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Archive for November, 2008

Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning either “coiled up” or “coiling like a snake.” Kundalini is mainly associated with Hinduism. However, Kundalini as a spiritual experience is thought to have parallels in many of the mystical and gnostic traditions of the world’s great religions.

The early Christians might have referred to the concept as ‘pneuma’, and there are some recent parallels in contemporary Christian Charismatic ‘Holy Ghost’ phenomena. Religious studies also note parallels in Quakerism, Shakerism, Judaic Shuckling (torso-rocking prayer), the swaying zikr and whirling dervish of Islam, the quiverings of the Eastern Orthodox hesychast, the flowing movements of tai chi, the ecstatic shamanic dance and the ntum trance dance of the Bushman. kundalini1

Picture Courtesy: Ellie Crystal

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One of the symbols of Zoroastrianism, The Faravahar or Frawahr

One of the symbols of Zoroastrianism, The Faravahar or Frawahr

Zoroaster or Zarathushtra , also referred to as Zartosht, was an ancient Iranian prophet and religious poet. The Gathas, which are the hymns attributed to him, are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism.

Zoroaster as perceived by his followers

Zoroaster as perceived by his followers

In his revelation, the prophet saw the universe as the cosmic struggle between aša which is  “truth” and druj which is “lie.” The concept of aša which is only vaguely translatable – is said to be at the foundation of all other Zoroastrian doctrine, including that of Ahura Mazda (who is aša), creation (that is aša), existence (that is aša) and Free Will. This is said to be Zoroaster’s greatest contribution to religious philosophy.

The purpose of humankind, like that of all other creation, is to sustain aša, the truth through active participation in life and the exercise of good thoughts, words and deeds.

 

 

Picture Courtesy: Internet

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Religious cosmology is a way of explaining the history and evolution of the universe based on the acceptance of principles that cannot be justified by accepted scientific arguments. Some religious cosmologies are based on the teachings of particular religions or religious texts, whereas others are more general reactions to perceived difficulties in explaining the entire universe without the actions of a coordinating intelligence.

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Baha'i House of Worship in Willmette, IL, USA

Baha'i House of Worship in Willmette,IL,USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Courtesy: Internet

Bahá’í Houses of Worship are open to people of all faiths – or of no particular faith. The name used in the Bahá’í writings for Houses of Worship is Mashriqu’l-Adhkár (Dawning-place of the Remembrance of God) and the services focus only on the worship of God.

There are no collections and no sermons in the Temple, only the Word of God is uttered along with readings from all the Holy Writings of the earth. The only instrument used in the Temple is the human voice, and the choir in any Bahá’í House of Worship sings without instrumental accompaniment. As the Bahá’í Faith has no priesthood, ordinary members of the community; men and women, adults and children read the texts.

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~Ouroboros~

The ‘Ouroboros’, also known as ‘the tail devouring snake’  is an ancient symbol exhibiting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. ouroboros

The ‘Ouroboros’ often represents “Self-reflexivity” or a cycle; in the sense that things or entities are constantly re-creating themselves.

It also represents the idea of primordial unity related to something existing from the beginning with such force or qualities that it cannot be extinguished.

 

 

Picture Courtesy: Internet

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~Anthroposophy~

Reach your Higher Consciousness

Reach your Higher Consciousness

Anthroposophy, a spiritual science was founded by  Rudolf Steiner and it is a philosophy (or as some claim, a religion) that sprung from the Theosophy movement.

Rudolf Steiner, was an Austrian philosopher, literary scholar, architect, playwright, educator, and social thinker, who is best known as the founder of Anthroposophy and its practical applications.

He characterized his system of Anthroposophy as follows:

”Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge, to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe… Anthroposophists are those who experience, as an essential need of life, certain questions on the nature of the human being and the universe, just as one experiences hunger and thirst.”  

 The main focus of an anthroposophist is to be “more human” by becoming more conscious about one’s thoughts and deeds. One may reach higher levels of consciousness through meditation, observation and openness over a lifelong “quest”.

 

Picture Courtesy: Ellie Crystal

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The Altar of the Guaracy Spiritual Tent in Rio North Zone.

The Altar of the Guaracy Spiritual Tent in Rio North Zone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Picture Courtesy: Internet

 

Umbanda is the name of an Afro-Brazilian religion that mixes teachings of Alan Kardec’s spiritism , Catholicism and sects brought by the African slaves. Umbanda practices are usually directed by a man or woman called “Pai (or Mãe) de Santo” (saint’s father or mother), a medium that could incorporate died people’s spirits, called “Entidades” (Entities).
These spirits could be Caboclos (Indians), religious figures, doctors, african or brazilian negros as “Pretos Velhos”(Old Blacks). These happen in meetings called “Sessões”(Sessions), in the Tent, a big room with an altar, where members sing “Pontos” (Points, chants for an entity), dance or just hold the entity’s counsels.
Umbanda is often confused with ‘macumba’ by some Brazilians. ‘Macumba’ is another Afro-Brazilian religion, or Black Sorcery, considered by Umbanda specialists as a distortion, because it is based on evil practices, destined to harm presumed enemies, evoking undeveloped spirits, that could be equivalents to the Catholic Hell creatures.
The true Umbandists just practice White Sorcery rituals. In other words, it is done to improve a person’s life, to practice a goodness and never to harm anybody.

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