Archive for the ‘india’ Category


By Dr. Vidagdha Bennett

Most tourists arrive in Kolkata clutching the latest guidebook to India as if it were a lifeline tossed in a stormy and troubled sea. The 2007 edition from Lonely Planet, to take one popular example, is reassuringly crammed with well-researched facts on all the practical aspects of travelling in the sub-continent. The section on Kolkata prescribes exactly what to do, where to stay according to your budget, places to eat – and how to exit the city rapidly once you have exhausted the slender range of options that are listed. In practice, I found that this tome is, without doubt, a compendium of vital information should you happen to be a ‘casual’ traveller, someone who is just passing through the city on the way to, say, Darjeeling or Varanasi, someone who wants to skim the surface and cross Kolkata off the list of 100 places you hoped to see before you die.

Read On…

The Illumined Man



Tell me of the man who lives in wisdom,
Ever aware of the Self, O Krishna;
How does he talk, how sit, how move about?

Sri Krishna:

He lives in wisdom
Who sees himself in all and all in him,
Whose love for the Lord of Love has consumed
Every selfish desire and sense-craving
Tormenting the heart. Not agitated
By grief nor hankering after pleasure,
He lives free from lust and fear and anger
Fettered no more by selfish attachments,
He is not elated by good fortune
Nor depressed by bad. Such is the seer.

Even as a tortoise draws in its limbs
The sage can draw in his senses at will.
An aspirant abstains from sense-pleasures,
But he still craves for them. These cravings all
Disappear when he sees the Lord of Love.
For even of one who treads the path
The stormy senses can sweep off the mind.
But he lives in wisdom who subdues them,
And keeps his mind ever absorbed in me.


From Bhagavad Gita


Akbar – India’s philosopher king

By: Kate Carvalho


Akbar the Great

Akbar the Great Moghul emperor ruled Northern India from 1556 to 1605. He was a great leader, warrior, hunter, a lover of nature and the arts, expert sportsman and philosopher. Akbar was a multifaceted man – a master of all arts, yet one of his most revered qualities and greatest legacies was his great love for and practice of religious tolerance. Viewed in the context of the era in which Akbar lived this is all the more astonishing and impressive. In a time where wars constantly waged in the name of religion, prejudice was rife in many parts of the world and would remain so for hundreds of years, Akbar practiced an unprecedented kindness, compassion and reverence for many religious other than his own Muslim faith.

Akbar ruled Hindus, Muslims, Zoroastrians, and Jains, members of which were all treated equally under his philosophy of sulahkul or "universal tolerance. With Akbar as their ruler, for the first time in their history India had a Muslim leader who not only tolerated the many other religions, but actively sought out their guidance and wisdom.

One of the first of Akbar’s actions that endeared him to the Hindu population was his abolition of two fiercely resented taxes. The first tax was on all Hindu pilgrims when they visited their shrines, the second tax was the jizya – a severe tax on all non muslims. The abolition of these two taxes were greatly appreciated by Akbars Hindu subjects and lent strength to his rule.

Akbar unified India as no other ruler had done before. He secured allegiance from the Rajput emperor of Amber by marrying his daughter thus making him a powerful ally. His new wife who was given the revered title Maryam az-Zamani was allowed to practice her own religion, this was a first time a Hindu woman was allowed to worship freely in a Muslim harem and it set a precedent. From that day forward all Hindu women within the harem were free to follow their own faith.

In 1575 Akbar created the Ibadatkhana, the House of Worship, as a place of religious debate and dialogue. Wise men of all religions were invited to come to the Ibadatkhana on Friday nights to discuss religion and philosophy. After presiding over many of these discussions Akbar became more and more convinced of the value and righteousness of all religions, he felt confined by the narrow limits of one religion and sought more spiritual answers from Hinduism. He adopted many of their customs, he fasted regularly, abstained from meat, visited the holy places that Hindu’s worshipped, he drank the holy water from the river Ganges and sought advice from Hindu sages and holy men.

Akbar also invited Catholic priests from Goa to his palace to enlighten him on Christianity and the words of the Christ. When they presented him with their gift – Europe’s newest and most lavish printed edition of the Bible, a seven-volume set with many illustrations. Akbar prayerfully kissed each volume, and then touched each one to his head.

Akbar sought to unite all his subjects no matter their creed or faith. He accomplished this enormous feat and as a result his kingdom flourished. Akbar was revered and loved by his subjects and is remembered as India’s greatest ruler.

Article By: Kate Carvalho, Sri Chinmoy Centre

Akbar the Great

Stories about Akbar the Great by Sri Chinmoy

The Genius of India – Video

In an essay written in 1918 and entitled The Renaissance in India, Sri Aurobindo presents us with a masterly view of India’s culture through the ages — her essential spirit and her characteristic soul, her unique genius and powers which gave her her remarkably long periods of greatness and an unusually prolific creativity — that which allowed her to survive for so long when other ancient civilisations faded away. He explains the basis of her strength — that which enabled her to resist so many attempts at crushing her culture.


“Spirituality is the master key of the indian mind. the sense of infinity is native to it

– From video

See also: Genius of India at Auroville

The Young Boy “Buddha” from Nepal

young boy buddha from nepal

Quite an interesting story, a little outdated now but still worth mentioning.

A young boy by the name of Ram Bomjan decided to meditate under a tree continuously for several months. His followers claimed that during this time he didn’t take any food or water. When his activities were observed by a Nepalese government team who gained permission to observe the boy continually for 48 hours. They found that to their amazement, he did remain rigid and focused in meditation.

Back in March he disappeared, perhaps because of all the interest he was receiving. Many locals believe he has gone to meditate in peace away from the glare of the media spotlight.

I feel the boy is genuine. That does not necessarily mean he is a reincarnation of the Buddha. But he seems an advanced soul who has practised meditation sincerly before. Whether he is eating or not. It is worth noting there are not many 16 year old boys who can still still motionless for 10 minutes. Let alone practically all day. His parents say as a young boy he had a particular strong sense of compassion for living creatures.

Photos Bodghaya

Bodhgaya where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

Gaya is located at a distance of 105 km from Patna in the state of Bihar. Buddha Gaya is located 7 miles south of Gaya and is one of the well visited Buddhist pilgrimage centers of the Indian subcontinent.

"The Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment is considered to be the among the oldest and the most venerated tree in the world. This tree is said to be a descendant of the original tree, a branch of which was transplanted at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka during the period of Emperor Ashoka the great. It is believed that Emperor Ashoka’s Guru Upagupta led him to various holy sites in the Buddhist tradition, including this tree at Gaya. "

Karma Capitalism

A very interesting article in business week. Modern business leaders are increasingly looking to the wisdom of India for practical solutions to creating a successful business. There is a growing realisation that a successful business does not have to compromise its principles. In fact an "ethical" business which seeks to promote the well being of its workers and consumers can actually be a very successful business model.

" THE ANCIENT SPIRITUAL wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita seems at first like an odd choice for guiding today’s numbers-driven managers. Also known as Song of the Divine One, the work relates a conversation between the supreme deity Krishna and Arjuna, a warrior prince struggling with a moral crisis before a crucial battle. One key message is that enlightened leaders should master any impulses or emotions that cloud sound judgment. Good leaders are selfless, take initiative, and focus on their duty rather than obsessing over outcomes or financial gain. "The key point," says Ram Charan, a coach to CEOs such as General Electric Co.’s (GE) Jeffrey R. Immelt, "is to put purpose before self. This is absolutely applicable to corporate leadership today."

Read more Karma Capitalism at

thanks to Slava, Sri Chinmoy Inspiration Group for pointing this out.

My Country Awake – poem by Tagore

My Country Awake

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

by Rabindranath Tagore

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