“No one can write about my life because it has not been on the surface for man to see.”
Maharishi Arvind Ghosh, popularly known as Aurobindo Ghosh was a multifaceted man who is known for his excellence in poetry, freedom struggle, philosophy, yoga and spirituality. Born on 15th August 1852 in Kolkata Aurobindo was provided the best education from Loreto Convent School, Darjeeling and graduated from King’s College, Cambridge. While studying at Cambridge he also prepared for the Civil Services and qualified ICS with high rank. But he could not stand the mandatory horse riding test and thus could not join the service.
By this time Aurobindo was already learned in Greek, French, Italian, German, Latin and Spanish. He had also mastered the classics and English poetry. In 1893, he returned back to India and became highly interested in teaching at Baroda State College. It was during the partition of Bengal in 1906 when Aurobindo entered the revolutionary movement and became an active part of the freedom struggle. He led the group of Indian nationalists and published the nationalist Bengali newspaper- Vande Mataram, awakening the masses about the atrocities inflicted by British and need for freedom from foreign rulers.
During the freedom struggle, Aurobindo developed his interest in yoga and meditation. He also came across the spiritual guru Vishnu Bhasker Lele, who further guided him on the path of deep meditation and spirituality. His spiritual journey took a turn in British jail. Being secluded from the material world he got a chance to concentrate and learn more about higher realms of consciousness. In one of his speeches Shree Aurobindo himself said,
“I looked at the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high walls that I was imprisoned; no, it was Vasudeva who surrounded me. I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna whom I saw standing there and holding over me his shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. This was the first use of the deeper vision He gave me. I looked at the prisoners in the jail, the thieves, the murderers, the swindlers, and as I looked at them I saw Vasudeva, it was Narayana whom I found in these darkened souls and misused bodies. Amongst these thieves and dacoits there were many who put me to shame by their sympathy, their kindness, the humanity triumphant over such adverse circumstances.”
It was in the prison only when he was visited by the powerful soul of Swami Vivekananda, who enlightened him about the divine state of super-consciousness. After his release from the jail, Maharishi Aurobindo went into deeper state of meditation for 4 years In Pondicherry. Then by association with the French lady, named Mira Richards, he was able to set up an ashram in Pondicherry near sea which was named as Auroville. Sri Aurobindo Asram began with a mere companionship of 4 people and 124 disciples but later became a hub of spiritual learning for thousands of people.
Sri Aurobindo taught the concept of ‘Being and Consciousness’ by realizing the real truth living in the cosmic Universe. His main motive was to enlighten people about their true self- soul and divinity inside them. He wanted people to move from world consciousness to divine consciousness and to learn the art of merging oneself with the Supreme Lord. His teachings on ‘integral yoga’ are clearly explained in ‘The Life Divine’ including the detailed explanation with live examples. Devoting his entire life for spiritual awakening, his soul merged with the formless on 5th December, 1950 but his vision and mission is still spreading message of peace, love and universal brotherhood.
The pitru paksha puja performed during the shradh period is a symbol of love and care for our manes. The act of expressing our love through this puja brings the spiritual advancement of a being as well as eradicates all the material and physical discomforts. Adoring and remembering our ancestors is a powerful way of seeking their blessings. And also this puja acts like a source of helping the underprivileged and needy section of the humanity.
The shradh or Pitru paksha puja should be performed fulfilling all the rituals and customs. Thus Shubhpuja has made it easier for you by saving your tedious task of collecting all the puja samagri. We provide you all the services under one roof. List of puja samagri:
- black saseeme seeds
- sandal powder
- incense (agarbatti) sticks
- Camphor/ Karpuram
- beetle leafs
- beetle nuts
- rice flour
- urud dal
- vegetables- 2 types
- panchapatra, uddharina, plate
- cotton wicks, lamps, oil
- harathi, bell
All these samagri are available for our customers along with the pitru paksha puja packages.
The various rituals performed during Shradh or Pitru paksha are a way of seeking forgiveness from the departed souls. This can also be termed as a way to confess our guilt about the inefficiency to serve our elders. Also if knowingly or unknowingly we had performed actions of hurt or pain for them. Shradh is a period of introspection and overcoming our own weaknesses.
Scientifically we may say that our services in the form of food or pind daan may not be received directly by our ancestors; but our noble intentions for them are surely received. Our humility and love is transmitted to the souls and moreover in order to adore them, we feed the needy and poor people.
By offering charity and donations for the happiness of our ancestors, we make an effort to contribute something for the welfare of humanity. Thus this period of shradh is actually an eye opener where people contribute their time, effort, wealth and even love to those who need it, in the reflection of their dead ancestors.
Moreover performing fast during this period is purely a healthy act of rejuvenation. This reveals that shradh is purely an occasion of performing noble and humble acts, in honour of our loving departed souls.
Loads of people are practicing yoga nowadays, either being fitness lovers or for pleasure; but few of us practice this art for the attainment of peace, self-contentment, inner joy and relaxation of soul. Yoga is one of the ancient art form of India and holds divine significance for people around the globe.
Yoga means union with God. This union is a conscious union. We are all united with God but we are not aware of it so when we practice Yoga, we become conscious of our union with God. Yoga is a spiritual journey from getting rid of the stressful life and achieving bliss and happiness.
- Yoga is not just a practice, it’s an inner subject which has to be lived, loved and cared. Yoga transcends us to real satisfaction and gaining free consciousness.
- The art of yoga brings our mind, body and soul in harmony that helps us to connect with the cosmic energy of the Universe.
- During the practice of yoga, one has to focus on the divine context rather than the superficial level. By continuously working with this thought, one shreds of the artificial attainment of beauty and gains peace and joy.
- Numerous troubles and tensions surround us the entire day and we might try to control hem to keep ourselves calm. Remember yoga is not about getting rid of problems or controlling them, rather it is about keeping the tolerance and inner peace intact and facing the situation.
- Yoga aware us about our very existence through simple techniques of focussing on our body processes and breathing, which in turn leads to better understanding of our own body and mind and expressing gratitude.
- We usually admire the creation and forget the creator, thus yoga instils us with the balance of admiring not only the creation but also the creator himself.
- Yoga fills us with the feeling of surrendering ourselves for the welfare of humanity, which in turn leads us to living for the supreme energy.
Thus yoga is the journey of attaining enlightenment like Lord Shiva, Lord Mahavir and Lord Buddha and becoming closer to our ultimate goal of life which is oneness with the supreme master. By gaining peace of soul, we would be contended as we will each closer to God.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
The message of Universal peace and enlightenment reminds us of the reverend Buddha, and the journey from birth of prince Siddhartha to enlightenment and becoming Buddha and finally entering into the Nirvana phase. To celebrate the divine occasion of all these auspicious events, the Buddhist festival known as Buddha Purnima or Vesak/Wesak is widely rejoiced on the full moon day of the lunar month, Vaisakha. This year this festival is falling on 4th May, 2015.
Significance of this day:
The day in history which was pre decided by the Universe, is of utmost significance as it holds the three fold journey i.e. birth, enlightenment and death (entering into Nirvana) of Buddha. Not only this, it is also believed that his wife Yashodhara, his first disciple Ananda, his charioteer Channa, and the horse Kantaka on which he renounced his, were all born on this sacred day. Even, the Bodhi tree, under which he attained nirvana, was also believed to have been created on this day. The first sermon at Varanasi by Buddha was also held on this same day.
This festival is a reminder of his noteworthy journey, as he left an epitome for the entire humanity by living as a perfect saint. His eight fold path of right belief, right intention, right living, right conduct, right word, right thinking, right efforts and right meditation; comprehends the perfect balance between materialistic and spiritual life. So the Dharma chakra (8 spokes and path to enlightenment) at Buddhist monasteries symbolises the journey of an individual, and these sacred teachings of Buddha are an inspiration to lead our lives on his directed path.
Rituals on this day:
Special celebrations are organized at Bodh Gaya in Nepal, Kushinagar, Sarnath and other parts around India and the world. Prayers, sermons, recitation of Buddhist scriptures and meditation are performed by the Buddhists devotees, on this day to express their deep love and faith towards Lord Buddha. Numerous birds, insects and other animals are released on this day to celebrate the ‘Act of liberation’, by providing freedom to the tortured and innocent souls. The festival is celebrated with peace and devotion to express the honour towards the Five Principles of Lord Buddha, known as ‘Panchsheel’.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
“Religion unites, never divides”, this proverb creates varied connotations in the minds of human beings and is often neglected and took other ways. Since centuries, today and even ahead the eternal truth will remain the same i.e. the presence of Supreme power Almighty; even though referred through varied names. In this era a live epitome of unity in diversity was provided by a 12 year old girl, Mariyam Siddiqui, who won the Gita Champions League‘ contest among 45,00 students.
A Muslim young girl from Cosmopolitan High School, Mira Road, Mumbai inspires us to hold the same level of respect and inquisitiveness for all other cultures and religions. Not only the girl but her entire family supported her to win this contest and prepared her well for it. “I have always been inquisitive about religions and I often read up on them during my free time. So when my teacher told me about this contest I thought it would be a good chance to understand what the book is about. My parents too supported my idea of participating in the contest,” said Maryam. She even added that ‘Humanity is the biggest religion in the world’.
This is an event of achievement for our global humanity, where kids of today teach us the art of Universal Brotherhood. It’s all about gathering love from all religions and remember Humanity is much above religion and culture.