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Ashtottaram 44) OṀ SAMAIKYABHĀVABHŨMYAI NAMAH
Ashtottaram 44: OṀ (AUM) –SA-MAI-KYA-BHAA-VA-BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA
Ashtottaram 44: ॐ समैक्यभावभूम्यै नमः
(Samaikya: Unity, harmony; Bhāvam: Attitude, feeling, a notion, frame of mind)
Samaikya is a Sanskrit word that reflects the meaning of unified, united, or equality. Most often used as the name of female babies – ‘Samaikya.’
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Peace, unity, and harmony are at the core of India’s philosophies. Religious harmony in India is a concept that indicates that there is love, affection between different religions in India. The Indian constitution supports and encourages religious harmony. In India, every citizen has a right to choose and practice any religion. There are examples of Muslims and Sikhs building temples. In India, different religious traditions live harmoniously. Seers of religions call for religious harmony in India. For popular film stars in India like Salman Khan, festivals of Hindus and Muslims are equal. According to Dalai Lama, India is a model for religious harmony. He mentions that “In the last 2000-3000 years, different religious traditions, including Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism flourished here.”
The old adage ‘Kalasivunte kaladu sukham’ meaning –there are happiness and joy in living with unity and harmony, was first stated in our motherland when other countries were engaged in wars. Whether in books like Pancha tantrum or in schools, in movies and songs; wherever you look in India, living with unity and harmony is emphasized. Our unity and harmony kept the culture and us together for millennia. Nuclear families (three and four generations living together) are a common theme.
Our Sanātana Dharma is ever alive and active, ever than before in India and abroad. Our Swamis and their discourses are revitalizing our values and our way of life. Our media is working very hard in re-establishing our Hinduism on TV and some TV stations are completely dedicated to religious programs. Millions of Hindus participate in Hindu festivals, religious worship, and programs. This shows our unity in keeping our values and culture. Indians live as an example to the world showing unity in diversity.
With a population of over 1.5 billion people out of which about 400 million are Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and other religions; and the conflicts between them are minuscule when compared to the religious conflicts in the world. India is home to different religious practices. Indian culture has always accepted the good of the invading cultures and showed communal harmony for centuries. Indian culture is like an ocean harboring all kinds of creatures.
Even in the purāṇās, itihāsās, and epics, there are many stories that teach us unity, friendship, and harmony along with morals and ethics. For example, in Mahābhāratam, when King Duryodhana was captured by a Gandharva (a class of deity), his cousin Bhīma fought the Gandharva and released his cousin. This also teaches us that no matter what differences we have among ourselves when the time comes, we should stick together against an enemy.
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Hinduism has survived despite several invasions, proselytizers, and colonizers. We cannot accomplish that without unity and harmony among us. It also shows the strength of our commitment to the way of life. Even Hindu-Indians abroad are building temples, performing religious rituals faithfully, and celebrating our Hindu festivals with greater enthusiasm than ever before.
They are conducting classes in Indian languages and BālaVihār (Sunday schools) for the children, in order to keep our Hindu heritage. This shows that whatever adversities we may have among us, we always try to maintain our unity when it comes to safeguarding our religion, culture, and way of life.
Our motherland, which taught us to be together in harmony, and united, is ‘Samaikyabhāva Bhūmi.’
By Devakinanda Pasupuleti
Ashtottaram 40) OṀ ŚĀNṪIBHŨMYAI NAMAH:
Ashtottaram 40: OṀ (AUM)-`SAAN-ṪI-BHOO-MYAI— NA-MA-HA
ॐ शान्तिभूम्यै नमः
(Śānṫih: Peace, calmness, repose, tranquility)
Shanti means peace in body, peace in mind, peace in speech or spirit. A non-conflicting mind is a peaceful mind. The reason India shows aggression now against neighboring bullies is for self-protection and not to lose independence again, just like we did for 1000 years to foreign invaders.
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There is no Hindu who does not end his worship (pooja) with ‘OM śhāntih’, ‘OM śhāntih’, ‘OM śhāntih’. After elaborate rituals to Gods, priests recite Shānti mantras and svasti (praying for auspiciousness). It is a natural tendency for human beings to desire peace. Nobody wants chaos, calamities, famines, wars, or nowadays, terrorisms. It is but natural for human beings to react with the fear of the unknown when eerie unnatural incidents take place.
Right from the most ancient times, they have tried to forestall such happenings that might follow, with appropriate propitiatory rites (called śhāntis by the Hindu scriptures) in advance. Derived from the root ‘sam’ (means to appease), the word śhānti means a rite that can offset or reduce the evil effects prognosticated by bad omens.
Though this word has not been found in the Ṛigveda in this sense, it does find a prominent place in the Atharvaṇaveda, the Taittirīya Saṃhita and the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa. No matter how much wealth, and material possessions one might have, the person without śānti (mental tranquility) experiences hell in his life. In our Sanātana Dharma, only our ancient sages realized the importance of peace among humans as well as animals. That’s why they have incorporated Śhānti mantras in our daily prayers and religious services.
We repeat ‘OM Śhāntih’ thrice, at the end of our worship. If we look at this deeply and spiritually, we can understand the meaning and purpose behind this. The first time is in desiring peace for that individual and for his family, friends, relatives, and the community he lives in. The second time when we pray is wishing for peace for the entire country. The third and last time when we pray is wishing for peace for the entire world. It shows our intense desire for global peace in contrast to other religions and nations which engage in wars and terrorism.
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We can also see this from a different angle. First time for mental peace, second time peace from nature’s calamities, and the third time from bad omens, diseases, etc. Whatever it may be, we pray for world peace and we include everyone irrespective of race, creed, religion, or country; we do not exclude even an insect.
So, in many ways we pray to God for peace and we can proudly say that our land is the ‘Śhānti Bhūmi’.
What makes Indians meditate? According to a recent survey by meditation and mindfulness app ThinkRight.me, it is the pursuit of happiness, peace, and personal growth that keeps most Indians going in the meditation sphere.
Spanning 1,000 individuals between the age group of 18 to 60 years, across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Pune, the survey also cites stress management and better sleep as other key areas where meditation has helped individuals. From an app data perspective, almost 40 percent of the users of ThinkRight. I meditated daily in 2020, spending a total of 2.64 billion minutes on the app in the entire year.
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The survey also revealed how meditation helps different age groups differently. Peace and happiness top the charts across all age groups — and goes up as one grows older, as one in two people aged between 36-45 years meditate for peace and happiness compared to 1 in 5 among the 18-25 age group.
The age bracket of 18-25 years and 46-55 years showed similar patterns; the quest for peace and happiness was followed by better sleep, personal growth, and stress management, in that order. When it comes to city-specific analysis, most women in Mumbai meditate to seek peace and personal growth, while Punekars and people in Bengaluru are in search of peace and happiness.
Delhiites turn to meditation for better sleep and stress management.
As per Rajan Navani, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of JetSynthesys, the company which owns the app, “India often tops the charts when it comes to studies on stress and anxiety. We launched ThinkRight.me two years back to make the benefits of meditation accessible to all. We are big believers of the power of thinking right, therefore the name, because our thoughts do guide how our day and life pan out. All the daily affirmations and guided meditation sessions on ThinkRight. I am born out of this core belief, and we hope to use these survey findings to make TRM an even more compelling proposition. With time, we also hope more people take to meditation and a more mindful way of life so collectively there’s a positive change in people’s overall mental and emotional well-being.
The onset of 2020 brought with it Covid-19, a global pandemic that has been harsh on most individuals and the app data is proof of that reality.
According to this platform with over 2 million downloads, the maximum traffic seen on the app was during the months of April 2020 to June 2020, during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, with daily active users increasing by 50 percent coupled with a significant increase in subscriptions too. The daily positive affirmations followed by guided meditation offerings top the charts for what helped app users the most in 2020. (IANS/SP)
With the rise in working from home and flexible company policies, our homes needed to be our humble abode. When work-from-home became a constant, the lines became increasingly blurred between personal and professional spaces. Homes, as they say, are where the heart is, and are safe havens where one can de-stress, feel loved, be peaceful, and mindful of their being.
The year also saw an increase in the number of cases with mental health concerns, necessitating the need to create safe spaces within our homes. Designing our environment with mindful spaces has become an integral part of our lives. One is hugely influenced by our environment, inculcating healthy habits into our lives is essential.
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What is a mindful space?
Space that has been created resonating with your own idea of calm. It’s how we can connect to the space around us with our senses and nurture contentment in ourselves. It is in the way our frame of mind helps us savor and enjoy the feeling of being present in our environment.
Introducing mindful spaces in our homes is a great place, to begin with. Here’s why we need to create a space of our own that promotes mindfulness:
1. Declutter and re-organize
Mindful spaces create a positive impact on our productivity and our mind-set. Research suggests that a large percentage of the population find messy, cluttered rooms stressful while others felt that the arrangement in the room and the things in it impacted how they were feeling. A cluttered space is synonymous with a cluttered mind; something which doesn’t bode well when working from home, having a mindful space helps with clearing our mind and organizing our thoughts.
2. Being more attentive and increasing our concentration
Having a dedicated space that allows us to be mindful of our happenings can greatly improve concentration and reduce ruminative thinking. By understanding our emotions in healthy ways, we will be able to think clearly and focus on the tasks at hand in a calmer manner. Mindful spaces help block out other distractions and focus on the details.
3. Calm and comfortable
By adding small but significant moments of comfort, coziness, and joy to our home we can improve our well-being. ‘Hygge’, a Danish word meaning, creating coziness in the soothing feeling in the space around us. There is certain mindfulness to hygge, it is about being present in the moment and brings a sense of wellbeing. It’s an atmosphere and an experience rather than about things. We feel relaxed when we have that hygge space, it gives us the feeling that we have control over our situation. Creating the hygge space is not only about how the environment looks but also how it makes us feel.
4. Elevate our moods and stimulate our senses
The mindful spaces get replaced with memories. The areas of space and well-being are becoming more integrally interwoven. We can create this with an awareness of the subconscious drive to align our objects with who we seek to be. It is important to make our surroundings as relaxing and as soothing as possible. It should be a safe space for thinking, feeling, doing, or just being in it without any judgments.
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5. Think outside the box
Sometimes we need reminders of why we do specific things and inspire us. No matter what else is happening in our work and home, that mindful space is a dedicated reminder of where we can fully enjoy our time when we are not working; a space where you can brainstorm ideas, and at other times engage in creating something.
At the end of the day, our mindful room is what we make it to be. Whether it is an indoor space in our room, or a different part of our home, or a garden or a terrace, this room is ours and ours alone. Mindful spaces are designed to help us engage in activities which are rewarding, satisfying and train our mind to be more present and engaged when it’s time to step away from our work. (IANS)