WEs we like - Written by on Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:33 - 3 Comments

charterforcompassion.org

A project WE will join:

http://www.charterforcompassion.org/

it is encouraging to see a project like this getting so much attention … hopefully enough to make it into the traditional media… (see Samia’s compassionate statement)

Preamble:
Compassion is a key and universal value in all faiths. The most urgent task of our time is to build a global community around this idea, where all peoples of the world can live together in harmony, appreciation and mutual respect. If we fail to achieve this, it is unlikely that we will have a viable world to hand on to the next generation. We believe that the religions of the world have a unique contribution to make and that is why we have issued this Charter of Compassion. 

“The first step in the creation of the Charter for Compassion has begun. Over the next four weeks people from all over the world will write the Charter. Using an innovative group-decision making platform from Kluster, submissions will be collected and rated in order to see which ideas have the most traction globally. A Council of Sages, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sister Joan Chittister, Prof. Tariq Ramadan, and Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, will gather together to read the world’s words and mold the final version of the Charter. In 2009, the final Charter for Compassion will be launched into the world to live in people’s lives.

Join us on this amazing journey. Share your words. Share your story. Let your voice be heard.”

Supporters:
http://www.asmasociety.org/
http://www.interfaithcenter.org/
http://www.ncccusa.org/
http://www.wcrp.org/
http://www.tanenbaum.org/
http://www.soliya.net/
http://www.cordobainitiative.org/
http://www.unaoc.org/
http://www.templeofunderstanding.org/
http://www.threefaithsforum.org.uk/
http://www.utsnyc.edu/

http://www.ted.com/ (& tedprize.org)
http://www.kluster.com/



3 Comments

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Shilpa Sudhir Polekar
Nov 17, 2008 7:06

The Divine mission of Parama Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj of Akkalkot, Kalki Avatar, was to resuscitate Vedas. This He did by reiterating the Satya Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Principles of Religion) as Fivefold Path of ancient wisdom.

Practice AGNIHOTRA
for purification of the atmosphere which leads to unburdening of the mind.
Practice DAAN
(sharing of assets in a spirit of humility) for reducing attachment to worldly possessions.
Practice TAPA
(self-discipline) for fruition of thy affirmations.
Practice KARMA
(good actions without attachment to the fruit thereof) for self-purification.
Practice SWADHYAYA
(Self study, Who am I?) for liberation.

Let us understand the five principles in short.

YAJNYA
Along with creation the Almighty father ordained the practice of Yajnya (Agnihotra) to mankind. He commanded, ” O man behold, Yajnya is Kamadhenu (All giver). Practice Yajnya with utter devotion using your body, speech and mind. Yajnya is for your happiness and welfare. Your life is dependent on the five elements of the nature. By the practice of Yajnya the cycle of nature is balanced. Thus, even your life will be happy. If nature bestows abundance upon you, you must repay it with a feeling of gratitude in the form of Yajnya. One who does not perform Yajnya is selfish “.
Yajnya is first principle of Five Fold Path. It is the process of purification of atmosphere with the agency of element fire. Yajnya involves offering of specific organic substances into the fire accompanied by chanting of mantra vibrations and nurturing the feeling of total surrender to the will of Almighty. This is the secret of practice of Yajnya. Yajnya are based on various rhythms of nature. They are divided in to two types.
(1 ) Nitya (Daily) and (2) Naimittika (coinciding with special occasion). Some Yajnyas are performed on full moon and no moon days or on the advent or rise of various stars (Nakshatra Ishti) or the advent of specific seasons such as summer etc. During some Yajnyas the juice of the medicinal herb Soma is offered to the fire, which has tremendous purifying and healing effect on the atmosphere. Agnihotra is to be performed daily and hence it is Nitya Yajnya. It is performed at sunrise and sunset times which are the two most important circadian biorhythms of of nature. Agnihotra is ordained to be performed to coincide exactly with these vitally important transitional movements. The performance of Agnihotra creates pure, clean and medicinal atmosphere. It cleanses the negative effects of pollution on Prana. It relaxes the mind and unburdens the mind of all stress and strain. Regular practice of Agnihotra activates a healing cycle, making plants, animals happy and peaceful in it. Agnihotra is the simplest and easily practicable discipline for nurturing Total Surrender (Ishwar Pranidhan). Ishwar Pranidhan has been regarded as an alternative to the practice of Yoga and all other disciplines aimed at liberation. This is stated by the great seer Patanjali.

The performance of Agnihotra involves actually little time and expenditure. Exactly at local sunrise and sunset timings a small fire is prepared out of dried cow dung cakes in a semi-pyramid shaped copper or clay pot. Two offerings of raw rice smeared with a few drops of cow`s ghee are offered into the fire with the chanting of following mantras.
At Sunrise
1) Sooryaya Swaha , Sooryaya Idam Na Mama
(Make the first offering)
2) Prajapatayae Svaha, Prajapataye Idam Na Mama
(Make the second offering)
At Sunset
1) Agnaye Svaha, Agnaye Idam Na Mama
(Make the first offering)
2) Prajapatayae Svaha, Prajapataye Idam Na Mama
(Make the second offering)

DAAN
Daan is the second aspect of five fold path. It means sharing of ones assets in the spirit of service and humility. Attachments to material possessions burdens the mind. A man continuously clings mentally to his worldly possessions. This burdens him physically and mentally. A poor man does not have wealth and riches so he perpetually thinks about acquiring that object and for that purpose physically strains himself. This carving puts a lot of negative pressure on his mind and body. Having acquired he does not rest. He strives to retain it and acquire more. This is true also in the case of a rich man. The mind is never satisfied. Wants and attachments continuously keep everybody on the strenuous move and keep the mind strained and stressed. Daan develops a feeling of nonattachment to worldly possessions thus it is a great aid for unburdening and reliving stress on the mind. Daan should be practiced for helping our own mind and not for obliging others. It should not be practiced with a feeling that you are doing it for some one else’s benefit, but for your own sake. Daan should be practiced without the expectation of name or fame. One should not expect anything in return out of the act of Daan . A pure act of Daan is practiced with the feeling of humility. Otherwise, it becomes a commercial donation or advertisement.

Lord Jesus describes Daan in a perfect way ” But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. That thine alms may be in secret and the father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly ” – T. Matthew 6-3 & 4.

Daan should be practiced with wealth accumulated by sincere efforts and earning. The wealth should not be accumulated by immoral means. Daan should be given to a needy person. Giving food to a hungry being or allowing shelter to a homeless or sharing water with a thirsty is Daan. You should share your assets with a needy person who is not likely to spend the asset for indulgence in negative acts (Akarma). This is called Satpatra Daan. Daan is universal act because attachment is universal. It is the duty of both the rich and poor alike. Attachment gives rise to stress and creates hindrance to the state of happiness. A rich man is attached to his abundant wealth so is the poor man to his tiny fortune. Daan is necessary for both of them. Bhagwat Gita ( Chap 17, 20-22 ) describes Daan in a lucid manner.

” To perform Daan is my pure duty – a Daan practiced with this idea, in a proper and fitting place and time and to a worthy person without expecting any returns from him is known to be Sattvika Daan.

That Daan which is practiced with a view to receiving in return or looking towards its fruits or practiced grudgingly, is said to be Rajasika Daan.

The Daan that is practiced at a wrong place and time to any unworthy person, without regard or disdainfully is said to be Tamasika Daan. ”

TAPA
(Self Discipline):-Tapa is the third aspect of Five Fold Path for happy living. Tapa is a self-imposed discipline over body, mind and speech. Tapa is the mental and intellectual fire burnt by continuous and strenuous effort in which the six crocodiles, passion (Kama), anger (Krodha), pride(Mada), attachment (Moha), envy(Matsar), greed(Lobha), etc. which harass our mind are burnt. Our mind and body are like spoilt children. Actually their basic wants and needs for functioning are minimal. How much food does our body require to live? How much space does our body need for protection? Is there any special cloth that our body needs to continue breathing? All these basic need are minimal and simple. A poor man lives in a simple hut and rich person having physically the same make-up lives in a palatial house. What is the difference? It is our mind that creates the difference. If we develop a habit of living in a palace. Sleeping on soft and smooth beds,eating sumptuous food, our body and mind will continuously crave for it. If denied these perks, the body and mind will revolt against the condition and make you unhappy, sad and miserable. Think, are these things really necessary? Your mind is acting like a wild animal, like a spoilt child. It is undisciplined. It needs training and imposition of rules and regulations. The need of disciplining our mind and body is our own choice, it is a self imposed task and endeavor. It is born out of personal necessity. This self-disciplining is called Tapa.
Each and every person needs to follow tapa in one own way or another irrespective of class, sex, creed or anything. To be happy we must decide who is the master. Is it our body or is it our mind or is there a third entity residing in the body which is the master? Yes, the atman (soul) is the master. Body and mind are its slaves. These slaves have exploited their master and have started acting like wild animals. They have started harassing and unnecessarily burdening their master by creating stress and strain. Tapa is the means to tame them. Sincere desire and efforts to discipline ourselves, hard work and intellect are our weapons. Absolute concentration in using these weapons is necessary.

A common man has a peculiar impression about the word Tapa. They feel that to practice Tapa you must go to a forest, wear loin cloth or tree bark, live in a hut, grow a beard, have a sad look on your face etc. No. This is not true. The enemy is within your body. It is so close to you, then why go to a forest? Close your eyes and you will be in solitude. There are no prerequisites for the practice of Tapa. It can be practiced in your own house while fulfilling your worldly duties without even allowing others to know it. The idea is to minimize wants and needs of the body, control the outgoing tendency of the mind and discipline your sense organs. The reason is simply because these things burden our mind and create hindrance in attaining the state of happiness.

Illustrations of Tapa are difficult to quote. What act in context of one person is Tapa, may not be Tapa in case of other person. If a person is attached to food then he may think of disciplining himself by following food Tapa i.e., controlling the intake of food. But the fellow next door may be poor or sick and may be naturally consuming less food. Thus can we say that this person is also practicing food Tapa ? No. The idea is to eradicate attachment and carving. The other person may be addicted to alcohol. Food may not be his problem. The point is that the weakness and targets for practice of Tapa should be identified and decided by the person himself. According to Gita ( 17, 14 – 8 ) there are three types of Tapa:
” Nurturing devotion and regard towards holy persons, teachers etc. purity, straightforwardness, non indulgence in sex, nonviolence are physical Tapa.

Speech that does not hurt others and which is truthful, agreeable and beneficial, as also study of Vedas are said to be Tapa practiced with speech.

Serenity of mind, kindliness, silence, self-control, and purity of heart are said to be mental Tapa. This three fold Tapa practiced with great faith by men who are not desirous of fruit is said to be Sattvika Tapa.

That Tapa which is practiced to gain respect, honour, adoration, and that with ostentation and which is unsteady is said to be Rajasika Tapa.

That Tapa which is practiced out of foolish notion, with self-torture or for the purpose of ruining others is termed as Tamsika.

The practice of Tapa should be continued with courage. The battle between the mind and intellect is perpetual and unending. The mind is very powerful and cunning. It harps on a person’s weakness and shortcomings. It knows how to shatter the fortress of our plans. One has to fight the battle of Tapa with endurance, strong will power and strenuous efforts. If your mind deceives you and breaks you down, even then you must start afresh with out feeling sad, march towards the goal, the practice of Tapa should be continued.

Tapa will unleash potent powers of your mind. It will make your mind strong and free it from the bonds of six – fold vices called shadvikars. Tapa generates love and bliss. It makes you feel satisfied and self-confident. This the processes of character building through self discipline.

Even in the past without Tapa no one has attained knowledge of the self. By practice of Tapa will power is developed and nourished. It improves our perception and grants a special insight to see beyond the material world.

Desires are unending. It is like a vicious circle. The circle never ends. One keeps revolving around trying to satisfy them. One sensual desire fulfilled triggers another. By resorting to Tapa we can get out of this circle. It is by eradication of desires that happiness is achieved and not by gratification. One has to perceive the difference between need and desire. Tapa purifies the body and makes it a suitable instrument of the Divine.

KARMA
Karma is the fourth aspect of Five Fold path of Vedas. Karma means right action performed with out attachment. Its purpose is self-purification. Cause and effect is the universally accepted, elementary law of physics. Each result or action has a cause behind. If you create friction it will give rise to heat. If you create collision of two objects it will give rise to noise. If this principle is transposed to the realms of philosophy it takes the shape of ‘ Law of Karma ‘. It is described as ” reap as you sow “. Each action begets its fruits. Right action naturally begets good fruit; on the contrary, wrong action begets bad or miserable fruit. A good action is called Karma and bad action as akarma. Resultant to good Karma one experiences love, peace and happiness opposite to which Akarma creates misery and sorrow. Naturally if you sow good, tasty and healthy seeds, you will expect good fruits. You cannot expect tasty and good fruits from bad, diseased and poisoned seeds. All that has been stated here is pure sense and logic. This the simple but important law of Karma of the Vedic Fivefold Path. Vedic scriptures state in concrete, unambiguous and clear words what is good action, what is bad action. For that matter all scriptures, revelations, sayings of prophets, masters, avatars, saints, etc. based on the Vedas clearly state the right actions. One should follow these directions in day-to-day life. It is easy and there can be no confusion.

For even a single fraction of a moment one can never remain without committing an action. Action is ever present. You move, speak, laugh, hear, eat, run and breath every moment of your existence.

A living being is compelled to perform actions continuously. Vedas state that one must perform all necessary Karma. One should thoroughly and mindfully perceive the difference between good Karma and negative Karma. Because Karma creates bondage it is not practical to avoid performing actions. The ancient Yogis and Sages like Janaka, etc. have attained perfection while performing their ordained duties. They have never run away from duties due to fear of Karmic bondage. Having shunned your sense organs from exterior action, if you mentally indulge in pleasures of sensual organs then it is clear hypocrisy. It is better to perform the actions of your body without being attached to them. The Vedic secret of Karma is that a person must undertake all necessary and ordained Karmas in his life. The only thing is that he is to alertly follow the injunctions of Vedas to reason what is good action and what is bad-action. While performing Karma one has to stay away from expectations of the fruits of one’s Karma.

Practice of truth (Satya), non-violence (Ahimsa), compassion (Daya), pondering on holy or pure thoughts (Shiva-sankalpa), Sharing with needy
(Daan), pure way of life, celibacy or non indulgence in sex (Bhramacharya), abstinence from anger, alcohol, theft, etc. are some ideal Karmas ordained by Vedas. At every step Vedas guide us as to what is good Karma and what is an evil Karma. There is a list of such ” Do’s and don’ts ” handed down by our scriptures. One has to follow them with alertness and mind fullness. When we achieve this state then all our actions or Karma yields self-purification. It then ceases to be bondage. This is the state of Karmayogi.

Vedas ordain performance of Yajnyas ( Agnihotra ) as the first and foremost action. It is stated that if you indulge in Karma for the performance of Yajnya you are not bound by the resultant bondage. The Karma involved in the performance of Yajnya leads to surrender and self-realization. It is such because the Almighty Father has ordained Yajnya simultaneously with the creation of the Universe.

SWADHYAYA
Swadhyaya is the fifth aspect of Five Fold Path. The word Swadhyaya comes from the combination of two Sanskrit words i.e. ‘ Swa ‘ ( self or pertaining to self), Adhyaya ( study ): hence, it means self study for attainment of liberation. The Yoga tradition of Patanjalii includes Swadhyaya in Kriyayoga.

Swadhyaya means the study of ” who am I “. It is the understanding of and experiencing the true nature of the self (atman) and the cosmic- self
(paramatman). It is the study and meditation of whom we call ‘ me ‘ or ‘ I ‘ in its real sense. Is the body ‘ me ‘ or is my mind ‘ me ‘ or is there an additional entity in the body governing my thinking pattern and impeding me towards indulgence in action ? Which is ‘ I ‘ in the real sense ? Is my body and mind the master of my ‘ self ‘ or is it my ‘ self ‘ that is the main entity which has assumed the human form with body and mind ? What is the purpose of my assuming the body and mind ? How can I liberate my ‘self ‘ from the bonds and cycles of birth and rebirth ? What is the real nature of the universe ? Is it real or unreal ? Is it eternal or perishable ? What is the aim of my life ? All these questions are dealt in the personal Swadhyaya. Meditating on these themes is Swadhyaya. Perfect guidance on these matters can be authoritatively given only by Vedas. Thus Swadhyaya means study and meditation on Vedas and the scriptures relating to Vedas handed down by masters, yogis, prophets and messengers.

Swadhyaya means understanding the real nature of Karma. We have to apply our power of discrimination to differentiate between right and wrong, good and evil. Meditating on this is Swadhyaya.

Our sense organs give us a tremendous pull towards their objects of enjoyment. We are forced by our mind and body towards objects of sensual pleasures. But once having attained that experience do our organs feel satisfied or gratified ? No every satisfaction of desire gives rise to many more carvings. Then what is the means of controlling our needs and carvings of desire ?
This is Swadhyaya.

Swadhyaya can be practiced by means of repetition of any Vedic or Guru-ordained Mantra with absolute attention. It is not mere Mechanical recitation but is an effort of identifying with the purport of mantras simultaneously with repetition. This automatically unlocks abundant mental energies, Resultant to which one experiences peace and bliss. The Gayatri Mantra is a mantra, which has tremendous vibrational efficacy. One may recite this mantra as a part of his Swadhyaya. Continuous repetition of mantra unlocks subtle energies of the mind and answers to many questions of Swadhyaya are experienced.

sanjay gajare
Nov 18, 2008 11:52

Hi,

I do not understand religion in depth or have mastery over the same. My simple understanding of the religion is the one which will help an individual to live his/ her life happily. Religion should not differential any one on the basis of color, cast, geography or societal status. There should be concept of social responsibility.

It should be very simple that even uneducated person should be able to perform.
I have come across a very useful thing. I am not able to sure whether to call it religion or not. They never say that you need to touch their feet. They have gone to extent that outside their temple there is no flower or sweet seller (in Hindu religion it is tradition to offer flowers and then distribute sweets to all who are outside). Their timing can not be erred. It is said that sun may miss the timing of sunrise or sunset but their daily work will happen as per the time which is decided for centuries together in advance.

They do not ask for the donations. Whoever gives the donation get the receipt? While distributing the food they do not look at your colour, dress or religion. Director of the institute has studied all religions with great respect and is authority on many subjects. But he talks as of he is just another person which makes him accessible to all people who come to the institute. I have seen them buying the flowers from Musilm religion sellers to worship the hindu gods.

So Do are you interested in knowing what it is?

It is called as Agnihotra.
It is simple lifestyle which will help you in many areas. Just to make a list it can be stress management, mental peace, organic farming, pollution control, home made medicines (means you make your own medicines).. opps I am going out space but list is not getting over.

For further details please have a look at following: http://www.agnihotraindia.com

ulrike reinhard
Nov 18, 2008 12:33

Hi,

I just want to make clear that WE has nothing to do with charterforcompassion.org. We’ve just posted it … maybe you would like to make your comments there as well?

It is just a suggestion!

Best, Ulrike

Leave a Reply

Comment





Other we_initiatives


we_the_school