Mata Amritanandamayi was born in a remote coastal village in Kerala, South India in 1953. Mata Amritanandamayi is known throughout the world as Amma, or Mother, for her selfless love and compassion toward all beings. Her entire life has been dedicated to alleviating the pain of the poor, and those suffering physically and emotionally. coque iphone pas cher Throughout her life, Mata Amritanandamayi has embraced and comforted more than 34 million people. coque iphone 8 Amma inspires, uplifts, and transforms through her physical embrace, her spiritual wisdom and through her global charities, known as Embracing the World.® When asked where she gets the energy to help so many people, she answers: “Where there is true love, anything is effortless.” While Amma is widely regarded as one of India’s foremost spiritual leaders, Amma says that her religion is love. She has never asked anyone to change their religion but only to contemplate the essential principles of their own faith and to try to live accordingly. Even as a small girl, she drew attention with the many hours she spent in deep meditation on the seashore. She also composed devotional songs and could often be seen singing to the divine with heartfelt emotion. Despite her tender age, her compositions revealed remarkable depth and wisdom. When she was nine years old, her mother became ill, and Mata Amritanandamayi was withdrawn from school in order to help with household tasks and the care of her seven siblings. coque iphone pas cher As she went door-to-door gathering food scraps from neighbors for her family’s cows, she was confronted with the intense poverty and suffering that existed in her community, and in the world beyond it. Where Mata Amritanandamayi encountered people in need, she brought them food and clothing from her own home. coque iphone She was undeterred by the scolding and punishment she received from her family for doing so. Amma also began to spontaneously embrace people to comfort them in their sorrow. vente de coque iphone Responding to her affectionate care, they began to call her Amma (Mother). Amma was deeply affected by the profound suffering she witnessed. According to Hinduism, the suffering of the individual is due to his or her own karma — the results of actions performed in the past. coque iphone 7 Amma accepted this concept, but she refused to accept it as a justification for inaction. Amma contemplated the principle of karma until she revealed an even more profound truth, asking a question she continues to ask each of us today. “If it is one man’s karma to suffer, isn’t it our dharma (duty) to help ease his suffering and pain?” With this simple yet profound conviction — that each of us has a responsibility to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate — Amma moved forward with confidence in her life of service and compassionate care for all beings, uniquely expressed by the motherly embrace she offers to all who seek solace in her arms. coque iphone 8 In Amma’s community, however, it was not permissible for a 14-year-old girl to touch others, especially men. Amma explains, “In India, women are expected to remain in the background. It is said that ‘Even the walls should not hear them.’ My family could not understand my way of reaching out to people; they had no idea of the spiritual principles.” But despite adverse reactions, Amma followed her heart, later explaining, “A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.” Amma says that love expressed is compassion, and compassion means accepting the needs and sorrows of others as one’s own.
Sattva in Sanskrit means whole, complete, truth, balance. That is the path of Sattva Yoga. Sattva Yoga is ancient and fresh at the same time. coque iphone x There is a soft heart with a fierce, strong spine. There is sincerity and humor. Sattva Yoga is a complete path to create an experience of wholeness in the individual and the collective. Sattva Yoga was developed in the Himalayas over a decade ago, and has now spread around the world to the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, and elsewhere. Sattva Yoga includes ancient yogic techniques as well as current evolutionary practices to create a clear path for the individual to experience a full, healthy, abundant, joyous life. coque iphone xr Sattva Yoga is an ever-evolving and inclusive practice of meditation, kriya, asana, movement, pranayama, radical aliveness, and timeless wisdom. Sattva Yoga is freedom, movement, depth, stillness, transcendence, joy, compassion, grace, and truth.
Mother Meera has been called the “embodiment of the Divine Feminine”. coque iphone 8 Her gift to the world — free transmission of Light, Love and Grace. During her travels around the globe, she gives her unique blessing of Darshan – known as the experience of receiving a vision, blessing or feeling of a Divine presence through meditation, prayer, deep aspiration, or sudden grace. coque iphone x Born in South India on December 26, 1960, she had her first Samadhi (a state of total spiritual absorption) by the age of 6 and continued on her path to help the world achieve enlightenment from that day forward. Meera does this by giving back to the world as a spiritual healer, saying: “I bring down the Light and establish Peace, also I help the people to surrender to the Divine, to remember the Divine and to be faithful and sincere to their religion or to their belief.” Her mission is to purify the consciousness of the earth so it can be ready for transformation, calling down to earth as much heavenly light as possible. So that “Divine Life and Will can become manifested on earth.” She receives no monetary payment for her services. coque iphone 7 She’s working on a deeper soul level. coque iphone x When asked about her purpose in life, she answered: “It is to help humans and to make them happy, peaceful, contented, harmonious, and loving. Happiness and spiritual growth are connected. coque iphone 7 Being peaceful and being happy form the most important foundation of spiritual practice.” Thousands flock to her to receive the Darshan. Visitors sit, meditate and pray until they are called on to meet with her one on one, where she will look deep into their eyes, hold their head for a bit (a technique referred to as Pranam) focus in on what ails them spiritually, then release them, their issues now blessed and corrected with permeating light. She says she is “looking into every corner of your being… everything within you to see where I can help, where I can give healing power… opening every part of yourself to the light.” During these Darshans, she examines the spiritual life lines that run vertically through each of us. These lines are where the ‘karmic knots’ can get tangled and problems arise in one’s life. She states: “It is very delicate work and great care has to be taken to undo the knots, as there is danger for your life if the thread is broken. When I hold your head I am untying these knots. I am also removing other kinds of obstacles to your sadhana (spiritual practice and self-discipline). When I touch your head, the Light moves upwards in the white line. It indicates, like a meter, the development of our sadhana.” She is described as a ‘realized human being’, meaning that in her time on earth she has connected with her greater purpose and the Divine spirit and Light. coque iphone x Her belief and life’s work fosters unity of all religions and her blessings are for all affiliations, stating: “For this I came – to open your hearts to the light.” Mother Meera is based out of Schaumburg, Germany but does tour other countries, as well.
Who is Radhanath Swami Radhanath Swami is a Vaishnava sanyassin (a monk in a Krishna-bhakti lineage) and teacher of the devotional path of Bhakti-yoga. coque iphone x He is author of The Journey Home, a memoir of his search for spiritual truth. His teachings draw from the sacred texts of India such as The Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Ramayana, and aim to reveal the practical application of the sacred traditions, while focusing on the shared essence which unites apparently disparate religious or spiritual paths. Born Richard Slavin, on December 7, 1950, in his teens he came to confront a deep sense of alienation from suburban Chicago life and the civil injustices of mid-century America. coque iphone pas cher At the age of nineteen, while on a summer trip to Europe, his internal struggles culminated in a commitment to search for God wherever it might lead him. Meditating on the Isle of Crete, he felt a supernatural calling and the next morning set off alone to find spiritual India. The Journey Home documents his odyssey as a penniless hitch-hiker though Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India. There he lived as a wandering ascetic, first amongst the forest dwelling Himalayan yogis and later amongst a wide variety of gurus and spiritual practitioners throughout India and Nepal. Ultimately, he was led to the holy town of Vrindavan, where he found his path amongst the Bhakti-yogis. In Vrindavan he found the teacher he was searching for in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and representative of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, (the Krishna-bhakti tradition stemming from the 16th century mystic avatar Sri Chaitanya). coque iphone In choosing Bhaktivedanta Swami, as his guru, Radhanath Swami felt compelled to shear his matted locks and reenter Western society with a mission to share the sacred wisdom he had received. This return exemplifies the form of devotional yoga which is at the heart of Radhanath Swami’s teachings, a spiritual practice expressed as tangible action meant to bring about personal fulfillment and benefit the world. coque iphone pas cher At the the age of 31 he took the monastic vows of a Vaishnava sanyassin and became known as Radhanath Swami. soldes coque iphone Today Radhanath Swami travels regularly throughout India, Europe and North America, sharing the teachings of Bhakti-yoga. vente de coque iphone He resides much of the year at the Radha Gopinath Ashram in Chowpatty, Mumbai. For the past twenty-five years he has guided the community’s development and has directed a number of acclaimed social action projects including Midday Meals, which daily serves more than 260,000 plates of sanctified vegetarian food to the children of the slums of Mumbai.
Author: Amrutur V. Srinivasan
Hinduism is not an organized religion and has no single, systematic approach to teaching its value system. Nor do Hindus have a simple set of rules to follow like the Ten Commandments. Local, regional, caste, and community-driven practices influence the interpretation and practice of beliefs throughout the Hindu world.
Yet a common thread among all these variations is belief in a Supreme Being and adherence to certain concepts such as Truth, dharma, and karma. And belief in the authority of the Vedas (sacred scriptures) serves, to a large extent, as the very definition of a Hindu, even though how the Vedas are interpreted may vary greatly.
Here are some of the key beliefs shared among Hindus:
- Truth is eternal.
- Hindus pursue knowledge and understanding of the Truth: the very essence of the universe and the only Reality. According to the Vedas, Truth is One, but the wise express it in a variety of ways.
Brahman is Truth and Reality.
- Hindus believe in Brahman as the one true God who is formless, limitless, all-inclusive, and eternal. Brahman is not an abstract concept; it is a real entity that encompasses everything (seen and unseen) in the universe.
- The Vedas are the ultimate authority.
- The Vedas are Hindu scriptures that contain revelations received by ancient saints and sages. Hindus believe that the Vedas are without beginning and without end; when everything else in the universe is destroyed (at the end of a cycle of time), the Vedas remain.
- Everyone should strive to achieve dharma.
- Understanding the concept of dharma helps you understand the Hindu faith. Unfortunately, no single English word adequately covers its meaning. Dharma can be described as right conduct, righteousness, moral law, and duty. Anyone who makes dharma central to one’s life strives to do the right thing, according to one’s duty and abilities, at all times.
- Individual souls are immortal.
- A Hindu believes that the individual soul (atman) is neither created nor destroyed; it has been, it is, and it will be.
- Actions of the soul while residing in a body require that it reap the consequences of those actions in the next life — the same soul in a different body.
- The process of movement of the atman from one body to another is known as transmigration. The kind of body the soul inhabits next is determined by karma (actions accumulated in previous lives).
- The goal of the individual soul is moksha.
- Moksha is liberation: the soul’s release from the cycle of death and rebirth. It occurs when the soul unites with Brahman by realizing its true nature. Several paths can lead to this realization and unity: the path of duty, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion (unconditional surrender to God).
Kerala, regionally referred to as Keralam, is a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast. It was formed on 1 November 1956 as per the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and north east, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 census, Kerala is the twelfth largest state by population and is divided into 14 districts. Malayalam is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The state capital is Thiruvananthapuram, other major cities include Kochi, Kozhikode, Kollam, and Thrissur.
The region was a prominent spice exporter from 3000 BCE to 3rd century. The Chera Dynasty was the first powerful kingdom based in Kerala, though it frequently struggled against attacks from the neighbouring Cholas and Pandyas. During the Chera period Kerala remained an international spice trading center. Later, in the 15th century, the lucrative spice trade attracted Portuguese traders to Kerala, and eventually paved the way for the European colonisation of the whole of India. After independence, Travancore and Cochin joined the Republic of India and Travancore-Cochin was given the status of a state. Later, the state was formed in 1956 by merging the Malabar district, Travancore-Cochin (excluding four southern taluks), and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara.
The beautiful Varanasi, India is the holiest of Hindu’s sacred cities. The oldest inhabited city in the world lies beside the sacred River Ganges, nestled between the River Asi, to the south and the River Varuna, to the north. The flourishing city of Varanasi is rich in history and ceremonious traditions. The riverfront plays host to Ghats, which are stone stairways leading to the river; eighty-four of them, in fact. Each of the Ghats is significant in its own way and many travelers take part in freeing themselves from sin by bathing in the sacred river.
Varanasi, which is said to have been founded by the God Shiva, is a city abundant with intricately designed temples, an array shrines, spiritual depth, and exquisite art. The city, often referred to as “the religious capital of India,” is populated with designers creating garments using muslin and silk fabrics, as well as perfumes, sculptures, and ivory keepsakes.
The history and sacred traditions of Varanasi are said to date back as far as 5,000 years. The area is lavished with a variety of religious beliefs; each encompassing their rituals and structures. Buddhism is marked by the Dhamek Stupa shrine, where it is said that the first sermon of Gautama Buddha was given. The followers of the Jain faith claim this area for worship and pilgrimage. Islamic sites are present in the area and date back as far as 1033 CE when the area was invaded and ruled by Muslims. In vast significance, the Hindu temples are effervescent in the area; after several periods of destruction by the Muslims, Varanasi rebuilt the temples, boasting its independence since the 18th century.
The Ghats of Varanasi are overlooked by temples, palaces, and shrines. Religious festivals and routine rituals are performed around and in these structures as well as along the riverfront. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is host to an evening worship called “Agni Pooja,” meaning Worship to Fire, which is performed by priests each night. This is a spiritual dedication to Shiva, sun, fire, and the universe. The cremation process, which takes place at various Ghats throughout Varanasi is a symbol of spiritual release of the dead to the divinities; bringing them to a state of liberation. Many seek Varanasi when they are near death as it is said if you die in this sacred city you are released from reincarnation and are delivered from the aura surrounding you.
A traveler will not want to miss the opportunities to ride by boat along the River Ganges, especially at sun rise, to witness the splendor of spirituality taking place; walking along the Ghats and learning the meaning and life of each; wandering the side streets; and enjoying the view of the vibrant city from atop one of the many roof terraces in Varanasi.
Written by Shelly DeMarre
Where to Stay in Varanasi, India: The Nadesar Palace or Hotel Rivatas by Ideal http://www.rivatas.com