Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bodhisattva way of Life


For past few months; thanks to a friend; I have been attending meditation sessions conducted by a group of passionate practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism.

I came across a term known as "Bodhisattvas". Quite intrigued ; i was keen on knowing who are these people. Post discussions with senior teacher; i realised that the above words of Songyal Rinpoche holds value. The world seriously requires Bodhisattvas to heal the pain & suffering that is prevalent due to civil wars, racism, terrorism, economic disparity among others.   

I shall try & explain who Bodhisattvas are & why we must practice Bodhisattva way of life.

What is a Bodhisattva way of life?
The human heart is capable of both great compassion & empathy and also violent brutality. The ability to direct the orientation of our heart distinguishes us from other animals.

One often hears examples of how parents sacrifice personal comfort for the sake of a child’s well being, or act of kindness between strangers. Yet the same heart can harbor rage, bigotry, resentment and self-deprecation; which is on a rise like terrorism, wars in Middle East, hate crimes which have affected millions globally.

It is the simple orientation of our hearts that ultimately determines whether we create societies characterized by joy and dignity or crippled by conflict, fear and despair.  This orientation can be brought about by following Bodhisattva way of life.

A bodhisattva is literally a living being (sativa) who aspires to enlightenment (bodhi) and gives ray of hope to those who are suffering by reaching out and removing pain through compassion and actions. By doing so; Bodhisattvas’ renounce their own salvation and immediate entrance into nirvana.

President Ikeda mentions that to be a good human being; one must practice Bodhisattva way of life by relentless giving light of hope & compassions by actions to people who are suffering. A Bodhisattva realizes that any happiness we alone enjoy is incomplete and we must devote ourselves to removing others' suffering. Those in this state find their greatest satisfaction in altruistic behavior. The predominant characteristic of a bodhisattva is therefore compassion.

For the followers of Nichiren Buddhism, Bodhisattva practice is based on concept of "practice for oneself and others." The core of practicing for oneself is the recitation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo along with key passages from the sutra. The purpose of this practice is to revolutionize one's inner life, to develop the qualities of the Buddha: courage, wisdom, compassion.

Many people initially practice Buddhism by the desire for personal happiness, to overcome illness or other difficulties. As their life-state expands, they develop a deeper compassion & empathy for other people’s happiness.

Bodhisattvas are thus naturally engaged in society, actively struggling both to change themselves and make the world a better, more humane place for all people. This chanting of chapters from Lotus sutra along with prayers helps us to be valuable participants in society, and to contribute as much as possible to their family, workplace and community.

References:
Image: Google
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Golden Temple & Wagah Border, Amritsar, India

Visiting Amritsar & famed Golden Temple has been on my wish list for a real long time. There were 2 missed opportunities in past which made me wonder whether it was in my destiny to visit the place !! Guess; I got third time lucky & finally in February 2015; visited Amritsar & Golden Temple.

Visiting the temple was a great feeling. One gets overwhelmed by the feeling of peace and tranquility. Despite the large number of devotees; the noise is very minimal . The entire complex is very clean and well managed. Also a must visit is the langar at the temple; which feeds thousands of devouts daily without any discrimination of caste & creed. 

 Another added attraction was famous Wagah Border - the border crossing between India & Pakistan. There is a daily ceremony  in which Border Security Force & Pakistan Rangers have a Beating Retreat march with crowds cheering on both the side. 
If  you are in Amritsar & haven't tried out various famous eating joints ; your trip has been wasted.  Right from the famous Golden Temple langar to famous "dhabas" - some more than century old; the city has various eating options for veg & non veg  and definitely for sweet lovers !


The famous Golden Temple glistening in the morning sun

Nihang - Sikh warrior 

Akal Thakt

People queuing up to enter the holy place

Golden fishes in the holy sarovar [pond]

Minarets built as watchtowers to prevent Mughal attacks 

Harmandir Sahib in its fully glory during night

Akal Takht at night 

Outside the temple at night

Outside the temple at night
Tempted to visit Lahore :) !! 

BSF jawans at the border

The famous Indo Pak border crossing. Indian side is on the foreground with Pakistani side in the background

Indian audience eagerly awaiting for the ceremony to start

BSF jawans practising for the flag lowering ceremony

Friday, June 19, 2015

Clouds


There's something magical about clouds ' especially during monsoons.. The Sun trying to break thru dark monsoon clouds & the golden hue it spreads on the environment is a delight !








Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Road Trip - A drive thru the countryside !!

Monsoon always makes travel a pleasant experience

Road to no where

Green bounty

Rain clouds

sneak peek by Sun

rails + countryside = a winning combination

Jog Falls 

Jog Falls 

Backwaters of sharavati river..

Other side of the river

River bank

safedi ka secret ??

Face in the crowd..

As in life .. intertwined ..

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A peek in to Seven Bungalows history !!!




Came across a blog on history of good ol' 7 Bungalows and a superb aerial shot. Read on to get an insight in to history of 7 Bungalows and compare it with its present day avatar of the trendy upmarket area !!

The round seven bungalows garden-named 'DN garden' in memory of Dadabhoy Nawroji's bungalow which was near, can be seen as a round lake - the present day 'nana nani' park(which was built later in 1990's) was a long line of coconut trees (seen as 3 lines of coconut trees) in front of the bungalows.

The huts near the lake (now garden) were occupied by East Indian Christians. Salt pans (to the right) and tidal area were covered by high tide up to 4 bungalows.
The two isolated huts seen in front of the lake near the salt pan were later in 1980 bought by Raheja builders and made into Spring Leaf society where the present day Costa Coffee restaurant is now.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Munchin' thru Indore's Sarafa Bazar

An unplanned trip to Indore was a total delight !! The highlight was a walk thru Sarafa Bazar's famous eating places with inflationaryproof prices is a foodie's dream come true :) These vibrant "khau gallis"come alive post 830 pm; once the main wholesale market shuts down for the day.

     Rabdi, Gajar ka halwa & the lucky shopkeeper with unlimited access to them :)
    Another of my fave - Gulab jamun along with Malpua..
            Ever tried Gulab Jamun on a butterscotch ice cream?? A sinful combo..

Butte ka khees - grated corn toppped with chopped onions, sev etc..                        Another local fave..

Dahi Bada - not vada ; as it is pronounced in Mumbai.. Preferably had at Joshi Dahi Bada shop in Sarafa; where he tosses Dahi bada in the air ; without a single drop spilling out..

Gajar Halwa .. missing it :( 

A indicative price list of sinful delights !!!

Crowded street scene in Sarafa Bazar..

Khajrana Ganesh Temple
Khajrana Ganesh Temple - Built in 1875, by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, this is supposed to be the tallest Ganapati statue in the world measuring 8 meters.

Rajwada during the night..

flying out of Indore :( 




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Trip down the memory lane - Old pics of Bombay aka Mumbai

Came across these magnificant old Bombay [ not Mumbai !! ] pics. Can you ever imagine VT station looking like this or a bird's eye view of Flora Fountain [ not Hutamata chowk !!!]. Check out Churchgate station.. It was just a shed back in 1910's.. Its pretty sad to see VT- Flora Fountain - Colaba stretch with its heritage buildings being totally defaced & neglected & over run with huge population; who have " no time to stand & stare" - as in the poem learnt in school !

VT Station minus the defacement, posters & the trash !!



Churchgate Station - 1910s

Colaba station [yes !! there was a railway station back then; before it was demolished ] or is it Churchgate station ??


Can you ever imagine that this Flora Fountain ?????