Tag Archives: Lord Krishna

London Hindu Magicians (new meetup group launching)

London Hindu Magicians logo
London Hindu Magicians ( Krishnas)

Dear all, it gives me great thrills to announce the launching of a new meetup group – one that I have been thinking about and planning for almost half a year. Well, now seems the right time! I’ve named it `Hindu Magicians’ as it’s a blend of many things – the devotional activities that Hare Krishnas often do (chants, jubilant, devotional singing),  my roots in Hinduism, Vishnu worship, and recent 20 years of Western Magical/ Pagan ritual magical practices. I’ve scheduled 4 great special events/ socials to start us off..  and will add / develop more… Some events will be meditative, walks  in parks, simple ceremonies of worship & celebrations, while others will be extensive (I have some friends who are experienced in Sanskrit, Yoga and a variety of Eastern / Hindu matters). The first one is on 31st July – a Social on the date of the Blue Moon  (because this is the first group of it’s kind, as well as the most obvious one of colour Blue being associated with Lord Krishna of course) 🙂  Below are graphics for each of the events (so far).

The current blurb for this meetup says..

“This is a very new meetup group for all interested in Hare Krishna & Hindu Magic as the focus. It’s envisioned as a relaxed group gathering for enjoyable socials & spiritual work – such as picnics, meet & greet, drumming & chanting in parks – simply for the joy of it. The Hindu- Magic part of this is about exploring some of the myths, adapting special Hindu festivals & Rituals such as Navarathree, Shivarathree, Luxmi pooja and such – and perform lighter adapted version of them in natural places (woods, parks) practices, creating yantras / charms for personal empowering purposes. You can effectively think of them as mini-poojas in parks & woods.

(Important note: It is NOT the intention to have an intense group that is steeped deep in sanskrit ceremonies – we leave that to trained and highly experienced Priests & Brahmins in Temples and Ashrams all over the world.. Instead, we are down to earth explorers adapting ceremonies, mantras, interpretations).

Hindu spirituality has been around for thousands of years, and in the modern world, it has spread and permeated into many civilisations, countries and cultures and other mystery traditions. It’s now common for a wiccan/ witch to do a `chakra opening’ before doing a full moon ritual, millions doing Yoga workouts in fitness centres, thousands exploring Tantric rituals & sexual unities. Also common are many a Western psychic to wear a turban, trendy youngsters with some earth spiritual affinities sporting `Om T-shirt’, and millions of psychics & mystics to light an incense stick bells that were made in India or Nepal.

It is pleasing that Hinduism has spread so far and wide – even if many don’t realise it. But it’s also sad there is quite a bit of the underlying depth getting `lost in translation & interpretations’.

I’ve been a Hindu all my life, and have lived in London for some 35 years. I am experienced (20 years) in Western Pagan / Magical religions and practises. I’ve been re-exploring Hindu ceremonies and realising the magic within much of it..and am on a personal journey of blending the two together in my own life. Last time I checked, there seems to be nothing like this in Meetup (not for 100 miles around me in London). So I’ve started this.

Let us meet & greet – as equals with extraordinary souls, in the parks, in the woods, in the forests, gardens, by rivers and streams.. at dawn, at dusk, at noon and nights, in rain and shine, to be..just be.. and if we must do something.. to praise, sing, drum, dance, chant and be merry – in the names of the divine Gods & Goddesses, the Great Spirit within us all..

Let’s meet, and see where it takes us..

*Om Shakthi * Hare Krishna * Bright Blessings

So if you like the sound of all this, and like to join in..  either as beginners or as experienced person looking to do more of these with like-spiritual-souls..  You do not have to be heavily involved in Hare Krishna or steeped in Hindu cultures or religion to be part of this. This is not a study group or missionary one that aims to preach or convert. If you are a fan of the great Hindu epics – Mahabharatham & Ramayanam – if you are new to it or have been interested for years / decades…all that is fine.

Here’s the link to the meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Krishnas-and-Hindu-Magicians/

Bright Blessings -Mani Navasothy

Avatars: Hindu Myths of Vishnu & Hollywood movies

Dhashavatars  (Ten incarnations) of Vishnu.   Graphics (C)  Mani Navasothy. 2012
Dhashavatars (Ten incarnations) of Vishnu. Graphics (C) Mani Navasothy. 2012

Avatar is a name that is very familiar to anyone who uses internet forums, chat rooms or plays online games. In these realms, ordinary people like you and I `assume’ an imaginary visual character , version or representation of ourselves, and call it `our avatar’.  The ideas  of usernames are linked to this concept too. In many cases, it helps people to `live out’ another version or an alternative form of themselves – but only in internet forums, where we can not often see the person behind the written words or graphics.

Few years ago, a blockbuster Hollywood movie called `Avatar’ came out in all the cinemas across the world. It combined state of the art graphics, animation and special effects with live actors. In fact the lead characters in that movie were actually `people’ who were created by graphics! What’s more, the double-whammy is that, in that film Avatar, the hero Jake is a wounded and disabled ex-soldier who is – by technical methods – able to project himself into an artificially grown alien body (a tall blue race of humanoid looking person). While Jake is projected into the artificial body, Jake’s real body `sits’ inside a machine, all wired up. It’s almost the equivalent of driving another body by remote-control.

These are all modern expositions and explorations of the concept of an Avatar, and in some cases, concepts `lifted’ from other realms by film-makers and Game-creators.  These seem to allow the spectator or the user to have a fantasy few hours, as `someone else’.  It must be noted, that in some games, the actual `avatar’ can even be a vegetable, an animal, a flame etc.

Those who are familiar with the British TV character `Doctor Who’ – a wandering Time Lord, will know that the `Doctor’ has the ability to regenerate his body when mortally wounded. In fact during the life-time of the show (so far), the Doctor has regenerated 10 times, and thus in on his 11th body (incarnation). This is not quite an Avatar, but can be considered as a parallel in this matter.

So where does the concept of an Avatar come from?

Well, it comes from mythologies of Hinduism – the asian pagan religion that has been known to have originated in the Indus Valley many thousand years ago. Scholars don’t always agree but a form of Hinduism (evidence of it) has been dated back to the Mohenjo-Daro some 2300 years BC.  (It was said to have been invaded and destroyed by the Aryans in 1500 BC, and we are talking about the original Aryan race!)

Hinduism is a collection of ancient pagan religions, where each strand focuses on a different deity. Hinduism has 3 major gods – Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.   Shiva is said to be the great destroyer, Brahma the Creator, and Vishnu the Protector.

It is here that the concepts of Avatar originally surface. An avatar is a reincarnation (rebirth) of a Hindu God in an earthly body. A Hindu God undergoes this rebirth for the love of humanity and to help one or more people with a particular crisis.

The God Shiva is known to have `appeared’ on earth in various forms to help various devotees (64 of them). But these are not considered Avatars, as they were temporary forms, at the end of which, Shiva reverted to his divine form.

The Most popular set of Avatars (pronounced in Tamil properly as `Avatharam’, as Avatar is a stylised truncated western word!) belongs to Vishnu the protector God. Vishnu is of blue colour, has 1 head, but 4 arms, and in each arm he carries a  magical weapon or an object. The weapon of choice for Vishnu is the spinning disc called `Charkram’.  (This weapon was  popularised by the Australian made TV show `Xena:Warrior Princess’ a decade ago).

Vishnu is actually `born’ as a human (in the cases of Avatars 5,7,8, & 9) and lived as human, and endured various troubles and challenges. At the end of these Avatars, he undergoes physical death, and then returns to his divine form of Vishnu.

Here are the 10 most important Avatars of Vishnu.

1. Fish (Matsya)– the small fish who first appeared to a King and warned hi of the coming great flood. Later the fish returned as a giant fish and pulled a great ship (arc) to safety, so that humanity can survive and start again. (yes, the hindu myths have their own version – the original perhaps- of the biblical flood).

2. Turtle (Kurma) – Vishnu appeared as a giant turtle and became support under the ocean, so that a giant mountain can be placed on its back, and the mountain spun as a churner of the Milky Ocean for the extracting of the elixir.

3. Wild Boar  (Varaha) – When a demon took the Earth and hid it under the great seas, Vishnu appeared as a Wild-Boar with great tusks, defeated the demon, and dived to the depsh to dig out the Earth.

4. Narasimar- half lion and half human, that came out of a Pillar in a palace of a demon to defeat the demon and save the devotee Prahalathan.

5.Vamanar – a dwarf priest who manifested later as a cosmic giant and measured the earth and havens under his feet.

6. Mohini – a nymph who appeared and distracted the demons, during the churning of the milky sea and eventual finding of elixir of life.  (Had the demons consumed the elixir they would have become immortal and undefeatable).

6* Bhudda: In Some versions of myths, Mohini is not counted, but Bhudda is considered one of Vishnu’s avatar.

7. Parashuraman – A Priest (Brahmin) who was forced to avenge for the death of his father, and defeat certain oppressing demons clans!

8. Raman – First of the most well-known avatars of Vishnu (great hindu epic `Ramayanam’ tells this story). Raman was the eldest son of a king. As a result of manipulation by one of his step-mothers, Raman was exiled to the forest for 14 years, during which time, his wife Sita was abducted by a demon. Raman then formed a mighty army with monkeys and wild animals, built a bridge across the sea and waged war to defeat the demon and get his wife back.

9.Krishnan (Ktishnan) – one of the 2 most famous ones. He was a key character in the hindu epic `Mahabaratham’ (great story) and took up the role as a Charioteer for one of the heros in the great war.

10. Kalki – this is an avatar that is believed yet to come, at the end of the world. A warrior on a white horse bearing sword will come, to destroy the world at the end of Kali-Yuga (the most difficult and corrupt of the aeons of hindu cycles), so that the world may start anew.

In a recent discussion, one friend noted that even the idea of Jesus Christ, Son of God, could be said to be an Avatar of the divine God, because, Christians believe that there is only one God, and yet they also believe that one God sent his Son to Earth.

In any case, here we stand, at the end Kali Yuga, awaiting the final Avatar of Vishnu! When it comes, I am sure we’ll know who it is – for it will be to destroy the wicked, deliver justice, and restore purity in the world!

Manivannan Navasothy.  London, January 2012.

Note: The above is a feature article that I wrote for Gaian Times eco-spiritual Magazine (issue#3  published January 2012)

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What is to happen? A message from Lord Krishna

Here are some words (Bhagavathgeeta) delivered by Hindu Lord Krishna  to the Warrior Arjun at the battlefield (in the Hindu epic `Mahabharatham’).

“Whatever happened, happened well.

What is happening, is happening well,

What is to happen will happen well.

What of yours did you lost? Why do you cry?

What ever did you bring? of which you have lost?

What have you created..for it to have been wasted?

Whatever you took, was taken from here..

Whatever you gave, was given from here..

What is yours, will be another One’s tomorrow..

and another person’s on yet another day.

This is the way of the World!”

Of course there is much more to Bhagavathgeeta than just this.

Krishna delivering Bagavathgeeta to Arjun
Lord Krishna delivering Bagavathgeetha to Arjun at battlefield in Mahabharatha (Hind epic) Poster by unknown artist (translation by Manivannan Navasothy, London)

As to this scene..  the story goes that when Arjun arrived at the battlefield and saw that on the opposite side were his relatives, cousins, teachers, gurus.. he briefly lost the will to fight – even though it was waged as a result of the many injustices and atrocities Arjun and his brothers had suffered. It is then that Lord Krishna, Charioteer to Arjun,  stopped Arjun, and began to offer him counsel and words of wisdom – of the duty of a warrior and King – to wage such a war, regardless of who was on the opposing side. These words of wisdom settled the mind of Arjun and he engaged in the war.  These words came to be known as the `Bhagavathgeeta’.. considered by many outsiders as the Hindu form of the Bible or Kuran..

Of course, Lord Krishna was no ordinary Charioteer. He was the 9th incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu himself, born on Earth to fight certain demons, (born to a princess  in prison, smuggled out in storm, grew up  as a Charioteer’s son, defeated his demon-uncle, then later set about helping the Pandavas win the great war and reclaim their rightful Kingdom.   It was Krishna who engineered  the great war and thus reduce the world population (in answer to the pleas of the Earth Goddess Poomadevi).  [I’ll cover those stories in future blogs].

I have had a Tamil poster (above) on my wall for some time..  (which is a  tiny fraction of the whole Bhagavathgeeta). And for my 200th blog post,I  felt like sharing that wisdom here. (at the top is my own English translation of  the Tamil words that appear in the poster).

These words of divine wisdom have been of great consolation and strength to me in recent times.  Thoughts of being treated unfairly, unjustly, had all led me down a path of doubt and despair.. anger and exasperation.  I have fought against many such  darker impulses. The `authority figures’  I approached had all been compromised,  corrupt or self-serving in some secret way. Some even tried seeding self-doubt in me! And others had turned a blind eye to my plight or just simply were unaware.    So while I now accept that which has happened happened, and that it has set a series of events in motion, I also am quite clear of what is ahead!

 

The Pandavas in Mahabharatha  may have been ejected and  exiled by circumstances, by deeds and words of Tricksters & Throne-Seekers.. but Arjuna and his brothers eventually returned to wage the final war…against all those  who had done them ill..!

And those who did ill by me and mine….  should ever beware ..of what is to Happen.. for it will happen well…

-Manivannan Navasothy

 

Hindu blog Links

Navarathri – 9 nights of the Hindu Goddess

Thai pongal – Harvest festival  /New year

Vinayagar Sathurthi – Elephant God of Hindus

Hindu Myths & Childhood ideals