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Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi (1879–1950) is widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding Indian gurus of modern times.He was born as Venkataraman Iyer, in Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu,India.

At the age of sixteen, Venkataraman lost his sense of individual selfhood. Ramana Maharshi himself explains  this experience in his own words. Read more…

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The prophet Mohammed

The Prophet Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula . His father, Abdullah, died several weeks before his birth in Yathrib (Medinah) where he went to visit his father’s maternal relatives. His mother died while on the return journey from Medinah at a place called ‘Abwa’ when he was six years old. He was raised by his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, and then by his uncle, Abu Talib.

Under the guardianship of Abu Talib, Muhammad began to earn a living as a businessman and a trader. At the age of twelve, he accompanied Abu Talib with a merchant caravan as far as Bostra in Syria. Muhammad was popularly known as ‘al-Ameen’ for his unimpeachable character by the Makkans and visitors alike. The title Al-Ameen means the Honest, the Reliable and the Trustworthy, and it signified the highest standard of moral and public life.
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Origin of Dravidians.

The Dravidian race consists predominantly of south Indians. They are characterized by their dark complexion, large foreheads and dark hair and eyes. According to experts, this race arrived in India around 3000 B C.The word Dravida may also have its origin from Sanskrit ‘drava’ – meaning “flowing” or “watery”. The word Dravidian may have been used to identify people living close to the water.

Dravidians

The Dravidians were India’s first inhabitants.Archaeologists believe the Dravidians migrated to India from East Africa in prehistoric times.After their settlement in India, they established a very sophisticated culture. Their religion was earth centric and was based on the worship of life-giving forces in nature. They made offerings of plants and herbs to these force. Read more…

Messenger of buddha

king Ashoka

During the third century BC, Buddhism was spread by Ashoka(BC 270 – BC 232), the third and the most powerful Mauryan emperor. After the battle of Kalinga, Ashoka felt immense grief due to the huge loss of lives during the war and thus decided to follow the path of Buddhism. After this, he began to implement Buddhist principles in the administration of his kingdom and named the new code of conduct ‘Dhamma’. Here, in order to inform everyone about his new political and ruling philosophy, he got edicts (proclamation) inscribed on stone pillars and placed them throughout his kingdom, which are present even today.

Ashoka not only helped in spreading the religion within India but outside his kingdom also by sending missions to distant lands. On some occasions, he acted upon the invitation of foreign rulers, such as King Tishya of Sri Lanka. On others, he sent monks as envoys at his own initiative. These visiting monastics, however, did not forcefully pressure others to convert, but simply made Buddha’s teachings available, allowing people to choose for themselves. This is evidenced by the fact that in such places as Southern Burma,Buddhism soon took root, while in others, such as the Greek colonies in Central Asia, there is no record of any immediate impact.


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Dogen

Dogen was born in 1200 near Kyoto which was,at that time,the capital of Japan.When he was fourteen he was formally ordained as a monk and entered a monastery at the foot of Mt Hiei to begin his training.In 1217 he moved to Kennin Monastery-also in Kyoto-and studied there until 1223.He then accompanied his abbot,Myozen,to China.The purpose of this journey was to engage more fully with Ch’an Buddhism,the Chinese precursor of Japanese Zen.

In the Chinese monasteries the main type of spiritual practise was the chanting and repetition of Koans.(Koans are short phrases which help to focus the mind) However Dogen was rather disappointed with this type of practise. Dogen wanted to return to Japan but under the guidance of a senior priest Rujung,he learnt the art of silent meditation.In this practice the goal was to silence the mind and loose awareness of mind and body.In this type of meditation the goal is to still the mind,thinking of neither good things or bad things.With this new knowledge Dogen returned to Japan and started to write and teach about these new doctrines.In 1233 he opened Kannondori Temple in Fukakusa and was appointed to be head monk.Dogen was a prolific writer of both poetry and guidance on Zazen meditation.Dogen states the key is to transcend desire.There shouldn’t even be a desire “to be another Buddha”.In 1252,Dogen became ill and in 1253 he died in Kyoto.

Ryokan

Taigu Ryokan (1758-1831) (nicknamed Great Fool) lives on as one of Japan’s best loved poets, the wise fool who wrote of his humble life with such directness. Ryokan had no disciples, ran no temple,and in the eyes of the world was a penniless monk who spent his life in the snow country of Mount Kugami.He admired most the Soto Zen teachings of Dogen Zenji and the unconventional life and poetry of Zen mountain poet Han-shan. He repeatedly refused to be honored or confined as a”professional” either as a Buddhist priest or a poet.

“Who says my poems are poems?
These poems are not poems.
When you can understand this,
then we can begin to speak of poetry”.

Ryokan never published a collection of verse while alive. His practice consisted of sitting in zazen meditation, walking in thewoods,playing with children,making his daily begging rounds, reading and writing poetry, doing calligraphy, and on occasion drinking wine with friends.

Life of buddha

Bhuddha

There was a small country in what is now southern Nepal that was ruled by a clan called the Shakyas. The head of this clan, and the king of this country, was named Shuddodana Gautama, and his wife was the beautiful Mahamaya. Mahamaya was expecting her first born.

As was the custom of the day, when the time came near for Queen Mahamaya to have her child, she traveled to her father’s kingdom for the birth. But during the long journey, her birth pains began. In the small town of Lumbini, she asked her handmaidens to assist her to a nearby grove of trees for privacy.

They named him Siddhartha, which means “he who has attained his goals.” Sadly, Mahamaya died only seven days after the birth. After that Siddhartha was raised by his mother’s kind sister, Mahaprajapati.

King Shuddodana consulted Asita, a well-known sooth-sayer, concerning the future of his son. Asita proclaimed that he would be one of two things: He could become a great king, even an emperor. Or he could become a great sage and savior of humanity. The king, eager that his son should become a king like himself, was determined to shield the child from anything that might result in him taking up the religious life. And so Siddhartha was kept in one or another of their three palaces, and was prevented from experiencing much of what ordinary folk might consider quite commonplace. He was not permitted to see the elderly, the sickly, the dead, or anyone who had dedicated themselves to spiritual practices. Only beauty and health surrounded Siddhartha. Read more…

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