How Swami Vivekanand Shaped the World Culture and Ethos

When the entire world was encapsulated with physical pleasures and materialistic race of leading a luxurious life, they needed someone to guide them to know real meaning of leading life. Hindu spirituality deals with body, mind and soul. Swami Vivekanand introduced world with the concept of oneness, soul and sole reason of taking birth as humans. The new concept thrilled the people across the globe and they got to know true realms of life through meditation and spiritual science of Hinduism.

Swami Vivekananda’s contributions in shaping the world culture is acknowledged by scholars of several countries.

Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world…”

Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was a and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.

Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture 
Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world…” Some of the main contributions that Swamiji made to the modern world are mentioned below:

1. New Understanding of Religion: One of the most significant contributions of Swami Vivekananda to the modern world is his interpretation of religion as a universal experience of transcendent Reality, common to all humanity. Swamiji met the challenge of modern science by showing that religion is as scientific as science itself; religion is the ‘science of consciousness’. As such, religion and science are not contradictory to each other but are complementary.
This universal conception frees religion from the hold of superstitions, dogmatism, priestcraft and intolerance, and makes religion the highest and noblest pursuit – the pursuit of supreme Freedom, supreme Knowledge, supreme Happiness.

2. New View of Man: Vivekananda’s concept of ‘potential divinity of the soul’ gives a new, ennobling concept of man. The present age is the age of humanism which holds that man should be the chief concern and centre of all activities and thinking. Through science and technology man has attained great prosperity and power, and modern methods of communication and travel have converted human society into a ‘global village’. But the degradation of man has also been going on apace, as witnessed by the enormous increase in broken homes, immorality, violence, crime, etc. in modern society. Vivekananda’s concept of potential divinity of the soul prevents this degradation, divinizes human relationships, and makes life meaningful and worth living. Swamiji has laid the foundation for ‘spiritual humanism’, which is manifesting itself through several neo-humanistic movements and the current interest in meditation, Zen etc all over the world.

3. New Principle of Morality and Ethics: The prevalent morality, in both individual life and social life, is mostly based on fear – fear of the police, fear of public ridicule, fear of God’s punishment, fear of Karma, and so on. The current theories of ethics also do not explain why a person should be moral and be good to others. Vivekananda has given a new theory of ethics and new principle of morality based on the intrinsic purity and oneness of the Atman. We should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine Self or Atman. Similarly, we should love and serve our neighbours because we are all one in the Supreme Spirit known as Paramatman or Brahman.

4. Bridge between the East and the West: Another great contribution of Swami Vivekananda was to build a bridge between Indian culture and Western culture. He did it by interpreting Hindu scriptures and philosophy and the Hindu way of life and institutions to the Western people in an idiom which they could understand. He made the Western people realize that they had to learn much from Indian spirituality for their own well-being. He showed that, in spite of her poverty and backwardness, India had a great contribution to make to world culture. In this way he was instrumental in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world. He was India’s first great cultural ambassador to the West.
On the other hand, Swamiji’s interpretation of ancient Hindu scriptures, philosophy, institutions, etc prepared the mind of Indians to accept and apply in practical life two best elements of Western culture, namely science and technology and humanism. Swamiji has taught Indians how to master Western science and technology and at the same time develop spiritually. Swamiji has also taught Indians how to adapt Western humanism (especially the ideas of individual freedom, social equality and justice and respect for women) to Indian ethos.

Trataka -Gazing Meditation Technique – Part I.

Trataka is a meditation technique which involves focusing the eyes (and, in turn, the mind) through intent but relaxed gazing. Initially, this practice is done with open eyes on an external object. It then progresses to internal practice (with eyes closed), and to gazing the void. Sometimes it’s spelled tratak or tratika.

illusion-rotating-wheelsYou’ll notice in the beginning the wheels appear to be moving. Now look at them again, but instead focus your eyes on one of the dots in the image, and be attentively vigilant that your eyes don’t move even a bit. If you manage to do that, the movements will disappear, and you will see the images for what they are. The second image will probably be more challenging.

If you really stilled your eyes for a minute or two, you might have also experienced a stillness of your mind as well. If not, it becomes evident with a bit more practice.

Conclusion: Distractions in the mind translate to micro movements in the eyes or eyelids, and vice-versa. Stillness of eyes brings stillness of mind, and vice-versa.

In all forms of trataka, you can integrate breath awareness or the repetition of a mantra if you find it helpful, although it’s not commonly taught this way.

There has been very little scientific research in this practice. So what we know in terms of its benefits is mostly all anecdotal evidence from practitioners that have devoted years to its practice. In this context, trataka is attributed to have the following benefits:

  • Improves concentration, memory, and willpower
  • Improves visualization skills
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Cures eye diseases
  • Makes the eyes stronger, clearer, and brighter
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Clears accumulated mental/emotional complexes
  • Brings suppressed thoughts to the surface
  • Increases nervous stability
  • Calms the anxious mind
  • Balances the activity in the two hemispheres of the brain
  • Improves vision in the dark (if practiced on a candle flame)
  • Soothing effect on the cranial nerves
  • Enhances self-confidence and patience

Technique I :

The first level of the practice is external gazing. The object can be almost anything, though the most popular choices are a candle flame, a black dot in a white wall, or an image with particular significance for you. Other objects used are your image in a mirror, transparent glass, a needle, a current of water, the moon in the sky, or the first minutes of the rising sun.

Set your gaze on the object, and keep it there without blinking and without letting your eyes move. After 1 to 3 minutes, your eyes will be tired or tears may be coming. Then close your eyes for a few minutes, and gaze at the afterimage of that object in your mind, if you can see it. When you are ready, open your eyes and go for another round. At the end of your practice, gently wash your eyes with cold water.

Some more practical considerations:

  • Using a candle is a often preferred because the flame has a natural attraction for many people.Fire is like magnet for the eyes and mind. Also, it leaves a very clear after-image in the mind.
  • Don’t practice external trataka for more than 10 minutes (especially the candle-gazing version), unless you have the guidance of a teacher experienced in this technique.
  • The trick in mastering trataka lies in relaxing the eyes as much as possible – otherwise your vision will soon blurr and the eyes will flicker. Don’t worry if all you can do is 10 seconds without blinking; with time you will be able to go long periods without blinking.
  • Place the object at eye level on a little talbe or support ahead of you, in a way that it’s level with your eyes. As to the distance from you, some teachers recommend an arm’s length distance (this works for me), while others recommend up to 5 feet away. Experiment and see what makes most sense.
  • Be sure you can see the object clearly, without blurr. If needed, wear your glasses.
  • If you are using a candle, make your room completely dark, and make sure there is no wind (as the flame ideally needs to be still). For other objects, dim light is preferred, and the source of light should be behind you.
  • Gaze with purpose, as if you are looking for something. Moment after moment, all you are doing is watching that point, without thinking about it.
  • Some Yoga texts mention trying to “pierce the object with your gaze”; others say that it should be a relaxed gaze. Probably a matter of experimentation to see what’s best.
  • Try not to blink, but don’t try too hard. The less thought you give to not blinking, the easiest it is.
  • Don’t strain your eyes. If you feel discomfort, then blink the eyes and continue the practice. But don’t move the pupils.
  • Don’t do trataka on a candle if you have cataracts, glaucoma, myopia, astigmatism or epilepsy.

Accepting the hard truth “The Perfect Partner Doesn’t Exist” makes life easier.

Many people dream of the perfect romance and a partner that will sweep us off of our feet and into the sunset of an eternally happy ever after. In fact, most of us are probably guilty of daydreaming about our “perfect match” sometimes. But how can it affect our real relationships when our partners don’t meet our picture perfect dreams? This doesn’t mean we should settle for someone we’re miserable with, but it does mean that we should always expect to put work into a relationship. Think of it as an artistic masterpiece; you and your partner are the tools and you have to work together to make the canvas beautiful. We can be happy and fulfilled in a relationship, but not if we expect the canvas to paint itself!

Artist, Prostitution and Hypocrisy I

Artists have always glamorised prostitution. Manet savaged all their delusions

Hypocrisy : Paintings and Reality 

Artist:

Men are not brutes; They sleep with a prostitute to know them and closely observe their life.( Hypocrisy **)prostitution would hardly be possible if men did not delude themselves that women enjoyed it. As it is, prostitution is the fastest growing industry in the world. The delusion grows with it, as every porn star emits the “little animal cries” associated by male delusion with female pleasure.

Reality:

“Men are Immoral. They’re cheating on their wives. He is low characterised.”

But  in reality, an non-artist man may have more decent treatments, more protectiveness,  more pampering towards the courtesan without knowing his own artistic abilities.

 

Yoga, Wellness, Rejuvenation and travel Programme -Explore North East India

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What are we Striving for?

“What we Strive for is, What we’re not. Look at An Apple tree which strives to be a full fledged Apple tree, bears leaves, tries to be a fully grown Apple tree and bears gift of Apple fruits. An Apple Tree Doesn’t strive to be a Mango Tree. Every Creatures Likewise tries to be full of what they’re. Only We Human Don’t know how to fully strive to being Human” – Keya

Your Career shouldn’t be the Purpose of your life. A Person Wants to be a Doctor or an  Engineer, Scientist or  Musician, Writer or a Poet. And once the person reaches his Goal he must be striving to make more money or higher Status.

For an Example :Doctors, on average, are also paid well, and have positions of high status. A sign of living happily. You’re Perfect Now. But, in essence Excellence is the very opposite of PerfectionismPerfectionism is losing your true self in the demands of society, and trying to emulate a person who is not you and whom you can never become. Excellence, on the other hand, is becoming the centre of your own universe, and from that grounded, centred position, shining your light into the world by using your unique talents.

I’ve found Six Practises to implement to strive Full Human. These are:

  1.  Accept The Hardship: All life demands struggle, including an Earthworm, a bird, King of Jungle Lion to an Ant. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person to become full fledged Human.
  2.  Someone will Always Have More Than You: It doesn’t matter what I achieve in life, someone, somewhere will always have more than we do. Someone will always be smarter, stronger, and will have more money.  The minute you figure that out, you will be a happier person.
  3. Everything Happens For a Reason:  This is a hard one for me too. It is a hard one for anyone really.  No one really knows why things happen.  I have to believe it is all part of a bigger plan.  Why do people get sick?  Why do people die?  Why do relationships end?  Why are we here?  Why are we dealt a bad hand?  Truthfully, only one person can answer that question.  Breathe.  Enjoy life.
  4. Trying to Control The Uncontrollable: I am an anxious person.  I am always trying to find out how I can control a situation.  You know, I can’t.  It is going to happen regardless.  If I have sleepless nights over losing a job because of a bad economy, then I have wasted energy.   If you are religious/Spiritual, you will trust that things will just have a way of working themselves out.
  5. Treating Every Day Like It is Your Last:  The one thing that is certain in this life is that we will  Embrace every moment.  Treasure friendships that are meaningful.  Spend time with the ones that mean the most to you.   Do things that this wonderful world has to offer.  Your judgement day will come one day. It may come sooner than you think 🙂
  6.  Showing Compassion: When they make mistakes or hurt you. Instead, try to put yourself in their shoes, and think…

“Excellence” is the gradual result of always striving to do better.