Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heaven And Hell

Heaven And Hell Image

Book: Heaven And Hell by Emmanuel Swedenborg

Originally published anonymously in Latin as De Coelo et Ejus Mirabilibus, et de Inferno, ex Auditis et Visis (London, 1758). Translated by George F. Dole for the Swedenborg Foundation's New Century Edition. © 2000 by the Swedenborg Foundation, Inc. All rights are reserved by the Swedenborg Foundation.

This downloadable version includes the entire Dole 2000 translation, and nothing but the Dole 2000 translation, of Swedenborg's original (Swedenborg Foundation: West Chester, Pa., 2000). It is intended solely for personal use. This file was derived electronically from the typeset version but has not been proofread against the printed text. Some characters may not have converted accurately. For a hardcover or paperback volume of the same work that includes introductions, diagrams, bibliographies, notes, and indices, order the New Century Edition Heaven and Hell from the Swedenborg Foundation.

Download Emmanuel Swedenborg's eBook: Heaven And Hell

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Love Thy Neighbour

Love Thy Neighbour Image
The whole teaching of Vedanta stands for one thing - that is love. Five hundred years before the advent of Jesus the Christ, Buddha taught: 'Hatred is never cured by hatred, but by love. This is the everlasting ethical law.'

And what is love? Love means expression of oneness.

Jesus the Christ said: 'Love thy neighbour as thyself.' But Jesus did not explain why we should love our neighbours as ourselves. That explanation you will find in Vedas, in the Vedanta philosophy, in the Upanishad. The Upanishad, which are the earliest writings of this universal philosophy, teach that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, not because they have done us some good or been kind to us, but even if they have spoken unkind words, even if they have taken wicked steps against us, even if they are spiteful and jealous of us, still we should love them because we are one with our neighbours in spirit.

There is only One Spirit. The apparent man seems to be different and separated from that Universal Spirit, which we regard as the Absolute, the Infinite Being, the Brahman. This Universal Spirit is abiding in us all, and we are like so many mirros which hold the image of the Divinity which is universal and one.

We are like grains of sand, even smaller, when we compare our physical bodies with the universe. Yet in these infinitesimally small particles of human bodies we find the reflection of the divine and self-effulgent sun of the universe. That is the image of God in man. But as the image of the sun cannot exist independent of the sun, so the human soul, which is the image of divinity, cannot exist, even for a second, independent of the divine sun, the divine being, whose reflection it is. We are all one in that Infinite Being, the Supreme Spirit, God, the Absolute, the Brahman, the Heavenly Father, the Divine Mother. The name vary, but the ideal is one.

... standing on that point of oneness, we should renounce everything that makes us feel as separate individuals, as independent of each other, as differentiated from each other. We should try to combine them all into that one harmonious whole. God is the One stupendous Whole of which we are but parts. And that is the truth.

Blessings, Sadiq



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Allahu Jamilun Wa Yuhibbul Jamal

Allahu Jamilun Wa Yuhibbul Jamal Image
1.

Allahu Jamilun, wa Yuhibbul Jamal

God is Beauty Divine, and He loves that which is Beautiful.

- Sacred tradition of Islam


Sadaqaat (charity) shall go to the poor, the needy, the workers who collect them, the new believers, to free the slaves, to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of Allah, and to the traveling strangers. Such is God's commandment. God is Omniscient, Knower.

- The Quran 9:60

They ask you about giving: say, the charity you give shall go to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. Any good you do, God is fully aware ther. - The Quran 2:215

O you who believe, you shall give to charity from the provisions we have given to you, before a day comes where there is no trade, no nepotism, and no intercession. - The Quran 2:254

You are not responsible for guiding anyone. God is the only one who guides whoever chooses (to be guided). Any charity you give is for your own good. Any charity you give shall be for the sake of God. Any charity you give will be repaid to you, without the least injustice.

- The Quran 2:272 (credit)

2.

In the Name of the Source of all Beauty, visible and invisible

During the hiatus for forty days i starting doing some paintings with borrowed inspirations from verses and letters of the Quran and other symbolic imagery from the world of creative imagination. These paintings were done in remembrance and by God's permission they infuse the baraka of remembrance. Many of the art works started then are still unfinished, but few of them i finished in order to share here and with the intention of fund raising sale.

The art works all are done with watercolor and acrylic on paper. They are mostly miniature in nature and the dimensions of individual ones are marked therewith. The frame outside is added digitally as a suggestion while framing, original paintings are without borders and will be shipped without frames.

. Beneficiaries: The proceeding from the sale will go to 3 primary beneficiaries..

a. Less fortunate kids in slums of Bangladesh who all are born with dreams to be beautiful human beings.

b. An-Noor Educational foundation's after school program for kids from refugee families (who come from many war affected countries and many of them are orphaned and victim of war).

c. Sacred Heart School in Kolkata, India, a school that strive to bring the light of education to the marginal kids of the city, some of them coming from extremely harsh economic and social background and many are given free education.

. Apologia:

sell your cleverness

and buy bewilderment.

- Rumi


Forgive the tagged prices. These art works are worthless (as they come from this defective one) and at the same time art work is ideally not a subject of marketplace transaction. So please forgive me in advance.

. Instructions: If you wish to buy the original painting(s), follow the paypal link for secure e-transaction. It accepts all major credit cards and don't require to signup for paypal. Simply click continue at the lower left corner to skip signup step. Cheque by post is also fine, email me please in that regard.

If you are buying from place where you are unable to do electronic transaction, please write to me as soon as possible, (lest the painting is sold) with you intended painting and your contact details.

In case the painting you wished to buy is sold already, i will try to compensate with another painting of similar theme and content.

. Gifts: Those who are buying original paintings, it will accompany a personalized note on the significant of the letters / symbols used in the painting with brief explanation and when applicable, sufi practice(s) associated with it and also a gift of Ibn Atai'Llah's book, Illuminating Guidance on Dropping of Self Direction, a timeless spiritual classic in its English translation.

To artists: If you are an artist and would like to contribute / participate to this or similar next fundraising drive, pls email me with details and ideas. Email address will be mysticsaint (at) gmail (dot) com

To bloggers and communicators: Please feel free spread the words via your site or simply by email and support the works this small effort supports. [+] Please visit MysticSaint.Info For full multimedia experience and enjoy special music.

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Why The Dog Could Not Drink

Why The Dog Could Not Drink Image
Sufi mystic Shibli was asked, "Who guided you in the Path?"

He said: "A dog. One day I saw him, almost dead with thirst, standing by the water's edge. Every time he looked at his reflection in the water he was frightened, and withdrew, because he thought it was another dog.

"Finally, such was his necessity, he cast away fear and leapt into the water; at which the 'other dog' vanished.

"The dog found that the obstacle, which was himself, the barrier between him and what he sought, melted away.

"In this same way my own obstacle vanished, when I knew that it was what I took to be my own self. And my Way was first shown to me by the behavior of a dog."

The significance of this story is that we should see things clearly and not through our egoism. We must distinguish between real thing and the mere reflection of self.

- Spirituality, Science and Psychology in the Sufi Way by Prof. Mohamed Yahia Haschmi, from the Book Sufi Studies: East and West.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sikhism Defined

Sikhism Defined Cover The Muslims began their invasions of India some 1,200 years ago. As a result of Islam's struggle with Hindu religion and culture, leaders sought a reconciliation between the two faiths, a middle path that embraced both. Sikhism (from sikka, meaning "disciple") united Hindu bhakti and Sufi mysticism most successfully. Sikhism began as a peaceful religion and patiently bore much persecution from the Muslims, but with the tenth guru, Govind Singh, self-preservation forced a strong militarism aimed at protecting the faith and way of life against severe opposition. Sikhism stresses the importance of devotion, intense faith in the guru, the repetition of God's name (nam) as a means of salvation, opposition to the worship of idols, the Brotherhood of all men and rejection of caste differences (though certain caste attitudes persist today). There have been no gurus in the main Sikh Tradition since Guru Govind Singh, whose last Instructions to followers were to honor and cherish the teachings of the ten gurus as embodied in the scripture, Adi Granth.

FOUNDED: Sikhism began about 500 years ago in the Lahore area of India's Punjab region which is now in Pakistan.
FOUNDER: Guru Nanak.
MAJOR SCRIPTURE: The Adi Granth, revered as the present guru of the faith.
ADHERENTS: Estimated at nine million, mostly in India's state of Punjab.
SECTS: Besides the Khalsa, there are the Ram Raiyas in Uttar Pradesh and two groups that have living gurus -- Mandharis and Nirankaris.

To lead man to the goal of moksha, Sikhism follows a path of japa and hymns. Through chanting of the Holy Names, Sat Nam, the soul is cleansed of its impurity, the ego is conquered and the wandering mind is stilled. This leads to a superconscious stillness. From here one enters into the divine light and thus attains the state of divine bliss. Once this highest goal is attained, the devotee must devote his awareness to the good of others. The highest goal can be realized only by God's grace, and this is obtained exclusively by following the satguru (or nowadays a sant, or saint, since there are no living gurus, by the edict of Govind Singh, the tenth and last guru) and by repeating the holy names of the Lord guided by the Adi Granth, the scripture and sole repository of spiritual authority. For Sikhs there is no image worship, no symbol of Divinity.

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Karma In Jainism

Karma In Jainism Cover According to Jainism Karma is a kind of matter (pudgalika) which enters the body of a jiva according to the nature of its actions. The karmic matter is present in the whole universe and has a tendency to modify the future of a jiva by entering into it and creating effects of merits and demerits. The karmic substance remains in the jiva till it is cleansed through neutralizing actions. By indulging in various actions and interacting with the external world, each jiva keeps on attracting the karmic substance into itself which leads to the development of a karmic body (karmana sarira). This karmic body remains with the jiva through its various reincarnations till the soul is completely liberated. Every action performed by a jiva leaves upon it an impression and forms the basis for an action or event in its future. The karmic substance envelops the soul and camouflages its brilliance like a layer of black soot forming on the glass of a lamp. This happens in case of both mental and physical actions. Bhavakarma is the substance that enters a jiva through its mental actions and dravya karma through its physical actions.

On account of karma a jiva passes through five different types of karmic conditions. The first one is the Audayika state. It is the normal state in which karma does its regular work. The next one is Aupamasika state, in which karma is not removed but neutralized and prevented temporarily from producing its results. In the Ksaayika state, the jiva is able to remove its karma completely so that it will not produce any effects, resulting in its liberation. In the Ksayopamasika state, which is the next one, a jiva find itself in all the three preceding states, that is some karma is present in its normal state, some karma is neutralized temporarily and some karma is permanently removed. In the fifth state a jiva is completely immune to the effects of karma. This is the state of liberation. The Ksayika and Aupamasika states are found in the holy men while the Aupamasika state is normally found in pious and virtuous people who perform good deeds.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

365 Tao Daily Meditations

365 Tao Daily Meditations Cover

Book: 365 Tao Daily Meditations by Ming Dao Deng

365 Tao: Daily Meditations has been a constant companion for me over the last 6 months or so. As suggested by the book, I read one short passage corresponding to the current day, every day, and try to keep it in mind. Sometimes I only think about it for a few minutes. Sometimes it sticks with me for hours. Every once in a while a particular thought will stay with me for weeks.

That, in essence, captures the nature of this book: small vignettes of Taoist thought, presented not with forcefulness but with conviction, as an exercise for self-reflection. Whether you embrace Taoism, reject it, or are simply curious, the book presents for your perusal the author's own thoughts and meditations on broad-reaching, Universal subject matters: getting through difficult times, appreciating what you have, balancing your day, living a better life -- but without annoying preachiness.

After years of study, several of them with Daoist masters, learning classical Chinese to read the Daoist classics in the original, I have found this book to be the finest book on the subject written in English. Chinese Daoist Writings do not translate into Western languages very well. Terms crystal clear in Chinese become muddy waters in English. Deng Ming-Dao does not translate words, he has managed to express Chinese ideas in English words. I have vainly struggled to do so in order to share my insights with my husband. I Treasure my copy of this books so much that I am purchasing a copy for him.

I recommend buying this book and keeping it with you for the rest of your life. Certainly the last 6 months with it have been beneficial to me. Each morning, looking at the next passage is a joy, not a chore.

Buy Ming Dao Deng's book: 365 Tao Daily Meditations

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Apikorsus An Essay On The Diverse Practices Of Chaos Magick

Apikorsus An Essay On The Diverse Practices Of Chaos Magick Cover

Book: Apikorsus An Essay On The Diverse Practices Of Chaos Magick by Lincoln Order Of Neuromancers

Common to the various systems/traditions/paradigms of magick are certain key concepts. We urge the reader not to accept/reject these as theoretical constructs, but to try and verify them by personal experience.
1. The Whole is encoded within each of its constituents - "As above, so below."
2. The Whole is interconnected, and all relative wholes partake in consciousness to varying degrees.
3. The Whole is self-organizing, and the evolution of all forms is governed by similar principles.
4. By means of a trained and directed will, we can effect change (probability > possibility) at various levels of organization.
5. Change is the only constant!
6. The Whole is more than the sum of its parts
7. Our beliefs define the limits of our allowed experience
8. "Everyday Reality" is not the limit of our experience - by entering Altered States of Consciousness we can experience other realities.
9. The entities which may be encountered during our experience of those other realities are real within their own world. To question their relative existence is unimportant, since the universe behaves as if they do exist.
10. Magical ability is engendered through an inward, transformative journey.

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World Greatest Buddhist Site Mes Aynak

World Greatest Buddhist Site Mes Aynak Image
Gabrielle Niu (Penn Museum) enhanced and updated by Wisdom Quarterly

Afghan archaeologist examines the remains of Buddha statues discovered inside an ancient monastery in Mes Aynak, Logar province, Afghanistan, on Nov. 23, 2010 (AP).

The contemporary perception of Afghanistan is a place of violence and religious extremism. It often goes unremembered that for centuries the area flourished as a cultural crossroads of Buddhism and trade along the Silk Road.

Nineteen miles (30 km) from the Afghan capital of Kabul, under layers of unexcavated earth, lays an ancient [2,600-year-old] Buddhist monastery.

* [The fact that May 2011 marks the 2600th anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment suggests that the Buddha's extended family was from this frontier area and converted to Buddhism very early on.]

Mes Aynak ("Little Copper Well") in Logar province is a trove of Buddhist monastery ruins, statues, and reliquaries (stupas) attesting to the prolific role that Afghanistan played in the spread of Buddhism in Central Asia (to Russia) and East Asia (to China).

In the first-century B.C.E., the Yuezhi people were forcibly driven westward from East Central Asia to Ferghana and Bactria in present-day northern Afghanistan. Prior to around 126 BCE, Bactria had been governed by the Indo-Greeks, vestiges of the Alexandrian empire, who promulgated their rule and the Hellenistic culture throughout the region.

The Silk Road with present-day Afghanistan is outlined in green.

Once the Yuezhi took Bactria from the Indo-Greeks, they established the Kushan Empire which played a prominent role in the early periods of the Silk Road.

It was through the Kushans that the woolen textiles, gold, and silver of Rome flowed east; the cotton, spices, and semi-precious stones of India migrated north; the silk of China travelled west; and the rubies and lapis lazuli of Bactria and the Tarim Basin moved outwards Gandhara-style Buddha statue (Norton Simon Museum) exhibiting Greco-Roman influences. [The Buddha came from the northwest frontier of India, had blue eyes, was tall and fair with golden skin. Gandhara art often depicts the future Buddha Maitreya].

* PHOTOS: Gandhara Buddhist art of ancient Northwest India
* Chinese mine threatens 2,600 year old Buddhist monastery
* Rescuing Afghanistan's Buddhist history
* The Invisible History of Afghanistan
* The US war in Logar province, Afghanistan
* Gunmen attack radio station in Logar province
* The Caucasus mountains are continuation of Himalayas
* Japan discovers new, easy to reach rare earth deposits

The Kushan Empire also played a vital role in the dissemination of Buddhism from India to Central Asia where it eventually found its way to China and then Japan. The Gandharan school of Buddhist art, propagated by the Kushan Empire, shows express evidence of the influences of anthropomorphic Greco-Roman forms and stylized Indian naturalism.

In this way, the Kushan Empire not only directly facilitated the transmission of Buddhism to Central and East Asia, but also left an indelibleeffaceable mark on the ensuing Buddhist artwork of Asia.

While Silk Road trade in the region diminished slightly around the 3rd and 4th centuries when Kushan rule was broken up by the Sassanian Empire, religious eclecticism continued in much of the region.

It was during this time period that many of the artifacts that are being unearthed at the Mes Aynek site were produced. In some places around the monastery, the ground is littered with slag, the blackened waste from the refining and smelting of copper ore, leading archaeologists to believe that the monks once exploited the lucrative copper deposits until deforestation halted their supply of timber fuel.

The archaeological site, Mes Aynak, holds many invaluable relics of Aghanistan's history, but also the promise of billions of dollars of foreign investment.

These copper deposits are what have drawn the Chinese Metallurgical Group Corporation (MGC) to the site. The Chinese government-backed mining company has invested $3.5 billion, Afghanistan's largest foreign investment, in developing the mining site, and the Afghan government hopes to see $880 million from the project before production even begins (online.wsj.com).

The site of future copper mine complex with Chinese funding to extract rare resources (AP)

However, upon the signing of the Chinese contract in 2008, an agreement was reached to halt further mining explorations that would damage the historic site until 2011. As 2010 draws to a close, archaeologists acknowledge that three years may be time enough to document, but not properly preserve all the known artifacts -- a process which may take up to ten years (BBC.co.uk). For the struggling Afghan economy, the MGC project is the country's single largest foreign investment and a promise for the creation of many jobs.

However, due to governmental corruption, it is not likely that the financial boon of this Chinese investment will be used to address the lack of stable infrastructure, water, electricity, housing, jobs, and medical care and the incredibly low standard of living plaguing many Afghan people.

In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, French archaeologist documenting the site, Phillippe Marquis, stresses that while a copper mine might be profitable for the next 20 to 30 years, the wealth of cultural history that would be unearthed and preserved from Mes Aynak "[is] for everybody...for the future of Afghanistan."

Nevertheless, while an enduring manifestation of Afghanistan's rich cultural past would serve well to remind the world of the country's reputable history, during this time of political and economic instability, it is hard to justify. (Source)

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

California Unique Mix Of Buddhism

California Unique Mix Of Buddhism Image
What is the most Buddhist state in America? Tropical Florida, bustling New York, mellow San Francisco, windy Illinois? It seems to be Southern California. The new Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy (Wikipedia) explains why:

As the twentieth century came to a close, 40 percent of all Buddhists in America resided in Southern California. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Area has become unique in the Buddhist world as the only place where representative organizations of every major school of Buddhism can be found in a single urban center.

Hsi Lai Temple in Southern California and The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Northern California are two of the largest Buddhist temples in the Western Hemisphere. The state also has a growing Hindu population. There is even a thriving number of new age movements, cults, and Eastern religions. Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism, and Taoism have symbolized California as a progressive place for spiritual innovation since the 1960s, though these religions were partly introduced by Asian immigrants when they settled in the state.

California also has the greatest number of (disgruntled and disaffected) Roman Catholics anywhere in the country -- Irish, Italians, Latinos, and Filipinos -- and (bored) Protestants. Los Angeles is estimated to have the second-largest Jewish community in North America, with about 550,000 Jews. And California also has the largest Islamic community (3.4 percent of the population) in the United States, with approximately 100,000 Muslims residing in San Diego alone. SOURCE

It is, therefore, sad to say that the actions of many "religious" people (of whatever faith) demonstrate intolerance and fear (of losing power/control over others).

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Religion Belief Eating With Islam

Religion Belief Eating With Islam Image
I am attempting to make a few posts on my interactions with religion. I run into religious people of all stripes every day. I want to post on these interactions to offset the notion that I somehow hate religion or religious people. Hate is such a harsh word. I have little hate in me. Most of my interactions are pleasant experiences.

Last Friday my wife had a desire for Persian food. We were not able to get a reservation at Darya, so we opted to compromise on food from the Muslim neighborhood in Anaheim. Our first choice was Kareem's, but it was closed for Friday religious services. Our next choice was the always reliable Sahara Falafel. As usual, the food was great. It was the interaction with Islam that caught my attention.

The beat up old TV was showing Friday prayers from a mosque. I could not identify the language. There were several men seated and eating while watching. They gave me the normal once over when we walked in, but I felt welcome.

The owner/manager extend a heartfelt greeting and treated us like we were his best customers. He made a special effort to put me at ease. Again, I felt welcome.

The restaurant had a flyer promoting an anti-war demonstration. It's understated claim was to stop the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine. It was the only flyer in the restaurant.

I watched the sermon while I ate. I did not understand a word. Nobody bothered me. Heck, few people even looked my way. Most were to preoccupied in their own business or in watching the sermon.

When we left, the manager/owner said, "Peace be with you". He walked out of the restaurant as we left. He watched as we walked to my truck. I normally walk with a Buck knife handy, the place is not safe, it pays to be careful. The manager/owner was making sure we were getting to our vehicle safely. It was a nice touch.

I enjoy these types of experiences. I get a chance to learn about people and their cultures. But I have to be honest, I would have walked out if the Hour of Power were on the TV. I must have some bias. Technorati tags: Islam, Religion

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vajra Guru Mantra The Complete Story

Vajra Guru Mantra The Complete Story Image

The Syllable by Syllable Commentary

Explaining the Benefits and Advantages of the Vajra Guru Mantra

By the great tert"on Karma Lingpa (14th century)

The Vajra Guru Mantra is the mantra associated with Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava. This is a draft translation of a treasure text which explains the Vajra Guru Mantra. It was originally concealed during the time of Padmasambhava in Tibet and later rediscovered by Karma Lingpa (14th century) who brought it forth from its place of concealment and copied it down on reams of gold. It is simply known as "THE SYLLABLE BY SYLLABLE COMMENTARY EXPLAINING THE BENEFITS OF THE VAJRA GURU MANTRA." It begins with an invocation and then goes into a dialogue between Yeshe Tsogyal, the spiritual consort of Padmasambhava, and Padmasambhava himself.

AND SO, YESHE TSOGYAL BEGINS:


"I, the woman Yeshe Tsogyal, having offered to you the inner and outer mandala on a vast scale, have the following request. Oh great teacher, Pema Jungne, you have been extremely kind to us, the Tibetan people, leaving for us a legacy that will benefit us now and in future lives. Your kindness is so great that we have never experienced anything like this before, nor will we ever experience anything like this in the future. In particular, so that now even though I am a humble person, I have no doubt that I will attain enlightenment."

In the future, sentient beings will have very short attention spans and a great many things will clutter and occupy their minds. Their characters will be rough and difficult to tame. They will develop many wrong views towards the sacred Dharma. In particular, a time will come when people will cast dispersions on the Secret Mantra teaching of the unsurpassable levels of tantra. At that time, all sentient beings will suffer heavily from disease, famine, and war. Because of the spread of these three calamities, in particular, China, Tibet and Mongolia will experience the same kind of turmoil as an ant's nest when it is destroyed, and the time will come for the people of Tibet to suffer greatly.

Though you have spoken at length of many skillful means to salvage what is possible from that situation, sentient beings in the future will not have the time to practice. Even though they may have some slight inclination to practice, they will encounter many great obstacles. Sentient beings will experience a great deal of disharmony. They won't be able to get along or reach any kind of accord, and in the wake of this, their behavior will become very impure. Bad times such as this will be very difficult to avert. That being the case, what kinds of benefits and advantages would there be for those beings in the future were they to rely solely upon the Vajra Guru Mantra as their practice? I ask you to relate this for the benefit of individuals in the future who are not able to perceive this and therefore have to have it explained to them.

THEN THE GREAT MASTER, PEMA JUNGNE REPLIED:


Oh faithful lady, what you have said is so very true. In the future, such times will befall sentient beings and both in a temporary and in a long term sense, the benefits of the Vajra Guru mantra can be definitely be felt. Since my spiritual instructions and the methods of practice that I offer are immeasurable, I have hidden a great number of treasure teachings in the water, rocks, the sky and so forth. In these evil times, even individuals with fortunate karma will find it difficult to encounter these teachings. It will be difficult to bring together the necessary circumstances for these teachings to be revealed. This is a sign that the collective merit of beings is on the wane.

However, at such times, if this essence mantra, the Vajra Guru mantra, is repeated as much as possible, a hundred times, a thousand times, ten thousand times, a hundred thousand times, a million, ten million, a hundred million times and so forth, if it is repeated in holy places, in temples, next to great rivers, in areas where gods and demons abound, if it is recited in these places by tantric practitioners with pure samaya, by people with monastic ordination who maintain their vows purely, by men and women who possess faith in the teachings, if they give rise to bodhicitta on a grand scale and recite this mantra, then the benefits and advantages and energy of such practice are truly inconceivable.

This will avert all of the negative forces of disease, famine, unrest, bad harvests and all bad omens and indications in all the countries of the world, such that the rain will fall in a timely manner for the crops so there will always be a plentiful supply of water for agriculture and for human and animal life, and all regions and areas will experience prosperity and auspicious conditions.

In this life, in future lives, and in the intermediate state between death and rebirth, these individuals who practice in this way will meet with me again and again. The very best of these individuals will actually meet me in their waking consciousness. Those of middling degree of attainment will meet with me again and again in their dreams. Gradually perfecting the different paths and levels of their practice, they will attain to the ranks of the masculine and feminine holders of intrinsic awareness in my pure land in the continent of Ngayab. Have no doubt of this.

* If this mantra is recited a hundred times a day, merely a hundred times a day without interruption, one will become attractive to others and will effortlessly come by food and wealth and the necessities of life.

* If one recites it a thousand or ten thousand times on a daily basis, one is able to literally overwhelm others with one's brilliance, in the sense of becoming very charismatic and influential in exerting a positive influence over others, and one will gain unhindered force of blessings and spiritual power.

* If one repeats it a hundred thousand or a million times on a regular basis one will become capable of effecting an immeasurably great benefit for beings, exactly as one would wish to.

* If one recites the mantra three or seven million times, one is never separate from the buddhas of the three times and one becomes inseparable from me. All the gods and demons of existence will attend to one and offer their praises.

In the most excellent cases, individuals will attain the rainbow body, and the final level of attainment in this lifetime. On a more middling level, at the moment of death, the mother and child aspects of radiant luminosity will meet. At the very least, individuals will behold my face in the bardo state and all the appearances of the bardo state will be free in their own ground such that these individuals will be reborn on the continent of Ngayab and from that vantage point, be able to accomplish an immeasurable amount of benefit to beings. Thus the Guru replied to Yeshe Tsogyal.

SHE RESPONDED BY SAYING:


"Oh great master, it is extremely kind of you to have spoken of these vast and immeasurable advantages of the spiritual energy of this mantra. For the benefit of sentient beings in the future however, a detailed explanation would be of enormous benefit, and so I would ask you to speak in a brief way about the different syllables of this mantra."

TO WHICH THE GREAT MASTER REPLIED:


O daughter of good family, the Vajra Guru mantra is not just my single essence mantra, it is the very essence or life force of all the deities of the four classes of tantra, of all the nine yanas, and all of the 84,000 collections of dharma teachings. The essence of all of the buddhas of the three times, all of the gurus, yidams, dakas, and dakinis, dharma protectors, etc., the essence of all of these is contained and is complete within this mantra.

How, you may ask, does this work? What is the reason for all these being complete with this mantra? Listen well and hold this in mind. Read it again and again. Write it out for the benefit of sentient beings, and teach it or demonstrate it to beings in the future.

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" are the sublime, essence of the principles of enlightened body, speech, and mind

"VAJRA "is the sublime essence of the indestructible family

"GURU "is the sublime essence of the jewel family

"PEMA "is the sublime essence of the lotus family

"SIDDHI "is the sublime essence of the activity family

"HUNG "is the sublime essence of the transcendent family

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM "is the perfect splendor and richness of sambhoghakaya

"AH "is the total unchanging perfection of dharmakaya, the manifest body of absolute reality

"HUNG "perfects the presence of Guru Padmasambhava as the nirmanakaya, the manifest body of emanation

"VAJRA "perfects all the heruka deities of the mandalas

"GURU "refers to the root and transmission gurus and the holders of intrinsic awareness

"PEMA "perfects the assembly of dakas and dakinis

"SIDDHI "is the life force of all the wealth deities and the guardians of the treasure teachings

"HUNG "is the life force of the dharmapalas, the protective deities

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" are the life force of the three classes of tantra

"VAJRA "is the life force of the monastic discipline and the sutra class of teachings

"GURU "is the life force of abhidharma and kriya (action) yoga, the first level of tantra

"PEMA "is the life force of the charya (conduct) yoga, the second class of tantra, and yoga (joining) tantra, the third class of tantra

"SIDDHI "is the life force of the mahayoga and anuyoga classes of teachings

"HUNG "is the life force of the ati yoga, the Natural Great Perfection (Dzogchen)

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" purify obscurations arising from the three mental poisons: desire/attachment, aversion, and ignorance

"VAJRA "purifies obscurations which stem from anger

"GURU "purifies obscurations which stem from pride

"PEMA "purifies obscurations which stem from desire/attachment

"SIDDHI "purifies obscurations which stem from envy/jealousy

"HUNG "in a general way purifies obscurations which stem from all emotional afflictions

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


Through "OM AH HUNG" one attains the three kayas

Through "VAJRA "one realizes mirror-like pristine awareness

Through "GURU "one realizes the pristine awareness of equalness

Through "PEMA "one realizes the pristine awareness of discernment

Through "SIDDHI "one realizes the all-accomplishing pristine awareness

Through "HUNG "one realizes the pristine awareness of basic space

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


Through "OM AH HUNG" gods, demons, and humans are subdued

Through "VAJRA "one gains power over malevolent forces of certain gods and demons

Through "GURU "one gains control over the malevolent forces of the Lord of Death and the cannibal demons

Through "PEMA "one gains control over the malevolent influences of the water and wind elements

Through "SIDDHI "one gains control over the malevolent influences of non-human forces and spirits bringing harm and exerting negative control over one's life

Through "HUNG "one gains control of the malevolent influences of planetary configurations and earth spirits

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" accomplishes the six spiritual virtues

"VAJRA "accomplishes pacifying activity

"GURU "accomplishes enriching activity

"PEMA "accomplishes magnetizing activity

"SIDDHI "accomplishes enlightened activity in general

"HUNG "accomplishes wrathful enlightened activity

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" avert all imprecations and curses

"VAJRA "averts the negative consequences of breaking one's samaya with the deities of pristine awareness

"GURU "averts the negative influences of the eight classes of gods and demons in samsara

"PEMA "averts the negative influences of nagas and earth spirits

"HUNG "averts the negative influences of gods, demons, humans, samsaric gods

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" defeats the army of the five mental poisons

"VAJRA "defeats anger

"GURU "defeats pride

"PEMA "defeats desire/attachment

"SIDDHI "defeats envy and jealousy

"HUNG "defeats the armies of gods, demons and humans

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


OM AH HUNG brings about the spiritual accomplishments or siddhis

"VAJRA "brings about the siddhi of peaceful and wrathful deities

"GURU "brings about the siddhi of the awareness-holders and the lineage gurus

"PEMA "brings about the siddhi of the dakas and dakinis and dharma protectors

"SIDDHI "brings about the mundane and supreme siddhis

"HUNG "brings about the siddhi of accomplishing whatever one wishes

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG


"OM AH HUNG" transfers consciousness to the pure realms of experience

"VAJRA "transfers consciousness to the eastern pure realm of Manifest Joy

"GURU "transfers consciousness to the southern pure realm of Glory & Splendor

"PEMA "transfers consciousness to the western pure realm of Great Bliss

"SIDDHI "transfers consciousness to the northern pure realm of Excellent Activity

"HUNG "transfers consciousness to the central pure realm of Unwavering

If a physical form could demonstrate the benefit of even one recitation of

OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG, the entire earth would not be sufficient to contain the merit. All sentient beings who see, hear, or remember this mantra will definitely be established in the ranks of the masculine and feminine awareness-holders.

If it is the case that these words of truth of the Vajra Guru mantra do not accomplish for sentient beings what they wish to accomplish just as I have promised, then I Pema Jungne, am truly deceiving sentient beings. But I have not deceived you, so you should practice according to my instructions.

Even if you are not able to recite the mantra for whatever reasons, you should mount it on the top of a victory banner, even when the wind touches it, and that wind touches sentient beings, it will free them without a doubt. Alternately, you may inscribe it in clay or carve it in stone. This will also guard the path upon which these syllables are placed and guard that region from malevolent effects.

You may also write this mantra out in gold ink on dark blue paper and wear it as an amulet. When you die, if this amulet is burned with your corpse, rainbows will be seen and your consciousness will be transferred to the realms of Supreme Bliss. The benefits of writing out, reading or reciting this mantra defy any accurate measure and defy any standard measurement that could be applied. Having established this for the benefit of beings in the future, I am hiding this treasure. May it meet with a fortunate child of mine in the future who has good karma.

Samaya. Sealed. Sealed. Sealed.



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Sympathy For Atheists

Sympathy For Atheists Image
For some unknown reason, I have a deep sympathy for atheists. I don't know why, but I do love those who are consciously atheist, those who think about the idea of God and somehow ends up atheist. To be honest, is God idea so simple to undetand ? The answer is no. The Ultimate Reality (that is God in religious term) is beyond word, is un-thinkable, beyond any imagination. According to Quran, And there is none comparable unto Him (Quran, Chapter 112, 004) and human mind always understand by comparison. What is infinite, what is not comparable can not be comprehended by logic. So, why blame those atheist who say we don't believe in God? They are just honest to their reasoning.. but only thing is God is beyond that which they want to measure up.

I think atheist people are more truthful to their belief that many so called believer who only show up without any real inner spirituality.

In Islam, there is an unique statement of faith for believers (by declaring that, one becomes a Muslim, one who submits him or herself to God), it says, "There is no god but One True God" and interestingly an atheist actually believe in the first part which is negation of all falsewhood (There is no god or deity worthy of worshiping). It is at least halfway to the truth than those who think they believe into something blindly but their heart never open up to the truth, to the whole philosophy of the belief they believe in.

I bought a new book title, "Why I don't believe in God" by an Indian writer, Probir Ghosh ( a prominent personality of Indian Freethinker movement ) and gonna read it. The idea that atheist holds fascinates me because the concept of God is so great, you can't blame them when they fail to realize. Because God and God-Cosciousness is something to realize and to uderstand by heart. Not something like 2+2=4.

May all the atheist in the world may reach the Truth which is only veiled by false self or ego. Let them realize the Truth and the ultimate Reality which is behind everything.[+] Please visit MysticSaint.Info For full multimedia experience and enjoy special music.

Blessings,
Sadiq



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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The February Full Moon In Buddhist History

The February Full Moon In Buddhist History Image
Vulture's Peak, Rajgir, which has never had vultures just rocks reminiscent of them.

The "moonth's "full moon lunar observance day (called the "Navam Pura Pasalosvaka "POYA DAY by Sri Lankan Buddhists) is associated with two very significant incidents in Buddhist history.

The Sangha (Order of Monastics) congregated officially for the first time to convene the First Buddhist Council on this day, and the Buddha's two chief male disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana, were appointed. (When he appointed the two chief female disciples, KHEMA and UPPALAVANNA, is not clear).

The first Buddhist Council was held three months after the passing into final nirvana of the Buddha. It was chaired by one of the senior most monks of the Order, the brahmin Mahakassapa.

A large number of monastics participated in the council. Mahakassapa kept a vacant seat for Ananda, who was not yet fully enlightened. He strained to realize the liberating truth and upon relaxing, before his head could hit the pillow, he awakened to the utmost becoming an arhat on the eve of the council. He participated and played a key role in the council, reciting the sutra portion.

* The discourse collection contains more than 10,000 sutras (teachings) attributed to the Buddha. They begin with Ananda saying "Thus have I heard" to indicate that he heard and learned them directly from the Buddha.

The astounding memory he exhibited was the result of more than 20 years as a monk rehearsing in the oral tradition and verifying his memory as the Buddha's attendant. Ananda, one of the Ten Great Disciples, whose brother was the infamous Devadatta (the Buddhist "Judas"), was a cousin of the Buddha. Moreover, they had been affiliated over many lives (as recorded in the Jataka Tales).

The commentaries tell how this First Council collected together the monastic disciplinary code ("Vinaya") and the Dharma in five collections. (The ABHIDHARMA, "higher teaching," a systematic treatment of the Buddha's teachings that assumed a prominent position in Buddhism later, although legend has it that it was composed by the Buddha in a space world for the benefit of his deceased mother and other "devas" in the Realm of the Thirty-three).

Related to the English word suture, "sutra" literally means a thread or single strand. This thread contains prosaic texts or "jewels" strung together on a theme. The discourses are ascribed to Ananda, who we suppose retained them in memory through the traditional Indian recitation method (which systematizes sutras into a streamlined form using stereotype texts and shorthand references that are unpacked in the customary Indian commentarial tradition).

Ananda chanted them at the council; he was, however, not the only one in possession of them. Many bands of monastics had been assigned sections to commit to memory, practice, and recite for others.

The Buddha's India, the "Middle Country" in the Rose Apple Land (Jambudvipa), mostly in the "mahajanapada" of Magadha.

The First Council was held in RAJAGAHA, the royal city ringed by seven hills on the Gangetic plains, near the modern town of Rajgir, in the Patna District, in the Indian state of Bihar. It was at that time the capital of the ancient KINGDOM OF MAGADHA, one of the most prosperous and bustling cities in ancient India.

Vulture's Peak is one of the seven hills as is the famous ISIGILI. A large monastery, the famous Bamboo Grove, the ruins of which are still intact, is found just outside the city gates.

According to late commentarial accounts, King Ajatasatta (the son of the enlightened King Bimbisara, a devoted supporter of the Buddha) sponsored the First Council. Tradition holds that the council was held in a hall erected by Ajatasatta outside SAPTAPARNI (also Sattaparnaguha and Sattapanniguha) in Rajgir.

Mahakassapa presided over the First Council. Following Ananda, Upali, yet another of the Ten Great Disciples, recited the disciplinary rules and likely also their origin stories. Upali was known as foremost in observing the precepts, having joined the Order at the same time as Anuruddha, Ananda, and Devadatta.

The brahmin seekers Upatissa (who had recently become a stream-enterer) and Kolita, who came to be called Sariputra and Moggallana, with their retinue.

The other important incident that is commemorated on this lunar observance day is the appointment of the brahmin friends Sariputta and Moggallana as chief disciples.

He announced that they were his chief disciples when he first spotted them approaching from a distance, which upset and puzzled monks of long standing who were closer to him.

As he explained, his designations were not his doing. In a sense, those foremost in various abilities or predilections (and there were at least 80) appointed themselves long ago in past lives. Their wish to be designated, their merit, and the sure prediction they received led to their finding their way to a "buddha" to realize their goal.

It was simply the working out of very meritorious karma and interacting with the Bodhisatta as a cohort over various lives. (Why we meet people, why we jibe, why we act out in certain ways -- all of this is rooted in past habits that became traits that became "destinies" of sorts, or so we learn from sutras and JATAKA TALES).

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sufis Of Kosovo And Greater Balkan Europe

Sufis Of Kosovo And Greater Balkan Europe Image
Congratulations to Kosovo! now the youngest nation on earth. Last 17th February 2008 Kosovo declared its Independence from Serbia. Following the declaration by the Kosovar Assembly several countries such as United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Australia, etc. announced their recognition. With more than 90% population are ethnic Albanian Kosovo is going to be a 4th Muslim majority European nation after Turkey, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Interestingly the history of Sufism in Balkan region, including that of Kosovo is very rich. The southeastern Europe under nearly six centuries of Ottoman rule brought sufi orders at the heart of Europe with the religion of islam.

/ Quoted from the article by Huseyin Abiva, A Glimpse at Sufism in the Balkans: Indeed, among the nations that now comprise the Balkans Peninsula (Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) the visible Muslim component to their populations are readily evident.

As with other Muslim lands, the historical role that the Sufi tariqats played in the preservation and propagation of Islam in the Balkans cannot go without notice. It can be said with all fairness that the implantation of Islamic Civilization here could not have been possible without the efforts of these Sufi shaykhs and their orders.

The Sufis of the Ottoman Balkans added enormously both to the development of an Islam of the intellectual arena as well as a 'folk' Islam of the masses. Though now a mere shadow of a once vast manifestation, the influence of Sufism can still be felt at both the popular and academic level among the Balkan Muslim population. The extent of the impact of Sufism and its role in Balkan Islam can be seen through the number of tariqats (mystical brotherhoods) that functioned in the region over the centuries.

The largest and most wide-spread of these tariqats were the Halveti (Khalwatiyyah) and the Bektashi. Though minimally represented at present, these two orders dominated all others during the Ottoman Era. They were followed by the Naqshibandi, Qadiri and Rifa`i in size and distribution. All three of these tariqats have managed to survive to this day.

Though the overwhelming majority of Sufis in the Balkans are associated with the Ottomans, the one of the first Sufis to have come into the area was the Bektashi saint Sari Saltik (Mehmed Buhari). Though most of the exact details of his life are clouded by legend, this fourteenth century Sufi traveled throughout the region decades well in advance of the Ottoman armies. His maqams (shrines) can be today found in any number of places including Bosnia (Blagaj), Romania (Babadag), Macedonia (near Ohrid) and the most famous in Albania (Kruja).

Balkan Sufism beyond : It is important to note that the first Sufi lodge to be established in North America was the First American Albanian Bektashi Monastery. This center was founded in the early 1950's by Baba Rexhep (d.1995), native of the southern Albanian town of Gjrokaster. This remarkable figure managed to preserve the Bektashi identity of many Albanian Muslims despite the pressures from the anti-religious programs of his native land and the pull of assimilation in the United States. Over the decades the tekke (which is located outside of Detroit) expanded in size and membership. Following the death of Baba Rexhep, the tekke is now under the directorship of Baba Flamur Shkala, a very energetic and young shaykh who will hopefully serve his community well.

In the late 1970's the Rifa'i Order made its first presence in the United States with the establishment of a modest center in the Washington D.C. are by Dr. Asaf Durakovic, who was a khalifah of both Shaykh Xhemali of Prizren and the Halveti-Hayati branch of Macedonia. The Rifa'i Order subsequently expanded in the 1980's and 1990's to include centers in New York, Staten Island, Toronto, Cleveland and most recently in Chicago. In fact, due to the genocidal warfare being conducted by the Serbs in Kosova, Shaykh Xhemali Shehu has taken up residence in the United States.

Also it is important to note the activity of two non-Balkan Sufi Orders into the region. The Halveti-Jerrahis (who had historically been present in the southern Balkans), began a program to assist Bosnian students achieve higher education in the United States. A history of the order translated into Bosnian may help establish its presence in the area. The Naqshibandi-Haqqani Order of Shaykh Nazim has also began to take root in Bosnia and Albania where his writings have been popularly received.

From the book, Religion and Politics of Identity in Kosovo, Gerlachus Duijzings writes: 'The Muslim mystic orders of this country (former Yogoslavia) have not only continued to exist, but moreover seem to be characterized by a renewal that is very curious and at the very least unexpected. This is all the more so as these orders, after a difficult survival at the end of 19th century and the first half of the present century, tend to dissappear from 1945 onwards.... The dervish orders in Kosovo mainly has members from Albanian rural masses and the Bosnian community.... The revival of popular sufism was largely confined particularly in Kosovo. Interestingly the Kosovan dervishes had difficult relationship with teh Bosnian orthodox muslim establishment.

Dervish orders in Kosovo: a survey (from Religion and the Politics of Identity in Kosovo) Due to the negative effect of communist power in Yogoslavia, most of the dervish orders were pushed underground. The dervish orders were labeled as reactionary and an obstalce to teh development of a proper religious life... even later after 1950s, and 1960s. Many observers expected that dervish orders would cease to exist, as happened in mnay other Balkan states. However this was contradicted by an unexpected revival of the phenomenon in 1970s. In 1974 the Albanian sheikhs from Kosovo founded an association of dervish orders which has been headed since then by a Rufai Seikha from Prizren (Sheikh Xhemali Shehu). In late 70s, the Community of Dervish Orders was founded which now enjoys more than 100,000 followeres in Kosovo alone.

The Community recognizes 12 'authentic' orders of whcih nine were active before the start of the war in former Yugoslavia: The Rufai, Kaderi, Halveti, Sadi, Bektashi, Nakshibendi, Sinani, Mevlevi and Shazili. Among them Halveti, Sadi, Kaderi and Rufai have large membership and thousand of followers with wide network of sufi lodges. In some areas dervish orders flourished among the Gypsies.

When Compared with Bosnian Sufism, that of Kosovo and Macedonia is considered more ecstatic popular form of Sufism. Bosnian sufism is more elitist, somewhat quetist, sober and subdued.

/ In the article published in Front Page Magazine, Getting to Know the Sufis, Stephen Schwartz wrote: "(...) in Kosovo, Sufis played a major role, over decades, in resisting, sometimes by means of guerrilla war, the abuses inflicted on Albanians by the Turkish authorities, and later by Slavic imperialists.

... In places where Sufism is dominant, spiritual traditions may play a positive role in fostering civic values conducive to democracy. The Bektashi Sufis of the Albanian lands, counting 3 million members from Kosovo to northern Greece, for example, declare boldly that they are "the most progressive Muslims in the world!"--as I was vociferously reminded in 2003 by Baba Tahir Emini, their leader in Western Macedonia. They are especially known for their dedication to women's rights and popular education..."

/ Serbia have been protesting the independence of Kosovo, so is their ally Russia. Green Sufi writes: Although it is a 90% Muslim land, of ethnic Albanians, some Orthodox Serbs wish to deny it's freedom and have launched a vicious campaign against it with the help of [anti-Muslim] sympathizers. It is nonsense to assert that Kosovars should remain under tyranny simply because they were "part of Serbia." Well for centuries before that they were all part of the Ottoman Muslim Caliphate. Stephen Schwartz writes, why Kosovo recognition is the right decision.

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