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Dharma

The art and science of living while supporting life

Published on: 23 Jun 2016 updated June 8 2018

Dharma is described as a noun meaning to live by the eternal law of the cosmos that is inherent in the very nature of things. For many people, this may be too much of a stretch of the imagination, but it can be redefined as living in accord or in harmony with nature.

The idea of Dharma arises from Yoga and Hinduism because the ancient yogis were able to identify and relate with nature. Unfortunately this is beyond any people’s ability today because we live in such a consumer driven world where personal identity and happiness is dependent on external phenomena.

But

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A Sanskrit Glossary

Commonly used Sanskrit words used in Yoga and Dharma studies

Sanskrit is thought to be the world’s first language from which all have evolved or been influenced by. The sounds are primal and focussed on describing a world view based on the intrinsic nature of matter, and an internal world view describing the nature of mankind.

These words are used in books about Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism and they are often a challenge to understand.

A.

Abhyasa: practice – the act of practising

Acharya: teacher

Adwaita a philosophy according to which there is no duality – only a singular state of consciousness

Agni: fire

Agnisar kriya: one of the shatkarmas (cleansing practices) -intestinal cleansing

Aham: ego

Ahimsa: a yoga Continue reading A Sanskrit Glossary

Goddess Kali

The power of the divine feminine to heal and restore

Oh Kali, most compassionate divine mother and protector, may you always guide your children to live righteously, guide them to know the nature of existence and encourage them to express joyously.

So many seek to know the taste of the fruit before they eat and within their ignorance they become stubborn. There is no way of knowing outcomes and yet there is an alignment with proper thought, speech and action which moves one into the future.

The divine mother, the essence of the feminine within each and every one of us is sometimes benevolent as represented by Laksmi or Parvatti, but when we need some serious direction or as some

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Caste and Colonialism

Dividing, conquering and creating wealth based class divides

The Europeans evolved to be materialists, bodies and minds with little concept of a soul. There societal values were and still are all about acquisition at any cost. They enshrined divisions between rich and poor in law and there were no laws against plundering, stealing killing and even extermination of those of a different class or culture.

We can see this continuing today and this power structure has its own evolution. It was the British East India company that was most influential across East Asia and the Pacific while the Spanish dominated the Central and South Americas. The corporate bosses made social and military contracts with tribal leaders and often set

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Spirituality

The essence of life

Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu mandir, and a spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi, India. Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture. It is a large Hindu temple.

There is such a general disagreement about what constitutes spiritual spirituality and because none can agree at least in the Western world, the fallback position is judgement and morality based on beliefs that are impossible to substantiate.

Perhaps we need to revisit the meaning of the word as ‘moving in accord with the spirit of life’ whereas many who have a spiritual hankering plunge in to the esoteric and occult,

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Gabriella Burnel

Inspirational Sanskrit scholar and vocal artist

Gabriella Burnel is a Sanskrit scholar and an accomplished musician and musical theatre performer. After studying Sanskrit at Oxford, she completed a Masters in Drama at Goldsmith University in 2010. She has since written musicals for off-West End theatres in London and performed with the band Gabriella and The Planets.

Gabriella is well-known as a composer and performer of poems and hymns drawn from the Sanskrit tradition. Early in 2016, she set to music a hymn in praise of Adi Śaṅkara which she also performed at a Teacher’s Day event in the London School of Economic Science.

Mother Madālasā singing to her children, telling them that they are Shudha, buddha and mukta, pure, conscious

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The Question of Truth

And that truth will set you free

As children growing up we are taught to speak the truth as we see it, yet we learn to see that truth is often a matter of perspective and in some situations where a number of people have witnessed the same event, their telling is different because they all saw from a different perspective, a major problem when the law is involved. So what is referred to as the truth today is a convenient concept that most of us can agree upon.

This most of us has come to distinguish between various truths in relation to what we choose to believe this. The Christians believe that there heavenly guard is real even though

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Insight into Dharma

The original science and key to our survival as a species

Any science is a step-by-step process producing measurable or verifiable results be it within physics, chemistry or the life sciences that come under the umbrella of Dharma. There was a time when Dharmic traditions governed humanity and there is currently a determined drive by rampant forces to extinguish them in their homelands, yet they are appearing as if self sown in the most unlikely places because to the educated mind, they represent sanity in an insane world.

Dharmic traditions all recognise that we exist and that we are unique within the animal kingdom, yet we have the same rights as all other life, we are part of life and

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The Sabarimala Temple Issue

Allowing women to enter Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala

Following much public discussion stirred up by special interest lobby groups and politicians keen to cash in on the publicity, and September 2018 the Indian High Court ruled that women of all ages are able to enter Lord Ayyappa temple in South India. These people have little idea that traditional temple spaces are not places of worship in any Christian or Islamic sense, they are places to re-energise and in this sense, the Lord Ayyappa temple was constructed to enhance the masculine identity of men and enable them to function harmoniously in a civilised manner.

The High Court kowtowing to feminists and lobby groups setting aside what scant knowledge of

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The 42 Ideals of Maat

Goddess of truth and Earth Mother

The ancient Egyptian Goddess Maat or Ma’at is depicted as a tall woman wearing a crown surmounted by a huge ostrich feather. Her totem symbol is a stone platform or foundation, representing the stable base (ensuring human continuity) on which order is built.

Maat personifies the concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. She is also the goddess attributed with regulating the stars, seasons, actions of mortals and the deities, and who brought order from chaos at the moment of creation.

Later, as a goddess in other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male aspect, her masculine counterpart was Thoth and their attributes are the

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New Robe

A Buddhist Life Lesson

There is no doubt that we live in a material world yet we have come to live in a throwaway society that is highly wasteful of resources, this short story speaks to the consciousness and mindfulness about the use of the material things that support our lives.

A disciple of Buddha, said, “Oh Master! I have a request to make.”

Buddha: “What is it; tell me?”

Disciple: “My robe is worn out. It is no longer decent enough to wear.Please, may I have a new one?”

Buddha looked at the disciple’s attire and found that the garment was absolutely in tatters and really needed replacement. So he asked the store-keeper to give a new robe to

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