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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Abraham had shown that his love for Allah superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to Allah’s command.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 Solitary Tear

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by designldg

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“The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)

There is nothing left to take away to this solitary tear which reflects on the Yamuna river.
In this cruel and imperfect world, the Taj is the proof that Love can still create perfection…”Dilruba”…

For all the Taj Mahal lovers, this is the new commercial by Guerlain for “Shalimar”, the unforgettable scent since the 20’s…
youtu.be/vL6XJw8Oe5M

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Many Ways to Worship

Posted in Buddhism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by designldg

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“I’ve learned much from the land of many gods and many ways to worship. 
From Buddhism the power to begin to manage my mind, from Jainism the desire to make peace in all aspects of life, while Islam has taught me to desire goodness and to let go of that which cannot be controlled. 
I thank Judaism for teaching me the power of transcendence in rituals and the Sufis for affirming my ability to find answers within and reconnecting me with the power of music. 
Here’s to the Parsis for teaching me that nature must be touched lightly, and the Sikhs for the importance of spiritual strength….
And most of all, I thank Hinduism for showing me that there are millions of paths to the divine.” 
(From “Holy Cow” by Sarah Macdonald)

This is a close-up of a part of the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath located at 13 km away from Varanasi (Benaras).
The Dhamek Stupa is said to mark the spot of a deer park (Rishipattana) where the Buddha gave the first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment, “revealing his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana”.
In its current shape, the stupa is an impressive cylinder of bricks and stone reaching a height of 43.6 meters and having a diameter of 28 meters (128 feet high and 93 feet in diameter).
The basement seems to have survived from Ashoka’s structure: the stone facing is chiseled and displays delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. 
The wall is covered with exquisitely carved figures of humans and birds, as well as inscriptions in the Brāhmī script.
This picture was shot at the time of a visit of his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

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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.

“A Guit Your” – “Shana Tova”

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by designldg

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
(From “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches” by Martin Luther King Jr.)

Amazing symbols gathered all together on a huge bowl in the gardens of the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in New Delhi.
With “Om” everything begins, it is a mantra and mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin sacred and important in various Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Like Ganesha who is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, he is the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom, the god of beginnings and therefore he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies.
Then the hexagram which has deep significance in most of the Dharmic and Abrahamic religions.
In Christianity it is often called the star of creation, while it is known as Najmat Dāwūd (Star of David) or Khātem Sulaymān (Seal of Solomon) in Islam and becomes the Magen David when it is recognized as the symbol of Judaism.

In many ways this picture unites us all and allows me to wish everyone, whatever your faith is, “A Guit Your”, “Shana Tova” or, in other words, a Happy New Year.
It is easier to love than to hate, and as we are at the edge of a new conflict I truly want peace to prevail.
May this year be peaceful for all of us…

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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Vanity, Pride and Arrogance

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by designldg

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“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”
(Samuel Butler – English novelist, 1835-1902)

This is a close up of a gate of the Kashi Ram Green Eco Garden in Lucknow, the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
This park reveals the misuse of public money.
It was built on 120-acre of land by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Kumari who also erected huge statues of herself in a style reminding totalitarian regimes in order to show respect towards Dalit icons as she considers herself as one.
She also settled a plan for a special police force to protect this expensive huge space as she feared that her political opponents might demolish her work.
People would have preferred houses, schools and hospitals instead of watching from an highway this monumental work which exults the vanity, pride and arrogance of someone who doesn’t care for them.

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Mayawati became the first Dalit-woman chief minister of any Indian state and therefore a symbol for millions of Dalits (or “untouchables”) who were oppressed by the Hindu upper castes for centuries.
However she is involved in many scandals and there are allegations that she has used her status to amass a large amount of personal wealth.
Her assets run into millions of dollars with several properties to her name.
The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) had filed a case against her for owning assets disproportionate to her known sources of income however she described the CBI investigation against her as illegal.
While the source of the funds was given as voluntary donations, CBI found at least 50 sweepers, hawkers, and rickshaw-pullers who had been asked to open bank accounts and sign blank cheques from which these funds eventually originated.
Her mega birthday bashes are major media events where she appears laden with diamonds.
______________________

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The Energies of the Universe

Posted in Studies & Sketches through the lens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by designldg

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“To the question “What am I? The scripture replies “Tat tvamasi” it means ” You are that”.
Throwing another question “You are that? ….what does the THAT signify?”, the scriptures replies “Aham Brahmasmi” it means “You are part of the Universe”.
Throwing in the last question “Which part of the Universe”, the scriptures replies ” Antaryami” it means ” the super soul within you aka the God which resides within you”.
The quintessential seeker bluntly wonders “The God within me? Is God a thing or a concept? Is God a “He” or a “She”? If God is within me, am I God? How can I be God? Is God working through me?”
( From an article by Saumya Suresh – ablogonpsychology.blogspot.fr/2012/07/anima-animus-indian… )

This is a contemporary Ardhanarishvara statue which stands in front of the main building of the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi (Benaras).
Ardhanarishvara is a composite androgynous form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati (also known as Devi, Shakti and Uma).
Ardhanarishvara is depicted as half male and half female, split down the middle, it represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe and illustrates how Shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from (or the same as, according to some interpretations) Shiva, the male principle of God.
The union of these principles is exalted as the root of all creation.
Another view is that Ardhanarishvara as a symbol of Shiva’s all-pervasive nature.

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A New Lease of Life

Posted in Studies & Sketches through the lens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by designldg

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“He was my own son.
Now you give him a new lease of life”,
said Mother Parvati to Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva then ordered his Ganas to go out and bring the head of any creature they saw first.
It was an elephant that the Ganas found first.
So they cut its head and brought it to Lord Shiva.
Putting the elephant head at the boy’s torso, Lord Shiva infused a new lease of life in him.

Of all the multitudes of deities and gods that constitute the Hindu religion, Lord Ganesha is probably one of the most loved and revered of all, regardless of individual beliefs and customs.
Considered the God of good beginnings and wisdom, it is in his name that new ventures are undertaken and important life decisions made.

This illustration of Lord Ganesha was printed on a tile and fixed on the wall of a house in the oldest part of Varanasi (Benaras).
Since a while several walls of the holy city are covered with paintings or tiles showing any image or symbol of the main religions and most often they are displayed all together.
This is a simple trick in order to keep the walls clean as no-one there would dare making a “lack of respect” to any represention of God…

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