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

Easter Sunday, April 1

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"The Resurrection," by Pietro Perugino, 1499

An Easter Prayer

Glory and praise to You, Risen Savior, for You bring light to our darkness, joy to our sorrow, and the fullness of love to our reluctant hearts.

Once and for all You have conquered sin and evil. In the glory of Your Resurrection we have been set free from all that keeps us from following You.

In this Easter season, fill our hearts with Your Light and Grace that we might joyfully echo the words of Your Holy Angels:
He is not here in the tomb:

He is risen!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Amen

Rama Navami, Birthday of Lord Rama, April 5

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Ramayana Book II: Ayodhya Kanda, Book Of Ayodhya, Verse 6:22

sarveapyanugrihiitaah sma yanno raamo mahiipatih |
chiraaya bhavitaa goptaa drishhtalokaparaavarah ||

Rama, who has seen the totality of the world is going to become our protector for long.
We have all been blessed by king Dasaratha.


Ramayana Book II: Ayodhya Kanda, Book Of Ayodhya, Verse 6:23

aanuddhatamanaa vidvaan dharmaatmaa bhraatrivatsalah |
yadhaa cha bhraatrishhu snigdhastathaasmaasvapi raaghavah ||

Rama is modest, knowledgeable and righteous.
He is as compassionate to us as to his brothers and sisters.


Sri Rama Jai Rama! Jai Jai Rama!


Hanamatsuri, Buddha's Birthday, Flower Festival, April 8

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Hanamatsuri, literally flower festival, is celebrated on April 8, commemorating the birth of Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha became enlightened as Sakyamuni Buddha and this marks the release of sentient beings from suffering and sorrow.

According to our tradition, the historical Buddha, Sakyamuni, was born in Nepal on April 8, 566 B.C. He was born the son of King Suddohana and Queen Maya. There are many flowery descriptions of the scene at his birth, including celestial birds singing beautiful songs, beautiful flowers, and a sweet gentle rain bathing the baby Buddha. It is not necessarily the beauty of the flowers, the sounds of the celestial birds, nor the sweet gentle rain that fell, but the vibrant fact that on this day was born the greatest of sentient beings who became the Enlightened One, the Buddha

Every year we celebrate our own birthday. In our youth we are anxious to reach “adulthood”, and in our old age we attempt to cling to our “youth”. What is the meaning and reason for celebrating our birth? Much of the meaning of our own birth is often lost in the gifts and the merriment. The celebration of our birth is an expression of gratitude. This gratitude is extended towards our friends, parents and to life itself. This gratitude grows from an understanding that our birth is the result of many people and that our lives are intertwined with all others.

Understanding the Buddha’s teaching of interdependancy of all things will make it clear that our birth is the result of many causes and conditions. Realizing this we can see that our birth is truly a rare and wonderful gift, and we have an obligation to live out this life in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha.

This obligation to live our lives out to the fullest becomes even more striking when we look at the symbolism and the significance of the flower. The flower, as with all human beings, has its moment of youth and beauty, but its beauty soon begins to fade and eventually it dies. Our birth is like the blossoming of a beautiful flower, but it is the seed of our own demise. When we can understand our own impermanent nature, then it becomes very clear how we should live our lives.

From the murky depths of this quagmire of life, there still are occasions when sentient beings may, out of sincerity of mind, effort and intelligence, produce pure thoughts which may bloom into the ultimate purity of the white lotus, enlightenment. Hanamatsuri represents one of these occasions. It is a time for us to show our gratitude and rededicate ourselves as we contemplate the importance the birth of our teacher, master, spiritual guide and friend, Sakyamuni Buddha. Namo Amidabutsu

Hanuman Jayanti, April 8

Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the monkey god widely venerated throughout India.

Hanuman was an ardent devotee of Rama, and is worshipped for his unflinching devotion to the god. From the early morning, devotees flock Hanuman temples to worship the monkey god.

The officiating priest bathes the idol and offers special prayers to the gods. Then the entire body is smeared with sindoora and oil, a symbol of life and strength.

Legend of Sindoor on Lord Hanuman's Body: According to a popular belief, once when Sita was applying sindoora to her hair, Hanuman asked her the reason for doing so. She replied that by applying sindoora, she ensured a long life for her husband. The more sindoora she applied, the longer Rama's life would be. The devoted Hanuman then smeared his entire body with sindoora, in an effort to ensure Rama's immortality. Hence Hanuman's idol is always daubed with sindoora.

Hanuman's great lesson to us is that through complete devotion to our ideal, we can overcome the our ignorance and ego.

Mahavira Jayanti, Birthday of Lord Mahavir, April 9

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From the Teachings of Lord Mahavir
The seed cannot know what is going to happen; the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that it has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed. Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls - and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell, which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many. There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the journey of life to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves. The same is the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed.

NAVKAR MANTRA

Namo Arihantanam: I bow down to Arihanta,
Namo Siddhanam: I bow down to Siddha,
Namo Ayariyanam: I bow down to Acharya,
Namo Uvajjhayanam: I bow down to Upadhyaya,
Namo Loe Savva-sahunam: I bow down to Sadhu and Sadhvi.
Eso Panch Namokaro: These five bowings downs,
Savva-pavappanasano: Destroy all the sins,
Manglananch Savvesim: Amongst all that is auspicious,
Padhamam Havei Mangalam: This Navkar Mantra is the foremost.

Lord Mahavir was the Twenty fourth and the greatest of all Tirthankaras of the Jain religion. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were born as human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self-realization. They are the Gods of Janis. Tirthankaras are also known as Arihants or Jinas.

Tirthankara - One who establishes the four-fold order (Monk, Nun, Layman, and Laywoman) of religion. Arihant - One who destroys his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc. Jina - One who conquers his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion, ego, etc..

Mahavir was born in 599 B.C. as a prince in Bihar, India. At the age of 30, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, including clothing and become a monk. He spent the next twelve years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires and feelings.

Mahavir spent the next 30 years preaching the path to eternal freedom or Moksha.

Mahavir preached that right faith, right knowledge and right conduct together is the real path to attain the liberation of one's self. At the age of 72 (527 B.C.), Lord Mahavir attained 'nirvana' and his purified soul left his body.


Birthday of Guru Nanak, April 14

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Early one morning accompanied by Mardana, Guru Nanak went to the river Bain for his bath. After plunging into the river, Guru Nanak did not surface and it was reported that he must have drowned. The villagers searched everywhere, but there was no trace of him. Guru Nanak was in holy communion with God. The Lord God revealed himself to Guru Nanak and enlightened him.

After three days Guru Nanak appeared at the same spot from where he had disappeared. He was no longer the same person he had been, there was a divine light in his eyes and his face was resplendent. He remained in a trance and said nothing. When he finally broke his silence Guru Nanan uttered in praise of the Lord,

"Ek Oengkaar Satnaam Karta purekh Nirbhau Nirvair Akaal Moorat Ajoonee Sai- Bhang Gurparsaath." (Mool Mantra)

"There is but One God, His name is Truth, He is the Creator, He fears none, He is without hate, He never dies, He is beyond the cycle of births and death, He is self illuminated, He is realized by the kindness of the True Guru. He was True in the beginning, He was True when the ages commenced and has ever been True, He is also True now." (Japji)

These words are enshrined at the beginning of the Sikh Holy Scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak did not believe in a Trinity of Gods, or the belief that God can be born into human form.

Baha’i Festival Ridvan, April 21 - May 2

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The annual Baha’i festival commemorates the 12 days (April 21-May 2, 1863) when Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, resided in a garden called Ridvan (Paradise) in Baghdad, Iraq. At this time He publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s messenger for this age.

From the The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh
1. O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.