Welcoming You!

Beloved Brothers and Sisters of the One Human Family,

The only studies which are worth accomplishing are those which lead to the realization of God, and of unity first with God and then with the self, and so with all. (Sufi Message Volume 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals, Unity and Uniformity, HIK) This site honors the wisdom of all those religious traditions that have illuminated the hearts and minds of humanity.

In loving service,
Nuria, Joe, KarimaGita Our Workers

Prayer for the New Year, 1 January

Prayer for the New Year by Hazrat Inayat Khan
O Thou who abidest in our hearts, 
most Merciful and Compassionate God, 
Lord of Heaven and Earth, 
we forgive others their trespasses 
       and ask Thy forgiveness of our shortcomings. 
We begin the New Year with pure heart and clear conscience, 
      with courage and hope. Help us to fulfil the purpose of our lives 
      under Thy divine guidance. Amen

Amitabha Buddha Day, 2 January

Day Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhists do good deeds and chant the name of Buddha God Amitabha/Omito/Amida to gain entry to His Pure Land and aid in attaining the Perfect State of Happiness.

Amitabha Mantra: Om Amideva Hrih

Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, 5 January

Guru Gobind Singh, 1666-1708 Guru Gobind Singh was the last of the ten Gurus, the one who transformed the Sikh faith. In 1699 he created the Khalsa (Pure), a community of the faithful who wore visible symbols of their faith and trained as warriors. Today the Khalsa comprises all practising Sikhs.

All men are the same though they appear different. 
The bright and the dark, the ugly and the beautiful, 
The Hindus and the Muslims have developed 
     in accordance with their different surroundings; 
All human beings have the same eyes, the same ears, 
The same body build composed of earth, air, fire and water. 
The names Allah and Abhekh are for the same God; 
The same is referred to in the Puranas and the Quran. 
All human beings are the reflection of one and the same Lord. 
Recognise ye the whole human race as one. (Excerpt: Benti Chaupai)

The Epiphany, 6 January, Tradition of Blessing the Home

Raphael of Urbino (1483- 1520), The Epiphany of Christ

The Church's celebration of Epiphany (manifestation), the "twelfth night of Christmas", apparently originated in Egypt sometime during the third century, thus the Church's celebration of this feast predates even the celebration of Christmas itself.

Epiphany is traditionally celebrated in honor of Christ's birth, of the adoration of the Magi, and of the baptism of Christ (also celebrated on the first Sunday following Epiphany), three manifestations of the Lord's divinity.

The blessing of the home is a popular Epiphany custom. Many households mark their entrance door with the year and with the inscription CMB, the initial Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the names of the three wise man in legend. The inscription also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means "Christ, bless this home". The popular form the inscription takes is 20(century)+C+M+B+15(year). It remains above the doorway until Pentecost. Ref: BBC Interfaith Calendar

Makar Sankranti, 14 January

'Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya'  
May you go higher and higher, to more and more Light and never to Darkness.

As the Sun transmigrates and begins its ascendancy and entry into the northern hemisphere, let all your lives be filled with resplendent joy and may you all have a year of success and prosperity.

Sankranti means to go from one place to another place (transition of places). Makar means Capricorn. So, the time when the Sun changes direction from one constellation (of the zodiac) to another, is known as Sankranti. On this occasion, the Sun transits from Sagittarius and goes to Capricorn during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere.

Makar Sankranti is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu Solar calendar and celebrates this Sun-God's journey into the northern hemisphere. It signifies the end of winter and the beginning of the gradual increase of the duration of the day.

To Hindus, the Sun stands for knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. Makar Sankranti signifies that we should turn away from the darkness of delusion in which we live, and begin to enjoy a new life with bright light within us to shine brighter and brighter. We should gradually begin to grow in purity, wisdom, and knowledge, like the Sun does from the Day of Makar Sankranti. Ref: BBC Interfaith Calendar

Vasant Panchami Saraswati, 22 January

Saraswati Mantra
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||

"May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance."

Vasant Panchami, sometimes referred to as Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami, is a Hindu festival worshipping Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music and art. It is believed that this day is Saraswati’s birthday.

Vasant means spring and Panchami means the fifth day. The festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha, which falls during January-February. It marks the end of the winter season and ushers in the springtime.

Goddess Saraswati is the one who gives the essence (sara) of our own self (swa). She is considered as the personification of all knowledge - arts, sciences, crafts and other skills.

The most significant aspect of Vasant Panchami is that it is the most auspicious day to begin laying one’s foundations of education – how to read and write. On this day pre-school children are given their first lesson in reading and writing, all Hindu educational institutions conduct special prayer for Saraswati and it is also a great day to inaugurate training institutes and new schools.
Ref: BBC Interfaith Calendar