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India's Musical Genius



Tirukural, 12.32

A person's growth begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world, he seeks satisfaction by prayers to God; this purifies his mind and he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God's grace begins to manifest. God will take the form of a guru and appear to the devotee, to teach him Truth so that his mind gains strength and is able to turn inward. With meditation the mind is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The guru is both exterior and interior: from the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward and from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self. That is grace. See? There is no difference between God, guru and Self. Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic


I loved my motherland dearly before I went to America and England. After my return, every particle of dust of this land seems sacred to me. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)


People see God every day, they just don't recognize him. Pearl Bailey (1883-1931), American singer


You can often find in rivers what you cannot find in oceans. Indian Proverb


The fish in the water is silent, the animal on the earth is noisy, the bird in the air is singing. Only man has in him the silence of the sea, the noise of the earth and the music of the air. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)


You can't have everything--where would you put it? Anonymous


I do not want my house to be walled, or my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any of them. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)


Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: Why am I doing it? What might the results be? Can I be successful? Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, then proceed. Chanakya (350-275 bce), Indian politician, strategist and writer


Make me silent, O God, that I may eloquently converse with Thee. Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893-1952), founder of Self Realization Fellowship


In the four eternal Vedas,
In the study and reading of scripts,
In sacred ashes and in holy writs
And muttering of prayers
You will not find the Lord!
Melt with the heart inside
And proclaim the Truth.
Then you will join the light
Life without servitude.
Sivavakkiyar, 10th-century Tamil devotional poet and mystic


Today is in your hands. Tomorrow the chance may never come. Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of the Divine Life Society


If we want to realize our dreams, we have to stay awake. Swami Tejomayananda, spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission


Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him and there will no trouble for you. Then you will come to know that every thing is done by His will. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)


It is a right and a duty of the wise ones to purify the strong by teaching them their duties; and to strengthen the weak by teaching them their rights. Subrahmanya C. Bharati (1882-1921), Indian poet, journalist and activist


Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition. Anonymous


In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing. Appolonius of Tiana (2-97 ce), Greek philosopher and occultist. His work deeply influenced Western mysticism.


If you can laugh together, you can work together. Robert Orben, journalist


Sattvic knowledge sees the one indestructible Being in all beings, the unity underlying the multiplicity of creation. Rajasic knowledge sees all things and creatures as separate and distinct. Tamasic knowledge, lacking any sense of perspective, sees one small part and mistakes it for the whole. Bhagavad Gita 18:20-22


You don't want to see God. You must feel God. God is you. Just be that. Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964) of Sri Lanka


Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the Mystery, unique and not to be judged. Rumi (1207 1273), Sufi mystic and poet


You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha ca 566-486 bce)


Sight is very powerful. Sight is the first connection made with the Deity. The sight of the murti in the temple inner sanctum stimulates and enhances the flow of uplifting energies, or pranas, within the mind and body. Each Deity performs certain functions, is in charge of certain pranas. Seeing the Deity there unfolds in the mind's eye a like image and prepares the way for deeper blessings and devotion. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today


Did You Know?


India, of all nations through history, has developed the most complete system of scales and melody for understanding sound and creating music. Little wonder in a land where sages discovered the power of the primeval Aum permeating the universe. The origins of Indian classical music can be found in Hinduism's oldest and most revered scriptures, the Vedas. The Samaveda describes music at length. Indian classical music has its roots as a meditation tool for attaining Self realization. The different forms of these melodies (ragas) are believed to affect various chakras and stir the kundalini. The mystical inspiration of the Indian music system was coupled with a design that makes it technically comprehensive even for secular compositions.

Alain Danielou wrote, "ancient Hindus were familiar with the theory of sound, both its metaphysics and physics. The hymns of the Rig Veda contain the earliest examples of words set to music."


Basics of Hinduism


Diksha

Diksha, "initiation, " is a solemn induction, taking the initiated into a new realm of spiritual awareness and practice. It is traditionally given by a teacher or preceptor, such as a guru. Diksha is a powerful blessing that acknowledges and empowers the individual's own past efforts done in preparation for that auspicious moment of receiving it. It will often take years of disciplined effort for the preceptor to deem the candidate ready for initiation.

Usually granted during a ceremony or festival, diksha may be conferred by a touch, a word, a look or a thought. As the aspirant matures, he may receive deeper initiations, each one drawing him further into his spiritual being. Most Hindu schools, especially Saivism, teach that only with initiation from a satguru is enlightenment attainable. To Vaishnavites, initiation is also a transfer of the karma from the disciple to a saintly preceptor. It is by the grace of diksha that the guru passes on the power received from the Gods. Central dikshas include samaya diksha (initiation into a sacred mantra), vishesha diksha ( "distinguishing " initiation,


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