On July 18, 2012, Selvanathan Sthapati and one of his employees–a master cement sculptor–Mr. Muthukumar arrived on Phuket Island, Thailand from Chennai, India to begin an historic project that has been in incubation for centuries. The project is to revive an ancient Lord Narayanan temple that used to exist around 1,300 years ago (according to Thailand's archaeological department). The most important remnant of this ancient temple is an 8.3 feet (2.53m) tall Lord Narayanan deity.Click here to view this photo documentary and learn more about this temple revival project .
All religions teach about places we go to after death. Scriptures describe the two main places we may enter as heaven and hell. Heaven is a beautiful and divine place and a place where only righteous people live together with angelic beings and God. All things good and enjoyable are experienced in Heaven. It is a blissful place free from suffering. Hell on the other hand is a dark place. A place of torment, pain and suffering. The company in hell consists of those who lived sinful lives on Earth. It is obviously a place to avoid. This is generally used as a motivation by many religions to persuade its followers to live by the tenants of their religion and to do good to earn their place in heaven. According to Hinduism the sum of the quality of our actions on Earth determine whether we go to heaven or hell. Click here to read to read this Hindu Philosophy lesson on the spiritual worlds.
To be reborn on Earth after a previous death. According to Hindu philosophy the true identity of each person is their immortal soul–atma. The soul was created by God and is born on Earth to live it’s life in a physical body so it can evolve spiritually. After the physical body dies the soul returns to heaven or hell depending on the sum of the quality of karmas it had created during its previous lifetime on Earth. In heaven it continues its spiritual learning and prepares for another life on earth; in hell it reaps some of its bad karmas and goes through the pain it had inflicted on others. When the right time comes, which is determined by complex factors including its karmas to be faced in the next life on earth, the soul is reborn on Earth. Thus the cycle of birth, death and rebirth repeats itself. When moksha–liberation from the cycle of reincarnation is achieved, the soul lives eternally in heaven until it reunites completely with God in undifferentiated union–vishvagrasa.
One of the biggest value of yoga, since yogic practices are primarily dedicated to enhancing to powers of concentration of the yogi, is that yoga recognizes that concentration can be developed and improved. Yoga also recognizes the potency of the power of concentration from a spiritual perspective; for according to yoga philosophy concentration enables one to unlock latent spiritual powers of the mind (these powers originate from the superconscious mind) which enhances ones aspirations with inspiration, ingenuity, creativity and confidence.
From the yogic perspective there are three levels of concentration. These levels involve progressively more intense focusing of different faculties of the mind. Thus mastering each level is also progressively more challenging. The three levels, listed from the most basic to the most intense, are as follows:
1. Conscious Concentration - Sakshin
2. Subconscious Concentration - Pratyahara
3. Super Concentration - Dharana
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