Category: Sarva Dharma Sambhav


Janmashtami or Gokulashtami is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who specially took birth as the child of Devaki and Vasudev to wipe out various evils from earth. As a child, Krishna eliminated his own evil uncle Kansa. His entire life has been full of messages for the entire human population, not just Hindus. His biggest and most important contribution was seen in the great war of Kurukshetra where he helped the Pandavas defeat their evil cousins Kauravas.

As his mission on earth was accomplished with the victory of the Pandavas, Krishna descended to heavenly abode after the completion of the war. But he assured his devotees that he would arrive on earth whenever an evil force will pose danger to win over the good.

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For the entire life story of Lord Krishna, visit these links:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna

http://archives.amritapuri.org/bharat/symbolism/srikrishna.php

 

Happy JANMASHTAMI to all! May the various evils of the world be wiped out.

 

Lord Vishnu's reincarnation as Krishna, the child of Devaki and Vasudeva. (Picture Source: http://www.twitsnaps.com)

Lord Vishnu’s reincarnation as Krishna, the child of Devaki and Vasudeva. (Picture Source: http://www.twitsnaps.com)

 

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Eid-Al-Fitr is an Islamic festival marking the end of Ramadan (also knoawn as Ramzan), the month of fasting. Muslims all over the world fast daily in the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk known as Roza. After sunset, they break the Roza and consume food. This is done for the entire month of Ramadan till the day of Eid. People generally wish each other ‘Eid Mubarak’, ‘Eid-Ul-Fitr Mubarak’, ‘Happy Eid’ and so on depending on each language. For more information on Eid, click this link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Fitr

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Although Eid is an Islamic festival, it is celebrated by people of all faiths world over.

Picture Source: smsblaze.com

Picture Source: smsblaze.com

 

Picture Source: The Hindu

Picture Source: The Hindu

 

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Easter is a Christian festival celebrating the resurrection (rising from dead) of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion on Good Friday, which is a public holiday in most parts of the world. Mostly, Easter is a movable Holiday and is celebrated on the First Sunday between March 22 and April 25 in accordance to the Vernal or Spring Equinox.

 

Wishing all a Very Happy Easter. May there be new hope for humanity all around the globe!

 

For a detailed meaning and information of Easter, see these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter

http://christianity.about.com/od/holidaytips/qt/whatiseaster.htm

 

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Picture Source: text.medjugorje.ws/

Picture Source: text.medjugorje.ws/

 

By: Keyur Seta

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistan’s renowned Islamic scholar and politician, is highly impressed by the teachings and message of Swami Vivekananda. In fact, for Swamiji’s 151st Birth Anniversary, he sent his wishes to India through his Indian friend Sudheendra Kulkarni, who is a socio-political activist and columnist.

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Picture Source: Mr Sudheendra Kulkarni

Picture Source: Mr Sudheendra Kulkarni

“I had a chance of meeting Qadri. But before meeting him, I sent him a few books about Swamiji. When I met him, he said he read the books and is highly impressed by Swamiji’s message. He praised Swamiji by quoting from his Parliament of Religion speech at Chicago. Just imagine, a Muslim, a Pakistani being impressed by Swamiji’s message.” said Kulkarni while speaking at Swami Vivekananda’s 151st Birth Anniversary aka National Youth Day function organized by Ramakrishna Mission and Math, Mumbai. He also stressed on religious tolerance by urging people to celebrate festival of all religions.

A large group of people gathered at the Vivekananda Hall were both surprised and delighted to hear this. Similarly, other dignitaries – Chitra Ramkrishna, MD & CEO of National Stock Exchange Mumbai, Dr Priya M Vaidya, Asst. Prof. of Philosophy, University of Mumbai, B. N. Srikrishna, retired Supreme Court Judge ((he prepared Srikrishna Report of 1992 riots) and Professor Narendra M. Naidu from Modern College Pune – too presided over the event encouraging people to walk on the path shown by Swamiji.

The event also saw a dance drama on Swamiji’s life and message by Keka Sinha and her group and a Classical concert by Padmashri Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty.

More pictures from the event:

Picture Source: Keyur Seta

Picture Source: Keyur Seta

Picture Source: Keyur Seta

Picture Source: Keyur Seta

 

Guru Nanak Gurupurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti is a Sikh festival that celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak, who was the first Sikh Guru. Like other major festivals of India, Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated by people across various faiths. According to the Indian ancient calendar, it is celebrated Kartik Poornima, the full moon day in the month of Kartik. Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion and the first among the 10 Sikh gurus. The sacred book of Sikhs called Guru Granth Sahib is considered the 11th living Guru.

Guru Nanak was born on April 15, 1469 at Rai Bhoi Ki  Talvandi, now in Pakistan. The town is now called as Nankana Sahib. He was married at a young age and had two children. However, his spiritual urge compelled him to leave his wife and children and go to a spiritual pilgrimage with his best friend Mardana for 12 years. After attaining tremendous spiritual enlightenment, he started preaching against all forms of differentiations, especially religious and caste based. His movement of creating peace between people of various faiths gave rise to the religion of Sikhism. For the complete story of Guru Nanak, click HERE.

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Here’s wishing Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti to all! May his message of peace and unity among all human beings be spread far and wide! In his own words – Aval Allah Noor Upaya, Kudrat Ke Sab Bande

Picture Source: a1lucknowflowers.com

Picture Source: a1lucknowflowers.com

By: Keyur Seta

All over the world, human population is divided on the basis of religion. There are a large number of religions practiced universally and people from each one consider someone from another religion as different from him or her. But if we look at it closely, we realize that we all fall under the category of human beings; that we all have the same flesh and bones; that we all feel happy and sad at the same things. This universal truth was presented at the event Interfaith Dialogue for Modern Era in Mumbai by Ramakrishna Mission and Math, Mumbai. The Interfaith Dialogue was a part of the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, whose message was also spread widely at the event.

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There was dialogue and interaction by religious heads of various religions -

  • Christianity by Father Joshua
  • Zoroastrianism by Lion Yazdi Panthaki
  • Baha’ism by Dr Mangesh Teli
  • Buddhism by Prof. Sudhakar Arjun Pawar
  • Jainism Dr. Bipin Doshi
  • Islam by Maulana Syed Athar Ali
  • Sikhism by Mr. Harpal Singh
  • Judaism by Mr. Ralphy Jhira
  • Sufism by Mr. Sami Bubere
  • Hinduism by Swami Atmapriyanandji Maharaj

After listening to each one of them, it wasn’t hard to realize that all religions preach the same message of humanity, oneness, equality and love for all fellow beings.

Some pictures from the event:

Picture Source: DNAIndia.com

Picture Source: DNAIndia.com

Interfaith-Dialog-India

Swami-Vivekananda-religion

Diwali is a Hindu festival but, like all major festivals, it is not limited to people of Hindu faith. It is an Indian festival in actual sense. There are various reasons or incidents behind the celebration of Diwali.

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  • The biggest one is related to Ramayana, the great Indian epic. Circumstances forced Ram to undergo a forest exile along with wife Sita and brother Ram. One day, the demon king Ravan abducted Sita after he fell in love with her beauty. Ram was forced to wage a war against Ravan to free Sita from his clutches. After a long war, Ram ultimately turned victorious after killing Ravan. When Ram, Sita and Laxman returned victorious to Ayodhya after 14 y ears, people welcomed them in a grand manner by lighting lamps, decorating the city, bursting crackers, etc. Hence, Ram’s return to Ayodhya is said to be the start of Diwali as each year on that day people celebrated the festival.
  • There is another very similar theory about the origin of Diwali in relation to another great Indian epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas were forced to wage a war against their wicked cousins Kaurawas. After defeating their enemies when Pandavas returned to their city Hastinapur, the locals celebrated the occasion with much aplomb which marked the start of Diwali.
  • It is also believed that Goddess Kali emerged from the forehead of Goddess Durga to save the earth from the demons. However, she lost her sense of control and started killing anyone randomly. She stopped only when Lord Shiva intervened. This incident is marked as Kali Puja at the same time as Diwali.
  • There is another theory which states that once Gods and Demons desired to live forever and for that they churned the ocean to seek immortality. To stop them, Goddess Durga rose up from the ocean. Later, Lord Vishnu married her. Their marriage is marked as the celebration of Diwali.

Here’s wishing each and everyone a Very Happy Diwali. Well, we all wish each other ‘Happy Diwali’ but Diwali can be considered happy only if it is unpolluted. Each year, the level of air and noise pollution reaches sky high during Diwali due to various types of fire crackers. When we harm earth or mother nature in such a ghastly manner, we can’t be having a Happy Diwali by any means. It not only destroys nature and spreads various diseases, it creates hell for the animals. My sincere request to all of you is to have literally a Happy Diwali. This is the festival of lights so just light up someone’s life, be it anybody. Lighting up people’s life gives many times more pleasure than polluting the environment.

The festival  of Dussehra or Dasara marks the end of the nine day Navaratri festival. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. Its story originates from the Indian epic Ramayana, where Lord Ram defeated the demon Ravan, who had snatched away the former’s wife. The word Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit term dasha hara, which means ‘defeat of the ten’. Over here, ten signifies the ten heads of Ravan. His ten heads symbolize ten evils – Kama Vasana (lust), Krodh (anger), Moha (attachment), Lobha (greed), Mada (over pride), Matsara (jealousy), Swartha (selfishness), Anyay (injustice), Amanavta (cruelty) and Ahankara (ego).

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When we look at today’s scenario, we realize that the story of Ramayana is so relevant even today. May all of us strive to destroy the various evils from our society. Unfortunately, there are not limited to just 10. However, strong will power and sheer determination by the masses would surely yield fruitful results.

Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the barks of puppies frighten you — no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven — but stand up and work! – Swami Vivekananda

Destroying of Ravan during a Ram Leela function in India. (Picture source - Msn.com)

Destroying of Ravan during a Ram Leela function in India. (Picture source – Msn.com)

Picture source - shemrock.com

Picture source – shemrock.com

Ganesh Chaturthi is an Indian festival celebrated in honor of Lord Ganesha on his birthday. Lord Ganesha is worshipped as someone who removes all obstacles. Hence, he is also known as Vignaharta.

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It is believed that the festival was celebrated the very first time by Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha leader. But it was Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak who encouraged people to celebrate the festival on a much larger scale in order to unite against the British. The festival is celebrated by bringing clay idols of Lord Ganesha. The idols are immersed after 1 and a half, 5, 7 or 10 days. The idols are brought and immersed with great aplomb. The festival is mostly famous in Maharashtra.

Circa 2013, we are living in an era where immorality doesn’t cease to shock us day after day. It won’ be an understatement that humanity is slowly going for a toss. As we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, let us pray to the Lord to bless us by restoring the faith in humanity.

GANPATI BAPPA MORYA!

Ganpati-photo

As India celebrates its 67th year of getting freedom from the British, here’s wishing Happy Independence Day to Indians all over the world.

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And a grand salute to:-

- Those who sacrificed their lives for our independence.

- Those who fought in any manner against the British.

- Our Jawans who are fighting dangerous battles in deadly conditions so that me and you can stay in peace.

- Those trying to make a difference in a selfless manner.

Indian-Flag-New

But the situation in the nation is such that we need freedom from many evils including terrorism, corruption, poverty, casteism, anti-secularism, lack of education, various pollution and many more. So let us take an oath to make the country better in whatever small way possible. After all, even the smallest of deeds can lead to nation building!
“INDIA is to be raised. The poor are to be fed. Education is to be provided. The evil of priestcraft is to be removed.”
– SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

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