Archive for the ‘Religion & Mythology’ Category

Most of you know about Zen….if not

Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán (禪), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as “meditation” or “meditative state”.

Zen emphasizes experiential Wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct self-realization through meditation and dharma practice. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, including the Prajñāpāramitā literature and the teachings of the Yogācāra and Tathāgatagarbha schools.

The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century CE. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan. As a matter of tradition, the establishment of Zen is credited to the South Indian Pallava prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who came to China to teach a “special transmission outside scriptures, not founded on words or letters….(Source Wikipedia)

Most of teachings from Zen-Buddhism are told in short and crisp stories. They are usually designed to develop the mind and to free it from distortions and so to connect with our spirit….

I would like to list some of the stories……….

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

 Obedience

The master Bankei’s talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras nor indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners.

His large audiences angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self-centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to debate with Bankei.

“Hey, Zen teacher!” he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?”

“Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Bankei.

Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher.

Bankei smiled. “Come over to my left side.”

The priest obeyed.

“No,” said Bankei, “we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here.”

The priest proudly stepped over to the right

“You see,” observed Bankei, “you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen.”

No Work, No Food

Hyakujo, the Chinese Zen master, used to labor with his pupils even at the age of eighty, trimming the gardens, cleaning the grounds, and pruning the trees.

The pupils felt sorry to see the old teacher working so hard, but they knew he would not listen to their advice to stop, so they hid away his tools.

That day the master did not eat. The next day he did not eat, nor the next. “He may be angry because we have hidden his tools,” the pupils surmised. “We had better put them back.”

The day they did, the teacher worked and ate the same as before. In the evening he instructed them: “No work, no food.”

Time to Die

Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: “Why do people have to die?”

“This is natural,” explained the older man. “Everything has to die and has just so long to live.”

Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: “It was time for your cup to die.”

 Nothing Exists

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.”

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

“If nothing exists,” inquired Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”

The Stone Mind

Hogen, a Chinese Zen teacher, lived alone in a small temple in the country. One day four traveling monks appeared and asked if they might make a fire in his yard to warm themselves.

While they were building the fire, Hogen heard them arguing about subjectivity and objectivity. He joined them and said: “There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?”

One of the monks replied: “From the Buddhist viewpoint everything is an objectification of mind, so I would say that the stone is inside my mind.”

“Your head must feel very heavy,” observed Hogen, “if you are carrying around a stone like that in your mind.”

Temper

A Zen student came to Bankei and complained: “Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?”

“You have something very strange,” replied Bankei. “Let me see what you have.”

“Just now I cannot show it to you,” replied the other.

“When can you show it to me?” asked Bankei.

“It arises unexpectedly,” replied the student.

“Then,” concluded Bankei, “it must not be your own true nature. If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born you did not have it, and your parents did not give it to you. Think that over.”

So enough of Gyan…..have fun. Enjoy…….

Cheers
VedamsGyan

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Maha Shivrathri is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th night or the 14th day of the new moon in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha or Phalugana in the Hindu calender. This festival is of utmost importance to the devotees of Lord Shiva. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava‘ and it is also believed that Lord Shiva was married to  Mother Parvati. On this day the devotees observe fast and offer fruits and flower and Bhilva Patra or Bael Leaves to Shiva Linga.


Shiva means “Auspicious One“… Laya karaka…or the Destroyer…..In the Hindu Trinity..or Trimurthy.

Worshiped by millions of people in the LINGAKARA which means in the form of Linga

There are 12 major places of worship for Shiva….they are called as Jothirlinga’s. Dwadasa Jothirlinga’s

Jyothirlinga is a shrine where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyothirlinga or lingam of light.  It is believed that Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Arudra festival, thus the special reverence for the Jyothirlinga. It is believed that a person can see these lingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth after he reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment.

The Hym you are gonna read below is Called  “Dwadasha Jothirlinga Stotram”

Sourashtre Somanadham, cha Sri Shaile Mallikarjunam,
Ujjayinyam Maha Kalam, Omkaram, amaleshwaram,
Paralyam Vaidyanatham, cha Dakinyam Bhimasankaram,
Sethubandhe thu Ramesam, Nagesam thu Darukavane,
Varanasyam thu Viswesam, Trayambakam Gouthami thate,
Himalaye thu Kedaram, Ghushmesam cha Shivalaye,
Ethani Jyothirlingani sayam pratha paden nara,
Saptha janma krutham papam smaranena vinasyathi.

Do find the Translation in English

  • Somanatha in Sourashtra,
  • Mallikarjuna in Sri Shailam,
  • Mahakala in Ujjain,
  • Omkaram in Amaleshwara,
  • Vaidhyanatha in Parali,
  • Bhimasankara in South,
  • Rameshwara near the bridge in Sethu,
  • Nageswara in Daruka forest,
  • Visweswara in Varnasi,
  • Trayambakeshwara in the shores of Godavari,
  • Kedareshwara in Himalayas,
  • Ghushmesha in Sivalaya.

And whats that you get by reading this

He who remembers them,Morning and evening,
Would wash away sins,Committed in his seven births.

Today is Maha Shivarathri….so i had posted this. Let all of you have the blessing of Lord Shiva….

OM Namah Shivaya……….