA to a stand still position at least for a while. How it happened? Atharva Veda deals a lot in this aspect. The planets in his horoscope are very strong. That’s why he can do a lot of mischief like this. We all know what happened to Saddam Hussian. He had a very good living style. At last he was taken to custody. Like that one fine day Osama will also be imprisoned. The aforesaid are only a few examples. I can give a lot of examples. Some of them have escaped and some of them were captured. The basic reason for the escape as well as the capture is the planets only.

The placements of planets make one escape The next problem I wish to discuss is about or captured. The planets are stronger than
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anybody in this universe. The transit of the major planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Raaghu and Kethu play a major role in the troubles. The combination of Saturn& Raaghu with the planet Sun gives a lot of troubles to the government and the rulers. The combination of Mars & Kethu gives a lot of troubles to the mal practitioners. The combination of the planets Saturn with Raaghu or Kethu makes one to do malpractice. If the combination becomes bad, they will be captured. Atharva Veda tells a lot of ways to come out of the cases. There is no use in simply consulting a scholar. But we should adopt the procedures prescribed by that scholar. One can prevent him or her from doing the malpractice. There are a lot of ways to come out of the cases arise from the malpractice. The combination of the planets Mars and Saturn leads to medical mal practice. The combination of Mars with Raaghu or Kethu leads to mal practice in land related subjects. The combination of the planets Sun, Raaghu, Kethu or Saturn will lead one to do mal practice with the Government. As according to Atharva Veda, the karma or destiny can’t be changed. But we can alter the karma or destiny, by performing the rituals. It is not that I’m encouraging any body to do malpractice, but accidentally, if any body does a mal practice, they should come out of the problem and enjoy a beautiful walk of life. As an old saying it is err to human. Since we all are human beings it is common for all to make errors. But to come out of the problems, we need some remedy, not to commit the mistake again and to get out of the mistakes. I pray the Almighty to bless all of us with a great and wonderful future.

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The “Cosmos” or the Universe is regarded as an orderly and harmonious whole. It evolved from the Greek word for orderly arrangement. It is said that there is a deep and profound relationship between the cosmos, religion, the human soul and the celestial stars. Religion is the human enterprise by which a sacred Cosmos is established. Religion is a set of common beliefs, practices, generally held by a group of people. It is often codified as a prayer, ritual or religious law. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural tradition, writings, history, mythology and so also personal faith and mystic experiences. The French Sociologist, Emile Durkheim’s definition of religion as a system of beliefs
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and practices relative to sacred things which unite individuals into a moral community; also relies heavily upon the assumption that man is the creator and creature of his socially constructed world. The World today is a beautiful confluence of different cultures, traditions, beliefs, religions and sects, all co-existing in a harmonious inter-relationship. There are different kinds of religions in the World, like, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism, Caodaism, Chondogyo, Yiguandao, etc, but the essence of all religions is in the greatness of “GOD”, “Our Creator” and love for fellow beings and equality for all.

The roads of all religions end in love, peace, brotherhood, compassion for our fellow beings, and equality of all religions. Christianity believes that everything is a “Creation of God”. Hinduism rests of “Vedas”, which are the inspired words of God, with the firm belief in the soul’s search for liberation from suffering and ultimately for release from the cycle of birth and death. Islam teaches the belief in “Allah” or God. Buddhism teaches us that the root cause of all sufferings is “Desire”. If we can curb the desire, we can lead a very happy and a peaceful life. God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. We can feel God in all His creations. The marvel of nature is the creation of the Superior Being. The teachings of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa were the oneness of existence, the divinity of all living beings, the unity of God and the harmony of all religions. The primal bondage in human life is lust and greed. He emphasized that God - realization is the supreme goal of all living beings and religion is a means of achieving this goal. He believed that every soul can take something from the perennial fountain of spirituality and nourish his/ her with purity, holiness and selflessness. Swami Vivekananda, an ardent disciple of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said- “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.” Swami Vivekananda believed that Religion is the manifestation of the divinity already in man. The secret of religion lies not in theories
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but in practice. To be good and do good - that is the whole of religion. Man is higher than all animals, than all angels; none is greater than man. One may gain political and social independence, but if one is a slave to his passions and desires, one cannot feel the pure joy of real freedom.

motives, sincerity, and infinite love can conquer the world. One single soul possessed of these virtues can destroy the dark designs of millions of hypocrites and brutes. The Powers of the mind are unlimited and so awake, stop not till your goal is achieved.

He said that the real truth is that - God is Shikha Sridhar present in every jiva; there is no other God Orlando, Florida besides that. ‘Who serves jiva, serves God indeed.’ Unselfishness is God. One may live on a throne, in a palace, and be perfectly unselfish; and then he is in God. Another may live in a hut and wear rags, and have nothing in the world; yet if he is selfish, he is intensely merged in the world. He further taught that, Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose the path that suits him best. Swami Vivekananda believed that Good
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born to Nandagopal’s first wife, Rohini, Sri Krishna was born to Nandagopal’s second wife, Yasodha. Balarama and Krishna grew up together, playing with the cowboys on the banks of river Yamuna. It was one of those days in their boyhood. Balarama was attending to the cattle at the palace, while Krishna was walking along the riverside. Krishna noticed many of the trees were ruined, in spite of good source of water. He also noticed many fish floating dead on the river, and many others struggling for life on the water surface. When Krishna enquired his friends, they told him about an island, named Kaalinga Island, where a monstrous snake

Nandagopal ruled over Brindavan, a city on the banks of river Yamuna and the surrounding forests. Balarama and Sri Krishna were brothers. While, Balarama was

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dwells. The venom from the snake’s rattling Balarama and others arrived at the banks was polluting the river, poisoning the drinking of river Yamuna. Kaalinga surrendered water, thus causing the fish and other living himself and worshipped for the grace of animals to suffer.

Making up his mind to teach the snake a lesson, Krishna stepped into the water and walked towards the island. Kaalinga, the snake began giving a loud hissing noise. In spite of his friends begging him to come back, mighty Krishna smiled and continued forward. The ferocious serpent rose above the water level and began to attack Krishna. The serpent extended the five heads and waved here and there. Krishna caught the tail of the snake and gave a terrible blow. Focusing its five heads at Krishna, Kaalinga aimed cruelly at Krishna’s head. Sensing the deadly attempt, Krishna jumped and mounted himself on Kaalinga’s head. It was a thrilling atmosphere. The snake began spitting the venom, poisoning the region fast. Krishna took his flute out, and began playing it while, simultaneously, dancing on the head of Kaalinga. Every dancing step of Krishna gave immense pain to the snake. The serpent had two wives. Seeing the miserable situation of their husband, and sensing Kaalinga’s death if Krishna continued to dance, they prayed Krishna and begged for Kaalinga’s life. In the meantime, the message reached Brindavan. Nandagopal, Yasodha,
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Krishna. Balarama, Krishna’s brother, and Nandagopal, Krishna’s father suggested Krishna to release Kaalinga. Krishna ordered Kaalinga to vacate the place, and shift his family to the ocean side. The Yamuna river water became pure and safe for the people to dwell along its banks.

The Old Woman Who Became a Woodpecker

Afar in the Northland, where the winter days are so short and the nights so long, and where they harness the reindeer to sledges, and where the children look like bear’s cubs in their funny, furry clothes, there, long ago, wandered a good Saint on the snowy roads. He came one day to the door of a cottage, and looking in saw a little old woman making cakes, and baking them on the hearth. Now, the good Saint was faint with fasting, and he asked if she would give him one small cake wherewith to stay his hunger. So the little old woman made a VERY SMALL cake and placed it on the hearth - but as it lay baking she looked at it and thought, “That is a big cake, indeed, quite too big for me to give away.” Then she kneaded another cake, much smaller, and laid that on the hearth to cook, but when she turned it over it looked larger than the
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Hardly had the good Saint said this when the little old woman went straight up the chimney, and came out at the top changed into a red- headed woodpecker with coal-black feathers. And now every country boy may see her in the woods, where she lives in trees boring, boring, and boring for her food.

a cross old thing, and one day when she was going to starch her linen, the sparrow pecked at her paste. Then she flew into a great rage and cut the sparrow’s tongue and let the bird fly away. When the little old man came home from the hills, where he had been chopping wood, he found the sparrow gone. “Where is my little sparrow?” asked he.

The Tongue-Cut Sparrow
first. So she took a tiny scrap of dough, and rolled it out, and rolled it out, and baked it as thin as a wafer - but when it was done it looked so large that she could not bear to part with it - and she said, “My cakes are much too big to give away,” and she put them on the shelf. Then the good Saint grew angry, for he was hungry and faint. “You are too selfish to have a human form,” said he. “You are too greedy to deserve food, shelter, and a warm fire. Instead, henceforth, you shall build as the birds do, and get your scanty living by picking up nuts and berries and by boring, boring all the day long, in the bark of trees.”
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“It pecked at my starchingpaste,” answered the little old nce upon a time there lived woman, “so I cut its evil tongue a little old man and a little and let it fly away.” old woman. The little old man had a kind heart, and he kept a “Alas! Alas!” cried the little old young sparrow, which he cared man. “Poor thing! Poor thing! for tenderly. Every morning it Poor little tongue-cut sparrow! used to sing at the door of his Where is your home now?” house. And then he wandered far and wide seeking his pet and Now, the little old woman was crying,

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“Mr. Sparrow, Mr. Sparrow, where are you living?” And he wandered on and on, over mountain and valley, and dale and river, until one day at the foot of a certain mountain he met the lost bird. The little old man was filled with joy and the sparrow welcomed him with its sweetest song. It led the little old man to its nest-house, introduced him to

its wife and small sparrows, and set before him all sorts of good things to eat and drink. “Please partake of our humble fare,” sang the sparrow, “poor as it is, you are welcome.” “What a polite sparrow,” answered the little old man, and he stayed for a long time as the bird’s guest. At last one day the little old man said that he must take his leave and return home. “Wait a bit,” said the sparrow.

“I am very feeble,” answered set forth on her journey. And the little old man, “so I will she wandered on and on over take the light one.” mountain and valley, and dale and river, until at last she saw He thanked the sparrow, and, the tongue-cut sparrow. shouldering the basket, said good-bye. Then he trudged off “Well met, well met, Mr. leaving the sparrow family sad Sparrow,” cried she. “I have and lonely. been looking forward with much pleasure to seeing you.” When he reached home the And then she tried to flatter it little old woman was very with soft, sweet words. angry, and began to scold him, saying, So the bird had to invite her “Well, and pray where have to its nest-house, but it did you been all these days? A not feast her nor say anything pretty thing, indeed, for you to about a parting gift. At last the be gadding about like this!” little old woman had to go, and she asked for something “Oh,” he replied, “I have been to carry with her to remember on a visit to the tongue-cut the visit by. The sparrow, as sparrow, and when I came before, brought out two wicker away it gave me this wicker baskets. One was very heavy basket as a parting gift.” and the other light. Then they opened the basket to see what was inside, and lo and behold! it was full of gold, silver, and other precious things! The greedy little old woman, choosing the heavy one, carried it off with her. She hurried home as fast as she was able, and closing her doors and windows so that no one might see, opened the basket. And, lo and behold! out jumped all sorts of wicked hobgoblins and imps, and they scratched and pinched her to death.

The little old woman was as greedy as she was cross, and when she saw all the riches And it went into the house spread before her, she could and brought out two wicker not contain herself for joy. baskets. One was very heavy and the other light. “Ho! Ho!” cried she. “Now I’ll

go and call on the sparrow, and “Take the one you wish,” said get a pretty present, too!” As for the little old man he the sparrow, “and good fortune adopted a son, and his family go with you.” She asked the old man the way grew rich and prosperous. to the sparrow’s house and
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ri Durga, the Supreme warrior Goddess, out of all the manifestations of Lord Shiva, specially liked and adored the form of Sri Sarabeswara and became His consort. Durga Sahasranama bears ample testimony to this fact. Being herself a great warrior, no wonder, she liked the most valiant Sri Sarabeswara - the greatest of all the warriors, who subdued the invincible Lord Narasimha. Sri Soolini Durga has an awesome pose. Her face, even though in a smiling pose, it makes the enemies of her devotees fear. She is seated on a lion. Lion is considered as the bravest of all the animals. Seating on a lion is possible only after conquering the animal. She has eight hands. The right four hands are adorned with Trisul, knife, chakra and an arrow. The left four hands are adorned with Dhanus (Bow), Sankam (conch), Gadha, and Paasam.All these weapons are very severe weapons. By using all these
weapons she gives the best protection to

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her devotees. We can easily overcome the problems caused by the enemies and planets by simply praying her. We have to light lamps with wick and mustard oil to get her fullest blessings. There is no Temple in the entire USA having Sri. Soolini Durga as one of the deity. As Swamiji is a scholar of Atharva Veda he has realized the benefits of Sri.Soolini Durga and has established Sri.Soolini Durga’s statue. This statue is established after energizing the statue by chanting the moola mantra nearly for 400,000 thousand times. We can feel the energy by simply standing in front of the deity. We have special poojas for Soolini Durga. Daily

evening Sri Soolini Durga Sahasranama Archana (chanting the 1008 names of Sri.Soolini Durga) with Kumkum and a special Aaraathi is performed. On every Poornima day a grand offering of food, called as “Padaiyal” is offered. All can participate in these special poojas. You can obtain lamp, wick and mustard oil from the temple itself by paying donation. We often perform Havan for Sri.Soolini Durga. You can also participate in this Maha Havan; you can obtain the best result in all. Those who are having the problems with the planets Saturn should pray to this Sri.Soolini Durga. By praying her they can easily pacify the problems

caused by the planet Saturn. This is not the one and only problem solved by her. Sleepless Nights, bad dreams, evil spirits’ troubles, black magic, evil dhrustis, jaadoo and voodoo problems, marriage related problems, court cases, bankruptcy, medical malpractice and a lot many of problems which are not included in this list. By offering cooked sweet rice mixed with black pepper, we can easily overcome the problems caused by the enemies. By chanting her moola mantra 108 times daily we can have a good health. By performing Havan/ homas in our temple we can easily have the

blessings of

Sri.Soolini Durga.

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This is the first and only one Hindu Temple in the entire USA to have the ugra Devatha Moorthies like Sri.Sarabeswara, Sri Maha Prathyangira and Sri Soolini Durga. According to the Atharva Veda, even though it is very hard to perform the poojas and prayers to the ugra devathas (fearsome divine powers), Like Sri.Soolini Durga, the result or the blessings we get from them is very high. The only thing we need is purity in mind, dedication and devotion. By doing these three we can have the best blessings from those divine powers and we can solve our problems very easily. Simply going to a Temple is entirely different from going to a healing temple. The Hindu Temple of Georgia is the one and only healing Temple. All the temples in this world are established only by the other three Vedas, Sivaagamas or Vaishnava Agamas. Only this temple is established according to the procedures of Atharva Veda. Atharva Veda is the only Veda which deals with the healing of troubles faced by each and every

one. There are two major Thantras in the Atharva Veda. One is Rudra Yaamala Thantra and the other is Vishnu Dharmotthara Thantra. The Rudra Yaamala Thantra explains the methods to use Lord Shiva’s various powers to solve the problems. For example, to solve money related problems, we have to pray swarnaakarshana Rudra. To solve the problems caused by evil powers we have to pray the fearsome poses of Lord Shiva or his consort Parvathi’s fearsome poses such as Sri.Soolini Durga or Sri.Prathyangira. We welcome you all to come to the Temple, have the darshan of Sri.Soolini Durga Devi. You can do any kind of offerings to her. By taking part in the Havan, sahasrnama/ triati/ashtotthara Archana or Abishegam (holy bathing) you can get the complete blessings of SriSoolini Durga and get rid of all your problems very easily. Om Shanthi Om Shanthi Om Shanthi.

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Importance of Time

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Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day; allows you to keep no cash balance; every night deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do with such an account Draw out every penny, of course!!! Every one of us has such a ‘bank’. Its name is TIME. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow. You must live in the present -on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! The clock is running. Make the most of the day!!!

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One day a visiting monk chanced upon the book and succumbing to temptation walked away with it. The theft was discovered the same day and it was not hard to guess who the culprit was but Anastasius refused to send anyone after the monk for fear that he might say he had not taken it and add the sin of perjury to that of theft. The monk meanwhile was trying to sell the book and eventually found a buyer, a rich man who asked him to leave the book with him for a day so that he could get it evaluated. When the monk had gone, the man hastened to the monastery and showed the book to Anastasius. The abbot recognized it instantly but did not say anything.

Saint and Sinner

Anastasius was abbot of a monastery in Egypt. The monastery had a large collection of books, “A monk wants to sell it to me,” said his one among them being a rare volume, worth visitor. “He’s asking for a gold sovereign. a fortune. You are knowledgeable about books. Is this book worth that much?” “It’s worth much much more than a sovereign,” said the abbot. “It’s a valuable book.”

The man thanked the abbot and left. The next day when the monk came, he informed him that he would like to buy the book and was prepared to pay the price he had mentioned. The monk was overjoyed. “Whom did you show it to?” he asked. “Anastasius, the abbot.” His visitor turned pale. “A-And what did he say?” “He said the book was worth a sovereign.”
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“And what else?” “Nothing.” The monk was both amazed and touched. He realized that the abbot had refused to reclaim his lost treasure so that he, the thief would not get into trouble. Nobody had ever shown him such love; nobody had ever behaved so nobly towards him. “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to sell it,” he said and took the book from the man. “I’ll give you two sovereigns,” said the customer. The monk walked away without answering. He went directly to the monastery and handed the book to the abbot, tears brimming in his eyes. “Keep it,” said Anastasius. “When I learnt you had borrowed it I decided to give it to you.” “Please take it back,” pleaded the monk, “but let me stay here and learn wisdom from you.” His wish was granted. He spent the rest of his fruit, but the first head refused, saying, “We years in the monastery modelling his life after have a common stomach, so there’s no need for that of the saintly Anastasius. you to eat it too. I’ll give it to our sweetheart, the Bharundi,” and with that, it tossed the halfeaten fruit to the female.

Headstrong Companion

From that day on, the second head carried a grudge against the first and waited for an opportunity to take revenge. One day it found a poison fruit. Picking up the fruit, it said to Once upon a time there lived a Bharunda, a the first head, “You selfish wretch! See, here’s bird with two heads. One day it found a strange a poison fruit and I’m going to eat it!” fruit on the seashore. It picked it up and started eating it. The head that was feeding, exclaimed, “Don’t do that, you fool!” shrieked the first “Many a sweet fruit tossed by the sea have I head, “you’ll kill us both!” eaten, but this beats them all! Is it the fruit of a sandalwood tree or that of the divine parijata?” But the second head would not listen. It Hearing this, the other head asked to taste the consumed the poison and soon the two-headed
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bird was dead.

to know how to control the bow, he had to learn how to control his mind too.

A tale from the Panchatantra
Moment of Truth There was a young student-archer who reached such proficiency in his art that he could shoot an arrow into a tree and then cleave that arrow into two with the next shot. He began to boast that he was a greater archer than his guru.

The Wise Men of Chelm
The residents of the Jewish town of Chelm, one day, decided that there was no point in all of them worrying about their various problems.

“ Let us appoint a Worry Man, somebody who One day his guru, a venerable old man in his will worry for all of us,” said the mayor. 70’s, asked the youth to accompany him on a trip across the hills. The journey was uneventful Everybody hailed it as a great idea and when until they came to a deep chasm. one of the elders suggested that Yossel, the cobbler, who seemed to have a lot of time on A single log spanned the chasm. The guru walked his hands, should be given the job, the man was down to the centre of the log, unshouldered his at once sent for. bow and taking an arrow shot it into a tree on the other side. His next shot cleaved the first “How much will I be paid,” asked Yossel, arrow into two. suspiciously, after the nature of the job was explained to him. “Now it’s your turn,” he said, walking back to where his student was standing. “Er… one kopek a week,” said the mayor. The youth stepped gingerly on the log and very slowly and carefully made his way to the middle. But his heart was in his mouth. He knew that if he lost his footing, he would plunge to his death. His hands trembled as he strung an arrow into his bow. Preoccupied with the danger he was in, he found it hard to focus on the target. Consequently when he let go of the arrow, it missed the tree altogether. Whimpering, he turned around. “Help me!” he shouted to his guru. “I’ll fall!” The old man walked up to him, took his hand and stepping backwards led him to safety. Neither of them said a word on the return journey but the boy had much to think about. He had realized that to be a master of his art it was not enough
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“It won’t work.” “Why not?” “Because if you give me one kopek a week,” explained the cobbler, “I’ll have nothing to worry about.”

was born in Kavripoompattinam. He was very pious from his very early days. He was in search of a ‘guru’ or master. God appeared in his dream and directed him to go to a place, where he could meet a master. He did the same and met the master as directed. The master advised him and gave him a linga for worship. He got married and begot a daughter. He was praying to God for a son. God himself lay near a tank in the form of a child. Two persons took up the child and gave it to Thiruvengadar. He gave them gold. He named the child as Marudhavanar. The child worked many wonders during his childhood.

H

induism has a lot of saints and monks. They were intellectual giants. They have written a lot of things about spirituality. Even though they belonged to Hindu religion, they adopted spirituality, which leads a peaceful path towards love and affection. One among them is Pattinathaar. He had a very great love and affection towards his mother. He performed funeral rites of his mother foregoing the rules and regulations of a saint. He wrote ten verses at the time of the funeral rites of his mother. They are very highly spiritual and make one to have a great love and affection towards the mother. His original name was Thiruvengadar. He
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The child wasted money on trade and the father chided him for his irrational gesture. The son taught him a lesson and disappeared. What he taught was that even a useless needle cannot accompany one in his final procession. The father got wisdom from this. He lost interest in material life. He gave his wealth to the poor and embraced strict asceticism. As a sannyasin he worked many wonders. He begged on the streets. His sister was very much annoyed and she tried to poison him. But the sannyasin placed the poisoned food on the roof of her house and it got burned down The King Patharagiri mistook him for a robber and gave him capital punishment.

He ordered to pierce his body in a cross like thing called Kazhu. The Sannyasin stood before the Kaehu and recited songs in praise of God. The Kazhu was burned down at once. The King was shocked to witness his power and became his disciple at once. He went to many temples and sang in praise of Siva. He raised a person from his corpse near Thiruvaroor. At last he played hide and seek with small boys on the Marina beach. He stepped into a pit and never turned up. His verses towards his mother go as follows.

1. Having Borne (me) for ten months braving all discomforts, happy at having Begotten (me) taking me in both her arms and giving her precious breastfeed, such a one will I ever see in any of 5. How can I, instead of getting my other births? happy with rich offerings to her, offer rice to the mouth 2. Having borne me for 300 which lovingly called me as days after doing penance to honey, nectar, fragrant flower Lord Shiva day and night, can etc.? I apply fire to such a mother? 6. After showering rice on 3. Fondling me on the cot in mother’s head how can I her lap, on her person with place the burning ember on love, protecting me always, it, without flinching, which how can I light the pyre to lovingly kissed me, calling such a mother? me endearingly “my son”.

4. Having Borne (me) bearing the pain at delivery and giving me her milk cheerfully day and night protecting me, how can I apply fire to such a body?

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7. The earliest fire lit was to Tripura, the next to beget me? one was in Lanka, and third was the spark lit in the mother’s womb, let the fire lit by me 10. Mother was alive yesterday at home or now be over. in the street, today she is consumed by fire and has become ashes. 8. Alas! The hand that fondled me is now being roasted in fire. What a cruel sinner I Nothing in the world is permanent other am? than the love and affection. Every thing in the world is Shiva’s Form (Shiva Mayam). 9. O Lord of “Shonagiri”, (Refers Lord So he tells us to have the most love and Shiva, who lives in a golden Hill. This refers affection to all and respect our parents. to Lord Shiva of Thiruvannamalai also.) Has she been burnt and taken refuge at Your Feet, one who did penance to you ‘day and night’

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I

n Puranic Hinduism, Aum is the mystic name for the Hindu Trimurti, and represents the union of the three gods, viz. a for Brahma, u for Vishnu and m for Mahadev which is another name of Shiva. The three sounds also symbolize the three Vedas (Rig-Veda, Samaveda, Yajurveda).

According to Hindu philosophy(see Mandukya Upanishad), the letter A represents creation, when all existence issued forth from Brahma’s golden nucleus; the letter U refers to Vishnu the god of the middle who preserves this world by balancing Brahma on a lotus above himself, and the letter M symbolizes the final part of the cycle of existence, when Vishnu falls asleep and Shiva has to breathe in so that all existing things have to disintegrate and are reduced to their essence to him. More broadly, Aum is said to be the primordial sound that was present at the creation of the universe. It is said to be the original sound that contains all other sounds, all words, all languages and all mantra The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence … is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.” ~ Katha Upanishad I Om or Aum is of paramount importance in Hinduism. This symbol (as seen in the image on the right) is a sacred syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism — omnipotent, omnipresent, and the source of all manifest existence. Brahman, in itself, is incomprehensible; so a symbol becomes mandatory to help us realize the Unknowable.

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Om, therefore, represents both the unmanifest (nirguna) and manifest (saguna) aspects of God. That is why it is called pranava, to mean that it pervades life and runs through our prana or breath. Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is in use daily. The Hindus begin their day or any work or a journey by uttering Om. The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of examination papers and so on. Many Hindus, as an expression of spiritual perfection, wear the sign of Om as a pendant. This symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple premise or in some form or another on family shrines. It is interesting to note that a newly born child is ushered into the world with this holy sign. After birth, the child is ritually cleansed and the sacred syllable Om is written on its tongue with honey. Thus right at the time of birth the syllable Om is initiated into the life of a Hindu and ever remains with him as the symbol of piety. Om is also a popular symbol used in contemporary body art and tattoos. According to the Mandukya Upanishad, “Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it”. Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like music, transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds. It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the centre of one’s being, the atman or soul.

is abstract and inexpressible. On the other hand, it makes the absolute more tangible and comprehensive. It encompasses all potentialities and possibilities; it is everything that was, is, or can yet be. It is omnipotent and likewise remains undefined.

During meditation, when we chant Om, we create within ourselves a vibration that attunes sympathy with the cosmic vibration and we start thinking universally. The momentary silence between each chant becomes palpable. Mind moves between the opposites of sound and silence until, at last, it ceases the sound. In the silence, the single thought—Om— is quenched; there is no thought. This is the state of There is harmony, peace and bliss in this simple but trance, where the mind and the intellect are transcended deeply philosophical sound. By vibrating the sacred as the individual self merges with the Infinite Self in syllable Om, the supreme combination of letters, if the pious moment of realization. It is a moment when one thinks of the Ultimate Personality of Godhead the petty worldly affairs are lost in the desire for the and quits his body, he will certainly reach the highest universal. Such is the immeasurable power of Om. state of “stateless” eternity, states the Bhagavad-Gita . Om provides a dualistic viewpoint. On one hand, it projects the mind beyond the immediate to what Siddhi Times USA 57

According to Atharvana Veda, Lord Shiva has taken various shapes to give remedy to our problems. There are 108 images. During the past issues we discussed about a few of them In This issue we will discuss about four images,

This deity is a very beautiful and a must for the drivers of two, four and multi wheelers. This deity is in a standing position. He is having four hands. The first right hand is adorned with a weapon which is called as “controlling stick”. The second right hand is adorned with SOMAASKANDHA MOORTHY. an axe. The second left hand is adorned with his pet animal deer. The first left hand is in There is no use in the individual life. The the head of his vehicle “the bull”. Those who life gets fulfilled only when one gets a life partner. By the time one gets a life partner he or she becomes a 75percent complete. The life becomes complete when one gets a child. In today’s world as an astrologer and practitioner of Vedas, I see a good lot of people suffer without kids. To have the best kids, the Lord Somaaskandha moorthy helps much. The word “somaaskandha” is split into three. SA-along with, Uma- wife skandhason. As Lord Shiva is seated along with his wife and son, he is in a very happy and jolly mood. When one is in a happy mood it is very sure that he will give whatever else we ask. This deity is also the best in blessing the persons those who need a united family and those who need kids. By offering prayers to this deity it is very sure that the prayer will be surely fulfilled. KAALAI VAAHANAR.
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were born in the rasi “rishabam” {Taurus} are the fit persons to worship this deity. Lord Shiva in this form has a control over the head of this rasi it is very sure that those who belong to this rasi will be the most blessed. As Lord Shiva is in the pose of a driver, this pose is the must for the drivers; accidents will be avoided completely by preying this Lord. By keeping the photo of this deity in our packets will give a great strength while driving. NEERMALI VENIYAN. In today’s situations we all face a lot of problems in facing our lady love or wife. The male has a lot of problems psychologically, which results failure in sexual life. So to say 75% male are facing problems in their sexual life. In this posture Lord Shiva is enjoying both of his wives. This is so to say a fore play posture. He also teaches us how the female should be. He has four hands. The first right hand is on the breast of his wife Umadevi. The second right hand is on his head, holding his second wife Gangadevi. The second left hand is adorned with his pet animal deer. The second left hand is around the waist of his wife Umadevi. The lady Goddess hides her famine part with her left hand. There are a lot of good things in preying this deity. The first is, all the sexual

problems and misunderstanding between the husband and wife are cleared. The second is the problems faced by the water that is either flood or dryness will be completely eradicated. The name “Neermali veniyan” is a very nice name. Neer means water. Mali means a lot of and veniyan means having on hair. That is the Lord Shiva has the water in a plenty of quantity in his head. By preying this deity

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we can easily rectify the problems caused by his weapon. Lord Shiva got satisfied with water. the power of Arjuna and blessed him with his weapon. In this shape Lord Shiva has four PAASUPATHA MOORTHY. hands. The first right hand is the blessing hand. The second right hand is adorned with Another name of Lord Shiva is Pasupathy. a “trisulam” [a three headed weapon]. The His powerful weapon is called as “Paasupatha second left hand is adorned with his drum like asthram” [snake shaped weapon]. Arjuna the musical instrument, which is decorated with third member of the Paandavaas is an ardent a snake as the handle of the instrument. The devotee of Lord Shiva. At the time of Maha first right hand is adorned with the important bharatha war he needed powerful weapons weapon ‘PAASUPATHA ASTHRAM”. This to conquer his enemies. So, he preyed Lord is a snake shaped bow like weapon which is Shiva to bless him with his powerful weapon. used to control the enemies of his devotees. In Lord Shiva wanted to test the capacity of his right side Arjuna is preying the deity. And Arjuna. So he took the shape of a big pig in the left Lord Shiva’s wife Umadevi stands and went to the prayer place of Arjuna and witnessing her husband blessing his devotee. started disturbing Arjuna with his roaring There are strong proofs like Arjuna to show sound. Arjuna doesn’t know that Lord Shiva the power of this deity. By preying this deity has come in that shape. So, he got angry and it is very easy for us to conquer and overcome started fighting with the pig. At the end of the our enemies and we can have a great name fight Arjuna got tired and bowed Lord Shiva. and fame as Arjuna has. Lord Shiva showed his shape and asked what you want. Then Arjuna asked Lord Shiva for

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Be a Winner
The Winner is always part of the answer; The Loser is always part of the problem. ********* The Winner always has a program; The Loser always has an excuse. ********* The Winner says, “Let me do it for you”; The Loser says, “That is not my job.” ********* The Winner sees an answer for every problem; The Loser sees a problem for every answer. ********* The Winner says, “ It may be difficult but it is possible”; The Loser says, “It may be possible but i t is too difficult.” ********* When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong”; When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t my fault.” ********* A Winner makes commitments; A Loser makes promises. ********* Winners have dreams; Losers have schemes. ********* Winners say, “I must do something”; Losers say, “Something must be done.” ********* Winners are a part of the team; Losers are apart from the team. ********* Winners see the gain; Losers see the pain.

********* Winners see possibilities; Losers see problems. ********* Winners believe in win-win; Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose. ********* Winners see the potential; Losers see the past. ********* Winners are like a thermostat; Losers are like thermometers. ********* Winners choose what they say; Losers say what they choose. ********* Winners use hard arguments but soft words; Losers use soft arguments but hard words. ********* Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things; Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values. ********* Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: “Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you”; Losers follow the philosophy, “Do it to others before they do it to you .” ********* Winners make it happen; Losers let it happen. ********* Winners plan and prepare to win. The key word is preparation.

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The theme of worshipping Fire and the to that of the Aztecs.Various Semitic peoples uniformity between few religions in also worshipped the fire god Moloch with the worshipping the Fire. sacrifice of their firstborn children, which was said to pacify his wrath and ritual offerings In almost every tradition there is an account to fire gods were made by the Egyptians as of the way fire was brought to humankind. well as other peoples of the ancient world. In Greek legend, the Titan Prometheus is Fire worship occupied a central position in represented as having stolen the precious flame the religious rites of the early Indo-European from Mount Olympus, the home of the gods, or peoples as well. as having ignited a torch from the burning rays emitted by the chariot of the sun god Phoebus. Among the early Hindus, sacrifice to the fire A legend among the Polynesian Cook Islanders was one of the first acts of morning devotion, of the South Pacific describes the descent and the hymns addressed to the fire god Agni of the culture hero Maui to the underworld, outnumbered those in praise of any other where he learned the art of making fire by divinity, perhaps because even then, a belief rubbing two sticks together. Early inhabitants common to all these cultures was in place: that of the Caroline Islands believed that mortals of fire being a purifying medium and a way received fire from the gods through the bird through which one could gain enlightenment. Mwi, which brought it to earth in its bill and The ancient Greek cults of Hestia, goddess concealed it inside trees. Human beings then of the hearth, and Hephaestus, god of fire, obtained this fire by rubbing two pieces of like those of their Roman counterparts, wood together. The Native American tribes, Vesta and Vulcan, were integral features of like the tribes of West Africa, paid homage the religion of classical times. Fire worship to ancestral fire spirits. The Aztec of Mexico also was generally practiced among the acknowledged in their worship the fire god ancient Slavic peoples, and the Celts offered Xiuheuctli, who resembled their sun god. The prayers to Bridget, the patroness of fire, Inca of Peru also worshiped a fire god similar hearth, and fertility. The worship of fire
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had its fullest development, however, in ancient Persia, where from earliest times the ceremonial keeping of the flame was the chief characteristic of the Zoroastrian religion. Fire was believed to be the earthly manifestation of the Divine, the heavenly light. The term for “priest” in the Zoroastrian scriptures is Avesta meaning, “belonging to the fire.” The conquest of Persia by the Muslims was symbolized by the extinction of the holy flame in the Persian temples, and when the Zoroastrian Parsis fled as religious exiles from their native land to India, the sacred fire they carried with them was as much a sign of their nationality as of their faith.

burn easily without creating much smoke. In India the wood from a mango tree is most often used for Homa. The Homa wood should be completely dry and cut or broken to suit the size of the kund.

Samaigri is a combination of one hundred and eight herbs used to purify the atmosphere and smells very good, like incense. Some ghee and raw sugar should be added to the herbs. When the Homa is performed, the chemicals in the Samaigri are burnt and get converted into gaseous form which mixes in the atmosphere, entering the breath and the body chemistry of the one doing the Homa and those who are in the vicinity. These chemicals go to the Homa, or Havan, is fire worship. In Thantra gods that are present as different energies or Yoga, homa is used to enhance the effects of abilities inside the human organism. japa. When the japa is done without any desire, it needs no fire worship. Fire is visible divine Thantra believes in one God with many energy that can be seen and felt. It is said to forms. Because God performs many kinds of be the mediator between humans and gods. functions, he has many names. For performing Homa is performed in a receptacle (kund) in each job, He has to shape himself into a which a fireplace (vedi) is made with bricks. different form. That is why there appear so The Homa fireplace should be decorated with many gods. But all the names are His name and colorful flowers, leaves, grains, and beans. all the forms are His form. When he creates he Wood to be used as fuel for Homa should is called Brahma. When he preserves, he is

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Zoroastrianism is also called Zarathustrism, Mazdaism, and Parsism. Parsism is the term used today, among the believers in India, the largest Zoroastrian society of today. The basic tenets of the Gathas consist of a worship of Ahura Mazda (the “Lord Wisdom”) and an ethical dualism opposing Truth (Asha) and Lie, which permeate the entire universe. All that is good emanates from Ahura Mazda. All evil is caused Angra Mainyu (the “Fiendish Spirit”) and his assistants. Upon death each person’s soul will be judged at the Bridge of Discrimination; the follower of Truth will cross and be led to paradise, and the adherents of Lie will fall into hell. All evil will eventually be eliminated on earth in an onslaught of fire and molten metal. Zoroaster apparently combined two religious systems. The first is the monotheistic worship of Wisdom and his emanations including Asha, outlined in the Gathas. The second system describes a cult that worships Lord Ahura, the custodian of Asha. This system is described in a portion of the Avesta called the Liturgy of the Seven Chapters, which was composed after Zoroaster’s death. The Gathas and the Seven Chapters form part of the larger liturgy called the Yasna. Other parts of the Yasna are the Yashts, which are hymns to individual deities, and the Vendidad, or Videvdat, a codification of ritual and law. The first Persian king to recognize the religion proposed by Zoroaster was Kay Vishtash, and Zoroaster’s ideas spread under Darius I. Artaxerxes II (reigned 409-358 BC) also venerated Zoroastrian deities; in his reign the first temples were probably built. Under the rule of the Greek Seleucids (312-64 BC) and Parthian Arsacids (250? BC-AD 224), cults of foreign gods flourished along with Zoroastrianism. The new Persian dynasty of the Sassanids (AD

called Vishnu. When he destroys, he is called Shiva. When he brings forth the energy of heat and light, he is called Sun. When he beholds the creation he is called Earth. He is neither male nor female. His static aspect is male. His dynamic aspect is female. The same is also said in Zoroastrian culture. Zoroastrianism (sometimes called less correctly ‘fire worshipping’), one of the world’s oldest religions, first began in Azerbaijan. In the ancient language of the land, ‘Azer’ means ‘fire’, and no other name seems quite as appropriate for Azerbaijan, since it once was the land of Zoroastrianism, where fire has an important role, even today, fire is still part of the country’s symbols. This religion was founded in by the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra). The doctrines preached by Zoroaster are preserved in his metrical Gathas (psalms), which form part of the sacred scripture known as the Avesta.
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224-641) established Zoroastrianism as the state religion of Persia and it also spread to central Asia. However Persia was gradually converted to Islam after its conquest by the Arabs in the 7th century. Nevertheless, and against all odds Zoroastrianism survived in the mountainous regions of Yazd and Kerman. Today Zoroastrianism counts about 150,000 in India, 50,000 in Iran, and perhaps 50,000 in the rest of the world.

location near the village of Xinaliq, west of Cuba. We can easily understand that the base for all religions is only Hinduism. The fire worship is now world famous. In Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda a lot of fire worship methods are mentioned for getting salvations from various kinds of problems.Sri Sri Siddhar Swamiji being an Atharva Veda scholar, always instructs his devotees and priests to perform fire rituals often. Solve all your problems by performing rituals with fire Iran - Yazd: tower of silence or Dakhmeh, god worship with the help of Sri Sri Siddhar once used to dispose of dead bodies - to avoid Swamiji. contaminating the earth the in Zoroastrian funerary tradition bodies were left to be eaten by the birds There are 5 daily prayers, and ablutions are performed in before all of these. The believer becomes religiously active from the age of 7. When a believer dies, his or her body is brought up on the Tower of Silence, where the corpse shall be eaten by vultures, so that neither fire nor earth becomes contaminated. Presently in Iran there are graveyards for the deceased believers, but these are only the result of influence from the dominating Islamic society. Surakhany: Ateshgah fire temple - In Azerbaijan you can visit a Zoroastrian temple near Baku in Surakhany. This temple is built near the natural vents of flaming gas and has a permanent fire. With the introduction of Islam to the area the local Zoroastrian temples were destroyed. The exiting temple dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and is probably built over the ruins of an older structure. Surakhany remained a popular destination for Indian pilgrims until the revolution. Some of the pilgrims’ cells now house a wax museum, intended to introduce the rudiments of Zoroastrianism to the uninitiated. There is another Zoroastrian temple in a remote
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A short life history of

Swami Vivekananda
and a few of his teachings.
Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practice meditation even from his boyhood, and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time. At the threshold of youth Narendra had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis when he was assailed by doubts about the existence of God. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. One day in November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. He straightaway asked the Master a question which he had put to several others but had received no satisfactory answer: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied: “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intense sense.” Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. At Dakshineshwar, Narendra also met several young men who were devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, and they all became close friends. After a few years two events took place which caused Narendra considerable distress. One was the sudden death of his father in 1884. This left the family penniless, and Narendra had to bear the burden of supporting his mother, brothers and sisters. The second event was the illness of Sri Ramakrishna which was diagnosed to be cancer of the throat. In September 1885 Sri Ramakrishna was moved to a house at Shyampukur, and a few months later to a rented villa at Cossipore. In these two places the young disciples nursed the Master with devoted care. In spite of poverty at home and inability to find a job for him, Narendra joined the group as its leader. Sri Ramakrishna instilled in these young men the spirit of renunciation and brotherly love for one another. One day he distributed ochre robes among them and sent them out to beg food. In this way he himself laid the foundation for a new monastic order. He gave specific instructions to Narendra about the formation of the new monastic Order. In the small hours of 16 August 1886 Sri Ramakrishna gave up his mortal body. After the Master’s passing, fifteen of his young disciples (one more joined them later) began to live together in a dilapidated building at Baranagar in North Kolkata. Under the leadership of Narendra, they formed a new monastic brotherhood, and in 1887 they took the formal vows of sannyasa, thereby assuming new names. Narendra now became Swami Vivekananda (although this name was actually assumed much later.)

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After establishing the new monastic order, Vivekananda heard the inner call for a greater mission in his life. While most of the followers of Sri Ramakrishna thought of him in relation to their own personal lives, Vivekananda thought of the Master in relation to India and the rest of the world. As the prophet of the present age, what was Sri Ramakrishna’s message to the modern world and to India in particular? This question and the awareness of his own inherent powers urged Swamiji to go out alone into the wide world. So in the middle of 1890, after receiving the blessings of Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna, known to the world as Holy Mother, who was then staying in Kolkata, Swamiji left Baranagar Math and embarked on a long journey of exploration and discovery of India. During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions. For this they should be taught improved methods of agriculture, village industries, etc. It was in this context that Vivekananda grasped the crux of the problem of poverty in India (which had escaped the attention of social reformers of his days): owing to centuries of oppression, the downtrodden masses

had lost faith in their capacity to improve their lot. It was first of all necessary to infuse into their minds faith in themselves. For this they needed a life-giving, inspiring message. Swamiji found this message in the principle of the Atman, the doctrine of the potential divinity of the soul, taught in Vedanta, the ancient system of religious philosophy of India. He saw that, in spite of poverty, the masses clung to religion, but they had never been taught the life-giving, ennobling principles of Vedanta and how to apply them in practical life. Thus the masses needed two kinds of knowledge: secular knowledge to improve their economic condition and spiritual knowledge to infuse in them faith in themselves and strengthen their moral sense. The next question was how to spread these two kinds of knowledge among the masses? Through education – this was the answer that Swamiji found. One thing became clear to Swamiji: to carry out his plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor masses, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. As he said later on, he wanted “to set in motion machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.” It was to serve as this ‘machinery’ that Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission a few years later. It was when these ideas were taking shape in his mind in the course of his wanderings that Swami Vivekananda heard about the World’s Parliament of Religions to be held in Chicago in 1893. His friends and admirers in India wanted him to attend the Parliament. He too felt that the Parliament would provide the right forum to present his Master’s message to the world, and so he decided to go to America. Another reason which prompted Swamiji to go to America was to seek financial help for his project of uplifting the masses.Swamiji, however, wanted to have an inner certitude and divine call regarding his mission. Both of these he got while he sat in deep meditation on the rock-island at Kanyakumari. With the funds partly collected by his Chennai disciples and partly provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on 31 May 1893.His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions held in September 1893 made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’. After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London. He returned to India in January 1897. In response to the

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enthusiastic welcome that he received everywhere, he delivered a series of lectures in different parts of India, which created a great stir all over the country. Through these inspiring and profoundly significant lectures Swamiji attempted to do the following: To rouse the religious consciousness of the people and create in them pride in their cultural heritage; To bring about unification of Hinduism by pointing out the common bases of its sects; To focus the attention of educated people on the plight of the downtrodden masses, and to expound his plan for their uplift by the application of the principles of Practical Vedanta. Soon after his return to Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda accomplished another important task of his mission on earth. He founded on 1 May 1897 a unique type of organization known as Ramakrishna Mission, in which monks and lay people would jointly undertake propagation of Practical Vedanta, and various forms of social service, such as running hospitals, schools, colleges, hostels, rural development centre etc, and conducting massive relief and rehabilitation work for victims of earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities, in different parts of India and other countries.

In early 1898 Swami Vivekananda acquired a big plot of land on the western bank of the Ganga at a place called Belur to have a permanent abode for the monastery and monastic Order originally started at Baranagar, and got it registered as Ramakrishna Math after a couple of years. Here Swamiji established a new, universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, which gives equal importance to personal illumination and social service, and which is open to all men without any distinction of religion, race or caste. It may be mentioned here that in the West many people were influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s life and message. Some of them became his disciples or devoted friends. Among them the names of Margaret Noble (later known as Sister Nivedita), Captain and Mrs. Sevier, Josephine McLeod and Sara Ole Bull, deserve special mention. Nivedita dedicated her life to educating girls in Kolkata. Swamiji had many Indian disciples also, some of whom joined Ramakrishna Math and became sannyasins. In June 1899 he went to the West on a second visit. This time he spent most of his time in the West coast of USA. After delivering many lectures there, he returned to Belur Math in December 1900. The rest of his life was spent in India, inspiring and guiding people, both monastic and lay. Incessant work, especially giving lectures and inspiring people, told upon Swamiji’s health. His health deteriorated and the end came quietly on the night of 4 July 1902. Before his Mahasamadhi he had written to a Western follower: “It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body, to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole world shall know that it is one with God.” Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main molders of the modern world…” Some of the main contributions that Swamiji made to the modern world are mentioned below: 1.New Understanding of Religion: One of the most significant contributions of Swami Vivekananda to the modern world is his interpretation of religion as a universal experience of transcendent Reality, common to all humanity. Swamiji met the challenge of modern science by showing that religion is as scientific as science itself; religion is the ‘science of consciousnesses. As such, religion and science are not contradictory to each other but are complementary. This universal conception frees religion from the hold of superstitions, dogmatism, priest craft and intolerance, and

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makes religion the highest and noblest pursuit – the pursuit of supreme Freedom, supreme Knowledge, and supreme Happiness. 2. New View of Man: Vivekananda’s concept of ‘potential divinity of the soul’ gives a new, ennobling concept of man. The present age is the age of humanism which holds that man should be the chief concern and centre of all activities and thinking. Through science and technology man has attained great prosperity and power, and modern methods of communication and travel have converted human society into a ‘global village’. But the degradation of man has also been going on apace, as witnessed by the enormous increase in broken homes, immorality, violence, crime, etc. in modern society. Vivekananda’s concept of potential divinity of the soul prevents this degradation, divinizes human relationships, and makes life meaningful and worth living. Swamiji has laid the foundation for ‘spiritual humanism’, which is manifesting itself through several neo-humanistic movements and the current interest in meditation, Zen etc all over the world. 3. New Principle of Morality and Ethics: The prevalent morality, in both individual life and social life, is mostly based on fear – fear of the police, fear of public ridicule, fear of God’s punishment, fear of Karma, and so on. The current theories of ethics also do not explain why a person should be moral and be good to others. Vivekananda has given a new theory of ethics and new principle of morality based on the intrinsic purity and oneness of the Atman. We should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine Self or Atman. Similarly, we should love and serve our neighbors because we are all one in the Supreme Spirit known as Paramatman or Brahman. 4. Bridge between the East and the West: Another great contribution of Swami Vivekananda was to build a bridge between Indian culture and Western culture. He did it by interpreting Hindu scriptures and philosophy and the Hindu way of life and institutions to the Western people in an idiom which they could understand. He made the Western people realize that they had to learn much from Indian spirituality for their own well-being. He showed that, in spite of her poverty and backwardness, India had a great contribution to make to world culture. In this way he was instrumental in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world. He was India’s first great cultural ambassador to the West. On the other hand, Swamiji’s interpretation of ancient Hindu scriptures, philosophy, institutions, etc prepared the mind of Indians to accept and apply in practical life two best elements of Western culture, namely science and

technology and humanism. Swamiji has taught Indians how to master Western science and technology and at the same time develop spiritually. Swamiji has also taught Indians how to adapt Western humanism (especially the ideas of individual freedom, social equality and justice and respect for women) to Indian ethos. Selected Teachings of Swami Vivekananda My ideal, indeed, can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity and how to make it manifest in every movement of life. Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet. So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense pays not the least heed to them. Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves

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strong, strong you will be. If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves, and stand up on that faith and be strong; that is what we need. Strength, strength it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause, and that is our weakness. With weakness comes ignorance, and with ignorance comes misery. The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new Gospel Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success, and above all, love. Religion is realization; not talk, not doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes. Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man. Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity. They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive. This is the gist of all worship – to be pure and to do good to others. It is love and love alone that I preach, and I base my teaching on the great Vedantic truth of the sameness and omnipresence of the Soul of the Universe. By going through the teachings of Swami Vivekananda we can easily learn how live and how to be a good citizen to this universe.

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spiritual virtues, enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, and devotion), which elevate human beings to the higher planes of consciousness. With the help of vidyamaya, devotees can rid themselves of avidyamaya and achieve the ultimate goal of becoming free from maya. The four key concepts in Ramakrishna’s teachings were the following: The oneness of existence The divinity of human beings The unity of God The harmony of religions A personal account of his life and teachings is recorded by his disciple, Mahendranath Gupta, simply known as “M”, in the Gospel of Ramakrishna. Like Adi Sankara had done more than a thousand years earlier, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa revitalized Hinduism which had been fraught with excessive ritualism and superstition in the nineteenth century and helped it better respond to challenges from Islam, Christianity and the dawn of the modern era. Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna: 1. I tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct your mind towards God. 2. There is one whom you may call your own, and that is God.

There are a lot of intellectual giants, who set an example to the society. They did a lot of service to the human race. Even though they were born on different religions, they adopted love and affection as their religion. They worked towards the upcoming of the entire human race. Here I wish to state the life history of two intellectual giants. They both lived during the last two centuries. One is Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the other is Mother Teresa. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a Hindu monk and is very famous for his devotion and dedication. The other is Mother Teresa. Even though she was born out of India, she dedicated her entire life for the betterment of the suffering people in India. By reading their life history, we can try to improve the humanity and spirituality in all our minds and life style. By this we can also set as an example to all. Ramakrishna’s mystical realization, classified by Hindu tradition as nirvikalpa Samadhi (literally, “constant meditation”, thought to be absorption in the all-encompassing Consciousness), led him to believe that the gods of the various religions are merely so many interpretations of the Absolute, and that the Ultimate Reality could never be expressed in human terms. This is in agreement with the Rig Vedic proclamation that “Truth is one but sages call it by many a name.” As a result of this opinion, Ramakrishna actually spent periods of his life practicing his own understandings of Islam, Christianity and various other Yogic and Thantric sects within Hinduism. Ramakrishna’s realization of nirvikalpa Samadhi also led him to an understanding of the two sides of maya (illusion), to which he referred as avidyamaya and vidyamaya: He explained that avidyamaya represents the dark forces of creation (eg sensual desire, evil passions, greed, lust and cruelty), which keep the world system on lower planes of consciousness. These forces are responsible for human entrapment in the round of birth and death, and they must be fought and vanquished. Vidyamaya, on the other hand, represents the higher forces of creation (e.g.

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Mother27,Teresachristened Agnes-Gonxha was born on August 26, 1910. On August 1910, she was
Bojaxhiu. She was the last of three children. She had an elder sister, Aga and an elder brother, Lazar. Her sister and she were actively involved in church activities. They were both a part of the choir and were affectionately known as the ‘nightingales’ of the church. Her brother received a scholarship to study in Austria and he therefore left home at an early age to study in Austria. Mother Teresa’s parents, Nikhola and Dranafile were Albanian and were originally from city of Prizren, which was then a part of Yugoslavia. Her father, Nikhola, moved the family to the town of Skopje, Serbia where he became a merchant and an entrepreneur. Her mother, Dranafile, was a housewife. Both the parents made religion and prayer an important part of their family life. They also encouraged a non-materialistic and generous life style. Her mother occupied herself with taking care of elderly people, alcoholic mothers and orphans. As a child, Mother Teresa often accompanied her mother on these trips. At about the age of twelve, Mother Teresa realized that she wanted to live her life with the poor and God. She discussed this with a Father she assisted in church and asked him how she could be sure about it. He replied that if the thought of it makes her happy, then it is it. And he added: “the deep inner joy that you feel is the compass that indicates your direction in life”. At 18, she decided to be a nun. When she discussed this with her mother, her mother spent a whole day alone in a room and when she came out, she held her daughter’s hand in hers and told her:

3. Money can fetch you bread alone. Do not consider it as your sole end and aim. 4. You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O, man because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not there is no God. 5. See eye to eye thou God? Then seek him in man! His Divinity is manifest more in man than in any other object. Man is greatest manifestation of God. 6. Women naturally whether good or not, whether chaste or unchaste, should always be regarded as images of the Blissful Divine Mother. 7. The ego that asserts, ‘I am the servant of God’ is the characteristic of the true devotee. It is the ego of vidya (knowledge), and is called the ‘ripe’ ego. 8. Let me be condemned to be born over and over again, even in the form of a dog, if so I can be of help to a single soul. 9. To become great, one must be humble. The tree laden with fruit always bends low. So if you wish to be great, be lowly and meek. 10. If you say, ‘I am a sinner’, eternally, you will remain a sinner to all eternity. You ought to rather repeat, ‘I am not bound. I am not bound. Who can bind me? I am the son of God, the King of Kings’.

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“Put your hand in His and walk all the way with Him.” She left Skopje on September 26, 1928 to become a nun. Many of her friends, relatives and neighbors accompanied her to the station and that was the last time she saw her mother. Other girls who were on the same mission joined her along her journey. Agnes and her colleague landed at Rathfarnham, Dublin and they went to the house of the Loreto Sisters. She stayed at the convent for a few months and then started her journey to India on December 1, 1928. Before sailing for India, Agnes had changed her name from Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to Sister Mary Teresa of the Child Jesus - after Teresa of Lisieux, the ‘Little Flower’. Mary Teresa, as she was then called, reached Kolkata in January 1929 but went on to Darjeeling to become a Loreto beginner. In May, she received the ‘holy habit’ (the religious dress of Loreto) and began to learn Bengali and Hindi. She worked as a teacher in a convent in Darjeeling for some time and then moved to Kolkata. She taught in schools in Kolkata too and her affectionate disposition, people called her “Ma”. On May 24, 1937, Mary Teresa finally took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for life. From that very day, she was renamed as ‘Mother Teresa’. On 10th September 1946, on a train journey, she got what she terms as a “call within a call”. She felt she heard the call of God to leave the Convent and help the poor while living amongst them. She discussed this call with a father, Van Exem. And she had to wait to get permission from the Archbishop, her Mother Superior and the Pope to leave the Loretto sisters but still be a part of the Roman Catholic Church. She finally received the permission in August 1948, to leave Loreto Order. She was given the ‘induct of exclaustration’ (meaning - allowing her to leave the Convent and remain as a religious, committed to her vows and under the obedience of Archbishop). On the evening of August 16, Mother Teresa removed her old religious habit (dress) and wore a new habit of her future ‘Missionary of Charity’ Order. Her new dress consisted of a simple, cotton, white sari with blue stripes (blue was the color of Virgin Mary) along with white habits to be worn under the sari. At midnight of August 16, Mother Teresa left Loreto Order with only a ticket to Patna and just Rs.5 for other expenditure. In Patna, she worked in the Holy Family Hospital and gained some medical knowledge. She returned from Patna and formed new rules of her ‘Missionaries of Charity’ in Kolkata. As per the rules of Missionaries of Charity the nuns who would join the Order, would live, dress and eat like the poorest of the poor. They would have to take utmost care of the poor people. Sister Teresa went to the slums and the streets of Kolkata, to talk with the poor, to help them. She helped them wash the babies, to clean the wounds. The poor people were astonished at the European Lady who was helping them. She began to teach the poor children how to read and write how to wash and to have some hygiene. Her first residence cum-office of Missionaries of Charity was a small room on the first floor of Little Sisters of the Poor’s Institution in Kolkata. She slept with the Sisters of the Poor. God was her great refuge for strength and material support. She always had faith in him that he would always find the right medicine, clothes, food and a place to receive the poor to be able to help them, make them feel wanted. On 19th March 1949, a Bengali girl, from a well-off family and former student of Mother Teresa, came to stay with Sister Teresa and help her. She was the first to join her in her work. Soon, other girls followed: in May they were three, in November five, next year seven. Mother Teresa thinks of starting a congregation. On October 7th, 1950, the Papal in Rome approves of the “Constitutions of the Society of the Missionaries of Charity”. Thus the Missionaries of Charity began with just twelve members. However, every year, the number of sisters in it was increasing and so are the volunteers and the people that they need to care for. The society grew in work and number. Mother kept praying for vocations and the work kept growing. In 1965, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa’s request to globally expand her order. Now her work spread across the world. Whether it was in Ethiopia feeding the hungry, the ghettos of South Africa or it was her native country Albania when the communist regime collapsed, Kolkata’s Mother Teresa “the living saint” was there. In 1982, at the height of the siege in Beirut she convinced the parties to stop the war so she could rescue 37 sick children trapped inside. Mother Teresa went all over the world to help people, rescue children, advise her sisters; to organize and to talk. Her sisters are present in every continent serving the poor and lost. Mother Teresa became a symbol of untiring commitment to the poor and suffering. Today Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity has 570 missions all over the world, comprising of 4000 nuns, a brotherhood of 300 members and over100,000 lay volunteers operating homes for AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis patients; soup kitchens, children’s and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.

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