Maha Shivaratri '09
I thought this song and images were just lovely, and a good vid to post this year. :)
I also found this link, which not only tells the story of Shivaratri but explains the symbolism and metaphors. The rich symbolism of Sanatana Dharma appeals to me on so many levels.
I've always loved this quote as well, and it's all the more relevant this difficult year...
"The night of the rebel God Shivaratri is not a night to be slept over.One should try and be up through the night. It signifies being aware ofeverything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri." ~Sri Sri Ravishankar
More and more, I'm recognizing myself as a "religious" individual. My spirituality means a lot to me, makes a big difference for me, and I find myself more and more defending the faiths of others as well. There was a time when I thought Christianity was evil too, I think that's a process -especially in America- that all GLBT people need to work through at some point. There was a long period of time where I was even loathe to use the word God at all, I had such a negative association. But thanks to Hinduism, I now recognize what a big word God is and how many meanings there are. How many definitions, how individual and complex it is. There are many paths to God, however you define it, and we all lean toward whatever it is we need from God, whatever makes the most sense to us as an individual on a logical, emotional, and spiritual level - be it Hindusim, Christianity, Atheism, Islam, Wicca, Judiasm... there's many religions for a reason, and I'm grateful for that. We each find what we need this way. It's only when we start saying "My way or the highway!" that religion becomes troublesome.
"I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one's own faith." ~The Dalai Lama
I've almost finished the Tao of Physics finally as well. The next to last chapter about lost me, S-Matrix theory is pretty confusing, but the rest I've learned a lot from. I hope I retain much of what I've learned about particle physics though, it's utterly fascinating and so intertwined with my spiritual beliefs that it boggles the mind. I highly recommend this book! It really helps to better understand the idea of a dynamic and elegant universe and the illusion of matter/maya.