On Thurs 7 Aug 08 @9PM I had a deeply moving and spiritual experience when I lit candles and deeyas for Tibet. This was in unison with everyone in my time zone and done globally. I'd like to explore this and share my experiences with you and hear yours as we participate in universal collective prayer events together. I hope to work together with all the universe's beings as we move toward the ideal of Universal Collective Prayer.

Come join me in Universal Collective Prayer!

May God Bless Us All!

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer is produced by Meady's Musings Production . Copyright 2006-2011

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Durga Ashtami 2009!

I am off to a Durga pooja...actual real live participation in Universal Collective Prayer today...and I have to apologise to readers for not spending enough time this Navratri in explaining in English in my dancing talk sometimes Hinglish about the female divine form in Hinduism. I really wish I had done more but I leave you with an excerpt from the Devi Gita as translated by a swami (I've just swatted it off the web no permission granted but I'm sure blessings flowing)...the English translation could do with some work and modernising...which is where I felt my work came in...the work I have abandoned...but I will come back after the pooja for more...Devi willing! :)

So I'm off for now but felt I had to mark Durga Ashtami here on the prayers especially since I've never particularly celebrated it here on the prayers thus far although have celebrated many a surrender onto the Divine Mother! :) I also leave you with some other Bhaktis or at least performers extolling her 108 names and singing her aartis! :)

Jai Mata Di! :) And I'm off! :)

Devi Gita
(Song of the Goddess)
Excerpt from the Srimad Devî Bhagavatam
Translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji)

The Devi Gita is part of the Srimad Devî Bhagavatam written by the great Veda Vyasa . It describes an incarnation of the Devi and she herself describes her nature, and how she wants to be worshipped, particularly with Yogic practices, meditation and rituals.

The Birth of Pârvatî in the House of Himâlayâs
1-2. Janamejaya said--"O Muni! You told before that "the Highest Light took Her birth on the top of the Himilayas." Now describe to me in detail about this Highest liight. What intelligent man can desist from hearing these nectar-like words about the S'akti? The danger of death may come even to the Davas that drink nectars but no such danger can possibly come to those that drink the nectar of the Devî's glorious deeds.

3-43. Vyâsa said:--"O King! You are blessed; you have attained what you are to attain in this life; you are taught by the high-souled men; you are fortunate since you are so sincerely devoted to the Devî. O King! Hear the ancient history:--Wherever the Deva of the Devas, the Mahes'vara rested while He was wandering all over the world in a distracted state, carrying the Satî's body that as burnt by fire, He spent his time there with his senses controlled, in Samâdhi, forgetting all his knowledge of Samsâra in deep meditation of the form of the Devî. At this time, the three worlds, with their objects, moving and immoving, with their oceans, mountains and islands became void of prosperity and power. The hearts of all the embodied beings became dried up, without any trace of joy; they were all burdened with anxious thoughts and remained indifferent. All were merged in the ocean of sorrows and.became diseased. Planets retrograded and the Devas had their states reversed. The Kings were attacked with a series of ills and misfortunes. Âdhibhantik and Âdhidaivik (from material causes and from divine interference). At this time a great Asura, named Târaka, became unconquerable owing to his receiving a boon from Brahmâ. Being intoxicated by his power and heroism, he conquered the three worlds and became the sovereign ruler.The Brahmâ Prajâpati, gave him boon to this effect that the legitimate son of S'iva would be able to kill him. And as at that time S'iva had no son, the great Asura, elated with joy, became infatuated and carried off all victories. All the Devas were banished from their places by his oppression; they remained always anxious owing to the want felt by them of a son of S'iva. "S'ânkara has now no wife; how can He then have a son! We are very unfortunate; how can our work be accomplished? Thus oppressed with thoughts, all the Devas went to Vaikuntha and informed the Bhâgavan Visnu of all that had happened, in privacy.

The Bhâgavan Visnu began to tell them the means, thus:--"O Devas! Why are you all so anxious when the Auspicious Goddess of the Universe, the Dweller in the Mani Dvîpa, the Yielder of all desires like a Kalpa Vriksa is always wakeful for you. It is due to your faults that She is showing Her indifference; it is meant to teach us (not for our destruction but to show Her Infinite mercy). When a mother nourishes and frightens and reprimands a son, it is not that she has became merciless; so the World Mother, the Controller of the Universe, will never be merciless to you as regards your qualifications and defects. A son commits offence at every step who can bear that in these three worlds except the mother! So soon take refuge to the Highest Mother, the Goddess of the universe, with the sincerest devotion. She will certainly take action and help your cause.

Thus ordering the Devas, Visnu with His consort Laksmî and the other Devas quickly went out to worship the Devî. Going to the Himâlayâs, they soon engaged themselves in doing the Puras'charana Karma (act of repeating the names of the Deity, attended with burnt oblations and offerings, etc.). O King! Those who were well versed with the performance of sacrifice to the Mother, began their sacrificial ceremonies and all began to hold vows, viz, Tritiyâdi Vratânî. Some were engaged in incessantly meditating on the Devî; some began to repeat Her names constantly; some began to repeat the Devî Sûkta. Thus some devoted themselves to repeating names; others to repeating mantrams. Again some wore engaged in performing severe (painful) Chândrâyana and other Vratas. Some wore doing Antarayâgas (inner sacrifices); some wore doing Prânâgnihotra Yâgas; whereas others engaged themselves in Nyâsâdi, etc. Again some began to worship the Highest S'aktî, the Goddess of the Universe, without any sleep or rest, by the seed mantra of Mâyâ. O King! Thus many years of the Devas passed away.

When the ninth Tithî came in the month of Chaitra on Friday, the Highest Light of the Supreme Force suddontly appeared in front of them. That Light was equal to Koti lightnings, of a red colour, and cool like the Koti Moons. Again the lustre was like the Koti Suns. The four Vedas personified, were chanting hymns all round Her. That mass of fire was above, below, on all sides, in the middle; nowhere it was obstructed. It had no beginning, nor end. It was of the form of a female with hands and feet and all the limbs. The appearance was not that of a male nor that of an hermophrodite. The Devas, dazzled by the brilliant lustre, first closed their eyes; but at the next moment, holding patience when they opened again their eyes, they found the Highest Light manifesting in the form of an exceedingly beautiful Divine Woman. Her youth was just blooming and Her rising breasts, plump and prominent, vying as it were, with a lotus bud, added to the beauty all around. Bracelets were on Her hands; armlets on Her four arms; necklace on Her neck; and the garland made of invaluable gems and jewels spread very bright lustre all arouud. Lovely ornaments on Her waist making tinkling sounds and beautiful anklets were on Her feet. The hairs of Her head, flowing between Her ears and cheek sparkled bright like the large black bees shining on the flower leaves of the blooning Ketakî flower. Her loins were nicely shaped and exquisitely lovely and the hairs on Her navel gave additional beauty. Her exquisitely lively lotus mouth rendered more lustrous and beautiful by the shining golden ear-ornaments, was filled with betel leaves mixed with camphor, etc.; on Her forehead there was the half crescaut moon; Her eye-brows were extended and Her eyes looked bright and beautifully splendid like the red lotus; Her nose was elevated and Her lips very sweet. Her teeth were very beautiful like the opening buds of Kunda flowers; from Her neck was suspended a necklace of pearls; on Her head was the brilliant crown decked with diamonds and jewels; on Her ears, earrings were suspended like the lines on the Moon; Her hairs were ornamented with Mallikâ and Mâlatî flowers; Her forehead was pasted with Kâsmîra Kunkuma drops; and Her three eyes gave unparallelled lustre to Her face. On Her one hand there was the noose and on Her other hand there was the goad; her two other hands made signs granting boons and dispelling fears; Her body shed lustre like the flowers of a Dârima tree. Her wearing is a red coloured cloth. All these added great beauty.

Thus the Devas saw before them the Mother Goddess, the Incarnate of unpretended mercy, with a face ready to offer Her Grace, the Mother of the Whole Universe, the Enchantreas of all, sweet-smiling, saluted by all the Devas, yielding all desires, and wearing a dress, indicative of all lovely feelings. The Devas bowed at once they saw Her; but they could not speak with their voice as it was choked with tears. Then holding their patience, with much difficulty, they began to praise and chant hymns to the World Mother with their eyes filled with tears of love and devotion and with their heads bent low.

44-54. The Devas said:--We bow down to Thee, the Devî and the Maha Devî, always obeisance to Thee! Thqu art the Prakriti, and the Auspicious One; we always salute to Thee. O Mother! Thou art of a fiery colour (residing as a Red Flame in the heart of a Yogî) and burning with Asceticism and Wisdom (shedding lustre all around). Thou art specially shining everywhere as the Pure Chaitanya; worshipped by the Devas and all the Jîvas) for the rewards of their actions; We take refuge to Thee, the Durgâ, the Devî, we bow down to Thee, that can well make others cross the ocoan of Samsâra; so that Thou helpest us in crossing this terrible ocean of world. Mother! The Devas have created the words (i.e., the words conveying ideas are uttered by the five Vâyus, Prâna, etc., which are called the Devas) which are of the nature of Vis'varûpu, pervading everywhere, like the Kâma Dhenu (the Heavenly Cow yielding all desires, riches, honor, food, etc.,) and by which the brutes (the gods) become egotistical, O Mother! Thou art that language to us; so Thou fulfillest our desires when we praise and eba at hymns to Thee. O Devî! Thou art the Night of Destruction at the end of the world; Thou art worshipped by Brahmâ; Thou art the Laksmi, the S'akti of Visnu; Thou art the Mother of Skanda the S'aktî of S'iva; Thou art the S'aktî Sarasvatî of Brahmâ. Thou art Aditi,the Mother of the gods and Thou art Satî, the daughter of Daksa. Thus Thou art purifying the worlds in various forms and giving peace to all. We bow down to Thee. We know Thee to be the great Mahâ Laksmî; wa meditate on Thee as of the nature of all the S'aktis as Bhaghavatî. O Mother! Illumine us so that we can meditate and know Thee. O Devî! Obeisance to Thee, the Virât! Obeisance to Thee, the Sûtrâtmâ, the Hiranyagarbha; obeisance to Thee, the transformed into sixteen Vikritis (or transformations). Obeisance to Thee, of the natara of Brahma. We bow down with great devotion to Thee, the Goddess of the Universe, the Creatrix of Mâyic Avidyâ (the Nescience) under whose influence this world is mistaken as the rope as a garland is mistaken for a rope and again that mistake is corrected by whose Vidyâ.

We bow down to Thee who art indicated by both the letters Tat and Tvam in the sentence Tat Tvamasi (Thou art That), Tat indicating the Chit (Intelligence) of the nature of oneness and Tvam indicating the nature of Akhanda Brahma (beyond the Annamaya, Prânamaya, Manomaya, Vijnânamaya and the Ânandamaya--the five Kos'as, the Witness of the three states of wakefulness, dream, and deep sleep states) and indicating Thee. O Mother! Thou art of the nature of Pranava Om; Thou art Hrîm; Thou art of the nature of various Mantras and Thou art merciful; we bow down again and again to Thy lotus Feet. When the Devas thus praised the Devî, the In-dweller of the Mani Dvîpa, the Bhagavatî spoke to them in a sweet cuckoo voice.

55. O Devas! What for have you come here? What do you want? I am always the Tree, yielding all desires to my Bhaktas; and I am ready to grant boons to them.

56-57. You are my devotees; why do you care, when I am on your side? I will rescue you from the ocean of troubles, O Devas! Know this as My true resolve. O King! Hearing these words of deep love, the Devas became very glad and gave out all their causes of troubles.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid Mubarak 2009!

Here on the prayers I had contemplated getting a guest blogger from the Islamic faith to come on and post here about their views and experiences for today's post. However in further meditation I figured it best I do the post...since as I've been thinking on the prayers...this is my journey...my song...so it is really how me being Hindu-centric in my religious views looks at all the other religions and faiths and beliefs around me. However as I always say in me trying to do this it is just a learning for me and if along the way I offend anyone's beliefs etc....it really was not my intent...my intent being to explore this thing I call Universal Collective Prayer...and my definition of it for me is to start from the Hindu-centric view I grew up with and expand from there...and I can do no better than that...however although my Intent is not to offend or hurt anyone I will obviously not agree with all the views I encounter on my journey...my Intent being to explore and take what I like...discard what I don't...perhaps at the end of the journey I would have created my own personal religion in the form of my Universal Collective Prayer...no followers necessary as really it is all about your own journey...your own prayer...

Having said that remember my desire to keep the prayers....collective...so on the other foot...everyone is welcome to come dance with me in Universal Collective Prayer! :) And really from what I've been seeing on the prayers so far...if your Intent really is to explore and learn and not judge but then dance in Universal Collective Prayer...you tend to get a lot of willing dancers wherever your feet may thred! :)

On my personal dance over the last month I've encountered many engaging in the Islamic fast that happens in the month of Ramadan...not eating while still sitting with me to have lunch...engaging in work while not eating or drinking even water for a 12 hour period...while some took official vacation from work to fully retreat at the mosque in meditation and what I as a Hindu would call 'Seva-service to mankind' as they stayed in the mosque and prepared the meals for those fasting to collectively share in at the end of each day.

I like that in this religious practice you are spending time each day 'detaching' from the material in a sense and then at the end of the day collectively gathering to rest and reflect further with all those who did the same...really Universal Collective Prayer at its best!:)

And after this lovely month there is a grand celebration on today called Eid-Ul-Fitr...the Festival of Breaking the Fast! When the whole thing ends, and the day starts by greeting and meeting friends and celebrating the achievement of successfully completing a month of fasting...prayer and reflection...and not just including friends but reaching out to mankind as large (seva again) by giving charity to ones who have less material possessions (although I take it after the month of Ramadan one might realise just how little the material plane tallies up compared to the spiritual one).

So Universal Collective Prayer wishes Islamic people universe over...Eid Mubarak 2009! And for those who engage in Universal Collective Prayer...like I know there are some Hindus who fasted to share the experience...and many who go to the mosques on the day of Eid although they are not Muslim...to all of you Universal Collective Prayer says job well done!

As a note in Universal Collective Prayer: we have just left the time in Hinduism when the ancestors are honoured and remembered and now in the time of surrendering to the Divine Mother again! I've posted on these events on the prayers in the past and so did not feel the need to repeat similar comments again however I will be delving more into honouring the Divine in the feminine form in days to come as it is Navratri time again in Hinduism!

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