Archive for the 1 – FAITH Category

Friday Call

Posted in Islam, Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

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“O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know.”
(The Quran – The Congregation, 62.9)

This is picture of Jama Masjid, the largest and best-known mosque in India, which is in in Old Delhi.
It was a Friday morning at the time of the call for prayer when many people gather in front of gate number two in the amazing market which goes to the main gate of the Red Fort.
This is the place where I always buy a few red apples from Cashmere which might be the tastiest I ever had.

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The Khanda ☬

Posted in Sikhism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by designldg

Image

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“I have made this body and mind a sacrifice, a sacrificial offering to the Lord.
Dedicating my body and mind, I have crossed over the terrifying world-ocean, and shaken off the fear of death.”
(Guru Arjan, Chant, pg. 576)

The Khanda is the symbol of the Sikhs, as the Cross is to Christians or the Star of David is to Jews.
The khanda is like a “coat of arms’ for Sikhs.
It was introduced by the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji.
It reflects some of the fundamental concepts of Sikhism.
The symbol derives its name from the double-edged sword (also called a Khanda) which appears at the center of the logo.
This double-edged sword is a metaphor of Divine Knowledge, its sharp edges cleaving Truth from Falsehood.
The Chakar around the Khanda is a circle without a beginning or an end, it symbolizes the perfection of God who is eternal.
The Chakar is surrounded by two curved swords called Kirpans, they symbolize the twin concepts of Meeri and Peeri – Temporal and Spiritual authority introduced by Guru Hargobind.
They emphasize the equal emphasis that a Sikh must place on spiritual aspirations as well as obligations to society.
(www.sikhs.org)

This picture wa shot at the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib which is located near Connaught Place in Delhi.

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Resurrection & Life

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by designldg

“I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Do you believe this?”
(Jesus Christ – John 11:25, 26)

Easter is a Christian feast and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament.
The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith, it establishes Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness.
God has given Christians “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.
Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection.
According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper.
He identified the loaf of bread and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed.
Paul states, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed”; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.

In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are etymologically related or homonymous, “Pascha” is a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic form of the Hebrew Pesach, the Passover feast of Exodus 12.
In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast today is known by the name Pascha and words derived from it.
Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs.
Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades, and are observed by both Christians and non-Christians.

This image is made of a picture shot inside Notre-Dame de Paris, this sculture stands almost at the entrance on the right, in the south side of the cathedral.

May you all have a very happy Easter full of love and new beginnings…Joyeuses fêtes de Pâques à tous…

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The Bond of Brotherhood

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by designldg

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“The mystical bond of brotherhood makes all men brothers.”
(Thomas Carlyle – Scottish Historian and Essayist, 1795-1881)

Those young men standing on the top of a wall are Shia devotees waiting for the processions with replicas of Husayn’s mausoleum called tazia which were coming in this narrow street.
It was at the time of Muharram when Varanasi (Benaras) add a little more magic and becomes timeless.
The Eternal city has so many amazing sides, this festival allows to feel a warm bond of brotherhood among the inhabitants of this area.

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Between Destruction and Creation

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by designldg

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“Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem alone.”
(Marion Woodman – Canadian author, b.1928)

Manikarnika Kund is a sacred pond located next to Manikarnika Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Each year in November it is dug out from the dirt which covers it up from the holy river floods of the rainy season.
This large rectangular structure, with surrounding steps is mythologically related to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The Chakra-Pushkarini Kund or “Discus Lotus-Pond” is said to be so ancient that it was present before King Bhagiratha brought the Ganges to Varanasi and is supposed to have been dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation with his disc.
The word “Manikarnika” refers “Jeweled Earring” and this name was given because Lord Shiva’s earring fell into the well when it was a very large lake.
This historic place symbolizes creation, and the cremation ghat next to it is all about death, the hot ashes of the burnt bodies nearby makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world.
Many pilgrims take a bath here after performing the rituals of cremation. It is also said to be lucky for couples to take a bath together in this well.

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Compassion For All Life

Posted in Jainism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by designldg

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“What could have saved Indian society from the ponderous burden of omnifarious ritualistic ceremonialism, with its animal and other sacrifices, which all but crushed the very life of it, except the Jain revolution, which took its strong stand exclusively on chaste morals and philosophical truths?
Jains were the first great ascetics and they did some great work.
“Don’t injure any and do good to all that you can, and that is all the morality and ethics, and that is all the work there is, and the rest is all nonsense.”
And then they went to work and elaborated this one principle all through, and it is a most wonderful ideal: how all that we call ethics they simply bring out from that one great principle of non-injury and doing good.”
(Swami Vivekananda – The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3, Buddhistic India – Lecture delivered at the Shakespeare Club, Pasadena, California, on February 2, 1900)

Jainism is one of the oldest religion, it prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings, its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation with compassion for all life, human and non-human.

Digambara monks and nuns practice strict asceticism and strive to make their current birth their last, thus ending their cycle of transmigration.
They wear no clothes, following the practice of Mahavira, they do not consider themselves to be nude.
Rather, they are wearing the environment, that is the quintessential, akasha or space.
Digambaras believe that this practice represents a refusal to give in to the demands of the body for comfort and private property.
Digambara ascetics have only two possessions: a peacock feather broom and a water gourd, they walk barefoot and sweep the ground in front of them to avoid killing insects or other tiny beings.
They practice non-attachment to the body and hence, wear no clothes, travel on foot and do not use mechanical transport.

This picture was shot along a road located in the center of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where several devotees were waiting for those monks.
Some were walking with them for a while, others were seeking for their blessings and spreading a devotional atmosphere everywhere.

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“Come, come…”

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

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“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.”
(Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, known as Jelaluddin Rumi – Persian Sufi Mystic poet, 1207–1273)

This lady came to perform a puja at Vatsyaraj ghat where there is a little temple along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
She was cleaning each item in copper used for this pupose, repeating gestures done by her elders in order to uphold traditions and culture…

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Discovering Yourself

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

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“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
What you’ll discover will be wonderful.
What you’ll discover is yourself.”
(Alan Alda – American actor, director and author, b. 1936)

At Nepali Ghat along the Ganges there is a stair-case behind a little door which leads to a Nepalese Temple known as Kathwala Temple.
It was built by the King of Nepal with a Nepalese architecture and surrounded by tamarind and pipal trees.
The workers who carved this temple came from Nepal with a special wood that termites do not eat.
This place dedicated to Lord Shiva allows to have an amazing view on Varanasi (benaras) and the sacred river.
The quietness there opens the rooms of consciousness and it becomes easy to discover yourself…

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The Final Mystery

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

 

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“The final mystery is oneself.”
(Oscar Wilde – Irish poet and novelist, 1854-1900)

This is the door of the Nepalese Temple known as Kathwala Temple which is on the top of Nepali ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This place dedicated to Lord Shiva is covered by an amazing wooden sculptures.
The door leads directly to the Lingam, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.

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The Sanctuary’s Hidden Mysteries

Posted in Hinduism, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by designldg

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“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.”
(The Holy Bible – Daniel 9:17)

This is the sanctuary inside the Nepalese Temple known as Kathwala Temple which is on the top of Nepali ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).

The Lingam, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva, stands in the center of the shrine next to the Lord’s trishul (Trident, “three spear” in Sanskrit).
The Lingam symbolizes the male creative energy, of the power of fertility and strength and represents the phallus.
“Shiva as the undivided causal principle is worshiped in the linga.
His more manifest aspects are represented in anthropomorphic images.
All other deities are part of a multiplicity and are thus worshiped as images.”
(Karapatri, “Shri Shiva Tattva”, Siddhanta)

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