How sacrificial rituals take one closer to supreme reality and consciousness

0

Havan_at_Satyanand_Yoga_Rocklyn_Ashram,_Australia

By Isha Srivastva

For millenniums, the ritual of sacrifice or yajna  has been considered to be a foundational religious activity of Hinduism. For the Vedic Aryans, Yajna was the paramount activity through which the universe remained in order. These rituals were necessary to attain the ‘three worlds’- the world we live in (cosmic world), the intermediate world and heaven.

Sacrifice as Spiritual Obedience

The idea of sacrifice, is to show our allegiance to a universal power, and learning to rely on its provisions over the material comforts that we have made for ourselves. Different people part with various possessions that they would otherwise be frugal with; it can be a piece of clothing, food, a resource or sometimes, even earthly relationships. pursue the knowledge of ones true self and achieve liberation from the bondage of worldly commitments (Sansaar) and Karma.

A Leaf out of history

Community sacrifices and offerings are performed today to attain the liberation of the soul, or moksha. Keeping the multitude of Hindu Gods aside, beyond numbers and gender, a true Hindu will believe in the One reality and One consciousness of God.

Historically, Vedic sacrifice has delineated itself in the Rig Veda (the knowledge of the verses) which explains a highly structured and proper way of performing rituals. Actions accompanied by chanting, carry a cosmic power which brings balance and prosperity in the natural order of the world.

Laurie L Patton, in her book Bringing the Gods to Mind writes, “Without the sacrifice, the sun would not rise in the morning, nor would the cattle grow and multiply, nor would the crops flourish throughout the year. The possibility for long and healthy life for humans, and the worship of the fathers after death, or the ancestors, would not be present.”

Ashvamedhayajna was one such Vedic ritual for instance, prescribed in the Yajur Veda (knowledge of the ritual directions) which translates to ‘horse sacrifice’. It was regarded to be the highest form of animal sacrifice, with the horse being an ultimate symbol of martial power and one of the most important military resource.

The ritual was performed by emperors or sages who had achieved unparalleled success, to glorify the state of one-ness with Brahman. The Upanishads have likened the human senses to horses that must be controlled lest they shall become wild. Ashvamedha has also been interpreted as an offering of the seven chakras to God, and remaining in God consciousness.

Pure Bhakti

From its pious tributes and ritualistic practises to acting as a symbol of reprehensible social practise, sometimes religion gets robbed of its true identity.

Our religious books spell out that compared to the greatness derived from self knowledge and one-ness with God, the virtues earned by going on pilgrimage sites, or performing a hundred yagnas, are minuscule. Yudhishthira too, had performed Ashvamedha, but while narrating the incident to Yudhisthira’great-granadson, the sage Vaishampayana told him that he should not think too highly of sacrifice, and follow contentment, self restraint, abstain from injuring all creatures.

Rituals are imbued with values and spiritual principles, but when a person gets entangled in rituals, they run the risk of losing the value itself. Yagnas, pilgrimages and offerings hold no merit if we do not imbue our quotidian actions with divine purpose, acts of charity, kindness, and love. We cannot cleanse ourselves with Havans, we have to cleanse ourselves to what Sikhs call the Panj Vikar (Five sins); Kaam (lust), krodh (rage), lobh (greed), moh (attachment) and hankaar (ego).

Most of us have read the story of Sudama (or Kuchela) who offered nothing but rice flakes to his old friend, Lord Krishna. In return, the God showered him with riches and luxury. The story taught an important lesson; nothing greater than self sacrifice and pure Bhakti, can be offered to God.

Next Story

Drape Your Sari With a Twist

A great time to experiment with the sari

0
sari
Create different looks with your sari for different occasions you plan for once the lockdown is lifted. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

Tired of binging on Netflix, playing chef and cleaning of your home? This is a fashion and lifestyle article.

Let the fashionista free, dig into your wardrobe to find old sarees and experiment with drapes. It’s a great source of entertainment and all it takes is a mirror and your closet.

Create different looks for different occasions you plan for once the lockdown is lifted.

“The Sari is an integral part of Indian fashion and over the years, there has been a huge evolution in the way it is styled. Give your favourite sari a twist by wearing it in an unconventional or with a different drape than your good old staple” says a fashion expert at Julahaa Sarees.

sari
Give your favourite sari a twist by wearing it in an unconventional or with a different drape than your good old staple. Pixabay

Ruffle It Up

A layer of ruffles on an old saree gives it a whole new look. The ruffles add a romantic touch making it a great option for a date.

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

Belt it in

Wear a statement of your choice to accentuate the waist. Not only will this define your silhouette but also makes the traditional weave modern! Wear it while you hang out with gang of girls or for formal occasions.

sari
The Sari is an integral part of Indian fashion. Wikimedia Commons

Do away with Basics

Gone are the days when simple blouses were paired with saris. Team the six yards with white shirt or a bralet and throw on a blazer to keep things different.

Also Read- COVID-19 Pandemic: A New Subject for Documentary Makers

Ditch The Heels

We all know how uncomfortable heels can get and have been through the pain! So why not switch it up for a pair of sneakers to get that athleisure look. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Saree: The Versatile Outfit for Women

How to make saree your workwear staple

0
saree
Saree is practical, it's easy to wear and is graceful and so fashionable. IANS

BY ADITI ROY

Saree is one of the most versatile and elegant garments in the world. Women in India have worn this nine yards of wonder for many centuries belonging to different cultures and across the regions. And not before long, it used to be the most common attire for daily wear for women across ages in our country.

The versatility of the sari is such that it can even be worn at business conferences, workplace and office parties. Yes the trend of wearing or choosing to wear a saree as formal work wear is on the rise . It not only sets you apart from others but also gives you an edge over other dresses and maxies, says Delhi-based designer Anuradhha Ramam.

“It’s power dressing. It oozes confidence and power. In fact for many women with traditional and conservative tastes, formal saris are their preferred clothes for the offices, hotels and other corporate sectors. While pant suits and “churidar-kurtis” may be favored among young professionals in today’s corporate India, the “sari” still is the classic business attire. You can beautifully drape the saree and make a perfect style statement in elegance, style and confidence, she adds.

Saree, a practical as well as fashionable work-wear option

As a designer I think that saree is practical, it’s easy to wear and is graceful and so fashionable. Women in the 1980’s and 90’s mostly wore sarees at the workplace due to cultural and social reasons but today’s generation looks beyond these factors. A well draped saree can make a statement in elegance, style and confidence for women in the workplace.

Please follow NewsGram on Instgram to get updates on the latest news.

In my journey of 15 years in this industry, I have styled my sarees with boots and other accessories like silver jewellery which makes it a fusion wear and fashionable work-wear option for all the confident working women, Ramam says.

saree
Saree is one of the most versatile and elegant garments in the world. IANS

Give your saree a tweak to make it more wearable for regular wear

The best option is to wear a pre-stitched sari. It’s ready to wear in a saree silhouette, easy to wear and very convenient. Comfortable textiles like cotton, tussar and chiffon which are fashionable yet comfortable and also pairing it with accessories like silver jewellery, white shirts, boots, sneakers and what not makes it a decent fusion wear having subtle prints and fine textiles, suggests Ramam.

Also Read- Taking Care of Finances Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Selecting the type of material, prints ideal for a workwear

Linen , mulmul , handwoven cotton are ideal materials to wear to work. One colour tones and small prints are best for work wear. Look for comfortable materials that suit all kinds of weather conditions in which one would feel free and light. They should be very skin-friendly because of being very airy and light, quips Ramam. (IANS)

Next Story

Genderless Fashion Rapidly Growing Worldwide

Fashionably blurring the gender norms

0
Fashion
When styled in a unique way, it can make a great fashion statement. IANS

BY PUJA GUPTA

“Genderless fashion” is rapidly going off the charts globally and in India as well. Celebrities like Ranveer Singh, Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana have made fashion statements in their recent red carpet events with attires that rewrite the rules of gender based clothing. From bold and unusual pairings to bright colour suits, florals to draped silhouettes, the trend is catching up. Many Indian clothing houses like Smoke Wear, NorBlack NorWhite and Huemn have also adopted the “gender fluid” clothing concept.

Apart from the runway, one can see glimpses of this trend on a regular day too. From men wearing apparels in pink, to women with short spiky hair, it is predominantly adapted by the youth.

Fashion
“Genderless fashion” is rapidly going off the charts globally and in India as well. IANS

According to Supriya, Head of Department, Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology,

“Gender fluid clothing and dressing has become more of a norm for the Gen Z. There are no more wary side glances when one sees a girl in short spiky hair and androgynous clothing, nor are there misconceptions when a man wears jewellery or flared silhouettes in vibrant colours. Even in India, clothes are gradually moving from the stereotypical slots and are now worn comfortably according to the individuals’ desire despite being of either gender and we should celebrate that.”

Semi-formal wear with geometry and Indian drapes are for all genders. Depicting triangles as the union of masculine and feminine, semi-formal attires can have a new gender bending edge with geometric patterns.

Also Read- 3 Refreshing Spring Cocktail Recipes You Can Make at Home

Drapes are used by both genders among many cultures, including Greek and Rome. Drapes were worn differently depending on their functional requirement. When styled in a unique outfit, it can make a great fashion statement. (IANS)