viernes, 1 de abril de 2011

Ten Transcendental Tips To Better Chanting

Sankarshana Das Adhikari

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the world part 1

india - orissa
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russia - nizhny novgorod

Icon of the Pechorsky Monastery in Nizhny Novgorod.

Nizhny Novgorod, 400 kilometers east of Moscow, is the third largest (after the capital and Saint-Petersburg) city in Russia with a million and a half inhabitants. Nizhny Novgorod is the wonderfully original ancient center of the Volga region. It was founded at the beginning of the 13th century at the confluence of two big rivers - the Volga and the Oka. A sign of this ancient city of Russia is the Kremlin on the high Volga bank, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the fallen soldiers of the Second World War. The city of Nizhny Novgorod has preserved many unique historical, architectural and cultural monuments. Because of these monuments, UNESCO has included Nizhny Novgorod on the list of the 100 cities in the world that represent world historical and cultural value.

From 1932 to 1990, the city was known as Gorky (Го́рький), after the writer
Maxim Gorky who was born there.



Angkor Wat - Treasures of Angkor.

Noted for its architectural and artistic perfection, not to mention its sheer size, Angkor Wat is the most famous and no doubt the most remarkable of all of Cambodia's ancient temples. Combining great technical mastery on an unprecedented scale with extraordinary architectural and artistic innovations, Angkor Wat has a unique place in the long ancient Khmer tradition of the royal "Temple-Mountain.". Built in the 12th century in the reign of King Suryavarman II, this was the residence of Vishnu, the divine palace in which the King himself was to reside after death. The construction is thought to have taken some thirty years of intensive labor.
In the "Middle Period", notably in the 16th century, Angkor Wat, then known as Preah Pisnulok (the posthumous name of its royal founder), became a site of Buddhist pilgrimage not only for the Khmer people but for much of Southeast Asia, and indeed for other more distant Asian peoples. Today, the Khmer people see in "Little Angkor" (the familiar name of Angkor Wat), the symbol of their nation. Angkor Wat, forming a rectangle of about 1,500 by 1,300 metres, covers an area including its 190 metre wide moats - of nearly 200 hectares. The external enclosure wall defines an expanse of 1,025 metres by 800, or 82 hectares. It is the largest monument of the Angkor group.


the silk road

Samarkand - the Capital of Tamerlane
Samarkand is situated in the valley of the river Zarafshan. It is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and is of the same age as the city of Babylon or Rome. The history of Samarkand is about 2,500 years old and has witnessed a lot of upheavals during the times of Alexander the Great, the Arabic Conquest, Genghis-Khan Conquest and lastly Tamerlane's. Hence, the culture of Samarkand was developed and mixed together with the Iranian, Indian, Mongolian and a bit of the Western and Eastern cultures. Majestic and beautiful city Samarkand has a marvelous and attractive power. Poets and historians of the past called it "Rome of the East, The beauty of sublunary countries, The pearl of the Eastern Moslem World". Its advantageous geographical position in Zarafshan valley put Samarkand to the first place among cities of the Central Asia.

Registan Square, Samarkand
During centuries Registan Square was the center of Samarkand. The word Registan means “sand place”. There was a river running there many ages ago, before building the first Madrassah on the square. Years passed, the river dried out and left lots of sank there, that was the first place where the first Madrassah was built in the beginning of the 15th century and named Registan square. As the Madrassah was first built, all the holidays, parades, festivals and Sunday bazaars took place. The ensemble consists of three Madrassah: Ulugbek Madrassah (15th century), Sher – Dor Madrassah (17th century) and Tilla-Kari Madrassah (gold covered)(17th century). Madrassah– is the Muslim high educational institution. Only the boys from reach families studied there. The training lasted for 10, 12, 20 years. It was up to the discipline the student selected. The main discipline for all of them was Learning Koran. The rest of the subjects were not obligatory and could be selected by students.The Ulugbek Madrassah was built by the Ulugbek’s order and guidance. It lasted only three years from 1417 to 1420. When the medresse was constructed, Ulugbek gave lectures on mathematics and astronomy till his death. Two years later, the ruler of Samarkand Yalangtush Bahadur ordered to build the copy of the Madrassah, and the second Sher-Dor Madrassah was built opposite it. The only difference was that it had two more winter teaching halls, but the main structure was the same as in Ulugbek Madrassah. Several years later, the same ruler of Samarkand ordered the third Tilla-Kari Madrassah. It’s outward is the same as those two other medresses, but coming in you’ll see a one story building. To make the architectural ensemble, the architecture made two floors on the outside but only one inside. Madrassah was always built by one project – four-cornered yard with four terraces and cells along the whole perimeter. The main entrance was always locked with lattice and two other entrances were used by purpose. The doors in cell were always low because “Islam” means “obedience”, that is why everyone who entered or went out of cell always had to bow, it was like greeting and wishing health to everyone. Only Tilla-Kari Madrassah was bult like medresse, but was used mostly as mosque; just looking at minarets can see this, Tilla-Kari has low minarets to call people to pray. In 17th century Till-Kari mosque and Madrassah was the biggest mosque in Samarkand. Right up to 19th century Madrassah and Madrassah-mosque was used by purpose, and only from the beginning of 20th century till now they serve as monuments. “Eden of Ancient East”, “Precious Pearl of Islam World”, “ Rome of East”, “Rui Zamin”-“Face of Earth”-with such magnificent names poets, historians, medieval geographers of Iran, India, China, Byzantium, Egypt called Samarkand. Even though of such magnificent description Samarkand saw many sites of fire and destructions, which left their sign in history. During centuries Samarkand was gained by different nomadic and half nomadic generations, which always were destroying, sacking, and leaving ruins after them. Samarkand saw three the largest tragedies. 1. The first ine is related to the time of Aleksandr Macedonian’s gains in 329 year BC; the city was fully destroyed, citizens were exterminated. After reconstruction of the city there was a development of different crafts, the east and Greek cultures mixed together, and this left its sign in the history of Samarkand. 2. The second tragedy is related to 8th century, when Arabs were gaining the Central Asia. Stating from 8th century Islam became main religion in Central Asia. Before that time there were different religions in Central Asia but the main was zoroastrism. And only Arabs with sword and fire, destroying people brought new religion Islam to Central Asia. And till now it is still main religion here. 3. Third tragedy is related to 13th century, when Chigiz han was gaining the Central Asia. When the city was destroyed, Samarkand ame to the new decline. And only in 14th century when Timur came to the power Samarkand was reconstructed. 14-15th centuries are called the Renaissance because Timur brought scientists from each aggressive crusade. In particular he was assisted in development of different sciences in Central Asia. Samarkand reached the highest level of development only during Timur’s government, though he is described as cruel gainer in history. All this was happened because during 35 year he brought with him mathematicians, astronomers, architectures, and musicians from his aggressive campaigns to his country. Architectures from many countries participated in the construction of many monuments. Picture of rising sun with lions chasing after fallow-deers is the illustration of it. It is not allow illustrating animals and people in Islam. But Sher-Dor medresse is decorated exactly with pictures of animals. What is concerned about decoration of the whole ensemble, here it is possible to see the difference in designing of tympanums of every medresse. If in Ulugbek medresse cable is often repeating, but in 17th century medresse no picture is repeated because it was prohibited in that time to repeat the pictures in architectures work. Geometric, letter design, and crockets were used in designing.


india - orissa

Between the 9th and 13th centuries, the Hindu kings of Orissa built an enormous
number of temples in Bhubaneswar, in part to encourage and celebrate the supplanting of Buddhism by Hinduism in the region. At one stage, Bhubaneswar is said to have had 5,000 temples, and at least 500 of these survive. Orissan temple architecture has a very distinctive style, with a steep, slightly tapering tower above the sanctum sanctorum.

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Meditations on Pure Bhakti #13

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Ten Transcendental Tips To Better Chanting

Here are tens tips for improved chanting:

1. Serve those who serve the Lord, don't criticize them out of envy or false ego.

2. Worship Krishna as the "source of all spiritual and material worlds", "the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities." Show respect to demigods like Lord Siva or Ganesh and personalities like Hanuman as exalted devotees of Lord Krishna.

3. Show full respect to the spiritual master in thoughts, words and actions, considering him to be a representative of the Lord. Carry out the orders of the spiritual master with enthusiasm and attention to detail.

4. Honor (and study) the scriptures as the instructions of the Supreme Lord (dharmam tu saksad bhagavat pranitam) with the desire to understand how they are correct (not if they are correct).

5. Have faith that the Holy Name is not a mundane sound vibration, but is in fact transcendental sound, descending from the (pure) spiritual platform.

6. Have faith in the explanations and glorification of the Holy Name given by guru, sadhu and sastra. This knowledge is given by those who have experienced the glories of the Holy Name, and who have "seen the truth."

7. Root out the desire to commit sins. A sin is an action that is not connected to the Supreme Lord; something done for the gratification of the senses. Acting only for the pleasure of the material body brings you further from practical realization of your factual identity as an eternal spirit soul (separate from the temporary material body).

8. Give up ritualistic pious activities. Transcend feelings of duty and obligation and perform all activities for the pleasure of Krishna.

9. Discuss the glories of the Holy Name with servants of the Lord who will relish hearing about it.

10. Chant attentively, absorbing your full consciousness in the transcendental vibration of the Holy Name.

If you can seriously follow the above ten guidelines your chanting will improve by leaps and bounds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Sankarshan Gurudeva chanting Japa

Introduction to the Mahamantra

At the house of Jagadananda das in Chicago, Illinois, USA





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