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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent Calendar: 4 Dec 09-The Gift that are Elephants!

Copyright Meady's Musings Production

Today on the Advent calendar we will be celebrating (yes, you got that right)…elephants! Of course my purple elephant has been calling up his elephant friends world wide to come read the story on The Purple Elephant’s Advent calendar here so the elephant world is all abuzz! You see my purple elephant is a dear friend and a few lunches ago earlier this week I was aghast to hear someone say that at some resort they had elephant meat!

I felt a big blow in the stomach for my purple elephant …I have to tell you….I explained about how elephants have feelings…they are very sentient beings (I mean just look at my purple elephant if you don’t believe me) and I had read once in National Geographic that they have funeral rites and rituals and stuff and scientist believe they mourn and grieve for their dead. The individual more went on about how elephants are attacking! Well of course they are wouldn’t you defend your home and family if people came to kill you!? My purple elephant has had many a pink, green and grey elephant cousin killed!

Why if it’s OK to eat elephants well what’s the biggy with eating people too…I mean elephants are really sensitive creatures…I was pretty irritated that the individual then went on to claim elephants have small brains compared to their size when well they had no scientific evidence to back it up…in fact I understand elephants are quite smart...but apart from my personal relationship with my lovely purple elephant here are some scientific facts out there…

Read what Marc Bekoff, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder has to say in his commentary Do Elephants Cry? By clicking on this link here.

Now I know this is an Advent calendar and my objective of it is to bring fun, comfort and joy. So I’m not going to go on about the gory details of the pain that my purple elephant and his relatives can be subjected to…instead I’m going to celebrate the purple elephant and his kind…it is what the purple elephant wants too…he really just wants to live in peace and harmony with other beings in the universe…and for his family it’s Christmas time too…so here is how we are going to celebrate the Purple Elephant and Elephants at large and their gifts today on the Advent Calendar.

- Meady’s Musings-Some scientific facts that show the loveliness of the nature of the elephant…their ability to show love and compassion for each other and even for species other than their own!
- UCP-Elephants have long been revered in Hinduism and Buddhism…and we will explore that…
- Books and Films Corner-Many movies and books have been made about elephants we will talk about one of my favourite elephantine characters!


By now it is well known on UCP how I feel about my ishq devata Ganapati. He is of course very elephantine in nature. However here are some other interesting facts about the celebration of the elephant in Asian Religions and Cultures as described on Wikipedia:

The following elephants or elephant-like figures occur in mythology and religion.
• Ganesh, an elephant-headed Hindu deity
• Airavata, an elephant ridden by the Hindu god Indra.
• Erawan, the Thai version of Airavata.

Gaja (a Sanskrit word for elephant) is one of the significant animals finding references in Hindu scriptures and Buddhist and Jain texts. In general, a gaja personifies a number of positive attributes including abundance, fertility and richness; boldness and strength; and wisdom and royalty.

In the context of the history of Ancient India, the earliest depiction of gaja is found on the seals discovered at sites (like Harappa and Mohenjo Daro) of the Indus Valley Civilization (3000 BC – 1700 BC). Some scholars believe that by that time elephants had been tamed and domesticated, and used for peaceful and possibly for other purposes. In the Vedas, there is no direct reference to elephants. Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya reports use of war elephants during warfare.

Over a period of time encompassing several centuries, elephants became an important part of Indian life and society, particularly of religious tradition, the royalty, and the aristocratic segment of the society. Capturing, taming and training of elephants developed into a specialized skill. In Ancient India, a number of treatises were written about caring and management of elephants, which included the following:
• Palakapya’s Hastayurvea dealing with the management of good health of elephants.
• Matangalila by Nilakantha
The legend states that Airavata, the first elephant, emerged from the churning of the ocean. There is another mythological account, which states that Brahma created elephants.

The Buddhist tradition states that Buddha came into the womb of his mother in the form of an elephant having six tusks. According to Jaina tradition, each of the mother of the twenty-four thirthankars dreamt of fourteen auspicious objects, which included an elephant. In Hinduism, Ganesh, a god with the elephant’s head has been an object of reverence and worship for more than two millennia. He is therefore called as Gajanan(Gaj=elephant, aanan= faced). Several deities and mythological figures have elephants as their conveyance (vahan) including Balarama, Skanda and aiyanar.

An elephant is also one of several attributes of a Chakravartin, which he is expected to own to be bestowed with the title of Chakravatin, that is, the supreme and universal ruler.

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