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24 Facts about Mangalavara

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mangalavara, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. mangalavara

    mangalavara Verified Account ✔
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    1. When I was in the fifth grade, I unintentionally started something of a riot in the schoolyard. A bunch of kids even tried tipping over a portable classroom that day.

    2. The first website that I ever created was on a now defunct site called Maxpages.

    3. I had a fascination with the aesthetics of the Third Reich beginning in the fifth grade and lasting until maybe my last year in high school.

    4. Karl Kronen was my favorite villain when I was in my late teens.

    5. I frequently ate Taco Bell food when I was a teen.

    6. She who was my first kiss was also the one I lost it to. Sounds sweet, yeah?

    7. I was the only kid I knew in high school who listened to black metal.

    8. When I was in the ninth grade, I co-founded a secret society of an occult nature.

    9. I've read both The Iliad and The Odyssey.

    10. I've also read The Aeneid and Ovid's The Metamorphoses.

    11. I am 5'6," which is not tall for an American male.

    12. I once confessed to a female friend that I sometimes fantasized about her. She was flattered.

    13. When I was 24, I informally converted to Christianity and was later baptized by infusion (pouring of the water).

    14. Before I left Christianity, I was serious about becoming a minister.

    15. When the ecclesial people who would decide if I could get into becoming a minister turned me down, I realized that I just wanted to do it in order to remain committed to a religion that deep down I no longer believed in.

    16. I'm an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, teetotaler, and nonsmoker.

    17. I have erotic/sexual dreams only once or twice a year.

    18. Too many days of sunshine make me miserable.

    19. I've perused ONA websites that have been defunct for years. One of them was the Temple 88 site.

    20. When I was in kindergarten, I won a contest that resulted in riding an elephant at the circus.

    21. People sometimes ask me where I am from when they hear me speak.

    22. I'm told that I am very talented when it comes to armpit noises.

    23. I use a bottle bidet.

    24. I've never had a tattoo or piercing.
     
    #1 mangalavara, Oct 27, 2021
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  2. JustGeorge

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    1. What was the topic that got you going initially?

    3. Why do you think that is?

    4. Who's Karl Kronen?

    5. I ate there daily for a time period in my 20s. I was going through something traumatic, and I ate there. It temporarily made me happy. So I went back there every day, so I could feel happy, even if it was only for a little while.

    6. That is sweet. Both of my firsts were negative experiences.

    7. I was the only goth girl at my high school.

    8. That's really cool. What was it like? Or is it a secret still?

    9. Me too. My middle son is named for a Greek deity.

    11. I'm 5'2. :(

    15. Why did they turn you down? (If you don't mind sharing.) How was it to realize you didn't believe in your religion anymore?

    16. I'm a vegetarian and nonsmoker. Sometimes I'll have a light drink, though.

    18. I'm still curious how this will work with your new religious path.

    19. What is this, simply put?

    20. I love elephants! You're lucky!

    21. Where are you from? Where does it sound like you're from?

    22. Show us!

    24. Are you against them, or just have no desire for one, or something else?
     
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  3. mangalavara

    mangalavara Verified Account ✔
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    No topic in particular. When I was in the fifth grade, I liked having a military aesthetic in the clothes I wore, which got me really made fun of by a few other kids. The day that the 'riot' happened was called Hat Day. Students were encouraged to wear a hat. Being the lover of military aesthetics that I was, I wore a beret. That afternoon, some of the kids who made fun of me got virtually everyone in the schoolyard to march behind me. I turned around and told them to leave me alone and go away. They kept marching behind me. When I turned around again and told them to stop it, they asked me for some 'orders.' I responded with something like, 'Go overthrow the school!' They kind of tried. Fortunately, I was never called to the office or talked to by the principal or any other staff.

    I don't know. It might have been anything from a past life involvement to a random liking for the aesthetics.

    He is a villain in the Hellboy comics and the first film. In the film, he is shown at the beginning dressed as an SS officer. Looking back at the character and the Third Reich aesthetics, I can't believe I found those things fascinating. Then again, I was a teen back then.

    As I mentioned before, I am also the kind of person who looks to food for comfort and temporal happiness.

    I am sorry to hear that. The young woman who I lost it to became a negative experience for me.

    What were some of your favorite musical groups back then?

    All we did was discuss what back then were called 'alternative religions' and work some magic using methods or techniques from different traditions. Those of us who were part of the society had quite the reputation for it.

    Very nice. I read those works when I was in my early 20s. What about you?

    You're not alone. :)

    One of the advantages of being short is that our bodies take up less space wherever we are.

    Considering that I had invested about nine years in that religion, I felt that I lost a huge part of my identity as well as grounding in something that gave my life meaning and hope. What led me to no longer believe was mostly just studying the Bible. As to why I was turned down, there were several reasons. One of them was that I am not a highly outgoing person. Another was that I did not have enough work experience. A third reason was that I was not considered inclusive toward the LGBT community and people of non-Christian religions. It seems that what they meant by that was I did not identify with the LGBT community and that my biblical view that idolatry was wrong was wrong.

    I really don't know either. Frankly, I think I spoke too soon about being Saura.

    If you mean the ONA, it is a collective of individuals and groups who practice the 'Sinister Way' in a variety of contexts such as Satanism and a more pagan tradition. On the other hand, if you mean Temple 88, it was (perhaps still is?) a wing of the ONA that espoused what they called National-Socialism and a religion they called Aryanism. Their site had a work of literature titled The Aryan Epic. Reading their works, I must say, was surreal.

    You might get the chance someday! And yes, elephants are lovely creatures. :elephant:

    I am from a part of the US that used to be called New Philippines. One time, a man working a Target cash register asked me where I was from. After I told him that I was from here, he replied, 'Oh. I thought you were from overseas or something. It's in the way you sound.' Of course, someone from New Jersey, for instance, would easily detect what part of the country I am from. As to what I sound like, all I can say is that I listen to 'foreign' people a lot, so I tend to be influenced by their speech. I'm told that even the way I look is more European than [white] American. There was once a German woman who saw me at a small restaurant here and at first she was going to greet me in German because to her I looked like a German in America. My father says I look like a Slav. Others have said I look like an Irishman off the boat.

    I might. :smirk:

    I have no piercings because I don't like pain and the thought of a hole in part of my body. There are no tattoos because I like my skin the way it is.
     
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  4. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    That is awesome!

    Do you cook?

    I'm sorry she became a negative experience. :(

    I was absolutely obsessed with a band called Dope. I also liked System of a Down a lot. And Nine Inch Nails. How about you?

    That actually sounds kinda exciting. My husband, some friends, and I tried to put together an interfaith group a few years back. It struggled miserably, and crashed and burned.

    In my 20s sometime. I don't remember what part.

    It also means we have to find someone to hem our stuff up. (Or drag it on the ground and get it dirty.)

    That sounds like a really difficult experience. :(

    Rethinking your path?

    My son thinks there are are elephants living in the attic in the abandoned house next door(that's a long story). Maybe they'll come out to play one day?

    Maybe you lived in all those places in past lives. :)

    I'm glad you're happy with yourself the way you are. So few are. :)
     
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  5. mangalavara

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    I microwave bags of rice and bags of vegetables. Lol. I also prepare my own salad.

    We were really young. I'm sure she's a different person today, and I hope her life is a happy one.

    Out of those three, I only listened to System of a Down. Other bands I liked were Rammstein, KMFDM, Type O Negative, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, and Slipknot. The black metal bands I liked were Emperor and Borknagar. Cradle of Filth was another favorite. I would have found other black metal groups to listen to back then, but the internet was fairly young and teens tend not to have a lot of money. Today, I hardly listen to any music. When I listen to music, it is almost always Chinese instrumental music.

    Sounds like me trying to run a home business. Any good or interesting stories you'd like to share?

    Hardly anybody at school knew the society existed, though lots of students did notice the sorcery going on in a corner somewhere outside during lunch. Lol. Teenagers!

    Yeah, I have to get almost every pair of trousers hemmed up at the bottoms. Sleeves extend past my wrists.

    I had the feeling that they were leading me on so that they could crush the dream that I had. They acted all supportive and assuring at first. Then, when I spoke to an important person with their group, I could tell in his tone and facial expressions that he already knew the group was planning to turn me down. Seriously, if someone is not suitable for ministry, why don't they just tell the person before the person takes the formal steps to become a minister? Anyway, for me, that was the melon that broke the monkey's back. I rejected Christianity shortly afterward and went straight to Gaṇeśa and Śiva.

    Yeah. I can at least say I'm still Hindu.

    Might I suggest placing a large bag of peanuts at the front door of that house?

    I wouldn't be surprised.

    Thank you. :)
     
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  6. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    What kind of salad? Do you like beets?

    I hope so, too!

    I love Metallica and Slipknot! Slipknot is the only thing us Iowans have to be proud of. I remember spending hours trying to perfect the vocals on some of the songs of their self titled album... It was such fun. Cradle of Filth was good, too. Its been years since I've listened to them. I remember listening to Rammstein and KMFDM with friends and enjoying it, but I didn't have any of their stuff myself.

    Funny, I don't listen to much anymore either. When I do, its usually my old stuff, only the songs the kids pick. My middle son obsessively listens to Sweating Bullets(Megadeth). Thankfully, its one of my favorites anyways.

    What went wrong with the home business?

    Really, the interfaith group was a good idea, we were just the wrong people to do it. We had the collective charisma of an old gym sock. Two of us also had debilitating mental illness that prevented reliability, and two of us were domineering and pushy. I think I also threw one of the dominant Pagan members when I became Hindu. They were outwardly supportive, but the disappointment was well noted.

    One nice thing about buying salwar kameez online is that I can have them stitched per my measurements. Everything fits! But that doesn't work if I buy other clothing items elsewhere.

    That was really crappy. What is the logic in that?

    How did it come to happen that you turned to Ganesa and Siva?

    I've never been able to peg where I belong, though I tried. Just 'Hindu' has worked for me.


    That's a great idea!
     
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  7. mangalavara

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    I use baby spinach leaves, chopped cherry tomatoes, and a salad topping that has cranberries, almond slices, and some other ingredients. After putting those things together in the bowl, I pour some virgin sesame oil on the salad and it is ready.

    It has been a long time, so I forgot what beets taste like.

    Speaking of those bands, had I known back then what the genres were, I would have looked for similar artists to listen to. And, had I known about the rivethead subculture back then, I probably would have adopted it.

    It might have to do with age, or maybe spiritual progress makes us less inclined to listen to most music?

    It was just a bad idea.

    You'd probably need the collective charisma of at least a Chinese skyscraper bridge these days.

    Very nice clothing and very nice result!

    I am not sure what their logic was. What they did was not a surprise to me considering that churches tend to attract some of the worst people out there who become ecclesial leaders and important members. I guess I don't fit the bill.

    I had known those deities in the past, and they naturally drew my attention.

    That may be the best thing for me too. I'm just not drawn toward sampradāyas, swāmīs, and the like. You know, the past night I was thinking about what a Daoist philosophical interpretation or approach toward Hinduism would be like. What I know so far is it would make Brahman utterly ineffable and 'older' than Īśvara. As well, pursuing dharma would be the same as imitating Brahman. Karma yoga would obviously be dharmic. Further, studying scripture would be deemphasized, mokṣa would be pursued effortlessly, and meditation on Oṃ would be a central practice.

    Be sure to take photos and/or video of the elephants when they come out!
     
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  8. JustGeorge

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    That doesn't sound too bad. :)

    If you feel like trying them again sometime, I might suggest a simple salad recipe that I can't remember the name of, but do remember it claimed to be Gujarati in origin.

    Grate some beets. Add thinly sliced chilis, lime juice, and a bit of cumin powder. Garnish with chopped peanuts and chopped cilantro.
    I kinda remember hearing about that. I tended to be as nondescript of a goth then as I am as a Hindu now. I guess things change, but then they kinda don't.

    I really don't know, but I've wondered which it is, or if its both. I tend to lean that its spiritual, because those around me don't seem to taper down on their music consumption.

    Is that all?

    That's a shame its like that. It disservices the teachings they claim to distribute.

    I think I'm drawn toward the idea of it, but the shoe just never fits.

    Hinduism with a Daoist take sounds really interesting. Do you mean one would drop expectations of moksha, and then achieve it? How would one effectively imitate Brahman?

    You've got a creative mind.
     
  9. mangalavara

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    Thank you for the recipe. I searched for it on Bing and all I could find was Mexican salads. Interestingly, I did find a page about Gujarati Kachumber salad.

    I know what you mean. When I started chanting mantras back in August 2020, I found that I could no longer enjoy the music that I had enjoyed beforehand. Almost all the music I had listened to was tamasic. Instrumental Chinese music with traditional instruments, on the other hand, is what I find sattvic and agreeable. Experience tells me that the more spiritual we are, the more inclined we are toward everything sattvic.

    I still like the idea just a little bit. Something that really turns me off from it though is the spiritual teachers who interpret the Vedas and Bhagavad Gītā in ways that just don't sound right to me. Also, any spiritual teacher who has spent decades studying not only Hinduism but other traditions in depth yet can get simple things about other traditions wrong is just not worth my investment. For instance, there is a Vaiṣṇava gurū in our country who doesn't understand that in Buddhism, there is no inconsistency in desiring Nibbāna and knowing that taṇhā ('craving') gives rise to dissatisfaction/suffering. In reality, nobody craves Nibbāna, rather, they crave the things of saṃsāra. What a person can have is the will or good desire (chanda) for Nibbāna. Supposedly, the most learned authorities on Buddhism can't figure out the 'inconsistency' according to the said gurū who has studied Buddhism in depth.

    Yes, I think dropping the expectations for liberation would be a feature. Additionally, I think one would still knowingly pursue liberation but with effortless action or not trying to make liberation happen. The Chinese term for effortless action, as you probably know, is Wúwéi. I'm sure many if not most informed Hindus already agree with this approach.

    Imitating or being like Brahman might be the easiest way to pursue dharma than looking through the Vedas and other scriptures to know what virtues and duties are dharmic. Brahman supports the universe without attachment to it, thus, it is dharmic to act without desire for the fruits of our actions. Brahman gives life to every creature without bitterness, thus, it is dharmic to practice loving-kindness and benevolence (maitrī). Brahman does not demand that creatures bow down to it, thus, it is dharmic to be humble. I think that if we imitate Brahman, we become Brahman and ultimately merge with Brahman like a river into the sea.

    Thanks. I tend to dream up possibilities and 'what could be.'
     
  10. JustGeorge

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    That looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    How did you come to Instrumental Chinese music? That's quite a jump from your previous tastes.

    I really agree with this. I think sometimes people try to force sattvic ways on themselves sometimes before they're ready, and ultimately fail without understanding way. I just think sometimes a person isn't ready yet, but as their spirituality grows, that which is tamasic falls away little by little. At least, I've found this to be true for myself.

    They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Do you believe that?

    You're certainly more knowledgeable about Buddhism than I am. Run that bit by me again that the Vaisnava guru doesn't understand, 'cause I'm afraid I didn't catch it, either.

    A very smart man told me to do things effortlessly. I think effortless action is easy in the mind, but hard to pull off. But definitely something to strive for.

    Honestly, I really like this approach here. Maybe one day it'll become one of the myriad of paths within Hinduism. :)
     
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  11. mangalavara

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    I think what happened was I searched YouTube for classical Chinese music so that I could know what it sounds like. Doing that led to my happy discovery of gǔzhēng music.

    What you say is 100% spot-on! In my experience, sattvic ways indeed cannot be forced on oneself and that it really does take being ready. For me, tamasic things do fall away little by little the further I get in my spiritual life. Also, I am happy to see that you have the same kind of experience that I do when it comes to this.

    Even before I became a Hindu, I became a vegetarian and nondrinker. I still listened to goth rock (Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, Nosferatu, etc.) and some subgenres of heavy metal, but when I started chanting mantras, I got to where I just could not listen to that music anymore. One of the mantras was probably Oṃ Namaḥ Śivāya. Another one might have been Oṃ Śrī Gaṇeśāya Namaḥ. I also memorized the Mūl Mantar composed by Gurū Nānak. If you listen to that video of that last one, know that the volume goes way up for no reason when it gets to 5:00 until 5:34.

    I currently have no opinion on that idea. What is your view?

    When speaking about Buddhism in the English language, it is often said that Buddhism teaches that we should rid ourselves of desire, and that the same religion also teaches that we should desire Nirvāṇa. The Vaisnava guru who studied Buddhism in depth stated with authority that the desire to reach Nirvāṇa is inconsistent with the need to rid ourselves of desire. Indeed, how could one set something as one's ultimate desire yet try to rid oneself of desire? Supposedly, the most learned authorities on Buddhism cannot find a solution to this inconsistency. In reality, there is no inconsistency when it is understood that there is a difference in Buddhist doctrine between good desire and craving. Buddhism teaches that it is not good desire but craving that we should rid ourselves of. One can desire Nirvāṇa while working on removing one's craving for the things of saṃsāra.

    Yes. I sometimes find myself returning to the idea that I have to use so much power or make things complicated in order for the proper result to come about. Expecting results instantaneously doesn't help when trying to do things effortlessly.

    Thank you. It could happen. I would not be surprised if there are already a few Hindus out there who are using that approach.

    Something I have thought about is the role of the Trimūrti in a Hindu path with a Daoist approach. One thing the Dàodé Jīng says about cosmology is this: 'The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; / Three produced All things' (Tao Te Ching 42).

    In Daoist religion, three high deities known as the Three Pure Ones are the primordial emanations from the Dao called 'One,' 'Two,' and 'Three' in the quotation above. I think one can say Brahman is the Dao and that Śiva, Viṣṇu, and Brahmā are its primordial emanations. Brahmā, of course, is the one who 'produced All things,' that is, all beings and their worlds. Adoring those three can and does 'elevate' us to Brahman. Adoring those in their families (Pārvatī, Ganesa, etc.) would naturally have the same benefit.

    Anyway, this has been quite the composition! Lol. :D

    Works Cited​

    Tao Te Ching. Translated by J. Legge, 1891. Internet Sacred Text Archive, sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm.
     
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  12. JustGeorge

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    That's pretty!

    Good to hear I'm not the only one with this experience! In my 20s, I lived with an abusive significant other. I drank a lot to cope with fear/depression from the situation. I wasn't a problematic drinker, so it caused no issue with work or other responsibilities(I only drank at home, and at night, when I was around him), but otherwise I was so boring no one knew I had been drinking at all. I used to fret that I was becoming an alcoholic. My therapist advised me once not to worry about it, that this wasn't the case for me and she felt it would fall away on its own once I was in a safer place. It did. Not immediately, but after I had a better life, little by little, I didn't care about alcohol anymore.

    I don't think I could ever tolerate meat, though. I remember being a preschooler bawling at the dinner table because I was mourning for the dead animal. However, punishment was compelling for most of the younger years, but once I hit 12, I didn't care anymore. Ground me. At least I can live with myself. After a week or so, my parents gave up. (The funny thing? Dad's going vegetarian now...)

    I witnessed my husband drop his ability to handle meat. It was interesting. When we married, he made it clear he'd never be a vegetarian. I never asked him to be. First, it was chicken. Chicken made him sick. So he stopped eating it. Then beef appalled him. Some of that was also from working with it, and seeing the condition it came in. He couldn't eat it anymore(and for a period, had to go outside periodically to pray just to work with it). "I'll never give up seafood, though! That's just part of my beach life!" Well... seafood makes him ill now, and he can't figure out why(he gave it up about two years ago).


    I'm unsure, too. I hope it means that when a student is ready to learn, they'll pick up lessons from the 'universe' they didn't notice before. I've had opportunity for 'teachers' a few times, and they usually forget about me, or I quickly learn they're full of dog dookie.

    Ah yes! This sounds exactly right to me! I used to attend a Buddhist Path group, and I think we debated this once. But with just English words(because most of the guys were secular and not too into terminology). This sounds very true and reasonable.

    No, it doesn't. I've gotten to a point where I expect almost nothing, but I'm afraid the tasks of daily living sometimes require the effort it would take one to carry an elephant.

    That's interesting. I do note there are many religions that have this trinity, though I understand its importance is not real significance within Hinduism.

    I read something once I found striking; the esoteric reason for not worshipping Brahma is that you, yourself, are the creator(and one shouldn't worship the self, according to this line of thinking). But it put a whole new holy responsibility on viewing your actions. After all, you are in charge of your own little corner of the world, which contributes the the greater world, which goes on and on... I wish I could find that article again.



    I love this! Beautifully put. ​
     
  13. mangalavara

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    Being informed about it might be the Guru's way of teaching you.

    Sounds like you had a wise therapist. It is good to hear that you drank a lot less after the situation ended.

    You must have been a vegetarian in a previous life, or perhaps you witnessed animal slaughter in one in such a way that it affected you in this life at a very young age.

    Isn't it amazing that sometimes parents adopt what their kids have adopted?

    That was quite the process!

    I recall Dattātreya learning from nature.

    You are not the only one to learn that a lot of 'teachers' are full of it. Some though might not exactly be full of it, but they might be full of themselves. They are indeed out there.

    It really is a matter of two different Pali words being translated into English equally as 'desire.'

    I have the impression that it might not be of real significance when it comes to practice. On the other hand, every Purāṇa that I have looked through and read from mentions the Trimurti. They say different things about it. One of them says Visnu and Siva are forms of Brahma, interestingly. There are sectarian Upaniṣads that mention the Trimurti as well, and one of them appears to say Brahma came from Visnu, who came from Siva. My overall impression is that the Trimurti is more of a cosmological doctrine than anything.

    That's an interesting explanation for the decline of Brahma worship. I've heard that Brahma ought not to be worshipped because he is a fallacious deity. Why then is he the source of the Vedas? Also, there are Puranas that provide explanations for the lack of worship. One of them is that Brahma was cursed not to have anymore worshippers due to some offense he committed. As one spiritual teacher in Australia said on Quora, 'I guess those Buddhists in Thailand did not get the message.'

    Thank you. :blush:

    I realize, by the way, that I tend to write in a way that's not easy to follow.
     
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  14. JustGeorge

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    I don't think I witnessed any animals being harmed; it just felt wrong. Very wrong. My doctor thinks it was due to a past life.

    Its been real fun watching Dad grow up. :)

    Dattatreya has always stuck out a bit for me because of that. I enjoyed going through this website for awhile: Home - My Dattatreya

    Full of themselves! Yes. I know a 'spiritual teacher' who is perhaps one of the most ignorant and unpleasant people I've ever met, yet she prides herself on her 'extensive knowledge'. (Of what?) Do you have any experience with teachers, positive or negative?

    Brahma coming from Vishnu, who came from Siva(who came from Devi) is kind of the impression I get... but then I get the impression they're all the same as each other, as All is Brahman.

    Which Puranas have you read? Have you read the Mahabharata?

    I've read different reasons why Brahma may not be worshipped(one dealing with mistreating Saraswati, another with him being deceitful to Vishnu and Shiva). In my experience, most stories such as these have multiple meanings, though the fact that they have multiple meanings doesn't make one or the other untrue. Indeed, I think the world continue to work this way(if one can pick it up).

    This is news to me.

    I'm even following what you're saying, and its not quite 11am yet.

    Why do you think this?
     
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  15. mangalavara

    mangalavara Verified Account ✔
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    What I meant was witnessing animal slaughter in a past life. It is interesting that more than one person so far has associated your sensitivity with a past life.

    Very nice. I have checked out the website today.

    It appears there is an abundance of such individuals in the world.

    There is one spiritual teacher who I had considered possibly following. During my consideration, I listened to a lot of his talks and heard many good, spot-on, and helpful things, but I noticed some red flags. Also, either he or his followers literally call him the world's greatest authority on Sanātana Dharma. That's a bit funny because when we call somebody the 'world's greatest authority' on something, we are usually mocking the person.

    All of that sounds right to me. Devi being the origin of Siva, who is the origin of Visnu, who is the origin of Brahma reminds me of this passage in the Dàodé Jīng:

    (Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven
    and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all
    things. (Tao Te Ching 1)​

    I am not sure what exactly Laozi meant here about the Dao, but I think it can be synchronized with the perspective that the Higher Brahman is nameless and ineffable whereas the Lower Brahman is Devi.

    I've read very little of the Mahabharata. Although I have not yet read one Purana all the way, I have read many chapters in various Puranas. Some of them are the Markandeya, Padma, Visnu, Linga, and Devi-Bhagatava Puranas. Do you read many scriptures?

    I like your perspective that there are multiple meanings in these stories. I also agree that on a larger scale, there are multiple meanings to things.

    As to the explanations found in the Puranas for why Brahma is not worshipped, I mentioned in my previous reply a spiritual teacher in Australia who pointed out that the Buddhists in Thailand did not get the message about Brahma being cursed not to have worshippers. The same teacher also pointed out on somewhere on Quora that Hindu villages in Bali have temples to all three deities of the Trimurti. It appears that this lack of Brahma worship is an Indian phenomenon. Interestingly, in my own personal experience, trying to give any worship to Brahma is impossible. For some reason, I cannot make myself pay him homage. It seems that something pushes me away.

    Well, I've been told before that my writing is often formal and academic sounding.

    Works Cited​

    Tao Te Ching. Translated by J. Legge, 1891. Internet Sacred Text Archive, sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm.
     
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  16. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    What were the red flags you saw?

    The title given is odd. Sanatana Dharma is too vast to really have a singular authority on it... I don't think even the brightest person in existence would have the time(at least not in one lifetime) to study each individual path to become an 'authority' on them all.

    It is true that its usually said in mocking. I wonder if the title will remain a positive one in years down the road.

    That's very interesting!

    I've read a few different translations of the Mahabharata, all abridged. I'd love to read the whole thing one day, but I gotta save up my money. The translation I'd prefer is $400! But there's one available for less($100). I'm sure its online somewhere, but truth be told, I can't focus reading anything online for more than about a page or two. I'm not sure why.

    The Mahabharata seems to affect me on a deep level. The first time I came across it was in the telling of the life of Krishna. It dealt with it indirectly, but I felt hooked on it, and bought another translation. I wasn't satisfied with that one, and bought another translation(and I seem to keep doing it). Each one leaves something out, or doesn't tell it right, or doesn't capture someone in it quite right... Its exhilarating and frustrating both. For a person who forgets a lot, its strange. Perhaps this isn't my first round with it. Either way, it fascinates me. (I even chose my youngest son's name from it. :) )

    I've read the Ramayana, Tirukkural, some of the Upanishads, the Gita(which is, of course, in the Mahabharata), and a translation of the Devi Bhagavatam. I've read bits from the Shiva Purana and Bhagavata Purana. I sometimes flip my copy of the Vedas open and read randomly, but am far from ever having read the whole thing. I tried to read the Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini, but I found it confusing and hard to read(the text went back and forth between English and Sanskrit).

    Out of the chapters you've read in the Puranas, which do you feel you'd like most to read more from?

    That is really interesting! I wonder why they feel it acceptable in Thailand and Bali to worship Brahma, but not elsewhere. I knew he had a couple of temples worldwide, but not many. Hm. Something to ponder on..

    I get what you mean, about feeling pushed away by the idea. I kinda feel it, too. I find it hard to explain to people of faiths that emphasis 'creator'.

    In Vastu, the center of the room(home/property, even) is to be left vacant, as a tribute to Brahma. It makes me wonder a bit... is Brahma representative somehow of emptiness? (Just random meandering...)




    I think its fine. :)
     
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  17. mangalavara

    mangalavara Verified Account ✔
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    One red flag is how he speaks of his own written works. For instance, he will read a passage from one of them and say something like 'Very good' or, if I remember correctly, 'Beautiful passage.' Perhaps he's just complementing the editor when he says things like that? Another red flag, in my opinion, is that many of his followers have been relocating to the city where he lives so that they may be able to regularly interact with him offline. That seems cultish to me, but maybe it's not.

    Exactly!

    If I were to read one of the Itihasas in its entirety, I would prefer it in the form of a traditional book rather than an electronic book with a glowing screen.

    Sounds like you have a good relationship with it. :)

    Who is the translator of your copy?

    Probably the Mārkaṇḍeya. I like its nonsectarian nature.

    I have no idea, so I wonder, too.

    Yeah, they have the impression that if a deity is the creator, that deity needs to be worshipped.

    That's interesting. Emptiness is not something I personally associate with Brahma because he is the origin of the various kinds of creatures as well as the Vedas. Quite a lot came from him.

    Good to know!
     
  18. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    Yup, I agree. Seems off to me.

    There is an experience had with a physical book that just cant be replicated with a screen, in my opinion.

    Ralph T. H. Griffith and Arthur Berriedale Keith

    Indeed they do. I have a Muslim friend who(for the most part has stopped barking up this tree)occasionally implies that I will hurt 'the' creator's feelings by choosing to worship others; he can't wrap his head around the creator not being terribly relevant. (And I mean can't, kind of like I can't wrap my own brain around advanced mathematics.)

    Indeed it did.
     
  19. mangalavara

    mangalavara Verified Account ✔
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    It occurred to me the previous evening or night that there is a reason some people believe a creator deity is of central relevance and ought to receive the worship of human beings. Notice it is typical of people who are Abrahamic? In the Abrahamic worldviews, having a physical body and enjoying sense objects in a physical world, all created by a creator deity, is a very good thing. Unlike us, Abrahamists look forward to a bodily resurrection so that they may continue to enjoy physical life. The resurrection, of course, will be brought about by a creator. Seeing that Abrahamists highly value physical life, it makes sense that they believe worshipping a creator deity is an obligation. Dharmists, on the other hand, want liberation from Saṃsāra. Knowing that we desire such liberation, it would not make sense for us to focus our worship on a creator deity such as Brahma.

    What do you think? :)
     
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  20. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    It is indeed very typical of the Abrahamics to place emphasis on the creator, but I think there are a few others who do, too. I think this is typical of many African religions, and I believe the Native Americans put importance on a creator, too. (Though I believe many African traditions do not honor the creator exclusively, but deal with 'in between' spirits/deities.)

    Its an interesting concept that perhaps the Abrahamics are more focused on creation because of the importance of the physical in many of their religious views. I do feel, however, that as they dive deeper into the mystical teachings of their faiths, the less the focus is on the material realms. Perhaps they only recognize him because they have no other options to turn to? There is Jesus for the Christians, and Mohammed for the Muslims, and Baha'is have Baha'u'llah, (I feel the Judaic concept of God gets pretty deep and complex in itself and has no need to turn elsewhere, but that's only an outsider's impression.) All there is for God is their creator, who put the nix on the recognition of any other deities, for any other reason. However, I can't help but notice that each of the three faiths I mentioned often speak more of their 'prophet' than they do of their god himself...

    We have no such restrictions in Hinduism, however. If I ponder on the Trimurti and the function of each of the three, it seems creation alone is... pointless. If I create a cat, but don't sustain it, what good is it? Brahma can create, but if Vishnu does not preserve, its in vain. But then what of Shiva's function? If Brahma creates and then Vishnu preserves... it stagnates. And that simply isn't how the powers of the universe work. This is where Shiva comes in to repurpose what in no longer serving. Without this mercy, the cycle would end.

    Perhaps its easier to relate to being preserved or let go. If my mother gave birth to me, but abandoned me for another to care for, I would likely reserve for the person who saw to my health during my formative years. When I am ailing, or I need extra strength to destroy the negative in my life, its more likely I would call upon that whom lovingly destroys what threatens me. Creation is vital, but its fleeting.

    Just more meandering...
     
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