Let us Start
A man who had been called to testify at the Income Tax Department
asked his accountant for advice on what to wear. “Wear your shabbiest
clothing. Let him think you are a pauper,” the accountant replied.
Then he asked his lawyer the same question, but got the opposite
advice. “Don’t let them intimidate you. Wear your most elegant suit and tie.”
Confused, the man went to his priest, told him of the conflicting
advice, and requested some resolution on the dilemma.
“Let me tell you a story,” replied the priest. “A woman, about to be
married, asked her mother what to wear on her wedding night. ‘Wear a
heavy, long, flannel nightgown that goes right up to your neck.’
But when she asked her best friend, she got conflicting advice. ‘Wear
your most revealing negligee, a nice V-neck.’ ”
Confused, the man asked, “What does all this have to do with my
problem with the Income Tax Department?”
“Simple,” replied the Priest. “It doesn’t matter what you wear,
you are going to get screwed anyway.”
(contributed by : Amr on 28.09.2012)
Birla Mandir on the Naubath Pahad is a Hindu temple of Lord Venkateshwara, built entirely of white marble located in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The Birla Foundation has constructed several similar temples in India, all of which are known as Birla Mandir.
The temple manifests a blend of South Indian Rajasthani and Utkala temple architectures. In its entirety, it is made of 2000 tons of pure Rajasthani white marble.
The granite of the presiding deity is about 11 ft (3.4 m) tall and a carved lotus forms an umbrella on the roof. The consorts of Lord Venkateswara, Padmavati and Andal are housed in separate shrines. There is a brass flagstaff in the temple premises which rises to a height of 42 ft (13 m).
The temple is built on a 280 feet (85 m) high hillock called the Naubath Pahad on a 13 acres (53,000 m2) plot. The construction took 10 years and was consecrated in 1976 by Swami Ranganathananda of Ramakrishna Mission. The temple does not have traditional bells, as Swamiji wished that the temple atmosphere should be conducive for meditation.
Though the chief deity is Lord Venkateshwara, the temple has pan-Hindu character with deities of Shiva, Shakti, Ganesh, Hanuman, Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Saibaba. The selected teachings of holy men and Gurbani are engraved on temple walls.
Birla temples are open to all, as identified by Mahatma Gandhi and other Hindu leaders as one of the major social evil that was to be reformed in modern India as part of Freedom struggle.
The temple complex overlooking the southern side of Hussain Sagar offers a magnificent panoramic view of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It presents a colorful and spectacular sight when illuminated at night.
Other nearby structures are Andhra Pradesh Secretariat, Assembly and Birla Planetarium.
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birla_Mandir,_Hyderabad)Birla Mandir on the Naubath Pahad is a Hindu temple of Lord Venkateshwara, built entirely of white marble located in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. The Birla Foundation has constructed several similar temples in India, all of which are known as Birla Mandir. The temple manifests a blend of South Indian Rajasthani and Utkala temple architectures. In its ...
The beauty of being a Hindu lies in your freedom to be who you want to be. Nobody can tell you what to do, or what not to do. There is no central authority, no single leader of the faith. No one can pass an order to excommunicate you, or like in some countries, pass a decree that orders your death by stoning for walking with a strange man.
We don’t appreciate our freedom because we can’t feel the plight of others who aren’t free. Many religions have a central authority with awesome power over the individual. They have a clear chain of command, from the lowliest local priest to the highest central leader. Hinduism somehow escaped from such central authority and the Hindu has miraculously managed to hold on to his freedom through the ages. How did this happen?
Vedanta is the answer. When the writers of Vedanta emerged, around 1500 BC, they faced an organised religion of orthodox Hinduism. This was the post Vedic age, where ritualism was practiced, and the masses had no choice but to follow. It was a coercive atmosphere.
The writers of Vedanta rebelled against this authority and moved away from society into forests. This was how the ‘Aranyakas’ were written, literally meaning ‘writings from the forest’. These later paved the way for the Upanishads and Vedanta eventually caught the imagination of the masses. It emerged triumphant, bearing with it the clear voice of personal freedom.
This democracy of religious thought, so intrinsic to Vedantic intelligence, sank into the mindset of every Indian. Most couldn’t fathom the deep wisdom it contained, but this much was very clear. They understood that faith was an expression of personal freedom and one could believe at will. That’s why Hinduism saw an explosion of Gods. There was a God for every need and every creed. If you wanted to build your muscles, you worshiped a God with fabulous muscles. If you wanted to pursue education, there was a Goddess of Learning. If it was wealth you were looking for, then you looked up to the Goddess of wealth — with gold coins coming out of her hands. If you wanted to live happily as a family, you worshiped Gods who specially blessed families. When you grew old and faced oncoming death, you spent time in contemplating a God whose business it was to dissolve everything — from an individual to the entire Universe.
Everywhere, divinity appeared in the manner and form you wanted it to appear, and when its use was over, you quietly discarded that form of divinity and looked at new forms of the divine that was currently of use to you. ‘Yad Bhavam, tad Bhavati’… what you choose to believe becomes your personal truth, and freedom to believe is always more important than belief itself.
Behind all this — was the silent Vedantic wisdom that Gods are but figments of human imagination. As the Kena Upanishad says, “Brahma ha devebhyo vijigye…” — All Gods are mere subjects of the Self. It implies that it is far better that God serves Man than Men serve God. Because Men never really serve God — they only obey the dictates of a religious head who speaks for that God, who can turn them into slaves in God’s name.
Hindus have therefore never tried to convert anyone. Never waged war in the name of religion. The average Hindu happily makes Gods serve him as per his needs. He discards Gods when he has no use for them. And new Gods emerge all the time — in response to market needs. In this tumult, no central authority could survive. No single prophet could emerge and hold sway, no chain of command could be established.
Vedanta had injected an organised chaos into Hinduism and that’s the way it has been from the last thirty five centuries. Vedanta is also responsible, by default, for sustaining democracy. When the British left India, it was assumed that the nation would soon break up. Nothing of that kind has happened. The pundits of doom forgot that the Indian had been used to religious freedom from thousands of years. When he got political freedom, he grabbed it naturally. After all, when you can discard Gods why can’t you discard leaders? Leaders like Gods are completely em xpendable to the Indian mindset. They are tolerated as long as they serve the people, and are replaced when needs change. It’s the triumph of people over their leaders, and in this tumult, no dictator can ever take over and rule us. Strange how the thoughts of a few men living in forests, thirty five centuries ago, can still echo inside the hearts of Indians.
(source : user A Mohan Rao on 17.10.2012)The beauty of being a Hindu lies in your freedom to be who you want to be. Nobody can tell you what to do, or what not to do. There is no central authority, no single leader of the faith. No one can pass an order to excommunicate you, or like in some countries, pass a ...
The 2011 carnival parade in Rio
– from March 5-8, 2011
– is expected to attract about 756,000 visitors
to the Brazilian capital, and is worth more than $550m in tourism revenue.
Continue reading → The 2011 carnival parade in Rio – from March 5-8, 2011 – is expected to attract about 756,000 visitors to the Brazilian capital, and is worth more than $550m in tourism revenue. Slideshow at : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/539a927e-464c-11e0-aebf-00144feab49a.html#axzz1Fv8K7a1f .