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Krsna and Balarama in Greece

“The people of Marathon worship both those who died in the fighting, calling them ‘heroes,’ and [a semi-divine being called] ‘Marathon,’ from whom the country derives its name, but also Heracles . . . . They say also that a man took part in the battle who looked and was dressed like a farmer. He slaughtered many of the Persians with his plowshare, and when everything was over he disappeared. But when the Athenians consulted the oracle, the god would not tell them anything except to honor ‘Echetlaeus’ [i.e. the man with the plowshare] as a hero.”

However, the worship of Sankarsana appears to have been quite popular in the fourth century BC and Megasthenes seems to refer to him. The Greek writer referring to Dionysos clearly states that the Indians speak of three individuals of this name appearing in different ages and they assign suitable achievements to each of these. The oldest of these was Indos, apparently the same as Indra, “who crushed grapes and discovered the use of the properties of wine.” He further states that Dionysos also found out the method of growing figs and other fruit trees and taught this knowledge to others whence he was called Lenaios. This may be a corruption of Lingayasas or Lingin, a name for Siva. The third god spoken of in this context is Katapogon; and Megasthenes states that he was so named because it is a custom among Indians to grow their beards with great care. Katapogon is evidently the same as Kapardin, meaning one wearing braided and matted hair. The epithet is usually applied to Siva, but it may have been applied to Sankarsana also since the worshippers of Sankarsana, as we have noted earlier, wore braided (jatila) hair.

Dionysus

At any rate, the three gods who could have been confused with Dionysos by Megasthenes are apparently Indra, Siva andSankarsana, all the three are associated with wine and renowned for their bacchanalian habits. Arrian informs us that before the coming of Dionysos, Indians were nomads subsisting on the bark of the trees known as tala (fan-palm) and that when Dionysos came to India he taught them to sow the land, and it was he who “first yoked oxen to the plough and made many Indian husbandmen and gave the people the seeds of cultivated plants.”

The description eminently suits the agricultural divinity Sankarsana, the wielder of the plough, with the fan-palm as his emblem. Arrian also writes that according to the Indians, Dionysos was earlier than Herakles by fifteen generations; and, as Herakles is generally identified with Vasudeva-Krsna in the popular mythology of the fourth century B.C., the Krishna and Baladeva legends had not yet acquired the final shape in which they are presented to us in the Mahabharata and the Puranas.”

From ‘Pausanias, Description of Greece’, 1.32.4, quoted in George Luck’s ‘Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds’. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, (1985)

Herakles

“It is pointed out in the Bhagavad-gita that Arjuna often addresses Vasudeva Krsna as Visnu. But the date of this work is highly controversial. It is closely linked with that of the epic in its present form. The assertion of another scholar (Pusalkar) about Megasthenes “The Greek ambassador definitely states that Krsna was regarded as an incarnation of Visnu” is evidently baseless. All that Megasthenes is reported to have said is “This Herakles is held in especial honour by Sourasenoi, an Indian tribe who possess two large cities Mathora and Cleisobora and through whose country flows a navigable river called Iobares.” Herakles has been identified with Vasudeva Krsna and Sourasenoi with the Surasena Yadavas. The use of the words “especial honour” clearly indicates that Krsna was still a minor divinity, far from being the supreme god that he becomes with his identification with Narayana-Visnu; by no stretch of the imagination can it be construed to refer to Narayana-Visnu.

In the early centuries preceding and succeeding the Christian era, the entry of foreign tribes into India produced a favourable impact on the cults of Vaisnvaite and Saivite divinities, which, on the whole, enjoyed the support of the foreigners. The Greeks identified Krsna with Herakles and Sankarsana with Dionysos, and it is no wonder that they were favourably inclined to their worship. The Besnagar inscription describes the Greek ambassador Heliodorus as a Bhagavata who dedicated a Garuda banner to Lord Vasudeva.

The earliest epigraphic evidence for the existence of the Bhagavata cult is found in Madhya Pradesh. The discovery of the Garuda pillar inscription of Besnagar is a landmark in the history of Bhagavatism. The inscription records the erection of a Garuda standard in honour of Vasudeva, the god of gods, by a Greek ambassador Heliodorus who describes himself as a Bhagavata (see Heliodorus Column), and a resident of Taksasila. The ambassador came from the Greek king Antialcidis to Kautsiputra Bhagabhadra identified with the fifth Sunga king, and the record is dated in the fourteenth year of his reign, approximating to c. 113 B.C.”

Suvira Jaisval, The Origin and Deveopment of Vaisnavism (Munshiram Manoharlal, 1967)

The Times of India reports a major archeological find of structures dating back to the Mahabharata period:

Archaeologists have discovered ancient monuments, dating back to the Mahabharat period, during excavations carried out near Gwalior. The excavations, carried over a period of five months, were suspended on July 7 due to the monsoon.’ The archaeologists believe that Gwalior town was established in the first century AD and not in eighth century AD, as was believed earlier. They came to this conclusion following the discovery of a large community structure at the Gwalior fort.

Superintending archaeologist of Madhya Pradesh A.K. Sinha said the excavations had exposed a 1.7-metre thick burnt brick wall having a height of about three metres. Mr Sinha told TOINS that the wall appeared to be a part of a large community structure, possibly a huge reservoir. On the basis of the ceramic industry and workmanship, the structure was dated to the first century AD. Though Naga coins dating to the 2nd or 3rd century AD were found from the surface on earlier occasions from Gwalior fort, this is the first time that any structural remains dating back to the beginning of the Christian era has been found. The ASI plans to carry out more excavations after the monsoon.

A Mahabharat period site has also been found at Kotwar, about 40 km from here. The site is located about eight km from Noorabad, a sub-divisional town on the Agra-Mumbai highway. The excavations, which started in February last, will be resumed after the monsoon. According to the archaeologists, the site has been identified with Kamantalpur, which was derived from the name of its founder, Kamant, father of the mythological character in the Mahabharat, Kunti, who later became the mother of the five Pandva brothers.

The site has a 18 to 20-metre-high mound and covers an area of about 2.5 sq km, according to Mr Sinha. He said the site had also been identified as one of the chief cities of the nine., Naga kings.The archaeologists claim that the digging at Kotwar had led to the recovery of painted greyware which had been interpreted by noted archaeologists B.B. Lal, as belonging to the Mahabharat period.

During the excavations at Kotwar, black and redware and black slipped ware, typical ceramic industries which pre-dated even the painted greyware (1100-800 BC), were found from the lowest levels. The remains found at Kotwar have been sent to the Physical Research Laboratory and the Birbal Sahni Institute of Botany for precise dating. The excavations also revealed a number of ring wells which date back to the later half of the first millennium BC.”

Charas

Publicado: maio 31, 2009 por Yogi em Capital, Culture, History, Psy, Tudo
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Charas 

Balls and sticks

Tosh Valley charas

Contents

History of charas

Charas has been used across the Indian sub-continent for its medicinal and religious properties for thousands of years[1] and was sold in government shops (along with opium) in the early days of the British Empire[2]. Charas plays an important and often integral role in the culture and ritual of the Hindu religion, especially among the Shaivs – the sub-division of Hinduism holding Lord Shiva to be the supreme god (in contrast to Vaishnavs who worship Lord Vishnu) and it is venerated as being one of the aspects of Lord Shiva.

Despite this long history, in India charas was made illegal in the 1980s and draconian sentences were introduced. Even the mere possession had a mandatory ten year prison sentence. These laws have now been somewhat relaxed, however Charas has been known to be a popular medium for police to extort bribes from consumers of the drug.

Even at the peak of the crackdown, charas was still popular and it remains so today, especially amongst Indian sadhus. The Naga Sadhus, Aghoris and Tantric Bhairav sects smoke it freely because they claim its use as being an integral part of their daily life. Many smoke it in clay pipes called chillums, using a cotton cloth to cover the smoking end of the chillum or by inserting a tightly packed pebble sized ball of cannabis as filter for the chillum. Before lighting the chillum they will chant the many names of Shiva in veneration. The government even provides its supply in huge quantity to meet the demand during the largest gathering of sadhus of all sects during the Kumbh mela, or festival of the holy men.[citation needed]

Local cultivation

The best charas grown in India comes from the mountains. The variety from Manaliand Malana in Himachal Pradesh is considered to be of the highest quality throughout both Pakistan and India. For this reason, the Indian subcontinent has become very popular with backpackers and those involved in drug smuggling. The best charas is made very high up away from the police and is known as ‘cream’.

The resin sticks to one’s palms and by the end of the day one has harvested perhaps 8 or 9 grams of charas. The faster one works, the lower the quality of charas. Hence, to make ‘Malana cream’ it is necessary to go very slowly and it is only possible to make a few grams a day. Nowadays production of cannabis in the Himalayas has increased as growing demand for the Malana cream named after the village it has been made. This ancient art is disappearing under the pressure to capitalize on the domestic and international market for charas.

[edit]Gardaa

Gardaa is a type of Charas made in Pakistan using dried cannabis of high potency. It is a very pure form of Charas; free from any additive chemicals. It is a very pliable substance which can take any shape. Usually sold in the shape of balls, Gardaa starts dissolving into smaller particles even with the heat of the palm. Gardaa is an Urdu word which means “Dust”. It is named Gardaa due to its similarity in colour to mud or brown thick dust. Charas is mostly consumed after it is heated. After it is heated, the “brown powder” changes into a smooth “greenish mass”. The term gardaa is also some times used to describe the greenish powder-form of charas. Gardaa has two types mainly, one is soft, solid, smooth structure known as pakka garda and the other one is kacha gardaa, kacha gardaa is a soft powder which is green (or lightly green brown sometimes).

Although gardaa is available throughout Pakistan, but it is made in northern tribal areas of Pakistan and in Afghanistan. it is mainly available in Peshawer, and even though the smell may linger in bazaars, it is not sold openly – though with a help of a guide one can find it. In N-W.F.P., It can mostly be found in those areas which lie on the border with Khyber Agency and Kurram Agency. One such place is Shah Kass which is part of Khyber Agency and borders with the Hayatabad neighborhood of Peshawar city. One “tola” averagely costs 170-210 Pakistani Rupees. Its price has increased due to the tension in the Tribal Areas. Gardaa is smoked, usually mixed with cigarette tobacco and rolled back into the cigarette blank. Cigarettes that burn longer due to cigarette paper/tobacco qualities are preferred for mixing and smoking Gardaa. To smoke Gardaa in a Cigarette, Cigarette tobacco is taken out and refined using hands to make it into smaller particles. Tobacco leaves with less moisture are easier to crush. Gardaa is than heated to make it soft; this is often referred to as ‘cooking’. The objective is to dissolve the Gardaa in the tobacco to make a mix while wasting minimum smoke value (meaning heated only enough to make it soft without burning it into smoke). Once mixed with the tobacco using hands it is filled back into the cigarette blank. The cigarette is tightly filled back to ensure maximum smoke in each puff.

Rolling paper is also used to smoke Gardaa. Gardaa with tobacco mixture is filled into the rolling paper to make a joint.

In the Indian administered part of Kashmir, Gardaa is made from dried cannabis leaves of low quality. They put the material into a cornleaf, by twisting the leaf the material is being pressed in the shape of a corkscrew. After some weeks or months of fermentation the unwrapped product is sold in its typical twisted shape but now in strong consistence for only half the price of charas. The colour is depending on the quality ranging from green to brown. In the seventies and eighties it was also available in Germany sometimes.[citation needed] What my prededessor describes is the most common way of producing Hashish in Morocco, Lebanon and Turkey.[citation needed] This method was introduced by western backpackers to the himalayan countries and was adopted by the local people.[citation needed] Traditionally they only produce Charas, Garda, Ganja andBhang from cannabis.

is the name given to hand-made hashish in AfghanistanPakistanNepal and India. It is made from the extract of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). The plant grows wild throughout Northern India, Pakistan and the Himalayas (its putative origin) and is an important cash crop for the local people.

See also

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Documentario sobre o Opus Dei na Irlanda

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Templers are members of the Temple Society (GermanTempelgesellschaft). It is a name they use in referring to themselves and their religious denomination. The wordTemple here is derived from the concept of the Christian Community as described in the New Testament, see 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 1 Peter 2:5, where every person and the community are seen as temples in which God’s spirit dwells. Although Templers may believe in different spiritual teachings, many of them reject common ChristiandogmasJesus is rather seen as an example to follow and not as the Son of God. What unites the Templers is their daily wish to work for the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Contents

Temple Society

Christoph Hoffmann and Georg David Hardegg founded the Temple Society at Kirschenhardthof near Ludwigsburg in 1861. This religious society has its roots in thePietism within the Lutheran Church in the State of Württemberg. Called “Deutscher Tempel” by its founders, their aim was to promote spiritual cooperation to advance the rebuild of the Temple in the Holy Land (Palestine), in the belief that their foundation promotes the second coming of Christ. On their course to achieve that goal, their contributions towards raising the standards of agriculture, crafts, scientific research, business and building in an undeveloped province under Turkish rule were significant. Many see them as an indispensable helping force in the early establishment of the Yishuv, and perhaps a role model for the Zionist Movement of the time. The Templers are sometimes confused with the Knights Templar, a Crusader order.

 

Bethlehem of Galilee (Hebrewבֵּית לֶחֶם הַגְּלִילִית‎, Beit Lehem HaGlilit; literally “the Galilean Bethlehem”) is a semi-cooperative moshav in northern Israel. Located in the Galilee near Kiryat Tivon, around 10 kilometres north-west of Nazareth and 30 kilometres east of Haifa, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Jezreel Valley Regional Council. In 2006, it had a population of 651.

A former Templer colony, it is mentioned in the Book of Joshua (19:15) as the city of the Tribe of Zebulun.

Genghis Khan’s Tengriism

Publicado: março 8, 2009 por Yogi em Culture, History, Media, Tudo
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Genghis Khan’s religion is widely speculated to be Shamanism or Tengriism, which was very likely among nomadic MongolTurkic tribes of Central Asia. But he was very tolerant religiously, and interested to learn philosophical and moral lessons from other religions. To do so, he consulted among others with  Christian   missionaries,  Muslim   merchants, and the Taoist monk Qiu Chuji.

Tengriism (Tengrism, Tengrianism, Tengrianizm, Tengricilik) was the major belief of the Mongols andTurkic peoples before the vast majority joined the established world religions. It focuses around the sky deityTengri (also Tangri, Tangra, Tanrı, etc.) and incorporates elements of shamanismanimismtotemism andancestor worship.

“Khukh” and “Tengri” literally mean “blue” and “sky” in Mongolian language and modern Mongolians still pray to “Munkh khukh tengri” (“eternal blue sky”). Therefore Mongolia is called as “land of Eternal Blue Sky (“Munkh khukh tengriin oron” in Mongolian). And also in modern Turkey Tengriism is sometimes called Gök Tanrı religion by some scholars. Note that the Turkish “Gök” and “Tanrı” mean the same as and sound very similar to the Mongolian “khukh” (blue) and “Tengri” (sky), respectively. Even though there is insufficient research, Tengriism is thought to heavily influence the Alevi belief system. Today, there are still a large number of Tengriist people living in inner Asia, such as the Khakas and Tuvans.

In Tengriism, the meaning of life is seen as living in harmony with the surrounding world. Tengriist believers view their existence as sustained by the eternal blue SkyTengri, the fertile Mother-Earth, spirit Eje, and a ruler who is regarded as the holy spirit of the SkyHeavenEarth, the spirits of nature and the ancestors provide every need and protect all humans. By living an upright and respectful life, a human being will keep his world in balance and maximize his personal power Wind HorseShamans play an important role in restoring balance when it is thrown off by disaster or spirit interference.

It is likely that Tengriism was the religion of the HunsEurasian Avars, early Hungarians, and of the early Bulgarswho brought it to Europe.[3]. It is still actively practised in SakhaBuryatiaTuva, and Mongolia, in parallel withTibetan Buddhism and Burkhanism.

 

A diagram of the Tengriist World view on a shaman‘s drum [1] [2]. The World-tree is growing in the centre and connecting the three Worlds: UnderworldMiddleworldand Upperworld.

 

An ovoo (Mongolianовооheap) is a type of shamanistic cairn found in Mongolia, usually made from rocks or from wood. Ovoos are often found at the top of mountains and in high places, like mountain passes. They serve mainly as religious sites, used in worship of the mountains and the sky as well as in Buddhist ceremonies, but often are also landmarks. At especially prominent sites, ovoos can come in clusters, for example of 13 ovoos.

When travelling, it is custom to stop and circle an ovoo three times in clockwise direction, in order to have a safer journey. Usually, rocks are picked up from the ground and added to the pile. Also, one may leave offerings in the form of sweets, money, milk, or vodka.

Ovoos are also used in mountain- and sky-worshipping ceremonies that typically take place at the end of summer. Worshippers place a tree branch or stick in the ovoo and tie a blue khadag, a ceremonial silk scarf symbolic of the open sky, to the branch.[1] They then light a fire and make food offerings, followed by a ceremonial dance and prayers (worshippers sitting at the northwest side of the ovoo), and a feast with the food left over from the offering.

During Mongolia’s Communist period, ovoo worship was officially prohibited along with other forms of religion, but people still worshipped clandestinely.[2]