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Local churches mark start of Lent

August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: Local churches mark start of Lent  (Read 1889 times)
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« on: February 20, 2015, 10:55:38 am »

In Search of Transformation: Lent and Maha Shivarathri

This March, may Hindus and Christians, as they go on their similar yet different journeys of spiritual self-inquiry, discover the beauty that lies between us.

I discovered that the Hindu holy day of Maha Shivarathri and Ash Wednesday are just a week apart this year and, as always, I find common ground in some Hindu and Christian practices.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season of fasting and penance, where ash might be smeared on one's forehead. Lent is about an inner transformation, a time of contemplation, waiting for what is to come. The goal is to turn one's life more completely over to Christ and His way of life, but what different denominations do during Lent varies widely. Maha Shivarathri falls on different dates every year; it's about looking inward as a means for transformation, and practices for this Hindu holy day vary by sampradaya (similar to denomination) also.

The variation in when these Hindu and Christian holy days occur, and the different rituals and practices centering on them, is the beginning of finding similarities. But first, let me offer an explanation of the Hindu calendar.

Actually, the Hindu calendar is quite difficult to explain; it could be solar, lunar, lunisolar, or astrological, and regional, ethnic, and agricultural differences may arise. The people of India, where the majority of Hindus live and hail from, use around thirty calendars, making for many different days that mark the New Year. Just starting with language communities, there are the Gujarati Hindu Vikram Samvatsar (the day after Diwali), Marathi Gudi Padwa, Malayali Vishu, and Telugu Ugadi, to name a few. There is also variation in the celebration of other Hindu holy days; songs and prayers are often centered on different Gods/aspect of God. One such aspect of the divine is the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara or Shiva. Shiva itself means the auspicious one; His body is smeared with ash, He is often referred to as the God of Destruction, and He represents the power of transformation.

Maha Shivarathri is "Shiva's Great Night." It falls on the fourteenth day of the dark half of Kumbha, or Aquarius—this year on March 2. Devotees fast all day; bathe the sacred deity of Shiva (known as the Shiva Linga) with water, milk, honey, and saffron water; and chant Sri Rudram, the pre-eminent Vedic hymn to Shiva, or the 1,008 names of Shiva, chanting Om Namah Shivaya. The stotrams and bhajans, such as the Shiva Tandava Stotra, akin to hymns, are sung throughout the all-night vigil. Hindus marking the vigil contemplate and reflect, seeking to climb the Mount Kailas (the mountain abode of Shiva) within themselves, as a means to come closer to the Unmanifest Reality that Shiva represents. Devotees break their fast by eating the sacred prasadam, blessed food, offered earlier to the Lord. The following day is one of feasting and gaiety; joyfulness brings us closer to the bliss of God-realization.

We celebrate Maha Shivarathri in our family through rituals at the local Hindu temple, usually on the weekend following Maha Shivarathri; after all, we are in America and the work week doesn't stop to mark the multitude of Hindu holy days. The rituals include my favorite, a Jyotirlingarchana, where 1,008 special lamps arranged in a significant formation are lit, symbolic of the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance. This is always followed by a program by the Bharata Natyam students who learn dance at the temple—Tandav (or Tandava). This is the cosmic dance of Shiva, a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution, with many dimensions, one of the most beautiful being the Ananda Tandava—Dance of Bliss.

Lent is, of course, not a time of joy, but a somber time, a time for emptying oneself and waiting for resurrection, but Shiva's Tandava has many aspects, not just the one of joy, as Shiva goes through several phases, such as Rudra Tandava, to express grief and anger. Hindu American Seva Charities Founder-Convener Anju Bhargava recently wrote of "spiritual self inquiry and discovery" in "The Importance of Seva and Social Justice for Inner Transformation."

This March, may Hindus and Christians, as they go on their similar yet different journeys of spiritual self-inquiry, discover the beauty that lies between us.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/In-Search-of-Transformation-Padma-Kuppa-03-03-2011.html#ixzz3SIz18HvY
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