Cow protection, to me, is one of the most wonderful phenomena of human evolution.
The knowing Self is not born; It does not die. It has not sprung from anything; nothing has sprung from It. Birthless, eternal, everlasting and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed. Yajur Veda, Katha Upanishad, 1.2.18
It is the duty of parents to safeguard the spiritual interests of their child. As the parents have to feed a child which cannot feed itself, so have they to look after its spiritual interests also till it is able to take care of them. Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahaswami (1892-1954), 34th Jagadguru of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham
I realized it’s OK to be proud of who you are. Neha Dhawan of New York, on the effect of participating in a Hindu Heritage Summer Camp for the previous ten years
Be pure and simple, and love all, because all are one. Live a sincere life; be natural, and be honest with yourself. Meher Baba (1894-1969), Indian spiritual guru
Yoga should not be just an exercise, but a means to connect with the world and with nature. It should bring a change in our lifestyle and create awareness within us. Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister
Hinduism is wholly free from the strange obsession of some faiths that the acceptance of a particular religious metaphysics is necessary for salvation, and non-acceptance thereof is a heinous sin meriting eternal punishment in hell. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), Philosopher, statesmen and second president of India
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. Michelangelo (1475-1564), Italian sculptor, painter and architect
Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now. Sri Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936), guru of Paramahansa Yogananda
When you obey laws of health, your body is your friend. When you love God, nature is your friend. When you love man, God is your friend. When you love hard work, success is your friend. When you possess an understanding heart, peace and harmony are your friends. Everywhere you have a friend. In all things there is a friend for you. Swami Omkarananda Saraswati (1930-2000), guru and founder Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas
God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. Voltaire (1694-1778), French writer and philosopher
Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries. J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), theoretical physicist
When you know who you are; when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive. Chief Seattle (1780-1866), Native American chieftain
A spiritually illumined soul lives in the world, yet is never contaminated by it. Swami Bhaskarananda Saraswati (1833-1899), 19th-century sannyasin
People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), author and professor of biochemistry
Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting point. Chuang Tzu (369-286), Chinese philosopher
Man needs a guru. But a man must have faith in the guru’s words. He succeeds in spiritual life by looking on his guru as God Himself. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)
Becoming upset is a temporary suspension of our higher faculties. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of HINDUISM TODAY
Listen for silence in noisy places; feel at peace in the midst of disturbance; awaken joy when there is no reason. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of HINDUISM TODAY
DID YOU KNOW?
MOTHER OF ALL COWS
EVERY CULTURE HAS A GOOD LUCK CHARM or desire fulfilling instrument. Europe evolved the wishing well that grants spoken wishes. The Chinese have a tree that confers wishes, and the Buddhists a jade ring. The Hindu seeks blessings from Kamadhenu—the wish-fulfilling cow.
Kamadhenu or Kamaduh is the universal name for the sacred cow. She is regarded as a source of prosperity. The meaning of kama is cultural, intellectual and physical fulfillment. Dhenu is that which gives trupti—contentment and satisfaction. Kamadhenu is regarded as a form of Devi and is closely related to Mother Earth—Prithivi—who is often described as a cow in scripture. The cow denotes purity, protection, fertility, sacrifice and sustenance.
All the Gods are believed to reside in the body of Kamadhenu. Her four legs are the Vedas; her horns are the Gods Brahma (tip), Vishnu (middle) and Siva (base); her eyes are Surya and Chandra; her shoulders are Agni and Vayu; every hair on her body is said to represent an enlightened Rishi.
Kamadhenu is often associated with brahmin priests, whose spiritual ideals she symbolizes. Cow’s milk and its derivatives, such as ghee, are an integral part of the homa—Vedic fire worship. Thus, the ancient Kamadhenu is also referred to as Homadhenu—the cow from whom oblations are drawn. To the Hindu, every cow, or at least every breed of Desi cow, is regarded as a manifestation of the divine Kamadhenu.
Go Suktam, a hymn from the Rig Veda, offers homage:
“O revered cows, you fatten those who have become emaciated. With your pleasant and deep voice, make our dwellings replete with happiness and riches. Always in our congregation, your great and innate divinity is lauded.”
ONE IMPORTANT INDIVIDUAL PRACTICE for the advancement of one’s spiritual unfoldment is that of prostrating before God, Gods and guru, full body, face down, arms and hands outstretched, and in that act, total giving up, giving up, giving up. In Sanskrit it is called pranipata, “falling down in obeisance.” What are these devoted ones giving up? By this act they are giving the lower energies to the higher energies. It is a merger, a blending.
A. MANIVELU [http://www.paradoxeoriginel.eu]
When one is performing this traditional devotional act, awakening true prapatti—or total surrender—it is easy to see the lower energies from the base of the spine, the muladhara chakra, rising up the spine through all six chakras above it and out through the top of the head. It is transmuting, changing the form of, the base energies which breed conflict and resistance, “mine and yours” and “you and me,” division, insecurity and separateness, into the spiritual energies of “us and we,” amalgamation, security, togetherness.
Once the giving up of the lower is total—body prostrated before the image of God, Gods or Guru—those energies are surrendered into the higher chakras within the devotee, and it is a blissful moment, into the consciousness of “us and ours,” “we and oneness,” and inseparable love, thus claiming their individuality, not as a separate thing, but as a shared oneness with all.
Thereafter, these devoted ones, having been transformed, are able to uplift others, to harmonize forces around them that they work with day after day, year after year. This total surrender, prapatti, is the meaning of Siddhanta. This is the true meaning of Vedanta. The combination of both, and the pure practice of prapatti as just described, brings out from within the deeper meanings of Vedanta, the Vedic philosophy, without having to depend on the path of words, lectures and debates.
(excerpted from Merging with Siva)