Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA
Bharatiya Mandir, New York, Ny
Middletown, New York, 10940
WEEKLY POOJA SCHEDULE
MONDAY SRI RUDRAASHTAKAM, SRI LINGAASHTKAM,
SHIV CHALEESA 6:30 P.M. TUESDAY SUNDAR KANDAA 5:00 P.M TUESDAY SRI RAM STUTI,HANUMAN CHALEESA,
SANKAT MOCHAN,HANUMAN ASHTAK 6:30 P.M. WEDNESDAY SRI VISHNU SAHASRANAMA,
SRI ASHTA LAKSHMI STOTRAM 6:30 P.M. THURSDAY SAI BHAJAN 6.30 P.M. FRIDAY SRI DURGA SAPTASHATI STOTRAM
SRI LAKSHMI SAHASRANAMA 6:30 P.M.
Saturday & Sunday Weekend special Programs
SATURDAY VENKATESHWARA SUPRABHATAM 10:30 A.M. SATURDAY AARATI 12:00 P.M
7:00 P.M SUNDAY SRI GANAPATHI ABHISHEKA & PUJA (ON EVERY SUNDAY) 10:30 A.M. SUNDAY AARATI 12:00 P.M
7:00 P.M 1STSUNDAY OF MONTH VEDIC HOMA & BHAJAN 11:00 A.M 2NDSUNDAY OF MONTH SRI RAMA ABHISHEKA & PUJA 11:00 A.M 3RDSUNDAY OF MONTH SRI KRISHNA ABHISHEKA & PUJA 11:00 A.M 4THSUNDAY OF MONTH NAVAGRAHA HOMA 11:00 A.M
PURNIMA: EVERY FULL MOON DAY - SATYA NARAYANA POOJA AND KATHA: SHIVRATREE (MONTHLY):SHIV ABHISHEK 6 P.M.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS CAN REACH PUNDITJI BY CALLING THE FOLLOWING
PHONE # 733-8170 (R) or 591-4510 (Cell) or 361-3055 (Mandir) FOR SPECIAL POOJA
Volunteers needed for Classes.
Please call Omji Bhai at 845-692-0467 to volunteer
Please call Omji Bhai at 845-692-0467 to volunteer
Dharma Sandesh Volume 4 Issue 4 Mar2013-May2013 Page-1
a quarterly newsletter of Bharatiya Mandir, Middletown, NY
| Let noble thoughts come to us from everywhere. RigVeda 1.89.1
Winter is dancing its icy cold and windy dance amidst us. The cold winds and the barren trees signal to us that although things look bleak now, a new Spring is making its advent, bringing with its lots of colors and tender shoots.
Speaking of colors, we will be celebrating Holi – the Festival of Colors soon. We are all excited to splash the red, orange, blue, yellow, green and purple colors all around us and enjoy the festivities. We will also be remembering the story of brave, young Prahlad as we perform a symbolic Holika Dahan.
We will be worshipping Lord Shiva and keeping vigil all night long as we celebrate Maha Shivaratri on Sunday, March 10. We will also be keeping an all-night vigil for the Divine Mother as we celebrate Mata ka Jagaran in April. We will pray to Goddess Durga with bhajans, songs, Vedic mantras and shlokas.
We also will enjoy performing the wedding celebrations of Lord Srinivasa (also known as Lord Venkateshwara or Lord Balaji) in May. This wedding will be performed in a traditional Vedic style. All are invited to this divine wedding, replete with music and dance.
We will usher in the New Year in April. Ugadi and Gudi Padwa will be celebrated on April 10, and Tamil New Year and Vishu will be celebrated on April 14.
In this issue, Jai Kumar writes about the concept of free will as represented in Hinduism. Dr. Padma Sundaram writes about the different vahanas (vehicles) of the Gods. I write about the 24 Gurus of Lord Dattatreya as revealed by the Lord Himself.
We hope that readers will continue to enjoy reading these articles and gain some insight into our Sanatana Dharma. Let us all pray to Paramaatma (mÉUqÉÉiqÉÉ) to shower His blessings upon all His children!!
Your Editorial Board
In this section, we present a Sanskrit quotation and its interpretation/meaning.
Education is the greatest asset (wealth) among all types of wealth. It cannot be stolen by thieves. It cannot be taken away by the king (or government) in terms of taxes. It cannot be divided or split among brothers like other property. Unlike other wealth or property, it is never a burden. It also has this unusual characteristic that the more you spend it every day, the more it grows every day. We should strive to get more and more of this wealth called education.
Contributed by Dr. Narasim Banavara
In this section, we present a teaching of Sri Sai Baba.
Sri Satya Sai Baba spoke thus – “the green gourd sinks in water, but a dry one floats. Become dry - rid
Dharma Sandesh Volume 4 Issue 4 Mar2013-May2013 Page-2
yourselves of attachments, desires, and avoid anxieties and worries. Then you can float unaffected on the waters of change and chance. Even water, when it becomes steam, can rise into the sky. Be free from the desires that drag you down; have only the yearning to come face to face with the Truth. The truth is shining inside you, waiting to be discovered. God is your Indweller and so when you seek Him outside, He cannot be caught. Look for Him within you. Love Him with no other thought, and feel that without Him, nothing is worth anything. Feel that He is all. Then you become His and He becomes yours. There is no kinship nearer than that!”
- Divine Discourse, Oct 17, 1966
Contributed by Dr. Vijaya Dasari
In this section, we present articles on Hinduism, Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, and related philosophy.
Free Will in Hinduism
by Jay Kumar
The concept of free will is a significant philosophical and theological issue that has been intensely debated for centuries in both western and eastern philosophical traditions. In Hinduism, the idea of free will is viewed with some ambivalence. With respect to the concept of karma, various schools of Hinduism differ in their perceptions of free will. Two salient schools who do are the Mimamsa (qÉÏqÉÉÇxÉ) and Vedanta (uÉåSÉliÉ) schools.
Free will is the apparent human ability to make choices that are not determined by an external force. In Hinduism, the premise of free will is based on the concept of karma. In essence, karma is the concept that every action causes an equal reaction. There are primarily three categories of karma. The first category of karma is Sanchita karma (xÉÎlcÉiÉMüqÉï), which is the karma accumulated throughout one's past lives. As one cannot experience all their karma in one lifetime, one endures a fraction of the Sanchita karma during a lifetime. Once this karma has materialized in one's life, it is known as Prarabdha karma (mÉëÉUokÉ MüqÉï). The third type of karma is Kriyamana karma (Ì¢ürÉÉqÉÉlÉ MüqÉï) which is the karma that humans create in the present. All Kriyamana karma becomes Sanchita karma, and both shape our future and our next lives. The ability to change one's destiny is unique to human life. After the loss of kriya shakti (Ì¢ürÉÉzÉÌ£üthe ability to act), and transitively, Kriyamana karma, the soul is reincarnated in another body.
Karma is accrued in three ways: thought, intent and action. Through these, humans incite a response contingent on the nature of their thoughts, intents or actions. A malicious thought could manifest in the thought occurring to an intended individual or back at the thinker. Similarly, a moral action or one in accordance with dharma (kÉqÉï) would cause a positive event to the actor. One’s dharma is paramount in accruing karma. In the most rudimentary sense, dharma is one's duty; one's guide to act as per one's filial, moral and social duties/obligations. The mythological figures of Bhishma and Dhritharashtra exemplify the workings of karma in relation to dharma. Both were royalty who suffered greatly for their past actions, yet, more so in the former’s case, lived a life in full accordance with dharma, which manifested itself when they both obtained salvation. In essence the accumulation of karma is inherently dynamic and can best be understood as an oscillating function that varies between two values: the value of good and bad merit.
The law of karma offers the provision that one's present karma can alter the fruits of past karma and change the actor's future. Logically, one's present and past action should determine the theoretical framework of the future. Hinduism does not state that our life is predetermined as fatalism does or that free will is absolute. More rather, Hinduism states free will is compatible with fate and believes that people’s actions create their future. Under this notion, fate does not entirely place obstacles in the way of free will and people are solely responsible for their suffering, not God.
The Vedanta school of Hinduism agrees with the notion that man is able to act independently of any
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external factors, but cannot escape the karma that his actions beget. In this process, the Vedanta school proclaims that God is an arbitrator who dispenses the fruits of the actions man chooses, surmising that “God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He makes one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve.” The Vedanta school reconciles the problem of evil with this notion of free will; that ultimately, the soul is responsible for its actions on the physical plane and must either reap benefits of dharmic actions and must suffer for adharmic actions.
Conversely, the Mimamsa school of Hinduism rejects the notion that God dispenses the fruits of one's actions and views karma as acting independent of God. It believes that the law of causation is adequate in explaining the effects of karma, surmising that the results of an action are attributable solely to that action. For this reason, the Mimamsa school believes that it is useless to set an Ishvara for the purpose of Karma since the results of an action can be witnessed at any time.
Both schools of Hinduism state that man is ultimately responsible for his own actions. The overview of God within both schools is pantheistic: that God is interwoven with nature and is synonymous with the fundamental principles that govern the universe. Both schools maintain God is not, in the Western or contemporary Eastern sense, a benevolent anthropomorphic being that is biased towards men. More rather, God is a neutral figure within whose hierarchy people hold a relatively coveted position, and who, through the unique ability of sentience, can better understand its nature.
Vehicles of the Gods
In Hindu mythology several Gods have vehicles or vahanas (uÉÉWûlÉ) that are very specific to each one of them. Vahana means “that which carries” or “that which pulls.” The Gods travel on these vahanas wherever they go. The vahana is typically an animal or a mythical entity. It is also called “a mount,” around which is woven much iconography and mythology. The vahana usually symbolizes the evil force that the Deity dominates. Though the vahana may act independently, it is still functionally emblemati of the rider. This becomes the positive aspect of the vahana. The vahanas also act as assistants to the Gods and, thus, double their power. Each God or Goddess has a unique vahana, and the God or Goddess is usually depicted as either sitting on the vahana or standing next to it.
There are a lot of stories about the origins of these vahanas. If I write about all of them it will become a book in itself!! So I will try, as best as possible, to write about a few major vahanas.Mooshika – is the mouse which is Lord Ganapati’s mount. There are a couple of theories as to how Mooshika became His mount. One of them is that when Ganesha was a child, a giant mouse used to terrorize all His friends. So Ganesha used a lasso to rein in the mouse and made it His vehicle.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )