path of enlightenment
||Om Surya Devam Namaste Stu Grihaanam Karoona Karam
Arghyam Ch Falam Sanyukta Gandh Maalyaakshatai Yutam ||
Surya Dev or the Sun God is the highly revering deity in Hindu mythology. Being the head of all the nine planets, Surya dev has immense strength and he controls the life on earth. Blessed with heavenly powers he is portrayed as riding the chariot which is driven by 7 horses or 1 horse with 7 heads. The number seven defines the seven majestic colors of the rainbow, the seven seasons and also the seven chakras of the human body.
Surya is widely worshipped by devotees, including the asuras or demons. Surya Devta is adored by the Saura sect, which worships him as one of the five main Gods. Yatudhanas, group of demons, were also the deep followers of Surya. Even the Greeks and Romans have special mention of Sun God in their ancient mythology.
Significance of adoring Sun God:
Sun is considered as the significator of health, profession and father in the Vedic Astrology. The light energy of the Sun is a natural remedy for the body ailments and boosts us with energy and positivity. Vitamin D from the Sun is a healthy source for stronger immune system and bones. While offering water to the Sun God in early morning hours, the sunlight gets refracted and reflected due to the thin layer of water which leads to the production of 7 forms of light that get absorbed by our body. Since our body has large surface area, the rays are absorbed through it, maximum by the chest.
The Sun is the symbol of the Self-god. As the Self-god illuminates the mind, the intellect and the body, the Sun illuminates the world. Being the highest symbol of enlightenment the Surya devta bestows the devotee with knowledge and illuminates the dark lives of his devotees.
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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
If the foundation is strong and firm, no matter how many floors are constructed above it, the building will remain intact and strengthening. Similarly the valuable Vedas are the base of knowledge and is the mirror of all education. People might say that the generations today believe on scientific revelations and rational thoughts of school, yea we agree to it but the eternal truth remains significant forever. Our scientific and technological progress may be huge, but the bases of knowledge have been received from our holy Vedas and will act as a guiding torch for many more generations, yet to come.
Relevance of Vedas for present age:
Hoping for community welfare rather than individual gain has always been the message. If every individual holds the perspective of viewing One eternal power within every being than most of the issues will automatically be resolved. The act of Universal brotherhood is an immediate necessity for regaining the peace and humanity on this planet.
Attributes of Universe:
The name may be different but the ultimate source is One. Vedas reveal the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent traits of the powerful energy. He is one utmost source who is formless and eternal. He was, is and will forever be. Becoming aware with this universal truth and accepting His presence each moment makes the being fearless and inculcates the deep faith on His presence.
Just like a candle brightens the entire room, similarly the enlightened soul gives direction to the mind and body. God, soul and matter-always exist; weapon cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot spoil it, and air cannot dry it. As the soul keeps on changing the outer physical appearance, but its original traits remains constant. If each one of us comprehends this enlightening truth, then there will be no differentiation on the basis of caste, creed, colour, appearance, religion and so on.
Vedic thought holds that the best instrument of knowledge is the silent mind. As per the Vedic sciences, serene and pure mind is capable of going beyond name, form, number, time, place and person or it would just be another object or entity in the outer world. This shows that there is much above physical reality and the appropriate instrument for knowing the universal Being is not a limited instrument which looks externally, like a telescope, but the silent mind that is able to see within.
Elimination of Delusions:
Vedas has a commendable source of knowledge, which is relevant for ages. Even the earlier misconceptions about ghosts, occult powers and man worshipping every creature out of fear; the turmoil was eliminated with the rational Vedic sciences. Still the presence of evil energies is dominant over the planet but the blinds can be removed by the light of knowledge-Brahma. The presence of fake gurus may dispel us from the path of spirituality but we have to be cautious and aware.
In the Vedic sciences, human well-being is defined as the harmony of body, mind, prana and soul (Atman or Purusha). The natural healing process by recognising the underlying vital energies is the secret to well-being. Today we might have advanced in medical sciences, but the bases lies in the Vedas and holds all the thoughts behind the cosmic life force of development. Organic and natural systems of progress or healing are far better than the artificial processes.
Jyotish or Vedic astrology is aimed at helping us understand how the various matter of the Universe i.e. the lights of the stars and planets affects our own bodies and minds and the fate of our world as a whole. It comprehends the knowledge of karmic influences on us, and how the heavenly bodies have their varied effects. Few might say that astrology is illogical but still few of the actions that go beyond expressions and understanding become a part of new physics. If we recognize that the universe is pervaded by consciousness, we can recognize that light ultimately is a power of consciousness, which means that astronomy must recognize astrology.
The ultimate unity of science and spirituality through Vedas can act as a guiding torch for achieving the ultimate destination of supreme truth. By learning the secrets of Vedas, we can enhance our art of living and improve our lives as per the supreme fathers wish.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja