Gunakan Internet untuk Tuhan?

April 15, 2014 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Renungan Suci 

Di awal saya membuat akun facebook, tahun 2009, beberapa teman di facebook merasa aneh dan tidak setuju dengan keberadaan saya di media jejaring sosial itu. Mereka mengatakan bahwa seorang pemangku seharusnya konsentrasi melayani umat dan melakukan sadhana di pura atau di pusat-pusat sadhana lainnya, bukannya ikut terkontaminasi oleh arus informasi global yang di dalamnya juga berisi hal-hal yang tidak pantas, yang bisa mengotori kesucian seorang pemangku. Namun demikian, tidak sedikit yang merasa senang ada rohaniwan yang ikut aktif di media jejaring sosial seperti facebook, terutama mereka yang ada di daerah-daerah yang selama ini merasa kesulitan mendapatkan informasi tentang hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan pemahaman spiritualitas Hindu. Swami Chinmayananda mengatakan, “Apa yang anda miliki adalah pemberian Tuhan kepada anda, dan apa yang anda lakukan dengan apa yang anda miliki adalah persembahan anda kepada Tuhan.” Paralel dengan pernyataan tersebut berarti internet yang kita miliki adalah pemberian Tuhan kepada kita, dan apa yang kita lakukan dengan internet yang kita miliki adalah persembahan kita kepada Tuhan. Dalam Bhagavad Gita 9.27 disebutkan: “Yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat, yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva madarpanam.” Artinya: “Apapun yang engkau kerjakan, engkau makan, engkau persembahkan, engkau dermakan, dan disiplin diri apapun engkau laksanakan, lakukan sebagai bhakti kepada-Ku.” Di dalam segala sesuatu yang ada bersemayam energi kasih Tuhan dan itu seharusnya digunakan untuk pengabdian kita kepada-Nya. Tetapi kebanyakan dari kita cenderung menggunakan materi tersebut untuk kepuasan indriya-indriya. Seperti halnya ketika seseorang menemukan dompet di pinggir jalan, dia bisa mengambil uang yang ada di dalam dompet dan membelanjakannya, atau dia bisa mengembalikan dompet itu beserta isinya kepada pemiliknya. Mana yang lebih baik? Pemuasan indriya-indriya material kita adalah seperti orang yang mengambil uang itu dan menghabiskannya untuk dirinya sendiri. Sedangkan orang yang mengembalikan dompet itu ke pemiliknya adalah seperti pemuja yang melakukan segala sesuatu sebagai bhakti kepada Tuhan. Jadi kesimpulannya, Jika internet dapat digunakan dengan sebaik-baiknya untuk memperoleh dan menyebarkan ajaran-ajaran suci sebagai salah satu gerakan kesadaran jiwa, itu tidak salah untuk digunakan, bahkan bisa jadi itu akan benar-benar salah untuk tidak menggunakannya.

One Vast Garden

April 15, 2014 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Inspiration 

In my silence, I experience one vast garden, spread out through the universe. All plants, all human beings, all higher devas are about it in various ways and each has his own uniqueness and beauty. Their presence and variety give me great delight. Every one of you adds in a special way to the glory of this garden.
– Sri Anandamayi Ma, (1896-1982), Bengali mystic

World’s Hindu Experts to Meet in Bali

April 15, 2014 by · Comments Off
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DENPASAR, BALI, April 12, 2014 (The Jakarta Post):

Hindu experts from around the world are slated to gather in Denpasar, Bali, next Thursday, to attend the second World Hindu Wisdom Meet. Five hundred delegates from six countries, namely India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and the UK, have confirmed their attendance.

The meeting, which will discuss Hindu-based education, is being organized by the World Hindu Parisad, a Hindu discussion and deliberation forum that aims to expand the network of Hindus around the globe.

“We hope the meeting will result in a set of basic principles and essential referrals that can be used by Hindus for guidance in developing Hindu-based education and educational institutions,” World Hindu Parisad’s president, Ida Pedanda Ketut Sebali Tianyar Arimbawa, said during a press conference in Denpasar on Friday.

In Malang, Celebrating Nyepi With A Javanese Infusion

April 15, 2014 by · Comments Off
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MALANG, INDONESIA, April 6, 2014 (The Jakarta Globe):

Rice cakes wrapped in palm leaves, or ketupat, is a usually a treat reserved for the Islamic holiday of Idul Fitri, but for Hindus in Malang, East Java, ketupat serves as a customary dish in celebrating Nyepi, the day of silence.

Last week, 33 educational institutions and temples in Malang participated in a ceremony on Balekambang Beach to celebrate one of the biggest holidays in the local Hindu calendar. The ceremony, called Jala Nidhi Puja, is held before Nyepi and it beautifully displays the diversity of Indonesia. In Sanskrit, “jala ” means sea, “nidhi ” means sanctity and “puja ” means ceremony.

Apart from the use of ketupat and the Javanese gamelan, Hindus in Malang also decorate their offerings differently from their better-known counterparts in Bali. Every offering contains five mandatory elements: leaves, flowers, fruits, water and incense. Suharsono, the chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Association (PDHI) in Malang, said that they customized their offerings according to the things that flourished in their hometown, but staples like yellow rice, bananas and yellow palm fronds were a common element.

More at source.

UK Gurkhas Install a Shivalingam at Gatterick Garrison Army Base

April 15, 2014 by · Comments Off
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UNITED KINGDOM, April 10, 2014 (The Northern Echo):

Hindu followers from across the region took part in a ceremony today to mark the installation of a statue at a temple for Gurkha soldiers. Shivalinga, the representation of the Hindu God Lord Shiva, was erected in an annex to the Gurkha Temple at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) in Catterick Garrison.

The statue was donated by Swami Shri Gopal Sharan Devacharya Ji Maharaj, a high ranking Hindu priest who visited the ITC in 2012. Pundit Atmaram Dahal, Gurkha Company religious teacher, said: “The statue was constructed in India before being donated to our temple.

Captain Rajeshkumar Gurung, from Gurkha Company, said religion played an important part in the development of recruits, with religious teachers using examples of Lord Shiva to explain the moral component and duties of a soldier in combat.

Apa Itu Cinta Sejati?

April 13, 2014 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Renungan Suci 

Seorang teman mengatakan, “Menurut saya tidak ada yang namanya cinta sejati, hati-hati itu akan mengarah kepada cinta buta. Sekali dua kali tidak menjadi masalah. Tetapi setelah itu kemungkinan besar yang terjadi adalah kita akan selalu mengelus dada.” Begitulah cinta pada umumnya dimaknai sebatas pada hubungan asmara. Begitu maraknya kasus perselingkuhan membuat orang semakin bertanya-tanya masih adakah cinta sejati di muka bumi ini, seperti yang disampaikan oleh teman kita, “Kenapa di zaman sekarang perselingkuhan di semua kalangan begitu fenomenal, sudah tidak diangap tabu, bahkan ada yang mengatakan berselingkuh adalah seni kehidupan, gaya bercinta zaman modern. Masih adakah cinta sejati di dalam hati setiap insan zaman sekarang?” Perselingkuhan begitu fenomenal, karena mayoritas manusia sekarang berorientasi kepada kehidupan material, di mana kesenangan yang didapat dari hal-hal material akan segera berubah menjadi kebosanan, lalu orang akan berusaha untuk mendapatkan kesenangan dari hal-hal yang baru. Cinta yang mendasari hubungan bahkan sampai ke jenjang perkawinan lebih banyak bersifat fisikal dan mentalitas, bukan cinta sejati. Perselingkuhan menjadi hal lumrah karena mayoritas manusia sekarang tidak memperhatikan perkembangan kehidupan rohaninya. Pelaksanaan agama hanya bersifat mekanikal semata, tidak disertai semangat penyempurnaan kesadaran. Sesungguhnya, cinta tulus dan cinta bulus itu bersumber dari aliran energi kasih yang sama, tetapi karena dialirkan melalui selokan egoisme maka aliran energi kasih itu tidak terefleksi menjadi cinta tulus, tetapi cinta bulus. Memandang perselingkuhan sebagai seni kehidupan adalah pemahaman dari mereka yang telah diperbudak oleh keinginan pemuasan indriya yang tak penah terpuaskan itu. Sesungguhnya, cinta sejati masih ada di hati setiap insan. Dengan membersihkan selokan ego dari sampah keinginan egois yang berbau busuk, aliran kasih yang mengaliri selokan itu akan menjadi bening kembali, cinta bulus akan menjadi cinta tulus kembali. Cinta sejati adalah ketika kita benar-benar mengabdikan diri kepada orang lain tanpa disertai keinginan-keinginan egois, tanpa mengharapkan imbalan apapun. Kesempurnaan dari cinta sejati adalah untuk mempersembahkan apa yang kita lakukan kepada Tuhan, sumber dari segala eksistensi. Ketika kita mempersembahkan cinta sejati kepada-Nya yang merupakan sumber dan meliputi segalanya, aliran energi kasih itu akan mengalir ke semua orang.

O God, Save Us from Falling into the Pit

April 13, 2014 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Inspiration 

Incline toward us today, O Holy Ones. With awe I approach you to win your hearts. Protect us, O Gods, from the devouring wolf. Save us from falling into the pit, O you Holy Ones!

– Rig Veda II, 29, 6

“Yoga Saved My Career”

April 13, 2014 by · Comments Off
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UNITED STATES, April 9, 2014 (Forbes):

Serial entrepreneur Pravin Kothari has spent the past two decades in Silicon Valley’s enterprise software trenches. He’s had a hand in founding four tech companies, including ArcSight, which grew into a $1.6 billion HP acquisition in 2010. Kothari holds over a dozen patents in security technologies and is the inventor behind his latest company, CipherCloud’s encryption technology. “For me, solving complex problems through innovation is my calling,” says Kothari. But the biggest challenge in a startup when you have limited resources, changing priorities, too much to do and not enough time can be stress. “Yoga saved my career,” says Kothari. “In 2004, I experienced a stress-induced digestive system disorder. My doctor informed me that I would need to quit startups and take daily medication for the rest of my life to counter the condition.”

Under his doctors advice, Kothari started yoga to help de-stress for one hour in morning and one hour in the evening. He puts the fact that he made a full recovery and was able to toss out the medication within a year down to this routine. A 2012 study by the Alternative Medicine Review looked at 35 trials addressing the effects of yoga on anxiety and stress. It found that 25 noted a significant decrease in stress and/or anxiety symptoms when a yoga regimen was introduced, although it recommended more stringent controls such as larger study populations. “Yoga actively cleanses and refreshes one’s mind and boosts creativity,” says Kothari. “It helps channel peace into the organized chaos of building and running start ups. By finding their calm, employees are at optimal state for making the best decisions and deliver best results.”

Kotari encourages and sponsors yoga for his employees. At ArcSight, he started weekly sponsored sessions at work to help employees better manage work life balance. “Ultimately, yoga is a powerful medium to take care of yourself, which is important because we often forget that in the course of taking care of work and family. As you get deeper into the practice, you extend that self-awareness into serving your community,” says Kothari. “Yoga brings the balance, calm, team harmony, creativity and focus to help solve difficult problems faced every day in business. It can help achieve success in business and even fulfillment of personal dreams”.

Panchavadyams And Poorams: Spectacles Of North Kerala

April 13, 2014 by · Comments Off
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KERALA, INDIA, April 9, 2014 (Press Information Bureau):

The months of April and May, when the temperatures soar and the countryside is soaked daily in the brightest of sunlight, villages and small towns in the Malabar region (Northern parts) of Kerala reverberate to the exciting rhythms of various instruments. The colorful and musical festivals of Poorams are held during this period.

The pooram festivals are conducted with the local temple as the centre. The biggest and most colorful festival takes place at Vadakkumnathan temple in Thrissur and is called Thrissur Pooram. It happens during the Malayalam month of Medam (April/May). Another important festival not far from Thrissur is the Arattupuzha Pooram, which has around 60 elephants. This year the Arattupuzha pooram is being celebrated on April 11.

Thrissur pooram, the grandest spectacle of all has its beginnings during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran – one of the strongest rulers of the erstwhile kingdom of Kochi. He is said to have started the system of staging a grand pooram festival in repentance of having accidentally beheaded an oracle (what is locally known as a velichappadu – one who acts as a spokesperson for the local deity).

Panchavadyam, a rhythmic orchestra, that may feature more than 100 artists, playing five (pancha) different kindof instruments, is one of the major ingredients of the Pooram festivals. The term panchavadyam literally means an orchestra of five instruments. It is basically a temple art form that has evolved in Kerala. Of the five instruments, four –timila, maddalam, ilathalam and idakka — belong to the percussion category, while the fifth, the kombu, is a wind instrument.

U.S. Congressman Introduces Legislation Make Religious Workers Visa Program Permanent

April 13, 2014 by · Comments Off
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2014 (Hindu American Foundation):

Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) applauded the introduction of the Freedom of Faith Act by Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) earlier today. The Foundation worked closely with Rep. Honda on the legislation, which permanently reauthorizes the Special Immigrant Non-Minister provision of the Religious Worker Visa program. The Religious Worker Visa program is considered essential to many faith communities in the U.S., particularly Hindus, who rely on the program for the continued vitality of their places of worship.

“Unlike other faiths, Hindus lack facilities in the United States to train priests and religious workers here,” said Harsh Voruganti, Esq., HAF’s Associate Director of Public Policy. “We depend heavily upon the Religious Worker Visa to effectively staff our temples and religious institutions.” “For over two decades, Congress has reauthorized this program time and time again.” Rep. Honda stated. “It’s time we do what’s right for our communities of faith and make permanent this program that allows workers who lead worship, officiate events, and offer pastoral care, to receive temporary visas like ministers and faith leaders do.”

Absent Congressional action, the Special Immigrant Non-Minister provision is scheduled to expire in September 2015. The provision has been consistently renewed by Congress every three years, but supporters argue that the constant need for renewal is inefficient and hurts houses of worship. “Houses of worship, like businesses, cannot function in uncertainty,” noted Padma Kuppa, a member of HAF’s Board of Directors and a prominent interfaith activist in Greater Detroit. “It’s difficult for a temple or church to make long-term management decisions when we don’t know if this vital program will exist next year. The Freedom of Faith Act solves this dilemma.”

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