Why Buddhism Deserted in India?

In the era of the Buddha, India was regarded as a pioneer in many fields. India had an economic surplus, political stability and more importantly, a history of spiritual and intellectual innovation. India was viewed as a superpower similar to 21st century America. Buddhism was received with open hearts in other countries in Asia because of its origin in India.

Then why such a formidable culture lost in India? 

Before the birth of the Buddha, Indian society had become self-centered (the intellectual class) and ritualistic (the masses). Buddhism provided a new organized form of religious Sangha, which preached a simple message of compassion in Päli, the language of laypeople. This ease and simplicity helped the extensive spread of Buddhism.

Causes of decline:

The decline of Buddhism has been attributed to various factors, especially the regionalisation of India after the end of the Gupta empire (320-650 CE), which lead to a competition with Hinduism and Jainism and the loss of patronage and donations; and the conquest and subsequent persecutions by Huns, Turks and Persians.

Patronage and religious dynamics:

Loss of patronage and donations:

In ancient India, regardless of the religious beliefs of their kings, states usually treated all the important sects relatively even-handedly. This consisted of building monasteries and religious monuments, donating property such as the income of villages for the support of monks, and exempting donated property from taxation. Donations were most often made by private persons such as wealthy merchants and female relatives of the royal family, but there were periods when the state also gave its support and protection. In the case of Buddhism, this support was particularly important because of its high level of organisation and the reliance of monks on donations from the laity. State patronage of Buddhism took the form of land grant foundations.

Religious convergence:

Buddhism’s distinctiveness diminished with the rise of Hindu sects. Though Mahayana writers were quite critical of Hinduism, the devotional cults of Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism likely seemed quite similar to laity, and the developing Tantrism of both religions were also similar. Buddhist ideas, and even the Buddha himself, were absorbed and adapted into orthodox Hindu thought, while the differences between the two systems of thought were emphasized.

Internal social-economic dynamics:

According to some scholars such as Lars Fogelin, the decline of Buddhism may be related to economic reasons, wherein the Buddhist monasteries with large land grants focussed on non-material pursuits, self-isolation of the monasteries, loss in internal discipline in the sangha, and a failure to efficiently operate the land they owned. With the growing support for Hindusim and Jainism, Buddhist monasteries also gradually lost control of land revenue.

Reform in Hinduism:

Buddhism had dealt a heavy blow to Brahminical faith. Threatened with extinction, Hinduism started to re-organize itself. Attempts were now made to give up the complex system of rites and rituals and make Hinduism simple and attractive. The Hindus even came to accept the Buddha as a Hindu incarnation and accepted the principle of non-violence. This helped revive Hinduism and made it popular again. This took away the fragrance out of the flower of Buddhism. The decline of Buddhism became inevitable.

Lose of Royal Patronage:

In course of time Buddhism came to lose royal patronage. No king, worthy of note, came forward to sponsor Buddhism after Asoka, Kaniska and Harsavardhan. Royal patronage works magically for the spread of any faith. Absence of any such patronage for Buddhism came to pave the way for its decline in the end.

Emergence of Rajputs:

Emergence of the Rajputs became an important reason for the decline of Buddhism. Kings of such dynasties as Bundela, Chahamana, Chauhan, Rathore etc. were militant rulers and loved warfare. They could not tolerate the Buddhists for their message of non-violence. The Buddhists feared persecution from these Rajput rulers and fled from India. Buddhism became weaker and faced decline.

Patronage of Brahmanism:

In course of time there was the rise of the Brahminical faith once again. Pushyamitra Sunga, the Brahmin commander of the last Maurya ruler Vrihadratha, assassinated the king and founded the Sunga dynasty replacing the Maurya dynasty.

Role of Hindu Preachers:

Harsavardhan drove away the Brahmins from the religious council held at Kanauj. These Brahmins, under Kumarila Bhatta, fled to the Deccan. Under Bhatta’s leadership, Brahmanism staged a come-back. Adi Sankaracharya also revived and strengthened Hinduism. He defeated Buddhist scholars in religious discourses which were held in many places in course of his tour of the whole of India.

Wars and persecution:

Hun Invasions:

Chinese scholars travelling through the region between the 5th and 8th centuries, such as Faxian, Xuanzang, Yijing, Hui-sheng, and Sung-Yun, began to speak of a decline of the Buddhist Sangha in the north-west parts of Indian subcontinent, especially in the wake of the Hun invasion from central Asia. Xuanzang wrote that numerous monasteries in north-western India had been reduced to ruins by the Huns.

Mihirakula:

Mihirakula who ruled from 515 CE in north-western region (modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north India), suppressed Buddhism as well. He did this by destroying monasteries as far away as modern-day Allahabad.

Turk-Mongol raids:

The image, in the chapter on India in Hutchison’s Story of the Nations edited by James Meston, depicts the Turkish general Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji’s massacre of Buddhist monks in Bihar. Khaliji destroyed the Nalanda and Vikramshila universities during his raids across North Indian plains, massacring many Buddhist and Brahmin scholars.

In the Gangetic plains, Orissa, north-east and the southern regions of India, Buddhism survived through the early centuries of the 2nd millennium CE. According to William Johnston, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and shrines were destroyed, Buddhist texts were burnt by the Muslim armies, monks and nuns killed during the 12th and 13th centuries in the Gangetic plains region. The Islamic invasion plundered wealth and destroyed Buddhist images:

From 986 CE, the Muslim Turks started raiding northwest India from Afghanistan, plundering western India early in the eleventh century. Force conversions to Islam were made, and Buddhist images smashed, due to the Islamic dislike of idolarty. Indeed in India, the Islamic term for an ‘idol’ became ‘budd’.

— Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism

The north-west parts of South Asia fell to Islamic control, and the consequent take over of land holdings of Buddhist monasteries removed one source of necessary support for the Buddhists, while the economic upheaval and new taxes on laity sapped the laity support of Buddhist monks.

In the north-western parts of medieval India, the Himalayan regions, as well regions bordering central Asia, Buddhism once facilitated trade relations, states Lars Fogelin. With the Islamic invasion and expansion, and central Asians adopting Islam, the trade route-derived financial support sources and the economic foundations of Buddhist monasteries declined, on which the survival and growth of Buddhism was based. The arrival of Islam removed the royal patronage to the monastic tradition of Buddhism, and the replacement of Buddhists in long-distance trade by the Muslims eroded the related sources of patronage.

Islamic invasion and rule:

Ruins of Vikramashila

Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji:

Vikramashila was destroyed by the forces of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji around 1200. Many Buddhist monks fled to Nepal, Tibet, and South India to avoid the consequences of war. Tibetan pilgrim Chöjepal had to flee advancing Muslim troops multiple times, as they were sacking Buddhist sites.

Fall of Pala Dynasty by Muslim Invaders:

A major empire to support Buddhism, the Pala dynasty, fell in the 12th century, and Muslim invaders destroyed monasteries and monuments. According to Randall Collins, Buddhism was already declining in India by the 12th century, but with the pillage by Muslim invaders it nearly became extinct in India in the 1200s. In the 13th century, states Craig Lockard, Buddhist monks in India escaped to Tibet to escape Islamic persecution; while the monks in western India, states Peter Harvey, escaped persecution by moving to south Indian Hindu kingdoms that were able to resist the Muslim power.

Conquest of Turk Shah:

Brief Muslim accounts and the one eye witness account of Dharmasmavim in wake of the conquest during the 1230s talks about abandoned viharas being used as camps by the Turukshahs. Later historical traditions such as Taranathas are mixed with legendary materials and summarised as “the Turukshah conquered the whole of Magadha and destroyed many monasteries and did much damage at Nalanda, such that many monks fled abroad” thereby bringing about a demise of Buddhism with their destruction of the Viharas.

7 Interesting things about Betel nut(Tamul) In Assam.

By Keya Dutta

1. Auspicious: In Assam, betel nut are traditionally offered as a mark of respect and auspicious beginnings. It is a tradition to offer pan-tamul (betel leaves and raw areca nut) to guests, after tea or meals, served in a brass plate with stands called bota. Among the Assamese, the areca nut also has a variety of uses during religious and marriage ceremonies, where it has the role of a fertility symbol.

2. Invitation : A tradition from Upper Assam is to invite guests to wedding receptions by offering a few areca nuts with betel leaves. During Bihu, the husori players are offered areca nuts and betel leaves by each household while their blessings are solicited.

3. Refreshment: A customary Paan-Tamul (Betel nut leaf- Betel nut) is offered to guests after the end of every Bhoj[feast]. This is usually the Saadaa-Paan-Tamul-Soon (Slacked lime) with cardamom pods in it to freshen the breath.

3. Play with areca nut leaf:04310-028playing Children in most of the villages Assam, play with areca nut leaf. It’s been existed in India since Medieval time till now and many people of my age group to old age can passionatelyrelate to this unsophisticated,  unwheeled zigzag, pulling car of which is a blessing of mother nature.

4. Sarota:2017012418235726065
Sarota is betel nut cutter carries the distinct design of all time. This exquisite piece is a treat for collectors and makes for a wonderful decor accent.

5. Peek(Colourful spitting):

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PEEK

It’s little disgusting to step on or watching over the views of every walls on streets of Assam “famous spewing the gross ‘Peek’ (liquid residue) after chewing Paan (Betel Leaf and nut)”

** However,  it is a common problem in many cities and towns of Northern India too. Government and Public both are equally working on the banning of ‘Peek
6. Health Benefits : It is believed to be healthy too.  It gives people a buzz equivalent to six cups of coffee and is used variously as a symbol of love, marriage and a cure for indigestion and impotence and prevent tooth decay.
7. Employment: Assam-based natural dinnerware producer Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has received a seed investment from Upaya Social Ventures through Upaya’s LiftUP Project. Based in the Barpeta District of Assam, Tamul Plates produces and markets high-quality, all-natural disposable plates and bowls made from arecanut (palm) tree leaves under the “Tambul Leaf Plates” brand.

**Caution:

Worryingly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer lists each ingredient, with the exception of cardamom and cinnamon, as a known carcinogen – or cancer-causing agent.

The slaked lime is seen as a particular problem as it causes hundreds of tiny abrasions to form in the mouth. This is thought to be a possible entry point for many of the cancer-causing chemicals.

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

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Welcome to the North East India’s First Yoga Retreat with SILOAM, Meghalaya! Your next Vacation of Yoga and Adventure.  A Yoga Vacation program designed to recharge your energetic batteries and truly rejuvenate your body and mind to leave you feeling inspired, refreshed, centred and peaceful in 14 acre pine forest for open in outdoor sessions and activities. 250 seater Amphitheater by the Lake. Fully and excellently furnished accommodation for 60 persons in lake view rooms. 10 executive lake side Cottages with spacious open decks. State of the Art 100 seater conference Hall. 2 additional Meeting Halls for 25 persons each. 2 separate Dormitories to accommodate 100 persons. Landscape pathways for personal reflection and meditations. http://siloam.co.in

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Contact Person : Mr. Kaushik Moral

Contact Number : + 91-8794006606

20 Motivating movies of Bollywood in last 2 Decades

Movies can be a wonderful source of inspiration and motivation, as some of them can help you to change your mindset quickly into a more positive one. When movies are able to spark the interest to apply their message in real life, it was well worth watching them. The movies in this list are ranked by the average score they received from critics, but also by their potential to motivate and inspire. However, something that is by far more important than a movie’s popularity is its ability to get you motivated.

1. Airlift

In 1990, Saddam Hussein-led Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait rendered over a lakh Indians residing there homeless and scurrying for cover. Thanks to a handful of Indian businessmen and their swift thinking, each of them was safely evacuated from the war zone and brought back to India.

2. Bhag Milkha Bhag 

The truth behind the ascension of Milkha “The Flying Sikh” Singh who was scarred because of the India-Pakistan partition.

3. Baghban

The movie Baghban a big slap on so called modern era. I watched it because it’s let someone know their parents feelings. What they feel at the age when they need their children most and the children are ignoring them. They really portrait the old age parents feelings.

4. Chakde! India

This movie is a real story about Mir Ranjan Negi, for whome life had become a nightmare. The 7-1 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the 1982 Asian Games final had brought unprecedented humiliation for India in a sporting arena. The nation went into a mourning and Negi into hiding.

5. Dasvidaniya

“Dasvidaniya” a marvelous movie, which takes you on a journey of self. A roller coaster of emotions. Every moment matches the mood. The detailing is in sync. Music by Kailash Kher leaves a lasting impression. Check out ‘Alvida’ and ‘Meri Maa'”Dasvidaniya” is a bittersweet comedy about a man diagnosed with cancer and how he spends the last three months of his life.

6. I am Kalam

This movie is an epic story of a kid who believes that fate and fortune is nothing. It’s only karma that has the power to either make you or break you. A refreshing movie full of hope and joy.

7. Lagaan

The movie tells the purportedly true story of the little village of Champaner in 1893 in India. Next to the village is a British cantonment. A narration sets the stage. The British have played one rajah off against the other and demand draconian taxes in agricultural goods and services called lagaan from the villages they protect from the inter-tribal warfare they instigate. Compounding the lagaan problem, rain has not fallen for months.

8. Lage Raho Munna Bhai

The movie has had a strong cultural impact in India, popularizing Gandhism under Munna Bhai’s notion of Gandhigiri. As noted by critics, the film has “stirred the popular imagination,” leading to a number of Gandhigiriprotests in India and in the United States: “For generations born after Gandhi’s assassination, Munnabhai, the eponymous hero of the film, has rendered “Gandhism” passé and “Gandhian” arcane.

9. Lakshya

Noble is not a word that’s easily applicable to mainstream Hindi cinema – not when so much of it is about having a good, if not a sleazy, time.

But here’s a rare, refreshing, path-breaking film that is as noble in intent as it is in treatment.

An aimless, jobless, irresponsible grown man joins the army and matures into a battlefield hero. “Lakshya” is really about one individual’s odyssey in life from embarrassing idleness to redeeming self-motivation. This epic transition is achieved through layers of illuminating leitmotifs — the wonderful soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy for one.

10. Manjhi: The Mountain Man

Using only a hammer and a chisel, a man spends twenty-two years carving a road through a treacherous mountain.A real story about a man who cut through the mountain to build a way for his fellow villagers to get faster to the hospital across the mountain. While being laughed at earlier, he eventually showed every one of us the power of strong will and commitment.

11. Mary Kom

The biopic, as is clear by now, is about MC Mary Kom, a five-time boxing world champion and Olympic bronze medallist from India. With the support of her husband Onler Ko, the boxer, who was once considered down and out, made a comeback to win two major medals. The episodic demonstration of Kom’s obstacles, including a father who objects to her boxing, a vengeful sports federation and an ill-timed pregnancy, seems rather breathless.

12. Nil Battey Sannata

Released in India on 22 April 2016. It received critical acclaim and was positively received by the audiences as well. Reviewers praised most aspects of the production, with particular emphasis on its narrative, realism, and performances of the cast.

13. Peepli Live

This is a 2010 Indian satirical comedy film that explores the topic of “farmer suicides” and the subsequent media and political response. It is written and directed by Anusha Rizvi in her directorial debut, and produced byAamir Khan Productions. The film stars Naya Theatre company member Omkar Das Manikpuri as well as Naseeruddin Shah, Raghubir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shalini Vatsa and Malaika Shenoy along with a number of newcomers.

14. Queen

Queen is an ignorant Delhi girl who finds herself on a ‘honeymoon’ all by herself after her fiancé cancelled the wedding just one day before the event. What happens along the way forms the crux of this sweet, sensitive, fun social drama.

This movie is the kind that will work to make you a better human being, minus the lecture 🙂

15. Rang De Basanti

A British documentary filmmaker coming to India to make a film on the Indian armed revolution. She finds young generation who are more western than her. Six young Indians who assist English Woman to film a documentary on the extremist freedom fighters from their past, and the events that lead them to relive the long forgotten saga of freedom. Two lines… the past and present run together.

** Though the  film’s controversial ending, where the protagonists gun down corrupt politicians, has been perceived as fascist.
Rationalizes Director of the movie  “Every story has to follow its own course. When heroes in a mythology enter the caves to fight the demons, they’ve to perish.

16. Rocket Singh Sales Man of the Year

Recent college graduate Harpreet Singh Bedi, who was an average student but very high on ethics and principles grows increasingly disillusioned with his job as a salesman while struggling to reconcile his professional ambition with his true heart’s desire. Harpreet may have been an average student at best, but his infectious optimism and penchant for dreaming could prove the key to finally realizing his dreams of success.

17. Swades

This is a story of an idealistic NASA engineer, Mohan Bhargav, who decides to go back to his village to enable change.  In the village, idealism meets reality.  What seems like a simple problem a priori turns out into a major project due to the powerful social forces at work.  Mohan’s attempt to create a village school is a typical example.  Since upper-caste kids are not used to mingling with lower-caste kids in the classroom, this turns out into a project about caste relations.  Mohan ends up visiting the homes of villagers to motivate them to send their children to school.  Over time, Mohan overcomes many of the hurdles in his way and shows the villagers the power of science.

18. Taare Zameen Par

How can one not love a movie about children crafted with utmost compassion – children with special needs at that? But, it is not the only reason I liked Tare Zameen Par.  This is about a child who suffers because no one around him recognizes that he is a slow learner. The beauty of the narration is that the message applies to all children – learning disability or not. How can creativity not deserve a place in academics? It also points a very subtle finger at how we build conformation in our system right at the roots.

19. The legend of Bhagat Singh

It is one of the finest movies of Indian film history.The film shows the lifetime of great freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.The film depicts his life,his struggle and his determination brillantly..The film not only shows the freedom fighter’s struggle,but also his ideologies and his idea of a progressive nation and how he moved the entire nation. The photography,the script,the dialogues(power packed and very thought-provoking)everything about this movie is splendid.A lot of research has gone into making this film.

20. 3 Idiots

Shaming on Indian education system, 3 Idiots is actually an eye-opener for every Indian parent, who pressurizes their children to pursue a career in Engineering or Medicine. The movie dictates the most important lesson of life that says, “Educate yourself to improve your abilities, not to be successful because once you are able, success will come along at any circumstances.”

 

Adi mudra and it’s Benefits

Method:   Adi mudra is formed by placing the thumbs into the palms and curls the other fingers over the thumbs.
1.Place the ‘fists’ down onto the thighs with the backs of the hands higher . 
2. Slow rhythmic breathing in a 4:3:6:3 ratio (Inhale : 4, keeping air inside : 3, Exhale : 6, Keeping belly emptya without air : 3)
3. Repeat this cycle for 7 times.
 
Duration: 30minutes every day, either at one stretch or in two parts(i.e for 15 minutes, twice a day)
 
Benefits of  ADI MUDRA:
 
Performing Audi mudra opens the higher lobes of the lungs. Adi Mudra motivates Udana vatu, the prana that Moves upwards in the head region, and outwards to the extremities. In physical terms, it is in charge of the balancing and healing the sense organs. In more subtle terms it is in Charge of balancing our appreciations. Adi mudra in Try to maintain awareness of each breath moving into  out of the nostrils for two or three minutes.
 
Advantages of ADI MUDRA:
Increases the vital capacity of the lungs.
It helps the organs to function actively.
Increases oxygen flows to the throat and head area.
It quiets the nervous system.

The Eternal Bond of Friendship- Krishna and Sudama

The Eternal Bond of Friendship- Krishna and Sudama

Indian mythology abounds with colorful and flavorful tales and lore, each having a hidden moral or lesson to learn from. While some of these stories deal with valor and heroic deeds; others relate in detail, instances of love and friendship. In this present-day jet-age, a true friend is one who is the most dinarfficult to find and keep. We have several hundreds of friends, both online and offline, but only the really lucky ones get to meet that one friend and companion who will stay by their side, no matter what happens in their lives.

This time, we bring you a wonderfully refreshing and touching tale of the eternal bond of true and divine friendship between man and God – the bond that verily uplifts the Jeevatma to the level of the Paramatma and makes him one with the Creator. We present before you the story of Krishna and Sudama.

Sudama was a childhood friend of Lord Sri Krishna. Krishna and Sudama once went to the forest to gather brushwood. They stayed on there for long, walking and chatting with each other, while also enjoying the beauty of their environs. It started getting quite late and Krishna got hungry. Sudama, in the meantime, had some grams with him. However, he felt embarrassed to offer this simple food to his friend, who hailed from a royal family. Krishna kept telling him how hungry he was and asked his friend if he had anything at all to eat. Sudama denied taking along anything to eat.

Krishna knew very well that his friend had some food with him. He also knew that the boy too was hungry, so he dozed off for a little while. Sudama immediately opened his little pack of food and stealthily ate up some of it. Krishna noticed all this but said nothing. Both the boys then collected the brushwood and left for their homes.

After finishing with their studies, they lost touch for several years. Krishna moved away from Vrindavan and went on to Dwaraka, where he got married. He then became the King and a military leader of great repute. Sudama, though, remained as impoverished as always and stayed on in the same village; continuing to dedicate his life to religious austerities, mantra, japa and developing a spiritual attitude toward life. He also continued thinking of Krishna and loved him as always.

In due course of time, Sudama got married to Susheela . However, he never had any interest in accumulating wealth. He was happy to live frugally, desiring no material gains. He accepted his financial status and preferred to spend time in the contemplation of the Supreme Godhead. He had not much money to spare for his wife and children. There were many times when the family did not even get two square meals.

Sudama’s wife repeatedly requested her husband to visit his old friend Krishna and beseech him for some financial assistance. She would remind him that he being a true Brahmin, a devotee and long-lost close friend of Krishna, the latter would be only too willing to help him in his time of trouble. Susheela, like her husband, was not bothered about acquiring material treasures; but she was concerned about the health of her family, especially that of her children.

He eventually agreed to visit his long-lost royal friend at Dwaraka. He realized that it would not be nice to go empty-handed to visit the King and so, he asked his wife to prepare some foodstuff that he could present before Krishna. Having nothing to eat in the house, she picked up some flattened rice or “poha” and packed it in a little piece of cloth. Sudama took it and happily left for Dwaraka.

Reaching Dwaraka, Sudama stared in amazement at the massive gates of the palace, and then entered therein, passing through several military camps and residential quarters on the way. Once inside, he saw Krishna seated with Rukmini. The Lord immediately got up and warmly received Sudama, fondly embracing him. The palace attendants were shocked to see their King behaving in such a fashion with this humble, obviously very poor Brahmin. Sudama was completely overwhelmed by the rousing welcome that Krishna gave him. The Lord asked him to be seated and, in traditional fashion, washed Sudama’s feet, as a mark of respect for a Brahmin. Krishna then took some of the water used to wash his feet and sprinkled it over his own head. He then offered Sudama food and drink to refresh him after his long journey.

 

Krishna’s mood turned jovial and, with a mischievous glint in his eye, he asked his friend what the latter had brought him as a gift and if his wife had packed some nice eatables. Reluctantly and feeling very embarrassed, Sudama offered him the packet of flattened rice. Krishna, knowing what his friend was thinking, enthusiastically opened the packet and was very happy when he saw the contents inside it. He decided he would partake of the rice and then richly reward Sudama for the same.

The Lord grabbed a handful of the foodstuff and happily ate it up. When he tried to put in a second mouthful though, his wife Rukmini, the Goddess of Fortune, held his hand and shook her head ever so slightly. She meant to tell him that with one handful of the rice, Sudama would become extremely wealthy in his present life. But with a second handful, he would continue to reap riches even in his next life. She was already obliged by Sudama’s offering, to stay in this Brahmin’s house and shower her grace in his present birth. She did not wish to continue doing so in his next birth as well.

Krishna understood what Rukmini was trying to tell him and, with a gentle smile on his lips, kept aside the packet of rice. He then fed his friend a lavish meal, asked him to rest for a while and then spent some more time talking with him. Sudama, in the meantime, was in a state of transcendental bliss and so, actually forgot the reason why he had come here in the first place. He spent the night at the palace and left for his home early next morning. Krishna lovingly bade him farewell, though he did not offer him anything in material terms. On the way, he was completely happy and absorbed thinking of the wonderful time he had spent with the Lord.

He thought that Krishna had desisted from giving him money and other material things, as he probably thought that those things may spoil his own attitude and make him too proud and arrogant; finally making him forget God. Thinking thus, he continued on his way back home.

He thought that Krishna had desisted from giving him money and other material things, as he probably thought that those things may spoil his own attitude and make him too proud and arrogant; finally making him forget God. Thinking thus, he continued on his way back home.

A Palace Of Gold Awaits Sudama

As he neared his home, Sudama was dismayed to see that his humble little cottage was missing. In place of that was a large, gleaming palace, made of gold, stones and jewels. His poor and shabby neighborhood had been converted into beautiful gardens and parks with lovely lotus-filled lakes, filled with flocks of different multi-colored birds! Regal-looking men and women were strolling around the parks and divine music was playing somewhere in the background.

Sure that he had come to the right place, Sudama wondered where his little home had disappeared, virtually overnight. As he stood there taking in the sights, his wife ran out of the palace to greet him. She was dressed in opulent, rich silks and heavy gold jewelry and seemed to him like the Goddess of Fortune herself. She affectionately led her amazed husband inside the palace. Its chambers were beautiful and ornate, fit for Indra, the King of the Gods. The palace consisted of several ornamented columns and pillars, with rich silk and velvet canopies hanging from the windows.

Sudama then understood that all of this was Krishna’s doing. The Lord had been silently watching him and his suffering for all these years. But his small, seemingly meaningless offering of the poha had paid rich rewards. He had been bestowed wonderful and incomparable riches and a palace, beautiful beyond human imagination.

Moral Contained In The Story

The story of Krishna and Sudama contains several hidden lessons that we could learn from. Some of them are as follows:
All are equal in the eyes of the Lord and He does not differentiate friendship based on petty caste, wealth and social status. We too should learn to respect each individual, as each one is a creation of that Supreme Being.

The Gyan Mudra steps and Benefits

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Gyan  or Chin Mudra 

The word Gyan means wisdom in Sanskrit. Thus, practicing the Gyan Mudra is believed to help instill wisdom and spiritual enlightenment.

This is why the Gyan Mudra is widely used in many yogic meditation poses such as Pranayama. The Gyan Mudra is also known as the Chin Mudra.

Steps of doing Gyan Mudra :

The Gyan Mudra should ideally be performed along with meditation asanas and Pranayama. Here are the steps of Gyan Mudra:

  1. Sit down in a meditative pose such as the Sukha Asana (Easy Pose), Vajra Asana (Diamond Pose), or Padma Asana (Lotus Pose). You may even perform the Gyan Mura while standing in the Tada Asana (Mountain Pose) or sitting comfortably on a chair.
  2. Ensure that your back is held straight and your chest and head held up high.
  3. Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards.
  4. Touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb.
  5.  The rest of the finger should be held straight and parallel to each other. This Mudra is performed with both hands.
  6.  Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  7.  

     

    To further enhance the effectiveness of the Gyan Mudra, you may chant the word Om (Aum) in conjunction with every exhale.

 

 Benefits: Effective in cases of mental ailment, imparts happiness, the intellect develops, memory is sharpened. It also helps to relieve stress and transcend worldly problems.