Akrura was a chief of the Yadavas, an ancient people of India, and a descendant of the Vrishni kula. He is worshipped as Shri Akrurji Maharaj by the present-day Varshney community and is known as Babrhu. The life of Akrura is depicted in the ancient Indian texts known as the Puranas, Akrura was one of twelve sons born to Śvaphalka and Gāndinī. Śvaphalka was a son of Prsni and Gāndinīa was a daughter of the king of Kashi, in Vrishni, Akrura shared the same great-great-grandfather as Krishna. Akrura married Sutanu, who was the daughter of Ahuka, and he reigned at Dvārakā and Pargiter believes that this was the familys chiefdom as far back as Vrishni. Kamsa ruled over the area as king, being based in the capital at Mathura and he had a desire to see Krishna and Baladeva, his brother, killed. Kamsa was earlier witness to akaash vani, an announcement from the sky. To achieve this end he ordered Akrura to bring them from Ambadi, Akrura was given Syamantaka, a significant jewel in Hindu mythology, for safekeeping.
Śvaphalka, of the Vrsni dynasty, married Nandini, daughter of the king of Kasi, Akrura was an uncle of Krishna but is respected more as a worshipper of Krishna. He is mentioned in Hindu scriptures in the following ways and he rose to fame as a commander of the Yadava army. Akrura was present for the Swayamvara of Draupadi, at the time that Arjuna eloped with Subhadra, a grand festival was being held in the Raivataka mountain, which Akrura partook in. Akrura accompanied Krishna to the marriage of Subhadra, Akrura came to Upaplavya to attend the marriage of Abhimanyu. Akrura and Ahuka always quarrelled with each other, both accused the other of siding with the camp of Krishna. Kamsa, who was planning to kill Balarama and Krishna, conducted a festival called Capapuja, Akura was sent by Kamsa to bring Balarama and Krishna to the festival. Akrura saw through the plot, informed Krishna about it and advised him to kill Kamsa, Akrura fought against Jarasandha, alongside Krishna. On another occasion Krishna and Uddhava sent Akura to Hastinapura to gather news about Kunti, Akura met Vasudevs sister Kunti and the king of Hastinapura and talked to them, after which he returned to Dvaraka.
Akrura married Sutanu, daughter of Ahuka, and had two sons named Devaka and Upadevaka, Akrura Ghat is one of the bathing ghats at Vrindavan, Mathura district. This is the place where Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama are believed to have revealed their forms of Lord Vishnu, the text Adi Varaha Purana illustrates Akrura Ghat as the king of all holy places
Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice, and one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. The term Advaita refers to its idea that the soul is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality, Advaita Vedanta traces its roots in the oldest Upanishads. It relies on three textual sources called the Prasthanatrayi and it gives a unifying interpretation of the whole body of Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Advaita Vedanta is the oldest extant sub-school of Vedanta, which is one of the six orthodox Hindu philosophies, though its roots trace back to the 1st millennium BCE, the most prominent exponent of the Advaita Vedanta is considered by the tradition to be 8th century scholar Adi Shankara. Advaita Vedanta emphasizes Jivanmukti, the idea that moksha is achievable in this life in contrast to Indian philosophies that emphasize Videhamukti, Advaita Vedanta is one of the most studied and most influential schools of classical Indian thought.
Many scholars describe it as a form of monism, others describe the Advaita philosophy as non-dualistic, beyond Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta interacted and developed with the other traditions of India such as Jainism and Buddhism. Advaita Vedanta texts espouse a spectrum of views from idealism, including illusionism, in modern times, its views appear in various Neo-Vedanta movements. It has been termed as the example of Hindu spirituality. The Advaita Vedanta school has referred to historically by various names, such as Advaita-vada, Abheda-darshana, Dvaita-vada-pratisedha. According to Richard King, a professor of Buddhist and Asian studies, traditional Advaita Vedanta centers on the study of the sruti especially the Principal Upanishads, along with the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Within the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism are many sub-schools, of which Advaita is one, unlike Buddhism, but like Jainism, all Vedanta schools consider the existence of Atman as self evident. The Vedanta tradition posits the concept of Brahman as the eternal, the sub-schools of Vedanta disagree on the relation between Atman and Brahman.
The Advaita darsana considers them to be identical, Advaita Vedanta believes that the knowledge of ones true self or Atman is liberating. Correct knowledge, which destroys avidya and perceptual errors related to Atman and Brahman, is obtained through three stages of practice, sravana and nididhyasana, the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism rejects the dualism of Samkhya. Advaita, like all Vedanta schools, states that Brahman is both the efficient and the cause, that from which the origination, subsistence. What created all existence is present in and reflected in all beings and inert matter and this Brahman it postulates is sat-cit-ananda. Second, how did cit Brahman create material world, third, if ananda Brahman is pure bliss, why did the empirical world of sufferings arise. These are the questions that Advaita Vedanta thinkers have historically attempted to answer, Advaita establishes its truths, in part, from the oldest Principal Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and numerous other Hindu texts
In Vajrayana Buddhism, Akshobhya is one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas, a product of the Adibuddha, who represents consciousness as an aspect of reality. By convention he is located in the east of the Diamond Realm and is the lord of the Eastern Pure Land Abhirati and his consort is Lochanā and he is normally accompanied by two elephants. His color is blue-black and his attributes include the bell, three robes, and staff, along with a jewel, prayer wheel, and sword. Akshobhya appears in the Scripture of the Buddha-land of Akshobhya, which dates from 147 AD and is the oldest known Pure Land text. According to the scripture, a monk wished to practice the Dharma in the world of delight. He duly proved immovable and when he succeeded, he became the buddha Akshobhya, Akshobhya is sometimes merged with Acala, whose name means immovable one in Sanskrit. However, Acala is not a buddha, but one of the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm in Vajrayana. Prior to the advent of Bhaisajyaguru, Akshobhya was the subject of a cult in Japan as a healing buddha.
Recently, newly discovered Gāndhārī texts from Pakistan in the Bajaur Collection have been found to contain fragments of an early Mahāyāna sutra mentioning Akshobhya, preliminary dating through palaeography suggests a late 1st century to early 2nd century AD provenance. More conclusive radiocarbon dating is under way, a preliminary report on these texts has been issued by Ingo Strauch, with a paper on Akshobhya texts published 2010. Akshobhya is the embodiment of mirror knowledge, a knowledge of what is real, and what is illusion, or a mere reflection of actual reality. The mirror is mind itself - clear like the sky, empty yet luminous, holding all the images of space and time, yet untouched by them. He represents the mind, and the Vajra family is connected with reason. Its brilliance illuminates the darkness of ignorance, its sharpness cuts through confusion, the Vajra family, to which Akshobhya belongs, is associated with the element of water. This is why the two colours of Vajra are blue or white, bright white like sun reflecting off water, and blue, like the depths of the ocean.
Even if the surface of the ocean is blown into crashing waves, and though water may seem ethereal and weightless, in truth it is extremely heavy. Water flows into the lowest place and settles there and it carves through solid rock, but calmly, without violence. When frozen, it is hard and clear like the intellect and these are all the essential qualities of Akshobhya
The Akshamalika Upanishad is a Sanskrit text and one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism. It is associated with the Rigveda and it is one of 14 Shaiva Upanishads. The Upanishad describes akshamala and its importance in japa, the repetition of a mantra. The text mentions different types of rosaries, their significance, the relevant mantras, while this Shaiva Upanishadic text discusses consecration and use of rosary for meditation, the use of rosary is common in other traditions. It is known as Aksamalikopanisad, the akshamala denotes a string made up of beads where each bead represents the 50 letters of the alphabet, a to ksha, hence it is known as Akshamalika Upanishad. Alternate names for rosaries, states Ernst Leumann, that appear in Jaina and Hindu texts are akshamala, akshasutra, the date of composition and the author of this text are unknown. In a Telugu language anthology of 108 Upanishads of the Muktika in the era, narrated by Rama to Hanuman. The Akshamalika Upanishad is structured as a discourse between Prajapati and Guha, Prajapati asks Guha about the akshamala, its rules, colours, materials used for making it, and so forth.
Gold and copper threads, states the text, are used on either side and it should have fifty beads, corresponding to the characters of Sanskrit alphabet. The beads should be worn in a circle, the face of the bead should touch the face of another, the internal thread of gold represents the Supreme Brahman. The silver thread of the right and copper thread on the left symbolize the gods Shiva, the face and base of the beads denote goddesses Sarasvati and Gayatri. The holes are Knowledge and the knot of the thread is Prakriti, the beads representing vowels, mute consonants and other consonants should be white and red and denote sattva and rajas gunas respectively. The text thereafter asserts the procedure for consecration of the akshamala and it should be bathed in milk of five types of cows, followed by five products from a cow, and sprinkled with Darbha grass water. The beads, states the text, should be immersed in sandalwood water reciting Omkara, the 50 mantras – each of which narrates the powers of the specific character – are listed.
The gods residing in earth and heaven as well as the ancestors are invited to dwell in the beads, the akshamala is to be treated as a goddess, and used in meditation, states the text. It expiates sin, asserts the text, the use of 108 beaded Akshamala is not limited to Shaiva tradition, but found in other Hindu traditions such as Vaishnavas, as well as among the Buddhists. The method of consecration and invocation with mantras is similar in all these traditions, the origins of the use of rosary for prayers and meditation among Jesuits and Roman Catholic monks, states Guy Beck, is traceable to India. Sonic Theology and Sacred Sound and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India
Agni Yoga is a spiritual teaching transmitted by the artist Nicholas Roerich and his wife Helena Roerich from 1920. The followers of Agni Yoga believe that the teaching was given to the Roerich family and their associates by Master Morya, the guru of Helena Blavatsky, a founder of the Theosophical Society. The Agni Yoga teaching and the letters of Helena Roerich make frequent reference to the activities undertaken by the Roerichs. Knowledge about Vedanta and Buddhism was spreading throughout Europe in the first decade of the 20th century, and it is unclear exactly when the Roerichs became members of the TS, but undoubtedly they were able to acquaint themselves with Theosophy and Asian thought in the 1910s if not earlier. During that decade, Nicholass art took a decidedly visionary turn, there is no definite date given for their initial contact with Master Morya, but by 1920 they were receiving the messages that appear at the beginning of Leaves of Moryas Garden. During that same year Frances Grant, and Sina and Maurice Lichtmann joined their circle and Louis Horch joined the following year.
Excepting the Roerichs, all of the members of this circle were Jewish. In each case, the new participants were carefully sounded out about their spiritual views, while this inner work was open to very few people and carefully separated from the public, cultural projects, the latter were led by members of the inner group. Louis Horch, the financial backer for the cultural work, became titular head of the Master Institute. Both Sina Lichtmann and Frances Grant worked on the English translations of the Agni Yoga teachings, the answers from the Master were written out by Nicholas Roerich on big scrolls of sketching paper. The mode of communication between Master Morya and Helena Roerich was clairaudience, not telepathy, and indications from the Master were recorded in notebooks, some guidance was intended for the Roerichs alone, this was compiled into separate notebooks by Helena Roerich. Author’s copies of the notebooks kept by Madam Roerich from 1920 to February 1935 are housed in the Roerich Archive of the Amherst Center for Russian Culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
While Nicholas and George Roerich were traveling on an expedition to India, Central Asia. The Horches, influenced by Esther Lichtmann, came to believe that the Roerichs spiritual claims were overblown, a legal battle began in 1935, and in 1937 the Horches won legal control of the Roerich Museum. Along with the collection of Roerich paintings housed there, the notebooks of Helena Roerich passed into their hands, the Nicholas Roerich Museum was established at its present site in 1949. Until her death in 1983, Sina Lichtmann headed the operations of the Society, Edgar Lansbury is the President of both institutions, and Daniel Entin is the Executive Director of the Museum. The political thaw in Russia during the 1980s allowed the Roerich movement, with support from Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev, a Roerich Centre was created and provided with a palatial headquarters in Moscow. Just as George Roerich had donated paintings to museums in Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, Svetoslav Roerich and his wife, Devika Rani, did the same for the Roerich Centre in Moscow
Agni means fire, and connotes the Vedic fire god of Hinduism. Agni refers to one of the deities of direction. In the Vedic literature, Agni is a major and oft invoked god along with Indra, Agni is considered as the mouth of the gods and goddesses, and the medium that conveys offerings to them in a homa. He is conceptualized in ancient Hindu texts to exist at three levels, on earth as fire, in atmosphere as lightning, and in the sky as sun and this triple presence connects him as the messenger between gods and human beings in the Vedic thought. Agni is a term that appears extensively in Buddhist texts, the Sanskrit word Agni means fire. In the early Vedic literature, Agni primarily connotes the fire as a god, one reflecting the primordial powers to consume and convey. In the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas, such as in section 5.2.3 of Shatapatha Brahmana, Agni represents all the gods, the etymology of Agni is uncertain and contested. According to the 5th-century BCE Sanskrit text Nirukta-Nighantu in section 7, from root aj, which in Sanskrit means to drive and mirrors in Indo-European languages in the sense of nimble, agile.
There are many theories about the origins of the god Agni, some tracing it to Indo-European mythologies, the origin myth found in many Indo-European cultures is one of a bird, or bird like being, that carries or brings fire from the gods to mankind. Alternatively, this brings a elixir of immortality from heaven to earth. In either case, the bird returns everyday with sacrificial offerings for the gods, Agni is molded in similar mythical themes, in some hymns with the phrase the heavenly bird that flies. Agni originated from the forehead of Prajapati, assert these texts, with the creation of Agni came light, and with that were created day and night. Agni, state these Samhitas, is the same as the Brahman, the truth, Agni is originally conceptualized as the ultimate source of the creator-maintainer-destroyer triad, one of the trinities, as the one who ruled the earth. His twin brother Indra ruled the atmosphere as the god of storm and war, while Surya ruled the sky and his position and importance evolves over time, in the creator-maintainer-destroyer aspects of existence in Hindu thought.
In the Vedic pantheon, Agni occupies, after Indra, the most important position, Agni is prominent in the hymns of the Vedas and particularly the Brahmanas. In the Rig Veda there are over 200 hymns that praise Agni and his name or synonyms appear in nearly a third of 1,028 hymns in the Rigveda. The Rigveda opens with a hymn inviting Agni, who is addressed in the hymn as the guardian of Ṛta. The Vedas describe the parents of Agni as two kindling fire sticks, whose loving action creates him, just born, he is poetically presented as a tender baby, who needs loving attention lest he vanishes
In the ancient Greek myths, ambrosia is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it. It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves, so it may have thought of in the Homeric tradition as a kind of divine exhalation of the Earth. Ambrosia is sometimes depicted in ancient art as distributed by a nymph labeled with that name, in the myth of Lycurgus, an opponent to the wine god Dionysus, violence committed against Ambrosia turns her into a grapevine. Ambrosia is very related to the gods other form of sustenance. On the other hand, in Alcman, nectar is the food, a character in Aristophanes Knights says, I dreamed the goddess poured ambrosia over your head—out of a ladle. Both descriptions could be correct, as Ambrosia could be a liquid that is considered a meal, the consumption of ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings. Upon his assumption into immortality on Olympus, Heracles is given ambrosia by Athena, in one version of the myth of Tantalus, part of Tantalus crime is that after tasting ambrosia himself, he attempts to steal some away to give to other mortals.
Those who consume ambrosia typically had not blood in their veins, homer speaks of ambrosial raiment, ambrosial locks of hair, even the gods ambrosial sandals. Pliny used the term in connection with different plants, as did early herbalists, the concept of an immortality drink is attested in at least two Indo-European areas and Sanskrit. The Greek ἀμβροσία is semantically linked to the Sanskrit अमृत as both words denote a drink or food that gods use to achieve immortality, the two words appear to be derived from the same Indo-European form *ṇ-mṛ-tós, un-dying. A semantically similar etymology exists for nectar, the beverage of the presumed to be a compound of the PIE roots *nek-, death. However, the connection that has derived ambrosia from the Greek prefix a-, in the Iliad xvi, Apollo washes the black blood from the corpse of Sarpedon and anoints it with ambrosia, readying it for its dreamlike return to Sarpedons native Lycia. Similarly, Thetis anoints the corpse of Patroclus in order to preserve it, both ambrosia and nectar are depicted as unguents.
In the Odyssey, Calypso is described as having spread a table with ambrosia and set it by Hermes and it is ambiguous whether he means the ambrosia itself is rosy-red, or if he is describing a rosy-red nectar Hermes drinks along with the ambrosia. Later, Circe mentions to Odysseus that a flock of doves are the bringers of ambrosia to Olympus, in the Odyssey, Polyphemus likens the wine given to him by Odysseus to ambrosia and nectar. One of the impieties of Tantalus, according to Pindar, was that he offered to his guests the ambrosia of the Deathless Ones, in the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess uses ambrosial bridal oil that she had ready perfumed. In the story of Cupid and Psyche as told by Apuleius, Psyche is given ambrosia upon her completion of the set by Venus. After she partakes and Cupid are wed as gods, some ancient Egyptian statues of Anubis read. I am death. I eat ambrosia and drink blood
It is a legume with long, pinnate-leafleted leaves. The plant is best known for its seeds, which are used as beads and in percussion instruments, ingestion of a single seed, well chewed, can be fatal to both adults and children. The plant is native to India and grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world where it has been introduced and it has a tendency to become weedy and invasive where it has been introduced. Abrus precatorius is an invasive plant in warm temperate to tropical regions. It had been introduced by humans, and the brightly coloured and hard-shelled seeds had been spread by birds. By the end of the century, it had been proclaimed as an invasive weed in many regions including some in Belize, Caribbean Islands, Polynesia. In Florida in particular, the plant has invaded undisturbed pinelands and hammocks, herbicides such as glyphosate are effective, but need skilled application if they are not to do more harm than good. The toxin abrin is a dimer consisting of two subunits, termed A and B.
The B chain facilitates abrins entry into a cell by bonding to certain transport proteins on cell membranes, once inside the cell, the A chain prevents protein synthesis by inactivating the 26S subunit of the ribosome. One molecule of abrin will inactivate up to 1,500 ribosomes per second.56 μg/kg in mice, ingesting intact seeds may result in no clinical findings, as they can pass undigested through the gastrointestinal tract because of their hard shell. This plant is poisonous to horses. Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, convulsions, liver failure, the seeds of Abrus precatorius are much valued in native jewelry for their bright coloration. Most beans are black and red, suggesting a ladybug, though other colors are available, jewelry-making with jequirity seeds is somewhat hazardous. There are persistent reports that the workers who pierce the seeds in order to them can suffer poisoning or even death from a pinprick. An online search found 265 scientific papers referring to Abrus precatorius, in Trinidad in the West Indies the brightly colored seeds are strung into bracelets and worn around the wrist or ankle to ward off jumbies or evil spirits and mal-yeux—the evil eye.
The Tamils use Abrus seeds of different colors, the red variety with black eye is the most common, but there are black and green varieties as well. In March 2012 a recall was issued for bracelets made using Jequirity Beans sold by the Eden Project, the seeds of Abrus precatorius are very consistent in weight. Formerly Indians used these seeds to weigh gold using a measure called a Ratti, an 1881 work by the District Superintendent of Police for British-occupied Bengal details the preparation and use of the sutari for the killing of cattle and in at least six murder cases
Alexandria on the Caucasus
Alexandria in the Caucasus was a colony of Alexander the Great. He founded the colony at an important junction of communications in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. Note, In Classical times, the Hindu Kush were designated as the Caucasus in parallel to their Western equivalent, the Caucasus Mountains between Europe and Asia. He had built forts in what is nowadays Bagram in Afghanistan, at the foot of the Hindu Kush, the divinity of the city seems to have been Zeus, as suggested by coins of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides. Alexandria of the Caucasus was one of the capitals of the Indo-Greek kings, during the reign of Menander I the city was recorded as having a thriving Buddhist community, headed by Greek monks. Some archaeological evidence concerning Alexandria of the Caucasus was gathered by Charles Masson and his findings include coins, rings and other small objects. In the 1930s Roman Ghirshman, while conducting excavations near Bagram, found Egyptian and Syrian glassware, bronze statuettes and this is an indication that Alexanders conquests have opened India to imports from the west.
Today the cities remains feature a rectangular tell 500 by 200 metres in area and a nearby circular citadel about 3km northeast of Bagram Airforce base