Thursday, 17. November 2005
Facts & Figures - Religious Studies

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Kuan Yin -- Click the picture for a larger view

In fact, the evolution of Buddhism in Asia and its spread throughout the world is, from a spiritual point of view, none other than the unfolding of karuna in history. Nowhere is this more explicitly exemplified than in the Chinese assimilation of Buddhism. Few would deny that the defining symbol of this integration is the goddess, who with her sweet and merciful disposition, has won the hearts of not only the Chinese, but also profoundly affected even those who, belonging to a foreign tradition, have only had a fleeting interaction with her. This divine female is none other than Kuan Yin, beloved goddess of over a billion people the world over. Her name too signifies her compassionate nature, literally meaning 'One who hears the cries of the world.'


Kuan Yin, The Compassionate Rebel - Article of the Month November 2005. (English)

Khajuraho temples, now only twenty-four of the original eighty-five surviving, are great shrines of love. Devastating winds, torrential rains, charring summers, rocking lands, rapacious hands of man, nature's cruelties and heavy booted feet of time spanning them inch by inch and layer to layer, deprived them much of their vigor - lips of their smiles, eyes of their glow, bodily curves of their passionate yearnings and gestures, and figures of their wholesome impact, but despite they are still amongst the finest works of art that man's creative genius might claim to have ever created on the earth. Whatsoever human imagination conceives, it will fall short of the magnificence that these stone structures breathe.

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The Towering Shikhara


Love, The Living Spirit of Khajuraho - Article of the Month September 2005. (English)

More significant is the Indian perception of the cosmic act, to which whatever exists- the invisible or the visible, the timeless or the ephemeral, contributes. As perceives the Indian mind, cosmic activity is a totality and all things- the formal or the formless, are obliged to not only co-exist but also co-act, as it is in the action and not in inertness that the existence prevails.

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The Trinity -- Click the picture for a larger view

Thus, whether as the creator or as the created, in cosmic existence all things have a role. As such, an entity, even when it does not formally manifest, may manifest in the role that it accomplishes. Such cosmic activity has three aspects- the creation, the preservation and the dissolution. Creation is the one time Divine act, under which the cosmos came into being, as also a recurrent activity happening in things- the material and the non-material, whereby they take to new forms. Some systems of thought perceive it also as evolution.


All things- the material or non-material, manifest or unmanifest or good or bad, by which the existence or life sustains, are aspects of preservation. Like creation, dissolution is also the one time as well as recurrent activity happening in all things, as before they take to new forms their old ones dissolve. These three aspects rotate in a cycle, which never ends and is thus eternal and absolute.

Interpretive Study of the Indian Trinity - Article of the Month May 2005. (English)

The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit root 'kri,' meaning 'to do,' implying that all action is karma. Technically, the term incorporates both an action and its consequence. Thus Garuda's karma consisted of the act of carrying away the bird and also its consequent snatching by the cruel hands of destiny. Hence, a deed, pure in its content, led to an apparently unfavorable outcome. Through this subtle tale, we are made to confront a dilemma which constantly recurs in our own lives, namely, the relative impurity and purity of an action. Is an action to be deemed positive or negative solely on the basis of the result it generates? Or, is there some other criterion? Indeed there is. What determines the nature of the karma is the will or intention behind an act.

image Yama the God of Death -- Click for a larger view


As is mentioned in the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya, published by the Pali Text Society, "It is will (chetana), that I call karma; having willed, one acts through body, speech or mind."

Exploring Karma - Tales of a Universal Principle - Article of the Month October 2004. (English)

The informational articles are full of fascinating facts!
Check out the Articles of the Month by HinduPaintings. (English)
Category: Religion & Early Cultures |


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