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Shankaracharya Jayanti 2017: Here is why the Philosopher-Saint is believed to be an incarnation of Hindu Lord Shiva!
April 30, 2017:
“Like the appearance of silver in mother of pearl, the world seems real until the Self, the underlying reality, is realized.”
― Adi Shankaracarya
‘RELIGION is realisation, it is not mere learning’– This message which stands deeply in the minds of every Hindu is not just a mental conception. This is not a stretch of the imagination Nor is it a decision arrived at by vehement vituperation and incongruent argumentation promulgated by an ordinary intellectual prodigy. This is the assertion of Shankara, India’s greatest philosopher-saint, the incarnation of Lord Shiva, reverently known as Srimath Adi Shankaracharya. This year, in 2017, to commemorate him, devotees celebrate his birth anniversary as Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti on Aril 30.
The Indian Guru and philosopher Adi Shankara was born in Kalady which is situated in Kerala during 788 C.E. and he was disappeared at the young age of 32 in year 820 C.E.
According to the Hindu Calendar, Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti is observed on Panchami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Vaishakha month and currently, falls between April and May.
Shankaracharya consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanata (अद्वैत वेदान्त) and revived it at a time when Hindu culture was on the decline.
Adi Shankaracharya, who brought out Santana Dharma, from the clutches of rituals, is also considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva by many people. It was Shankaracharya who had revived the teachings of Upanishads. He is also the creator of many Hindu holy texts like Vedantas. It is said that he lived his life as a saint and gave a new direction to the Hindu religion.
Scholars differ regarding the period in which Adi Shankara lived but his birthday is celebrated annually on the same day – on the 5th day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Vaisakha.
Here are a few interesting facts about the day:-
- Arsha Vidya Satsanga (AVS), a group dedicated to re-establish the cultural self-identity of Hindus, celebrated the Shankara Jayanthi to commemorate the birthday of jagad guru Sri Adi Shankaracharya – a great reviver of Vedic Sanatana Dharma, at Keshav Smruti, Houston on Apr 21, 2012.
- Puja and Havan are organised in many Shankaracharya Mathas on the sacred day of Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti. He is worshipped all around the country.
- Many satsangs are also organized on this day. To commemorate him, Sanatan Dharma is also discussed in these places on this day.
- It is believed that worshipping Adi Shankaracharya on this day relieves a person from all his problems.
- Two popular rituals such as Dharma yatras and Shobha yatras are also organized on this day.
- People recite his compositions and Prasad (sacred food) is cooked and distributed. This day is also celebrated by giving donations to the poor people.
- Vedic scholars from all over India take part in the Veda Sammelan conducted on the occasion.
- Examinations are conducted for advanced students of the Vedas.
- Devotees fast for a day and worship Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Lord Surya, and Devi.
- They also recite the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu mantras. Feeding Brahmans on this day is believed to be a charitable act.
Adi Shankara was a repository of vast and deep knowledge and was the embodiment of ‘para vidya’ which is defined as ‘yaha tad aksharam adhigamyathe’. He was mainly responsible for the resurrection of Hinduism from its shambles and re-established the authenticity of the Hindu holy texts Vedas to its pristine glory which was earlier rendered to redundancy due to the continuous onslaught from other religions mainly Buddhism.
– by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6
Facebook must pay a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million in back pay to eligible victims who say the company discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreign ones, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The discrimination took place from at least January 1, 2018, until at least September 18, 2019.
The Justice Department said Facebook "routinely refused" to recruit or consider U.S. workers, including U.S. citizens and nationals, asylees, refugees and lawful permanent residents, in favor of temporary visa holders. Facebook also helped the visa holders get their green cards, which allowed them to work permanently
In a separate settlement, the company also agreed to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules and conduct wider searches to fill jobs.
The fines and back pay are the largest civil awards ever given by the DOJ's civil rights division in its 35-year history.
"Facebook is not above the law and must comply with our nation's civil rights laws," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke told reporters in a telephone conference.
"While we strongly believe we met the federal government's standards in our permanent labor certification [PERM] practices, we've reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program, which is an important part of our overall immigration program," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Employment, Justice Dept., Recruitment
Tomatoes are a staple in the Indian diet, be it a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish. It has to be a part of each meal in some form. As puree, paste, flavour, or diced into the dal. This tangy, sweet, and juicy ingredient was not always Indian. In fact, it did not even grow in India until the British sanctioned it. It is a product of colonization and has come a long way to become part of our everyday meals.
Originally, the tomato was considered poison. Its actual native is debatable. Some say it is European while others argue that is came from indigenous parts of Spain and Portugal. Either way, it is a plant species that is associated with the legendary Nightshade. It looks very similar to this poisonous plant that tomatoes were not even harvested for a long time, for fear of picking Nightshade instead. It was believed that Nightshade caused the blood to turn to acid and that tomatoes had the same property. Later research proved that the plant itself may be poisonous but the fruit is not.
The fruit if the woody nightshade plant Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Tomato is considered a fruit instead of a vegetable because it is cooked. But this theory has an interesting tale behind it. in the United States, in 1887, a tax was levied on the transport of vegetables, but not on fruits. By then, tomatoes had become a huge part of the American diet and traders could not afford to pay the ten percent duty. So, they began to call the large loads they transported fruits, just to avoid the tax due. In time, this is how the tomato came to be regarded. Some scientists went even further and stated that it is a berry. Botanists claim that since it is a part that grows from the flower's ovary and contains seeds, it is a fruit and not a vegetable. But this is a debate that will never end.
Incorporating tomatoes into the Indian diet must have happened so long ago that people do not remember a time without tomatoes, considering how it is the fundamental ingredient of most cuisines. The tomato has a name in every language as well, so the trading between nations, the voyages that brought them to India, and the decoding of the fruit-vegetable must have taken place far earlier than our ancestors remember. Or, perhaps we liked it so much that we decided to use it everywhere and make it our own. Nonetheless, it has been a delightful addition.
Keywords: Tomato, Fruit, Vegetable, Nightshade, Voyage, Staple
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television