Author: Gunadharma

Josh Schrei: “Why I Am Revoking My Yoga Alliance Registration”

Here is an interesting take by Josh Schrei of Tapta Marga Yoga, about the low standards of the Yoga Alliance, and why he chose not to be affiliated with it anymore. “After fifteen years of affiliation with Yoga Alliance, I have decided to revoke my registration. I will no longer be individually associated with Yoga Alliance as an RYT yoga instructor nor will I register any further yoga schools with Yoga Alliance. I will continue to teach workshops, immersions, retreats, and courses. They simply will not be associated with Yoga Alliance. I will also no longer call my immersions...

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Ngembak Geni – Hindu New Year in Central Java

After a quiet Saturday in Central Java’s Anggrasmanis village, as some local residents observed Catur Brata for Nyepi (Day of Silence), the small town on Sunday was awoken by activities that began from early morning. Locals were busy preparing various needs for Ngembak Geni, which means “one may light a fire”, a ceremony conducted after observers spend the whole Day of Silence in quiet reflection. The ceremony was held at the Buana Agung Magendra Jati temple, a small temple located on the hills of the Anggrasmanis village, as its location provides sweeping views of the forest and valley of Mount Lawu....

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Agnihotra: The Primordial Fire Ritual for Energy Healing

“O Healing Fire, we reach out to you daily at Sunrise and Sunset” – Rig Veda Agnihotra is a very ancient fire ritual that done every day at exactly at the time of sunrise and sunset, by burning dried cow dung using a copper kund (pyramid). An offering of rice and ghee is given, along with a special mantra. It has for main result the purification of the atmosphere through this special ritual. Its effects have been scientifically confirmed, including on waters. Agnihotra is the most primordial of all the homa (healing fires) from the ancient science of Vedas....

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Indonesian Rudraksha for Protection and Success

Rudraksha is a natural seed of the blue fruit of the Rudraksha tree (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) and mostly found in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Timor and parts of Nepal. “Rudraksha” is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the name Rudra (“Shiva”) and akṣha (“eyes”). Rudraksha are therefore “the tears of Shiva”. Different qualities are attributed to the rudraksha based on the number of clefts, or “faces” that it has. These ‘faces’ are called “mukhis”. Each ‘face’ or ‘mukhi’ is known to have a specific powers and influence on the soul. The greater the number of faces of a bead, the more...

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Spiritual Tourism in Central Java

A group of 17 French travelers led by Gorka Etxarri visited several places across Yogyakarta and Central Java in a rather unusual journey. The trip kicked off with destinations like the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, followed by a trip to a remote village on Mount Lawu named Anggrasmanis, not far from the Cetho Temple complex. At the village, the group stayed at one of the locals’ houses to meet and learn from a Hindu-Javanese religious leader named Mangku Jito. Gorka Etxarri pays respect to Javanese spiritual teacher Mangku Jito. (JP/Stefanus Ajie) “This trip is more than just for tourism, where...

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Primordial Technology: Ayurvedic Copper Vessels

In ancient times, water was as much a possible stored in copper vessels. Indeed, water kept in this way remain fresh much longer. Drinking our morning glass of water from a copper cup, as per the tradition, has many benefits over the long term. Water stored in copper vessels becomes a real “elixir of life”. Purified, this water helps to regulate digestion and the cardiac rhythm. It is the basis of a personal harmony such as practiced since Vedic times. Keeping your water of the day in a copper jar or bottle overnight, or at least for 4 hours, makes...

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The Adityas: 12 Forms of the Sun-God

The 12 Adityas are simply different forms of the Sun-God, Surya. In different Puranas their names are given differently. Brahma once recounted to the sages the 108 sacred names of Surya. The Brahma Purana lists these names in 9 groups of 12 names each: • Surya, Archana, Bhagavana, Tvashta, Pusha, Arka, Savita, Ravi, Gabhastimana, Aja, Kala, Mrityu. • Dhata, Prabhakara, Prithivi, Jala, Teja, Akasha, Vayu, Parayana, Soma, Brihaspati, Shukra, Budha. • Angaraka, Indra, Vivasvana, Diptamshu, Shuchi, Shouri,Shanaishvara, Brahma, Vishu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaishravana. • Yama, Vaidyuta, Jathara, Agni, Aindhana, Tejohapti, Dharmadhvaja, Vedakarta, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta. • Dvapara, Kali, Sarvasurashraya,...

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Devas, Spirits and Demons: The Classes of Spiritual Beings

Statue of a Bhuta, Java Mystics, sages and seers knew from experience that all verbal descriptions of the Supreme Reality are incomplete and hence resorted to a complex mythology to describe the hierarchy of beings guarding all natural and supernatural phenomena and called them devas (from the Sanskrit root div, meaning ‘shining one’). Deities are many, but in  the end all combine in the universal Shiva (or Brahman), who manifests Himself as many in order to Create, Preserve and ultimately Annihilate the Universe. The deities are only aspects, the many facets of the Supreme Reality. We address and worship...

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AVITEZ: Asia’s first PLA (Plant-Made Plastic) bottled Water Brand!

Avitez is Asia’s first premium mineral water in a bottle that is 100% made from plants. Avitez water in PLA bottles is already sold at several upscale hotels in Thailand. The bioplastic PLA is made from 100% corn. Because the bottles are 100% made from plants, no harmful toxins seep into the water and in your body. The Bangkok-based Avitez Ltd has already manufactured the bottles in China using biopolylactic acid (PLA) derived from 100% corn. The bioplastic is made with technology and materials imported from the US. The Thai subsidiary is named Reangwa, and its manufacturing facility is...

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“In Hinduism, art is religion, religion is art. To inform and transform us – what we might truly be. No figure in all art is better loved that this dancing Shiva – lord of dances – the cosmos is his theatre – he dances ceaselessly in twirling stars, circling seasons – the rhythm of the human heart timelessly, effortlessly – his rhythms gather time and timeless.”

— Huston Smith, The Mystic’s Journey – India and the Infinite: The Soul of a People

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