The big news in town is the verdict by the Supreme Court of India on the matter of the Ram Janmabhoomi site. It appears that the land has been “awarded” to those who want to have a temple dedicated to the birthplace of Bhagwan Ram. There’s much jubilation among Hindus. But why?
Fact is that that site was a temple in the first place. Islamic invaders destroyed that temple as is their religious duty, and they built a mosque at that site to demonstrate their supremacy. In a polity that rejects Islamic supremacy, it’s easy to conclude that building mosques on temple property is immoral, unethical, uncivilized and just plain wrong. Why did it take decades for the Supreme Court to decide this case? Is the court merely incompetent or just lazy or stupid or what?
Ganesh, the Lord of Beginnings, the Remover of Obstacles is without doubt the coolest of gods. He goes places. Here’s him in the home of Molly and Prashant and their children Ria and Joydeep in Chicago. I stopped here on my way from the East coast to San Jose.
Of all the Sanskrit sholkas I know, the Guru Mantra resonates most with me. It says —
ॐ Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Shakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Guruvey Namaha ॐ
Here it is in Devanagari:
And my interpretation of the mantra follows.
My immediate response to the assertion that “Yoga has no religion” is a flat denial. Because I know Yoga, Yoga is a friend of mine and I can truthfully attest to the fact that Yoga does indeed have a religion. He’s a Hindu. Therefore anyone making the claim that Yoga has no religion is either ignorant or is a liar (maybe both) since it is categorically and emphatically false. Do I make myself clear?
Oh, they mean the practice of yoga, the set of physical and mental exercises that originated in India and is widely used across the world for improving physical and spiritual well-being? Well, well, then let me address that “Yoga has no religion” claim. Spoiler alert: it is a stupid, meaningless statement made by the congenitally ignorant demonstrating a mentally disabling but well-deserved inferiority complex.
Holi was on March 6th in India. Most fun festival. Fun-loving people all over the world like it. Check out this video Nitai Gauranga music video recorded at Festival of Colors, Hare Krishna Temple, Spanish Fork, Utah.
The music is by Kirtaniyas. You can check out the words and translation, and listen to the track here.
Here’s the 2013 Holi at Spanish Fork.
Today is Maha Shivratri — Great night of Shiva. Shiva (the auspicious one) is known by many names — Mahadeva or Mahesh (the great god), Bholenath (the simple god since he is an ascetic), Parameshwara (the supreme god), and Nataraja (the king of dance). I am partial to Shiva as the Nataraj. He dances the Tandava, the dance of destruction and creation.
The image of the Nataraja above is from CERN headquarters. Click on the image for more details.
Carl Sagan was born on this day in 1934. Thanks for Cosmos and the many books I loved passionately — The Demon-Haunted World and Pale Blue Dot. Here’s a tribute to you that I like from the ever-entertaining SciShow guy.
Today is Basant Panchami. It is the day for Saraswati Puja and also Kamadeva Puja. Kamadeva is also known as “Atanu” — one without a body.
The Saraswati vandana goes thus:
Yoga is a friend of mine whose full name is Yoganand. He’s a Hindu and I have yet to meet a non-Hindu named Yoganand, or even Yoga or Anand. Not conclusive proof that Yoga is a Hindu practice but it does lend some support to the claim that yoga is a Hindu (and the religions related to it, Buddhism and Jainism) practice. Yoga is a Sanskrit word which shares the same root as the English verb “yoke” — to join. Yoga aims to join a consciousness with the Consciousness. Anyway, go check out the debate on Huffington Post. You will first have to vote on what you position is on the question, then read the debate and cast your vote again. They want to see how many minds are changed as a result of the debate. (Note that the “before” and “after” numbers don’t really tell you how many people actually changed their minds. See below.)