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Eid Mubarak

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2013 by designldg

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“ Abraham said:
“I will go to my Lord! He will surely guide me “O my Lord! Grant me a righteous son!” So We gave him the good news of a forbearing son. Then, when the son reached the age of serious work with him, Abraham said: “O my son! I have seen in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: now see what your view is?” The son said: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, one of the steadfast!”
So when they had both submitted Allah and Abraham had laid his son prostrate on his forehead for sacrifice, We called out to him “O Abraham! You have already fulfilled the dream!” – you are indeed Do We reward those who do right.”
(Qur’ân – verse 37:99 to verse 37:109)

Islam focuses on Abraham more than either Judaism or Christianity, but with an important difference: where Judaism holds that one becomes a descendant of Abraham through birth, and Christianity that one becomes a descendant through faith, Islam holds that descent is unimportant – Abraham, in other words, is not the father of the believing community, but a link in the chain of prophets that begins with Adam and culminates in Mohammad.
Islamic traditions consider Abraham the first Pioneer of Islam (which is also called millat Ibrahim, the “religion of Abraham”), and that his purpose and mission throughout his life was to proclaim the Oneness of God.
When Abraham was asked for sacrifice, he took Ishmael to sacrifice. When he was about to use the knife, God placed a sheep under his hand.
Abraham had shown that his love for Allah superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to Allah’s command.
As a reward for this sacrifice, God then granted Abraham the good news of the birth of his second son, Is-haaq (Isaac).
Muslims around the world commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha, to follow the path of Abraham that is called Qurbani (sacrifice).

During this festival in Varanasi (Benaras), it is common for Muslims and non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their good wishes and share a meal or sweets.
This is a view shot from the upper terrace of the Bara Imambara in Lucknow built by Asaf-ud-Daula, the Nawab of the city, in 1784.
The two minars on the left belong to the Asfi Mosque and on the right stands the Rumi Darwaza known as the Turkish Gate.
This picture of the City of Nawabs, the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, allows me to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Eid Mubarak.
“May Allah ease the suffering of all people around the world…”

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A Revealed Paradise

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by designldg

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“It is this admirable, this immortal, instinctive sense of beauty that leads us to look upon the spectacle of this world as a glimpse, a correspondence with heaven.
Our unquenchable thirst for all that lies beyond, and that life reveals, is the liveliest proof of our immortality.
It is both by poetry and through poetry, by music and through music, that the soul dimly descries the splendours beyond the tomb; and when an exquisite poem brings tears to our eyes, those tears are not a proof of overabundant joy: they bear witness rather to an impatient melancholy, a clamant demand by our nerves, our nature, exiled in imperfection, which would fain enter into immediate possession, while still on this earth, of a revealed paradise.”
(Charles Baudelaire – French poet, 1821-1867)

This amazing mansion gathering classical Indian and European styles stands at Rani ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This ghat is far from the center, in a very quiet place away from the noise and the turmoil of the city.
On this side of the river many other buildings recall the splendour of the past which once made the renown of the City of Lights…

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Ramzan Mubarak

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by designldg

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With this picture of a gate leading to the Masjid-i Jahān-Numā, commonly known as the Jama Masjid, in Old Delhi I would like to wish “Ramzan Mubarak” to all my Muslim friends, colleagues and members of my team.
And of course to all of you, Muslims and non-Muslims, who are following my work on internet.

“May this Ramzan bring you the utmost in peace & prosperity.
May lights triumph over darkness.
May peace transcend the earth.
May the spirit of light illuminate the world…”

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Several blasts in Bodhgaya

Posted in Buddhism, Human Rights Violations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by designldg

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This morning on 7 July, 2013, in a terror attack, 9 bombs exploded inside the Mahabodhi temple (“Great Awakening Temple”) complex (a UNESCO World heritage site) located in Bodh-Gaya in the Indian state of Bihar which is the Buddhism’s holiest shrine.
The first blast took place inside the temple at 5:30 am, followed by eight successive explosions in the next half hour, one near the Buddha statue, one near the Mahabodhi tree and others near the Teraga monastery, injuring 5 people.
One unexploded bomb was also traced and defused.
The main temple is intact and sanitised.

This holy site is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
The site of the Bodhi tree at Bodhigaya is, directly connected to the life of Buddha (566-486 BCE) and attained enlighment or perfect insight when he was meditating under this tree.
The Bodhi tree, which is to the west of the main temple is a direct continuation of original Bodhi tree under which Budha spent his first week after attaining enlighment.
According to the Jatakas, it forms the navel of the earth, and no other place can support the weight of the Buddha’s attainment.

The Intelligence Bureau of India may have alerted state officials of possible threats around 15 days prior to the bombing.
It happens “again” just before some elections in order to raise controversies and disputes which is exactly the opposite of Buddha’s teachings unless it is done in order to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday who just turned 78 a few hours before those blasts…
Terrorism is not negotiable…Nothing justifies such things…What comes to the mind of those who do such things…???

This insanity is beyond words…I know this place which only inspires love, compassion and brotherhood…
(Last time I went there I took this picture at dawn before anyone came inside the complex)

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The Heart of Life

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things, even in the eyes that are blind to beauty.”
(Kahlil Gibran – Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer, 1883-1931 )

 

This picture was shot this morning after sunrise when the heat started to become unbearable along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
In many ways the oldest living city doesn’t change and remains a world itself almost frozen in time and wrapped in its endless beauty.
However it seems that some greedy eyes are blind to that beauty as a huge building is now violently appearing in the background…

 

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Adding Color To My Sunset Sky

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
(From “Stray Birds” by Rabindranath Tagore)

This parrot came at sunset nearby a window of the remains of a madrasa in the Hauz Khas complex in Delhi…

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Throwing a Dream

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by designldg

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“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”
“Jeter vos rêves dans l’espace comme un cerf-volant, et vous ne savez pas ce qu’il rapportera, une nouvelle vie, un nouvel ami, un nouvel amour, un nouveau pays.”
(Anaïs Nin – French-Cuban author, 1903-1977)

This palace built by the Maharaja of Benaras in 1830 stands at Ganga Mahal Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This is the place to throw dreams and to keep them alive, some may even be able to touch them…Join the photographer at https://www.facebook.com/laurent.goldstein.photography

Peace and Harmony

Posted in Islam, The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2011 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“May the spirit of Ramadan illuminate the world and show us the way to peace and harmony.”

Today starts Ramzan (Ramadan) in India.
It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn until sunset.
Fasting is intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility and spirituality and is a time to fast for the sake of God (Allah) and to offer more prayer than usual.
During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.
Ramadan was the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

The name “Ramadan” had been the name of the ninth month in Arabian culture long before the arrival of Islam; the word itself derived from an Arabic root rmḍ, as in words like “ramiḍa” or “ar-ramaḍ” denoting intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of rations.
In the Qu’ran, God proclaims that “fasting has been written down (as obligatory) upon you, as it was upon those before you”.
According to the earliest hadith, this refers to the Jewish practice of fasting on Yom Kippur.

This is a view of Aurangzeb mosque, also known as the Alamgir Mosque or as Beni Madhav Ka Darera, which is dominating Panchganga Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This square stone building covered with three domes was originally established by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and features a fine combination of Hindu and Mughal art and architecture and indicates the rich artworks of ancient India.
It was built on the site of the Vishnu Temple, the Temple of Bindu Madhava and now reflects the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb culture, a smooth coexistence of the Hindu and the Muslim religions.
The mosque overlooks Panchganga Ghat which is considered to be a sacred bathing place and its lower part still features a Hindu temple.

Ramzan Mubarak to Everyone…

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Flags of Truth

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2011 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“No doubt Pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument: it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion.
But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment.
It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”
(C.S. Lewis – British Scholar and Novelist, 1898-1963)

This lady was rowing a boat towards Munsi ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
It was before sunset, she was carrying candles with flowers to sell to the devoteees who were already gathering along the river in order to perform the evening puja.
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“La souffrance, en tant que porte-voix de Dieu, est un terrible instrument; il peut conduire à la rébellion finale et impénitente.
Mais il représente, pour tous les méchants, l’unique occasion de s’amender.
Il ôte le voile; il plante le drapeau de la vérité dans la forteresse même de l’âme rebelle.”
(C.S. Lewis – Ecrivain et universitaire irlandais, 1898-1963)

Cette femme ramait une barque en direction de Munsi ghat au bord du Gange à Varanasi (Benares).
C’était avant le coucher du soleil, elle amenait des bougies avec des fleurs afin de les vendre aux dévôts qui commençaient à se rassemblaient le long du fleuve pour accomplir le puja du soir.

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Merit and Wisdom

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by designldg

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All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“In order for us to progress smoothly and swiftly on our spiritual path, we need the help of two things – merit and wisdom – they are like the 2 wings of a bird, lacking one will cripple our progress.
We need to accumulate merit and wisdom with joyful effort and enthusiasm.
Merit without wisdom or wisdom without merit will not help.”
(His Holiness Jigme Pema Wangchen, the Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa)

This is the main door of the ancient palace in Leh, the capital of Ladakh in the Himalayan hills.
It was shot at sunset.
This palace was modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet) and is the highest building in the world of his own times.
Leh has for centuries been an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China.
The main goods carried were salt, grain, pashm or cashmere wool, charas (cannabis resin) from the Tarim Basin, indigo, silk yarn and Banaras brocades.