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Siva and Shiva West of India

The root and extent of life

“When we say “Shiva,” there are two fundamental aspects that we are referring to. The word “Shiva” means literally, “that which is not.” On another level, when we say “Shiva,” we are referring to a certain yogi, the Adiyogi or the first yogi, and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru.” ~ Sadhguru

Shiva today is mostly associated with India, Yoga and Hinduism. But the concepts represented by Shiva were once universal before the development of modern civilisation. Below, Dr Naila Hussain explains the significance of Shiva in Arabia.

Invocation:

ॐ नमः शिवाय Aum Namah Shivaya

SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi

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Haridwar

Haridwar or Hardwar?

Image courtesy of Worldwide Hindu Temples ॐ

Haridwar is a gateway to the Indian Himalayas and roads that are not for the feint hearted. Hari means “Lord Vishnu” Dwara means “gate” or “gateway” so Haridwar stands for “the Gateway to the Char Dham* of Lord Vishnu” which is at Badrinath, a 12 hour drive away.

Lord Vishnu in Sanatana Dharma is seen as the sustainer of life and every year tens of thousands of pilgrims flock through Haridwar en-route to Badrinath.

The other spelling is Hardwar which in Sanskrit, Hara means “Lord Shiva” so Hardwar stands for “Gateway to the Char Dham “Lord Shiva” which is Mount Kailash in Tibet.

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Elephanta Island

A day trip from Mumbai

Shiva and Shakti

For anyone visiting Mumbai who has an interest in historic Indian culture and spiritualty, a trip across to Elephanta Island is an excellent day trip. But if you are to take in the fullness of what the island has to offer, an overnight stay may be worthwhile.

There is a regular ferry service from the Mumbai waterfront (by the Gateway of India). The ferry takes about an hour, but there is sometimes a fast ferry that takes 20 minutes. Ensure you buy your tickets at the ticket office, or you’ll pay extra. Fees: Indian Rs 10; foreigner RS 250 and open 9am-5.30pm Tues-Sun.

Once on the island remember the monkeys

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Mother India

A celebration of life

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India was stripped of its wealth and world status by the British who also did their utmost to destroy Indian culture. They succeeded to a large extent that they are the cause of a great deal of suffering in India today.

However I do not want to lament this fact. Rather, I would like to point out that before the British, India never really suffered from capitalism, a system based on exploitation. Indian culture in the past 20,000 years has been based on real life wisdom and answering life’s most perplexing questions.

This wisdom was expressed by Buddha who clarified the fact that there is suffering in life and that if we choose,

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Taj Mahal

A world heritage site

The Tag Mahal from below the red fort

One of the seven wonders of the world the Taj Mahal is renowned for its aesthetic beauty and the romantic idea that Sha Jahan created this as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz-Al-Zamani.

Mumtaz, the lady in question was one of Sha Jahan’s many wives. According to documents, Sha Jahan killed her husband and then took her as his wife. Mumtaz later died during the delivery of her 14th child and immediately afterwards, Sha Jahan married her sister.

The mystery deepens as it’s widely thought that the design was created or inspired by Nur Jahan, the Empress consort of the Mughal Empire (25 May 1611 to

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