TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 – REMEMBERING THE CONSONANCE AND THE DISSONANCE IN HUMAN NATURE
On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, the 17th Anniversary of 911 attacks on the United States, I reflect upon the consonance and dissonance in human nature. The serenity and nobility of the site in Pennsylvania depict the dimension of consonance and the crash of Flight 93 depicts the dimension of dissonance when the world and man are viewed as the works of God.
I define the United States using its national motto which proclaims, “In God We Trust.” For we trust in God, it is rational to claim that man is constituted as a Spiritual Being in God’s own image. I have a great problem in accounting for man’s evil thoughts and actions that cause pain and suffering. The wickedness of man got exposed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. For God’s creation is perfect, there can never be two opposing or self-contradicting dimensions of human nature. Man’s spiritual nature reveals the consonance, the resonance of God’s nature in His work. How does the dissonance intrude into the world? How can the man be estranged, separated, or alienated from his own true or original nature?
In my analysis, the prophecy of Isaiah has come true. Man is cursed to suffer. There can be no healing without conversion by the Spirit.
The Tower of Voices is conceived as a monumental, ninety-three feet tall musical instrument holding forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members. The intent is to create a set of forty tones (voices) that can connote through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.
Artwork courtesy of bioLinia and Paul Murdoch Architects.
The wind chimes inside the Tower of Voices. The chimes will be constructed of polished aluminium tubes ranging 8-16 inches in diameter and approximately five to ten feet in length. The size of each chime is dependent on the musical note and associated frequency that it is intended to produce.
Artwork courtesy of bioLinia and Paul Murdoch Architects.
The Tower of Voices serves as both a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the forty passengers and crew of United Flight 93. On September 09, 2018 Flight 93 National Memorial will host a dedication event to complete the final phase of construction and complete the permanent memorial.
The tower is conceived as a monumental, ninety-three feet tall musical instrument holding forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members. It is intended to be a landmark feature near the memorial entrance, visible from US Route 30/Lincoln Highway. The Tower of Voices will provide a living memorial in sound to remember the forty through their ongoing voices.
The tower project will be constructed from 2017 to 2018 with a dedication of the project on September 9, 2018. Funding for the design and construction of the project is provided through private donations to the National Park Foundation and the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial.
Uniqueness of Design
There are no other chime structures like this in the world. The shape and orientation of the tower are designed to optimize airflow through the tower walls to reach the interior chime chamber. The chime system is designed using music theory to identify a mathematically developed range of frequencies needed to produce a distinct musical note associated with each chime. The applied music theory allows the sound produced by individual chimes to be musically compatible with the sound produced by the other chimes in the tower. The intent is to create a set of forty tones (voices) that can connote through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.
The tower is approximately ninety-three feet tall from the base to the top with some height variations. The Tower cross-section is a “C” shape with a fifteen foot outside diameter and eleven foot inside diameter. The “C” shape allows sound to reflect outwardly from the open side in a fan-shaped pattern. The chimes will be suspended a minimum of twenty feet above the main plaza and will be suspended from the interior walls of the tower up to the top.
The tower walls will be constructed of precast concrete segments linked by connectors. The chimes will be constructed of polished aluminium tubes ranging eight to sixteen inches in diameter and approximately five to ten feet in length. The size of each chime is dependent on the musical note and associated frequency that it is intended to produce. Chimes of this size and magnitude do not currently exist in the world. The chimes are wind activated and will have internal strikers attached to sails projecting from the bottom of each chime.
The tower is located on an oval concrete plaza that is built on top of an earth mound to create an area more prominent on the landscape. The plaza includes two curved concrete benches facing the opening of the tower.
The tower is surrounded by concentric rings of white pines and deciduous plantings. The concentric plantings may be interpreted as resonating “sound waves” from the Tower, alluding to the auditory qualities of the chimes housed within. A direct paved path leads to the tower from the parking lot. A longer, meandering crushed stone path winds through the trees and allows visitors an alternative approach to the tower. All other landscaped areas of the project will be planted with a native wildflower seed mix similar to other landscaped areas of the park.
SEPTEMBER 08, 2018 – INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA
On Saturday, September 08, 2018, International Literacy Day, I pay my tribute to the Seventeen Great Masters of Nalanda Buddhist Monastery. I invite my readers to know about these great teachers and their contributions to the Literacy Traditions of Humanity.
International Literacy Day is a holiday which is celebrated annually on September 8th. The purpose of this day is to raise the world’s awareness of literacy issues that are faced by people all over the world and to endorse campaigns that help increase literacy for all people. It was originally established by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization – in 1965.
To combat worldwide issues of illiteracy, UNESCO proclaimed September 8th as International Literacy Day in 1965. The purpose of this observational day was not only to combat illiteracy but also to promote literacy as a tool that could empower individuals as well as whole communities. It is from these humble beginnings that International Literacy Day has bloomed into a tool that could help millions of people around the globe.
As of 2016, about 775 million adults lack even the most basic, minimum literacy skills all over the world. This means that about 1 in 5 adults in the world – or about 20 % of all people – are not literate. Of that 20%, about 66% of those are women. About 75 million of the world’s children are not in school or have dropped out before they have finished. However, thanks to the efforts of UNESCO & World Literacy Day, more and more people are becoming literate and about 4 billion people are currently literate, as of now.
International Literacy Day Customs & Traditions
Every year, UNESCO issues a theme for the celebration of International Literacy Day. For instance, in 2011, the theme was “Literacy & Peace,” in 2013, the theme was “Literacy for the 21st Century” and in 2015, the theme was “Literacy and Sustainable Societies.”
UNESCO and its partners use these themes to highlight the programs which it and its partners use to tackle various parts of the literacy issues in the world. As a result of some of these programs, attention is often raised in the media about literacy issues. Especially on the Internet where the hashtag #literacyday has been trending for the last few years.
International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day is an annual worldwide observance that falls on February 21st. This day not only celebrates language diversity all over the world but also remembers the killing of four students on February 21, 1952. These students were killed because they campaigned to officially use their mother language in Bangladesh.
History of International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day was originally a social movement that started to defend a person’s right to speak and write in one’s mother language. February 21st was picked as the date because that is when students who were attending the University of Dhaka, Jagannath University and Dhaka Medical College were murdered by police while they were demonstrating for the right to speak in their mother tongue – Bengali. This started a social movement that began to snowball over the next few decades.
Eventually, this social movement was picked up by a Bengali named Rafiqul Islam that was living in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. He decided to send a letter to the United Nation to ask for a day to be established that would preserve and protect the languages of the world. In his letter, he stated that February 21st should be the day on which it is celebrated in honor of the killings in Dhaka. This would eventually lead to the proposal of resolution A/RES/61/266.
Finally, in 1999, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/RES/61/266. This resolution set February 21st as International Mother Language Day and called on all member states to promote this observational holiday as a way to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people all over the world.
International Mother Language Day Customs & Traditions
Officially, UNESCO and many of its partners promote a number of linguistic and cultural diversity events on International Mother Language Day. Many universities all over the world will host a mother language day and some governments will issue a proclamation on this day. In Bangladesh, people lay flowers at the martyr’s monument known as Shaheed Minar. Also, there are various awards and prizes for the literacy competitions that promote multiculturalism and multilingualism are held on this day.
DALAI LAMA LAUDS NALANDA PRIESTS FOR LOGICAL BUDDHIST TEACHINGS
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.(Photo: IANS)
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Monday praised the seventeen pandits (priests) of Nalanda for their logical way of teaching Buddhism and said he himself is one of their biggest admirers.
“The only complete and detailed explanation of the ancient Nalanda teaching has persevered in the Tibetan language which is the reason that the Chinese people who are interested in learning Buddhism, are learning the Tibetan language,” he said.
He said the ancestors of Tibetan people had well preserved this knowledge for thousands of years, which enabled Tibetans to expertise in promoting the knowledge in the Tibetan language.
“It is the duty of Tibetan people to continue the practical teachings of those ancestors while at the same time take pride in possessing such vast and profound knowledge passed by them,” he said.
He said he respects all kinds of religious beliefs which only teach love and compassion as the ultimate source of human happiness.
He cited an example of how humans are born out of love and how they survive on love. He emphasised that the masters of Nalanda encourage its followers to approach their teaching with logic and reason rather than following it blindly. Thus, people should experiment and research on the teachings of those masters in light of reason, he added.
He urged the Tibetan people to preserve the rich Tibetan language as it has the potential to serve all the sentient beings on earth. He assured the people that he would live for hundred years to serve humanity and especially to lead the cause of Tibet under his guidance.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA
I am pleased to share an article titled ‘The Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda Monastery’ by Professor James Blumenthal Ph.D. who gives a brief account of Nalanda University and its great influence upon Tibetan Buddhism. I pay my respectful tribute to Professor Blumenthal who passed away on October 09, 2015. May LORD GOD bless his soul.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA – CENTER OF BUDDHIST LEARNING IN ANCIENT INDIA:
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ACHARYA NAGARJUNA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ACHARYA NAGARJUNA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ARYADEVA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ASANGA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. VASUBANDHU.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. DIGNAGA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA – DHARMAKIRTI.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. GUNA PRABHA AND HIS DISCIPLE SHAKYA PRABHA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. BUDDHAPALITA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT TEACHERS OF NALANDA. BHAVAVIVEKA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ACHARYA BHAVAVIVEKA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. CHANDRAKIRTI.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. SHANTARAKSHITA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. SHANTARAKSHITA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. KAMALASHILA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. KAMALASHILA. BHAVANAKRAMA – THREE STAGES OF MEDITATION.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. HARIBHADRA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. VIMUKTISENA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. SHANTIDEVA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ATISHA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT TEACHERS OF NALANDA. ATISHA.
THE SEVENTEEN PANDITS OF NALANDA MONASTERY
BY JAMES BLUMENTHAL, INFO-BUDDHISM.COM
Posted on October 8th, 2015
Oregon, USA — Nalanda Monastic University was the greatest center of Buddhist learning in India’s glorious past. With upwards of 30,000 monks and nuns including 2,000 teachers living, studying and practicing there during its heyday, Nalanda was unmatched.
Established during the Gupta Dynasty in the late 5th to early 6th century C.E. under the patronage of the Gupta king Shakraditra, the institution survived for six hundred years, through the Pala Dynasty, until ultimately being destroyed in 1203 by Turkish Muslim invaders. In 1204 the last throne-holder (abbot) of Nalanda, Shakyashribhadra, fled to Tibet. In the intervening centuries, however, many of India’s greatest Buddhist masters trained and taught at Nalanda.
Nalanda’s renown as a center for higher learning spread far. It attracted students from as far away as Greece, Persia, China and Tibet. Although Buddhism was naturally the central focus of study, other subjects including astronomy, medicine (Ayurveda), grammar, metaphysics, logic, philosophy of language, classical Hindu philosophy, non-Indian philosophy and so forth were all regularly studied. Chinese pilgrims who visited Nalanda in the 7th century C.E. give detailed accounts of the physical premises and activities in their travelogues. For example, they describe three nine-story buildings comprising the library that housed millions of titles in hundreds of thousands of volumes on a vast variety of topics!
Much like the large Gelug monasteries of Sera, Drepung and Ganden, living quarters were divided according to regions of the world from which the monks and nuns came. There are clear records of a well-populated Tibet Vihara at Nalanda during the later period. In fact, history reveals that at one point there was a Tibetan gatekeeper at Nalanda. The gatekeepers were traditionally the top scholars/debaters at the institution. Their job was to stand “guard” at the gate and defeat in debate any non-Buddhist who proposed to challenge the scholarship and ideas of the institution. If they could not defeat the gatekeeper in debate, they would not be allowed further into the monastery.
The Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda Monastery refers to a grouping of seventeen of the most important and influential Mahayana Buddhist masters from India’s past. His Holiness the Dalai Lama frequently refers to himself as a follower of the lineage of the seventeen Nalanda masters today. He even wrote an exquisite poem in praise of the seventeen.
So who were they? Historically speaking, this particular grouping of Indian masters seems to have become prominent quite recently and to be based on attributions of lam-rim (stages of the path) lineages in Tibet. A likely predecessor to this grouping is an Indian reference to the Six Ornaments of the Southern Continent (i.e., India) and the Two Excellent Ones. These eight form the core of the seventeen.
The Six Ornaments first include Nagarjuna (c. 2nd century C.E.), the revealer of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and the systematizer and founder of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) school of Buddhist philosophy. The most famous treatise of his six texts of reasoning is The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way, probably the single most analyzed, commented upon and discussed philosophical treatise in Buddhism’s history.
The second of the six ornaments is Aryadeva (c. 3rd century C.E.) who is sometimes referred to as Nagarjuna’s heart disciple and sometimes simply as his first authoritative commentator. Like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva is universally revered as an authoritative voice for all subsequent Middle Way commentators and is most well-known for his treatise The Four Hundred Stanzas.
Aryadeva was born as the son of a Sinhalese king and is considered the co – founder of Mahayana philosophy
In addition to the two Middle Way school masters, included among the six ornaments are the two earliest masters from the Mind-Only school (Yogachara/Chittamatra): Asanga (300–390 C.E.), the founder, and his disciple and half-brother, Vasubandhu (c. 4th century C.E.) one of the system’s earliest and most authoritative commentators. In addition to his own treatises, Asanga is also famous, according to tradition, for retrieving the five Maitreya Buddha texts¹ directly from Maitreya in his pure land, Tushita. With regards to Vasubandhu, before becoming a leading exponent of the Mind-Only school, he wrote a famous treatise from the perspective of the Great Exposition school (Vaibhashika) entitled The Treasure of Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) which is utilized extensively in Tibetan scholastic studies. Traditionally, seven years is dedicated to the study of this text in the Gelug geshe curriculum.
Two additional Mind-Only school proponents round out the six ornaments: Dignaga (6th century C.E.) and Dharmakirti (600–660 C.E.). The two are most famous as the groundbreakers in Buddhist logic and epistemology. Specifically, they wrote philosophical treatises on the contents and means of accruing valid knowledge. They argued that from the Buddhist perspective there were two sources of valid knowledge: logical inference and direct perception. Much of their writings were detailed elaborations on these topics.
The Two Excellent Ones refers to the two great Vinaya masters: Gunaprabha (c. 9th century C.E.) andShakyaprabha. Gunaprabha was a disciple of Vasubandhu’s and is most famous for his treatise, the Vinaya Sutra. Shakyaprabha was a disciple of Shantarakshita (also among the seventeen) and the other major teacher of vinaya among the seventeen. He is particularly associated Mulasarvastivada-vinaya line which has been followed in Tibet since the time of the early Dharma King, Ralpachen (born c. 806 C.E.). His teacher Shantarakshita began this ordination lineage in Tibet when he ordained the first seven Tibetan monks and founded Samye Monastery.
Beyond the Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones, are nine additional Indian Buddhist masters, each of whom profoundly impacted the shapes of Indian and/or Tibetan Buddhism for centuries.
Buddhapalita (470–550 C.E.) was one of the great commentators on Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka thought. He is the earliest Indian Madhyamaka specifically identified as a proponent of the sub-school of Madhyamaka known in Tibet as the Middle Way Consequence school (Prasangika-Madhyamaka). He received this designation in Tibet due to his use of a form of reasoning that drew out the absurd logical consequences of the philosophical rivals of Madhyamakas when he commented on Nagarjuna’s root text on wisdom.
Buddhapalita was subsequently criticized by another Madhyamaka master, Bhavaviveka (500–578 C.E.). He argued that a proper Madhyamaka commentator ought to do more than show the absurdities of other’s views; they also have a responsibility to establish the view of emptiness and to do so with autonomous inferences (svatantranumana). He subsequently became known in Tibet as the “founder” and primary proponent of a sub-school of Madhyamaka known as the Middle Way Autonomy school (Svatantrika-Madhyamaka).
Chandrakirti (600–650 C.E.) is revered by many in Tibet as the founder of the Middle Way Consequence school, often regarded as the highest Buddhist philosophical explanation of reality. He famously came to the defense of Buddhapalita’s use of consequentialist reasoning contra Bhavaviveka’s criticism. In a line of thinking further developed by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419 CE) they argued that a Madhyamaka philosopher ought not to utilize autonomous inferences because the very use of that sort of reasoning entailed the acceptance of an inherent nature in the subject of the argument. Since the existence of an inherent nature in anything was precisely what Nagarjuna was refuting, the use of autonomous inference seemed like a fatal flaw for a Madhyamaka. Though historical evidence suggests that Chandrakirti’s views likely did not have extensive support in India until the late period there, by the 13th century in Tibet, his views on a proper understanding of Madhyamaka began to dominate the philosophical landscape and continue to today.
Shantarakshita (725–788 C.E.) was a towering figure in late Indian Buddhist philosophy and immensely influential in Tibet. Philosophically, he is famous for integrating the three major lines of Mahayana philosophy into an integrated coherent system. These were the Madhyamaka, the Yogachara and the logico-epistemological thought of Dharmakirti. Beyond India, he spent the last seventeen years of his life in Tibet, ordaining its first monks and serving as abbot of it first monastery. Moreover, probably nobody has exerted a greater influence on Tibetan Buddhism in terms of the way in which Tibetans approach philosophy. Shantarakshita virtually taught Tibetans how to do philosophy during the early dissemination of the Dharma there.
Two of Shantarakshita’s disciples (in addition to Shakyabhadra mentioned above) are also included in the list of seventeen. Kamalashila (c. 8th century C.E.) likewise was an immensely important figure in India and Tibet. Like his teacher, Kamalashila wrote extensively on Madhyamaka and pramana (logic and epistemology) as well as on meditation theory and practice.
His three Stages of Meditation (Bhavanakrama) texts are among the most cited in traditional Tibet expositions on the topics. Moreover, also like his teacher, he spent extensive time in Tibet during the early dissemination. He famously and successfully defended the Indian gradual approach to enlightenment at the Great Debate at Samye (also called the Council of Lhasa) against the instantaneous approach advocated by Hvashang Mohoyen, the Chinese master. Tibetan histories often recount that since that time Tibetan have followed the Indian method.
Haribhadra (700–770 C.E.), the last of Shantarakshita’s disciples included in the group of seventeen, wrote the most famous and commonly utilized of the 21 Indian commentaries on The Ornament of Clear Realizations by Maitreya and the Mahayana path system in general. The other major commentator on The Ornament of Clear Realizations to be included among the seventeen is Vimuktisena (c. 6th century C.E.) whose text Illuminating the Twenty Thousand: A Commentary on the Ornament is likewise extensively cited by subsequent Tibetan authors.
Shantideva (c. 8th century C.E.) composed what is perhaps the most important and influential classic on how to practice in the Mahayana tradition: A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharyavatara) while a monk at Nalanda. His text on the development of bodhichitta and the practice of the six perfections is revered and studied extensively by all Tibetan traditions. His Holiness the Dalai Lama often refers to his favorite passage in Buddhist literature as coming from the dedication section of this text: “As long as space endures, as long as sentient being remain, may I too remain, to dispel the miseries of the world.”
The final master included among the seventeen was the Bengali scholar-adept Atisha (980–1054 C.E.), who was a critical figure in the later dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet. Like many of the others on this list, Atisha’s impact on the shape of Tibetan Buddhism was immense. His classic, The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathpradipa) is widely regarded as the root text on the graduated stages of the path presentation found in Tibetan classics like Je Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (also commonly referred to by the abbreviated Tibetan name, Lamrim Chenmo), Gampopa’s Jeweled Ornament of Liberation and Patrul Rinpoche’s The Words of My Perfect Teacher among others. In addition to the stages of the path teachings, Atisha also introduced the lojong, or mind training, tradition of Mahayana practice in Tibet. Lojong teachings are quintessential Mahayana teachings in that their aim is to eliminate both the self-cherishing attitude and self-grasping by teaching means to cultivate the altruistic compassion of bodhichitta and the direct realization of emptiness. Like the stages of the path teachings, the mind training tradition is one that is embraced by all Tibetan lineages.
Together the seventeen great masters of Nalanda monastery represent the real high points of Indian Mahayana. The inspiration and teachings of these great masters continue to bless practitioners of the Mahayana to the present day.
¹ The five Maitreya texts are: The Ornament of Clear Realization (Abhisamayalamkara), The Ornament of Mahayana Sutras (Mahayanasutralamkara), Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (Madhyantavibhaga), Distinguishing Phenomena and the Nature of Phenomena (Dharma-dharmata-vibhaga), and The Sublime Continuum (Uttaratantra).
JAMES BLUMENTHAL, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Buddhist philosophy at Oregon State University and professor of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa College. He is the author of The Ornament of The Middle Way: A Study of the Madhyamika Thought of Shantarakshita along with more than 40 articles in scholarly journals and popular periodicals on various aspects of Buddhist thought and practice. He recently finished work with Geshe Lhundup Sopa on Steps on the Path: Vol. IV, a commentary on the ‘ Shamatha’ chapter of Lamrim Chanmo of Tsongkhapa which is due for publication in the fall.
The Dalai Lama speaks on the first day of his four-day teaching at the request of a group from South Asia at the main temple in McLeodganj on Tuesday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Tribune News Service
Dharamshala, September 4
Amid concerns regarding his health, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said he would live around 100 years.
“With your prayers and wishes, I assure you I would live around 100 years,” said the Dalai Lama, addressing representatives of three regions of Tibet at Tsuglagkhang, the main temple in Dharamshala, yesterday. “I would serve the humanity,” he said.
Recently, news reports had raised concerns regarding the health of the Dalai Lama and suggesting that he was suffering from prostate cancer. However, later both the Dalai Lama and his personal physician declined the reports.
Tibetans representing Tibet’s three traditional provinces and Tibetans from Kalimpong, Gangtok, Darjeeling and Ravangla offered long life prayers to the Dalai Lama yesterday.
Thanking the participants and organizers for the ceremony, the Dalai Lama praised the 17 pandits of Nalanda for their logical way of teaching the Buddhism.
“The detailed explanation of the ancient Nalanda teachings has only been preserved in the Tibetan language which is why people from China are interested in learning the Buddhism,” said the Dalai Lama.
Speaking of the ancient Nalanda Buddhist teaching, he said the ancestors of Tibetans had well-preserved this knowledge which enabled Tibetans to get expertise in promoting the knowledge in their language. The Dalai Lama said it was the duty of the Tibetans to continue the practical teachings of the ancestors while, at the same time, taking pride in possessing such a vast knowledge.
“I respect all kinds of religious beliefs which only teach love and compassion as the ultimate source of human happiness,” he said.
Meanwhile, drawing the attention of the gathering, the Dalai Lama emphasized that the masters of Nalanda encouraged its followers to approach their teaching with logic and reason rather than following it blindly.
TIBET AWARENESS – A CHARMING WAY TO FIGHT AGAINST THE DEVIL
Living Tibetan Spirits seek the Blessings of Guru Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita (Protector of Peace) to fight against the Devil giving us pain, and misery by robbing the Natural Freedom that Tibetans inherited entirely due to Natural Conditions, Natural Causes, Natural Factors, and Natural Mechanisms. Freedom in Tibet is the gift of Mother Nature. Whereas Occupation is the Sickness imposed by the Evil Power called The Red Dragon. In the fight against the Evil Power occupying Tibet, Living Tibetan Spirits embrace both conventional, and unconventional tactics of Warfare.
With the altitude of 4,300m, Tsurphu Monastery lies at the upper reach of Tsurphu river, about 70 km to the west of Lhasa. It was established by Dusum Khyenpa, the 1st Karmapa, and became the patriarch temple for Karma Kargyu to pass on and carry forward Tibetan Buddhism. Tsurphu Monastery has already been 800 years of history.
Tsurphu Monastery is the most important temple for Karma Kargyu in Tibet.
Tsurphu Cham Dance Festival falls on the 10th day of the fourth month in Tibetan Calendar. This Cham dance festival is celebrated to commemorate the great Indian guru Padmasambhava who came to Tibet and devoted himself in promoting Buddhism. During the Tsurphu Festival, you can also observe some other religious activities, like grand dharma assembly, Buddha exhibition, etc.
Cham dance is performed during Tsurphu Festival.
Cham dance in Tsurphu Monastery is a kind of Tibetan art and performance. It has plots, characters, music and dances. However, Cham dance is different from Tibetan Opera and has greater significance in religion. Not only can it entertain the audience but also advocate Tibetan Buddhism. It’s a grand religious activity organized by the temple. As for famous Tibetan monasteries, they have their own Cham group and make uniform Cham masks, dance costumes, ornamentations and musical instruments, etc. Usually, those items are treasured very well in the temple. Cham dancers have to pass through several religious rituals before using them.
Lots of Tibetans are watching Cham dance outside Tsurphu Temple.
There are many strict rules on Cham performance. Major roles are played by monks and dancers should be flexible and alert. All of them shall be completely into the roles even before the play. Body movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and dance steps must be elegant and smooth. In other words, as long as they put on Cham costumes and masks, they need to be like the real deities. It’s said that deities would get angry if they failed to meet those requirements and something bad would happen to relevant personnel. In addition to appreciating the Cham dance, Tibetan people also worship Buddha and receive blessings at Tsurphu Monastery.
If you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism and Cham dance, taking part in Tsurphu Cham Dance Festival is an excellent chance to feel religious atmosphere you couldn’t afford to miss. After visiting Tsurphu Monastery, you can also try to trek from Tsurphu to Yampachen and the scenery along the route will never let you down.
Photo shows the scene of the traditional “sunning of the Buddha” ceremony at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet, Aug 11, 2018. Celebrations for the traditional Shoton Festival, or Yogurt Festival, began in Lhasa on Saturday. This year’s event will feature the traditional “sunning of the Buddha” ceremonies, with huge Thangka paintings bearing the image of the Buddha displayed on the hillsides near the Drepung and Sera monasteries, as well as Tibetan opera performances, horse riding performances and an ethnic costume show. [Photo/Xinhua]
Celebrations for the traditional Shoton Festival, or Yogurt Festival, began in Lhasa, on Saturday.
This year’s event will feature the traditional “sunning of the Buddha” ceremonies, with huge Thangka paintings bearing the image of the Buddha displayed on the hillsides near the Drepung and Sera monasteries, as well as Tibetan opera performances, horse riding performances and an ethnic costume show.
“My family and I arrived here at 4 am, and we are heading to Sera Monastery to watch the Thangka painting after paying tribute here,” said Soinam Doje, a 71-year-old herder from Maizhokunggar county, while standing in front of the Drepung Monastery in Lhasa.
The festival will last for one week from Aug 11 to 17.
Shoton Festival, which literally means “yogurt banquet festival,” is one of the most important festivals for Tibetans.
It dates back to the 11th century when it began as a religious ceremony for local residents to offer yogurt to monks finishing their meditation retreats.
INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY – HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, JUNE 21, 2018
International Yoga Day – Happy First Day of Summer, Thursday, June 21, 2018.
International Yoga Day 2018 coincides with Summer Solstice 2018. I am happy to welcome the First Day of 2018 Summer Season. Yoga explores the principle of man’s Unity with God or Supreme Being. Indian tradition suggests that God is present in entire creation and yet God remains detached, unattached, aloof, distant, or separate from creation. Human Existence is evidence for Unity of man with Divine Principle and yet Human Existence is burdensome, worrisome, and troublesome as God chooses to remain separate from entire creation.
International Yoga Day – Happy First Day of Summer, Thursday, June 21, 2018.
TAT ASMI PRABHU – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – UNITY OF MAN AND GOD
TAT ASMI PRABHU – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – UNITY OF MAN AND GOD. THE PRIMARY CONCERN IS NOT ABOUT MAN’S ESSENCE OR IDENTITY. EXISTENCE ALWAYS PRECEDES ESSENCE. ASMI SIGNIFIES UNITY OR “EIKYATA” BETWEEN MAN AND GOD WITHOUT WHICH EXISTENCE IS IMPOSSIBLE. On bhavanajagat.com
To account for man’s existence in physical world, Sanskrit language created an innovative word known as “ASMI.” It means always present, or ever-existing. Man is a Mortal, Physical Being who leads a transient, or ephemeral existence. However, to establish Subjective and Objective Reality of man in natural world, man needs to yoke, join, come together, unite, pair, bond, connect, relate, and seek partnership with an external Reality that is always present, or ever-existing. The Sanskrit word “ASMI” thus signifies Unity of man and God which transforms the Subject “I” into an Object that identifies itself as “I AM.”
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA BHAVANAJAGAT
From Lalit Mishra:
How Gayatri or The Universal consciousness Works?
As per Rigveda, Sun is related to heart which is the seat of ‘chit’ or ‘consciousness’, vision of Rigvedic rishis is further elaborated in treatise of Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads.
Patanjali in his Yog sutra clearly said ‘ह्रदये चित्त–संवित्‘. while reciting Gayatri, ‘Savita’ the heavenly source of power to Sun or Surya, is invoked which is reflected in term ‘वरेण्यम्‘ of Gayatri Mantra, It’s a process component of mantra, when वरेण्यम् is understood, Gayatri appears to be working.
In Rigveda, it is also said that by recital of Gayatri, A Nation radiates and becomes stronger. Let’s do Gayatri recital and keep the world moving in direction as we think it to move.
Some scholars are discussing what is universal consciousness without knowing Rigvedic account of Gayatri and Patanjali’s Yogasutra and leading nowhere, Hence this is the note !
TAT ASMI PRABHU – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – UNITY OF MAN AND GOD. THE INSTRUMENT OF UNITY IS “GAYATRI.”
Biological Diversity is a creative process as living organisms have no choice other than that of existing as Individuals with Individuality. Ever since Life arrived on planet Earth, living matter, living substance, or living material has remained the same while diverse forms of life lived and became extinct during different periods of geological time. When we speak about biological diversity, we have to constantly remind ourselves that there are certain values which never change under the influence of time. Things in Nature change if and only if the change is operated by an underlying unchanging principle.
Language is the peculiar possession of anatomically modern humans. Prehistoric man could paint, draw, and carve images but did not use human language. Linguistic diversity has to be known by recognizing unchanging human anatomical and physiological mechanisms involved in generating sound, and perception of sound which includes analysis of sound information. Human Speech and Human Writing are two-faces of same language ability and in Clinical Medicine they constitute problems of Speech Disorders.
Life is about using Knowledge to perform a myriad of living functions. In other words, Life is Knowledge in Action. All living functions without any exception need an external source of energy. Life on planet Earth is possible as living forms have capacity to use energy from an extraterrestrial source. Earth and living forms belong to Natural Realm, and the source of energy belongs to Supernatural or heavenly Realm. We see Sun in the sky, but it belongs to Supernatural or Heavenly Realm. Fortunately, there is a barrier between these two realms to make life possible. For Sun is the Source of Supernatural Power/Energy/Force, Sun is the source of Knowledge that living forms use to perform diverse living functions including use of Speech. Diversity that we experience on Earth is possible for Sun’s Energy is that unchanging Principle that operates all natural phenomena.
TAT ASMI PRABHU – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – UNITY OF MAN AND GOD. THE INSTRUMENT OF UNITY IS “GAYATRI.”
From Lalit Mishra:
It’s often said that विविधता में एकता or ‘unity in diversity of cultures’ is the strength of India but what is the instrument that forms this unity remains absent in same narratives, essays and lectures.
This is Sanskrit, a language, a carrier of prolific thoughts produced in the era India was truly a power virtually influencing entire world’s business, philosophy and polity.
What is The Real Concern
Real concern is, Indians are not awakening to their rich heritage which once made the world modern and in return made India ‘Golden Bird’ which
prophet Mohammad once said ‘I get fragrance of heavens from India’ this is said by ill-famed Asaduddin Owaisi but our political community missed to take advantage of it.
Another concern is India’s bad national IQ which is 86, almost in scale of Africa and this reflects in our people’s loss of logic and power of judgment.
From Lalit Mishra:
The Sanskrit And It’s Word Factory
Maker of Sanskrit grammar Indra assisted by Vayu, ordained by Brihaspati has also manufactured a word making factory termed as RIS (Root, Infix, Suffix) that shall keep creating more stems and thereby new and new words. Sanskrit roots are monosyllabic neurologically designed unit of sounds which no other Indo-European languages have spoken on planet earth in our times.
Using this RIS factory, Sanskrit has already created 740 million words roughly estimated by Kamlesh Kapoor.
All Indo European languages had borrowed Sanskrit stems and treated as their root, having no idea how the borrowed ‘stem’ is formed originally in Sanskrit, this is a phenomenal borrowing.
The true linguistic scenario of the day is, even we speak a non-Sanskrit language, still we speak Sanskrit.
Sanskrit Word Borrowed in Latin
On particular question of Latin and it’s relation with Sanskrit, it’s good to quote Vans Kennedy, an Scottish judge-advocate-general who turned to become oriental translator to British government, in his work “Origin and Affinity of the Principal Languages of Asia and Europe” (1828) stated that “Sanskrit itself is the primitive language from which the Greek, Latin, and the mother of the Teutonic dialects were originally derived”.
I cannot afford to not to mention Dr Ashok Bagchi who was among first generation neurologists of post-independence era and a distinguished linguist who earned his MS at university of Vienna in 1954 and after homecoming did a D. Litt in Sanskrit.
Dr Bagchi on “history and origin of modern medical terminology”, makes 72 pages long list of medical terms and successfully shows how Sanskrit’s terms borrowed in Latin, pertaining to human anatomy, physiology and medicines gave rise to modern terminology of the medical science.
He narrates an interesting story that motivated him to carry out this research on philology from perspectives of Sanskrit and medical science, He says during his stay in Italy, once he visited a thoratic clinic at Bologna, where he got stunned seeing the terms displayed on the board – “NASO, KANO, GALO”, a familiar trio, resembling bangla-hindi a dialect of India.
Dr Ashok Bagchi, began his work under the influence of the AIT theory propounded those days but ended with a finishing touch in words – ” I look forward to future researchers to enter into matter with unbiased and uninhibited minds, circumventing the prevalent dogma of philology, Whatever Pokorney has said may be fallible and not absolute”
TAT ASMI PRABHU – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – UNITY OF MAN AND GOD. SANSKRIT WORD “ASMI” MEANS ALWAYS PRESENT, OR EVER-EXISTING AND ANY KIND OF EXISTENCE DEMANDS YOKING, OR PAIRING OF MAN AND GOD. On bhavanajagat.com
Relevance of Sanskrit in present times becomes apparent when we try to account for man’s existence; how does the ‘Subject’ called “I” becomes the Object called “I Am” that can be verified by Science. The thing called “I” will not be known until and unless it is transformed into a living being that claims, “I Am.” Science is not able to fully account for the phenomenon called human existence. We all know that man exists in present day phenomenal world, but we are not able to explain it as to how such existence is possible.
The Sanskrit word or ‘SABDA’ called “ASMI” accounts for transformation of “I” into a recognizable entity called “I AM.” Asmi describes “UNITY” or ‘EIKYATA’, the coming together, yoking, or joining of “I” with an external, unchanging Reality, the fundamental basis for all Existence. Things in Nature change under the influence of Time, but every natural change is operated by an Unchanging Principle. There is no natural phenomenon of this world which may not require operation of an underlying principle.
To answer problems of this age, man must know himself and know the World in which he exists. Knowing “ASMI” is the beginning of that learning process.