An Avatar’s Dictionary

An Avatar’s Dictionary

by Dhruva

I lived at the Belur Math for three years (1971 to 1974) and took advantage of the opportunity to learn Sanskrit.  This became a gift that kept on giving — especially when I realized that half of all Bengali words derive from Sanskrit. The unexpected gift was that I soon was able to read Sri Ramakrishna’s words just as he spoke them in Bengali.

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The Easter Prayer of an American HinJew: More Sugar, Please

The Easter Prayer of an American HinJew: More Sugar, Please

Anna Monday with Jon Monday

Sri Ramakrishna observed that the scriptures are a mixture of sugar and sand and that it is, moreover, up to us to discriminate, to take the sugar and leave the sand. Often, identifying the sand is easy because it‘s just so boring, but sometimes it harbors unhelpful or even harmful notions—outmoded social mores, refuted pseudo-science, quack medicine.

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Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: 
Gandhi and Rajchandra – Part 2

Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: 
Gandhi and Rajchandra – Part 2

by Uma Majmudar

In the previous issue (AV #71) we talked about a rare rapport between Mohandas Gandhi and Shrimad Rajchandra — a multi-talented young Jain businessman-cum-a precocious poet who was, above all, a “mumukshu” — an ardent seeker after truth with an irrepressible yearning for God, for self-realization and moksha or liberation from…

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How Well Do You Know Yoga?

How Well Do You Know Yoga?

by Br. Shankara

Perhaps you have been practicing Hatha Yoga for some time, with a qualified teacher. You know a flexible routine of poses (asanas), and you have gained the physical poise and sense of inner balance that are two wonderful fruits of your practice. Yet, there is much more to learn about the great tradition of which Hatha Yoga is a part.

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Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker:  Gandhi and Rajchandra

Mahatma-to-be and the Mahatma-maker: Gandhi and Rajchandra

By Uma Majmudar

Mahatma Gandhi, a world revered spiritual-political leader, is known to have positively influenced countless men and women around the globe. Yet, not many people know the key figure who influenced Gandhi in the most profound ways before he became known as ‘’Mahatma,” or Great soul (Maha: great, and atma: soul). If Mohandas Gandhi metamorphosed into Mahatma, who was the Mahatma-maker?

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Pray, Let Us Play

Pray, Let Us Play

By Anna Monday

We seek God for many reasons, not all noble. We focus on God’s power to protect us, guard our health, give us the stuff on our cosmic gift registry, and also love us when nobody else will take our calls. When we’re reasonably comfortable, many of us want our curiosity about the nature of God/Life satisfied. But how many seek God because they want the wittiest, most subtle playmate in the entire Universe?

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Old Age and the Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

Old Age and the Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

By William Page

One of the less pleasant transitions that we have to make in this life is the passage to old age.  There’s a line in the movie “Elegy” that goes something like this:  “The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”  The Mahabharata  anticipates this insight in the incident where the god Dharma asks King Yudhisthira what the most surprising fact of life is.  The king replies, “People see other people dying around them all the time, but nobody truly believes that he himself will die.”

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