Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hindu Beliefs

Hindu Beliefs Cover
1. I believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion which has neither beginning nor end.
2. I believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
3. I believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.
4. I believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
5. I believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.
6. I believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.
7. I believe that a spiritually awakened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry and meditation.
8. I believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, "noninjury."
9. I believe that no particular religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Legends Of The Gods

Legends Of The Gods Cover

Book: Legends Of The Gods by Ea Wallis Budge

The welcome which has been accorded to the volumes of this Series, and the fact that some of them have passed into second and third editions, suggest that these little books have been found useful by beginners in Egyptology and others. Hitherto the object of them has been to supply information about the Religion, Magic, Language, and History of the Ancient Egyptians, and to provide editions of the original texts from which such information was derived. There are, however, many branches of Egyptology which need treatment in a similar manner in this Series, and it has been suggested in many quarters that the time has now arrived when the publication of a series of groups of texts illustrating Egyptian Literature in general might well be begun. Seeing that nothing is known about the authors of Egyptian works, not even their names, it is impossible to write a History of Egyptian Literature in the ordinary sense of the word. The only thing to be done is to print the actual works in the best and most complete form possible, with translations, and then to put them in the hands of the reader and leave them to his judgment.

The Egyptian texts, whether the originals be written in hieroglyphic or hieratic characters, are here printed in hieroglyphic type, and are arranged with English translations, page for page. They are printed as they are written in the Original Documents, i.e., the words are not divided. The beginner will find the practice of dividing the words for himself most useful in acquiring facility of reading and Understanding the language. The translations are as literal as can reasonably be expected, and, as a whole, I believe that they mean what the original writers intended to say. In the case of passages where the text is corrupt, and readings are mixed, or where very rare words occur, or where words are omitted, the renderings given claim to be nothing more than suggestions as to their meanings. It must be remembered that the exact meanings of many Egyptian words have still to be ascertained, and that the ancient Egyptian scribes were as much puzzled as we are by some of the texts which they copied, and that owing to carelessness, ignorance, or weariness, or all three, they made blunders which the modern student is unable to correct. In the Introduction will be found brief descriptions of the contents of the Egyptian texts, in which their general bearing and importance are indicated, and references given to authoritative editions of texts and translations.

Download Ea Wallis Budge's eBook: Legends Of The Gods

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Buddhism Life On Other Planets

Buddhism Life On Other Planets Image
Diagram in Thai script purporting to show the extrasolar planets Amornrakoyan, Buppaviteha, Auttrarakuru, as well as our star Sol.

In the (Tri-Pitaka, Three Parts of the) Buddha's teaching (Vol. 11, p. 61 and Vol. 23, sutanta pidok 25, Thai edition), the Buddha talks about life on other planets. He refers to life on three planets in particular: (1) Amornrakoyan, (2) Buppaviteha, and (3) Auttrarakuru.

1. The first has a continent (dipa, lit. "island") and an ocean. The dominant life form there is human like but the beings there have faces that look like the moon. The beings there are [on average]10 feet (300 centimeters) tall and their life span is 500 years.

2. The second has a continent and about 400 smaller continents or isles. The beings there are human like but their faces look like cups. They are 15 feet (450 cm) tall and their life span is 700 years.

3. The third are flatlands with human like life forms with faces that look more cubical. They are 21 feet (650 cm) tall and their life span is 1,000 years.

This information comes from Mr. Terran. He is a Buddhist studying the Tripitaka (a generic name for the Buddha's teaching divided into three segments -- conventional discourses (Dharma, sutras), discipline (vinaya), and "higher teachings" called (Abhi-dharma).

* Modern readers may not believe this ancient cosmography. Who can say what is real or whether or not the Buddha really said this or that or simply had it attributed to him? One can ask monastics, scholars, and practitioners about what is recorded in the texts. The oldest existing Buddhist tradition is from Southeast Asia and is called Theravada ("Teaching of the Elders," the "elders" being the enlightened disciples of the Buddha's time. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Central Asian, and Tibetan traditions are called Mahayana ("Great Vehicle") -- which, not coincidentally, are very Christian -- are later developments with many changes and additions.


Oceanrider likes this post and would like to know more. What I know about Buddhism is Buddhists like to use metaphors to explain things. When I went to a Buddhist temple, the teacher was very confidently explaining spirituality using the metaphor of computer equipment accessing a network. Briefly, the Tripitaka contains three divisions: ethics (vinaya), conventional teachings (sutras or "discourses"), and higher teachings (knowledge books).

* Moon: a reflection of self (ethics).
* Cup: the self as a vessel of knowledge (discourses).
* Cube: a physical record or knowledge (knowledge books).

That is how my crazy head works anyway. If it is not straight out fact, although I think it might well be, it may also be explaining metaphysical realms not unlike the Bardos. Thanks for the post, Mr. Terran. I will be checking that one out and reading about it.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

History Of The Conflict Between Religion And Science

History Of The Conflict Between Religion And Science Cover

Book: History Of The Conflict Between Religion And Science by John William Draper

I found this to be an amazing book, comparable to HG Well's Outline of History. Before I read it I checked on the biography of the author, as I wanted to make sure he had the intellectual standing to write such a book before I invested my time in it. He does. You can check him on Wikipedia. He is contemporary (1881) with great events regarding the relationship between science and religion, yet everything he covers is applicable in today's world. He recognized the importance of the conflicts that were emerging and investigated the history of the relationship between science and religion, observed their present state, and makes what turns out to be very accurate predictions of exactly the situation we are in today. I am a student of history and I could find no fault with his presentation of historical facts, though he presents them in a context is unique to him at that time.

With the publication of Stephen Hawkin's book, "The Grand Design" we are seeing a replay of the same conflict again between a static belief system and a system that is constantly expanding, making Draper's book all the more relevant in understanding just what is happening and why.

As a plus, the author is an excellent writer of his time and I enjoyed his civility, and how he uses his words. A great relief from the "yell at you" style that seems popular now. If anyone is interested in a well thought out and intelligently presented explanation of why civilization finds itself in the conflicts we see everyday in the news, I recommend this work.
BTW the University of Va. has a copy of this book in it's online library. I'd recommend reading the preface there to see if you'd like it. May be able to get a sample on the Kindle also.

Buy John William Draper's book: History Of The Conflict Between Religion And Science

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Buddhism Wins Best Religion Award

Buddhism Wins Best Religion Award Image
A Buddhist news story has been popping up all over the internet lately. Only problem is, it's probably not true. The Shambhala Sun looks into it. No one can find "ICARUS" or even the "Tribune de Geneve." But since monks sent the story into WQ, we thought readers might nevertheless like to see it.

"Tribune de Geneve" (7/15/09)

The Geneva-based International Coalition for the Advancement of Religion and Spirituality(ICARUS) has bestowed "The Best Religion In the World" award this year on the Buddhist Community. This special award was voted on by an international round table of more than 200 religious leaders from every part of the spiritual spectrum.

It was fascinating to note that many religious leaders voted for Buddhism rather than their own religion although Buddhists actually make up a tiny minority of ICARUS membership.

Here are the comments of four voting members:

* Director of Research for ICARUS, Jonna Hult, said: "It wasn't a surprise to me that Buddhism won Best Religion in the World, because we could find literally not one single instance of a war fought in the name of Buddhism -- in contrast to every other religion that seems to keep a gun in the closet just in case God makes a mistake. We were hard pressed to even find a Buddhist that had ever been in an army. These people practice what they preach to an extent we simply could not document with any other spiritual tradition."
* A Catholic priest, Father Ted O'Shaughnessy, said from Belfast: "As much as I love the Catholic Church, it has always bothered me to no end that we preach love in our scripture yet then claim to know God's will when it comes to killing other humans. For that reason, I did have to cast my vote for the Buddhists."
* A Muslim cleric, Tal Bin Wassad, agreed from Pakistan via his translator: "While I am a devout Muslim, I can see how much anger and bloodshed is channeled into religious expression rather than dealt with on a personal level. The Buddhists have that figured out." Bin Wassad, the ICARUS voting member for Pakistan 's Muslim community, continued: "In fact, some of my best friends are Buddhist."
* And a Jewish rabbi, Shmuel Wasserstein, said from Jerusalem: "Of course, I love Judaism, and I think it's the greatest religion in the world. But to be honest, I've been practicing Vipassana meditation every day before "minyan" (daily Jewish prayer) since 1993. So I get it."

However, there was one snag. ICARUS could not find anyone to give the award to. All the Buddhists they called kept saying they didn't want the award.

When asked why the Burmese Buddhist community refused the award, Buddhist monk Bhante Ghurata Hanta said from Burma: "We are grateful for the acknowledgement, but we give this award to all humanity, for Buddha-nature [the capacity to become awakened] lies within each of us."

Groehlichen went on to say: "We're going to keep calling around until we find a Buddhist who will accept it. We'll let you know when we do."

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Monday, March 22, 2010

A Brief Overview Of Zoroastrianism

A Brief Overview Of Zoroastrianism Cover Zoroastrianism is a religion founded in ancient times by the prophet Zarathushtra, known to the Greeks as Zoroaster.

Zoroastrianism was the dominant world religion during the Persian empires (559 BC to 651 AC), and was thus the most powerful world religion at the time of Jesus. It had a major influence on other religions. It is still practiced world-wide, especially in Iran and India.

To quote Mary Boyce,

"The prophet Zarathushtra, son of Pourushaspa, of the Spitaman family, is known to us primarily from the Gathas, seventeen great hymns which he composed and which have been faithfully preserved by his community. These are not works of instruction, but inspired, passionate utterances, many of them addressed directly to God; and their poetic form is a very ancient one, which has been traced back (through Norse parallels) to Indo-European times. It seems to have been linked with a mantic tradition, that is, to have been cultivated by priestly seers who sought to express in lofty words their personal apprehension of the divine; and it is marked by subtleties of allusion, and great richness and complexity of style. Such poetry can only have been fully understood by the learned; and since Zoroaster believed that he had been entrusted by God with a message for all mankind, he must also have preached again and again in plain words to ordinary people. His teachings were handed down orally in his community from generation to generation, and were at last committed to writing under the Sasanians, rulers of the third Iranian empire. The language then spoken was Middle Persian, also called Pahlavi; and the Pahlavi books provide invaluable keys for interpreting the magnificent obscurities of the Gathas themselves." - Zoroastrians, Their religious beliefs and practices, London, 1979, pg 17.

Some of the major tenets of Zoroastrianism include:

God: Ahura Mazda

The supreme being is called Ahura Mazda (Phl. Ohrmazd), meaning "Wise Lord." Ahura Mazda is all good, and created the world and all good things, including people. He is opposed by Anghra Mainyu (Phl. Ahriman), meaning "Destructive Spirit," the embodiment of evil and creator of all evil things. The cosmic battle between good and evil will ultimately lead to the destruction of all evil.

Prophet: Zarathushtra

The religion was founded by Zarathushtra. His date is uncertain, but is probably somewhere around 1200 BC. He lived and preached in the Inner Asian steppes. Zarathushtra received his revelations directly from Ahura Mazda, and from his Archangels (Amesha Spentas).

Scripture: Avesta

The central scripture is the Avesta. The most sacred sections of the Avesta are the Gathas or Hymns of Zarathushtra; they are also the most enigmatic. Later sacred literature includes the Pahlavi Texts, which contain extensive quotations and paraphrases from lost Avesta texts.


The creed is summarized in Yasna 12. It is likely to have been composed by Zarathushtra himself, and to have been used as an avowal of faith by early converts (Cf. Boyce, Zoroastrianism, It's Antiquity and Constant Vigour, p. 102-4).


Two sacred garments, the sudreh (shirt) and kusti (cord) are the emblems of the religion. Zoroastrians perform a short cleansing ritual (Padyab), and retie the kusti several times a day with another short ritual (Nirang-i Kusti) as a sign of their faith. Other prayers are recited daily from the Khorda Avesta. Prayer is largely done in the Avestan language. The faithful should also participate in seasonal communal festivals ("Gahambars") during the year.

Fire and "Asha"

Fire, as a symbol of "Asha" and the "original light of God," holds a special place of esteem in the religion. Prayer is often done in front of a fire, and consecrated fires are kept perpetually burning in the major temples.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eight Theories Of Religion

Eight Theories Of Religion Cover

Book: Eight Theories Of Religion by Daniel Pals

This is a very valuable textbook for students of religious studies or theology, but also for scholars who are in need of a first introduction to the study of religion.

Why do human beings believe in divinities? Why do some seek eternal life, while others seek escape from recurring lives? Why do the beliefs and behaviors we typically call "religious" so deeply affect the human personality and so subtly weave their way through human society? Revised and updated in this second edition, Eight Theories of Religion considers how these fundamental questions have engaged the most important thinkers of the modern era. Accessible, systematic, and succinct, the text examines the classic interpretations of religion advanced by theorists who have left a major imprint on the intellectual culture of the twentieth century. The second edition features a new chapter on Max Weber, a revised introduction, and a revised, expanded conclusion that traces the paths of further inquiry and interpretation traveled by theorists in the most recent decades.

Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, begins with Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer--two Victorian pioneers in anthropology and the comparative study of religion. It then considers the great "reductionist" approaches of Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, and Karl Marx, all of whom have exercised wide influence up to the present day. The discussion goes on to examine the leading challenges to reductionism as articulated by sociologist Max Weber (new to this edition) and Romanian-American comparativist Mircea Eliade. Finally, it explores the newer methods and ideas arising from the African field studies of ethnographer E. E. Evans-Pritchard and the interpretive anthropology of Clifford Geertz. Each chapter offers biographical background, theoretical exposition, conceptual analysis, and critical assessment. This common format allows for close comparison and careful evaluation throughout. Ideal for use as a supplementary text in introductory religion courses or as the central text in sociology of religion and courses centered on the explanation and interpretation of religion, Eight Theories of Religion, Second Edition, offers an illuminating treatment of this controversial and fascinating subject.

Daniel Pals uses his creativeness to cover the major philosophers and scientists in a particular order to demonstrate intellectual evolution (intelligence evolves as time passes and we learn from previous ages) and he also brings out how the fact the philisophers (as most humans) try to "prove" THEIR experiences in life as they perceive it. The perception complicates their objectiveness. For instance, Freud was an atheist so Freud was out to prove there is no God. Freud did not want to reveal "truth" but only what HE thought was truth. Whether it is truth or not, was irrelevant to him and many others. Each philosopher builds on the previous with a critical critique of each by Pal and the others. I thought this was a great book and easy to read (unlike other philosophy books which are extremely difficult)

The book shows relatively well the madness and basically evil ideas that is represented by Marx, Freud and to some degree Durkheim. "Strangely", these very people are of the same racial background, and all their ideas have had major negative effects for gentile culture, see a connection anyone? It is a very peculiar and suspicious side to Pals that whenever a theorist is doing something good he's a Jew, but when his ideas are bad for European cohesion, he's "a German" or a "Frenchman". This way, suddenly Freud, Boas and various others in the books are suddenly just your average Fritz German doing objective research with no political consequences. A volume that should be read along with this book is Kevin Macdonald's book "The Culture of Critique", available here on Amazon.

The two scientists that are most filled with genius in this book seems to me to be Mircea Eliade and Max Weber, the first one interestingly enough being friends with two major European freedom fighters; Corneliu Codreanu and Julius Evola. Eliade was actually a member of Codreanu's organization back in his native Rumania, something that should give you a good hint of his honourable soul.

To summarize; a sturdy hardcover book that gives you a highly valuable introduction to the field and that should be of interest to anyone remotely interested in politics, philosophy or religion.

Highly recommended!

Buy Daniel Pals's book: Eight Theories Of Religion

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Age Of Aquarius

The Age Of Aquarius Cover The "Age of Aquarius," or "New Age," is the generic name adopted by the modern Satanist movement. The best-publicized among the founders of the Age of Aquarius movement include Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alex Muenthe (of Capri notoriety), and Aleister Crowley. Most Aquarians trace the origins of modern Satanism to Nietzsche and Crowley.

Anti-Christ cultist Nietzsche announced that the twentieth century would see the end of the Age of Pisces, which Aquarians associate with the figures of Socrates and Christ; Nietzsche prophesied that the New Age would be the Age of Aquarius, which he identified with the Satanic figure Dionysos. Crowley announced himself publicly a devotee of Nietzsche's New Age cult in his Vienna Theosophy magazine, near the beginning of this century, and indicated as his preferred choice of name for Satan.

Among hard-core insiders, the New Age models its dogma on the Magis' cult of Mithra, as Nietzsche did. The cult has notable affinities to the Bulgarian-Cathar Bogomil cult(from which the slang term "buggery" is derived). The New Age's most celebrated historical figure, its choice for the original "incarnation" of the Anti-Christ, is the Roman Emperor Tiberius who ordered the execution of Christ. [Some Roman emperors, most notably Caligula, became possessed by being initiated without being suitably prepared.] Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering were among the notable figures who followed this cult.

The best-known coordinating-center for the Age of Aquarius project in the U.S.A. today is Palo Alto, California's Stanford Ressearch Institute, whose Willis Harman is the relevant leading personality. See Harman disciple Marilyn Feruguson's 1980 Aquarian Conspiracy for a popular exposition of Harman's views and program for subversion of the United States. Ferguson is accurate when she reports that the Fabian Society's H.G. Wells (World War I boss of British intelligence) is a key figure of the Aquarian Conspiracy. Also key are Wells' ally, Bertrand Russell, and such Russell cronies as Robert M. Hutchins (Chicago University, Ford Foundation, Fund for the Republic, Aspen Institute, and the project).

Both Margaret Mead and her husband Gregory Bateson were close collaborators of Russell and Hutchins from no later than 1938. The brothers, Aldous (Hollywood) and Julian (UNO) Huxley were collaborators of H. G. Wells, and were recruited to Crowley's Satanist cult during the late 1920s.

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Johannes Reuchlin Kabbalah Pythagorean Philosophy And Modern Scholarship

Johannes Reuchlin Kabbalah Pythagorean Philosophy And Modern Scholarship Cover

Book: Johannes Reuchlin Kabbalah Pythagorean Philosophy And Modern Scholarship by Moshe Idel

Various philosophies left their imprint on the different forms of Kabbalah. The impact of Neoplatonism and Neoaristotelianism is best known, though some traces of the impact of Stoicism and Atomism can also be discern in the vast Kabbalistic literature. Pythagorean philosophy is perhaps the third in its importance, from the point of view of the themes it impacted on Kabbalah. Though there are some examples of mentioning Pythagoras in medieval Jewish literature, this is a rare phenomenon.

Iamblichus wrote his book as an introduction to a large multivoluminous treatise on Pythagoreanism, which he apparently never finished in its entirety. As we know such a Pythagorean reform never took place in a pure manner because Neoplatonism, though inspired from time to time by Pythagorean themes, succeeded and Iamblichus was in fact one of those who had a share in this success. However, his attempt to bring back Pythagoras's philosophy is of a certain importance for our subsequent discussions. This may be also the case with the other figure that drew from Neo-Pythagorean sources, and even save some pieces of Iamblichus's book on Pythagoreanism from oblivion, the Byzantine 11th century scholar Michael Psellus. We may summarize the different surges of Pythagoreanism in antiquity and Middle Ages, as strongly connected to an earlier floruit of some forms of Platonism. This is also the case in the Renaissance. After Ficino's introduction of the various forms of Platonism and Neoplatonism, the Pythagorean elements that were components of these literatures, gelled as a theory that contends to stand for itself, as Reuchlin would assume.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

The Spirit Of The Buddha

The Spirit Of The Buddha Image
Prince Siddhartha saw four powerful signs: aging, sickness, death, and renunciation.

Cynthia L. Pauwels, M.A. (METAPSYCHOLOGY)THE SPIRIT OF THE BUDDHA by Martine Batchelor (Yale University Press, 2010): In the opening pages, author Martine Batchelor notes that her intent is to make this enlightening volume "not about Buddhism," but "about the Buddha." Much of the slim text is true to her words.

"The Spirit of the Buddha," a 2010 addition to the Yale University Press Sacred Literature Series (Vol. 15, Issue 8), reveals the former Zen Buddhist nun's understanding of and devotion to the fifth century BCE prince-turned-enlightened-one, Siddhatta Gotama, the Buddha.

Batchelor moves easily through the historical and legendary tales of Gotama's early life. She recounts his dissatisfaction with palace life, his search for meaning through various traditions of the time including renunciation, first as a wandering mendicant following Alara Kalama who "claimed a direct knowledge of nothingness [the sphere of the void]," before switching allegiance to Uddaka Ramaputta [who had attained the meditative] "sphere of neither perception nor non-perception."

Siddhartha renounces the world in front of Kanthaka and Chandaka When neither of these teachers satisfied Gotama, he turned to the [severe practices of] ascetics living, it is said, on a single grain of rice per day. None of these paths led him to his desired goal of ending suffering for himself and others.

Batchelor describes the oft-repeated story of Gotama finally taking refuge under an Assatha banyan, the Bodhi tree, to meditate until he found enlightenment. "On the seventh day, upon seeing dawn, he reached [the final stage of] awakening." He spent the remaining 45 years of life guiding others along the same journey.

A primer on the Buddha's philosophy begins with a chapter called "The "Dhamma", the Teachings" (translated as the more familiar Dharma in Sanskrit) where Batchelor explains...

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Goals Of Sikhism

The Goals Of Sikhism Cover The goal of Sikhism lies in moksha, which is release and union with God, described as that of a lover with the beloved and resulting in self-transcendence, egolessness and enduring bliss, or ananda. The Sikh is immersed in God, assimilated, identified with Him. It is the fulfillment of individuality in which man, freed of all limitations, becomes co-extensive and co-operant and co-Present with God. In Sikhism, moksha means release into God's love. Man is not God, but is fulfilled in unitary, Mystical Consciousness with Him. God is the Personal Lord and Creator.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jainism And The Belief In God Or Supreme Self

Jainism And The Belief In God Or Supreme Self Cover One of the interesting features of Indian religious traditions is that one can be atheistic and yet religious a concept that is so alien to the western world that it is too difficult for many brought up in the traditional environment to accept such a notion as sensible. In Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism belief in God is not a prerequisite to practice religion. What is more important is personal salvation through righteous conduct and assiduous practice of the teachings left behind by enlightened masters. Hinduism is not an atheistic religion, but offers a wide range of choices to followers to test their beliefs. In Hinduism also, belief in God is not an essential prerequisite for achieving salvation, though a desirable one. God is a huge enigma which no one can truly fathom. Students of modern science know how difficult it is to understand the origin and nature of material universe. If we have that much difficulty with the material universe imagine, the extent of the problem we have with knowing the spiritual universe through the limitations of our senses and our minds. Religious aspiration begins with a person's inborn inclination, according to his or her previous karma, leading ultimately through self effort to an inner opening in which Truth is perceived or experienced beyond the barriers of conditioned mind and limitations of scriptural or temporal authority. Religion is therefore a means for self Exploration to arrive at Truth. It is not some authoritarian ecclesial dogma that suspends free enquiry and demands unconditional surrender to a scriptural injunction or messianic teaching under the weight of blasphemy or fear of persecution. In all the Indian religions, knowledge gained through personal experience is more valid than knowledge gained through some scripture or teaching.

Buddhism and Jainism deny the very existence of God as an absolute and eternal entity. They do not acknowledge a creator behind the world in which we live. In Buddhism, any discussion about God is regarded as futile because such a deliberation is of little value in the liberation of an individual. It would not lead to mitigation of human suffering or liberation of the individual. What matters most is personal effort and the sincerity with which the Eightfold path is practiced. The Buddha advised his disciples to remain in the here and now, mindful of their immediate perceptible world, to know the True Nature of their existence and find suitable remedies to the problem of their suffering. If Buddhism does not care to confirm or deny the existence of God, leaving the matter rather inconclusive and unanswered, Jainism makes its stand very clear by emphatically denying the existence of God as a universal and absolute Self responsible for creation, leaving no scope whatsoever for ambiguity on the subject.

Paradoxical as it may sound, although Jainism does not believe in the existence of universal Supreme Self, it may be wrong if we categorize as atheistic. Jainism may say God has not created the universe, but it does say that the souls are divine and eternal. It believes in the sanctity of the worlds by finding divine souls everywhere, having the potential to reach their highest state of freedom, through their individual effort. For Jains God and divinity are not synonymous. A world devoid of God can still be divine and eternal. They perceive divinity or God nature in the sanctity of entire existence and in the eternal, individual souls who are intrinsically divine, having the ability to be according to their choices and actions. The world and the soul are permanent realities which cannot be denied. According to the Akaranga Sutra, "He who denies the world (of fire-bodies), denies the self; and he who denies the self, denies the world (of fire-bodies)."

So in Jainism God is replaced by individual souls or jivas, who are eternal, uncreated and indestructible, who inhabit the universe which is also uncreated and indestructible, subject to the movement of repetitive time cycles stretching over millions of years in which the souls pass through alternating phases of moral decline followed by spiritual recovery, just as mechanically and repetitively the day is followed by night and the night by day. The God of Jainism is not a boon giver or a provider of grace, but an ideal state of eternal purity and blissful consciousness, to which humanity can aspire through renunciation, intense self effort and purification. Jains aim to achieve the state of divinity not for the love of God or to be with God or become God because He is higher and superior, but for the sake of virtue, purity and the need to escape from the existential suffering to regain the soul's lost freedom. In short in Jainism, there is no place for bhakti.

It is true that at some period in history the worship of Lord Krishna found its way into Jainism and Arishtanemi, the 22nd thirthankara, was linked to Lord Krishna. As a result, some Jains began worshipping Lord Krishna in a devotional way, leading to the formation of a community of Vaishnava Jains. However this Development was due to the influence of Hinduism and not a true Jain tradition. The Mahapurana declares that one should reject all notions of some God creating this world. It questions, " If God created this world, where was He before creation and where is He now and how can an immaterial God create a material world?" It goes on to conclude, "Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without a beginning and without an end... Uncreated and indestructible, it endures under the compulsions of its own nature, divided into three sections- hell, earth and heaven."

Though the followers of Jainism do not acknowledge the presence of God, they acknowledge the existence of higher beings called arhats in heaven and also some gods who are embodied souls but with greater freedom and high degree of knowledge and intelligence. The arhats do not take any interest in the affairs of the world. They are completely indifferent to what goes on here. The followers of Jainism worship these arhats not because they want to gain some favors from them, but because the very act of worshipping them constitutes a good karma and leads to reduction in the inflow of karmic material. The gods on the other hand keep a watch on the activities of the world. They respond to our requests and sincere prayers and help us in our good deeds. Many of them have similar names as the gods of Hinduism but differ in respect of their status and potency. They are not aspects of Supreme Self but individual souls who have reached a higher state of existence through their good deeds.

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Organization Of The Daoist Canon

Organization Of The Daoist Canon Cover All editions of the Daoist canon include a wide and miscellaneous range of materials, a mix of philosophy (often with speculations about the perfect political system), instructions for preparing an elixir of immortality by manipulating various chemicals (referred to as "outer alchemy" waidan), guides to meditation (referred to as "inner alchemy" or neidan), liturgies, charms, and even reprints of the writings of famous non-Daoists. To make matters even more complex, many of the individual works included range over more than one of these topics.

In addition several "schools" of Daoist Practitioners are represented by the writings collected in the canon. Each of these felt entitled to use any works used by the others, but each had certain works that were particularly associated with it. The various comprehensive canons all seem to founder on the need to place thematically similar materials together, but also to block materials used by the same school together.

The names of Daoist Schools that come up most commonly are:

* Lingbao "Spiritual Treasure." A sect of Daoism, apparently having its roots in Han dynasty local religious practitioners.
* Longmen "Dragon gate." A sect of Daoism, centered around Nanjing and in Jiangsu province. Sometimes classed as a subdivision of Quanzhen ??.
* Quanzhen "Total Reality." A sect of Daoism widespread today. There are some Quanzhen temples in the United States.
* Shangqing "Consummate Purity." A sect of Daoism that is associated with Mount Mao or Mao Shan ?? ("grass mountain") in Jiangsu province, and therefore sometimes also called Maoshan Daoism. It particularly stresses use of the A sect of Daoism, stressing particularly the Yellow Court Scripture or Huangting Jing) (The founder was a woman named Wei Huacun (251-334), who married and raised a family but was subject to visions of immortals.
* Shenxiao "Spirit Night." A sect of Daoism possibly originating around Mount Lu or Lu Shan (also called Lu Shan). The liturgical forms used are of a "popular" nature, i.e., derived from non-canonical sources, and considered "heterdox" by many Daoist priests. Sometimes also called Lushan Daoism.
* Zhengyi "Orthodox Unity" (also written Zhengyi). A sect of Daoism, founded by Zhang Daoling and today the principal orthodox sect. Because the head of the sect, always a descendant of the founder, is referred to as the "Celestial Master Zhang" (Zhang Tianshi), this is sometimes called the "Celestial Master Sect."

Here is a list of the major divisions of the Daoist Canon as they were preserved in several of the editions over the centuries.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tree Fairies Devas In Buddhism

Tree Fairies Devas In Buddhism Image
Simone Gaulier, Groningen Univ., Buddhism in Afghanistan and Central Asia (Vol. 2)

DRYADS (TREE "DEVAS")The theme of the tree spirit (DRYAD) inherited from nature "genii" found in the Vedas and Vedic Brahmanism in ancient India was inherited by early Buddhism. Such a theme had already been adopted to represent Maya, Siddhartha's mother, during the birth of the Bodhisat ("buddha-"to-be).

She became a Sal tree spirit ("Salabhanjika"), as Wisdom Quarterly has demonstrated. These themes from around the area the Shakyans [the Buddha's family clan] ruled, in modern Pakistan and Afghanistan in the ancient Northwest Indian frontier, grew in Gandharan art.

The "devas "became incorporated in various depictions of Buddhist legends. In Afghanistan (e.g., Shotorak), these supple figures surround bas relief images of Maitreya (the future Buddha or "Messiah") and Siddhartha (the historical Buddha) enthroned.

They were discreetly presented in one of the final nirvana scenes on the same site, appearing down to the waist in the Sal (Sala) trees. The same dryad (female tree spirit or "bhummi devi") can be found by the end of the 6th century in Kyzyl as the Buddha is passing into nirvana. Her bust emerges from a flowering Sal tree, casting a shower of petals on the body of the Buddha.

GANDHARVAS AND APSARASThe Gandharvas are music-playing genii ("devas") ruled by Dhrtarastra, the Great King of the Eastern Sky. The flying Apsaras are celestial figures forming one of the eight categories of supernatural beings in Buddhist cosmology developed in its iconography. The most famous is perhaps Pancaskikha, the harp playing companion and charioteer for Sakra (Indra).

Variations of these graceful figures filled the transcendent scenes of the Buddhist legends with increasing frequency. But they already seem to have served in the early Buddhist sects to express the superhuman destiny of the Buddha. In Bamiyan [former Afghan site of the largest Buddha statues in the world], for example, they contributed to an atmosphere of celestial glory.

Richly adorned and wearing sophisticated princely garments, the Gandharvas have generally been given masculine features, while the Apsaras assumed a feminine appearance despite the indeterminate sex of such supernatural creatures.

"Angelic" figures (in Miran), garland bearers (Yotkan), crown bearers (Fondukistan and Kyzyl), the bearers of baskets filled with flowers (Kumtura), revolving in the air (Kyzyl), or appearing on the balcony of celestial palaces (Shotorak and Kyzyl), this subtle and elegant throng was to provide later Mahayana Buddhism with the heavenly orchestras of its Pure Lands. [And these elements were later incorporated into the religions of the Near East, most notably Christianity.]

LOKAPALAS ("FOUR GREAT KINGS")The "guardians of the four directions" ("Lokapalas") appear in the art of Gandhara (ancient northwest India, now Pakistan and Afghanistan) in the course of one of the episodes in the life of the Buddha -- "the offering of the four bowls." The Buddha has his first meal after enlightenment.

Four neutral "devas" (literally, "shining ones," fairies, elemental, nature spirits) later took on a militant character in Central Asia, around Khotan. Aurel Stein discovered statues of them at the gate of a burial mound reliquary ("stupa") in Rawak. They are the "four great kings" of the sky -- Vaisarvana of the North tramples a demon. A prince in armor with pointed ears heralds the celestial kings as depicted in Asian caves (Tun-huang, Turfan, and Bezeklik, etc.)

They seem to be advanced space aliens in helmets, military dress, protected by breast-plates -- Dhrtarastra (East), Virudhaka (south), and Viupaksa (West) bearing swords and spears.

On Earth there are not only fairies but ogres ("yakshas") -- "Pan" like nature men, wolf men, abominable snowmen, men of the mountain, intelligent bipedal hominids who at best were only half human. Like the reptilians ("nagas," dragons, serpents, vipers, tyrant rulers) they were derived from Vedic mythology. The tree spirits were sometimes celestial, sometimes earthbound nature beings -- "bhummi devas "-- in early Buddhism.

Trees are life-sustaining along the Himalayan foothills from Afghanistan to India (fullstopindia.com).

The World's "Second Oldest Profession"

The Getty and many other top American museums are part of a long history of illicit art trade. Looted art has been trafficked for as long as art has been in existence, and Frammolino says this is due to the overpowering effects of antiquity. Aprodite is the stone goddess (pictured above), from Felch and Frammolino's new book: "Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum "[the Getty].

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Techniques Of Modern Shamanism

Techniques Of Modern Shamanism Cover

Book: Techniques Of Modern Shamanism by Phil Hine

The techniques offered in this book are by no means definitive - just a beginning. There’s much more to be said on this subject, but you will find other works to help you. Probably the best way to use this book is to find some friends who are interested and try and explore the techniques together. You don’t need any fancy trappings, as your BodyMind is all that is needed at this stage. With other people helping you, you’ll learn faster and have more fun too.

This book is a collection of practical exercises, the aim of which is to enhance awareness of the world around us. The first part of this book deals with basic sensory exercises, while the second half deals with trance states, and some of the basic group dynamics involved in helping other people into them. Using these techniques will not make you a ‘shaman/shamanka’, but they are drawing on the shamanic outlook - which depends from an enhanced awareness of our environment, and the ability to mediate between the everyday, and the sacred aspects of our experience. “Walking between the Worlds” requires that we learn to extend our perceptions from the ordinary, to see the extra-ordinary which lies within it. Many of the techniques require group exploration, since it is impossible to grow in total isolation from others.

Many of the exercises were originally part of the Shamanic Development Course run by Sheila Broun and myself in 1987. I am particularly indebted to Sheila, whose continuing work is a spur towards my own efforts. Also, to the course participants, who gave much in the way of enthusiasm, criticism, and their own experience, so that the course far surpassed our own hopes for its success. Also, I would like to thank Rich Westwood for supporting this project, and just about everyone to whom I’ve ever written to or talked with on this subject.

Buy Phil Hine's book: Techniques Of Modern Shamanism

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Monday, March 8, 2010

The Doctrine Of Transcendental Magic

The Doctrine Of Transcendental Magic Cover

Book: The Doctrine Of Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi

BEHIND the veil of all the hieratic and Mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples and on the blackened visage of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or marvellous paintings which interpret to the faithful of India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the cryptic emblems of our old books on alchemy, in the Ceremonies practised at Reception by all secret societies, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed.

Download Eliphas Levi's eBook: The Doctrine Of Transcendental Magic

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A Greek Papyrus Containing Babylonian Lunar Theory

A Greek Papyrus Containing Babylonian Lunar Theory Cover

Book: A Greek Papyrus Containing Babylonian Lunar Theory by Alexander Jones

The papyrus presented here, which is owned by Prof. M. L. Colker (University of Virginia), was first described, as a writing exercise, in two dealers’ catalogues.1 Subsequently Dr David Jordan identified the mathematical nature of the text on the reverse, and in turn enlisted the assistance of O. Neugebauer.

Neugebauer published an article containing photographs of both sides, a partial transliteration of the reverse, and a discussion demonstrating the relation of the numerical table to Babylonian lunar tables.2 Neugebauer fully appreciated that the papyrus was a document of remarkable importance for the history of astronomy; but because he set out his discovery with characteristic brevity and understatement in a volume devoted ostensibly to assyriology, few who are not specialists in ancient mathematical astronomy know about it.

The present article hopes to bring the papyrus to wider attention, and to supplement Neugebauer’s article in several respects, most importantly by providing a fuller description and the first proper transcription of the astronomical table.

Download Alexander Jones's eBook: A Greek Papyrus Containing Babylonian Lunar Theory

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Philosophy Of Religion

Philosophy Of Religion Image
Document: pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl: ADD1-CRJ.TXT

The following information has been provided with the newly released Christian Research Journal articles, CRJ0035A.TXT and CRJ057A.TXT
noted below. These files represent new additions to the ICLnet
directory since the initial upload of CRI files.

Gary Bogart (April 16, 1994)
(for Rich Poll: Systems Administrtor
Christian Research Institute)


The Christ of the New Age Movement

"The Christ of the New Age Movement," Part One in a Two-Part
Series on New Age Christology (an article from the Christian
Research Journal, Summer 1989, page 9
) by Ron Rhodes.



The Jesus of the New Age Movement

"The Jesus of the New Age Movement," Part Two in a Two-Part
Series on New Age Christology (an article from the Christian
Research Journal, Fall 1989, page 15
) by Ron Rhodes.


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Friday, March 5, 2010

Christian Beliefs

Christian Beliefs Cover
1. I believe in God the Father, Creator of the universe, reigning forever distinct over man, His beloved creation.
2. I believe man is born a sinner, and that he may know salvation only through the Savior, Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son.
3. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of Mary, a virgin.
4. I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, then resurrected from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father as the final judge of the dead, and that He will return again as prophesied.
5. I believe that the soul is embodied for a single lifetime, but is immortal and accountable to God for all thoughts and actions.
6. I believe in the historical truth of the Holy Bible, that it is sacred scripture of the highest authority and the only word of God.
7. I believe that upon death and according to its earthly deeds and its acceptance of the Christian faith, the soul enters Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. There it awaits the Last Judgment when the dead shall rise again, the redeemed to enjoy life everlasting and the unsaved to suffer eternally.
8. I believe in the intrinsic goodness of mankind and the affirmative nature of life, and in the priceless value of love, charity and faith.
9. I believe in the Holy Trinity of God who reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and in the existence of Satan, the personification of evil, deception and darkness.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Religion About The Swastiksymbol

Religion About The Swastiksymbol Image
The swastika has been regarded as the symbol for good luck, protection and auspiciousness for over five thousand years in India. It is derived from 'SU-VASTI' and means "The essence of all goodness". For Hindus the swastika is a lucky cross associated with the good fortunes given by Lord Ganesha. It also represents the sun and the cycle of life.

This ancient benign symbol is used today by housewives to guard thresholds and doors, by priests to sanctify ceremonies and offerings and by businessmen to bless the opening pages of account books each New Year's day. No ceremony or sacrifice is considered complete without it, for it is believed to have the power to ward off misfortune and negative forces.

It is said that the swastika's right-angled arms reflect the fact that the path toward our objectives is often not straight, but takes unexpected turns. They denote also the indirect way in which Divinity is reached -- through intuition and not by intellect. Symbolically, the swastika's cross is said to represent God and creation.

The four bent arms stand for the four human aims:

* righteousness - dharma
* wealth - artha
* love - kama
* liberation - moksha.

It also represents the world wheel, eternally turning around a fixed center, God. The swastika is associated with the muladhara chakra, the center of consciousness at the base of the spine, and in some yoga schools with the manipura chakra at the navel, the center of the microcosmic sun (surya).

The swastika is a sacred sign of prosperity and auspiciousness, perhaps the single most common emblem in earth cultures. As the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains, "It was a favorite symbol on ancient Mesopotamian coinage; it appeared in early Christian and Byzantine art (where it became known as the gammadion cross because its arms resemble the Greek letter gamma); and it occurred in South and Central America (among the Mayans) and in North America (principally among the Navajos). In India it continues to be the most widely used auspicious symbol of Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists."

When Buddhism emerged from India's spiritual wellspring, it inherited the right-angled emblem. Carried by monks, the good-luck design journeyed north over the Himalayas into China, often carved in statues into Buddha's feet and splayed into a spectrum of decorative meandering or interconnecting swastikas.

On the other side of the planet, American Indians inscribed the spoked sign of good luck into salmon-colored seashells, healing sticks, pottery, woven garments and blankets. Two thousand miles south, the Mayans of the Yucatan chiseled it into temple diagrams.

Once moored to the ancient highland cultures of Asia Minor, the emblem later voyaged around the Mediterranean, through Egypt and Greece, south into the African nations, northward into Saxon lands and Scandinavia and west to Scotland and Ireland.

In the 1930s, when Adolf Hitler's Nazi Third Reich rose to power in Germany and engulfed the planet in World War II, the fortunes of the swastika declined. From September 1935 to the fall of the Nazis in 1945 it was displayed on the Reich's official flag, a black swastika in a white circle against a red field. German soldiers also wore the hackenkrenz ("hooked cross") on their uniforms, in a circle beneath an eagle, and displayed it on their armory. In the West it became an infamous, hated symbol of fascism and anti-Semitism and was banned by the Allied Command at the war's end, though the swastika's history is as extensive in the West as in Asia.

Because of its infamous association with the Third Reich, the swastika was and still is abhorred by many inside and outside of Germany, still held in disparagement and misunderstanding, which itself is understandable though unfortunate. Now is a time for this to change, for a return to this solar symbol's pure and happy beginnings. Ironically, even now Hindus managing temples in Germany innocently display on walls and entryways the swastika, the ancient symbol of Lord Ganesha and more recently the hated insigne of Nazism, alongside the shatkona, six-pointed star, the ancient symbol representing God Siva and Lord Karttikeya and as Star of David, the not so ancient but cherished already for centuries emblem of Judaism.

The swastika is an emblem of geometric perfection. In the mind's eye it can be stable and still or whirl in perpetual motion, its arms rotating one after another like a cosmic pinwheel. It is unknown why and how the term swastika, "may it be good," was wedded to this most ancient and pervasive of symbols. Most authorities designate the right-hand swastika as a solar emblem, capturing the sun's path from east to west, a clockwise motion. One theory says it represents the outward dispersion of the universe.

One of its finest meanings is that transcendent reality is not attained directly through the logic of the mind, but indirectly and mysteriously through the intuitive, cosmic mind. Though Hindus use the swastika straight up and down, other cultures rotated it at various angles.

From a mystically occult point of view the swastika is a type of yantra, a psychic diagram representing the four-petalled muladhara chakra located at the base of the spine within everyone.

"much of this information came from "Loving Ganesa"

by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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Sufi Shrines In America

Sufi Shrines In America Image
Shrines (also known as Dargah, Tomb, Mazar or Maqam) of highly evolved noble souls, spiritually enlightened ones and saints of God are place of Baraka or special spiritual blessings. They symbolize not only the memorializing of an insan kamil of past, but also become a sacred center of pious visitation or pilgrimage (ziyara). Such sacred space become, as reminds Osho the mystic: "... where the currents are flowing from the body towards the soul, where the whole atmosphere is charged; from where people have achieved samadhi (supra-conscious mystic state), from where people realized their enlightenment. Such places have become specially charged."

Yousef W. Meri writes: "Historically, holy men and women - those revered for their exemplary piety or learning or both - have been memorialized in many forms throughout the Islamic world in North Africa and Andalusia to the sub-continent and Southeast Asia from the first century of Islam to today.

Some examples of sacred centers of ziyara include the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, the remains of the house of the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca, the tombs of the Companions and Successors in the Baqi' al-Gharqad Cemetery in Medina, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the shrines of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib in Kufa, Husayn ibn 'Ali in Karbala, and Mu'in al-Din Chisti in Ajmer, India, to name but a few examples from Islamic history." (text credit) photo: Prophet's mosque, Medina.

Interestingly in the heart of west, United States of America host a number of sufi shrines.

The beautiful mazar of Shaikh M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (d. 1986) Some forty miles from Philadelphia, the first in the United States, was conceived, designed, and built by the members of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship, and dedicated in 1987.

Since that time it has become an important destination for pilgrims from all over the world who wish to pay their respects to this remarkable Sufi teacher. The Mazar Address: 20 Fellowship Drive, East Fallowfield, PA 19320, USA. (on google map)

Hazrat Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha (1916 - 1980) is the forty-first Sufi Master of the Oveyssi Sufi Order. His tomb is in Valley Memorial Park Cemetery, 650 Bugeia Lane, Novato, California 94945 (google map). some pictures of his mazar can be see here. This is a place of ziyarat for many in the Ouwaysi tariqat.

The maqbaras of Sufi Ahmad Murad Chisti (Samuel Lewis) and of Murshida Vera Corda al-Chisti ash-Shadhilli at Lama Foundation, Lama Foundation Road, off Taos County Road B-014, Questa, New Mexico, north of Taos Pueblo (map). Some photos of the sacred place can be found here.

The Valley Memorial Park Cemetery also holds the graves of Ustadh Shaykh Hamza al-Din, and Faqir Hassan Mastan Chisti. The grave of Shaykh Mohammad Mazhar Jamil al-Naqshbandi al-Haqqani is in Santa Clara County, California. Several dervishes of the Halvetti-Jerrahi also have their graves in Santa Clara County.

The Adelanto Islamic Cemetery at 12700 Morning Glory Road, Adelanto, California 92301 (google map), is thought to hold the grave of an unknown awliyya of Allah. Non-muslims in the hills nearby have reported visions of angelic figures, and of fiery disks inscribed with Arabic calligraphy, ascending and descending from the cemetery area at night, on numerous occasions. Wa Allaho 'Alim (and God knows best)!

- credit: Mazars in America

"The miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct, and acknowledged by all Muslim scholars. The Qur'an has pointed to it in different places, and the hadith of the Prophet have mentioned it, and whoever denies the miraculous power of saints are innovators or following innovators." - Ibn Taymiyyah, Mukhtasar al-Fatawa al-Masriyya

Ihdina alssirata almustaqeema,

Sirata allatheena anAAamta AAalayhim.

(O Lord) show us the straight way,

The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace.

- The Quran: Al-Fatiha

May God sanctify the stations of all His lovers and enlightened beings and may not deprive us from their blessed path.

Salutation of Peace and Prayers It has been recorded that the Holy Prophet, came towards the cemetery and said, "Alaikas Salaam (upon you be peace), O' people of this abode, from amongst the believers, verily, if God wishes, we are going to join you in a short while." In another narration it has been narrated thus, that when the Holy Prophet passed by the graves, he would say, "Salaam be upon you, O' people of this abode from the believing men and believing women, Muslim men, Muslim women, pious men, pious women, indeed if God wishes, we will join you."

# Further:

. Tombs of the Prophets

. Muslim shrines of India

. Collection of worlds most beautiful dargahs

. Islamic rare photos of sufi saints and places

Muslim theologians throughout history have generally agreed that the primary role of sacred places, such as tombs, is to remember and supplicate God on behalf of those buried there, and to reflect upon death and the hereafter. Many Muslims have lost sight of these fundamental tenets of the faith by needlessly turning discussions of sacred sites into pointless ideological debates that demean the memory of holy persons associated with them. - Memorializing the Sacred in the Islamic Civilization Context

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