Articles

BBC - "Hindu Reflections for the Lockdown"

bbc london

 

 

(Please click "play" for audio recording)

 

The CoVid crisis has caused a great deal of harm and suffering, but in bringing the hamster wheel of modern day British life to a halt, it’s also served to remind British Hindus, in the most graphic and irrefusable way, of many forgotten priorities and purposes

The nation seemed to be surging ahead, dragged by the AI artificial intelligence driven Financial services sector, until the real world pothole of Corona brought everything to a screeching halt. The runaway train of a debt infected, consumerism and inequality troubled society, slowly lost momentum and in less than a month ground to a virtual standstill.

One thing which I have noticed was that for the first time in so long, computers were not making decisions, models and simulations were proving inadequate and people at grass roots were making their own simple choices and decisions and it reminded me of a story in one of our ancient Hindu scriptures, a story which gave an insight into the difference between intellect and wisdom, between artificial intelligence and artificial stupidity.

Once upon a time in a forest in India A woodcutter was gathering wood in a forest clearing and as he worked he heard the sound of approaching voices. He looked up from his work and saw 4 men enter the clearing, deep in conversation.

From their simple appearance, their orange robes and their log white hair and beards he recognised them as sages, men who had renounced society in order to seek and discover the secrets of this universe and the secrets of the human being itself and he joined his hands in namaste and bowed down in front of them.   He knew how rare it was to encounter such people, people who spent their lives in seclusion and he wondered if they might share some wisdom with him, if he asked politely and humbly.

When the sages saw the woodcutter bowing in silence, they stopped and approached him and raising their hands they blessed him with good health and a long life. The woodcutter thanked them for their good wishes and as he looked up, he plucked up the courage to ask them the following question..

 “Dear Respected Sages, it is my immense good fortune to have met you today and I thank you deeply for your generous blessings. If you have no objection may I ask a question, the answer to which may help me become a little bit wiser than I am?”

The sages smiled at his humble nature and simple request and one of the Sages responded saying “ We have been impressed with your good and humble nature, please ask your question”.

The Woodcutter looked up and said “May I know what each of you have gained by giving up worldly pursuits and engaging in spiritual austerities?”

The Sages pondered the question and after a few moments, the nearest Sage said “I have mastered the ability of being able to take a single stray bone and with a magical mantra, manifest the entire skeleton of the creature!” The Woodcutter became wide eyed and the Sages could see that he was deeply impressed. The Sage reached down to the ground where there was a fragment of bone, he touched the bone with a finger and spoke the mantra .. and there on the ground a complete skeleton appeared.

The second sage stepped forward and announced that after many decades of deep and arduous austerities, he too had mastered an amazing secret art…. He announced “With a single mantra, he could restore flesh to a bare skeleton” .. and he too reached down, touched the skeleton, spoke another mantra and as soon as he finished the ancient Sanskrit words of power, there lay in front of them the complete body of a dead animal, looking as though it had only just died.

The Woodcutter looked on in amazement and just before the third sage could speak , the fourth Sage stepped forward and said “I’m feeling a little chilly here where the sun’s rays doesn’t reach, would you mind if I climbed up into the tree and caught a bit of sunlight to warm my old bones? “ And why don’t you join me Woodcutter, you will get an even better of these amazing feats view from up there.”

The woodcutter had been taught never to disagree with Sages and so he stepped forward and assisted the old sage to climb into the tree and then followed until they were seated on a branch bathing in warm sunlight.  The third sage who was feeling a little impatient by know, stepped forward and announced that his mastery was the most powerful of all  – he knew a mantra which when spoken could restore life to a dead body and with a flourish of his hand he spoke the secret mantra and the dead body started to breathe. The three sages looked up at the woodcutter with pride at their achievements and the woodcutter was dumbstruck with amazement. He turned towards the fourth sage and said to him “Sir, I don’t believe its possible to surpass the wonderful achievements of these three sages – but still I would like to know what you have mastered after all of your years of spiritual austerities”. The three sages on the ground too looked up into the tree wondering what feat they were about to witness.

The fourth elderly sage whose attention was on the animal body lying on the ground, paused and said “I have mastered the most important ability of all – I know what NOT to do, and when NOT to do “ and as he uttered these words the Sages looked down and saw that the Tiger had fully regained its senses and with a hungry roar, it leapt upon them and with three slashes of its razor sharp claws, instantly killed and ate the sages.

The guidance in this story is particularly relevant at this time of crisis, when those who influence society, the wealth creators and politicians, whose choices create our collective direction. We are taught that sometimes the collective actions of technocrats can be unpredictable and that the capacity to act must always be tempered by wisdom, just because we can do something it is no reason To proceed and do it.

Artificial intelligence is touted as the latest achievement of the current frantic and dominant civilisation and yet if we measure Gross Domestic Happiness as opposed to Gross Domestic product, as Bhutanese Politicians, we find that we are perhaps fallen behind in reduced suffering, and emotional fulfilment and far behind in the quality of living on this amazing planet with all of its diversity of brings and ecosystems ?  When deep reflection is replaced by shallow thinking, and shallow thinking becomes ever more frantic and mechanical, humans are perhaps the greatest losers. At the time when doing is all the rage, when success is measured by incessant commercial activity, the teachings of the ancient sages Hindus which emphasize that there are times when the ecosystems of the earth require us to pause and reflect deeply and if we do not pause, the earth itself has the where withall to require us to pause, to and to reflect upon our behaviour and our impact on our fellow beings.  We learned that the earth can push us with ever decreasing levels of gentle pressure, to reconsider what we are doing, what we are eating, who we are, and above all  – why we are here. If more of us use this time of lockdown to reflect upon these questions, we may well emerge from this period of lockdown better equipped to navigate life with more harmony and tranquillity than we have so far displayed, and perhaps the price which we have paid in loss of life may even find some valuable meaning.

Archbishop Justin Welby visits India .. 10,000 Hindus request apology

 

sks jw news hdr

 

 

The European Churches of Empire, who have claimed a Divine Mandate, a divine monopoly to pass judgement on all other nations, civilisations and cultures ...... are owning up to the fact that they lied, they deceived, they destroyed and they stole from indigenous peoples across the globe, for over 500 years. They lied where they went and they lied to their own countrymen when they came back home. They lied to steal when they were abroad and they lied when they returned in order to defraud their own citizens and church brethren, of their hard earned wealth.

 

In July this year the Anglican Archbishop of Canada made an apology and it had all the hallmarks of yet another piece of deceit ..... feel free to judge for yourself from the video but three questions arise. If you are apologising ... then you accept responsibility for your crimes, what about restitution? If you acknowledge that your then philosophy was best described as "institutionalised barbarianism", how has it changed if the core textbook is still the same and the teachings are still the same? The third question is the most important .. If an apology is due in Canada, why not in India, and every other place which was ravaged by these "Missionaries of a loving God"?  

 

This has a direct and immediate impact upon InterFaith in the UK which is why the Archbishop of Canterbury has been sent a letter on behalf of over 10,000 Hindus, asking for an apology for Church approved Colonial crimes and an immediate cessation of the ongoing cultural genocide, otherwise known as Evangelism and Conversion.

 

The details of the Canadian Anglican apology and the letter are visible here .... let us know what you think! heres a snippet of this "Apology" ..

 

"I confess our sin in failing to acknowledge that as First Peoples living here for thousands of years, you
had a spiritual relationship with the Creator and with the Land. We did not care enough to learn how
your spirituality has always infused your governance, social structures and family life.
I confess our sin in demonizing Indigenous spiritualities, and in belittling the traditional teachings of
your Grandmothers and Grandfathers preserved and passed on through the elders.
I confess the sin of our arrogance in dismissing Indigenous Spiritualities and disciplines "

Why Yoga is a Science & Hinduism is not a religion

Why is Yoga a Science?

And why is Hinduism not a religion?

Vishnu - the sustainer
Vishnu – the sustainer

The word yoga as most people know means unity, but no one can possibly understand the word unity until that unity has been experienced. Therefore until one has achieved the unity of being connected to our inherent nature, yoga cannot be understood and the word is only used in reference to all the methodologies that may or may not bring about that ultimate unity.

Within the texts and Scriptures about yoga, the thrust of those teachings is to inspire and direct people towards that cosmic unity whereby individuals who achieve that unity can understand the nature of existence as that is there inherent nature and they are enlightened.

Yet within the codified writings known as Vedanta, the nature of reality is clearly defined. But until such time as the individual reading that information has become enlightened, it is an interesting philosophy and often largely meaningless.

So within Vedanta the nature of existence is clearly described to those who know how to read. While this information attracted a certain amount of curiosity outside of India and a few people got hooked, to the casual observer it was just some eastern mumbo-jumbo unworthy of much serious thought and labelled as Hinduism. But could not be easily understood or commercialised, it was disparaged and lead not only to the ridicule of Hindus, but this McCarthyism has caused many Hindus to turn against themselves.

The evolution of Western science

Western science has evolved in an era of haughty arrogance and deemed itself superior to all other traditional forms of knowledge including the knowledge and wisdom of India. However some scientists have looked to India for insight and inspiration. These included Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla amongst many others.

When we step forwards into the 21st century, the idea of Shiva the underlying reality of existence became more widely known in the fields of physics, quantum physics and advanced mathematics. In fact Vedanta has so influenced scientific thought that Shiva as Nataraj, the Lord of the dance is displayed at the large Hadron Collider facility in Cern, Switzerland. In fact this knowledge has advanced so far that I’ll leave it to Dr John Hegelin to explain in more detail.

As you watch this video, you will see the exact correlation between Vedanta and modern physics. As it is presented, this is an intellectual experience whereas the exercises referred to as yoga are designed to take us into that unified field so that we can directly experience the true nature of existence.

Over the past 15,000 years or so, yogis have been merging into this unified state and on returning to daily consciousness, they have influenced the lives of ordinary people in accordance with the true nature of existence.

Can you see why Hinduism was and is not a religion?

For thousands of years enlightened men and women have helped the peoples of the Indian subcontinent and beyond to appreciate life and to live a life based on the laws or principles of nature.

One of the primary truths of life from a human perspective is that everything we ever experience takes place only within our own consciousness because the senses of the body transmit information to our mind which then interprets what we are sensing.

As a consequence, the land that we call India has been a region of relative peace and an exuberance of joy and colour for many millennia. Before the invasions and subsequent occupation by the British, most of the people we may refer to as Hindu had not necessarily achieved enlightenment, but they had a strong intellectual appreciation coupled with their ability to observe cause-and-effect (karma in action).

Today Indian outsiders and even many Hindus themselves who accept the Western views see the Temple deities as worthless pagan idols. But from the perspective of the enlightened, those people who are in touch with the underlying reality of the universe, these deities like Krishna and so many others are actually sophisticated pieces of technology that help to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of life.

Within the concepts labelled as Hinduism, there is no need to believe in anything. But the fact that so many hundreds of millions of people have found a joy in living far beyond the normal experience of most Westerners is a testament to the effectiveness of these ancient traditions.

Krishna and Arjuna, by Ajoy Kumar Ghose via Tumblr
Krishna and Arjuna, by Ajoy Kumar Ghose via Tumblr

The civilisation of India is almost timeless and there is even some evidence to suggest that the principles of Sanatana Dharma existed way before the first known transmission of yoga some 15,000 years ago.

If you have watched the video, there is a brief discussion on health and that allopathic medicine is primarily chemical or surgical in treating symptoms whereas Ayurvedic medicine treats disease much nearer its root whereas the transcendental experience of yoga takes you into that primordial state of ultimate reality and all disease can be eliminated from within.

Therefore yoga offers solutions to solve the problems of every individual and what we call as Hinduism along with the healing arts of ayurveda and the appreciation of life is a solution for all the world’s problems.

Celebrating the Festival of Light - By Dr Frawley

Courtesy of Pt Vamdeva

Celebrating the spiritual festival of Lights
“Tamaso Maa Jyotir gamaya....lead us from darkness to the Light!
May we hold the highest Dharma in our hearts and lives!
May this Deepavali guide us in drawing the deepest jnana holding the Light of our ancient Seers in our hearts. May we aspire to draw the Divine Light of wisdom and compassion into our lives.

In Sanskrit ‘Deepavali’ means 'a row of earthen lit lamps heralding auspiciousness'. Diyas or earthen oil lamps are the sacred tradition of India’s Diwali celebrations. Light signifies purity, jnana and auspiciousness. Lighting diyas guides us through the darkness to seek the eternal truth.


The auspicious week of Diwali celebrations are-
Dhanteras, Choti Diwali/Naraka Chaturdashi, Deepavali/Diwali , Govardhan Puja and Bhai Duja.

Choti Deepavali is celebrated on the auspicious dark night of Kartik Amavasya where Maa Kali is worshipped. It is also known as Narakchaturdashi.
Lakshmipuja is celebrated on the Amavasya or New Moon.

Deepavali celebrates the return of Lord Rama (of the Ramayana) to his native city of Ayodhya after completing fourteen years of exile in the forest with his wife Sri Sita and brother Lakshman. The common folk of the kingdom of Ayodhya honor him with lighting diyas.

 

Deepavali Celebrations
Deepavali is marked as a traditional New Year by many communities in India. The auspicious event on Diwali in most households is the riti of Lakshmi-Ganesha Puja – homage to Lakshmi and Ganesha. Diwali puja draws in the divine grace and abundance of Goddess Lakshmi.

Goddess Lakshmi is seated on a lotus, with four hands signifying her power to grant us the four purusharthas (aims of human life) – dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (bodily pleasures), moksha (beatitude). As the Consort of Shri Vishnu, the deity of preservation, Goddess Lakshmi’s grace manifests as abundance, auspiciousness, nurturing, well-being, power, stability and divinity. She grants her devotee every siddhi in the field of arts, learning and sadhana.

The home is cleaned and decorated with flowers, rangoli and diyas. Special sweets are taken as prasada

 

Deepavali Sankalpa
Sankalpa is the deeper manifestation of a sacred vow, intention and desire. Our sankalpa should connect us to the universal dharma of peaceful sacredness and abundance for all. May we aspire to draw the Light into our lives reflecting the enlightenment of the Soul and eliminating the darkness which shadows our vision and experience in life. One can make a personal sankalpa or sacred wish for the family’s well-being.

Ritualistic worship of Sri Lakshmi
All offerings and prayer with deep shraddha (faith) and reverence paves the way for the Devi’s benevolence and divine grace.
Lakshmi Puja is a sacred time of consecrating and worshipping five deities:
Sri Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious beginning as Vighneshvara
Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms – Sri Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Sri Mahasaraswati (the goddess of jnana or learning), and Mahakali The powerful Shakti who steers us from darkness to Light!
Kubera (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.

Five diyas or ghee lamps are lit honoring the Gods and Goddesses.

Ghatasthapana For the puja we place a Kalash, the clay or metal pot filled with water and decorated with a coconut and Mango or betel nut leaves. Tie the moli or red thread around its mouth. Place a coin, betel nut, rice grains in the kalash.
Sri Lakshmi pujan begins with honoring Sri Ganesha after the achaman and pranayama. In the puja one sanctifies the asana followed by offering water (arghya), Snana (ritualistic bath), vastra, sandalwood paste, flowers, Durva grass, turmeric, vermilion, incense, diya or oil lamp, Holy sacrament are offered.

Sri Lakshmi is placed on a plate of rice in the center of an 8 petalled lotus with consecrated rice grains (akshata). The Lotus can be made with kumkum or turmeric powder. An offering of Naivedya is made to the Devi Lakshmi with milk, cloves, cardamom, coriander seeds, betel leaves, betel nut, battase (traditional sugar sweets), khilay (puffed rice) is made to the Mother Goddess. Flowers, incense and Arati are offered to the Devata.
Coriander seeds and puffed rice are offered in this ritual of worship, the reason for this being that coriander seeds symbolize wealth and well-being and rice represents prosperity. Offer the Goddess something auspicious like money or a silver coin.
Arati consecrates the auspiciousness of Deepavali celebrations.

It is the shraddha or deep faith which holds sacred with simple rituals and prayers for universal and personal well-being. Our prayers must invoke the Divine Grace of the Mother Goddess into our lives.
Living with awareness in the Light of Dharma!
Mantra Shakti
Om srim hrim klim glaum gam ganapataye svaha
………..
Vakratunda mahakaya surya koti samaprabha
Nirvighnam kur me deva sarvakaryeshu sarvada
…………
Om namah bhagyalakshmi cha vidmahe
Ashtalakshmi cha dheemahi
Tanno lakshmi pracodayat
………….
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, matra rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shakti rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, laksmi rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shanti rupena sansitha
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!
………………….

Sarva mangala maangalye shive sarvaartha saadhike
Sharanye trayambake Gauri
Narayani namosthute

Om srim hrim klim hrim srim mahalakshmayai namah

 

  Welcome to the Website of the

National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHTUK).

 

BBC - "Hindu Reflections for the Lockdown"

(please click on image for recording)

bbc london

 

 

 

The Hindu Temple - a Marvel of Civilisation!

 

 

 

The National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHTUK) was established in 1978. It is the oldest and one of the largest Hindu umbrella bodies linking over 200 Hindu Temples and Faith Organisations and works with them for the benefit of the Hindu community across the UK. To find out more about us click here.

Our main focus is to support the Temples of the UK, their Management Teams and their Employees in their work of helping Sanatan Dharma to flourish so that all the people of the UK have access to the oldest, and many have called it the wisest and deepest, religious and spiritual heritage that humans have ever percieved. Especially dear to our hearts is the sharing of our ancient Vidya with youngsters and helping the Temples to inspire their congregations to actively explore their Religion and Heritage.

NCHT UK also advises and consults on matters relating to interfaith dialogue, community consultations and capacity building in Temples, and advises and challenges legislation and policies that may affect the Hindu Community in the UK. Every Hindu should know the following about their religion and Traditions:

 

The truth of who we are lies beyond the lies of all imposed Religious identity

Please note that the views of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHTUK) are not represented by any other Hindu Umbrella Organisation in the UK. Also please note that views expressed on this site may be of the contributors and not of the NCHTUK.

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Quick Donation!

Please Enter Amount

Follow us on Twitter

nchtuk Community relations in practice and reality, as opposed to rhetoric and identity politics - refreshing.… https://t.co/DtHPjkE0ww
nchtuk Serve divinity by serving humanity, in action @RSSorg @imamofpeace @DVATW https://t.co/gagxCKqSNg

Current Visitor Map

NCHTUK Word Cloud

many   they   also   lord   human   were   with   hindu   other   would   over   those   ncht   temples   mind   body   hindus   religious   have   even   from   yoga   temple   such   these   india   like   only   when   your   which   into   time   very   about   being   that   save   people   british   community   this   there   will   been   some   their   life   more   what   JoelLipman.Com