Archive for christianity

The Head, the Eye and the Heart

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

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“To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”
(Henri Cartier-Bresson – French photographe, 1908–2004)

This picture was shot in All Saints Cathedral of Allahabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
It was at the end of the Sunday Mass, this family came close to the marble altar in order to get Absolution from the priest.

The building is considered as one of the finest Anglican Cathedral in Asia, it was built in 13th century Gothic style, and was consecrated in 1887.

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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 Healing Sun

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by designldg

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“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.
Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”
(Paracelsus – Swiss Renaissance physician, 1493–1541)

From Tulsi Ghat there is a long and narrow staircase which leads to Lolark Kund, one of the oldest sacred sites of Varanasi (Benaras).
This rectangular tank of 15m height below the ground level is a sacred pond for many Hindu devotees who come here during Lolark Shasthi to worship the Sun God.
The word Lolark means “trembling Sun” and there is an image of Surya, the Sun God, in the water of the tank.
This tank is attached to the most important of 12 temples of Aditya (Sun God) in the city.
The entrance to the kund can be reached from either of the three flight of steps which descend down towards it.
Aditya is believed to prevent and cure leprosy or sterile women and to favor blessings on couples particularly those wanting to bring forth male progeny for various reasons including carrying on family name, economic bonanza,…
This is the reason why many devotees and childless couples come to have a daily dip in the waters of this sacred pond.
Also many come back to Lolark Kund after the fulfillment of their wishes in order to perform Mundan Sanskar (head-shaving sacrament).

This picture was shot during the night of Dev Diwali.

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Peace on Earth

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2010 by designldg

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“I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!”.
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – American Poet, 1807-1882)

May you have the real spirit of Christmas and cherish peace and goodwill.
Merry Christmas.
This is another detail of the the sculptures around the main gate of the west facade of Notre Dame de Paris which is a Gothic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris in France.

 

Christmas in My Heart

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2010 by designldg

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“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”(Charles Dickens – English novelist, 1812-1870)
I am wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone .Here in Benaras Christmas always takes different shades of colours and the spirit of this celebration is almost in everything that comes along my way.Christmas comes once a year but why not keeping it within the heart for the rest of the year…
(I take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind mails, comments and messages which I unfortunately can’t answer in time because of my awful internet connection which keeps on coming and going…)
This picture was two years ago, it is a detail of the the sculptures around the main gate of the west facade of Notre Dame de Paris which is a Gothic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris in France.

The Passion Mysteries

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by designldg

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“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that those who believe in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” John 3:14
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.” John 12:32

This is a close-up of Ligier Richier’s “Lamentation of Christ” which is in Church of St. Étienne located in Saint-Mihiel, in northeastern France.
Ligier Richier (c. 1500 – 1567) was a sixteenth-century French sculptor who might have been inspired by the Mystery plays which are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe.
Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song.
They developed from the 10th to the 16th century, reaching the height of their popularity in the 15th century before being rendered obsolete by the rise of professional theatre.

The Symbol of the Cross

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by designldg

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History shows that the cross was used centuries before Christ.
“From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization.
Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world.
India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples, while numerous instances, dating from the later Stone Age to Christian times, have been found in nearly every part of Europe.
The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times, and among non-Christian peoples, may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship”.
(The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1910, Vol. 7, pg. 506. Emphasis ours.)

The surprising thing is that the Christian use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after Christ.
Archaeologists have not found any Christian use of the symbol before that time.
According to one writer (W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, article “Cross”), the cross as a “Christian” symbol was taken directly from the pagans.

The New Testament does not specifically describe the instrument upon which Christ died, though Acts 5:30; 10:39; and 13:28-29 refer to it as a “tree.”
The Greek word xulon, translated “tree” in these verses, can mean a stick, club, tree, stake, or other wooden articles.
There is absolutely no evidence that God’s true church ever used the cross symbol for any purpose.
Nowhere does the Bible command its use however, throughout the world, people universally regard the cross as THE symbol of Christianity.
Among Christians it recalls the crucifixion of Jesus and humanity’s redemption thereby.
The Christian form of blessing by tracing a cross over oneself or another person or thing.

This cross is the reflection of a light on a wall in the Église de Saint-Eustache which is a church in the Ier arrondissement of Paris, built between 1532 and 1632.
It was shot during the midnight Mass celebrated on Christmas Eve.

“A Lamp Placed in Darkness”

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by designldg

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“Thomas was a lamp placed in darkness to illuminate the earth filled with the smoke of false sacrifices.
It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes.
His grateful dawn dispelled India’s painful darkness.
He, one of the Twelve, like a great lamp with oil from the Cross replenished, flooded India’s dark night with light.It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten…
Edessa thus became the blessed city by possessing the greatest pearl India could yield.
Thomas works miracles in India, and at Edessa Thomas is destined to baptize peoples perverse and steeped in darkness, and that in the land of India.”
(From the “Hymns of Saint Ephraem (Ephrem) the Syrian, on Apostle Thomas and India” – Ephr. Hymni et Sermones, IV)

Christianity is India’s third-largest religion, with approximately 24 million followers, constituting 2.3% of India’s population.
The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Muziris (Kodungallur ) in Kerala in 52 CE to proselytize amongst Kerala’s Jewish settlements.
As with early Christianity in the Roman Empire, it is assumed that the initial converts were largely Jewish proselytes among the Cochin Jews who are believed to have arrived in India around 562BC, after the destruction of the First Temple.
Many of these Jews presumably spoke Aramaic like St. Thomas, also a Jew by birth, who is credited by tradition with evangelizing India.
Therefore Christianity in India is almost as old as Christianity itself and spread in India even before it spread in many predominantly Christian nations of Europe.
Today most Christians in India are Catholic following the Latin rite.
The Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals contributing significantly to the development of the nation.

This picture was shot at All Saints Cathedral ( known as Patthar Girja Ghar) in Allahabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, it was built in the 19th century in Gothic style and designed by Sir William Emerson, the eminent architect who designed the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata and it figures among the finest Cathedrals of India.

Over All Things

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by designldg

Over All Things

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“Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associate (others with Allah) – surely Allah will decide between them on the day of resurrection; surely Allah is a witness over all things.”
(The Qur’an [22.17])

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.”
(The Qur’an [2.62])

Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people.
According to those verses of the Qur’an, mentioned above, if you are Jewish or Christian you are Muslim as long as you do God’s will.
A Muslim is an adherent of Islam, it can be translate by “one who submits (to God)”.
Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, “peace be upon them”.
The ten commandments from the Torah are in the Qur’an, and Islam holds the belief that Mohamed was the one Jesus predicted would finish the prophesies (temple and Kaaba) that where expected of the Messiah, himself, although Judaic prophesies disagree with any mesiah who performed miracles.

For a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life.
Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness and the majority have nothing to do with all events which have come to be associated with their faith.

This is a close-up of a wall painting at the entrance of the Chhota Imambara, also known as Hussainabad Imambara or the Palace of Lights, located in Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

“Hallelujah is Our Song”

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2010 by designldg

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
(Pope John Paul II, 1920 – 2005)

This Bell, known in Sanskrit as Ghanti is in a Shiva temple facing the Ganges on the way to Gai Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
It is used in all poojas for invoking God, producing the auspicious sound “Om”, the universal name of the Lord.
“Agamaarthamtu devaanaam Gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam Kurve ghantaaravam tatra Devataahvaahna lakshanam, 
(I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart)”. 

In some Christian countries, the ringing of the church bells on every day of the week of Easter represents the announcement of the new life spring brings and also frightens off the spirits of darkness and evil.
Easter is the central religious feast in the Christian liturgical year.
According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

Happy easter to all of you.