Knowledge


Secular All Knowledge about outside world.
Spiritual Knowledge that’s takes us towards the subjective experience of the Reality within.

    Atheistic Atheists don’t believe any fundamental truth other than the body and
    manifested world. They don’t believe in Vedas as a means of Knowledge. They believe
    in knowledge gained by direct perception. Since the Atman can’t be perceived through
    any direct means, they don’t believe in the divinity of Atman.
    Atheistic Atheism Complete Atheists.

    Carvaka Carvakas believe that the goal of life is happiness existence in complete

    sensuousness, unrestrained by any principles, moral or ethical. They believe
    that we come from no where and go no where, but just exist. The only goal of life
    is joy of eating and indulging.
    Buddhism
    Buddha denied Vedas all authority. Within Buddhist, the Ashtavadin’s believe
    that the Eternal is “non-existent”. Where as Kshanika-Vigyana Vadins contend
    that the Eternal is ever changing series of consciousness-flickering in the
    intelligence.
    Atheistic Theism Though they do not believe in Vedas, but they do believe in subtler truth

    other than body and gross objects of world.
    Jainism Mahavir Jain denied any authority to Vedas, but believed in Eternal Truth
    which is constant, permanent, perfect and blissful.
    Theistic Theistic Atheism Theistic Atheists do believe in declaration of Vedas but do not believe in One

    Devine Eternal Factor as truth. They believe that the truth can’t be realized only
    by study, reflection and deep meditation of upanishdic declarations.
    Tarka Sastra Vyesesika (By Kanada) Nyaya (By Gautama) Saamkya Saamkya is the most scientific, rational, analytical and perhaps most

    appealing to modern mind.
    Nir Iswara Samkya (By Kapila) Kapila’s philosophy believes that the existence is made up of Prakruti

    (Nature) and divine spark (Purusha). But Kapila does not believe in any
    God Principle.
    Sa Iswara Samkya (By Patanjali) Patanjali adds a God’s principle in the form of a manifested God (Isvara).
    Purva Mimasa (By Jaimini) In Jaimini’s Philosophy, the individual has to faithfully follow the ritualistic
    portions of Vedas, because of which infinite merits will accrue. To enjoy the
    fruits of such merits, the individual soul will get a chance to live for a fixed
    period of time in a realm of consciousness where they could experience
    subtler and more intense sensual enjoyments. This temporary real is
    conceived as Heaven, Kailasm or Vaikuntam.
    Theistic Theism
    Theistic theism believe not only in Vedas but also in the teaching of Upanishads.

    They believe in the one divine Brahman who is one Eternal Truth as declared by
    Upanishads. Vyasa (Badarayana) had crystallized this philosophy in Brahma
    Sutram.
    Uttara Mimasa (Upanishdic) Advaitam Advaitam is propagated and made popular by Sri Sankara. This believes in

    the Brahman is non-dual truth is the only one and that this Brahman has no
    attributes. There is no difference between Jiva and Brahman at a micro
    level. The world of existence is nothing but an illusion termed as “maya”.
    Sankara proposes the Path of Knowledge towards the realization of this
    Truth.
    Visishta Advaitam Originated and Propagated by Sri Ramanuja, this philosophy believes in

    equality of all Jivas, but as a separate from that of One Truth, the Brahman
    who is endowed with infinite auspicious qualities. Sri Ramanuja proposes
    Path of Bhakti towards realization of the goal.
    Dvaitam This philosophy was originated by Sri Madhava. Dvaitis believe
    in individual separate from another individual and the divine principle, the
    Brahman is separate from all the individuals. Path of Bhakti is paramount in
    this philosophy.

Vedic Influence in other parts of the world


There is a consensus developing today and many folks are researching to find the extent of Vedic influence all over world before British broke the backbone of dharmic confidence that the people of the landmass once called Bharat.

One such seminal event was the great flood of Dwaraka at the physical death of Lord Sri Krishna at 3139 BC. The deluge was mentioned in many scriptures in other parts of the world.

After that great event, many Krishna followers were believed to have went all over the world. 
Anyway, now there is movement by some great scholars to document the influence of Vedic tradition all over the world.

Here is one such attempt by Stephen Kapp. These are some of the pictures taken from his book – Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence.

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Photo 1:
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As in the headquarters of Christianity (namely the Vatican in Rome) at the headquarters of Islam too (namely in the Kaaba temple in Mecca city of Saudi Arabia) the ancient Hindu Shiva Linga may still be seen. This cylindrical stone, rendered immovable for security by being fixed in the outer corner of a wall, is the object of reverence of all Muslims. Here Muslims still continue the seven perambulations in the age old Hindu style except that they move anti-clockwise. White silver foil shrouds the stone. The oval uncovered central portion gives the pilgrims an idea of how the stone looks. Syrians had once carried away the stone as a war trophy and kept it for 22 years.

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Here is another view of the black stone at the Kaaba.

An Arab woman wearing the Hindu vermilion mark on her forehead in ancient times when the world practiced Hinduism. (Published in the Bible Dictionary (appended to the Holy Bible edited by the American Review Committee) and also in “Long Missing Links” by Aiyangar. [ Long missing links, or, The Marvellous Discoveries about the Aryans, Jesus Christ and Allah" by Vaduvur K Duraiswami Ayyangar, Publisher: Oriental Home University, 1931]) 


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Hindu administrations, the Sanskrit language, Hindu culture and the Hindu medical system–Ayurved, held sway throughout the ancient world. Monarchs then used to attend court bare-bodied with sacred ash and colour marks on their bodies. This is an Hindu Egyptian monarch of those times. [The 'V' mark is called tilok, and is shown being worn by this Egyptian in the same style that it is still worn by Vaishnavas today in India, on the forehead, arms, neck, chest and belly, representing that one is a worshiper of Lord Krishna or Vishnu.] (Published on page 38 of the Bible Dictionary {appended to the Holy Bible edited by the American Review Committee} and on page 185 of “Long Missing Links” by Aiyangar.)

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The Hindu architect of the pyramids looking at an unfolded architectural scroll. He is wearing Hindu marks on his body. This should underline the need to reconstruct the worldwide sway of Hinduism in ancient times currently wiped out of all history. (Published in Egyptian Myth and Legends page 368 and also in “Long Missing Links” by Aiyangar.)   

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Bulls were worshipped in ancient Hindu Egypt as they are still worshipped in Hindu India. The earliest explorers of Europe and Africa were Hindus. The river ‘Nile’ bears the Sanskrit name indicating her blue waters. (Published in “Egyptian Myth and Legend” page 70 and “Long Missing Links” page 233.) 









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This mosaic captioned “A Pastoral Scene” is of the 2nd century A.D. and is on display at the museum in Corinth, 60 Km. from Athens (Greece). Obviously this is Lord Krishna the Hindu incarnation in his boyhood. The bare body, the horizontal flute, the cross-legged stance, standing under a tree with a few cows grazing around is exactly how Krishna is depicted in Hindu pictures. This is proof that in ancient Hindu Europe, Krishna and Rama as much as the Shiva Linga were worshipped as they are still worshipped by the Hindus in Hindusthan

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Roman consul wearing the Hindu forehead mark indicating that in ancient times Romans were Hindus. Roman emperors also sported the title ‘Dev’ as the termination of their names in the Hindu royal style. [The 'V' mark is called tilok, and is worn on the forehead to represent that one is a Vaishnava, a worshiper of Lord Krishna or Vishnu.] (Published in “History of Rome” page 237 by Smith and in “Long Missing Links” by Aiyangar.)












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A Roman superior wearing the Hindu dhoti, chappals (sandals) and Hindu marks on his neck and forehead–reminding one of the times when Europe practiced Hinduism. (Published in “History of Rome” page 300 by Smith and “Long Missing Links” by Aiyangar.) 














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A Ramayanic episode found painted in ancient Italian homes; Lav and Kusha driving away a captured royal sacrificial horse belonging to their father Rama. The founding of Rome is ascribed to brothers Remus and Ramulus–which are latter-day variations of the Hindu name Rama.

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Vali and Sugreeva–two monkey chiefs disputing over a woman Tara whom both claim as wife. Being monkeys they are undressed. This is one of the many Ramayanic scenes found sketched in ancient Italian homes (this one is sketched on a vase discovered in archaeological excavations in Italy).

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 Rama-Seeta-Lakshmana walking through the forest in the order described in the Ramayana, a scene delineated in ancient Italian homes. Italian archaeologists express bewilderment at these paintings because they are unaware that ancient Europe including Italy practiced Hinduism.

[Top photo] Three Hindu gods. The one at the left known as Ayu Devata (God of life) is still invoked in Siberia if some near and dear one falls seriously ill. The other two are just samples of the many gods and goddesses sold in the bazar of Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. These indicate how Hinduism prevailed in the ancient world. Even the Slav people in Europe worshipped Hindu deities.

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[Bottom photo] A Ramayanic scene found painted in ancient Italian houses discovered in archaeological excavations. Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra, wives of the aged king Dasharath sharing the divine fertility potion to beget illustrious sons. The Dasharath legend is also part of ancient Egyptian lore. All this shows that countries of Europe and Africa were Hindu in ancient times.

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This is the Hindu deity Shiva. This piece is at present on view in the Etruscan Museum at the Vatican in Rome. Encyclopedia Britannica mentions under the headings “Etruria” and “Etruscan” that between the 2nd and 7th centuries BC, northern Italy was known as Etruria. During excavations many such “meteoric stones mounted on carved pedestals” are discovered in Italy. Obviously, therefore, this one was dug up from the Vatican itself. Many more must be lying buried in the Vatican’s massive walls and numerous cellars. Vatican is itself the Sanskrit word “Vatica” applied to Hindu cultural-cum-religious centers as in “Ashrama-Vatica” or “Dharma-Vatica” or “Ananda-Vatica.” Therefore, the Vatican was obviously a Hindu religious seat before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity. 
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[There was no caption in the album for this photo of this drawing. However, from other sources it is said to have been found in Italy. It is an illustration from the Ramayana of Vibhishan, Ravana's brother, ready to leave Lanka in battle-dress to join Lord Rama. He is shown making one last appeal to Ravana to release Sita, Lord Rama's wife, shown sitting in the bottom corner.] 

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An Australian bushman wearing the Hindu sandal mark on his forehead in ancient times when the world practised Hinduism. A bell bearing Tamil inscriptions once formed part of an Australian fisherman’s catch. The vast expanse of water from the Americas to Australia, is known as the Indian Ocean precisely because the Indian fleet held unchallenged sway over it. The word ‘navy’ is itself the Sanskrit word “Navi” signifying boats. (Published in “Manual of Geography” page 55 and in “Long Missing Links” by Aiyangar.)

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This is the cover of a 16th century book titled “The Cosmos and its Mathematical Study by the Persian author Mohamed-al-Tusi. It is found in the Egyptian National Library, Cairo. The multi-armed deity (holding a book or Vedas, an axe, drum, bunch of incense sticks, a lotus bud and a mouse) and the hexagonal platform on which he sits, certainly shows the Vedic influence.  

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From the British Museum, London, we find this inscription tablet from pre-Islamic Arabia. The crescent and sun on top relate to the Vedic dictum “Yawachchandra Diwakarau,” which signifies that the gift mentioned in the inscription should last as long as the sun and moon. This crescent and sun is a Vedic symbol, which still can be seen in use on the flags which adorn the top of the temple of Lord Jagannatha in Jagannatha Puri, as well as on coins in Hindu Nepal. This symbol is in reference to the idea that it is Lord Vishnu who is the source of the light for the sun and the moon. Thus, this symbol which also adorns Islamic flags shows its Vedic influence.  

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A typical ancient Vedic brass lamp from Saudi Arabia. Again it is a sign of the Vedic influence that was and still is found in the Middle East and Arabia. Such lamps are still used in India today. Stories of Allauddin, or Aladdin, and His Lamp come from ancient Vedic India, although many give credit to Arabia.  

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Fundamentals of Ramanuja Philosophy


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Chapter I
Section1

The upnishadic statement ‘brahmavidh ApnOthi param,’ that one who know Brahman reaches the ultimate, is the key thought of real revelation. This corresponds to the central theme of Ramanuja philosphy, denoted by Thatthva, hitha and purushArTHa.
Let us see what these terms mean:.

There are three questions that present to the mind of the one who thirsts for the knolwledge of reality, mentioned as brahmajijnAsA in the Brahmasuthra.They are:
1. What is reality?
2. How do I get the knowledge of it ?
3. What do I gain by it?
The answers to these three questions are expounded in the vedantasuthras.(Bahmasuthras).Ramanuja has interpreted these suthras in Sribhashya under the light of visishtadvaita principles and the answers given by Ramanuja to the above three questions are in short, thatthva, hitha and purushArTHa .
1. Thatthva is the answer to the question “What is reality?” The thatthvajnana is the knowledge that Brahman, synonymous with Narayana of Visishtadvaita is the absolute reality, the inner Self of all beings and the substratum of the whole universe of sentient and nonsentient beings.This displays the transcendence and imminence of Brahman.
2.Hitha means that which is good , namely the moral and spiritual discipline that is necessary for acquiring the knowledge of the Supreme Self.In other words it means the sadhana.This answers the second question.
3. purushArTHa is the goal to be attained , that is, the realisation of Brahman, attaining which there is nothing more to be gained and this is the answer to the third question.

section2

The knowledge of reality

Brahman or the absolute reality, is Narayana of visishyadvaita. But the world of sentient and insentient beings is not unreal. In Visishtadvaita there are three reals, namely ,chit, the sentient, achit, the insentient and Isvara, though the first two are not distinct reals, unconnected and separate but have an inseparable realation with Isvara..This is what is known as the sarira-sariri bhava in visishtadvaita and the vedanta is called sArirakasasthra.
The first of the three reals, Isvara is the inner Self of all beings both sentient and insentient, which form His sarira. The term sarirais defined by Ramanuja as the substance which a sentient soul can support, control for its own purposes and which stands in a subordinate relation to the sentient soul. All beings are supported and controlled by Brahman , to whom they are subservient. As the physical body exists for the purpose of the individual soul and not vice versa, all beings exist for the sake of Brahman, their inner self of whom they constitute the body.This relationship is variously described as AdhAra-AdhEya(supporter and the supported), niyanthA-niyAmya(controller and the controlled) and Sesha-Seshi ( possessor and the possessed).
Brahman is the adhara

Brahman is the adhara or the support of all in the sense of being a substratum of everything.The idea of support is not like a basket to the fruit where the supporter and the supported are distinct and separate, but the two have an inseparable relationship.The space, akasa , exists everywhere and everyting exists in it , without which they cannot stand, yet the akasa is not affected by anything while it pervades everythiing in and out.In describing the srshtikrama, upanishad says that everything came from akasa and merges back into akasa.This is the concept of the adhara -adheya bhava between Brahman and the world, though this is only in form of an illustration since akasa is not Brahman being itself supported by Brahman.In Bhagavtgita Krishna says.that all beings are supported by the SupremeSelf like the beads on a string.The same idea is found in the upanishad where Yajnavalkya explains that the whole universe is supported by Brahman who is the warp and hoof of everything.So the knowledge of reality can arise only by knowing the nature of Brahman , by knowing which everything becomes known.The upanishad define Brahman as ‘sathyam, jnanam, anantham brahma.’ That is, Brahman is existence or truth, knowledge and infinity.

Brahman as Sathyam.

Brahman is sathyam or real which does not mean that the other two, namely, chit, the sentient and achit , the insentient denoted by jiva and jagat, are unreal. They are real but they are conditioned.Achit or matter, the effects of prkrthi, the premordial nature consisting of three gunas, cotinues to change and hence it is conditioned by its form and attributes. But it is real only as the state of existence alone changes but not the substance.
This can be explained as follows:
The clay is made into a pot and hence it no more exists as clay. But it is real and only the state of existence has changed. When the pot is broken, it becomes potsherds still it is real but the form and attributes has changed. So nothing in this world ceases to exist and hence it is real.The insentient, achit includes everything except the soul.In the final dissolution also the achit and chit do not cease to exist but absorbed in Brahman and exist in unmanifest state..
The individual soul, jiva, denoted as chit is also not uneal but conditioned real because its existence is conditioned by the body it acquires due to karma.
Brahman is thus termed as satyasyasatyam, real of the reals. It is the inner self of all, changeless and infinite.It is satyasya satyam as everything acquires reality only because of Brahman.
Brahman as jnana

Brahman is knowledge, not in the sense that it is knowledge itself but in the sense of having knowledge as its svrupa like the heat and the fire. Heat is the svarupa of fire without which it ceases to be fire.Similarly the jnana is the svarupa of Brahman and it is infinite.It differs from that of the jiva in as much as the knowledge of jiva becomes contracted due to karma and attains it infinite state only in mukthi.the knowledge of brahman is infinite and unconditioned and is the source of all knowledge, by knowing which everything else becomes known.. These will be explained later when we deal with the causation of Brahman.
Brahman as anantha

Brahman is infinite. This is a determining quality which distinguishes Brahman from jiva and jagat. Brahman is not conditioned by time, place or entity. Conditioning by time is when we say that a thing exists now but not later or earlier. A pot does not exist before its creation not after it is destroyed.. Conditioning by place means a thing exists here and not elsewhere. A pot is here but not there. Conditiong by entity is a thing being limited in form, as saying this is a pot ,that is a cloth etc.
Brahman on the other hand exists everywhere as there is nothing else other than Brahman. So it is unconditioned by space. Brahman exists always and hence not limited by time. As everything is Brahman it is not limited by entity either.
Thus the idea of Brahman as AdhAra affirms the reality of separate entities of chit and achit but denies their separate reality other than Brahman.

Chapter 2

Section 1- Brahman as Niyantha

Brahman is the inner ruler and redeemer. Brahaman explained as the support of all, adhara, denotes the transcendence, while Brahman as niyantha,controller, shows the imminence. As the Self of all, Brahman is the silent, but not indifferent, witness.On the other hand Brahman is not a controller in the sense that all the actions of the individual self is controlled by Him and the latter is nothing but a puppet on a string.
By the words of Krishna in Bhagavatgita, ‘eesvarassarvabhoothAnAm hrddhESE arjuna thishTathi,;bhrAmayan arvabhoothAni yanthrArooDani mAyayA,(BG-18-61) the Lord is in the heart of all beings and makes them go round by His maya as though they are mounted on a machine,’ it would appear as though the individual soluls have no control over their actions and only activated by the Lord. If so, it could not be explained why do they commit sin unless it is admitted that God is partial and makes some do good and enjoy happiness while He makes others sin and suffer.
This apparent discrepancy can be explained by examining another sloka from the Gita,,upadhrashtA anumanthA cha bharthA bhokthA mahEsvarah;paramAthmEthi chApyukthO dhEhE asmin purushah parah,'(BG-13.22)

This sloka is explained as follows The Self is upadhrashtA , the witness because it is actually not affected by the experiences of joy and sorrow resulting from the wrong identification with the body. But since no action or experience is possible with out the accordance of the self , it is called anumantha, the approver. Since the body is supported by the Self it is the bhartha, supporter.Due to the identification with the body the self seems to experience joy and sorrow and without it no experience is possible and so the self is called bhoktha,experiencer.As the body is subservient to the self who is the master, it is called Mahesvara, the over-lord and in reality the self is nothing but the Supreme Self , the inner controller and hence called as ParamAthma.

The self, Atman, is eternal and of the nature of bliss.But the individual self which is known as jiva is the real self reflected through the ahankara, ego, the product of maya due to karma.Purusha , the individual soul, due to the influence of ego, identifies himself with the prakrthi, nature, consisting of the three gunas and acts accordingly..The war between devas and asuras is that between the spiritual self and the empirical self, which is ego identified with the prakrthi.Eesvara is a silent witness and approver as the Lord allowed the devas ad asuras to fight for amrtha but at the same time lent His hand to help the devas. He did not prevent the war and destroy the asutras forthwith because the devas had to undergo the result of their own actions, by disobeying His injunctions in the first place.
Similarly, Eesvara lays down rules of conduct which are disobeyed by the jivas due to their own karma. In laying out the rule He is the Ruler but when it is disobeyed He is the silent witness and allows the actions of the jiva to take its own course. In this manner He is the upadhrashta and anumantha. But in as much as He decrees the proper apportionment of the results of the actions He is the Niyantha.
Ramanuja illustrates this in his Sribhashya by an analogy. Let us assume that two persons A and B own a land jointly. The former tills the land and cultivates it while the latter is a silent partner. But when A want to transfer the land to C or sell it he has to get the sanction of B. Like wise Eesvara allows certain freedom of action to the jiva but regarding the result of His actions Eesvara is the sole controller.
By His entry into the jiva as its inner self, Brahman, Narayana of Visishtadvaita, is both the sovereign and saviour.
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Chapter2-Section2

Brahman as the ruler and redeemer

The cause of samsara is the karma which presupposes a free agent. Isvara is the karmaphaladhAthA, apportioning the fruit of karma. His proclamation that He manifests Himself in every yuga in order to protect the good and punish the wicked , and to establish dharma ’parithrANAya sAdhoonAm vinASAya cha dhushkrthAM dharmasamsTHApanArTHAya sambhavAmi yuge yuge shows Him the ruler who punishes the evildoer and rewards the good. But the judgement is based not on the deed but on the doer. This means the same as in the worldly sense of the term. When a person commits a crime the judge decides about the punishment based on the motive of the person rather than on the act itself. Similarly the Lord acts as the karmaphaladhatha.
But the role of karmaphaladhatha does not rule out compassion because the retribution is for redemption. It is like the attitude of a parent in punishing the child out of love in order to prevent him from further wrong acts. It is usually thought that a person steeped in sin is not punished and flourishes on the other hand. In the world whereas a good person suffers even for the smallest sin committed by him. It is true. But it only signifies the mercy of God that He would not allow His devotees to transgress even a little from the path of virtue. This again is not partiality. A child who strays away from its home has many falls and mishaps till finally he decides to seek the protection of his parents and comes home. But the one who stays close are always watched by the parents and is not allowed to do anything wrong.
Another question often asked is that why should the Lord allow one to stray away and accumulate karma? Isn’t it true that everything happens according to God”s will? The answer is that an individual soul has certain amount of freewill to act as he wants. It is he who chooses whether to stay close to the Lord or to go away from him. Bhagavan is the Supreme self. Inner ruler and the witness self. That is why He is termed as upadhrshta and anumantha, one who supervises and gives His permission to act. But the how and what of the action is decided by the individual self, who is possessed of an intellect which discriminates and decides.
Chapter2-section3

The five forms of Brahman

God seeks the individual soul more than the latter seeks God. Ascent of self is assisted by the descent of God. As a result , the five forms of Brahman or Narayana prove the divine mercy of the Lord.
The five forms are, para, vyuha, vibhava, antharyamin and archa.
1. paravAsudheva- The Supreme absolute reality immutable that is Brahman is known as paravasudheva for the sake of meditation.
2. vyuha- The six attributes of Bhagavan, namely the three .jnanaaisvarya and shakthi which are transcendental and the three , bala, virya and thejas are in the plane of activity. These six pair and form three vyuha forms, SankarshaNa (jnana and bala), Prdhyumna, (aisvarya and virya), and Aniruddha (shakthi and thejas). Vasudheva is the one in whom all the six attributes are present in full manifestation while in the others only two are manifest and the othersa re unmanifest. The Vyuha modes are for the purpose of creation, maintenance and d destruction
3. Vibhava- These are the incarnations of the Lord main of them being the ten wellknown avataras.
4. Antharyamin- The indwelling self within all beings who can only be intuited through yoga.
5. Archa- The idol form consecrated with manthra for facilitating easy worship.
All the above forms are the expressions of the infinite mercy. Of these paravasudeva is inaccessible like the avaranajala, cosmic waters as He is in vaikunta in that state, the vyuhas are like the milky ocean which can be made accessible through inspired meditation, as He has been seen by the devotees like akrura and sages like visvamithra. The vibhavas or incarnation are like monsoon floods as they happen once in a while whereas the archavatharas, the idols worshipped in temples and other places are like reservoirs of water always available. Antharyami state of bhagavan is like water in the earth, ever existing but invisible found only through proper digging.
Brahman who transcends the form and matter, who is without parts and gunas ( meaning the three gunas of prakrthi) embodies Himself as these forms out of mercy and to redeem the individual self. Brahman of visishtadvaita is the sath of the Upanishads, one only without a second who transforms Himself as Vasudheva. This transition is necessitated by the divine nature of dhaya or mercy, Brahman expresses Himself with twofold spititual form as Narayana and Lakshmi.. The two are inseparable in principle though functionally distinct.
Chapter2-section4- Brahman as Seshin

Seshin is the one who is the owner and the sesha is the owned. As the inner self of all, the whole universe of sentient and in sentient beings is controlled by Him and supported by Him in the same way as a king controls and supports his kingdom and his subjects. Only difference is that all beings are inseparable from Him as they form His body. Similar to the relationship between the soul and the body of an individual, the former controlling and supporting the latter which exists for its use and enjoyment, the relationship between the individual self and the Lord is one of sesha and seshi.
The sesha – seshi sambandha is one of absolute dependence on the Lord and that of service to the Lord. This relationship arises from the fact that the whole universe forms a part of the Supreme Reality, that too an infinitesimal part as declared in the Gita ‘vishtabhyAham idham krtsnam ekAmSena sThitho jagat,’ encompassingthis entire world the Lord stands with the whole universe forming but a infinitesimal part of Him. The same idea is expressed the Purushasuktha it is sadi ‘pAdho asya visvA bhoothAni thripAdhasyAmrthamdhivi.’

The question that arises in the mind is that whether the absolute dependence rules out the free will and freedom of action on the part of the individual soul. If so there will be no choice between good and evil and hence the karma of the individual will not adhere to him as he will be an automaton with no ill of his own. Thus the whole scripture giving injunctions and prohibitions will be meaningless.
This view advance dby the opponent is set aside by Ramanuja in his sreebhashya while explaining the meaning of the suthra ‘parAth thu thathSrutheh.’(SB.II -3-40) and the next Suthra-41-krthapray atnApEkshasthu vihithaprathishiddh a avaiyarTHyAdhibhyah (SB.2-3-41 ) which means ‘Since the effort is taken by the individual soul the injunctions and prohibitions are relevant . ‘
To the objection that if the soul is not independent the injunctions and prohibitions will have no value it is replied in this suthra that the effort is taken only by the individual self but it cannot act without the sanction of the supreme self, who is the anumantha, one who gives permission to act. If the soul does good karma the Lord bestows His grace and if indulges in evil deeds He gives punishment.
If the Lord Himself makes one to do good and bad deeds , it goes contrary to the independent effort of the individual self. Ramanuja replies that this does not apply to all beings but only means that when one chooses to proceed along the path approved by the Lord, He helps the soul to rise further and when one pursues the path that leads away from the Lord, He makes the soul descend further so that the propensity for evil will be exhausted. In the Gita the Lord says

‘thEshAm sathatha yukthAnAm bajathAm preethipoorvakam dhadhAmi buddhiyOgam tham yEna mAmupayAnthi thE.'(BG.10.10)
It means that the Lord gives the wisdom to those who worship Him with love so that they can attain Him. And He hurls those who are evil, He says, into demonical wombs in perpetual transmigration.
Chapter2-section5-Brahman as the whole and the individual soul as the part
This relationship between Brahman and jiva is known as amsa-amsi bhava. Ramanuja explains this in his Sribhshya while commenting on the Brahma suthra ,’amSo nAnA vyapadheSAth,’ (BS.II.3.42) and the subsequent suthras.
In chandhOgya upanishad it is declared
‘pAdhOasyavisvAbhoo thAni thripAdhasyAmrtham dhivi,(Chan.3-12- 6)
All beings and the world constitute one part (quarter) of the supreme self and the rest of the three quarters are immortal in heaven.’ The word pAdha denotes amsa. The plural term bhoothani, is used as souls are many.
In Bhagavatgita the Lord declares
‘mamaivAmsO jivalOkE jivabhoothah sanathanah,(BG.15-7)
an eternal part of Myself has become the individual soul.’
Also it is said ‘ vishtabhyAham idham krthsnam ekAmSena sThitho jagath,’(BG.10.42) “I stand sustaining the whole Universe with a fragment of mine.”
An objection is raised that if the soul is part of Brahman all imperfections of the soul will be of Brahman too
As the light of a luminous body, the generic character (jati) of an entity and the colour of an object, though being part of the object they qualify are different from it so also Brahman is different from the individual self which forms its mode. A visEshaNa, attribute and the visEshya the object having the attribute are inseparable yet different. The declarations of identity and difference denote the two aspects, the inseparability of the substance and its attribute and the distinctness of the substance and the attribute, respectively.
In VishnupurANa ParAsara states
‘EkadhEsasTHithasyA gnEh jyothsnA visthAriNee yaTHA,parsyabrahmaN ah sakthih thTHEdham akhilam jagath,(VP.1-22-56)
Just as the light of a luminous body that exists in one place spreads around, the power of Brahman pervades the whole world. Also the individual self is declared to be the body of the Lord.’thasyasrjyasya sambhoothou thath sarvE vai harEsthanuh, ‘ all these created are the body of Hari.
Like the fire which is from the household of a brahmana is accepted while that from cremation ground is not, though the fire is the same everywhere, the difference in qualification is due to the purity or otherwise of the body the soul occupies.
Even though all souls are part of Brahman they being atomic and different from each other the result of the karma is different for each.
Chapter3- cosmology-Nature of Jagat

The nature of Brahman, that is Ontology has been explained so far. Now let us examine the Cosmology or the nature of the Universe and its relation to the indidual self and God.
The cosmology of Ramanuja is based on the concept of the three reals, thathvathraya, namely cit (jiva), acit (jagat) and Isvara (Narayana) and the relation ship between them.
Isvara is cidacit visishta and the latter exists in the relation of modes to the substance with Isvara. Cit the sentient souls and acit the insentient matter in subtle(unmanifest) state exist in Brahman before creation and in their gross( manifest ) state after creation. Thus the sookshmacidactvisishtabrahna is the cause and sthoolacidacitvisishtbrahman is the effect. So the universe exists in the relation of effect and the cause with Brahman.
The cause of the universe being Brahman is accepted by all the schools of vedanta and by Nyayavaiseshika, or logicians. Only The school of nirisvara sankhya expounded by Isvarakrishna does not accept Isvara as the cause. The atheistic schools of Buddhism and Jainism who do not accept the Vedas as authoritative are outside the scope of discussion.
Now the school of sankhya which does not accept the causality of Brahman professes that the prakrthi, the primordial nature is the cause of the universe while the sentient soul, purusha is eternal. Thus there is no need of Brahman at all. The yoga school accepts Isvara but only as a purushavisesha who should be meditated upon to acquire the right knowledge that the purusha is ever free and wrongly identifies himself with the prakrthi and suffers the samsara and this knowledge secures release.
The school of Nyayavaiseshika deems the atoms of the four elements, earth, water, fire and air to be the cause of the universe.
According to the Upanishad which declares ‘sadheva soumya idhamagra aaseeth ekameva adhvuitheeyam’, there was only Brahman existing in the beginning ,one only without a second. So Brahman is both the material (like the mud in making a pot0 as well as the efficient cause ( like the potter) of the universe.
Then the text goes on to say “it willed to become many and created fire.’ Of course the mention of fire is due to its being the first gross form of creation and hence the other two namely air and akasa are understood to have preceded it. From the fire originated the water and from water the earth came about. This is the order of creation mentioned and in annihilation it takes the reverse order.
After creatin the gross universe the Brahman decided to enter into all beings to give them name and form and to be their inner self. ‘ anena jeevena Atmanaa anupravisya naamaroope vyaakaravaaNi.’
So the universe is the effect and Brahman is the cause and the universe is real as much as when the cause is real the effect is also real. But this does not mean that Brahman is transformed into the world in which case the imperfections of the world will adhere to Brahman. It is just that Brahman being the inner self of all , the sentient and the insentient, they form the body of Brahman. As the imperfections of they do not adhere to the self , similarly those of the universe do not affect Brahman. This sarir-sariri relationship of Brahman to the world is the pivot of the realistic philosophy of ramanuja.

The purpose of creation

Thus it has been established that Brahman is the material as well as the efficient cause of the world. But the question remains to be answered is that why should He create the world at all? Brahman of visishtadvaita is avaaptahasamastha kaama, one whoone who has no unfulfilled desire. Usually things are produced in the world either for one’s own use or for that of others. The first alternative is shown to be absent because Brahman is avApthasamasthakAma and the second also can be disproved. If Brahman creates for others it must be as an anugraha or for showering grace in which case He would not have created this world full of sorrow, as He is full of mercy.
Ramanuja answers this in his commentary to the brahmasuthra ‘lokavattu leelaakaivalyam.’(Sri Bhashya 2.1.33)

The purpose of creation is nothing else but play, like a king who has everything indulges in sport just to amuse himself. This gives rise to the critcism that if the creation is for sport it exposes Brahman to the charge of cruelty in creating a world full of inequalities and making the beings suffer. But the scripture declares that Brahman takes into consideration the karmas of the souls in creating the different conditions of the beings in the world. So what appears to be a sport on the part of Brahman is purposeful from the point of view of the individual soul. The word leela is used to indicate effortlessness on the part of Brahman in creating the world of sentient and insentient beings.
Ramanuja accepts the theory of evolution as given out by Sankhya that the prakrti or the insentient primordial nature constituted of three gunas evolves into the world of matter by the combination of three gunas. He only adds that the entire process of creation is willed and controlled by Brahman. The seven thatthvas or principles which are the effects of prakrti are the causal substances of everything else. These are, mahat or buddhi, ahankara, and the five subtle matter of the elements. From these evolve the gross elements, ten indriyas and the mind. Ramanuja opposes the theory of causation of Sankhya only in their not accepting Brahmanas the inner self of all beings, sentient and insentient.
Chapter4- The nature of the jiva
The jiva is the finite or individual self. It is distinct from the body, mind and intellect etc. and eternal in nature. The jivas are many and form the sareera of the Lord who is their inner self. To Ramanuja the individual self is the knowing subject unlike in advaita where it is pure consciousness. In vedartha sangraha he describes the nature of the soul thus:
The individual self is subjected to anaadi avidya, beginningless nescience (ignorance) due to accumulation of karma, which is both good and bad , as a result of which the jiva enters into different bodies, devatiryangmanushyaadhi, divine beings, human beings or beasts. The embodied self gets identified with the body it occupies and suffers the pangs of samsara. To get rid of this spiritual knowledge is sought about the nature and attributes of the self, the nature and attributes of Brahman who is its inner self and the way to attain Brahman which frees the individual self from transmigration.
Jiva as the knowing subject

Ramanuja explains in his comment on the vedantasutra (sribhashya) that the self is of the nature of knower and not mere knowledge nor inert.(SB.2-3-19) This is proved from the sruthi itself. In ChAndhOgya text in the section where prajApathi describes the released and unreleased souls by saying ‘aTHa yo vedha jiGHrANeethi sa AthmA, onewho knows “I smell” he is the self. Similarly in BrhadhAraNyakait is said as a reply to the question ‘kathama AthmA, who is the self,’ that ‘yO ayam vijnAnamayah prANEshuhrdhyanthrjyothirpurushah,(Brhd.4-3-7) he who is consisting of knowledge is the light within the heart in the prAnas.’ and ‘Esha hi dhrashtA srothA GHrAtha rasayithA manthA bOdDHA karthA vijnAnAthmA purushah ,(Pras.IV-9) this person is the seer, hearer smeller, taster, thinker, knower, doer and the knowing self.
Knowledge ,jnana is the peculiar attribute of the jiva. This is called attributive consciousness, dharmabhutha jnana. It is however contracted in the embodied state and attains its natural all encompassing status when the soul is released from transmigration in mukti.
It may be argued that if the jiva is the knower, its real nature being infinite and all pervading, there will always be cognition everywhere. To this Ramanuja replies in Sribhashya thus: (SB.
The sruthi mentions the soul going out, and coming in etc. which is not possible if it is all pervading. In BrhadhAraNyaka upanishad ‘
‘Esha AthmanishkrAmathi chakshushO VA murDHnO vAanyEbhyO VA sariradhEsebhyah,(Brhad.4- 4-2)
This self departs through the eyes or the skull or any other part of the body,’ and the return likewise ‘thasmAth lokAth punarEthi asmai lOkaya karmaNE, from those worlds, returns to this world for karma.’
The all pervasiveness only means that The self though atomic is able to pervade the whole body like the sandalpaste that creates coolness for the whole body though applied in one place or as the light placed in one corner lights up the whole room so does the AtmA in the heart spreads consciousness all over. (SB.2-3-24/26)
The individual self as an agent,karthaa

In katopanishad it is said
‘hanthA cheth manyathE hanthum hathaschEth manyathE hatham, ubou thou na vijAneethou nAyam hanthi na hanyathE.'(Kata.I-2-19),
meaning, one who thinks that the self kills or get killed do not know the truth because the self neither kills nor gets killed .

It is said in the Gita also,
‘prakrthEh kriyamANAni guNairkarmANi sarvasah, ahamkAravimooDAthmA karthAham ithi manyathE, (BG.3-27)
All actions are done by the gunas and the one who is deluded by ego thinks that he is the doer.’
The Brhamsutra ‘karthaa SaasthraarThathvaath, the individual self is the agent according to sastra ,’ says Ramanuja, refutes this view.
. Only the self is the kartha and not gunas. This is in accordance with the sasthras. It is found in the sruthi texts like ‘yajEtha svargakAmah, one desirous of heaven should perform sacrifice ‘ and ‘mumukshurbrahma upAseetha, one aspiring for release should meditate on Brahman,’ that the agency of action is ascribed only to the individual self. The word sasthra means scriptural injunction originated from the word sAsana, command. Sasthras induce action by giving certain instructions and it is possible only in the case of a sentient soul and not insentient pradhana, that is, the gunas. That is why the purvamimamsa declares ‘sAsthraphalam prayokthari, the fruit of the injunctions is only to the agent.’ (III-7-18)
Ramanuja clarifies the point by saying that the text about the self not killing or getting killed etc. is to show that it is eternal and not to deny the agency. Similarly the sloka quoted from Gita only means that the activity during the state of bondage is induced by the gunas and not natural to the self as it is mentioned there itself that ‘kAraNam gunasangOasya sadhasath yOnijanmasu,’ ( BG.18-21) the cause of the embodiment in good and evil wombs is the association of the self with the gunas.’ The original nature of the jiva is one of purity and bliss. It gets entangled with the world due to the limitations of embodiment and becomes the doer and enjoyer.
To the objection that if the soul is the doer, the instruments of action being always present there will be perpetual action. Ramanuja replies that like a carpenter who has the will to use his instruments or not, the jiva also, being sentient, has the power to act or not to act. ( SB.2-3-39) Being provided with the instruments of action the jiva is free to act or not to act. The jiva is free within certain limits and has the power of choice.

There is a text in Kousheetaki upanishad which says
‘Esha hyEva sAdhukarma kArayathi tham yamEbhyO lOkEshu unnineeshathi, Esha Eva asAdhu karma kArayathi tham yam aDHo nineeshathi,
He makes those whom He wishes to raise to the higher worlds to do good deeds and whom He wishes to send down from these worlds He makes them do bad deeds. This may create doubt as to the freewill of the jiva since it means that only the Lord Himself makes one to do good and bad deeds and this goes contrary to the independent effort of the individual self.
Ramanuja replies that this does not apply to all beings but only means that when one chooses to proceed along the path approved by the Lord, He helps the soul to rise further and when one pursues the path that leads away from the Lord, He makes the soul descend further so that the propensity for evil will be exhausted.(SB.2-3-41)
In the Gita the Lord says
‘thEshAm sathatha yukthAnAm bajathAm preethipoorvakam dhadhAmi buddhiyOgam tham yEna mAmupayAnthi thE.’ (BG.10-10)
It means that the Lord gives the wisdom to those who worship Him with love so that they can attain Him. And He hurls those who are evil, He says, into demonical wombs in perpetual transmigration,
‘thAn aham dvishadhah kroorAn samsArEshu narAdhamAn, kshipAmi ajasram ashubAnAm aAsureeshvEva yOnishu (BG.16-19)
The limited freedom of the individual is explained as follows. The concept of anumantha as outlined in Sribhashya of Ramanuja and in the Gita means that The Lord who is the inner self of all promotes the action and aids it by granting permission. Ramnuja explains this by the analogy referred to earlier.(see chapter2 section1) He is the anumantha as no action is possible without the will of the Lord, good or bad. As to why He allows bad actions has been explained above.
Further Ramanuja says that the allowance of an action on the part of one who has the power to stop it is not necessarily due to hard-heartedness.
It is said in the scriptures that the puNya and pApa consists of the actions like worship etc which please the Lord and the actions that displease HIm are pApa. His grace and retribution are the fruits of action resulting in joy and sorrow.
‘Paramapurusha aArAdhana rupEkarmaNee puNyApuNyE;thadhanu grahanigrahAyatt hE cha thathphale sukah duhkE’
Hence the Lord who has infallible will, with no desires, omniscient omnipotent and of the nature of bliss etc. is the dispenser of the fruits of actions and bestows on all beings the body and other instruments to work out their karma, as effortlessly as a sport. There is no question of cruelty or partiality in administrating justice. As the punishment for a crime is to check the tendency of evil, so too His retribution is for redemption, as it is said in the Bhagavatgita,
‘thEshAm sathatha yukthAnAm bajathAm preethipurvakam dhadhami buddhiyogam tham yEna mAm upayAnthi thE;thesham EvAnukampArTHam aham ajnAnajam thamah nAsayAmyAthmabhAvas THah jnANadheepEna bhAsvathA.’ (BG.X-10-11)
The Lord says that He gives jnana to those who resort to Him with devortion by destroying their darkness of ignorance out of compassion by the light of wisdom. (SB.II-2-3)
This leads to the discussion of karma and krpa and how the retribution is for rendemption

Mecca was Once a Hindu Temple


KING VIKRAMADITYA INSCRIPTION ON A GOLD DISH HUNG INSIDE THE KAABA
In pure scientific study about the Historical Muhammad raises basic questions concerning the prophet’s role as a moral paragon; the sources of Islamic law; and the God-given nature of the Koran. The scientists even doubt the existence of Muhammad. Scientists say that the Koran is a not a product of Muhammad or even of Arabia, but a collection of materials stitched together to meet the needs of a later age. There was no Islam until two or three hundred years after the traditional version at around 830CE. The Arab tribesmen who conquered in the seventh century vast territory were not Moslems, but were persons who worshiped idols and are scientists call them pagans.
Even though Prophet Muhammad was born in the full light of history the earliest document date about a century and a half after his death. Not only does this long lapse of time cast doubt on their accuracy, but internal evidence strongly suggests the Arabic sources were composed in the context of intense partisan quarrels over the prophet’s life. The earliest sources like papyri, inscriptions, and coins on the prophet’s life, contradict the standard biography. An inscription and a Greek account fix Muhammad’s birth in 552, not 570. Muhammad’s career took place not in Mecca but hundreds of kilometers to the north. Yehuda Nevo. The classical Arabic language was developed not in today’s Saudi Arabia but in the Levant.
Long before Islam came in to existence, Kaaba, in Mecca in Saudi Arabia was a pilgrimage site. The word Kaaba might have come from the Tamil Language which originated around 1700BC. In Tamil Nadu Kabaalishwaran temple is Lord Shiva’s temple and Kabaali refers to Lord Shiva. The black stone at Kaaba is held sacred and holy in Islam and is called “Hajre Aswad” from the Sanskrit word Sanghey Ashweta or Non-white stone. The Shiva Lingam is also called Sanghey Ashweta. So what is in Kaaba could be the same what Hindus worship. The pedestal Maqam-E-Ibrahim at the centre of the Kaaba is octagonal in shape. In Hinduism, the pedestal of Brahma the creator is also octagonal in shape. Muslim pilgrims visiting the Kaaba temple go around it seven times. In no other mosque does the circumambulation prevail. Hindus invariably circumambulate or Pradakshina, around their deities. This is yet another proof that the Kaaba shrine is a pre-Islamic. In Shiva temples Hindus always practice circumambulation or Pradakshina. Just as in Hinduism, the custom of circumambulation by muslim pilgrims around the entire Kaaba building seven times shows that the claim that in Islam they don’t worship stones is not true.
Allah was one of the deities in Kaaba long before Islam was founded. It might come as a stunning revelation to many that the word ‘ALLAH’ itself is Sanskrit. In Sanskrit language Allah, Akka and Amba are synonyms. They signify a goddess or mother. The term ‘ALLAH’ forms part of Sanskrit chants invoking goddess Durga, also known as Bhavani, Chandi and Mahishasurmardini. The Islamic word for God is., therefore, not an innovation but the ancient Sanskrit appellation retained and continued by Islam. Allah means mother or goddess and mother goddess.
The King Vikramaditya inscription was found on a gold dish hung inside the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, proving beyond doubt that the Arabian Peninsula formed a part of his Indian Empire. (Ref: page 315 of a volume known as ‘Sayar-ul-Okul’ treasured in the Makhtab-e-Sultania library in Istanbul, Turkey). King Vikrama’s preachers had succeeded in spreading the Vedic Hindu sacred scriptures in Arabia and Arabs were once followers of the Indian Vedic way of life. The annual fair known as OKAJ which used to be held every year around the Kaaba temple in Mecca and the present annual hajj of the Muslims to the Kaaba is of earlier pre-Islamic congregation. . Even to this day ancient Siva emblems can be seen. It is the Shankara (Siva) stone that Muslim pilgrims reverently touch and kiss in the Kaaba.
Muslims shave their head and beard and don special sacred attire that consists of two seamless sheets of white cloth. One is to be worn round the waist and the other over the shoulders. Both these rites are remnants of the old Vedic practice of entering Hindu temples clean and with holy seamless white sheets. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Kaaba has 360 idols. Traditional accounts mention that one of the deities among the 360 destroyed when the place was stormed was that of Saturn; another was of the Moon and yet another was one called Allah. That shows that in the Kaaba the Arabs worshipped the nine planets in pre-Islamic days. In India the practice of ‘Navagraha’ puja, that is worship of the nine planets, is still in vogue. Two of these nine are Saturn and Moon. In India the crescent moon is always painted across the forehead of the Siva symbol. Since that symbol was associated with the Siva emblem in Kaaba it came to be grafted on the flag of Islam.
The Hindu Vedic letter in Sanskrit “OM” if seen in a mirror one can see the Arabic numbers 786 and this is the most sacred number for Muslims and copies of the Arabic Koran have the mysterious figure 786 imprinted on them. In their ignorance simply they do not realize that this special number is nothing more than the holiest of Vedic symbols misread and none of the Arabic scholar has been able to determine how they chose 786 as the sacred for them. All Arabic copies of the Koran have the mysterious figure 786 imprinted on them . No Arabic scholar has been able to determine the choice of this particular number as divine. It is an established fact that Muhammad was illiterate therefore it is obvious that he would not be able to differentiate numbers from letters. This “magical” number is none other than the Vedic holy letter “OM” written in Sanskrit. Anyone who knows Sanskrit can try reading the symbol for “OM” backwards in the Arabic way and magically the numbers 786 will appear! Muslims in their ignorance simply do not realise that this special number is nothing more than the holiest of Vedic symbols misread.U can try reading it urself.look at the figure OM in a mirror and you can make out the Devnagari (Sanskrit-Hindi) numerals 7-8-6

In short muslims are also going around Siva Lingam at Kaaba, seven times as Hindus go around it seven times. 


The Islamic practice of Bakari Eed derives from the Go-Medh and Ashva-Medh Yagnas or sacrifices of Vedic times. Eed in Sanskrit means worship. The Islamic word Eed for festive days, signifying days of worship, is therefore a pure Sanskrit word. The word MESH in the Hindu zodiac signifies a lamb. Since in ancient times the year used to begin with the entry of the sun in Aries, the occasion was celebrated with mutton feasting. That is the origin of the Bakari Eed festival.[Note:The word Bakari is an Indian language word]

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The Islamic term ‘Eed-ul-Fitr’ derives from the ‘Eed of Piters’ that is worship of forefathers in Sanskrit tradition. In India, Hindus commemorate their ancestors during the Pitr-Paksha that is the fortnight reserved for their remembrance. The very same is the significance of ‘Eed-ul-Fitr’ (worship of forefathers).The Islamic practice of observing the moon rise before deciding on celebrating the occasion derives from the Hindu custom of breaking fast on Sankranti and Vinayaki Chaturthi only after sighting the moon.Barah Vafat, the Muslim festival for commemorating those dead in battle or by weapons, derives from a similar Sanskrit tradition because in Sanskrit ‘Phiphaut’ is ‘death’. Hindus observe Chayal Chaturdashi in memory of those who have died in battle.The word Arabia is itself the abbreviation of a Sanskrit word. The original word is ‘Arabasthan’. Since Prakrit ‘B’ is Sanskrit ‘V’ the original Sanskrit name of the land is ‘Arvasthan’. ‘Arva’ in Sanskrit means a horse. Arvasthan signifies a land of horses., and as well all know, Arabia is famous for its horses.Four months of the year are regarded as very sacred in Islamic custom. The devout are enjoined to abstain from plunder and other evil deeds during that period. This originates in the Chaturmasa i.e., the four-month period of special vows and austerities in Hindu tradition. Shabibarat is the corrupt form of Shiva Vrat and Shiva Ratra. Since the Kaaba has been an important centre of Shiva (Siva) worship from times immemorial, the Shivaratri festival used to be celebrated there with great gusto. It is that festival which is signified by the Islamic word Shabibarat. Since Eed means worship and Griha means ‘house’, the Islamic word Idgah signifies a ‘House of worship’ which is the exact Sanskrit connotation of the term. Similarly the word ‘Namaz’ derives from two Sanskrit roots ‘Nama’ and ‘Yajna’ (NAMa yAJna) meaning bowing and worshipping.

A few miles away from Mecca are a big signboard which bars the entry of any non-Muslim into the area. This is a reminder of the days when the Kaaba was stormed and captured solely for the newly established faith of Islam. The object in barring entry of non-Muslims was obviously to prevent its recapture. Kaaba is clothed in a black shroud. This custom also originated from the days when it was thought necessary to discourage its recapture by camouflaging it.
Another Hindu tradition associated with the Kaaba is that of the sacred stream Ganga (sacred waters of the Ganges river). According to the Hindu tradition Ganga is also inseparable from the Shiva emblem as the crescent moon. Wherever there is a Siva emblem, Ganga must co-exist. True to that association a sacred fount exists near the Kaaba. Its water is held sacred because it has been traditionally regarded as Ganga since pre-Islamic times (Zam-Zam water).

AUTHENTIC IYENGAR PULIOGARE (A combination of tangy, sweet and spicy tamarind rice)


I started researching with a poll to know what you all want to see here and I was not surprised to see what topped the voting poll. Yes it is indeed PULIOGARE!!!! (Puli in Tamil means tamarind and Ogare means Rice).
This is a traditional Iyengar cuisine which is a “Must” in most of our festivals and functions. I waited for quite a while to post this recipe and I will tell you why. I always wanted to prepare puliogare along with a skillful hand with an elder, but hoping to do it in near future..  It will be a great experience for me!!!!

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 So this is my approach to preserve our traditional cuisine in the form of a blog and pass it on to my next generation.
this is just the best way of making piliogare…
Ingredients for making the Puliogare Gojju (Gojju is the paste which is concentrated and used to mix rice along with the seasonings):


The quantity of the paste what you get from the below mentioned ingredients can be stored for a year in a good, tight container. It roughly fills up a 700 ml container.

Dark Tamarind – 1½ cups (darker the tamarind, better it is, because it gives that extra dark brown color to the ogare)
Oil – ½ cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
Curry leaves – 3 strands
Asafoetida (Hing) – ½ tspn
Red chillies (Preferably byadigi variety) – 8
Rasam powder – 8 tbl spns
Salt – According to taste
Jaggery – 2 blocks

Ingredients required for mixing the rice with the Gojju to make puliogare:

The quantity of ingredients given here are for the amount of rice mentioned. It may vary according to your taste and quantity of rice.

Cooked Rice – 2 cups (separate the grains by spreading it on a large plate)
Oil – ½ cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
Curry leaves – 4-5 strands
Asafoetida (Hing) – ½ tspn
Ground nuts– Quarter cup
Grated Dry coconut – 2 tbl spns
Pulioyogare gojju or concentrate prepared earlier – 3 tbl spns
Salt to taste


Powders for seasoning:
Black Sesame seeds (Ellu in kannada and Til in hindi) – 1½ tbl spns (don’t add too much, although it enhances the flavors….it might get bitter if added in a large quantity)
Peppercorns – 1 tspn
Coriander seeds – 1 tbl spn
Rasam powder – 2 – 3 tbl spns

Preparation: Steps 1- 13 are how to make the gojju or the paste and Steps 14 – 18 how to mix the concentrate with rice.

Step 1, 2 and 3: Soak the tamarind previous night in little water (about 2½ cups of water). Next day extract the juice of the tamarind by grinding it in a blender. Blend it to a smooth paste and sieve it as shown in Step 3. Extract as much as possible. Step 2 is just to show how much jaggery is required for 1½ cups of tamarind.

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Step 4: In a large deep bottomed pan, take Oil, add mustard (allow spluttering), curry leaves, asafoetida, red chillies. Fry and add the tamarind paste extract. Allow it to boil.

Step 5: Add rasam powder once it boils. Reduce the flame. Keep it at Low. This is a very important step because the more it boils in a lower flame chances are it doesn’t get burnt. This step is also important because the whole idea of a concentrated paste is to allow it to concentrate slowly.

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Step 6: Picture taken after 15 mins of boiling. Note how slowly the paste is getting concentrated. That’s the way typically puliogare gojju is prepared.

Step 7: Add salt and jaggery and continue to stir.

Step 8: We observed that we required more jaggery. How did we do that? Well tasted it of course!!!!

Again let me highlight this. It’s very important to taste it in between to check for the variations in the taste (less or more). Try imagining this! We want a combination of tanginess, spicyness and sweetness all in the above order. So try tasting and check what you need to add whether it is chilli powder or salt or jaggery. Try adding small portions. This way, you can be rest assured that you are not adding too much to mess up the taste.

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Step 9, 10 and 11: Remember each picture taken here is after every 10 mins approximately. So the whole boiling process is about 1hr and 15 mins. That’s how long it should be boiled on a low flame to get the paste of desired consistency.

Steps 12 and 13: This picture is taken to show my readers just how the consistency should be. When you lift the ladle, the paste has to slowly fall back in to the pan. Again pictures are taken after every 10 mins. I wanted to time the whole process because it’s important for us to know just how long the boiling process is done.

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After Step 13, you get a paste which is ready to be mixed with rice. At this point you can just store the whole paste if you are not going to mix with rice right away. The gojju or the paste can be kept in refrigerator up to one year. This is also one of the main reasons you have to boil for a long time because the shelf life is also longer.

If you plan to use the paste say after 1 month or more, the day you intend to use it keep the stored box out of the fridge and allow it come back to room temperature. (This will aid you in mixing with the rice more easily).

But if you plan to use the paste immediately proceed in the following way:

Step 14: Cook rice and separate the grains on a large plate. First wash the black sesame seeds, dry them well on paper towel. Fry them without oil in a small pan and when it splutters lightly, switch off the flame. Fry the coriander seeds and black peppercorns as well and grind them all together. Add this powder to the rice.

Step 15: Add grated dry coconut and rasam powder.

Step 16: Add the gojju (concentrated puliyogare paste prepared earlier)

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Step 17: Mix the rice with all the above powders and gojju first. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO MIX IT WITH HANDS. This is because all the flavors and the paste used get coated nicely on the rice. Then add the seasonings mentioned below.

Step 18: Take Oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, ground nuts and allow them to splutter. Add this tempering to Rice. Taste it and add anything that’s less like salt, jaggery, etc…

Important Points:

Tamarind – Darker the better. Infact when we prepared, we weren’t able to get darker tamarind so that’s why the color is lesser. The original color of puliyogare has to be dark brown.

Red Chillies – The kind of red chillies we use is less spicy and gives more color. So that’s the reason we add the chillies and the rasam powder in large quantities. However not always can one find the same kind of chilli. So check for the spiciness of chillies that you use at home and then reduce or increase their number.

Rasam powder – It’s the base of a good puliyogare. Again we make this at home, so that it’s as authentic as possible. Many people prepare different kinds of rasam powders, so definitely the taste varies while mixing it in puliyogare. However you can always make a small batch of fresh rasam powder provided in the rasam powder link.

Black Sesame seeds – Always try to get a freshly manufactured packet. Because if it’s old and slightly smelly it could ruin your puliyogare. One very important point of black sesame seeds is that taste it before you use it in your puliogare. Because sometimes they can be bitter. If it’s bitter then don’t use it.

I know there are many people who are working and have kids to manage. Life can get busy when many such commitments are to be fulfilled. For such people, I would suggest to them to get the authentic iyengar puliyogare gojju mix from the condiment stores and try this with the rest of my preparation steps. I am not promising them that it will taste as authentic as the one mentioned above. However, you are still making an effort to make home puliyogare with the available ingredients.
My sincere suggestion to all my readers “Please experiment at least once with the above authentic recipe along with the gojju and you will never look back”!!!

It might take a while for one to master this, but then one has to start somewhere to get some practice right???? So there you go, I have revealed the most sought after recipe of Iyengars. Not that you haven’t seen many recipes of puliyogare on the net.

America’s Dirtiest Cities


Can clean be overrated? America’s dirtiest cities happen to include some very popular tourist destinations.
How do you define a city’s soul? For a lot of travelers, it’s in the dirt.
 Atlanta ad exec Patrick Scullin, for instance, loves Baltimore—but not because it’s particularly pristine. “Yes, there’s litter, smokers, and graffiti,” he says, “but that’s just life going on. The air sometimes offends, but a cool breeze off the harbor can ease all worries. It’s a gem of a city.”
 While such sentiments don’t appear in tourist brochures, that glorious grit has landed Baltimore in the Top 10 dirtiest cities, as chosen by Travel + Leisure readers in the annual America’s Favorite Cities survey. Of course, visitors gauge “dirty” in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water.
 This year’s American State Litter Scorecard, published by advocacy group the American Society for Public Administration, put both Nevada and Louisiana in the bottom five—echoing the assessment of T+L readers who ranked Las Vegas and New Orleans among America’s dirtiest cities.

No. 1 New Orleans

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New Orleans

Can you imagine the cleanup required after Mardi Gras? Both tourists and Mother Nature have sometimes been hard on the Crescent City, which readers voted the dirtiest in America. But that doesn’t stop the good times from rolling on. Voters embraced the city’s fun-loving spirit, ranking New Orleans first for its nightlife and eclectic people-watching.

No. 2 Philadelphia

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Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love was voted the fourth dirtiest city last year and just narrowly avoided the top slot for sloppy this time around. The locals may not be helping with those first impressions—they ranked near the bottom of the style category, as well as in the bottom five for being environmentally aware.

No. 3 Los Angeles

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Los Angeles

That infamous rep for smog is tough to shake: the City of Angels, which is No. 3 for the second year in a row, continues to do poorly in national air-quality tests. AFC voters also put traffic-clogged Los Angeles in last place for being pedestrian-friendly and in the bottom three for overall quality of life.

No. 4 Memphis

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Memphis

Nothing is tidy about barbecue or the blues, two of Memphis’s biggest tourist draws. This city on the banks of The Big Muddy has more to work on than dirtiness; it came in last place in the AFC for being environmentally friendly, as well as for feeling safe.

No. 5 New York City

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New York City

Last year’s dirtiest city is looking a little fresher these days. But AFC voters seem to champion New York because of its less-than-sterile vibe, and not in spite of it. There’s world-class culture, cool neighborhoods, and diverse locals. Just be prepared to pay for it: NYC ranked as the most expensive city in the nation

No. 6 Baltimore

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Baltimore

The Inner Harbor is a crowd-pleaser, but AFC voters weren’t impressed by Charm City’s overall cleanliness or its more land-based features. Baltimore came in next-to-last place for its public parks, hotels, and even interesting people.

No. 7 Las Vegas

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Las Vegas

This is the No. 1 town for wild weekends, so it’s no surprise that Vegas makes it into the Top 10 for dirty disarray. Impressively, Sin City has actually improved its standing by two slots since last year. And if you’re willing to splurge, any semblance of grittiness may disappear: Vegas scored No. 1 for luxury hotels and No. 2 for both luxury shopping and big-name restaurants.

No. 8 Miami

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Miami

AFC voters loved Miami’s bar scene and its upscale dining, but all that hoopla takes its toll on a person—and on a city. AFC voters ranked the Florida hot spot poorly not only for cleanliness but for safety.

No. 9 Atlanta

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Atlanta

Many cities that made the dirtiest Top 10 scored well for having a vivid nightlife, cool neighborhoods, or great live music. Alas, Atlanta couldn’t claim any of those in the survey. At least the city has its quality—and sloppy—barbecue going for it.

No. 10 Houston

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Houston

This oil town could stand a green makeover, according to AFC voters. Its cleanliness score worsened by four spots since last year. The general vibe left AFC voters wanting, too. They ranked Houston near the bottom for its parks and weather. The city’s collective ego can take great pride in one thing: it topped the AFC charts for its juicy (and no doubt messy) burgers.

Apples carry most pesticides: Study


A US environmental group has singled out apples as the worst offender among produce sold in the US when it comes to the amount of pesticides it carries.
In their seventh edition of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, the Washington DC-based Environmental Working Group ranked 53 fruits and vegetables — sold in the US and grown either domestically or abroad — according to their pesticide load, highlighting the most pesticide-laden foods in a list dubbed “The Dirty Dozen” and those that are lowest the “Clean15.”
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The list was released Monday.
After coming up with a composite score based on information gleaned from the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, analysts ranked the apple as the most contaminated produce. Most of the samples were washes and peeled prior to being tested, in order to represent food as it’s eaten.
The apple jumped three spots from last year to knock celery out of the top spot.

Also notable in this year’s ranking was cilantro, which made the guide for the first time as it had never been tested by the USDA until now, the group says.
Data showed 33 unapproved pesticides on 44 percent of samples tested — the highest percentage of unapproved pesticides recorded since the group started tracking data in 1995.
The top five most contaminated items on the list included apples, celery, strawberries, peaches and spinach.

On the Clean15 list — foods with the lowest pesticides — were onions, corn, pineapple, avocado and asparagus.

The Dirty Dozen, in most offending order:
Apples
Celery
Strawberries
Peaches
Spinach
Nectarines (imported)
Grapes (imported)
Sweet bell peppers
Potatoes
Blueberries
Lettuce
Kale/collard greens

Clean15 (lowest in pesticides)
Onions
Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Asparagus
Sweet peas
Mangoes
Eggplant
Cantaloupe (domestic)
Kiwi
Cabbage
Watermelon
Sweet Potatoes
Grapefruit
Mushrooms -AFP

The world’s most dangerous countries for women – sad India is one among them


LONDON, June 15 (TrustLaw) – Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan are the world’s most dangerous countries for women due to a barrage of threats ranging from violence and rape to dismal healthcare and “honor killings,” a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll showed Wednesday.

India and Somalia ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the global perceptions survey by TrustLaw (www.trust.org/trustlaw), the Foundation’s legal news service.
TrustLaw asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions of danger as well as by six risks: health threats, sexual violence, non-sexual violence, cultural or religious factors, lack of access to resources and trafficking.

Following are key facts on each of the five countries, ranked in order of danger.

1. AFGHANISTAN

Beleaguered by insurgency, corruption and dire poverty, Afghanistan ranked as most dangerous to women overall and came out worst in three of the poll’s key risk categories: health, non-sexual violence and economic discrimination.

* Women in Afghanistan have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth.

* Some 87 pct of women are illiterate.

* 70-80 pct of girls and women face forced marriages.

2. CONGO

Still reeling from a 1998-2003 war and accompanying humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4 million, Democratic Republic of Congo ranked second due mainly to staggering levels of sexual violence.

* About 1,150 women are raped every day, or some 420,000 a year, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Public Health.

* The Congolese Women’s Campaign Against Sexual Violence puts the number of rapes at 40 women a day.

* 57 pct of pregnant women are anemic.

3. PAKISTAN

Those polled cited cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women, including acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse.

* More than 1,000 women and girls are victims of “honor killings” every year, according to Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission.

* 90 pct of women in Pakistan face domestic violence.

4. INDIA

Female feticide, child marriage and high levels of trafficking and domestic servitude make the world’s largest democracy the fourth most dangerous place for women, the poll showed.

* 100 million people, mostly women and girls, are involved in trafficking in one way or another, according to former Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta.

* Up to 50 million girls are “missing” over the past century due to female infanticide and feticide.

* 44.5 pct of girls are married before the age of 18.

5. SOMALIA

One of the poorest, most violent and lawless countries, Somalia ranked fifth due to a catalog of dangers including high maternal mortality, rape, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.

* 95 pct of women face FGM, mostly between the ages of 4 and 11.

* Only 9 pct of women give birth at a health facility.

* Only 7.5 pct of parliament seats are held by women.

Sources: AlertNet, U.N. agencies, IRIN News, American Journal of Public Health, World Bank, Gender Index, Human Rights Watch, International Center for Research on Women.

The Deadliest Art in the World


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Photograph by Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram makes the deadliest art in the world. His subjects have caused pain and suffering for hundreds of millions of people throughout history. They are infectious, they are resilient, and they are everywhere.

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THE DEADLY ARTIST – LUKE JERRAM
- Born in Stroud, England and now living in Bristol UK with his wife Shelina and two children Maya and Nico (Bellic?)
- Diagnosed with dichromatic colorblindness at an early age
- Led to obsession with the mysteries of human perception, both its idiosyncratic nature and its innate limitations
- Where does the visual perception of an object end and the memory of it begin?
- His goal: to explore the tension between a viruses’ devastating beauty and their devastating impact on humanity

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Photograph by Luke Jerram

HOW TO MAKE THE DEADLIEST ART IN THE WORLD
-The Collaborators: University of Bristol virologist Andrew Davidson, glassblowers, Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch
- Took inspiration from high-resolution electron microscopic images, creating large, painstakingly accurate glass sculptures of viruses and bacteria such as HIV, E. coli, SARS, and H1N1 (Swine flu)
- Took over 5 years of development and research
- Jerram and his collaborators created glass genomes, carefully placing them on tiny pedestals within what would become viral envelopes
- They then closed up the tops before adding final touches of spikes and glycoproteins, which were shaped and melted on while keeping the whole work at roughly the same temperature

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E. Coli – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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SARS – Photograph by Luke Jerram

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
- The question of pseudo-colouring in biomedicine and its use for science communicative purposes, is a vast and complex subject. If some images are coloured for scientific purposes, and others altered simply for aesthetic reasons, how can a viewer tell the difference?
- How many people believe viruses are brightly coloured? Are there any colour conventions and what kind of ‘presence’ do pseudocoloured images have that ‘naturally’ coloured specimens don’t? How does the choice of different colours affect their reception?
- Our belief about what viruses and bacteria look like have undoubtedly been born out of media depictions of them. images of viruses are originally taken in black and white on an electron microscope and then they are coloured artificially
- Jerram is exploring the tension between the artworks’ beauty and what they represent, their impact on humanity
- The problem is that you end up with the public believing that viruses are these brightly coloured objects. These are often portrayed in newspapers as having an air of scientific authenticity and objective truth, whereas actually that isn’t the case. You can end up with some images that potentially promote fear
- With 3D sculptures, there’s also a tangibility you can’t get from flat pictures. There are diagrams of a virus and then there are photographs of a virus from electron microscopes. The purpose of a diagram is to communicate details in a very clear and concise way, whereas the scientific photos of viruses do something different. And a 3D representation makes you look at it in yet another, different, way

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HIV – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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Small Pox – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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H1N1 (Swine Flu) – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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SARS – Photograph by Luke Jerram

SOURCES
- http://www.lukejerram.com/projects/glass_microbiology
- http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/at_the_edge_of_perception/
- http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/11/pl_playlist_1712
- http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56036/
- http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/luke-jerrams-viral-sculptures-exhibition-debuts-at-the-smithfield-gallery-1794587.html
- http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/2009/Features/WTX056608.htm

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E. Coli – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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H1N1 (Swine flu) – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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H1N1 (Swine flu) – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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Small Pox – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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E. Coli – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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SARS – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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H1N1 (Swine flu) – Photograph by Luke Jerram

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Future Mutation – Photograph by Luke Jerram

Canopy Living: The Ultimate Tree House


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There’s the tree house your Dad built for you in the backyard, and then there’s the tree house Robert Harvey Oshatz built in the forests of Portland, Oregon. Designed in 1997 and completed in 2004, the Wilkinson Residence is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. Built on a steep sloping lot, the living space resides amongst the forest canopy, making your morning coffee most enjoyable. With more curves than Lombard Street, the Wilkinson Residence is a property you have to see to believe.

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Description from the architect: Robert Harvey Oshatz
A lover of music, the client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also addressed the flow of music. This house evades the mechanics of the camera; it is difficult to capture the way the interior space flows seamlessly through to the exterior. One must actually stroll through the house to grasp its complexities and its connection to the exterior. One example is a natural wood ceiling, floating on curved laminated wood beams, passing through a generous glass wall which wraps around the main living room.

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Project Details
- Project Name: Wilkinson Residence
- Site Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
- Architect: Robert Harvey Oshatz
- Project Type: Residential
- Client: Roy Wilkinson
- Site Area: 2200 square meters (23,680 sq. ft)
- Built-up Area: 480 square meters (5,162 sq. ft)
- Designed in 1997, construction completed in 2004

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All information and images courtesy of: http://www.oshatz.com/text/wilkinson.htm

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