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About Jainarayan

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  1. I just feel they're always with me. How can they not be? I have pictures plastered all over my work cubicle, all over the house, plus I have my shrine, and even in my truck. They send help even when I don't ask for it. They send inspiration. I've been protected. But it's all subtle and on the d.l. from them, nothing overt like visions or voices.
  2. Kaliyuga and chanting

    I'm enjoying the information you're providing @s1va. Mucho learning is being learned.
  3. Kaliyuga and chanting

    Wow! Annnnd... a little bit more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabda_Brahman https://www.amazon.com/World-Sound-Brahma-Landscape-Consciousness/dp/0892813180 I remember a quote from Pt. Ravi Shankar (the musician) that went something like "music... what the rishis considered to be nada brahma... a way to reach God". I think it's in the album jacket of one of his LPs I have packed away. Or it may be in the photo book in the box set from the Concert for Bangladesh.
  4. Kaliyuga and chanting

    I believe you, that's why I said it's just a guess on my part. It was just a wild-ass guess. Good info, thanks. No, I don't see it as a debate at all... just more information to learn. Btw, I chant the Gayatri Mantra as you do. I'm not initiated, but nowadays virtually everyone and anyone is said to be able to chant it.
  5. Kaliyuga and chanting

    Pashupati! Shiva, Lord of Animals. One whom I pray to for animal welfare. A little something I composed (well ok, I found the core of it and tweaked it): O Pashupati, Lord of Animals, You have given us care over all living things; protect and bless the animals who give us companionship and delight, make us their true friends and worthy companions. Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them all Your mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. May those who abuse, abandon, mistreat and neglect our animal friends know your fierce justice. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals, and so to receive your blessings. ॐ om pashupataye vidmahe mahadevaya dhimahi tanno shiva prachodayath "Om Let me meditate on the Lord of Animals May the Great God give me greater intelligence May Shiva enlighten my mind." om pashupataye namaha "Reverence to the Lord of Animals." Gods know we need it to treat animals better.
  6. Kaliyuga and chanting

    Most definitely agree! Come to think of it, I can't think of a mantra that doesn't have the pranava prefixed to it. Just a wild guess on my part that it is the prefixed pranava that makes a regular verse a mantra. If one wanted to compose a prayer using gayatri meter, it might only be a prayer unless it began with om, making it a mantra. I don't think people should make up their own mantras. For example, there is no gayatri (that I found) for Nataraja. but if one does this: natarajāya vidmahe mahādevāya dhimahi tanno shiva pracodayāth it is a prayer. But om natarajāya vidmahe mahādevāya dhimahi tanno shiva pracodayāth is a mantra. Just a wild guess. Ah ha! I didn't know about the chakra-opening part! I see bija mantras all over the internet by writers saying "oh use this mantra for such-and-such deity to get such-and-such results. Yeah, well... I would not use a bija mantra unless initiated by a guru, which I do not have. I have also read that by prefixing maha to Kali's name, as in om sri mahakalikayai namah, as compared to om sri kalikayai namah should not be used by the uninitiated because it invokes her ugra form. Supposedly you can get more than you bargain for with her energies.
  7. Kaliyuga and chanting

    This seems to be not unlike something I read a while back https://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-practice/mantra/om-chanting/ about using the pranava (om) to chant and meditate on. Since it is Brahman, one is meditating on that, the highest of all principles. This article says (and I've heard this before) if one is not spiritually adept or advanced enough, the energies may be too much. Not to mention that the goal is jnana and moksha, which one may not be ready for, or desiring at that point in their life.
  8. Connecting with Deities

    1. Actually I believe he is. Because he is all and in all, he is everywhere. As I say, he's in the grandest temple,the lowliest hovel or hut, the most depraved brothel (some people are shocked by that). As Brahman, how can he not be? 2. Well, we believe 'God' is both male and female, and neither male nor female. If you're advaitin, then being Brahman (whether one's ishta is Shiva, Vishnu or Devi) we would of course be both and neither. aham brahmasmi. 3. Yes, his shakti: energy.
  9. Stories for Inspiration

    The translation of this one leaves a little bit to be desired. Arjuna was regularly performing pooja for Athma lingam, but his brothers were not doing the same. He felt very proud of his devotional worship to God. As Sri Krishna wanted to control his ego, He took him to Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva. There Arjuna saw large numbers of baskets of flowers being carried by the Boothaganas, Lord Shiva's attendants. When Arjuna asked Sri Krishna about it, He asked Arjuna to ask those carrying the flowers. He stopped one of them asked about it. He got the reply that one of the Pancha Pandavas named Bheema has been offering these flowers in a pure heart to the Lord which they are carrying. Arjuna asked Sri Krishna that if the pure heart flowers of Bheema who does not ever sit down to worship is this much, how much will it be for his own Athmalinga pooja which is performed every day. Sri Krishna asked the Bhoothagana to show Arjuna his portion of the flowers offered. They showed a small mound of flowers lying in one corner. Arjuna asked Sri Krishna to explain this disparity. Sri Krishna explained that Bheema is thinking of God at all times. Whenever he sees a flower garden, he mentally offers all the flowers to Shiva as his offering and so it reaches Shiva the very next moment. Thus, Sri Krishna explains the inner self pooja called antharyagam.
  10. Stories for Inspiration

    Sage Narada was devoted to Lord Vishnu. He would go around the world reciting the Lord’s name — Narayana, Narayana. One day, Narada met Lord Vishnu. “Lord, I have a question. Who is your greatest devotee in this world?” Narada asked. Lord Vishnu pointed to a farmer ploughing the field. “He is my greatest devotee.” Narada was surprised to hear this. The farmer was a good fellow, working hard for a living. But he took the name of the Lord only two or three times a day, whereas Narada recited the Lord’s name thousands of times a day. Lord Vishnu could see that the sage was not convinced with the answer he had given. So, he gave Narada a pot filled with oil filled to the brim. “Narada,” said Lord Vishnu pointing out a hill, “I want you to go around that hill, carrying this pot of oil on your head. Take care not to spill oil, not even a drop.” Narada placed the pot filled with oil on his head and started going around the hill. He took measured steps, walked slowly, and kept himself steady all the time so that the pot on his head stayed still. It took him the whole day to complete one round. He returned to Vishnu and gave the pot of oil back to the Lord. “You can see that the pot is still filled with oil to its brim. Not a drop has been spilled,” said Narada. “Yes, I can see that. Now tell me, how many times did you remember to take my name?” “Oh Lord!” Narada cried out. “Not even once. My entire attention was on the pot on my head. I forgot everything except the oil. I’m sorry, Lord, I could not remember you even once,” confessed Narada. “And that farmer remembers me, amidst all his work, at least twice a day,” said the Lord. Narada agreed that the farmer was a greater devotee than him!
  11. Stories for Inspiration

    Yep, dat would be him.
  12. Stories for Inspiration

    OK, I'm in... Here are a couple I love. Once, a poor little boy could not get even a morsel of food to appease his hunger, and stole a banana from a nearby fruit shop. Being a devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan (Krishna), he dropped half the banana into the 'hundi' and he ate the other half. The shopkeeper caught hold of the boy and accused him of the theft. The boy admitted his guilt. The shopkeeper did not have the heart to punish this innocent boy, but to teach him a lesson, he ordered him to walk around the temple a certain number of times. The shop-keeper was aghast when he saw Lord Guruvayurappan follow the little boy around the temple. That night the Lord came to the shopkeeper in a dream and explained, "Since I have also had a share in the stolen banana I am bound to share the punishment, too. So, I followed the boy around the temple." Once a Nenmini Namboodiri, the priest at the Guruvayur temple, instructed his twelve-year-old son to offer the Nivedyam [food] to the Lord. There was only one priest in those days and the Nenmini Namboodiri had to go out on an urgent engagement. The son, Unni, offered a Nivedyam of cooked rice to the Lord; in his simplicity, he believed that the deity would eat the food, but the deity did not move. Unni bought some salted mangoes and curd from a neighborhood vendor, thinking that the Lord would prefer this, mixed the curd with rice and offered it again. The deity again remained unmoved. Unni cajoled, requested, coaxed and in the end threatened, but the deity remained unmoved. He wept because he believed he had failed and shouted at the Lord, exclaiming that his father would beat him. The Lord could not bear it any more, and made the Nivedyam disappear. The boy left the temple satisfied. Unni did not know that the Nivedyam offered to the Lord was the Variyar's prerequisite. When Variyar returned to the temple, he saw the empty plate and became very angry with Unni, but Unni insisted that God had, in fact, eaten the offering. Unni's innocent words made Variyar furious, as he believed the boy had eaten the offering himself and was lying. His father was about to beat Unni, but just then an Asareeri (celestial voice) was heard saying, "I am guilty. Unni is innocent. I ate all the food that he had offered me. There's no need to punish him." There was a man who worshipped Lord Krishna, Lord Hanuman, Maa Durga, and Lord Shiva and other deities. However he was always confused over who was the most powerful and whom to call when in distress. It so happened that he went to take a bath in a river and he started drowning. He started calling Lord Krishna but due to his fear of death he soon thought that "maybe Hanuman can come sooner" and he called "Hanuman" ... but he was not so sure about that too and started calling "Lord Shiva" ... and soon after "Maa Durga" ... and in the process, there was no help coming through and he was swept away by the strong current of the river. When he reached heaven on death, he was in front of Chitragupta who was taking stock of his Karrma but he was looking for God to complain over this injustice. God appeared there in front of him in the form of Krishna (which was this person's first favorite form). God asked him smiling, "My dear son, you appear quite sore. What happened?". This man was pretty angry with God. He said, "Hey, I kept on worshipping you day and night and you didn't come to rescue me from getting drowned when I called you again and again? You just don't take care of your Bhakta when the entire world considers you as the "lover of the devotees". God smiled and said, "You were changing your mind so fast that I could not make it, though I was trying to come to save you! ... and you are blaming me ... that's not fair. See, first you called me in "Krishna's form". As soon as I was getting ready in Krishna's form to come to you, you called Me in Hanuman form. I threw off my form of Krishna and immediately arranged for a monkey face and tail. When I was about to leave to rescue you, you called me in the form of Shiva. So immediately, I threw off my monkey's body, tail, and mace, and took the form of Shiva ... but by that time you had called me in form "Durga”! Now, you know, it takes time to wear a Sari and by the time I was ready wearing Sari and My jewelry and make-up and all, it was too late! So, how can you blame me? " The moral of the story is: You can worship God in any form. It doesn't matter. All forms of God are Supreme. You choose whatever suits you. Please note that in the above story, the fellow did no mistake by worshipping various forms of God but he failed because he didn't have complete faith in any of the forms.
  13. Connecting with Deities

    Oh! I'm a bit slow on the uptake.
  14. Connecting with Deities

    Oh, I know! I've never been very much into dreams or interpreting them. My mother was a firm believer that dreams carried messages. And sometimes, but not always, I think they do too. Two cases... I had a dream early one Sunday morning that my boss, who was also a good friend, mentor and subject of my hero-worship (I was 23, he was 40), had a car accident. It was not far from where we both lived. In the dream I saw him standing in the intersection wearing a hospital gown and looking very dazed. I was awakened by the phone, by a coworker who told me Tom (our boss) had a serious car accident the night before. One Saturday night, coming home from an alumni event, I had a pretty bad car accident (got cut off by some kids trying to beat traffic). My date and I wound up in the hospital. When I was deemed fit to be discharged I called my sister to come get me. It was now something like 5:30-6:00 Sunday morning. She told me she had a dream that startled her awake, that this very thing happened. She was pretty shaken up by the whole thing, especially that what played out was exactly as she dreamed it. So yeah, I think dreams do have meaning.
  15. Connecting with Deities

    Oh! Did not know that! Now I do.