Saturday October 21, 2017

The symbol of Lotus Flower is significant to Buddhism and Hinduism, Find out why!

Lotus is originated from the naval of Lord Vishnu with Lord Brahma sitting on it.

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Lotus Flower. Image source: www.tigerscursebook.com
  • Lotus means ‘rebirth’ or ‘reincarnation’ in Buddhism
  • Lotus also symbolizes state of self consciousness
  • Lotus is originated from the naval of Lord Vishnu with Lord Brahma sitting on it

Lotus flower is significant both in Hinduism and Buddhism. they are an integral part of all decorations. Lotus flowers are used in all kinds of rituals ranging from a birth of a newborn to marriage.

As Lotus grows in muddy water, environment teaches us the first lesson. Lotus grows and blooms above the gloom to achieve enlightenment. Purification is the second lesson, which means absolving a spirit that is born with murkiness. Last one is faithfulness; it requires being faithful to grow from dirt.

Goddess Lakshmi standing of Lotus flower. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Goddess Lakshmi standing of Lotus flower. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In Buddhism, Lotus holds a unique place. It is one of the 8 sacred symbols in Buddhism. A closed Lotus denotes the time when Buddha was not there to guide his followers. While a fully opened flower represent that follower of Buddha has met his master. As a Lotus unfolds, each petal denotes a stage to achieve enlightenment and self awareness.

It also symbolizes meaning of life. The mud in which lotus grows represents the sufferings. As we all know, humans are born with sufferings and grow in sufferings. This signifies that suffering is also a part of life. It gives us experiences which are further used to gain more experiences to live life.

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Moreover, Lotus itself means ‘rebirth’ or ‘reincarnation’ in Buddhism. The definition of rebirth not only involves taking birth as a child but also the morning after the darkest day, change of ideas or following Buddha.

In Hinduism, a Lotus represents fertility, prosperity and beauty. It also resembles divinity, purity and eternity. According to Bhagvad Gita, a lotus resembles a man who works without any attachment, who stands out of failure and sufferings and who is far away from any sin.

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Lotus is originated from the naval of Lord Vishnu with Lord Brahma sitting on it. Goddess Lakshmi is also found sitting or standing on Lotus while carrying a small one in her hand. A lotus flower is said to wake and bloom on first ray of sun.

Lotus also symbolizes state of self consciousness. In Hinduism, each petal of Lotus represents the potential of an individual spiritually and describes each petal as levels for achieving self consciousness. A lotus is said to present deep in heart and located deep in lotus is ‘Atman’ which human search in their life to attain ‘Moksha’.

Lotus also holds significance in Yoga. Padmasana, lotus like pose, is done by those who want to attain highest level of self consciousness which is found in Lotus Chakra present at top of the head.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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1 COMMENT

  1. it is always good to know more about the symbolic representations of natural objects like lotus in the various religions. it is interesting, how we can take lessons from all that surrounds us and apply it in our daily life, like yoga asanas.
    great article!

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Here’s how you can keep up with your fitness this Diwali!

Do you wish to celebrate a celebrate guilt-free Diwali? Read on!

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Diwali
Diwali does not mean you will have to compromise on your health, Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 17, 2017 : Saying no to sweets becomes near impossible around Diwali, making many conscious of their weight, calories and sugar level going up. Be active and restrict to two drinks to enjoy festivities with full fervor.

Here’s how you can keep up with your fitness this Diwali! Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal and Preeti Kakkar, nutritional expert at Credihealth, have listed what people can do to celebrate guilt-free Diwali:

  • Plan your day: If one meal goes for a toss, make sure the rest of the meals are on track. For instance, if you’ve reserved a table for dinner, then make sure your breakfast, lunch and snacks are balanced and healthier.
  • Festival and alcohol: Just restrict to two drinks. Alcohol dehydrates your body. Avoid taking cocktails and aerated drinks too as they give you just extra calories.
  • Be active: Physical activity will keep your metabolism active too. No matter what, engage in at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day. It can be in the form of dance, walk, jogging or yoga. You may find it hard to believe, but Surya Namaskar is the best way to fight exhaustion.
  • Don’t give up on sweets: It would be a crime to cut out the sweets entirely during this season. So, choose the healthier options and watch your portion size. Go for dry fruit, phirni, kheer, dark chocolate and date mithai instead of other sugar-loaded sweets.
  • Hydrate well: Don’t wait for the thirst to strike. Keep hydrating yourself at short intervals. Moreover, it will keep you stay full and energized in the rush of all preparation. (IANS)

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Hinduism is Not an Official or Preferred Religion in Any Country of The World, Says a New Report

Though Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world, it is not the official state religion of any country according to a Pew Research Center Report

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Hinduism is not an official religion of any country in the world. Instagram.
  • No country has declared Hinduism as its official state religion – despite India being an influential Hindu political party
  • Hinduism is not an official or preferred religion in any country of the world, according to a Pew Research Center report.
  • 53% of 199 nations considered in the study don’t have an official religion
  • 80 countries are assigned either an “official religion” or “preferred religion”

Nevada, USA, October 16: Hinduism is the primeval and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion followers of moksh (liberation) being its utmost desire of life. India is among the category of nations where the government do not have an official or preferred religion.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank headquartered in Washington DC that aims to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The report states that a country’s official religion is regarded as a legacy of its past and present privileges granted by the state. And a few other countries fall on the other side of the gamut, and propagate their religion as the ‘official religion’, making it a compulsion for all citizens.

It adds up on the context of allocation that more than eight-in-ten countries (86%) provide financial support or resources for religious education programs and religious schools that tend to benefit the official religion.

Hinduism
Islam is the most practiced official religion of the world. Instagram.

Commenting on Hinduism, the report states:

In 2015, Nepal came close to enshrining Hinduism, but got rejected of a constitutional amendment due to a conflict between pro-Hindu protesters and state police.

Although India has no official or preferred religion as mentioned in the Constitution,it was found by PEW that in India the intensity of government constraints and social antagonism involving religion was at a peak. “Nigeria, India, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion among the 25 most populous countries in 2015. All fell into the “very high” hostilities category,” the report added.

As per the 2011 census, it was found that 79.8% of the Indian population idealizes Hinduism and 14.2% practices to Islam, while the rest 6% pursuit other religions.

While Hinduism stands up with the majority, Article 25 of the Constitution of India contributes secularism allowing for religious freedom and allows every Indian to practice his/her religion, without any intervention by the community or the government.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded the Hindu community for their benefaction to the society and advised Hindus to concentrate on inner purity, attract spirituality towards youth and children, stay far from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

According to Pew, these are “places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana

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Paintings Which Beautifully Depict Scenes From Ramayana

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Ramayana
Ram lifting the bow during Sita Swayambar. Wikimedia Commons.

Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic which describes the narrative of Ayodhya Prince lord Rama’s struggles. The struggles include- exile of 14 years, abduction of his wife Sita, reaching Lanka, destruction of the evil. It is strongly ingrained in the Indian culture, especially, the Hindu culture since a long time. Hindus celebrate Diwali based on the narratives of Ramayana.

The story of Ramayana gives out the beautiful message that humanity and service to the mankind is way more important than kingdom and wealth. Below are five paintings describing the scenes from Ramayana:

1. Agni Pariksha in Ramayana

Ramayana
Agni Pariksha. Wikimedia.

When Lord Rama questions Sita’s chastity, she undergoes Agni Pariksha, wherein, she enters a burning pyre, declaring that if she has been faithful to her husband then the fire would harm her. She gets through the test without any injuries or pain. The fire God, Agni, was the proof of her purity. Lord Rama accepts Sita and they return to Ayodhya. 

2. Scene From The Panchavati Forest

Ramayana
scene from the panchavati forest. wikimedia.

The picture describes a scene from the Panchavati forest. It is believed that Lord Rama built his forest by residing in the woods of Panchavati, near the sources of the river Godavari, a few miles from the modern city of Mumbai. He lived in peace with his wife and brother in the forest.

3. Hanuman Visits Sita

Ramayana
Hanuman meets Sita. Wikimedia.

Hanuman reaches Lanka in search of Sita. At first, he was unable to find Sita. He later saw a woman sitting in Ashok Vatika, drowned in her sorrows, looked extremely pale. He recognized her. After seeing the evil king, Ravana making her regular visit to Sita, he hid somewhere in the Vatika. After Ravana left, Hanuman proved Sita that he is Rama’s messenger by showing her his ring. He assured her that Rama would soon come to rescue her. Before leaving Lanka, he heckled Ravana. Agitated by Hanuman’s actions, Ravana ordered to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. With the burning tail, Hanuman set the entire city on fire.