This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.
Pages in category "Ascetics"
The following 69 pages are in this category, out of 69 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.
The following 69 pages are in this category, out of 69 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Asceticism – Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Asceticism is classified into two types, Asceticism has been historically observed in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Judaism. Mainstream Islam has lacked asceticism, except for its minority Sufi sect whose long tradition has included strict asceticism, the practitioners of these religions eschewed worldly pleasures and led an abstinent lifestyle, in the pursuit of redemption, salvation or spirituality. Asceticism is seen in the ancient theologies as a journey towards spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the adjective ascetic derives from the ancient Greek term askēsis, which means training or exercise. The original usage did not refer to self-denial, but to the training required for athletic events. Its usage later extended to rigorous practices that are used in all religious traditions, in varying degrees to attain redemption. Asceticism has been classified into natural and unnatural forms of asceticism, natural asceticism is defined as a lifestyle where material aspects of life are reduced to utmost simplicity and minimum. This may include minimal, simple clothing, sleeping on floor or caves, natural asceticism, state Wimbush and Valantasis, does not include maiming the body or harsher austerities that make the body suffer. Self-discipline and abstinence in some form and degree are parts of religious practice within many religious, ascetic lifestyle is associated particularly with monks, nuns, fakirs in Abrahamic religions, and bhikkhus, munis, sannyasis, yogis in Indian religions. Christian authors of antiquity such as Origen, St. Jerome, St. Ignatius, John Chrysostom. Scriptural examples of asceticism could be found in the lives of John the Baptist, Jesus, the twelve apostles, the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed ascetic practices of the ancient Jewish sect of Essenes who took vows of abstinence to prepare for a holy war. An emphasis on a religious life was evident in both early Christian writings and practices. Other Christian practitioners of asceticism include individuals such as Simeon Stylites, Saint David of Wales, according to Richard Finn, much of early Christian asceticism has been traced to Judaism, but not to traditions within Greek asceticism. Some of the thoughts in Christianity nevertheless, Finn states, have roots in Greek moral thought. Virtuous living is not possible when an individual is craving bodily pleasures with desire, the deserts of the Middle East were at one time inhabited by thousands of Christian hermits including St. Anthony the Great, St. Mary of Egypt, and St. Simeon Stylites. In 963 CE, an association of monasteries called Lavra was formed on Mount Athos and this became the most important center of orthodox Christian ascetic groups in the centuries that followed. In the modern era, Mount Athos and Meteora have remained a significant center, sexual abstinence such as those of the Encratites sect of Christians was only one aspect of ascetic renunciation, and both natural and unnatural asceticism have been part of Christian asceticism. The natural ascetic practices have included simple living, begging, fasting and ethical practices such as humility, compassion, patience, such ascetic practices were linked to the Christian concepts of sin and redemption
2. Eden ahbez – George Alexander Aberle, known as eden ahbez, was an American songwriter and recording artist of the 1940s to 1960s, whose lifestyle in California was influential on the hippie movement. He was known to simply as ahbe. Ahbez composed the song Nature Boy, which became a No.1 hit for eight weeks in 1948 for Nat King Cole, living a bucolic life from at least the 1940s, he travelled in sandals and wore shoulder-length hair and beard, and white robes. He camped out below the first L in the Hollywood Sign above Los Angeles and he slept outdoors with his family and ate vegetables, fruits, and nuts. He claimed to live on three dollars per week and he was then adopted, in 1917, by a family in Chanute, Kansas, and raised under the name George McGrew. During the 1930s, McGrew lived in Kansas City, where he performed as a pianist, in 1941, he arrived in Los Angeles and began playing piano in the Eutropheon, a small health food store and raw food restaurant on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The cafe was owned by John and Vera Richter, who followed a Naturmensch and he recalled once telling a policeman, I look crazy but Im not. And the funny thing is that people dont look crazy. Their followers, known as Nature Boys and who included Gypsy Boots, wore long hair and beards and ate only raw fruits and vegetables. During this period, he adopted the name eden ahbez, choosing to spell his name with lower-case letters, claiming only the words God. During this period, he married Anna Jacobsen and had a son, ahbez was covered simultaneously in Life, Time, and Newsweek magazines. Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan later released versions of the song, ahbez faced legal action from a Yiddish music composer, Herman Yablokoff, who claimed that the melody to Nature Boy came from one of his songs, Shvayg mayn harts. Ahbez claimed to have heard the tune in the mist of the California mountains, however, legal proceedings resulted in a payment to Yablokoff of $25,000 in an out-of-court settlement. Ahbez continued to supply Cole with songs, including Land of Love, in 1949, he gave Burl Ives the idea to cover Stan Jones Ghost Riders In The Sky after overhearing Jones recording his own version of the song. He worked closely with jazz musician Herb Jeffries, and, in 1954, the pair collaborated on an album, The Singing Prophet, the album was later reissued as Echoes of Eternity on Jeffries United National label. In the mid 1950s, he wrote songs for Eartha Kitt, Frankie Laine, in 1957, his song Lonely Island was recorded by Sam Cooke, becoming the second and final ahbez composition to hit the Top 40. In 1959, he began recording music, which combined his signature somber tones with exotic arrangements. He often performed bongo, flute, and poetry gigs at beat coffeehouses in the Los Angeles area, in 1960, he recorded his only solo LP, Edens Island, for Del-Fi Records
3. Mahavatar Babaji – Mahavatar Babaji (IPA, is the name given to an Indian saint and yogi by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi, another first hand account was given by Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science. According to Sri Ms autobiography Sri Guru Babaji, i. e. Mahavatar Babaji was Lord Shiva, in the second last chapter of his book, he mentions Sri Guru Babaji changing his form to Lord Shiva. All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies of those mentioned by Yogananda and it is Mahavatar Babaji who revived in this age the lost scientific meditation technique of Kriya Yoga. John, St. Paul, and other disciples, Babaji said to him, Follow the behest of your guru and go to America. Fear not, you shall be protected and you are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West. Mahavatar Babajis given name is unknown, so those who met him during that period all called him by the title first given to him by Lahirī, Mahavatar means great avatar, and Babaji simply means revered father. Some of the included two or more witnesses—discussions between those who met Mahavatar Babaji indicate that they all met the same person. There are very few accounts of Babajis childhood, One source of information is the book Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga tradition by Marshal Govindan. According to Govindan, Babaji was named Nagarajan by his parents, ramaiah founded on 17 October 1952, a new organization, Kriya Babaji Sangah, dedicated to the teaching of Babajis Kriya Yoga. They claim that in 1953 Mahavatar Babaji told them that he was born on 30 November 203 CE in a coastal village now known as Parangipettai, Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. Babajis Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas Trust and their branch organizations claim his place and he was a disciple of Bogar and his birth name is Nagarajan. In the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi, many references were made to Mahavatar Babaji including from Lahirī, in his book The Second Coming of Christ, Yogananda states that Jesus Christ went to India and conferred with Mahavatar Babaji. This would make Babaji at least 2000 years old, according to Govindans book, Babaji Nagarajs father was the priest of the villages temple. Babaji revealed only those details which he believed to be formative as well as potentially instructive to his disciples, Govindan mentioned one incident like this, One time Nagarajs mother had got one rare jackfruit for a family feast and put it aside. Babaji was only 4 years old at that time and he found the jackfruit when his mother was not around and ate it all. When his mother came to know about it, she flew in blind rage and stuffed a cloth inside Babajis mouth, nearly suffocating him, later on he thanked God for showing him that she was to be loved without attachment or illusion. His Love for his mother became unconditional and detached, when Nagaraj was about 5 years old, someone kidnapped him and sold him as a slave at Calcutta
4. Bahubali – Bahubali, a much revered figure among Jains, was the son of Adinath, the first tirthankara of Jainism, and the younger brother of Bharata Chakravartin. He is said to have meditated motionless for one year in a standing posture, after his year of meditation, Bahubali is said to have attained omniscience. According to Jain texts, Bahubalis soul was liberated from the cycle of births and deaths at Mount Kailash and he is revered as a liberated soul by the Jains. Bahubali is also called Gommateshwara because of the Gommateshwara statue dedicated to him, the statue was built by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya, it is a 57-foot monolith situated above a hill in Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district, Karnataka state, India. It was built in around 981 A. D. and is one of the largest free-standing statues in the world, the Ādi purāṇa, a 9th-century Sanskrit poem, deals with the ten lives of the first tirthankara, Rishabhanatha and his two sons Bharata and Bahubali. It was composed by Jinasena, a Digambara monk, according to Jain texts, Bahubali was born to Rishabhanatha and Sunanda during the Ikshvaku dynasty in Ayodhya. He is said to have excelled in studying medicine, archery, floriculture, Bahubali had a son named Somakirti. When Rishabhanatha decided to become a monk, he distributed his kingdom among his 100 sons, Bharata was gifted the kingdom of Vinita and Bahubali got the kingdom of Asmaka from South India, having Podanapur as its capital. After winning six divisions of earth in all directions, Bharata proceeded to his capital Ayodhyapuri with an army and divine chakra-ratna—spinning. But the chakra-ratna stopped on its own at the entrance of Ayodhyapuri, bharatas 98 brothers became Jain monks and submitted their kingdoms to him. Bahubali was endowed with the final and superior body of extraordinary sturdiness and he hurled open defiance at the chakravartin and challenged him to a fight. Let them fight out the issue by themselves in other ways and it was then decided that to settle the dispute, three kinds of contests between Bharata and Bahubali would be held. These were eye-fight, water-fight, and wrestling, Bahubali won all the three contests over his elder brother, Bharata. After the fight, Bahubali was filled with disgust at the world, Bahubali abandoned his clothes and kingdom to become a Digambara monk and began meditating with great resolve to attain omniscience. He is said to have meditated motionless in a posture for a year. However, he was adamant and continued his practice unmindful of the vines, ants, according to Jain text Ādi purāṇa, on the last day of Bahubalis one year long fast, Bharata came in all humility to Bahubali and worshiped him with veneration and respect. A painful regret that he had been the cause of his elder brothers humiliation had been disturbing Bahubalis meditation, Bahubali was then able to destroy the four kinds of inimical karmas, including the knowledge obscuring karma, and he attained omniscience. He was now revered as an omniscient being, Bahubali finally attained liberation and became a pure, liberated soul
5. Bhikshatana – Bhikshatana or Bhikshatana-murti is an aspect of the Hindu god Shiva as the Supreme mendicant or the Supreme Beggar. Bhikshtana is depicted as a nude four-armed man adorned with ornaments who holds a bowl in his hand and is followed by demonic attendants. Bhikshatana is the form of Bhairava that Shiva assumes to atone for his sin of severing Brahmas fifth head. He wanders the universe in the form of a naked Kapali mendicant, begging for alms with Brahmas kapala as his begging bowl, another legend describes Bhikshtanas visit to the Deodar Forest to dispense the ignorance of sages and lead them to true knowledge. During his visit, he seduces the wives of the sages who come to give him alms, horrified by Bhikshatanas heretic appearance and actions, the sages have a long confrontation with him. Ultimately Bhikshatana triumphs, establishing the worship of the Linga, his aniconic symbol, a variant of the legend narrates how Bhikshatana transforms into Nataraja—Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer. Bhikshatana is an icon in South India, in contrast to North India. Many Tamil language hymns sing of Bhikshatanas wanderings, often narrating of the pining of the love-smitten who are enamoured of him, the Kurma Purana narrates that during a particular council of rishis, the god Brahma arrogantly declared that he was the Supreme Creator of the Universe. Shiva appeared at the assembly as a pillar of light. After deliberation, the council accepted Shiva as the true Creator, angered by Brahmas vanity, Shiva—as the terrifying Bhairava—cut off one head of the five-headed Brahma with a mere flick of his fingernail. As a consequence Brahma died, but the credit he had accumulated over a lifetime of devout asceticism pulled him immediately back from death. Upon his resurrection, Brahma accepted Shivas superiority, the reason for the decapitation of Brahma remains the same in the narratives of the Shiva Purana and the Matsya Purana. In another instance in the Shiva Purana, when an argument erupts between Brahma and Vishnu over who is superior, Shiva appears as a fiery pillar in front of the pair. They decide whoever finds the end of the pillar is superior, Brahma lies about finding the head of the infinite pillar and declares himself as superior. In the Varaha Purana, in which Shiva is born from Brahmas brow, Brahma calls his son a Kapali, in all versions, an infuriated Shiva or Bhairava cuts off Brahmas head as a punishment. However, all Puranas agree that the head of Brahma stuck to Bhairava-Shivas left palm due to the sin of killing Brahma, the most learned Brahmin – Brahmahatya or Brahminicide. To expiate the sin of brahmahatya, Shiva had to perform the vow of a Kapali, in the Kurma and Vamana Puranas, Shivas sin takes corporeal form, becoming a ghoulish woman called Brahmahatya who follows Bhikshatana everywhere he goes. The Kurma Purana further narrates that Bhikshatana wandered the three worlds begging from door to door with a host of bhutas, the women of the houses who came to grant him food became enamoured by his appearance and followed him, singing and dancing
6. Gautama Buddha – Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha, or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the part of ancient India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region and he later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as a teacher who attained full Buddhahood. Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death, various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later. Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the facts of the Buddhas life. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddhas lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Jainism. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought, thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. The times of Gautamas birth and death are uncertain, most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE. These alternative chronologies, however, have not yet accepted by all historians. It was either a republic, or an oligarchy, and his father was an elected chieftain. He obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, no written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or some centuries thereafter. One Edict of Asoka, who reigned from circa 269 BCE to 232 BCE, another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era. These texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon and they are written in the Gāndhārī language using the Kharosthi script on twenty-seven birch bark manuscripts and date from the first century BCE to the third century CE. The sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are a variety of different and these include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā. Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, a poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa in the first century CE. The Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the 3rd century CE, the Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda tradition is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE