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News Archive

The Divine Feminine | Editorial | December 2016


God has no gender. God has no form or name. It is for our convenience that we imagine God to be in various names and forms and also in different genders. We have female, male, and transgender conceptions of God. All these conceptions are the creations of human minds. That is why they differ according to the place, time, culture, and world views of the people who conceive them. And since most of the people in this world have a patriarchal mindset; most conceptions of God are patriarchal. Most forms of God are male. The most used pronoun for God is ‘he’ and it is ‘God’ and seldom ‘Goddess’. This is characteristic of the male aggressive psyche. Even the most docile personality types among males tend to be aggressive towards a female>>>

Ignorance and Knowledge | Editorial | Vedanta Kesari February 2015


In some context or other, all spiritual seekers encounter the term ignorance. But ignorance of what? And knowledge of what? How "ignorance" affects us and how "knowledge" changes our lives - we are left wondering about these questions. In practical world, we use these two terms - knowledge and ignorance - in a variety of ways. We all know how knowledge and ignorance play a vital role in serious issues of life.

The Eternal Relation | Editorial | Vedanta Kesari January 2015


We live in a world of relations. To live is to be related. The very act of birth relates us to someone - mother, father, siblings, relatives, neighbours, language and gender group, nationality and so on. And as long as we live, we interact with others based on our relations. Even though death seems to annul all our relations, we still continue to be referred to as someone who is related to so-and-so. "Relativity" thy name, life!

Growing Gracefully into Old Age by Swami Dayatmananda


That which is born is sure to decay and die, living or non-living. Existence is inevitably associated with growth, youth, old age, decay and death; there is no exception. Shankaracharya, it is said, was walking along a street in Varanasi, accompanied by his disciples. He saw an old man trying to master Sanskrit grammar. Taking pity on him, he advised him not to waste his time on learning grammar at his age but to turn his mind to God in worship and adoration. That is how the famous hymn Bhaja Govindam came to be composed.

Putin tells India’s Modi will try yoga | AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE


UFA, Russsia: Russia"s judo black-belt president Vladimir Putin has promised yoga-loving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he"ll try some yoga poses, despite feeling daunted by the challenge. “I"ve tried so many things, but I haven"t tried yoga, though it is certainly appealing,” Putin told Modi during talks in the Russian city of Ufa. “I"ll see what I am able to do based on my physical aptitude,” he added.

YOGA IN THE GARDEN: Exercise your physical and mental well being


The Newtown Presbyterian Church is hosting “YOGA in the Garden” every Wednesday night in July and August at the Newtown Historic Presbyterian Church, 76 North Sycamore Street, Newtown. The class is held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at a cost of $10 per class. Drop ins are welcome.

How to take a wellness retreat for less


Yoga and meditation retreats are costly, but their focus on wellness can be applied to even a typical family vacation, according to experts.

Yoga events move from studios to sunny spaces in Sewickley| TribLIVE


Yoga is more widely practiced and hailed these days for its stress-relieving and body-strengthening benefits, and lately it"s become more common to find the activity out in the summer sun. Hundreds of people participate in Yoga in the Square at 10 a.m. Sundays from June to September in Market Square, Downtown. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and retailer lululemon present the free events.

Why Russell Simmons Meditates | US News and World Report


The business magnate credits much of his success to meditation and yoga, which he first pursued for the eye candy.We all have goals. Meditation and yoga are powerful tools to first realize your aspirations, and then set your plan into motion. When you practice yoga or meditate, you allow your mind to relax. A common misconception is that you are meant to be peaceful every time you meditate. In reality, meditation gives your mind the chance to take a break from constantly working and organizing.

Through yoga, Tyrone Beverly embraces diversity, community building | THE DENVER POST


Picture someone who practices yoga. What comes to mind probably is a white suburban mom in Lululemon tights, not a man who can lift himself effortlessly into scale pose. "That"s the perception most people have when I talk to them about yoga," says Stephon Matthews."So I invite them to one of our classes, because we have the most diverse yoga class in Colorado, and it changes their whole view."

Three-Year-Old Girl"s Yoga Wave


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the people world over are working really hard to perfect their skills in yoga, this three-year-old kid is proving it to be a child’s play. Meet Ameya Rajendran, a pre-schooler who has already mastered the art of yoga, its different ‘asanas’ and ‘pranayamas’. Ameya is an expert at performing some of the difficult asanas like ‘halasana’, ‘chakrasana’, ‘vipareeta karani mudra’, ‘poorna bhujangasana’, ‘upavishta konasana’, ‘pachimottonasana’ among many.

How to safely prepare your body for modern yoga classes | THE GLOBE AND MAIL


When something has been around longer than chocolate, has more followers than Oprah Winfrey’s Twitter account and is as good for the soul as a compassionate TED talk, how can it be bad? For thousands of years in India, the practice of yoga has been a respected tool for health and vitality. But as we turn up the studio temperature to exactly 40.5 degrees Celsius, add the “power” to our yoga and balance frantic cycling with downward dogs in something called “Spynga,” we must be aware that new, modern forms of yoga come with associated risks.

World universities offering summer Sanskrit classes


Various prestigious universities/institutes around the world are offering Sanskrit language courses during summer. Universities/Institutes offering these Sanskrit classes include USA’s Harvard University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Mangalam Research Center Berkeley; Germany’s Universität Heidelberg and Universität Hamburg; United Kingdom’s University of Oxford and University of London; Nepal’s Rangjung Yeshe Institute; etc.

Gujarat government to promote yoga as cure for diabetes, mental disorders | INDIAN EXPRESS


To be flagged off as a pilot project this month, the disease-oriented yoga sessions would be held at ayurvedic hospitals. Apart from trained yoga teachers, a team of AYUSH doctors would scrutinise the applications for a medical history and status to decide whether to allow them to attend the yoga sessions or not.

Yoga program aims to benefit law enforcement | CHICAGO TRIBUNE


Local police officers are being offered the chance to help counteract the tough aspects of their job through yoga. Yoga instructor Shayleen Halloran is starting a Serving the Badge program at the YOUnique Yoga studio at 65 W. 112th Ave. in Crown Point.

Hinduism focus at Salzburg Festival 2015


Hinduism will form part of the world renowned Salzburg Festival of Austria this year for the first time in its 95 years history.

Hindus have highest retention rate in USA


Hindus have the highest retention rate as compared to any other major religious group in USA, per an analysis posted by Pew Research Center (PRC), "a nonpartisan fact tank" headquartered in Washington DC, on June 24.

Yoga classes banned in central Russian city to check spread of "religious occultism" | DNA


At the center of the crackdown are two studios holding classes for Hatha Yoga - a set of asanas or postures involving deep breathing and tough physical exercises, which as per Hindu mythology was first practiced by Lord Shiva.

Russia targets yoga sessions as "cult" | NEWSWEEK EUROPE


Russian officials have banned yoga in the central city of Nizhnevartovsk in an effort to counteract "occult practices". At least two studios - the Aura and Ingara, where Hatha yoga is practiced - have reportedly received letters from Nizhnevartovsk officials, according to The Moscow Times.

Central Russian Officials Crack Down on Yoga in Bid to Stifle Spread of Occultism | MOSCOW TIMES


Officials in the central Russian city of Nizhnevartovsk have moved to prevent municipal buildings from hosting yoga classes in a stated bid to stifle the spread of religious cults, the Kommersant business daily reported. Representatives of at least two of the city"s Hatha yoga studios — the Aura and Ingara — have received letters outlining Nizhnevartovsk officials" plans to halt yoga classes in city facilities. Both schools rent out space at a stadium and public meeting hall called Samotlor.

Russia cracks down on yoga classes to check occultism | PTI


LONDON (PTI): Close on the heels of India leading worldwide International Yoga Day celebrations, Yoga classes have been banned in a central Russian city by the authorities to check spread of "religious occultism". At the centre of the crackdown are two studios holding classes for Hatha Yoga - a set of asanas or postures involving deep breathing and tough physical exercises, which as per Hindu mythology was first practised by Lord Shiva.

Focus on India-Russia-Iran transport corridor via Central Asia


The INSTC agreement was signed more than a decade ago for better connectivity to the Eurasian region through Iran. The INSTC members met earlier this month and reviewed the status of report on the dry run between India, Iran and Russia via the Caspian Sea, while a follow-up meeting has been slated for July.

Seven more airports in India to be declared entry points for e-visa


New Delhi: Seven more airports, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi"s constituency Varanasi and Ahmedabad in his home state, will soon be declared as entry points along with the existing nine where citizens from eligible countries can land with an e-tourist visa.

India To Partner Nigeria To Dev Nollywood


The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Ajjampur Ghanashyam, said yesterday in Abuja that India was ready to partner Nigeria to develop its film industry. Ghanashyam, who said this while featuring on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum, added that Nigeria"s film industry had the potential to contribute more to the nation?s economy.

India-Russia-Iran Transport Corridor Back in Focus


Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi"s five-Central Asian republic tour next month, the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) agreement has come back under focus. The agreement on the transport corridor was inked more than ten years ago with the aim of establishing better connections to the Eurasian region through Iran, the Business Standard reports.

Russian timber exporters fume at Indian fumigation rules


Moscow, June 9 (IANS) With investors" mood turning positive after the Narendra Modi government came to power, Russian businessmen expect India"s archaic business rules to change in line with the global ones. The business community also favoured the use of Astrakhan route for shipping products and to cut the transit time in a major way, V. Rajagopalan, general secretary of Indian Business Alliance, told a visiting IANS correspondent.

Agatti and Minicoy Islands to allow entry, exit from India


New Delhi: Agatti and Minicoy, two small islands of Lakshadweep, have been designated as authorised transit point for entering and exiting India by the Home Ministry. Agatti has an area of 3.84 square kms, whereas Minicoy is spread over 4.80 sq kms.

India"s soft power? Cultural nationalism? Or Hindutva push? The many views on Yoga Day


External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has said the United Nation"s decision to commemorate the International Day of Yoga underlines an appreciation for India and its growing soft power. The way the event was celebrated around the globe showed "the world had made the first International Day of Yoga its own", Swaraj said at the Hindu Temple Society of North America on Sunday.

35,985 participants, 84 nationalities: Yoga Day event at Rajpath sets 2 Guinness records


New Delhi: India on Sunday set two new Guinness World Records for Yoga with 35,985 participants performing asanas at one venue and as many as 84 nationalities joining in the official observation of International Yoga Day on Rajpath in New Delhi. "It is a matter of pride for India that we have broken two records on one day. First, 35,985 participants performed asanas at a single venue (Rajpath) and 84 nationalities participated in the event," said Minister of AYUSH, Shripad Naik.

PM Modi refuses selfies on Yoga Day


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often obliges people with a selfie, on Sunday refused one to a volunteer while participating in the yoga day event at Rajpath. Soon after addressing the gathering, Modi climbed down from the podium to join over 35,000 participants to perform asanas.

How Modi is elbowing Sonia, Rahul, Congress from India"s cultural memes


There is a famous Zen koan: "Why did Bodhidharma go East?" In the manner of Zen koans - a koan is a kind of paradoxical statement or question that enables a new insight - there is no (correct) answer, but you are expected to meditate on it to see the insights behind the obvious, superficial facts. The facts are that, indeed, a monk named Bodhidharma (some say a Pallava prince from Kanchipuram, who he trained in Kalari Payat, and who had embarked from Kodungalloor/Muziris, circa 400 CE) did go East, and taught Han monks at Shaolin in China unarmed combat (whence kung-fu).

India"s plans for Yoga Day taking a stressful turn


Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Victorian-era headquarters of one of India"s largest rail networks through which more than 600,000 passengers travel every day, is not known as a place of calm. But in a chandeliered, colonnaded executive dining hall, a few dozen railway employees have been attending voluntary yoga classes every afternoon as part of a government-sponsored campaign to promote the ancient Indian discipline nationwide.

Apps for Meditating: Tech Minute


Meditation not only reduces stress and anxiety, it can change your brain in as little as 8 weeks. A Harvard neuroscientist found that daily meditation can help you focus, make better decisions and sleep better. In this Tech Minute, CNET"s Sharon Profis has three apps to help you get in the right frame of mind.

Anthony Howe"s Otherworldly Kinetic Sculptures


Anthony Howe"s massive kinetic wind sculptures resemble alien creatures. Step inside Howe"s studio to learn how the awe-inspiring works are created, what makes a good wind sculpture and why Howe believes it"s important for his work to emulate human feeling.

India ties itself in knots over International Yoga Day by Tiffany Ap, for CNN


Hong Kong (CNN) The Sanskrit word "yoga" may mean union but, for some in India, yoga has never been more divisive.

Russian firms taking renewed interest in India


St. Petersburg, June 18 (IANS) Russian companies are showing renewed interest in doing business with India following the visit of President Vladimir Putin to the country in December last year, a Russian minister said on Wednesday. Read more>>>

Four Hindu Temples Launched in Europe


Four Hindu temples in Switzerland, Norway, Scotland and Germany solemnized their formal opening in the recent months, reports suggest. Read more>>>

International Day of Yoga as Soft Cultural Power


December 2014 the UN General Assembly had adopted an India-led resolution declaring June 21 as "International Day of Yoga", recognising that "Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being". Read more>>>

Indias Contribution to the World Brahmachari Suvimalachaitanya


Every nation has its distinctive feature and this makes for the vast diversity of humankind. Indias distinctive feature is its teaching that life is essentially spiritual. It is true that no civilization has ever lived and thrived without any spiritual basis... Read more>>>

Women and Rites of Marriage Rhyddhi Chakraborty


The word "woman" is derived from the old English term wifman(n), or wifmon(n) - wif meaning "wife" or "woman", and man(n), meaning "man"or "human being". Thus, in the English language, the concept of woman is defined as subordinate to man, her reproductive functions, and her family and society. This subordination has been an important issue for the social sciences and feminism. Read more>>>

J. D. Salinger and Vedanta Kenneth Slawenski


How many times have you read a book, a poem, or a story that seemed to speak directly to you, that uplifted you or inspired you to grow? And how many times did you wonder, after reading that book or story, whether the author had actually intended to say what you had perceived, or whether you were simply misinterpreting the text in order to match your own personal needs? Author intent matters. It matters to readers. It matters to those of us who love literature. The messages a writer seeks to present through his work are important to those who find strength in the words. A writer can deliver information, humour, and wit. But the greatest gift an author can give is to comfort us with the assurance that we are not alone. Read more>>>

Philosophy as Sadhana Dr Ravindra K S Choudhary


Sadhana lies at the heart of every way of life and is truer in the field of religion. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad teaches that the Atman "should be realized - should be heard of, reflected on, and meditated upon". The aim of Advaitic sadhana is the realization of the Atman as one with Brahman. Sadhana is essential in Advaita Vedanta. Brahman is absolute, indeterminate, and beyond all modes of conceptualization. Read more>>>

Editorial : Passing Through Thresholds


There are times when we come to a new stage of life. Some unknown force pushes us forwards, while a gut feeling signals major or minor changes in the offing. A part of this force is but the result of what we have worked for, consciously and subconsciously. Another part comprises of social forces, or other minds that have similarly worked like ours. Threshold means "opening", "edge", "entrance", "gate", "inception", "starting point" Read more>>>

India Denied Koh-i-Noor Diamond


The Koh-i-Noor diamond is one of the most contested relics of history, and this past Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the British government’s decision not to return the gem to India. More>>>

Lost Rudyard Kipling poems published


More than 50 unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling have been discovered by a US scholar. Thomas Pinney found the manuscripts in a number of places including a Manhattan House that was being renovated and among the papers of a former head of the Cunard Line. More>>>

"Indian Classical Dance and Spirituality" Shruba Mukhopadhyay


From a mere gesture expressing feelings to a sublime experience, from a source of amuse ment and pleasure to a means of spiritual uplift, dance is that divine thread which connects the in dividual with the universal. Even though all Indian art forms have a spiritual aspect, perhaps dance is the only genre where the artist has the unique privilege of portraying through abhinaya, expression, not only devotion but the deity himself. More>>>

"Music: A Direct Means to the Highest" Swami Sattwasthananda


All the spiritual personalities that India has produced unanimously agree that the goal of human life is Self realization. Sri Ramakrishna also holds God realization to be the goal of human life. Swami Vivekananda put the same idea in a different language when he said that each soul is potentially divine and the goal of human life is to manifest this inner divinity. Indian culture posits this ideal as the highest through its art, literature, music, customs, and mythology. More>>>

The Divine Artist Editorial


‘I want to know what were the steps by which men passed from barbarism to civilization,’ said Voltaire. We can step in and answer in two words: art and spirituality. In India these two words - rather fields - were never disparate. More>>>

Vasily Brodov - Russian Philosopher and Yoga Practitioner


Evgenia Lents, September 25. Who are yogis? Twenty years ago the answer to this quesion sounded something like this: "Indian herments and fringe elements who can sleep on beds of nails, tie themselves into knots and stand on their heads". But today yoga is popular among trendy Russian youth. No fashionable fitness club in Moscow or other major cities can do without a yoga instructor, and one may even find queues for yoga mats at sport shops. More>>>

THE ROAD TO WISDOM Swami Vivekananda on On His Work


Die like Heroes! When death is inevitable, is it not better to die like heroes than as stocks and stones? And what is the use of living a day or two more in this transitory world? It is better to wear out than to rust outspecially for the sake of doing the least good to others. … I don't feel tired even if I talk for two whole nights to an earnest inquirer; I can give up food and sleep and talk and talk. Well, if I have a mind, I can sit up in Samadhi in a Himalayan cave. More>>>

Swami Prabhananda "The Contemplative Tradition in the Ramakrishna Order"


The period of eight and a half months that Sri Ramakrishna lived at the Cossipore garden house is popularly considered to be the beginning of the monastic community that later became known as the Ramakrishna Order of monks. What began with a handful of fiery young men gradually became a religious community belongingto the Puri sect of the Dashanami tradition. These monks then took up the mission of living theideal that Sri Ramakrishna had placed before them and also of spreading his teachings - teachings that their leader, Swami Vivekananda, believed to be the gospel for the modern world. More>>>

Swami Smaranananda "Contemplation in an Active World"


Among the many developments in the post–Second World War period, the popularity of contemplation and meditation is particularly significant. With the advancement of technology, the hope of getting more leisure dawned on modern man. But, alas, instead of increased leisure, increased activity has become the order of the day! Instead of rest, restlessness has taken hold of the human heart. What went wrong? More>>>

Rudyard Kipling's Allahabad bungalow in a shambles


Allahabad, June 8 (IANS) A bungalow close to Allahabad University where Rudyard Kipling - the renowned author of such classics as "Kim" and "The Jungle Book" - lived for a year in the late 19th century is now in a shambles. More>>>

Swami Atmasthananda "The Contemplative Life"


SADHAN-BHAJAN or spiritual practice - japa, prayer and meditation - should play a very vital role in the lives of all. This is a sure way to peace despite all the hindrances that one has to face in daily life. The usual complaint is that it is very difficult to lead an inward life of sadhana or contemplation amidst the rush and bustle of everyday life. But with earnestness and unshakable determination one is sure to succeed. Sri Ramakrishna has said that a devotee should hold on to the feet of the Lord with the right hand and clear the obstacles of everyday life with the other. More>>>

Editorial "The Contemplative Mood"


The Vedas conjure up in our minds visions of seers immersed in contemplation, of rishis engaged in fire-sacrifices, of priests filling the air with their melodious chants, and of teachers expounding the knowledge of Brahman to eager students. Men and women intermingling freely with devas and devis, with yakshas, gandharvas, and other celestial beings crowd our imagination when we attempt a glimpse into the Vedic realm. More>>>

Prabuddha Bharata—100 years ago "A Visit to the Belur Math: January 1907"


After having been connected with the Ramakrishna Mission work in America, for the last eight years, it is quite a new experience to find myself in India, an inmate of the Belur Math, the headquarters, from whence all the workers of this great Mission go forth. … As a rule, the monks or Sannyasins in India do not have a fixed place where they reside... More>>>

Swami Adiswarananda, Spiritual Leader to Hundreds, Dies at 82


In an unassuming townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side, neighboring the Audubon Society, there one finds the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, where spiritual leader Swami Adiswarananda lovingly tended his flock for 35 years. Tall in stature, and exuding confidence in the ancient Vedic texts he explicated, the Swami was known for his razor-sharp intellect, sparkling sense of humor, and inner generosity. More>>>

Dr. Rebanta Bandyopadhyay "Fallacy of Perception"


Now and then, I like to visit a website run by the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of Boston: www.vivekananda .org. The adages quoted from various lectures and writings of Vivekananda serve as extraordinarily refreshing nourishment amidst the daily routine of life. The carefully selected excerpts call for reflection and thought. It was on one of these routine visits that I ventured a page further, wandered through the archives of lectures from the swami, and stumbled upon a few discourses on Jnana Yoga, delivered by Swami Vivekananda in London on 21 June 1896... More>>>

The Brain of a Poet


As you know, dear friends, with poetry I've always been obsessed, But none of you have read my lines; you've humoured me, at best. I went to a doctor yesterday to ask about my verse. I asked 'Is it bad?' He said 'My friend, I'm sorry to say it's worse.' More>>>

Dr. Lekshmi Ramakrishnaiyer "Consciousness Revisited"


Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. With the unceasing march of science and technology, human vistas of knowledge appear to have no visible boundaries. It makes the scientifically-minded feel that there hardly exists a problem that may be termed a mystery. But consciousness is an entity that still remains a mystery to contemporary philosophers, psychologists, neurophysio-logists, and cognitive scientists. Today, anyone who wishes to do some serious thinking on fundamental human issues is prompted to revisit this 'new' (and yet, age-old) mystery. More>>>

Sister Nivedita "The Master as I Saw Him" Prabuddha Bharata - 100 Years Ago


The summer of 1898 stands out in my memory as a series of pictures, painted like old altar-pieces against a golden background of religious ardour and simplicity and all alike glorified by the presence of one who, to us in his immediate circle, formed their central point. More>>>

Swami Sarvottamananda "On Mind, Brain, and Computers"


From the very dawn of thought, humans have had a deep desire to solve the mystery of the mind. The mind is said to be the agent of thought. It is therefore but natural and fit that it should itself become the subject of inquiry. Humans wish to grasp their own nature, their essence: that which makes them different from other entities - both sentient and insentient - from beings, from automatons, from other machines. What is it that really makes for the difference? It is the ability to think consciously and reason deliberately that distinguishes humans from other forms of existence. This is what makes them unique. More>>>

Editorial "Science and Spirituality: Where Do They Meet?"


Any discussion on mind or consciousness must, of necessity, be marginal - at the margins of science, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality; and there are a host of other disciplines willing to pitch in. This is so, not because mind and consciousness are marginal to our preoccupations - there would not be any preoccupation without mind or consciousness - but because both consciousness and mind, though impinging on virtually every domain of human concern, continue to be poorly understood. More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives Sadhu Kishandas


In the early stages of his spiritual life Kishandasji was strict about his food habits. He used to say: ‘I was born in a brahmin family and then I became a Vaishnava sadhu. So I was quite puritanical, especially with regard to food. Whenever I had to prepare my meals outside, I would make a small cloth enclosure and cook the food inside. More>>>

Swami Chetananda "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna according to Ram Chandra Datta"


Ram Chandra Datta, a householder disciple of the Master, was one of the recorders of Ramakrishna’s gospel. Ram was born in Calcutta on 30 October 1851. From his boyhood Ram was very bold and straightforward in his convictions, and no one could persuade him to act contrary to them. More>>>

Swami Purnananda "The Instrument for Realizing God"


What is God realization? It is a state of being. As Swami Vivekananda says, it is being and becoming. It is not like perceiving objects by means of our sense organs. God is beyond the senses, internal or external. So God cannot be perceived or realized through them. More>>>

Swami Satyamayananda "Beyond Illusions"


Most of us remember having watched a sunset. This daily occurrence has never failed to make an observer calm. As the sun dips inexorably towards the horizon, it appears to get progressively closer and larger, and then, with a burst of glory, sinks below the horizon. What most of us do not realize is the fact that though the sun is real, a sunset is subject to two types of illusion... More>>>

Swami Sunirmalananda "Was Swami Vivekananda a Prophet?"


God loves His creation. His love manifests itself in His attempts to contact us in diverse ways. He may manifest Himself as an incarnation, which is perhaps the greatest expression of His love; He may send His chosen children to speak for Him. These are the messengers of God, popularly called the prophets. He may speak and enlighten humanity through His devotees, jnanis and yogis. More>>>

Swami Satprakashananda "The Ways of the Illumined"


There are some who realize God at the time of death, and there are other rare individuals who realize God while still living in their bodies. How do these latter behave for the rest of their lives? This is the point that we shall discuss now. More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives Sadhu Kishandas


In 1908 or 1909, Mahendranath Datta, writes, he was staying at Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Vrindaban. The Sevashrama, which was then located on the banks of the Yamuna, consisted of a few small mud houses with tin roofing. Since it was a sevashrama, not just a hospital, special attention was given to making the patients feel at home. The idea was that more than the medical treatment it was the caring attitude of the nurses that restored patients to health. Here Mahendranath would sit by the patients’ beds and engage them in light talk in order to divert their minds away from their suffering. More>>>

Swami Chetananda "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna according to Suresh Chandra Datta"


Suresh Chandra Datta, one of the recorders of Ramakrishna’s gospel, was born in west Calcutta in 1850. From his boyhood Suresh was honest, humble, simple, and self-reliant. He was a highly educated and talented man. From time to time Suresh would attend Keshab Chandra Sen’s lectures with Durgacharan Nag, a neighbour. At night they would meditate with Keshab’s devotees on the bank of the Ganges. Durgacharan longed for God and sought a guru to guide him. More>>>

A Concept Paper "Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute"


Swami Vivekananda envisioned that Belur Math, the headquarters of the Rama­krisna Mission, would be a centre of harmony and synthesis, not only of all religious beliefs and traditions, but also of the arts and sciences and the various branches of knowledge, both secular and spiritual. It would be the centre of great spiritual and cultural awakening. In fact, on 2 July 1902, just two days before he passed away, standing on the Belur Math grounds he prophesied: ‘The spiritual impact that has come to Belur will last fifteen hundred years, and it will be a great university. Do not think I imagine it; I see it.’ More>>>

Swami Satyamayananda "Deliverance from Evil"


To contain and eradicate evil has always been and will remain the greatest of human problems. The majority down the ages - from saints and philosophers to common men and women - has silently worked to show man the path of peace and goodness by eschewing evil. The effects of all these efforts seem to get dissipated like mist before the scorching heat of evil. Evil is like a powerful and dangerous Minotaur feeding on man in the darkened labyrinths of the world. While the animal is angry and hungry, man runs about trapped, terrorized, and traumatized. More>>>

Dr. Radharani P. "The Fact and Mystery of Evil"


Religion is one of the foremost influences that have shaped humankind since time immemorial, and it still remains a guiding force among all peoples - primitive, sophisticated and civilized. Religion has existed for so long because it meets the most peculiar of human needs - emancipation from evil. We are living in an imperfect world and religion is in reality the demand of such a world. It would not be wrong to say that religions are mainly concerned with emancipation from evil. More>>>

Traditional Wisdom "Sajjanata: Goodness"


Hands famed for charity, the head crowned with love for the guru’s feet, the mouth adorned with truthful speech, arms bearing invincible strength, and the heart set on single-minded pursuit of scriptural wisdom - these are the ornaments of the noble ones even when they are bereft of all other wealth. More>>>

Dr. M. N. G. Mani "Inclusive Education"


The Education Commission (1964-66), which provided for some basic changes in the educational system at large, covered a lot of ideas envisioned by Swami Vivekananda. The need to eradicate illiteracy in India was very much emphasized in its report. This was further echoed in the National Policy on Education (1986). It is disheartening that we have not even achieved 70% literacy after fifty-seven years of independence. More>>>

Dr. N. V. C. Swamy "Learning: A Lifelong Process"


It is usual convention to classify the subject of education under two categories - secular and spiritual. This is a Western concept. So far as the East is concerned, there is no distinction between the two. They are inextricably linked with each other and any division is only artificial. Nevertheless, this division has taken deep roots in our psyche. Hence we will approach the subject matter of this article from this point of view. More>>>

Swami Tadananda "Education: Cognitive Objectives and Vedanta"


In this age of information explosion, accommodating the humongous amounts of information and knowledge in every field is putting severe strain on all involved with education - students, teachers and parents. A look at the syllabus at any level of education in India reveals that students nowadays are exposed to far more information than their fathers or grandfathers were. This is resulting in parents investing in the education of their children right from the nursery level. More>>>

Traditional Wisdom "SHIKSHA: LEARNING"


When children, O Brihaspati, giving names to objects, sent out Vak’s first and earliest utterances, all (knowledge) that was excellent and spotless, treasured within their hearts, was disclosed through (Vak’s) grace. (Rig Veda, 10.71.1). More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives "Vidyaranya: The Forest of Wisdom"


The history of medieval India has traditionally been termed the Muslim period in Indian history. Not only did this period see the rise to power of Muslim kings and chieftains and the steady expansion of their political dominions, but it also saw the spread of Islam among the masses and the flowering of Islamic art, architecture, literature and popular culture. Among the few areas that provided a notable exception to this trend was the state of Vijayanagara in South India; and one name that is inextricably linked with its foundation is that of Madhavacharya or Vidyaranya. More>>>

N. Hariharan "The Leaf and the Leaping Fire"


There is a certain notorious lineage down which the vice of wickedness runs, like a strand with unbroken continuity. The progenitress of the lineage is, of course, Avidya (primal nescience). She is a past-master in the art of obfuscation. She delights in eclipsing the non-dual Spirit, effectively camouflages the Truth of the oneness of existence and dopes beings by throwing on them a thick shroud of non-apprehension of the spiritual Truth. More>>>

Dr. Anil Baran Ray "Bankimchandra: Development of Nationalism and Indian Identity"


Bankimchandra Chattopadhyaya (1838­94), the master litterateur of Bengal, called the ‘emperor of literature’ mainly for his novels, was an essayist par excellence as well. Among the numerous essays and satires that he produced, quite a few focused on political themes and issues. Bankimchandra’s political ideas can be gleaned from those essays and satires as also from his novels such as the Ananda Math. Drawing upon such sources, the present article proposes to reflect on Bankimchandra’s concept of nationalism in terms of its sources and nature as also its characteristic contribution towards the development of the Indian identity. More>>>

Dr. Satish K. Kapoor "Bande Mataram": In Historical Perspective"


The fatwa issued sometime back by Mufti Abdul Quddus Rumi excommunicating fifty-four Muslims and nullifying their marriages for describing ‘Bande Mataram’ as a patriotic song (‘not un-Islamic’) is unfortunate and betrays an insularity of outlook. Bande mataram, literally, ‘Mother, I bow to thee’ was the soul-stirring slogan of Indian revolutionaries during the struggle for freedom against the British Raj. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "History Writing and Nationalism"


While at Alwar during his parivrajaka days, Swami Vivekananda happened to speak to a group of young men on the importance of the study and writing of history. He exhorted: Study Sanskrit, but along with it study Western science as well. Learn accuracy, my boys. Study and labour, so that the time will come when you can put our history on a scientific basis. More>>>

Rani Ahalyabai: Centred in Yoga


Through her many qualities, this divine lady was an ornament not only to Maharashtra, but to entire humankind. … Her virtue was so all-embracing that in every aspect of dharma and conduct she had her fame immortalized. Her munificence was so great that till today it remains unparalleled in Hindustan. Her justice was so correct that both businessmen and thieves blessed her. Her humility was so natural that she never allowed anyone to praise her. More>>>

A New York Times Report on Swamiji


About vegetarian diet I have to say this - first, my Master was a vegetarian; but if he was given meat offered to the Goddess, he used to hold it up to his head. The taking of life is undoubtedly sinful; but so long as vegetable food is not made suitable to the human system through progress in chemistry, there is no other alternative but meat-eating. More>>>

Prof. U.S. Rukhaiyar "The Prose Style of Swami Vivekananda"


Vivekananda has made fine use of antithesis and balance: ‘When I eat food, I do it consciously; when I assimilate it, I do it unconsciously’; (6) ‘Nature is trying all around to suppress us, and the soul wants to express itself’ (4.240); ‘The lower the organism, the greater is its pleasure in the senses. … The higher the organism, the lesser is the pleasure of the senses’ (4.242); ‘It is better to die seeking a God than as a dog seeking only carrion’ (7.45). More>>>

Swami Atmajnanananda "The Art of Building Shrines: A Lesson in Karma Yoga"


About ten years ago I had the privilege of making a shrine for the Vivekananda House in South Pasadena where Swami Vivekananda lived for several weeks in 1900. I had recently helped restore the house to its original condition, just as it might have been when Swamiji actually lived there... More>>>

Swami Shashankananda "Steps to Women’s Empowerment"


It is largely held that women all over the world have been made to suffer discrimination and deprivation of variouskinds since the beginning of time, that they have all along been denied even such basic rights as access to literacy and property. This global concern has steadily grown through the past few decades and has resulted in efforts to bring women into the mainstream of life, mainly through socio-economic activities aimed at empowering them and thus restoring equality between the sexes. More>>>

Dr. Sreemati Mukherjee "Sri Sarada Devi: The Power of Love and Compassion"


How can a nineteenth-century Bengali village housewife speak to the needs of a modern Indian woman, situated in the twenty-first century at the crossroads of culture, history, tradition and modernity? In a world that knows, perhaps, one of the worst crises in human values, what has Sri Ramakrishna’s wife, Sri Sarada Devi, to offer us? As I look around me, I notice a world where moral and psychological fragmentation, relativism of values, and the increasing complexities of urban existence make simple certitudes impossible. More>>>

Dr. Usha Kapoor "Hindu Woman as Life Partner"


Hinduism regards man and woman as the two halves of the eternal Being, each constituting a vibrant, existential part, quite incomplete in itself. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Prajapati, the primordial God, divides himself into two - man and woman, the symbols of cosmic polarity deriving sustenance from the same source. In the cosmic scheme man represents Purusha (the Person, Spirit) and woman Prakriti (Nature, primal Matter), both of whom unite to keep the world going. So goes the Vedic verse: ‘I am He, you are She; I am song, you are verse; I am heaven, you are earth. We two shall here together dwell becoming parents of children.’ More>>>



It is with great pleasure that we record the election of Srimat Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj as President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission at a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Math and the Governing Body of the Mission held on 25 May 2005. He is the fourteenth President of the Order. More>>>

Prof. Asoke Basu "Blake’s Truth"


I noticed recently a stanza from one of William Blake’s poems that I had first read in high school... More>>>

Prof. U. S. Rukhaiyar "The Prose Style of Swami Vivekananda"


Swami Vivekananda has been studied generally as a saint and philosopher. Unfortunately, his prose style has seldom received due literary attention. A close study of his style shows that it possesses, in ample measure, all the qualities of good prose. It has simplicity and clarity, rhythm and harmony, a fine use of figures like similes and metaphors, epigrams and paradoxes, and also subtle effects like euphony and cacophony, assonance and consonance. He first places a point and then effortlessly expands it through cogent logic and/or apt analogies. More>>>

Dr. Sumita Roy "Indian Philosophic Prose in English"


The use of English for the exposition of Indian philosophy has opened up new avenues of interpretation involving pluralistic responses and redefinitions growing out of already existing tenets. Beginning as it does with the predominantly zealous missionary approach, which was an attempt by thinkers such as Carey, Marshman, Ward, Monier-Williams and others to find footholds for Christianity, through the memorable episode of European philosophical responses... More>>>

Dr. Lekshmi Ramakrishnaiyer "Western Philosophic View of Religious Language"


Language is the chief tool for effective communication. Be it science, politics or religion, it is language that plays the crucial role in the propagation of axioms and ideas. There are different kinds of languages that are peculiar to the physical, natural, and social sciences. But whether there is any specific language in the discourse of religion is a question that needs to be discussed and analysed. If we undertake a comparative study of different religions the world over, it becomes quite clear that there is no specific or universal language of religion. This is because unlike other sciences, which are purely empirical in their nature, religion is fundamentally an experience or awareness involving transempirical elements within its ambit. More>>>

Swami Tattwamayananda "The Concept of God in the Vedas"


At the earlier stages of spiritual evolution and metaphysical thought the Vedas mention the names of various gods and goddesses: Mitra, the Sun; Varuna, the god of night and of the blue sky; Dyu and Prithivi, the Sky and the Earth; Agni or fire god, the friend of all; Savitri, the Refulgent; Indra, the master of the universe; Vishnu (though not a major divinity in the Rig Veda), the measurer of the three worlds; and Aditi, the mother of all other gods (the Adityas). More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives "The Sadhu of Rishikesh"


There is a sadhu in Rishikesh who gets up early in the morning and stands near a great waterfall. He looks at it the whole day and says to God: ‘Ah, you have done well! Well done! How amazing! He doesn’t practise any other form of japa or austerity. At night he returns to his hut. - Sri Ramakrishna More>>>

Pravrajika Shraddhaprana "Pushpanjali to Sri Sarada Devi"


Astrange thing has happened today. All of you know that Jagaddhatri Puja is just now going on as usual in Jayrambati. Is it not strange that instead of planning a pilgrimage trip to Jayrambati, we just decided to come north-west to Delhi? But the occasion is the same, the same auspicious occasion of Jagaddhatri Puja. So you find me here in New Delhi. This is part of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations. More>>>

Mahasamadhi of Srimat Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj


With profound sorrow we announce the Mahasamadhi of Srimat Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj, the thirteenth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, on 25 April 2005 at 3.51 p.m. Most Revered Maharaj was ninety-six.

Swami Satyaswarupananda "The Language of Religion"


The search for a unified theory of physical forces has lead contemporary physicists to explore high-energy states, for it has been found that under extremely high energy conditions that are presently obtainable only in specialized particle accelerators, these forces tend to lose their distinctive identity. More>>>

Swami Tattwamayananda "The Concept of God in the Vedas"


The composite fabric of Vedic religion has been woven out of various shades of belief systems and forms of worship. This has given birth to multifarious concepts of the supreme Reality ranging from exuberant pantheism and polytheism to the most abstract type of monistic Advaitism. More>>>

Swami Nityasthananda "Meditation according to Hinduism"


Prof. Arvind Sharma has made a sincere and admirable attempt at a comparative study of meditation in the context of Hindu-Christian dialogue. It will go a long way in the sympathetic understanding of other religions and in fostering a brotherly relationship among different warring religious groups, provided they make an attempt to go into the central core of their own religions, instead of hanging on to external forms of religion, where differences and contradictions seem to be insurmountable. More>>>

Dr. Satish K. Kapoor "Life and Teachings of Buddha: Some Gleanings"


The historical founder of Buddhism is also known as Gotama, Siddhartha Gautama, Sakyamuni ('sage of the Sakya clan') or Bhagavan Buddhadeva. The six Buddhas ('enlightened ones') traditionally believed by the Theravadins to have preceded him are: Vipassin, Sikhin, Vessabhu, Kakusandha, Konagamana and Kassapa. The Buddha who is still to come to redeem mankind is Metteyya (Maitreya). More>>>

Swami Videhatmananda "Swami Kalyandev: A Lamp that Swamiji Lighted"


Swami Vivekananda said: 'The national ideals of India are RENUNCIATION and SERVICE. Intensify her in those channels, and the rest will take care of itself. The banner of the spiritual cannot be raised too high in this country. In it alone is salvation.' (1) A sannyasin who embodied these words of Swamiji's recently entered into mahasamadhi. He was the last surviving person who had seen and talked to Swami Vivekananda. More>>>

Swami Ranganathananda "Benedictory Address"


Friends and Devotees, We are observing today Holy Mother's 150th birth anniversary. Different speakers - today, tomorrow and the day after - will discuss various aspects of Holy Mother's life and message. I am glad to speak to you today a few words about Holy Mother's life and what message we get from that life. More>>>

Prof. Arvind Sharma "Role of Meditation in Hindu-Christian Dialogue"


Dialogue among religions presupposes that there are differences among religious traditions which need to be discussed. Thus the word 'dialogue' in an interfaith context possesses a special meaning, for in its ordinary meaning a dialogue is 'a conversation between two or more persons', which may or may not involve a discussion of differences. In an interfaith context, however, the term dialogue acquires the meaning of 'a discussion between representatives of parties to conflict that is aimed at resolution', and this is how we shall understand it for the rest of this essay. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "Contemplative Dialog"


At the north-east corner of the crossing of Chittaranjan Avenue and Mahatma Gandhi Road in Kolkata stands an old mosque, the Kasim Ismail Madan Wakf Masjid, popularly called the Geratala Masjid. One evening, over a hundred and twenty years ago, Manmathanath Ghosh, a petty employee of Messrs Rally Brothers & Co., was passing by the mosque on his way back from work. He had to walk a long distance and the day's hard work had tired him out. More>>>

Dr. Saibal Gupta "Science in Religion"


I have chosen this title 'Science in Religion' because the two entities are no longer in opposition today, and I want to discuss that as best as I can. This closeness has an important bearing on the human personality in this new century, irrespective of religious, professional, cultural and intellectual inclinations and achievements. I am neither a monk nor a pure scientist. But this knowledge will have significance for humanity if ordinary people like me understand some of it at their level. More>>>

Swami Gambhirananda "Vedanta in Practice"


In Vivekananda's sadhana knowledge, devotion, and work assume an inseparable identity. This is not an imaginary attribution of the Godhead to an icon; nor is it thinking of the mind or the vital force as Brahman by taking recourse to some particular attribute. More>>>

Swami Pitambarananda "Individual Being and the Universal Being"


While reading Sri Shankaracharya's commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad (verse 3), we come across the following observation: 'Otherwise, the indwelling Self, as circumscribed by one's own body, will alone be perceived, as It is by the Sankhyas and others; and in that case the specific statement, made by the Upanishads, that It is non-dual will have no distinctiveness, for there will be no difference from the philosophies of the Sankhyas and others. But as a matter of fact, it is desirable to find all the Upanishads in accord in propounding the unity of all the selves.' More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives - Sadhu Mathuradas


Keshavananda was a prominent figure in Kankhal. The swami was a man of vast erudition who could count kings and princes among his disciples. Naturally he was influential and had, even in those days, established a prestigious school in the town. All this, however, had been achieved at a cost: the swami had neglected his spiritual life. Moreover, now nearing old age, he had begun to suffer from diabetes. More>>>

Dr. Sumita Roy "Discourse and Pragmatism: A Gandhian Perspective"


The development of Indian philosophic prose in English meant not only translation, which, of course, is always questionable, but also reinterpretation. In the writings of Raja Rammohun Roy, Dayananda Saraswati, Tilak and other key figures of the period, concepts in Hindu philosophy were reinterpreted in terms of the existing cultural and social as well as political situations. Quite often this was not just reinterpretation but some kind of deconstruction, as for instance, in the case of Tilak's concept of karma yoga. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "Practical Idealism"


Ma himsyat sarva bhutani, hurt no creature, is a central dictum of Sanatana Hindu Dharma, which considers ahimsa as parama, or supreme, dharma. According to Bhagavan Vyasa, 'Ahimsa is to abstain from injuring any being, at any time and in any manner. Truth and other forms of restraints and observances are based on the spirit of non-injury. They, being the means of fulfilment of non-injury, have been recommended in the shastras for establishing ahimsa.' More>>>

Swami Gambhirananda "Vedanta in Practice"


At the outset it is necessary to be explicit on one point. Like others I too am a student of Vivekananda literature. Therefore I cannot claim that I have fully understood the import of Vivekananda's writings. As such it is inevitable that there would be vagueness and incompleteness in what I am going to say. Also, at present I am not in a position to devote as much time and put in as much hard work as would be required to do justice to all aspects of this vast subject. More>>>

Swami Satyamayananda "Paving the Path for Dhyana"


'Body, head and neck erect and still, being steady, gazing at the tip of one's own nose, and not looking around.' (1) This instruction regarding posture for yoga is not to be interpreted to mean that the aspirant will sit stock-still and squint-eyed studying the nose. Sri Shankaracharya in his commentary on this stanza of the Bhagavadgita makes it clear: 'The words as it were are to be understood … it is fixing the gaze of the eyes by withdrawing them from external objects … with a view to concentrating the mind … on the Atman.' More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives - Sadhu Mathuradas


It was winter in Hardwar. Icy winds swept down from the mountains and the town reeled under the biting cold. To make matters worse, it rained every now and then until it all became quite unbearable. Mahendranath and the Sevashrama workers were worried about Mathuradasji. It had been quite a few days since the sadhu had come to the Sevashrama. That was something unusual for a regular visitor. More>>>

Swami Satyamayananda "Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi's 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations"


Viewing the vast concourse of devotees from a vantage point during the concluding celebrations of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi's 150th birth anniversary, one got the impression that concluding was a misnomer and continuing was more appropriate. The celebrations had commenced last year at Holy Mother's tithi puja day at her home in Jayrambati. This 'concluding ceremony' seemed just a highpoint of the massive wave inundating the world; an inundation that saves, being spiritual in content and maternal in instinct. More>>>

Swami Jitatmananda "Bioethics for Science and Technology: A Hindu Perspective"


The dualistic world of Newton slowly separated mind from matter and gradually brought the vision of a world where there is separation of man from man, man from God, and in the long run, nation from nation. Darwin's ideas of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest combined with the Newtonian vision of a dualistic universe; and civilization emerged 'red in tooth and claw'. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "Bioethics and Cloning"


Ethical issues have been confronting humans since prehistoric times. Social life is dependent on internal regulation. Restraint and reciprocity are unavoidable exigencies of social living. A pack of wolves will end its internecine fight once one of them displays submissive behaviour while the same pack tears apart any other animal that happens to stray into its territory. In a herd of elephants moving in search of fresh vegetation, if a calf happens to fall back or stray away, the herd will return, trace the straggler and take it along. If the latter happens to have injured itself, it will be nursed and helped till it can again move with the group. More>>>

Dr. S. Sunder Das "A Christian Looks at the Life of Vivekananda"


I am sure many of you will be familiar with the account of the first miracle that Jesus performed at the wedding in the village called Cana in Galilee. Jesus was a guest at this wedding. The wine gave out, to the discomfiture of the master of ceremonies. Mary, the mother of Jesus, somehow felt her son could help. When she asked him to do something to produce wine, he got the servants to fill the troughs with water. The water immediately turned into wine. The guests asked the master of the feast as to why he had kept the good wine till the end. More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives - Sadhu Mathuradas


Many Indians think that the age of the saints is long over, that their country no longer produces saints. However, the belief is largely unfounded. How does a man find a saint if he is not looking for one? One cannot walk into a saint, surely! If only people were genuinely interested in spiritual life and deserved holy company, there is no doubt that they would, sooner or later, find themselves living with saints. More>>>

Swami Jitatmananda "Bioethics for Science and Technology: A Hindu Perspective"


Why an international conference on bioethics? Animals of African forests do not need any such conferences. They live, happily or unhappily, preying on one another, surviving on each other's flesh and blood, living for the sake of eating and procreating, for sense gratification and perpetuation of species. We human beings need today a global conference on bioethics to create a sustainable global civilization, in this age when the information revolution brought on by computers, the Internet, science and technology has made the world a global village. More>>>

Dr. Krishna Verma "Sri Ramakrishna and the Caste System"


In modern India the caste system is considered by many to be one of the most serious social problems hindering the progress of the whole nation. In the beginning the aim was division of labour. People were divided into four castes: brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra, according to their inner tendency and capability. Wisdom was the main characteristic of the brahmana, strength of the kshatriya, business talent of the vaishya, and shudras were those who lacked all these three characteristics, but were good at manual work. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "Towards a Castless India"


Individual freedom, social equality and democracy are considered the defining virtues of modern civilization. They are the benchmarks against which social thinkers judge the progress of nations and peoples. These values are often found to be compromised in the developing world and such areas have provided focal points for intervention by the North. More>>>

Swami Premeshananda "Patanjali's Yoga Sutras - An Exposition"


1. Atha yoganusasanam. Now concentration [yoga] is explained. Comment: Only he who is well trained, that is has his body and mind under control and who is eager to enter the inner world is eligible for practising the yoga of meditation. Such a person qualifies for the practice of yoga only if he is able to understand that Brahman is the goal of a seeker of freedom and that spiritual practice consists in tearing the mind away from the world to engage it in the pursuit of that goal. Maharshi Patanjali's instructions are meant for those who have acquired such awareness about the goal and the means. This is the significance of the word atha ('now') in the first aphorism. More>>>

Swami Satyamayananda "Towards Enlightened Citizenship"


An individual is the basic social unit. Actually, we cannot think of an individual bereft of social baggage. The mind of each individual has two aspects: objective and subjective. The objective aspect is called society and the subjective is the real person. Truly speaking, the streams of individual and social consciousness blend finely and almost indistinguishably. This blending is present not just in man but in every living being. More>>>

Swami Shuddharupananda "Swami Vivekananda's First Hosts in Bombay"


From the Life of Swami Vivekananda by his Eastern and Western disciples we learn that Swamiji was in Khandwa towards the end of June 1892. (1) He had stayed there for about three weeks with Babu Haridas Chatterji, a pleader. From his talks with his host there, we come to know of Swamiji's serious intention to attend the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, to be held the following year. Earlier, Swamiji had heard of this religious convention when he was in Kathiawar. More>>>

Swami Atmapriyananda "India's Rejuvenation: Swami Vivekananda's Vision"


Swami Vivekananda envisioned a rejuvenated India: "… a wonderful, glorious, future India will come. I am sure it is coming - a greater India than ever was. … Arise, awake and see her seated here on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was - this motherland of ours." (1) Seeing the degeneration and degradation all around - moral and spiritual poverty, value erosion, corruption, selfish aggrandizement... More>>>

N. Hariharan "A Wonder Triangle"


A triangle is a perfect model of concord, cooperation and compatibility. The triangle collapses the moment the three sides violate the geometrical rule and go their own way. The three angles that constitute the triangle have to respect the rules of the game. The aggregate of their angles should always be equal to 180 degrees. This is a geometrical imperative. This imperative can be flouted only at the peril of endangering the triangle to the point of extinction. More>>>

Swami Tathagatananda " A Brief Introduction to India's Sacred Oral Tradition"


'With the Hindus … the old questions of whence, why and whither fascinate and enthral their thoughts from the time of the Vedic Rishis to the present day. Remarkable as this may sound, we have really no record of any period of Hindu thought of which we can say definitely that it was wanting in the highest and most strenuous thought, from the time of the riddle-hymn of Dirghatamas and the creation-hymn, to the modern Vedantins and Paramahamsas of the type of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.' - Maurice Bloomfield. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "Where the Heart Is"


'Anyone who has sincerely called upon God even once must come here,' Sri Ramakrishna announced one day at Dakshineswar with the assurance of a piper confident of the musical web that his magical flute can weave. And if Sri Krishna's legendary flute continues to bewitch men and women to this day as it did in the ancient groves of Vrindaban, the charm of Sri Ramakrishna's words have proved no less mesmeric. More>>>

Dr. Lekshmi "Transcending All "Isms"


Man, manliness, man-making, man-making religion, man-making education, man-making theories, Nara­narayana, Daridra-narayana - thus go the ever­vibrating mantras on the lips of a great sannyasin and yuga acharya, the like of whom the world has never seen before. Unlike other great spiritual illuminators, his object of meditation was neither a God enshrined in the temples nor the One far above the heavens; unlike other sannyasins, one very rarely saw him in crossed legs and closed eyes but with his eyes open, wandering, worshipping and serving the living God in and around him. That great yuga acharya is none other than Swami Vivekananda, the wandering monk who, by his life and teachings, has opened new vistas for an epoch-making humanism. More>>>

Rada Krishna "Before You Visit a Hindu Temple"


It was in the early 1950s, long before the advent of TV in India. I had heard the story of an Indian villager who came to a nearby small town. His ancestors had barely travelled outside his village for hundreds of years. He had little ability to read even his local language, but somehow managed to learn to recognize the English alphabets. His friend in the town pointed to a small church nearby and told him, ‘Go and see the temple in which the Christians worship.’ He went in and came out in forty seconds and said, ‘No, that is not a temple. I see no divine images, no flowers, no bells to ring, no light, nothing. I see a few rows of benches like in a school. That must be a classroom.’ His friend took him back to the church, walked over to the altar, pointed to the wooden cross and said, ‘There, that is the God’s image they worship. These are benches for the devotees to sit.’ More>>>

Swami Sarvagatananda "Sri Sarada Devi: The Universal Mother"


This is a very special occasion for all of us to think about Holy Mother: what she was, what she means to us now. It is rather difficult to picture her because our knowledge about her is only second-hand: we get a glimpse of her from writings on her by swamis, by others who saw her and by those who had heard about her from still others. You will be surprised and perhaps shocked to know that not many in the beginning were inclined to go to Holy Mother because they could not really see her, since she was always veiled and never spoke anything about philosophy, religion and the like. Not many could grasp the greatness of Holy Mother: they thought she was great because she was Sri Ramakrishna’s wife. More>>>

Major H.Subramanian "Towards Relative Conception of Truth in Religions"


One of the questions often posed at all inter-religious meetings and forums is, 'Why is it that religion which is supposed to have been created by man to serve humanity failed to fulfil its role?' The answer the champions of the different religious traditions give is that if one and all had accepted their respective religions, the question would not have arisen. But, the reality as every one knows, is otherwise. So, this is a question certainly worth consideration and examination in depth. This is more so, as religious pluralism is becoming the order of the day and people all over the world have to live in multi-religious communities. More>>>

Dr. Jayasree Mukherjee "Sri Ramakrishna’s Impact on Contemporary Indian Society"


The nineteenth century was for India a period of great expansion of British imperialism vis-a-vis Indian nationalism. The East India Company’s rule was consolidated into the administration of the British Raj. Side by side, different socio-religious and cultural movements were initiated by different personalities in various parts of the country with the search for national identity as their fundamental aim. The inherent conflict between British interests and Indian aspirations was kept concealed for some time, but since the seventies of the nineteenth century Indian nationalism became self-conscious and assertive. Numerous factors, big and small, led to the flowering of these self-conscious nationalist sentiments. The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Movement with its seat in Bengal constituted a major factor towards this development. More>>>

Swami Satyamayananda "Sri Sarada Devi: Essence of the Infinite"


God incarnated as Sri Sarada Devi in Jayrambati, in poor rural Bengal, on 22 December 1853. Of course, that was not the first time God incarnated for humanity and certainly that will not be the last time either. Can anyone understand God’s ways? ’Bhishma was none other than one of the eight Vasus, but even he shed tears on his bed of arrows. He said: “How astonishing! God Himself is the companion of the Pandava brothers, and still there is no end to their troubles and sorrows!” Who can ever understand the ways of God?’ (1) This descent of the Divine may be inscrutable to logic and philosophy, but it is immensely appealing to the heart. God’s incarnation as Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi has also opened to us a new vision of God, spirituality and sadhana, spiritual practice. Amazingly, one finds that Holy Mother was not so reticent about her real nature as Sri Ramakrishna was. This is a bigger appeal. For instance, here is a conversation between Holy Mother and her devotee. More>>>

Dr. C.S.Shah "Faith, Priviledge and Spirituality"


Until one gets true Knowledge, it is all faith, and all faith is ‘blind’. Without this blind faith, however, man does not strive to acquire true faith, or knowledge, as it is usually called. True Knowledge - that of the oneness of all existence - has no room for privilege, and, conversely, where there is a seeking for privilege, true Knowledge has not arisen there. Spirituality concerns itself with spiritual disciplines based on faith in the scriptures and the utterances of realized souls. Such faith may be called active faith as it activates one to practice, and this active faith leads to ultimate Knowledge. More>>>

Swami Atmapriyananda "Let Ramakrishna Dance His Rapturous Dance"


Swami Brahmananda, a most intimate disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, once went into an ecstatic mood at the sight of an image of Lord Nataraja (dancing Shiva) at the Madu­rai temple in South India. Nataraja literally means the King of Dancers. Shiva is portrayed as a majestic dancer who dances his dazzling dance poised wonderfully on one foot in an act of supreme balancing. Usually, it is the left foot that He raises in the air, keeping the right foot on the ground, and thus he does his balancing act standing on one foot. The story goes that the Pandya king ruling over Madurai empathetically felt the Lord’s pain in the right foot and fervently pleaded with Nataraja to change His posture: to dance, for a change, with the left foot on the ground and the right one in the air. The compassionate Lord at once obliged and started dancing as requested! This image of Nataraja dancing the reverse way is seen only in Madurai and is considered a unique posture of the dancing Shiva. When Swami Brahmananda saw it, he at once went into ecstasy and exclaimed that he had seen Sri Ramakrishna dance exactly in the same posture! More>>>

Sri Prakash Lohia "Communication in the Light of Indian Wisdom"


Among the famous nine courtiers in the court of Emperor Vikramaditya, known as nine jewels for their wisdom, learning and mastery in arts and letters, two great literary luminaries were Bhavabhuti and Mahakavi Kalidasa. To overestimate one’s own talent and to resent the recognition of others’ achievements as overstatement is a common human folly, and even Bhavabhuti could not rise above it. He could not suppress for long his anguish at being rated second to Kalidasa in literary merit and expressed it one day to the emperor himself. More>>>

Swami Prabhananda "Shakti Worship and Sri Ramakrishna"


Drawing our attention to the deep significance of the word shakti, Sir John Wood­roffe says, ‘There is no word of a wider content in any language than this Sanskrit term, meaning “Power”.’ (1) There is some supreme Power behind this universe who expresses Herself in diverse ways. But what is noteworthy is the glory of Her oneness behind this multiplicity. Heat, light, lightning - all these are expressions of just that Power. Everything in this universe is a conglomeration of power and nothing else. More>>>

Swami Yuktatmananda "Fortitude"


Vedanta extols titiksha, or fortitude, as one of the six treasures of a spiritual aspirant. The three consonants sa, sha and sha in Bengali are pronounced alike as sho, which means ‘forbear’. Sri Ramakrishna taught his disciples to ‘sho, sho, sho’ and said, ‘Je shoi she roi; je na shoi she nash hoi’, meaning ‘Those who forbear, live; those who don’t, perish.’ Holy Moth­er Sri Sarada Devi, too, taught that forbearance is nobler than any other virtue. More>>>

Ananda Coomaraswamy "What Has India Contributed to Human Welfare?"


EACH RACE contributes something essential to the world's civilization in the course of its own self-expression and self-realization. The character built up in solving its own problems, in the experience of its own misfortunes, is itself a gift which each offers to the world. The essential contribution of India, then, is simply her Indianness; her great humiliation would be to substitute or to have substituted for this own character (svabhava) a cosmopolitan veneer, for then indeed she must come before the world empty-handed More>>>

Pravrajika Sevaprana "The Power of Faith"


We have all heard the old clichu ‘faith that moves mountains’, yet we know that just believing in something does not necessarily make it true. Real faith is based on truth, and it has tremendous power. Sri Ramakrishna says that during his sadhana he went through a period when everything he even thought about would just come true. One time he thought, ‘If this vision is true, the rock in front of me will jump three times.’ He says the rock did jump three times. (This is really hard for our Western minds to accept.) Even Mathur Babu once had an argument with Sri Ramakrishna, when Mathur said, ‘Oh, come on. You can’t go against the laws of nature. You can’t have, for example, a red and a white flower growing on the same branch.’ Sri Ramakrishna said, ‘Anything is possible for the Divine Mother. She makes the rules and she can also break them.’ Sure enough, in a little while he presented Mathur with a branch on which was growing a red and a white blossom. Jesus walked on the water and others saw it. It is said that Mohammed did not need to go to the mountain. The mountain came to him. What makes the faith of a Ramakrishna or a Mohammed different from the faith of other men? The words and actions of God-men are surcharged with power, because they are directly in touch with Truth. More>>>

Swami Tathagatananda "Motherhood of God "


There are good souls, calm and magnanimous, who do good to others as does the spring, and who, having themselves crossed this dreadful ocean of mundane existence, help others also to cross the same, without any motive whatsoever. (1) The life of Sri Saradamani Devi, Holy Mother as she is reverentially referred to, is really an enigma. She could always be found engaged in all sorts of ordinary domestic work: scouring the floor, washing the vessels, cooking the food and serving guests. Even when she was a young woman of twenty-three, the simple, rustic, unassuming Sri Sarada Devi had the unique capacity to stand face to face with a dacoit at night in a lonely meadow. More>>>

Swami Swahananda "The Inspiration That Was Swami Vivekananda"


Swami Vivekananda’s ideas have been seen through various eyes, and new light has been thrown upon these ideas. In one sense, Swamiji is inexhaustible. In another sense, it can be supported that Swamiji’s core message is that man is the Atman, Atman is perfection, and perfection defies all types of limitations. The first thing about Swamiji that strikes me is his importance in inspiring us. His teachings are there of course, but his life is also there. He has left behind a sangha, an organization, a circle of devotees, to put into practice the ideas he gave. And a great man is more a principle than a person. But still, to my mind, his most important contribution is the inspiration he creates. More>>>

Swami Nityasthananda "Reflections on Knowledge "


From the standpoint of philosophy, there are two important human tendencies: analytical and synthetic. The analytical mind tries to ‘know more and more about less and less’. It takes up a particular thing, studies its constituent elements, its qualities, actions and so on, analysing its every aspect to the minutest degree. This analytical approach has given rise to many philosophical schools like the Nyaya-Vaisheshika in India, to analytical schools like positivism in the West and to natural sciences. The synthetic mind is interested in a holistic approach to reality; it wants unity in diversity; it tries to resolve every particular to one unitary background; and its whole ambition is to know that ‘by knowing which everything else is known’. The best fruit of this approach is Vedanta and other monistic schools of philosophy. Is there a converging point of these approaches of knowing? More>>>

Swami Yuktatmananda "Turning over a New Leaf"


Four monks decided to observe silence for a month. They started out well enough, but after the first day one monk said, 'I wonder if I locked the door of my cell at the monastery before we set out.' Another monk said, 'You fool! We decided to keep silence for a month and now you have broken it.' A third monk said, 'What about you? You have broken it too!' Said the fourth, 'Thank God, I'm the only one who hasn't spoken yet.' The story lends itself to some reflection. Hardly does our mind let us carry out our intentions. More often than not, our resolutions remain as resolutions. More>>

A Special Event in New York City


The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York observed the 150th birthday of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi in two phases. The first phase took place on Sunday, 21 December 2003, at 11:00 am, when a special service to commemorate the occasion was held in the Center’s chapel. The devotees attending the service filled the chapel. Those who could not be accommodated in the chapel were able to observe the service by means of closed-circuit television in other locations in the Center. Swami Adiswaranandaji gave a talk on ‘Holy Mother, Embodiment of Divine Grace’. Vedic chanting and devotional songs were performed by the Center’s choir. Following the service, a full-course dinner was served to the entire congregation. Throughout the season all books on the life and teachings of Holy Mother received a special discount at the bookshop and through the Center’s catalogue and website. More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives "Whatever God Does Is for Our Own Good"


Girivar was a farmer who lived in a small village on the banks of the Narmada. A man of staunch faith in God’s mercy, he was fond of repeating his favourite maxim: ‘Whatever God does is for our own good.’ By God’s grace, Girivar enjoyed favourable circumstances: his old parents were undemanding, he had a dutiful wife in Gauri and his young son Uday was always obedient. ‘What more can a man ask for?’ Girivar’s neighbours would talk behind his back. ‘In his place, anybody could say “Whatever God does is for our own good!”’ Quite right. A devotee must never make much of his reliance on God until it is put to the test and he passes. More>>>

Dr. Umesh Gulati "Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi: Her Glory and Divinity"


‘Without Shakti (Power) there is no regeneration for the world. Why is it that our country is the weakest and the most backward of all countries? Because Shakti is held in dishonour there. Mother [Sri Sarada Devi] has been born to revive that wonderful Shakti in India; and making her the nucleus, once more will Gargis and Maitreyis be born into the world,’ wrote Swami Vivekananda in a letter to Swami Shivananda from the US in 1894. Since Swamiji wrote these lines, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi has become a household name. One wonders, however, what prompted Swamiji to stress the glory and divinity of Holy Mother to his brother disciples. Perhaps Swamiji wanted to reinforce in them two ideas: One, to emphasize that Holy Mother was an equal of Sri Ramakrishna in divine treasures and his true spiritual successor. Second, and more important, he wanted his brother disciples to know the role Sri Ramakrishna had envisioned for her in the spiritual revival of Indian society in general, and the social rejuvenation of women everywhere in particular. More>>>

Dr.M. Sivaramkrishna "Ramakrishna Vedanta in the West: New Interfaces and Challenges"


Obviously, Western explorations of Ramakrishna’s sadhana as a tantric pose a real challenge in at least three interconnected facets: the according of primacy to the varied phases of Ramakrishna’s sadhana, the role of canonization in hagiography and the nature of language in scriptural texts. Ever since Lex Hixon suggested the crucial significance of Tantra in Ramakrishna’s sadhana, several studies took the clue and elaborated the implications. In fact, the assigning of primary significance to Advaita in the hierarchy of Ramakrishna’s sadhana and teachings, these studies contend, is arbitrary and contrary to ‘facts’. This is merely institutionally supported canonization and not factually warranted interpretation. Walter G Neevel’s essay is a trendsetter in this regard but there is a possibility of the most extreme psychoanalytical and often irrational extension of the implicit issues. More>>>

Editorial "Essentials for Effectivity"


No one likes to work for nothing. Even a dunce does not work without a purpose, says a well-known Sanskrit adage. Yet, there are as many different ways of doing work as there are people. Irrespective of how we work, all of us would certainly like our endeavours to be effective and successful. Is there a recipe for effectivity? Yes, says the Chandogya Upanishad. Its first chapter tells us what contributes to effectivity: ‘Yadeva vidyaya karoti shraddhayopanishada tadeva viryavattaram bhavati; Whatever is performed with knowledge, shraddha and meditation becomes more effective.’ The word viryavattaram literally means ‘more strengthening’. It is also taken to mean ‘effective’ or ‘more powerful in bearing fruit’. Effectivity has two dimensions: external and internal. ‘External’ refers to the effective accomplishment of the work to one’s satisfaction. ‘Internal’ refers to the work’s long-term influence on the individual’s inner growth. Knowledge, shraddha and meditation - we discuss these factors one by one. More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda " A Survey of the Mind" (Continued from the previous issue)


Like most physicists, Penrose is clearly no idealist. He believes that just as quantum physical theories have been highly successful in explaining the physical world, they should, with suitable modifications, be able to account for ‘mentality’. He primarily bases his thesis on the non-computational aspects of mathematical thinking. There are many mathematical problems that a computer could never possibly solve, but which the human brain can grasp and resolve. Penrose believes that such non-computable elements need to be incorporated into the quantum theory to make it complete. He is convinced that effects like quantum entanglement (physically separate particles behaving as if they were somehow interlinked and able to communicate instantly) underlie mentality, and that large-scale quantum effects could be occurring in the brain and could explain its intuitive capabilities. More>>>

Sudesh "They All Came"


They all came to him: some on foot, some by carriage, some by boat and some by steamer; but the destination was the same: the pujari of Kali at Dakshineswar. Whether he was a realized soul or an advanced sadhaka, a monk or an incarnation of God they knew not, but still they came. They came in spite of themselves, as if under a spell. More>>>

Dr.M. Sivaramkrishna "Ramakrishna Vedanta in the West: New Interfaces and Challenges"


In his incisive study of the state of oriental religions (particularly Theosophy) and the cult of the gurus in the West, Peter Washington observed, ‘… towards the end of the nineteenth century it was becoming clear that an enduring public appetite existed in the West for new and exotic forms of religious belief to supplement or even replace orthodox forms of Christianity. Swedenborg has shown one possible way forward by uniting religion and science. Mesmer and the spiritualists had demonstrated another by opening doors to the spirit world.’ Pointing out further facets of what Frank Kermonde has called ‘a neglected story of serious frauds and delusions that had no small influence on modern art and thought’, Peter Washington adds that in this ethos, ‘Hinduism drew doctrinal subtlety and sheer exoti­sm.’ And he devotes a chapter to Vedanta as exemplified by Swami Prabhavananda and his writer devotees, notably Aldous Huxley and Christopher Isherwood, commenting that Swami Prabhavananda ‘managed to stay above the temptations of Hollywood, where more adeptly self-dramatizing gurus were constantly in continuous demand. People were impressed by his ability to live chastely in a notoriously corrupting world.’ More>>>

Swami Sandarshanananda "Sri Ramakrishna: The Significance of His Advent"


The world is now wearing an unsightly look, reeking of an imminent calamity. The sacrilege committed by the self-serving everywhere is unbounded; its purging seems impossible. Among the animals, tyranny of the strong over the weak is instinctive. Unfortunately, it seems to be the case with the intelligent Homo sapiens too. Might and money seem to rule the roost. The two have melted into a dubious one to perpetrate the mischief. The richer we are, the larger is our influence. Throwing a piece before the hapless, we draw him to owe allegiance to us; if he chooses to remain wayward, we take umbrage at him and lead him to face dire consequences. Prowess of the penny is the peril of the day. As it is true for individuals, so is it true for nations. More>>>

Glimpses of Holy Lives "May the Guest Be Your God!"


It was raining heavily throughout the day in Ilayankudi. That remote village in Tamil Nadu had not seen such a heavy downpour for a long time. Maran was confined to his house. He had had just a glass of water that morning; nothing more throughout the day - not because he was on some fast, but there was nothing to eat. It was late in the evening now. Across the room lay his wife. Theirs was a life devoted to the service of Lord Shiva and his devotees. Before entertaining a sannyasin for the day, neither of them ate anything. But there was no visitor that day yet. When they themselves had nothing to eat, the heavy down­pour proved a blessing in disguise: no one could possibly visit their house now. More>>>

Review Article "Journey of the Upanishads to the West"


Swami Tathagatananda, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order and spiritual head of the Vedanta Society of New York, who has impressed us with publications such as Meditations on Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda (1993) and The Vedanta Society of New York (2000), has now come up with a gem of a book, very appropriately titled Journey of the Upanishads to the West, detailing Western scholars’ contribution to the dissemination of the Truth that was first discovered by the ancient rishis of India. More>>>

Swami Tathagatananda "Sanskrit Studies and Comparative Philology"


The profound and far-reaching capacity of Sanskrit scriptures to inspire and transform people: Friedrich Max Muller, Paul Deussen, Russia’s Interest in Vedanta. More>>>

Editorial "Uprightness"


Mullah Nasruddin found a diamond by the roadside, but, according to law, finders become keepers only if they first announced their find in the centre of the marketplace on three separate occasions. Now, Nasruddin was too religious-minded to disregard the law and too greedy to run the risk of parting with his find. So on three consecutive nights when he was sure that everyone was fast asleep he went to the centre of the marketplace... More>>>

Swami Satyaswarupananda "A Survey of the Mind"


Amidst the Gita discourse, when Arjuna confessed his helplessness in getting to terms with his mind, comparing it to the impossible task of controlling the winds, he was not just speaking out the minds of all spiritual aspirants; he could well have been speaking for the endless stream of thinkers and scientists whose wits and imaginations have been engaged in cracking the riddle of the mind. More>>>

Editorial "Solitude"


Going to holiday resorts, participation in retreats and seeking solitude are some well-known attempts at stress relief. People do get some relief out of all this, but the effect usually wears off in no time; the situation is back to ‘normal’ soon after one gets busy with one’s usual activities back home. More>>>

Photoes from the birthday of Sri Ramakrishna


Photoes from the birthday of Sri Ramakrishna celebrated in Ramakrishna Society Vedanta Center, Moscow, Russia

Swami Yogananda "Looking at Creation with Seeing Eyes"


To observe, analyse and appreciate how intricate is the universal mechanism and in what orderly fashion the whole machinery of creation runs according to cosmic law; the mystery of life as a proccess of sustenance and growth; human senses as attached to experiences of the limited gross physical world; all the things we have done since childhood are stored in tabloid form as tendencies in our brain; the infinite capacity of the human mind - if you think deeply enough about a subject, the answer to any question about it will come; the possibility of seeing with the help of the divine eye the beautiful colors of dancing electrons and protons; the factory behind creation - the whole universe is a single thought in the mind of God; the temporal dream-nature of life and wakefullnes of the man of realization; and, finally, Swami Yogananda urges us to discover the factory of the Divine behind this world in his lecture "Looking at Creation with Seeing eyes"

Swami Satyananda Saraswati "Kriya Yoga"


Kriya Yoga as one of the easiest and most powerful methods known in Yoga in which you are not trying to quiet the mind but to create an activity to the mind; preparations for kriya yoga - perfection of breath consciousness, discovery of the psychic passage and preliminary kriya methods; the technique of moola bandha as awakening of vitality or pranashakti; the real meaning of brahmacharya as the conservation of the highest vitality not in the genital region but in the brain; and, finally, practice asanas, pranayamas, some hatha yoga, some preliminary kriyas, ajapa japa, breath consciousness, mudras and bandhas regularly for 4 or 5 months - and you are ready to learn kriya yoga from a qualified master.

Editorial "The Need for God"


The reality of divinity behind the universe as we become aware of the divinity behind our own body and mind; pravritti dharma and nivritti dharma; four stages (ashramas) of life; the centripetal path, nivritti dharma, as leading man to the realization of the indwelling God; reflection on the ultimate Reality, discrimination between the real and the unreal, and consequent giving up of attachment to ephemeral things and practising spiritual disciplines as the beginning of the centripetal path, nivritti dhar­ma; three relationships between God and the individual according to the three schools of Vedanta - dualistic, qualified monistic and non-dualistic; the seeming unreality of God as long as man keeps enjoying the world; the need to begin now while holding fast to God with one hand and doing one’s duties with the other; and, finally, changing of attitude towards the world looking at it as ‘a grand moral gymnasium where­in we have all to take exercise so as to become stronger and stronger spiritually‘ in the editorial article "The Need for God"

Editorial "We, God and the Universe"


Unreality of the waking state of consciousness accordinf to Vedanta ("Brahman is real and the world is unreal. The jiva is nothing but Brahman" Shankara); true perception as knowledge of Brahman, the divine substratum behind the world; breaking the dream of the world as the essence of spiritual disciplines; the reality of God, soul and the universe as long as the jiva retains his individuality; cow God, cat God and human God; the three states of consciousness vis-a-vis conceptions of God; vishva, taijasa, prajna and their macrocosmic counterparts; worship of God with form and without form in the editorial article "We, God and the Universe"

Swami Adiswarananda "Self-expression or Self-control?"


Self-control as the key to success in any field of life and an indispensable necessity for Self-realization, the goal of spiritual quest, the message of the sages and saints, the exhortation of the scriptures and traditions, the foundation of all yogas and the very essence of all spiritual austerities and disciplines in the brilliant article of Swami Adiswarananda "Self-expression or Self-control?"

Swami Atmapriyananda "The appeal of the Upanishads today"


The eternal message enshrined in the ancient wisdom, which is Upanishads, and how the modern thought is re-echoing the Upanishadic wisdom in modern and scientific language in the article of Swami Atmapriyananda "The appeal of the Upanishads today"

Swami Satyamayananda "Adoration According to Patandjali"


What is the most difficult thing to do? Shankara gives the answer: "To keep the mind always under control". Swami Satyamayananda explains us the majic of the word "yoga", different stages of yoga, purusha and prakriti, the citta and vrttis, nirodha and isvara-pranidharana in his article "Adoration According to Patandjali"

Swami Bhuteshananda "Sri Ramakrishna - The Spiritual Ideal for the Age"


The need of Self-Realization and the need for accepting all the religions paths as valid ways and approaches to God in the light of Sri Ramakrishna's sadhana and experiences by Swami Bhuteshananda

Professor N.V.S.Swami "Upanishadic culture"


Professor N.V.S.Swami leads us from eternal values of the Vedas to Modern Age of political uncertainty and possible destruction in the pursuit of Truth and Freedom in his short article "Upanishadic culture"

Swami Siddhinathananda "The Role of Ramayana in Indian Cultural Lore"


The story of Rama and Sita as the epitome of Dharma; Rama as a perfect hero with such noble qualities as austerity, chastity, charity and honesty; he and his wife as the ideal human beings in the interesting article of Swami Siddhinathananda "The Role of Ramayana in Indian Cultural Lore"

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