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.

Warrior Pose or Virabhadrasana

Veera vigorous, warrior, courageous; Bhadra – good, auspicious; Asana – Posture

The asana is pronounced as Vee- Ra- Bha- Dra-aasana.

This pose is named after Veerabhadra, a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The story of the warrior Veerabhadra, as all stories from Upanishads, has a moral that adds value to our life.

Virabhadra’s Pose is also known as the Warrior Pose (there are three variation of Warrior, of which this is customarily numbered I). It may seem strange to name a yoga pose after a warrior; after all, aren’t yogis known for their non-violent ways? But remember that one of the most revered of all the yoga texts, the Bhagavad-Gita, is the dialog between two famous and feared warriors, Krishna and Arjuna, set on a battlefield between two great armies spoiling for a fight.

What’s really being commemorated in this pose’s name, and held up as an ideal for all practitioners, is the “spiritual warrior,” who bravely does battle with the universal enemy, self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of all our suffering.

There are variety of Warrior Poses but, but the original are counted in Three.

Warrior I Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhale, step or lightly jump your feet 31/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor (and parallel to each other), and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling. Firm your scapulas against your back and draw them down toward the coccyx.
  2. Turn your left foot in 45 to 60 degrees to the right and your right foot out 90 degrees to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel. Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the front edge of your mat. As the left hip point turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly.
  3. With your left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. More flexible students should align their right thigh parallel to the floor.
  4. Reach strongly through your arms, lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and chest, and up into the arms. If possible, bring the palms together. Spread the palms against each other and reach a little higher through the pinky-sides of the hands.
    Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.
  5. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward and release the arms with an exhalation, or keep them extended upward for more challenge. Take a few breaths, then turn the feet to the left and repeat for the same length. When you’re finished return to Tadasana.
Benefits
  • Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas)
  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back
  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles

Warrior II Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
  2. Turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Align the left heel with the right heel. Firm your thighs and turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle.
  3. Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the left thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the left knee by strengthening the right leg and pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor.
  4. Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don’t lean the torso over the left thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis. Turn the head to the left and look out over the fingers.
  5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.
    Benefits
    • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
    • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders
    • Stimulates abdominal organs
    • Increases stamina
    • Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of regnancyTherapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica

Warrior III Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), exhale and fold foward to Uttanasana. From Uttanasana, exhale and step your left foot back into a high lunge position. Your right knee should be more or less at a right angle. Lay the midline of your torso (from the pubis to the sternum) down on the midline of the right thigh (from the knee to the hip crease) and bring your hands to your right knee, right hand to the outer knee, left hand to the inner. Squeeze the knee with your hands, lift your torso slightly, and with an exhalation, turn it slightly to the right.
  2. Now from the lunge position, stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor and parallel to each other, palms facing each other. Exhale and press the head of the right thighbone back and press the heel actively into the floor. Synchronize the straightening of the front leg and the lifting of the back leg. As you lift the back leg, resist by pressing the tailbone into the pelvis.
  3. Normally students come up into Virabhadrasana III by lunging the torso forward. This tends to shift the body weight onto the ball of the front foot and unbalance the position. Don’t allow the torso to swing forward as you move into position; instead, as you straighten the front knee, think of pressing the head of the thighbone back. This centers the femur in the hip joint, grounds the heel into the floor, and stabilizes the position.
  4. The arms, torso, and raised leg should be positioned relatively parallel to the floor. For many students the pelvis tends to tilt. Release the hip [of the raised leg] toward the floor until the two hip points are even and parallel to the floor. Energize the back leg and extend it strongly toward the wall behind you; reach just as actively in the opposite direction with the arms. Bring the head up slightly and look forward, but be sure not to compress the back of your neck.
  5. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Release back to the lunge on an exhalation. Bring your hands to the floor on either side of the right foot, and on an exhalation, step your left foot forward to meet your right. Stay in this forward bend for a few breaths, then repeat for the same length of time on the other side.
Benefits
  • Strengthens the ankles and legs
  • Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
  • Tones the abdomen
  • Improves balance and posture

How Mood affects when you spot your first White Hair

How white hair affects your mood

It may be pre-mature or just at the right time, but as soon as you see your first white hair so many calculations might take place in your mind and your mood might change as a result.

The first thing you will start to think about is that you are growing old. You might even go far and think that you are becoming weaker or less physically capable. Many people will compare their progress in life to their achievements the second they see that white hair.

But, mood will be 100% dependent on the type of processing that always takes place in the mind. If for example a man believed that white hair makes people look wise and more handsome then actually seeing white hair might make him feel good.

On the other hand a man who believes that his goals are still far from his reach might get really sad when he sees white hair as he might conclude that he is running out of time. See i am too old to start over.

The amount of white hair

Now as the amount of white hair increases a person’s emotional intensity will increase as well. So if a person felt bad when he initially saw the first white hair then probably his emotions will keep going worse as gets more white hair unless he changes something about his life or thoughts. See also fear of growing up.

Many people , especially women, start to get concerned about their looks when they get white hair. This concern might keep growing as the white hair increases and as a result the change in emotions might become more intense.

Couple of years ago one friend saw her first white hair at 23. First thing -Sigh! After a month she decided to go for hair dye. But, I told her to go for natural remedies, Ayurveda and some Yoga Therapy for long term good result too. Yes, she is enjoying her overall benefits of it.

First thing that comes in your mind –

I am too old to start over

If you think that you are too old to succeed then read the following success stories of people who achieved success after an old age. Some of them changed careers after 50 while others began new careers in their 70s!

Do you think that you are too old to start over? then read the following lines

People who succeed late in life

  • 1) Colonel Sanders, started at the age of 65: The name might not be familiar but his brand is familiar to people all around the world. Kentucky friend chicken was founded by Colonel Sanders after the age of 65! At that old age he desperately tried to sell his recipe to restaurants and got around 1000 rejections before he managed to become successful. Do you think you are old to start over?
  • 2) Peter Mark Roget, started at the age of 73: The following line is copied from Wikipedia “He is best known for publishing, in 1852, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Roget’s Thesaurus), a classified collection of related words”. The one thing that Wikipedia didn’t mention is that Peter published his Thesaurus at the age of 73 and he became famous for it! How old are you to believe that you are too old for success?
  • 3)Grandma Moses, started at the age of 76!: Grandma Moses was a very old lady but she started becoming passionate about paintings. Grandma Moses started to sell paintings for 2 and 3 dollars and as the time passed she became so successful that many of her paintings were sold for thousands of dollars. In 2006 one of her works was sold for 1.2 million dollars! You think you are too old right?

Success has nothing to do with age

How old are you? Thirty? forty? fifty? seventy? ninety?
It won’t even matter!
Success has nothing to do with age. You just need to believe that you can start all over and be persistent.