Thursday, April 29, 2010

Types Of India Religion

Types Of India Religion Cover ndia is the land of Spirituality and philosophy and is considered to be the birthplace of many religions. Indian religion is varied in approach and different in meaning. Most of the types of religion in India are called Dharmic religions. In the Indian subcontinent Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism form a subgroup of the larger class of "Eastern religions". Religion adds meaning and purpose to the lives of the people. It is actually a practice that enhances direct communication with God. A religion is a belief concerning one or more deities and incorporating rituals, ceremonies, ethical guidelines, and life philosophies. Thus, religion has diversified and grown to include major monotheistic religions in the country.

The most dominant religion in India today is Hinduism. About 80% of Indians are Hindus. Hinduism is a colorful religion with a vast gallery of Gods and Goddesses. Hinduism is one of the ancient religions in the world. It is supposed to have developed about 5000 years ago. Later on in ancient period other religions developed in India.

Around 500 BC two other religions developed in India, namely, Buddhism and Jainism. Today only about 0.5% of Indians are Jains and about 0.7% are Buddhist. In ancient times Jainism and specially Buddhism were very popular in India. Indians who accepted Buddhist philosophy spread it not only within the Indian sub-continent but also to kingdoms east and south of India.These three ancient religions, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, are seen as the molders of the India philosophy. In 'modern' period new religions were also established in India.

One comparatively new religion in India is Sikhism and it was established in the 15th century. About 2% of Indians are Sikhs. There were other attempts to create new religions in India but they did not always succeed. For example, a Moghul emperor, Akbar, who reigned between 1556 - 1605, tried to establish a new religion, Din- E- Elahi, but it did not survive. There are other religious philosophies whose believers see themselves as a separate religion, but they do not always get this recognition. For example Lingayat of south India see themselves as a different religion, while others see them as a sect of Hinduism. There are also some tribal communities who demand to be recognized as separate religion from Hinduism. In the 19th century some Hindu reformers tried to remodel Hinduism to adjust it to modern period.

Along with the religions that developed in India, there are followers of non- Indian religions. The largest non-Indian religion is Islam. They are about 12% of India's population. Christians are more then 2% of India's population. There are also Zoroastrians who even though make less then 0.01% of India's population, are known around India. There are also a few thousand Jews in India. Judaism and Christianity might have arrived in India before they arrived in Europe.
The percentage of religions

HINDUISM - about 82%
ISLAM - about 12%
CHRISTIANITY - about 2.5%
SIKHISM - about 2%
BUDDHISM - about 0.7%
JAINISM - about 0.5%
ZOROASTRIANISM - about 0.01%
JUDAISM - about 0.0005%

A wide assortment of religions exists in the country today. Hinduism is the ancient among the other types of Religion in India. This religion can be called the native religion of the subcontinent. Christianity and Islam visited the country with the invaders, traders and the missionaries. Many essentially Hindus got converted and baptised in to Christianity or Islam. Far eastern religions like Buddhism and Sikhism also developed besides Hinduism. Iranic religions like Zoroastrianism and Bahai are also new to the country. All religions in the country dictate peace and good will. Moreover, the different religious belief plays an imperative role in the history of the world.

The people of India can be benefited from learning about the different types of religion in India. Hinduism originated with Brahman as the central Lord. Brahmins are Vedik people. The Vedas describe the landscape of northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Over and over the Vedas mention a mighty river called the Sarasvati where Brahmin communities flourished, where the Indus Valley civilization flourished and dispersed when the Saraswati river dried up around 1900 BCE. Long before, during the Ramayana period Brahmins migrated to Dandakaranya (Dandaka Forest) in the south with Viswamitra, the author of several hymns in Rigveda including Gayatri mantra, and practiced Vedik religon performing yajnas under the protection of Lord Rama and Lakshmana. Long before Rama went south, Agastya, a prominent Brahmin sage and writer of several hymns of Rigveda, crossed Vindhyas and established Vedik religion in south India. Sage Agastya appeared to Rama when he was despondent at the impending war with Ravana and instructed him in the use of Aditya Hridayam, a hymn praising the Sun God. Brahmins have been migrating to various regions within the Indian Continent since time immemorial and recently to other continents as well.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Is Occultism

What Is Occultism Cover

Book: What Is Occultism by Dion Fortune

In What is Occultism? Dion Fortune offers the reader an in-depth look at what occultism can be to the rational and well-trained practitioner. She presents a clear discussion, sweeping aside our cultural assumptions and stereotypes. Fortune is able to place occultism in its proper place as a philosophy that, while it retains religious overtones, employs scientific and rational methodology to explore the meaning of life. Fortune reveals the heart of occult ethics and ideals, that occult research seeks to aid people in achieving enlightenment. She discusses karma, psychism, astrology, numerology, occult societies and fraternities, and the study of past lives. Revised edition of Sane Occultism.

Dion Fortune's What Is Occultism? was first published in 1929 and here appears in a new edition with a new introduction by Gareth Knight. Readers receive a basic treatise on the elements of occultism and its connections to spiritual enlightenment. Very highly recommended for all serious students of metaphysical studies.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Ancient And Modern Initiation

Ancient And Modern Initiation Cover

Book: Ancient And Modern Initiation by Max Heindel

Within the pages of this little volume are to be found some of the most priceless gems belonging to the deepest phases of the Christian religion. These gems are the result of the spiritual investigations of that inspired and illumined Seer, Max Heindel, the authorized messenger of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross, who are working to disseminate throughout the Western World the deeper spiritual meanings which are both concealed and Revealed Within the Christian religion.

The various important steps as outlined in the life of our Savior, Christ Jesus, form the general plan of Initiation for humanity. Max Heindel in this work gives a deeper and more mystic insight into this alchemical process as it takes place in the body of man himself. For we are but "a little lower than the angels...and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." This volume will be a welcome addition to the libraries of many ministers and church organizations throughout the world. It will sound a new note of inspiration and encouragement to all those who labor in His name.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kabbalah Revealed

Kabbalah Revealed Cover

Book: Kabbalah Revealed by Rabbi Michael Laitman

I am delighted and honored to have been asked to write the Introduction to Dr. Laitman’s Kabbalah Revealed: The Ordinary Person’s Guide to a More Peaceful Life. Not only is the author a dear personal friend, he is, in my view, the
foremost Kabbalist alive today, a genuine representative of a wisdom that has been kept secret for two millennia. Now that the wisdom of Kabbalah, among other indigenous wisdoms, is emerging full scale, I believe no other person
is better suited to expound on its essence. In today’s world, the emergence of Kabbalah as an authentic means of Instruction is of unique significance. It can help us regain awareness of the wisdom that our forefathers possessed, and which we have forgotten.

It is my heartfelt recommendation to read carefully through this book, as it provides much more than general Knowledge about an ancient wisdom. It also provides a key to ensure the well-being of humanity in these critical times, when we face the unprecedented challenge of choosing between the devolutionary path leading to worldwide breakdown, and the evolutionary path that can bring us to a world of peace, harmony, well-being, and sustainability. Ervin Laszlo

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Buddhism For The Modern Age

Buddhism For The Modern Age Image
Western-born monk Ven. Cittasamvaro (above); Planet Yoga CEO Eric Levine (below)

In many Western countries, meditation and yoga are no longer seen as fringe practices, and are now considered by many to be "part and parcel" of living a full and healthy life, attracting a variety of persons - from a barista to a Fortune 500 president.

So why is it that in Thailand - a Buddhist country - the connection hasn't been promoted to such a degree?

A "change in consciousness"

Eric Levine, CEO of the hugely successful California WOW and Planet Yoga fitness and yoga centers, has made it his duty to bring about a change in consciousness - or lifestyle - to the Asian (including Thai) masses.

"The [Planet Yoga] program started so that people will improve their entire life - body, mind, and spirit...Yoga and meditation are for sure connected. It cannot be any other way," he says.

Levine and Planet Yoga have the yoga part covered. And the meditation? That's where British Buddhist monk of 13 years Phra Cittasamvaro Bhikkhu comes into the picture.

"This peaceful teaching [of Buddhism] was originally the Way of Wisdom, and not a matter of religion or faith... It's true, though, that sometimes the rituals end up replacing the development of character through the meditation they are supposed to support... Even to his [five] closest friends who had undertaken harsh ascetic practices with him, the Buddha taught a way of investigation, of learning and knowing for yourself rather than relying on any teacher," says Ven. Cittasamvaro.

Through the practice of meditation - a process of gentle watching and accepting - the heart learns what the brain finds hard to digest. As with yoga, meditation is a practice undertaken by the individual, where no one else but that very individual can do the work.

"It is a natural connection," says Ven. Cittasamvaro. "Exercising the body and resting the mind [through meditation] go together very well. Yoga lies somewhere in between the two, which is why Planet Yoga was happy to support our upcoming Way of Wisdom program and provide the facilities. Buddhism should incorporate the good ideas of the modern world."

The "modern" Sangha (Buddhist community)

Many Western persons today come to Buddhist meditation through different interests, be they academics (the fields of psychology, philosophy, and Asian Studies have long held a keen interest in Buddhism), martial arts enthusiasts, or those looking for good health and happiness in life.

Regarding the increasing popularity of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation in the West - albeit stripped of the traditional rites and rituals - Morakot Piyakesin, a Thai lady who leads a monthly meditation group in Bangkok, says it's due to the more "results oriented" and skeptical attitude of many Westerners.

"Westerners tend to be interested in the practical approach rather than the traditional monastic route that involves rituals, offerings, and textual study. However, once they become accustomed to meditation, the more traditional aspects begin to appeal."

This sounds like something to aspire to.

"There is a beautiful place in the mind, peaceful, bright and aware, that shows itself when you put everything down. It is free to all who undertake the search," says Ven. Cittasamvaro.

The upcoming Way of Wisdom program during Buddhist "Lent" (the Rains Retreat period during July-October) is hosted by Planet Yoga on the corner of Sukhumvit 23, on Thursday nights (6:00-8:15 pm) from August 6 through September 24, and is free of charge.

by James Vernon (

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Holiest Buddhist Site

The Holiest Buddhist Site Image
There is no single Buddhist mecca, an indisputable holiest shrine. Many might argue for Bodhgaya, India reputed to be the exact site of the Buddha's great enlightenment. But British archeology of yore leaves much to be desired. There is doubt the exact spot and tree are known. (The original Bodhi tree was chopped down by Muslim zealots at the thought that people were "worshipping" a tree instead of Allah). Shwedagon Pagoda, however, is an impressive site. Situated in the capital of Burma (Myanmar), it was built to house sacred relics but has grown in size and significance over its supposed 2,500 year old lifespan. It has been rebuilt several times.

Over 16 tons of 24 kt gold plating covers the main pagoda. At the very top is a single 76 kt diamond, surrounded by 1,100 smaller rubies and diamonds, and a collection of personal gold and jewelry donated to the pagoda by wealthy Burmese citizens before their deaths. During a recent typhoon, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and gold rained down after becoming detached. Also present in the pagoda are relics of the historical Buddha, including 8 hairs thought to have been given to the first laypersons to come in contact with the Buddha after his enlightenment:

He was on his way to Sarnath, near Varanasi, to find the five ascetics, who abandoned him as he pursued enlightenment by neither struggling nor stopping. (To them not struggling was stopping). Two Burmese merchants were traveling through India when they came upon the Buddha and were so impressed with him that they asked for a keepsake to remember him by. He is said to have pull a few hairs from his head, which were subsequently enshrined at the massive shrine complex that has become modern Shwedagon Pagoda.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Religious Diversity Tolerance And Freedom

Religious Diversity Tolerance And Freedom Cover
Well, it had been yet another bad day in the office, and once again it was the fault of that new girl, MaryAnne. She is one of those Wiccans, a so-called Witch. How can anyone in their right mind make this claim, knowing that it goes against God and all of the teachings of the Bible?

She doesn't even have the common decency to keep her Satanic symbol, her pentagram necklace hidden from the view of the decent, God-fearing people in the office. She has some nerve. I find that I cannot hate her for this though, for I know that she has been deceived. Satan works his evil in ways that she cannot see.

I've seen that so-called Wiccan Rede that she has tacked to the wall above her computer. On the surface, it looks like a decent loving belief, but all one must do is look, look closely and see that by practicing this way, and not embracing Jesus Christ as savior, she is on the pathway to Hell.

As I've said, it was a bad day in the office. Three times in the past few weeks I have been called in to see my supervisor, and he has told me that I am not allowed to preach to MaryAnne the word of God, to show her the error of her ways. Today, my supervisor told me that if I continue to "harass" MaryAnne, he would be forced to terminate me. How can he say this? He himself is a God fearing man. And, how can he be so tolerant of the evil that he sees insinuating itself into our workplace? As I lay down to sleep last night, I asked the Lord for guidance. "God, grant me a true vision of you, so that I may better lead the faithless onto the righteous path."

A voice said: "Oh, a true vision of Me is it? Are you sure that you're ready, truly ready to see, my son?"

I sat bolt upright in bed, and there, at the foot of my bed, white of hair and beard, in a long, flowing white robe, stood the Lord my God. I made to leap from the bed and fall to my knees in front of Him, but He stopped me with a gesture. "Kneel not before me at this time my son. Instead, rise and walk with Me, so that you may get a glimpse of what I truly am, as you asked of me in your prayer."

He took my hand, and as I looked, my bedroom was no longer there. It was replaced by a pathway through the woods. We started to walk, and I was too awestruck for words. We took the path to the left, and we were then inside St. Catherine's Church, in the middle of a service. While still standing beside me, God seemed to expand and fill the whole of the church.

I could see smiles of contentment forming on some of the parishioners' faces. I felt blessed. God smiled upon me. "The Catholics hold such pretty masses, don't they? I like to stop here in this church, because not only do they speak the words, but also they live the life, through teaching, helping the sick and poor, not only with handouts, but helping them learn to help themselves. Now let us walk on."

We were back on the pathway. We traveled a bit further along, and then were in the parlor of a funeral home. A young woman was kneeling before the casket, resting her head on it and crying. I could see by the similarity, that this dead man must be her father. God knelt beside her, and drew His arms about her. "Miss him, that is all right, but weep not for him, for now he is with Me". She wiped her eyes, and stood with a sad smile upon her face, and said "Good-bye Daddy. I'll miss you," and turned and left the room.

We were back on the pathway. We walked a little way, and approached a large lodge of some kind. I could hear music and laughter spilling out of the windows. I turned to look at God, and was shocked to see, not the flowing white robe, but Him wearing leather and animal furs, his hair and beard now the color of wheat, and a sword strapped across His back. He strode forth, and I saw him approach a figure I had not seen before. As I looked close, I was shocked to see that it was the same face that I had just seen dead, but looking young and strong, and dressed in ancient looking garb, an axe strapped to his waist.

God strode up to him and grabbed him in a great bear hug. "Welcome my son. We've been waiting for you. Now, go inside and raise a cup or two, and meet with your brother." With a hearty slap on the back, he sent the man inside.

We were back on the pathway. We walked a bit further, and entered a mosque. At least I believed so, as I had never been in one before, but had seen pictures of them. The group of worshippers was not large, but I could see their rapt faces as they listened to the mullah speak. He was speaking to them of purity, both of the mind and the body, bringing them closer to Allah.

As he spoke, God, dressed now in the robes of the desert, walked among them and briefly laid his hands upon each set of shoulders. And, from their faces, I could see that these men knew that the words of the mullah were true, and that their spirits felt touched by God.

We were back on the pathway. After we had walked a bit, we found ourselves in an African village. People with skin as black as night, the women with their breast shamefully bared, were dancing in a circle, to the rhythm of the drums being played by a group of men. Somehow though, the bared breasts did not offend me, and the music seemed to seep into my soul. God had become a mighty lion, and He let forth a mighty roar. The villagers did not seem to hear, but the drums increased their pounding, and the dancers danced with frenzy.

We were back on the pathway. We walked a bit more, and were on the top of a cliff. There sitting, painted and covered with feathers, was an old Navajo man. As I watched, he seemed to change into the form of an eagle and take flight, and we were flying with him, soaring high into the air, seeing the vista spread out below us. God, in the form of an eagle Himself, seemed to guide this other eagle through the air, over mountains and through valleys, until he came upon a group of men. As I watched, the old Navajo man was no longer an eagle, but a young boy instead, and he sat at the feet of these men, to listen to the words of his elders.

We were back on the pathwayapproaching a forest clearing. I knew this place. It was known as a place of devil worship and evil. In the center of the clearing roared a great bonfire, and kiwi torches outlined a circle of sorts. Inside this circle, in a circle themselves, stood 7 men and 6 women, dressed in robes of varying colors, their arms raised to the moon.

Was that one woman MaryAnne? I really couldn't be sure. God walked among them in the circle, touching each one. He seemed not to be an older man now, but as he made each of three turns around the circle, he was first a young girl, bouncing with energy, then a woman of middle years, with a tender smile for all Her children, and finally, an old woman, body bent, but holding Her head up with pride. And a woman stepped forward, and yes, it was MaryAnne, and lifted her head to the sky. She said: "Great Goddess, Mother of us all, thank you for joining us tonight. Stay if You will, go if You must. Know in our hearts You will always be welcome. Blessed be!"

We were back on the pathway. As we walked along, ahead in the distance I saw the most beautiful man. Yes, beautiful, though I would never normally think of a man this way. With blonde hair, and a golden robe, he seemed to radiate sunshine. God and this golden man nodded to each other as they passed, sharing a smile together. "My Lord" I asked, "was that an angel?"

God answered: "Well, yes, he is known as that to some. He is also known to some as a god himself. That was Lucifer."

His words caused me to stumble. I couldn't believe that we had just passed the ultimate evil. God looked at me, and He knew my mind. And He chuckled a bit. "Think about it logically My son. The Lucifer that you know is a fallen angel, cast out of heaven for challenging Me. If I am the all-powerful being, above all others, how could he do this? How could I allow it?" "But, in the bible...." I stammered. "The Bible is a wonderful book, as are the Koran and the Torah and many others, but they are just books, written by the hand of man, not written by Me. And, it's a bit confusing as well if the truth be known, but that's not up to Me to fix. These books are wonderful, but only as guidance, for each man and woman must think for themselves." This was an entirely new concept to me. But, I believed He was right.

"Now, come forth, we must journey little more before you go back." He took my hand once again. As we followed the pathway, we soared through the stars, listening to the music of the heavens. We became a little flower and a mighty oak. We became a babbling brook, and a mighty ocean. We flitted from flower to flower as a little honeybee, and ran across the plains as a mighty stallion.

All too soon the pathway returned us to my home. God held my hand a moment longer, and smiled into my face. "My son, you prayed tonight for a true vision of Me. To attain this, you need only open your eyes and see what others see. Good night to you". Then He was gone, and I was back in my bed. A dream I thought...only a dream. That couldn't have been real.

A bolt of lightning lit up my room through the window, and thunder crashed through the sky. I thought I heard a voice, from seemingly far away, saying: "Remember, the Lord works in mysterious ways My son."

This morning as I entered the office, I went to the machine for a cup of coffee, and standing there, I spied MaryAnne. As I approached her, I could see her barely cringe, and I could see in her face that she was expecting yet another onslaught from me and my book. She seemed to cast her eyes about for a way to escape, but there was none.

I walked up to her and smiled. "I think I owe you an apology," I said. "I've been a bit narrow minded of late, and I really had no right to subject you to what I did. It's not up to me to say how you find your path to your spirit. I was wrong to think that was so."

MaryAnne just stood there, not knowing what to say. "So, I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry, and I hope you will forgive my trespass. God bless you MaryAnne, and...uh....Blessed Be!"

You know, I always thought that it was just a saying; about people's jaws dropping to the floor, but MaryAnne did her best at that moment to prove me wrong.

Freedom of religion means freedom for all religions.

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Amazing Buddhist Korea

Amazing Buddhist Korea Image
BUSAN, South Korea - Seokbulsa ("Stone Buddha") Temple is an amazing, out of the way treasure. Lonely Planet, the backpacker's Bible, describes it in brief:

Hard to find but a wonder to behold, Seokbulsa Temple is a [Buddhist] hermitage carved into rock. Massive boulders stretching 40m in height jut out from the mountainside to form a U-shaped enclave with three rock facings that is now a place of worship.

Inside the enclave enormous Buddhist images have been meticulously etched into stone. Visually powerful in scale and impact, it's the kind of work that moves first-time visitors to exclaim "Wow" as they step back and arch their necks to get the full picture.

Patrick R. Crossman, Angelica, and Maria quietly explore the wonders of Seokbulsa, Korea

Quietly walk past the women bowing on the shoes-off platform and step into the small caves for a close-up look at the Buddha glowing in soft candlelight.

Getting to Seokbulsa is a worthwhile challenge for anyone with a desire to explore out-of-the-way places.

The most interesting -- and strenuous -- route is to add this stop to your Geumjeongsan Mountain hike. From the South Gate (), the path indicated by the Mandeokchon sign leads to a collection of restaurants and foot-volleyball courts in Namman Village.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Goals Of Taoism

The Goals Of Taoism Cover The primary goal of Taoism may be described as the mystical intuition of the Tao, which is the Way, the Primal Meaning, the Undivided Unity, the Ultimate Reality. Both immanent and transcendent, the Tao is the natural way of all beings, it is the nameless beginning of Heaven and Earth, and it is the mother of all things. All things depend upon the Tao, all things return to it. Yet it lies hidden, transmitting its power and perfection to all things. He who has realized the Tao has uncovered the layers of consciousness so that he arrives at pure consciousness and sees the inner truth of everything. Only one who is free of desire can apprehend the Tao, thereafter leading a life of "actionless activity." There is no Personal God in Taoism, and thus no union with Him. There are three worlds and beings within them, and worship is part of the path.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Longer Buddhist Monks Militant Islamists

No Longer Buddhist Monks Militant Islamists Image

MILAN, Italy (AsiaNews) - Muslims dream of returning to the Malay sultanate. Irredentism has grown since September 11th. The Thai government is trying to assimilate Islam. And in official ceremonies, it places Muslim dignitaries and Buddhist monks alongside one another, but not Catholics.

THAILAND (July 16, 2009) - Once a free and peaceful land, the tourist paradise now known as Thailand ("Free land"), formerly Siam, is fighting one of the world's many "forgotten wars" about which little is known.








Thailand is a country of 65 million inhabitants with an overwhelming Buddhist majority (exceeding 90% of the population) and home to a small number of Muslims (4.5%), who are concentrated in three southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

The demands of Islamic people to become part of Malaysia stretch back many years, because in the past those territories belonged to the Islamic Malay sultanate under the protection of England -- such as Malaysia, the Malaysian Borneo, and Brunei.

[It was/is common practice for Western colonialists to divide as they exit a region, mixing unhappy neighbors into single states who predictably remain in perpetual war striving for an ethnically homogeneous homeland or a return to the rule of a neighboring region; Eastern governments now follow suit.]

After World War II, the sultanate was occupied by Thailand. Already in the 1970's there was a strong campaign for regional autonomy on the part of Muslims, with bombings, violence, and brief periods of warfare.

by Piero Gheddo

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Friday, April 16, 2010


Supernature Cover

Book: Supernature by Lyall Watson

The subject matter of most of this book is so controversial that I have felt it necessary to give detailed references to all my sources of information. These appear as numbers in the text, which refer to the bibliography. Most are papers published in reputable journals, and where I have myself not been able to check the findings, I have had to rely on the fact that most editors send material to expert referees before accepting it for final publication. Wherever possible, I have consulted the original source material and found that this paid huge dividends. A report in Scientific American of March 1965, for instance, under the title 'Eyeless Vision Unmasked', claimed that Rosa Kuleshova was a fraud and that 'peeking is easy, according to those who understand mentalist acts'.

This natural history of the supernatural is designed to extend the traditional five senses into areas where others have been operating undercover. It is an attempt to fit all nature, the known and the unknown, into the body of Supernature and to show that, of all the faculties we possess, none is more important at this time than a wide-eyed sense of wonder. Lyall Watson, Ph.D. Ios, Greece, 1971

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love Spells And Rituals For Love And Relationships

Love Spells And Rituals For Love And Relationships Cover

Book: Love Spells And Rituals For Love And Relationships by Talismagick

Keep all small magickal objects away from children to avoid the possibility of accidental swallowing. Never leave a candle burning unattended, or near any flammable objects such as chemicals, curtains or papers. Always use magick for good reasons, and not with the intention to harm another person…The more good you do, the more you will receive in return!

Magick is everywhere, energy is everywhere. Using rituals and ceremony you can take these random forces and make them work to your own benefit. Instead of accepting whatever fate has in store for you, take charge and write your own destiny. The future is not set in stone- it is fluid, and as such it can be influenced by people who know how- people who understand that the universe is there for them to share and use. But be sure to return some of your good fortune as you profit from magick. This is a way of thanking the universe for its generosity, and avoiding greed. If you use magick for greed it will eventually backfire on you.

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Talismagick - Love Spells And Rituals For Love And Relationships

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taoism Defined

Taoism Defined Cover The Tao, or Way, has never been put down in words; rather it is left for the seeker to discover within. Lao-tzu himself wrote, "The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao." Taoism is concerned with man's spiritual level of being, and in the Tao te Ching the awakened man is compared to bamboo: upright, simple and useful outside -- and hollow inside. Effulgent emptiness is the spirit of Tao, but no words will capture its spontaneity, its eternal newness. Adherents of the faith are taught to see the Tao everywhere, in all beings and in all things. Taoist shrines are the homes of divine beings who guide the religion, bless and protect worshipers. A uniquely Taoist concept is wu-wei, nonaction. This does not mean no action, but rather not exceeding spontaneous action that accords with needs as they naturally arise; not indulging in calculated action and not acting so as to exceed the very minimum required for effective results. If we keep still and listen to the inner promptings of the Tao, we shall act effortlessly, efficiently, hardly giving the matter a thought. We will be ourselves, as we are.

FOUNDED: Taoism began about 2,500 years ago in China.
FOUNDER: Lao-tzu, whom Confucius described as a dragon riding the wind and clouds.
MAJOR SCRIPTURE: The Tao te Ching, or "Book of Reason and Virtue," is among the shortest of all scriptures, Containing only 5,000 words. Also central are the sacred writings of Chuang-tsu.
ADHERENTS: Estimated at 50 million, mostly in China and and other parts of Asia.
SECTS: Taoism is a potently mystical tradition, so Interpretations have been diverse and its sects are many.

One who follows the Tao follows the natural order of things, not seeking to improve upon nature or to legislate virtue to others. The Taoist observes wu-wei, or nondoing, like water which without effort seeks and finds its proper level. This path includes purifying oneself through stilling the appetites and the emotions, accomplished in part through meditation, breath control and other forms of inner discipline, generally under a master. The foremost practice is goodness or naturalness, and detachment from the Ten Thousand Things of the world.

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Gerard Encausse

Gerard Encausse Cover
Gerard Encausse (July 13, 1865 - 25 October 1916), whose esoteric pseudonym was Papus, was the Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of occultism, who founded the modern Martinist Order.

Gerard Encausse was born at Corunna (A Coruna) in Spain on July 13, 1865, of a Spanish mother and a French father, Louis Encausse, a chemist. His family moved to Paris when he was four years old, and he received his education there.

As a young man, Encausse spent a great deal of time at the Bibliotheque Nationale studying the Kabbalah, occult tarot, the sciences of magic and alchemy, and the writings of Eliphas Levi. He joined the French Theosophical Society shortly after it was founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1884 - 1885, but he resigned soon after joining because he disliked the Society's emphasis on Eastern occultism. In 1888, he co-founded his own group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. That same year, he and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the Librarie du Merveilleux and its monthly revue L'Initiation, which remained in publication until 1914.

Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, as well as Memphis-Misraim and probably other esoteric or paramasonic organizations, as well as being an author of several occult books. Outside of his paramasonic and martinist activities he was also a spiritual student of the French spiritualist healer, Anthelme Nizier Philippe, "Maitre Philippe de Lyon".

Despite his heavy involvement in occultism and occultist groups, Encausse managed to find time to pursue more conventional academic studies at the University of Paris. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1894 upon submitting a dissertation on Philosophical Anatomy. He opened a clinic in the rue Rodin which was quite successful.

Encausse visited Russia three times, in 1901, 1905, and 1906, serving Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra both as physician and occult consultant. In October 1905, he allegedly conjured up the spirit of Alexander III, the Tsar Nicholas's father, who prophesied that the Tsar would meet his downfall at the hands of revolutionaries. Encausse's follower allege that he informed the Tsar that he would be able to magically avert Alexander's prophesy so long as Encausse was alive : Nicholas kept his hold on the throne of Russia until 141 days after Papus's death.

Although Encausse seems to have served the Tsar and Tsarina in what was essentially a shamanic capacity, he was later curiously concerned about their heavy reliance on occultism to assist them in deciding questions of government. During their later correspondence, he warned them a number of times against the influence of Rasputin.

When World War I broke out, Encausse joined the French army medical corps. While working in a military hospital, he contracted tuberculosis and died on October 25, 1916, at the age of 51.

Partial bibliography

The written works of Papus (Gerard Encausse) include:

* Papus (Gerard Encausse). L'Occultisme Contemporain. 1887. PDF scans from Gallica
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). L'Occultisme. 1890.
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). La Science Des Mages. 1892. PDF scans from Gallica
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). Anarchie, Indolence et Synarchie. 1894. PDF scans from Gallica
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). Le Diable et l'occultisme. 1895.
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). Traite Methodique De La Magie Pratique. 1898. PDF scans from Gallica
* Niet (Gerard Encausse and Jean Carrere). La Russie Aujourd'hui. 1902.
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). La Kabbale. 1903.
* Papus (Gerard Encausse). Le Tarot Divinataire. 1909. PDF scans from Internet Archive

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Spiritual Materialism And The Sacraments Of Consumerism A View From Thailand

Spiritual Materialism And The Sacraments Of Consumerism A View From Thailand Image
Phra Phaisan Visalo, the author of the article quoted here is a Buddhist Monk from Thailand and in this article focuses on how the distinction between religious faith and consumerism is becoming increasingly vague these days. His observations although focus on Buddhist faith, specially in the Thai context, but it has much food for thought for other traditions as well.

The Spiritual Materialism may not necessarily take form as buying precious Buddha statues or protective lockets with imaginary deity but can come in many other sympotoms depending on the context of faith or tradition we are talking about.

i have seen this specially sick tendency of religious materialism in terms of consumerism in a very naked form in Indian Subcontinent among Muslim community when it comes to the Festival of Sacrifice (Eid-ul-Adha). Rich people will go to buy animals (generally cow or sheeps) of very high price (neglecting the poor in the neighbourhood or society in need) and there are huge competition, showiness all in the air by many, which is so against the spirit of the religion and the teaching of sacrifice itself. May be i can elaborate the problem on that in another post, God willing.

Lets go back to Phra Phaisan's article. I quote some interesting areas with the link of at the end for you to read.

Consumerism rests on the principle that happiness and success come about through consuming or purchasing things, not through creating or realizing it by oneself. This belief causes people to see religion as merely another aspect of consuming, rather than something which should be applied and practiced. The result is that religion has become superstition...

Nowadays, religious faith has been altered to the degree that it means purchasing auspicious objects to worship. One's faith (saddha) is no longer measured by how one applies it, how one lives life, but by how many holy or sacred articles one possesses.

Many Bangkok monasteries as well as those in the provinces have transformed into trading centers for such auspicious objects. In these temples, it's not just a few ordinary photographs, encased amulets, and yantra (lucky cloths) that are bought and sold, but an incredible diversity of products, like protective lockets to hang from your rear view mirror, fancy matted pictures, figurines, and signs with magic phrases (like "The House of Richness").

... consumerism has more than just a material aspect; people's trust, beliefs and views play a very important role as well. When you consider consumerism in terms of the functions that it performs as well as the attitude and understanding of people who are under its influence, it is not so different from other religions. But in the final analysis, the Religion of Consumerism cannot truly answer the deeper needs of humanity.

... Life's meaning is revealed not through building a new ego, but by delving deep until seeing that "self" is illusion. Consumerism offers no refuge for our lives, whereas even consuming religion itself cannot satisfy our deepest wish.

>> you can.

Credit: Buddhist Peace Fellowship : also published in Seeds of Peace Vol. 14, No. 3 (Sept-Dec) image credit

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Lord Mahavir And Jain Religion

Lord Mahavir And Jain Religion Cover
Lord Mahavir was the twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self realization. They are theGods of Jains. Tirthankaras are also known as Arihants or Jinas.


One who establishes the four fold order (Monk, Nun, Layman, and Laywoman) of religion.


One who destroys his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc.


One who conquers his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc. The followers of Jina are known as Jains.

Mahavir was born in 599 B.C. as a prince in Bihar, India. At the age of 30, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, including clothing and become a monk. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires and feelings. He went without food for long periods. He carefully avoided harming or annoying other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. His ways of meditation, days of austerities, and mode of behavior furnish a beautiful example for monks and nuns in religious life. His spiritual pursuit lasted for twelve years. At the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval-jnana. He spent the next thirty years travelling on bare feet around India preaching to the people the eternal truth he realized. He attracted people from all walks of life, rich and poor, kings and commoners, men and women, princes and priests, touchables and untouchables.
He organized his followers, into a four fold order,namely

* monk (Sadhu)
* nun (Sadhvi)
* layman (Shravak)
* and laywoman (Shravika)

Later on they are known as Jains.

The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain the total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one's self. This is also known as liberation, nirvana, absolute freedom, or Moksha.

He explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) is in bondage of karmic atoms, that are accumulated by its own good or bad deeds. Under the influence of karma, the soul is habituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. Which are the deep rooted causes of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. These result in accumulating more karma.

He preached that right faith (samyak-darshana), right knowledge (samyak-jnana), and right conduct (samyak-charitra) together will help attain the liberation of one's self.

At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:

* Nonviolence (Ahimsa) not to cause harm to any living beings
* Truthfulness (Satya) to speak the harmless truth only
* Non-stealing (Asteya)not to take anything not properly given
* Chastity (Brahmacharya) not to indulge in sensual pleasure
* Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha) complete detachment from people, places, and material things.

Jains hold these vows at the center of their lives. The monks and nuns follow these vows strictly and totally, while the common people try to follow the vows as far as their life styles will permit.

At the age of 72 (527 B.C.), Lord Mahavir died and his purified soul left the body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living for ever in a state of complete bliss. On the night of his salvation, people celebrated the Festival of Lights (Dipavali) in his honor.

Significant points of the life and teachings of Lord Mahavir.
The spiritual power and moral grandeur of Mahavir's teachings impressed the masses. He made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate ritual complexities. His teachings reflected the popular impulse towards internal beauty and harmony of the soul.

His message of nonviolence (Ahimsa), truth (Satya), non-stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahma-charya), and non-possession (Aparigraha) is full of universal compassion. He said that,

"A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception(Anant-darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant-jnana), perfect power (Anant-virya), and perfect bliss (Anant-sukha)."

Mahavir's message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being.

Mahavir was quite successful in eradicating from human intellect the conception of God as creator, protector, and destroyer. He also denounced the worship of gods and goddesses as a means of salvation. He taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of the positive attitude of life.

Lord Mahavir also preached the gospel of universal love, emphasizing that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form how spiritually developed or under-developed, are equal and we should love and respect them.

Jainism existed before Mahavir, and his teachings were based on those of his predecessors. Thus, unlike Buddha, Mahavir was more of a reformer and propagator of an existing religious order than the founder of a new faith. He followed the well established creed of his redecessor Tirthankara Parshvanath. However, Mahavir did reorganize the philosophical tenets of Jainism to correspond to his times. Lord Mahavir preached five great vows while Lord Parshva preached four great vows.

In the matters of spiritual advancement, as envisioned by Mahavir, both men and women are on an equal footing. The lure of renunciation and liberation attracted women as well. Many women followed Mahavir's path and renounced the world in search of ultimate happiness.

In a few centuries after Mahavir's nirvana, Jain religious order (Sangha) grew more and more complex. There were schisms on some minor points although they did not affect the original doctrines as preached by the Tirthankars. Later generations saw the introduction of ritualistic complexities which almost placed Mahavir and other Tirthankars on the throne of Hindu deities.

Idol Worship

The idols of twenty-four Tirthankaras in the temple are the same because they represent the quality and virtues of Tirthankaras not the physical body. However, at the bottom of each idol a unique symbol is placed to differentiate them. Lord Mahavir's idol is recognized by the symbol of a lion.

Prayer of Jain religion:

Every day Jains bow their heads and say their universal prayer, the Navkar-mantra. All good work and events start with this prayer of salutation and worship.

Namaskar Mantra

* Namo Arihantanam: - I bow to the arithantas - the ever-perfect spiritual victors
* Namo Siddhanam: - I bow to the siddhas - the liberated souls
* Namo Ayariyanam: - I bow to acharyas - the leaders of the jain order
* Namo Uvajjayanam: - I bow to upadhyayas - the learned preceptors
* Namo Loe Savva Sahunam: - I bow to all saints and sages everywhere in the world
* Eso Panch Namukkaro: - These five obeisances
* Savva PavapPanasano: - Erase all Sins
* Mangalancha Savvesin : - Amongst all that is auspicious
* Padhamam Havai Mangalam: - This is the foremost

In the above prayer, Jains do not ask for any favors or material benefits from their Gods, the Tirthankaras or from monks and nuns. They do not pray to a specific Tirthankara or monk by name. By saluting them, Jains receive the inspiration from the five benevolent for the right path of true happiness and total freedom from the misery of life.

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Xxxi Hymns To The Star Goddess

Xxxi Hymns To The Star Goddess Cover

Book: Xxxi Hymns To The Star Goddess by Benjamin Rowe

Mother of the Sun, Whose Body is White with the Milk of the Stars, bend upon Thy servant and impart unto him Thy Secret Kiss! Enkindle within him the Holy Ecstasy Thou hast promised unto them that love Thee; the Ecstasy which redeemeth from all pain. Hast thou not proclaimed: All the sorrows are but shadows, they pass and are done, but there is that which remains? That the Universe is Pure Joy – that Thou givest unimaginable Joys on Earth – that Thou demandest naught in sacrifice? Let me then rejoice, for therein may I serve Thee most fully. Let it be Thy Joy to see my joy; even as Thou hast promised in Thy Holy Book! Now, therefore, am I Joyful in Thy Love.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Sufis

The Sufis Cover

Book: The Sufis by Idries Shah

The most comprehensive book on the subject available in our culture. Has chapters on Classical authors such as Attar and Rumi. Also, the amazing Mulla Nasrudin; whose antics, jokes, and quibs have helped to inspire and instruct for centuries. Yet this is not an historical book or an academic one, but real, live Sufi teaching and instructional material, designed for contemporary culture. Never boring, often challenging, The Sufis sheds light on organizations and people who have throughout history, come and gone, leaving only the empty husk. I especially enjoyed the Seeker After Knowledge chapter, a teaching narrative that memorably illustrates deficiencies in our approaches to knowledge.

First published in 1964, Idries Shah's definitive work, 'The Sufis', completely overturned Western misconceptions of Sufism, revealing a great spiritual and psychological tradition encompassing many of the world's greatest thinkers: Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn El-Arabi, Al-Ghazzali, Sadi, Attar, Francis of Assisi and many others.

This book, written after years of travel, research, and collection of an amazingly diverse array of materials, presents the reader with a series of startling revelations concerning the basis of the knowledge structure of Western and Eastern thought. The idea of an advanced knowledge in the custody of, for the most part, unknown and mysterious people with strange powers, may seem at first glance to be an absurdity. The idea that the unified knowledge of the Sufis concerning the developmental and evolutionary potential of mankind influenced or lay behind the organization and theories such as those of Chivalry, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Roger Bacon, Geber, Hindu Vendantist teachings, the Troubadours, in Shakespeare, the Rosicrucians, the techniques of Japanese Zen, in Chaucer - to name only a few - is sure to clash with the conditioned thinking inculcated by submersion in conventional thought and maintained by our environment.
The spiritual and psychological tradition of Sufism was regarded, before this pioneering book was published, as the preserve of ecstatic religionists and a small number of Oriental scholars, who treated it in the main as a minority cult.

'The Sufis' is the pivotal work which heralded the revelation of the astonishing richness and variety of Sufi thought and its contribution to human culture contained in Idries Shah's many books on the subject.

The astonishing impact of Sufism on the development of Western civilization from the seventh century is traced through the work of Roger Bacon, John of the Cross, Raymond Lully, and Chaucer. Many of the greatest traditions, ideas and discoveries of the West are traced to the teachings and writings of Sufi masters working centuries ago.

But 'The Sufis' is far more than an historical account. In the tradition of the great Sufi classics, the deeper appeal of this remarkable book is in its ability to function as an active instrument of instruction, in a way that is so clearly relevant to our time and culture.

Today, studies in Sufism, notably through Shah's research and publication, are pursued in centers of higher learning throughout the world, in the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and many other areas of current human concern.

Thus, Idries Shah takes us on a developmental journey through the past fourteen hundred years, from the angle of how, when, and where the Sufic stream was in operation in the East and West. Thought provoking and written like a finely crafted mystery, The Sufis is an astounding and unparalleled source of information on the totally unexpected basis of Eastern and Western thought. It will appeal to those interested in spiritual and metaphysical ideas, as well as those with a yearning to discover the impulses which are the basis of our humanity.

Find Idries Shah's book in
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A Little History Of Mayan Astrology

A Little History Of Mayan Astrology Image
Mayan astrology is based on 20 named days that are cycled 13 times to create a 260-day calendar, the Tzolkin. These signs reflect 260 possible personality types which can be used for divination. Mayan astrology isn't as prevalent as other types of astrology, but interest is growing because of the fascination with the Maya. Their advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics is seen as crucial to the efficacy of this esoteric approach, but increased interest is also due to their strange and unusual traditions, rituals and the mystery surrounding their demise. The year 2012 plays a large role in their prophecy and may signal a sentinel event in history. Mayan astrology is very different from the astrology that most people are familiar with today.

Mayan astrology is an organic process, it may take one step at a time or happen instantaneously. The calendar used by these people represents a shamanic journey, and we learn to weave the past, present and future all together into one whole. It was developed as far back as 600 BC, perhaps even earlier. The interesting part of the approach was the Tzolkin Calendar that provided a way for the Mayan people to align every day of their lives with the Universal Purpose. This sounds like a beneficial approach to conducting a persons life as it discusses the progression of the human species towards its ultimate destiny.

Derived from the galaxies, the chart readings can be up to 10 pages long and will delve into who you are, and what your purpose is. Additionally your powers, strengths and futures path on this planet are illuminated, discussed and brought forth.

Mayan Astrology helps reestablish an intimate link between the Earth and Pleiades, and will initiate a journey into multidimensional time, reactivating self-awareness to help in understanding yourself. You find that an eternal view is incorporated as it synthesizes indigenous, galactic, and modern day interpretations of the calendars. This is possible because the approach is galaxy based, i.e. the Milky Way; where as traditional and conventional astrology is based on the interpretation of the alignments of all the planets in our solar system.

Maya and Aztec astrologers observed the phases of the planet Venus and correlated them with events on Earth. Venus has four basic phases: morning star, evening star, and two conjunctions with the Sun. Mayan ceremonies however, are usually performed for a particular purpose such as to bring wealth, success in business and to bless newlyweds.

Mayan civilization came into existence and functioned for over one thousand years. The ancient Maya interpreted and understood time in a particular way, which was totally different from any other existing culture or civilization. They understood and accepted the fact that time was not linear; it is just a series of repeating cycles. Mayan Time Science is an entirely new and unfamiliar world based on nothing familiar to our common understanding of the World. It truly is an adventure into a bold new world.

Article Source: Yeager

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Sigils In Theory And Practice

Sigils In Theory And Practice Cover

Book: Sigils In Theory And Practice by Frater Fp

This paper, the first of the ‘talks@templum’ series, examines the use of sigils for causing changes in the individual and their environment, according to their will. The approach of Chaos Magick is taken, where experiment and results are encouraged over beliefs about the mechanism by which the change is effected.

Download Frater Fp's eBook: Sigils In Theory And Practice

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