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Saturday, February 6, 2016

"O", Mean! WhaCHaSay@NewAgeOfActivism.com forever Offering to the sacred flame beautiful words and phrases





       
  
WOW! Stop! Holy Chi Newageofactivism.com  Forever 
"O",  Mean... WhatChaSay 
Honoree  Daisaku Ikea's Children's stories


          
On December 12, a new website titled “Treasures of the Heart” featuring animated adaptions of children’s stories by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was launched. The website displays a rotating selection of two or three films that changes every two weeks. The site and the films are available in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.
The films are set in different countries with hopeful messages about courage, friendship and protecting the environment. They are accompanied by questions seeking to inspire children to discuss the topics and themes presented. There is also an interactive “Fun Stuff” section that features “spot the difference” puzzles and quizzes.
First shown in Japan in 1996, Mr. Ikeda’s animated children’s stories have been broadcast in 10 different languages in 25 further countries and territories since 2004. They have also been used as educational resources in both India and the Philippines.
Mr. Ikeda says of his children’s stories: “It is my earnest wish that my works not only serve to create in children the awareness that their lives are infinitely precious, but that the stories also act as a springboard to enable them to cultivate ‘wings of courage and hope.’”
The “Treasures of the Heart” website is at http://treasures-of-heart.com/. Information on the schedule of films can be found under “Online Broadcast Schedule.”  
[Based on a report from the SGI Office of Public Information
Dear friends

One month after the tragedy in Orlando and just a few weeks after the devastating losses of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the Dallas police officers, our Trevor supporters came together as a family to show LGBTQ young people that their lives matter.

With an approximately 70% increase in calls, chats, and texts in the wake of Orlando, our volunteers met the challenge and worked double shifts to ensure that we could be there 24/7 for youth who were in crisis. Thanks to our volunteers and supporters, together we are fighting to stand up for LGBTQ youth in the face of such darkness.

Right now, many LGBTQ young people are feeling unsafe, isolated, and invisible. Often unable to speak to their families or friends about their identities for fear of senseless violence, they turn to Trevor for the validation and support they need.

With so much going on in the world, now is the time to show LGBTQ youth that we are fighting for their well-being and a brighter future for all. We have to become a part of the solution, whether that means taking action in the LGBTQ community, calling local politicians, or having discussions about the issues that matter.

As our fiscal year ends on July 31st, we are counting on your support to help us continue the fight in standing strong for youth.

Every $25 you donate helps us impact the life of ONE more young person.

You can make a one-time gift, or consider joining us in our fight year-round by turning your gift into a monthly pledge that sustains our crisis intervention programming. Find the giving option that is right for you and make your gift today.

LGBTQ youth need us more than ever, and we need you. On behalf of our volunteers and the thousands of young people who rely on Trevor, THANK YOU for your generosity, and for standing with us to ensure a brighter future for all LGBTQ young people.

Sincerely,

Abbe Land


Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project
We continue to recognize excellence! Newageofactivism.com Forever announces School Is OuT@Trevor!

Celebrating Pride 2016 with Trevor
Throughout the month of June, from Los Angeles to New York, Trevor celebrated Pride Month across the nation, showing LGBTQ youth that their futures deserved to be validated and supported. Learn how you can continue the celebrations until October...
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LGBTQ Advocacy: Fighting for LGBTQ Youth Across the Nation
From a youth suicide prevention bill clearing the California Assembly to our fight for stricter gun control, learn how we're fighting for LGBTQ youth across the nation...
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Why LGBTQ Youth Need Your Support This Summer
During the summer, many of Trevor's youth can find themselves in unsupportive environments, away from friends, or without the mental health resources they may have access to at school or college. Learn more about how you can support them here...
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TrevorLIVE and #ThisisMe: Paving the Way for a Brighter Future
Right now, LGBTQ youth are seeing that we are in a struggle to fight for rights and opportunities that seem so basic, including the freedom to gather with our community for a night of relaxation and socializing, without fear. That's why we have been beyond grateful for the the Trevor supporters who have bravely stood with us to serve as pathfinders in the fight for equality at events such as TrevorLIVE New York and #ThisisMe in San Francisco. Learn more here...
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prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
For more information, visit TheTrevorProject.org.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call the Trevor Lifeline: 866 488 7386. 




Best of 2015:







Swami Amar Jyoti's Satsangs

          
                    Declaration of the United Nations Of Spirit




Constitution of the United Nations of Spirit

Earth’s Heart Temple Kiva. Varsana – Granada Colombia – Raíces de la Tierra 2015

Renewal of the Ancestral Word

Principles of Life:

On December 12, 2015, in the eco-village Varsana Jardínes Ecológicos, located on Via Granada, Cundinamarca, we presented the spoken law of the Great Spirit to mankind, in which we announce the rules and regulations of the origin and the way of life. Thus, through this document, we renew the ancient word to fulfill this agreement.
This word was placed on white paper after the Hoska ceremony ended: “word prayer breath of life from the tobacco”. The ceremony took place during the meeting of Indigenous Spiritual Authorities, Kiva Ceremony and Roots of the Earth, who came to South America from the north to fulfill the prophecy of the union of the peoples. This is what dawned:
The ancestral peoples here gathered: Nadda, Panches, Misak, Kogui, Wiwa, Uwa, Yana-cona, Cofan, Embera Chami, Huitoto, Quimbaya, Mhuisqa Chibcha, Wirrarikas, Vaisnava, Maya Chontal, Maya Quinche, Apache, Quechua, and native mestizos, want to announce to all mankind that we all have a common origin and that common origin is the mind: the mind of the Great Spirit, from which everything originates. Thus, it is our duty to place our mind in communion with the source, remembering that we came here to live from and for her.

Today we are reborn in the following nine breaths of life:

1. We recognize our Mother-Father Creators as our Law of Origin, who are manifested and expressed in the natural order and thus we declare ourselves: the United Nations of the Spirit.
2. We propose a way to educate real human beings based on our WAYS OF LIFE.
3. We invite human beings, who have forgotten their ancestral memory, to come and drink from this fountain of ancient wisdom.
4. We believe that all nature (elemental spirits, minerals, animals, plants, forests, rivers, mountains, humans, planets, stars, and the invisible) are not resources. They are our family, and therefore it is essential to live together in harmony.
5. We declare that interculturality and an exchange of knowledge encourages recognition of our common humanity, respect of our differences, and development of common agreements based on the Law of Origin of each of the ancestral peoples.
6. We declare that our spirituality is not a form of exotic religion, but a way of life in agreement with all beings, nature and the Universe.
7. We recognize the divine universal mother in woman, but in her, we do not recognize the model of transient beauty, which originates the idea that we can own and control the world.
8. We are fulfilling the dream of our ancestors. Our ancient peoples have the silence to know how to listen and the word to know how to speak and propose. This is an educational proposal, which is urgent for humanity, which puts the BEING in the center and the coexistence in harmony with all the visible and invisible beings. So, with the foundations of ancient tradition, stands a new old united humanity in the nine corners of the world.
9. We announce our government system to be the COSMOGEOCRACY. The order and the government of the cosmos is linked to the order and government of the Earth, where everything is interconnected; to accomplish this, we must extend, share and prepare the land, so the seed of the human heart germinates and thrives.
This is the unreleased word from the native peoples of the north, east, west and south. A new-old word- order which was asleep; a word – order reborn for humanity in all the directions. This word -order- had to be fulfilled from the beginning of the universe, guided by the elders, the guardians of that knowledge. The word of the breath of life of the sacred tobacco medicine represents this birth, through which the pollen of ancient memory is awakened. This word of the breath that creates the seed pulp that is transformed in all the kingdoms, in all the elemental spirits, humans, planets, stars and the invisible.
Through the word that comes from the heart, each nation surrendered the ideas and beliefs that did not allow them to see clearly. Everyone allowed themselves to give up individually and collectively what dwelt in them as parasites and weevil, everything that obstructed the reconnection with the original conscious. Through the preparation of the amilra (ancestral ceremony performed with tobacco leafs), it purifies everything that prevents us from seeing clearly. The contemporary human being had lost the ambil stick and the ambil (the spirit of the word), so he remained asleep in the flow of illusion in a world of appearances, forgetting the original law that has now been recovered.
We are the announced prophecies of the peoples and nations around the world, in compliance with the birth of a new humanity, a new ancient culture, where every nation is responsible for its natural norms and its law of origin. We must all return to the mind of the great creative spirit and from there multiply this story of origin, and from there announce that there is a path for the human seed that we are, the seed of the Creator from the beginning.
We now return to the path of the natural BEING, considering and respecting that each native nation prepared the path for cultivating the human seed. Today we are restored in the CosmoGeoCracy, so that the human seed germinates and thrives to become Naturagentes, guardians and custodians of life.
The native people propose to follow the steps that the ancient peoples left us. Even before conception, during gestation and in the vital cycle of labor, the being is connected to the natural order; otherwise it is not possible to be human without understanding this order. It is our duty to live in communion and in community, from the mystery of creation. We are all more than what is manifested; this includes all of nature, since there is a higher mind (God), the essence to which we unite to become community. Therefore, we propose an agreement to return to the wisdom of origin that allows us to be one with everything and everyone.
We, the ancient peoples, offer a cultural agreement: the agreement between ancient wisdom of naturalhumanization and the artificial technological world. We intend to generate a synthesis between what was brought in 1492 and what we have had here since the beginning, to generate a new old order, to allow the path of existence. We understand that the modern world has taken life and caught existence, that is why we propose a path that orders existence. In other words for all humans to have the possibility to walk the walk of existence of who we truly are, for we are not the body and yet we are the body. To walk allowing everyone to become explorers of this mystery, returning from the origin to remember who we really are and adjust our lives to allow everyone to exist. This is what we, the ancient peoples, mestizos, white and native-mestizos gather here today propose.
This continent is basically mestizo and we return to our heritage and memory of the native mother and the land (native-mestizo) to generate a synthesis. We DO NOT deny the western world, we propose an agreement: an agreement to return to be Naturagentes.
We declare ourselves to be the communities of the United Nations of the Spirit of the Naturagente.
More About The United Nations Of Spirit ( NUE ) click here




More About Sister Giant Click (HERE)




Srila Bhakti Aloka Para,awaiti Swami Maharahaj 


S


FLASHBACK TO ANOTHER SUPER AWESOME AMAZING YEAR BEFORE 2016CLARO@NEWAGEOFACTIVIM.COM    MACHAAWAITED SPEECH SPEECH@GALLACTIC COUNCIL

Coming Up

Thursday, January 28, 2016



Aw, SnaP!


Dragons and Snakes are symbols for human DNA. Fire representing soul sparks of light emanating from the flame of creation.



Dragons are winged beings portrayed in the ancient mythologies of most cultures. They link with winged gods from the heavens who came to Earth to create the human race and are very important symbology in the creational blueprint of our reality.
Much of dragon lore tells us that dragons were loathsome beasts and evil enemies to humankind. But dragons were born of a time other than men, a time of chaos, creation out of destruction. The dragon is a fabulous and universal symbolic figure found in most cultures thought the world.
Symbology of the dragon:
    Gnostics: "The way through all things."
    Alchemy: "A winged dragon - the volatile elements; without wings - the fixed elements."
    Guardian of the 'Flaming Pearl" symbol of spiritual perfection and powerful amulet of luck.
    Chinese: "The spirit of the way"' bringing eternal change. The early Chinese believed in four magical, spiritual and benevolent animals; the Phoenix, the Tortoise and the Unicorn and the Dragon, the most revered of all. It holds an enormous magical pearl (DNA symbol), which has the power to multiply whatever it touches.
Many legends say dragons were fabulous animals usually represented as a monstrous winged and scaly serpent or saurian with a crested head and enormous claws represented usually as a gigantic reptile breathing fire and having a lion's claws, the tail of a serpent, wings and scaly skin.
The various figures now called dragons most likely have no single origin, but spontaneously came to be in several different cultures around the world, based loosely on the appearance of a snake and possibly fossilized dinosaur remains. Mythology about dragons appear in the traditions of virtually all peoples back to the beginning of time - though dragons appeared in various forms.
Among their earliest forms, dragons were associated with the Great Mother, the water god and the warrior sun god. In these capacities they had the power to be both beneficent and destructive and were all-powerful creatures in the universe. Because of these qualities, dragons assumed the roles taken by Osiris and Set in Egyptian mythology.
By the time of the early Egyptian period a considerable dragon- and serpent-worshipping cult had developed. This cult gradually spread to Babylon, India, the Orient, the Pacific Islands, and finally the North American continent, as more and more cultures began to recognize and appreciate the special powers and intelligence of dragons. The cult reached its peak during the days of the Roman Empire and disappeared with the advent of Christianity.
The dragon's form arose from his particular power of control over the waters of the earth and gave rise to many of the attributes singled out by different peoples as the whole myth developed.
They were believed to live at the bottom of the sea, where they guarded vast treasure hoards, very frequently of pearls.
Rain clouds and thunder and lightning were believed to be the dragon's breath, hence the fire-breathing monster.
The significance of the dragon was its control over the destiny of mankind.
As dragon mythology developed in the western world, dragons came to represent the chaos of original matter with the result that with man's awakening conscience a struggle arose, and the created order constantly challenged the dragon's power. This type of dragon was considered by many to be the intermediate stage between a demon and the Devil and as such came into Christian belief.
However, in the Eastern world the dragon adopted a rather different significance. He was essentially benevolent, son of heaven, and controlled the watery elements of the universe.
Dragons have been an integral part of the culture of the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese peoples since the beginning of recorded history. In China they are used to mark the stairways over which only the Emperor could be carried. In Japan they are used in Buddhist temples both as decoration and as fountain heads for purification before worship. In many cases the dragon is combined with the phoenix to symbolize long life and prosperity. It is also combined with the tiger to represent heaven and earth or Yin and Yang.
The male dragon holds a war club in its tail while the female dragon holds a sensu or fan in its tail. One of the problems lies in that you cannot always see the tail or tell the difference between the fan or the war club.
The Chinese dragon is a central figure of both good and evil in their fables and legends. According to the Chinese the dragon originated in their middle kingdom and has always had five toes. The dragon by nature is a gregarious creature who wanders the earth.
However, the farther it goes from China, the more toes it loses. Hence, when it reached Korea it only had four toes and by the time it got to Japan it only had three. This also explains why it never made it to Europe or the Americas in that by the time it got that far it had lost all of its toes and could not walk.


China Dragons
The Japanese account of the dragon is very similar to that of the Chinese. The Japanese also believe that the dragon had its origins in their country. Again they know that the dragon has a tendency to travel and the farther it travels, the more toes it grows. By the time it reached Korea it had four and by the time it got to China it had five. Again this is the reason it never made it much farther than China. It kept growing toes and could not walk any further.
The Koreans tell a similar story of the dragon. They of course know that the dragon began with them. Probably just like they know that karate began in Korea. The Korean dragon has always had four toes. When the dragon travels East or North, it loses toes. When it travels South or West it gains toes. This explains why the Japanese dragon has three toes and the Chinese dragon has five toes. It also explains why the dragon never made it to Europe or the Americas. As it traveled West to Europe, it grew so many toes that it could no longer walk. As it traveled East to the Americas, it lost all of its toes and could no longer walk.
The Western type of dragon has been variously described, and individual dragons had their own unique forms. They appeared to be created from parts of various creatures, with the result that in general, they were described as having eagle's feet and wings, lion's forelimbs and head, fish's scales, antelope's horns and a serpentine form of trunk and tail, which occasionally extended to the head.
In parts of Africa where the dragon is also considered as an evil power, the monster was believed to be the result of the unnatural union of an eagle and a she-wolf.
The destructive powers of the dragon derived from it's fiery breath, which can devastate whole countries. Dragon's eyes also have this fiery red quality, sometimes believed to reflect the treasures they guarded.
Later traditions believed that misers would assume the form of dragons by constantly gloating over their treasure.
The dragon fears nothing except the elephant with whom he will engage in battle, entwining himself around the elephant and inflicting fatal blows. However, as the elephant finally collapses, his fall crushes the dragon to death.
The dragon is supposedly the enemy of the sun and the moon, both in Eastern and Western mythology, and is believed to be responsible for eclipses. These occur when the dragon is attempting to swallow either of the heavenly bodies; which accounts for the dragon's appearance in primitive astronomy.
In Armenian traditions, the fire and lightning god had powers to stay the dragon's control of the heavens, as could thunderbolts in Macedonian myth. A dead man was thought to become a dragon, while dragons were believed to be the guardians of treasures in burial chambers.
Because the dragon was the natural enemy of man, his death became the ultimate goal, consequently there are innumerable battles between gods and dragons, saints and dragons, and in the medieval world, knights and dragons.
In Greek legends, the dragon fought on the side of the Titans and attacked Athena, who flung him into the heavens, where he became a constellation around the Pole Star.
Hercules encountered, and killed the dragon Ladon while fulfilling his eleventh labor.
In Scandinavian literature, Beowulf was slain by a dragon.

Friday, March 21, 2014

the Isness











Rigveda

The Rig-Veda Samhita is the oldest significant extant Indian text. It is a collection of 1,028 Vedic Sanskrit hymns and 10,600 verses in all, organized into ten books (Sanskrit: mandalas). The hymns are dedicated to Rigvedic deities. The books were composed by sages and poets from different priestly groups over a period of at least 500 years, which Avari dates as 1400 BCE to 900 BCE, if not earlier According to Max Muller, based on internal evidence (philological and linguistic), the Rigveda was composed roughly between 1700-1100 BCE (the early Vedic period) in the Punjab (Sapta Sindhu) region of the Indian subcontinent. Michael Witzel believes that the Rig Veda must have been composed more or less in the period 1450-1350 BCE. There are strong linguistic and cultural similarities between the Rigveda and the early Iranian Avesta, deriving from the Proto-Indo-Iranian times, often associated with the Andronovo culture; the earliest horse-drawn chariots were found at Andronovo sites in the Sintashta-Petrovka cultural area near the Ural mountains and date to ca. 2000 BCE.
Rigveda means the Veda of Adoration and mostly contains verses adoring or adulating deities. But it also dealt with other subjects, like the procedure of wedding, the folly of gambling. About two-thirds of Rigveda is about the gods Agni (Fire) and Indra (Ruler of the gods). Other Rigvedic gods include Rudra, the two Ashvins,Savitar and Surya, Varuna, the Maruts and the Ribhus. There are references to a divine creeper, the Soma, whose juice was an energizer. Some animals like horses, some rivers, and even some implements (like mortar and pestle) were deified. Rigveda contains a sense of intimate communion between Nature and the Rishis or visionaries. According to some, the concerns of Rigveda are those of simple, nomadic, pastoral Aryans. According to others, the people in the times of the Rigveda had a settled home, definite mode of life, developed social customs, political organizations, and even arts and amusements. Rigveda is the oldest, largest and most important of the Vedas, containing ten thousand verses forming 1017 poems in 20 groups.


Beautiful hyms of the Rig Veda



HYMN I. Agni.
1 I Laud Agni, the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice,
The hotar, lavishest of wealth.
2 Worthy is Agni to be praised by living as by ancient seers.
He shall bring. hitherward the Gods.
3 Through Agni man obtaineth wealth, yea, plenty waxing day by day,
Most rich in heroes, glorious.
4 Agni, the perfect sacrifice which thou encompassest about
Verily goeth to the Gods.
5 May Agni, sapient-minded Priest, truthful, most gloriously great,
The God, come hither with the Gods.
6 Whatever blessing, Agni, thou wilt grant unto thy worshipper,
That, Angiras, is indeed thy truth.
7 To thee, dispeller of the night, O Agni, day by day with prayer
Bringing thee reverence, we come
8 Ruler of sacrifices, guard of Law eternal, radiant One,
Increasing in thine own abode.
9 Be to us easy of approach, even as a father to his son:
Agni, be with us for our weal.

HYMN II. Vayu.

1 BEAUTIFUL Vayu, come, for thee these Soma drops have been prepared:
Drink of them, hearken to our call.
2 Knowing the days, with Soma juice poured forth, the singers glorify
Thee, Vayu, with their hymns of praise.
3 Vayu, thy penetrating stream goes forth unto the worshipper,
Far-spreading for the Soma draught.
4 These, Indra-Vayu, have been shed; come for our offered dainties' sake:
The drops are yearning for you both.
5 Well do ye mark libations, ye Vayu and Indra, rich in spoil
So come ye swiftly hitherward.
6 Vayu and Indra, come to what the Soma. presser hath prepared:
Soon, Heroes, thus I make my prayer.
7 Mitra, of holy strength, I call, and foe-destroying Varuna,
Who make the oil-fed rite complete.
8 Mitra and Varuna, through Law, lovers and cherishers of Law,
Have ye obtained your might power
9 Our Sages, Mitra-Varuna, wide dominion, strong by birth,
Vouchsafe us strength that worketh well.

 

HYMN III. Asvins

1 YE Asvins, rich in treasure, Lords of splendour, having nimble hands,
Accept the sacrificial food.
2 Ye Asvins, rich in wondrous deeds, ye heroes worthy of our praise,
Accept our songs with mighty thought.
3 Nisatyas, wonder-workers, yours arc these libations with clipt grass:
Come ye whose paths are red with flame.
4 O Indra marvellously bright, come, these libations long for thee,
Thus by fine fingers purified.
5 Urged by the holy singer, sped by song, come, Indra, to the prayers,
Of the libation-pouring priest.
6 Approach, O Indra, hasting thee, Lord of Bay Horses, to the prayers.
In our libation take delight.
7 Ye Visvedevas, who protect, reward, and cherish men, approach
Your worshipper's drink-offering.
8 Ye Visvedevas, swift at work, come hither quickly to the draught,
As milch-kine hasten to their stalls.
9 The Visvedevas, changing shape like serpents, fearless, void of guile,
Bearers, accept the sacred draught
10 Wealthy in spoil, enriched with hymns, may bright Sarsavad desire,
With eager love, our sacrifice.
11 Inciter of all pleasant songs, inspirer o all gracious thought,
Sarasvati accept our rite
12 Sarasvati, the mighty flood,- she with be light illuminates,
She brightens every pious thought.

 

HYMN IV. Indra

1 As a good cow to him who milks, we call the doer of fair deeds,
To our assistance day by day.
2 Come thou to our libations, drink of Soma; Soma-drinker thou!
The rich One's rapture giveth kine.
3 So may we be acquainted with thine innermost benevolence:
Neglect us not, come hitherward.
4 Go to the wise unconquered One, ask thou of Indra, skilled in song,
Him who is better than thy friends.
5 Whether the men who mock us say, Depart unto another place,
Ye who serve Indra and none else;
6 Or whether, God of wondrous deeds, all our true people call us blest,
Still may we dwell in Indra's care.
7 Unto the swift One bring the swift, man-cheering, grace of sacrifice,
That to the Friend gives wings and joy.
8 Thou, Satakratu, drankest this and wast the Vrtras' slayer; thou
Helpest the warrior in the fray.
9 We strengthen, Satakratu, thee, yea, thee the powerful in fight,
That, Indra, we may win us wealth.
10 To him the mighty stream of wealth, prompt friend ot'him who pours the juice,
yea, to this Indra sing your song.

HYMN V. Indra.

1 O COME ye hither, sit ye down: to Indra sing ye forth, your song,
companions, bringing hymns of praise.
2 To him the richest of the rich, the Lord of treasures excellent,
Indra, wi th Soma juice outpoured.
3 May he stand by us in our need and in abundance for our wealth:
May he come nigh us with his strength.
4 Whose pair of tawny horses yoked in battles foemen challenge not:
To him, to Indra sing your song.
5 Nigh to the Soma-drinker come, for his enjoyment, these pure drops,
The Somas mingled with the curd.
6 Thou, grown at once to perfect strength, wast born to drink the Soma juice,
Strong Indra, for preeminence.
7 O Indra, lover of the song, may these quick Somas enter thee:
May they bring bliss to thee the Sage.
8 Our chants of praise have strengthened thee, O Satakratu, and our lauds
So strengthen thee the songs we sing.
9 Indra, whose succour never fails, accept these viands thousandfold,
Wherein all manly powers abide.
10 O Indra, thou who lovest song, let no man hurt our bodies, keep
Slaughter far from us, for thou canst.

HYMN VI. Indra.

1 They who stand round him as he moves harness the bright, the ruddy Steed
The lights are shining in the sky.
2 On both sides to the car they yoke the two bay coursers dear to him,
Bold, tawny, bearers of the Chief.
3 Thou, making light where no light was, and form, O men: where form was not,
Wast born together with the Dawns.
4 Thereafter they, as is their wont, threw off the state of' babes unborn,
Assuming sacrificial names.
5 Thou, Indra, with the Tempest-Gods, the breakers down of what is firm '
Foundest the kine even in the cave.
6 Worshipping even as they list, singers laud him who findeth wealth,
The far-renowned, the mighty One.
7 Mayest thou verily be seen coming by fearless Indra's side:
Both joyous, equal in your sheen.
8 With Indra's well beloved hosts, the blameless, hastening to heaven,
The sacrificer cries aloud.
9 Come from this place, O Wanderer, or downward from the light of heaven:
Our songs of praise all yearn for this.
10 Indra we seek to give us help, from here, from heaven above the earth,
Or from the spacious firmament.

HYMN VII. Indra.

1 INDRA the singers with high praise, Indra reciters with their lauds,
Indra the choirs have glorified.
2 Indra hath ever close to him his two bay steeds and word-yoked car,
Indra the golden, thunder-armed.
3 Indra hath raised the Sun on high in heaven, that he may see afar:
He burst the mountain for the kine.
4 Help us, O Indra, in the frays, yea, frays, where thousand spoils are gained,
With awful aids, O awful One.
5 In mighty battle we invoke Indra, Indra in lesser fight,
The Friend who bends his bolt at fiends.
6 Unclose, our manly Hero, thou for ever bounteous, yonder cloud,
For us, thou irresistible.
7 Still higher, at each strain of mine, thunder-armed Indra's praises rise:
I find no laud worthy of him.
8 Even as the bull drives on the herds, he drives the people with his might,
The Ruler irresistible:
9 Indra who rules with single sway men, riches, and the fivefold race
Of those who dwell upon the earth.
10 For your sake from each side we call Indra away from other men:
Ours, and none others', may he be.

HYMN VIII. Indra.

1 INDRA, bring wealth that gives delight, the victor's ever-conquering wealth,
Most excellent, to be our aid;
2 By means of which we may repel our foes in battle hand to hand,
By thee assisted with the car.
3 Aided by thee, the thunder-armed, Indra, may we lift up the bolt,
And conquer all our foes in fight.
4 With thee, O India, for ally with missile-darting heroes, may
We conquer our embattled foes.
5 Mighty is Indra, yea supreme; greatness be his, the Thunderer:
Wide as the heaven extends his power
6 Which aideth those to win them sons, who come as heroes to the fight,
Or singers loving holy thoughts.
7 His belly, drinking deepest draughts of Soma, like an ocean swells,
Like wide streams from the cope of heaven.
8 So also is his excellence, great, vigorous, rich in cattle, like
A ripe branch to the worshipper.
9 For verily thy mighty powers, Indra, are saving helps at once
Unto a worshipper like me.
10 So are his lovely gifts; let lauds and praises be to Indra sung,
That he may drink the Soma juice.

HYMN IX. Indra.

1 COME, Indra, and delight thee with the juice at all the Soma feasts,
Protector, mighty in thy strength.
2 To Indra pour ye forth thejuice, the active gladdening juice to him
Ile gladdening, oinnific God.
3 O Lord of all men, fair of cheek, rejoice thee in the gladdening lauds,
Present at these drink-offerings.
4 Songs have outpoured themselves to thee, Indra, the strong, the guardian Lord,
And raised themselves unsatisfied.
5 Send to us bounty manifold, O Indra, worthy of' our wish,
For power supreme is only thine.
6 O Indra, stimulate thereto us emulously fain for wealth,
And glorious, O most splendid One.
7 Give, Indra, wide and lofty fame, wealthy in cattle and in strength,
Lasting our life-time, failing not.
8 Grant us high fame, O Indra, grant riches bestowing thousands, those
Fair fruits of earth borne home in wains.
9 Praising with songs the praise-worthy who cometh to our aid, we call
Indra, the Treasure-Lord of wealth.
10 To lofty Indra, dweller by each libation, the pious man
Sings forth aloud a strengthening hymn.

HYMN X. Indra.

1 THE chanters hymn thee, they who say the word of praise magnify thee.
The priests have raised thee up on high, O Satakratu, like a pole.
2 As up he clomb from ridge to ridge and looked upon the toilsome task,
Indra observes this wish of his, and the Rain hastens with his troop.
3 Harness thy pair of strong bay steeds, long-maned, whose bodies fill the girths,
And, Indra, Soma-drinker, come to listen to our songs of praise.
4 Come hither, answer thou the song, sing in approval, cry aloud.
Good Indra, make our prayer succeed, and prosper this our sacrifice.
5 To Indra must a laud be said, to strengthen him who freely gives,
That Sakra may take pleasure in our friendship and drink-offerings.
6 Him, him we seek for friendship, him for riches and heroic might.
For Indra, he is Sakra, he shall aid us while he gives us wealth.
7 Easy to turn and drive away, Indra, is spoil bestowed by thee.
Unclose the stable of the kine, and give us wealth O Thunder-armed
8 The heaven and earth contain thee not, together, in thy wrathful mood.
Win us the waters of the sky, and send us kine abundantly.
9 Hear, thou whose ear is quick, my call; take to thee readily my songs
O Indra, let this laud of mine come nearer even than thy friend.
10 We know thee mightiest of all, in battles hearer of our cry.
Of thee most mighty we invoke the aid that giveth thousandfold.
11 O Indra, Son of Kusika, drink our libation with delight.
Prolong our life anew, and cause the seer to win a thousand gifts.
12 Lover of song, may these our songs on every side encompass thee:
Strengthening thee of lengthened life, may they be dear delights to thee.

1 THE chanters hymn thee, they who say the word of praise magnify thee.
The priests have raised thee up on high, O Satakratu, like a pole.
2 As up he clomb from ridge to ridge and looked upon the toilsome task,
Indra observes this wish of his, and the Rain hastens with his troop.
3 Harness thy pair of strong bay steeds, long-maned, whose bodies fill the girths,
And, Indra, Soma-drinker, come to listen to our songs of praise.
4 Come hither, answer thou the song, sing in approval, cry aloud.
Good Indra, make our prayer succeed, and prosper this our sacrifice.
5 To Indra must a laud be said, to strengthen him who freely gives,
That Sakra may take pleasure in our friendship and drink-offerings.
6 Him, him we seek for friendship, him for riches and heroic might.
For Indra, he is Sakra, he shall aid us while he gives us wealth.
7 Easy to turn and drive away, Indra, is spoil bestowed by thee.
Unclose the stable of the kine, and give us wealth O Thunder-armed
8 The heaven and earth contain thee not, together, in thy wrathful mood.
Win us the waters of the sky, and send us kine abundantly.
9 Hear, thou whose ear is quick, my call; take to thee readily my songs
O Indra, let this laud of mine come nearer even than thy friend.
10 We know thee mightiest of all, in battles hearer of our cry.
Of thee most mighty we invoke the aid that giveth thousandfold.
11 O Indra, Son of Kusika, drink our libation with delight.
Prolong our life anew, and cause the seer to win a thousand gifts.
12 Lover of song, may these our songs on every side encompass thee:
Strengthening thee of lengthened life, may they be dear delights to thee.

HYMN XI. Indra.

1 ALL sacred songs have magnified Indra expansive as the sea,
The best of warriors borne on cars, the Lord, the very Lord of strength.
2 Strong in thy friendship, Indra, Lord of power and might, we have no fear.
We glorify with praises thee, the never-conquered conqueror.
3 The gifts of Indra from of' old, his saving succours, never fail,
When to the praise-singers he gives the boon of substance rich in kine.
4 Crusher of forts, the young, the wise, of strength unmeasured, was he born
Sustainer of each sacred rite, Indra, the Thunderer, much-extolled.
5 Lord of the thunder, thou didst burst the cave of Vala rich in cows.
The Gods came pressing to thy side, and free from terror aided thee,
6 I, Hero, through thy bounties am come to the flood addressing thee.
Song-lover, here the singers stand and testify to thee thereof.
7 The wily Susna, Indra! thou o'er-threwest with thy wondrous powers.
The wise beheld this deed of thine: now go beyond their eulogies.
8 Our songs of praise have glorified Indra who ruleth by his might,
Whose precious gifts in thousands come, yea, even more abundantly.

HYMN XII. Agni.

I WE choose Agni the messenger, the herald, master of all wealth,
Well skilled in this our sacrifice.
2 With callings ever they invoke Agni, Agni, Lord of the House,
Oblation-bearer, much beloved.
3 Bring the Gods hither, Agni, born for him who strews the sacred grass:
Thou art our herald, meet for praise.
4 Wake up the willing Gods, since thou, Agni, performest embassage:
Sit on the sacred grass with Gods.
5 O Agni, radiant One, to whom the holy oil is poured, bum up
Our enemies whom fiends protect.
6 By Agni Agni is inflamed, Lord of the House, wise, young, who bears
The gift: the ladle is his mouth.
7 Praise Agni in the sacrifice, the Sage whose ways are ever true,
The God who driveth grief away.
8 God, Agni, be his strong defence who lord of sacrificial gifts,
Worshippeth thee the messenger.
9 Whoso with sacred gift would fain call Agni to the feast of Gods,
O Purifier, favour him.
10 Such, Agni, Purifier, bright, bring hither to our sacrifice,
To our oblation bring the Gods.
11 So lauded by our newest song of praise bring opulence to us,
And food, with heroes for our sons.
12 O Agni, by effulgent flame, by all invokings of the Gods,
Show pleasure in this laud of ours.
1 Agni, well-kindled, bring the Gods for him who offers holy gifts.
Worship them, Purifier, Priest.
2 Son of Thyself, present, O Sage, our sacrifice to the Gods today.
Sweet to the taste, that they may feast.
3 Dear Narasamsa, sweet of tongue, the giver of oblations, I
Invoke to this our sacrifice.
4 Agni, on thy most easy car, glorified, hither bring the Gods:
Manu appointed thee as Priest.
5 Strew, O ye wise, the sacred grass that drips with oil, in order due,
Where the Immortal is beheld.
6 Thrown open be the Doors Divine, unfailing, that assist the rite,
For sacrifice this day and now.
7 I call the lovely Night and Dawn to seat them on the holy grass
At this our solemn sacrifice.
8 The two Invokers I invite, the wise, divine and sweet of tongue,
To celebrate this our sacrifice.
9 Ila, Sarasvati, Mahi, three Goddesses who bring delight,
Be seated, peaceful, on the grass.
10 Tvastar I call, the earliest born, the wearer of all forms at will:
May he be ours and curs alone.
11 God, Sovran of the Wood, present this our oblation to the Gods,
And let the giver be renowned.
12 With Svaha. pay the sacrifice to Indra in the offerer's house:
Thither I call the Deities.

 

 

 

HYMN X1V. Visvedevas.

1 To drink the Soma, Agni, come, to our service and our songs.
With all these Gods; and worship them.
2 The Kanvas have invoked thee; they, O Singer, sing thee songs of praise
Agni, come hither with the Gods;
3 Indra, Vayu, Brhaspati, Mitra, Agni, Pusan, Bhaga,
Adityas, and the Marut host.
4 For you these juices are poured forth that gladden and exhilarate,
The meath-drops resting in the cup.
5 The sons of Kanva fain for help adore thee, having strewn the grass,
With offerings and all things prepared.
6 Let the swift steeds who carry thee, thought-yoked and dropping holy oil,
Bring the Gods to the Soma draught.
7 Adored, the strengtheners of Law, unite them, Agni, with their Dames:
Make them drink meath, O bright of tongue.
8 Let them, O Agni, who deserve worship and praise drink with thy tongue
Tle meath in solemn sacrifice.
9 Away, from the Sun's realm of light, the wise invoking Priest shall bring
All Gods awaking with the dawn.
10 With all the Gods, with Indra, with Vayu, and Mitra's splendours, drink,
Agni, the pleasant Soma juice.
11 Ordained by Manu as our Priest, thou sittest, Agni, at each rite:
Hallow thou this our sacrifice.
12 Harness the Red Mares to thy car, the Bays, O God, the flaming ones:
With those bring hitherward the Gods.

HYMN XV. RTU.

1 O INDRA drink the Soma juice with Rtu; let the cheering drops
Sink deep within, which settle there.
2 Drink from the Purifier's cup, Maruts, with Rtu; sanctify
The rite, for ye give precious gifts.
3 O Nestar, with thy Dame accept our sacrifice; with Rtu drink,
For thou art he who giveth wealth.
4 Bring the Gods, Agni; in the three appointed places set them down:
Surround them, and with Rtu drink.
5 Drink Soma after the Rtus, from the Brahmana's bounty: undissolved,
O Indra, is thy friendship's bond.
6 Mitra, Varuna, ye whose ways are firm - a Power that none deceives-,
With Rtu ye have reached the rite.
7 The Soma-pressers, fain for wealth, praise the Wealth-giver in the rite,
In sacrifices praise the God.
8 May the Wealth-giver grant to us riches that shall be far renowned.
These things we gain, among the Gods.
9 He with the Rtu fain would drink, Wealth-giver, from the Nestar's bowl.
Haste, give your offering, and depart.
10 As we this fourth time, Wealth-giver, honour thee with the Rtus, be
A Giver bountiful to us.
11 Drink ye the meath, O Asvins bright with flames, whose acts are pure. who with
Rtus accept the sacrifice.
12 With Rtu, through the house-fire, thou, kind Giver, guidest sacrifice:
Worship the Gods for the pious man.

HYMN XVI. Indra.

1 LET thy Bay Steeds bring thee, the Strong, hither to drink the Soma draught-
Those, Indra, who are bright as suns.
2 Here are the grains bedewed with oil: hither let the Bay Coursers bring
Indra upon his easiest car.
3 Indra at early morn we call, Indra in course of sacrifice,
Indra to drink the Soma juice.
4 Come hither, with thy long-maned Steeds, O Indra, to- the draught we pour
We call thee wher, the juice is shed.
5 Come thou to this our song of praise, to the libation poured for thee
Drink of it like a stag athirst.
6 Here are the drops of Soma juice expressed on sacred grass: thereof
Drink, Indra, to increase thy might.
7 Welcome to thee be this our hymn, reaching thy heart, most excellent:
Then drink the Soma juice expressed.
8 To every draught of pressed-out juice Indra, the Vrtra-slayer, comes,
To drink the Soma for delight.
9 Fulfil, O Satakratu, all our wish with horses and with kine:
With holy thoughts we sing thy praise.

 

 

HYMN XVII Indra-Varuna

1 I CRAVE help from the Imperial Lords, from Indra-Varuna; may they
Both favour one of us like me.
2 Guardians of men, ye ever come with ready succour at the call
Of every singer such as I.
3 Sate you, according to your wish, O Indra-Varuna, with wealth:
Fain would we have you nearest us.
4 May we be sharers of the powers, sharers of the benevolence
Of you who give strength bounteously.
5 Indra and Varuna, among givers of thousands, meet for praise,
Are Powers who merit highest laud.
6 Through their protection may we gain great store of wealth, and heap it up
Enough and still to spare, be ours.
7 O Indra-Varuna, on you for wealth in many a form I call:
Still keep ye us victorious.
8 O Indra-Varuna, - through our songs that seek to win you to ourselves,
Give us at once your sheltering help.
9 O Indra-Varuna, to you may fair praise which I offer come,
joint eulogy which ye dignify.

HYMN XVIII. Brahmanaspati.

1 O BRAHMANAPSATI, make him who presses Soma glorious,
Even Kaksivan Ausija.
2 The rich, the healer of disease, who giveth wealth, increaseth store,
The prompt,-may he be with us still.
3 Let not the foeman's curse, let not a mortal's onslaught fall on us
Preserve us, Brahmanaspati.
4 Ne'er is the mortal hero harmed whom Indra, Brahmanaspati,
And Soma graciously inspire.
5 Do, thou, O Brahmanaspati, and Indra, Soma, Daksina,
Preserve that mortal from distress.
6 To the Assembly's wondrous Lord, to Indra's lovely Friend who gives
Wisdom, have I drawn near in prayer.
7 He without whom no sacrifice, e'en of the wise man, prospers; he
Stirs up the series of thoughts.
8 He makes the oblation prosper, he promotes the course of sacrifice:
Our voice of praise goes to the Gods.
9 I have seen Narasamsa, him most resolute, most widely famed,
As 'twere the Household Priest of heaven.

HYMN XIX. Agni, Maruts.

1 To this fair sacrifice to drink the milky draught thou art invoked:
O Agni, with the Maruts come.
2 No mortal man, no God exceeds thy mental power, O Mighty one -
O Agni, with the Maruts come
3 All Gods devoid of guile, who know the mighty region of mid-air:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
4 The terrible, who sing their song, not to be overcome by might:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
5 Brilliant, and awful in their form, mighty, devourers of their foes':
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
6 Who sit as Deities in heaven, above the sky-vault's luminous sphere:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
7 Who scatter clouds about the sky, away over the billowy sea:
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
8 Who with their bright beams spread them forth over the ocean in their might
O Agni, with those Maruts come.
9 For thee, to be thine early draught, I pour the Soma-mingled meath:
O Agni, with the Maruts come.

 

HYMN XX Rbhus.

1 FOR the Celestial Race this song of praise which gives wealth lavishly
Was made by singers with their lips.
2 They who for Indra, with their mind, formed horses harnessed by a word,
Attained by works to sacrifice.
3 They for the two Nasatyas wrought a light car moving every way:
They formed a nectar-yielding cow.
4 The Rbhus with effectual prayers, honest, with constant labour, made
Their Sire and Mother young again.
5 Together came your gladdening drops with Indra by the Maruts girt,
With the Adityas, with the Kings.
6 The sacrificial ladle, wrought newly by the God Tvastar's hand-
Four ladles have ye made thereof.
7 Vouchsafe us wealth, to him who pours thrice seven libations, yea, to each
Give wealth, pleased with our eulogies.
8 As ministering Priests they held, by pious acts they won themselves,
A share in sacrifice with Gods.





HYMN XXI. Indra-Agni.


1 INDRA and Agni I invoke fain are we for their song of praise
Chief Soma-drinkers are they both.
2 Praise ye, O men, and glorify Indra-Agni in the holy rites:
Sing praise to them in sacred songs.
3 Indra and Agni we invite, the Soma-drinkers, for the fame
Of Mitra, to the Soma-draught.
4 Strong Gods, we bid them come to this libation that stands ready here:
Indra and Agni, come to us.
5 Indra and Agni, mighty Lords of our assembly, crush the fiends:
Childless be the devouring ones.
6 Watch ye, through this your truthfulness, there in the place of spacious view
Indra and Agni, send us bliss.

HYMN XXII Asvins and Others

1 WAKEN the Asvin Pair who yoke their car at early morn: may they
Approach to drink this Soma juice.
2 We call the Asvins Twain, the Gods borne in a noble car, the best
Of charioteers, who reach the heavens.
3 Dropping with honey is your whip, Asvins, and full of pleasantness
Sprinkle therewith the sacrifice.
4 As ye go thither in your car, not far, O Asvins, is the home
Of him who offers Soma juice.
5 For my protection I invoke the golden-handed Savitar.
He knoweth, as a God, the place.
6 That he may send us succour, praise the Waters' Offspring Savitar:
Fain are we for his holy ways.
7 We call on him, distributer of wondrous bounty and of wealth,
On Savitar who looks on men.
8 Come hither, friends, and seat yourselves Savitar, to be praised by us,
Giving good gifts, is beautiful.
9 O Agni, hither bring to us the willing Spouses of the Gods,
And Tvastar, to the Soma draught.
10 Most youthful Agni, hither bring their Spouses, Hotra, Bharati,
Varutri, Dhisana, for aid.
11 Spouses of Heroes, Goddesses, with whole wings may they come to us
With great protection and with aid.
12 Indrani, Varunani, and Agnayi hither I invite,
For weal, to drink the Soma juice.
13 May Heaven and Earth, the Mighty Pair, bedew for us our sacrifice,
And feed us full with nourishments.
14 Their water rich with fatness, there in the Gandharva's steadfast place,
The singers taste through sacred songs.
15 Thornless be thou, O Earth, spread wide before us for a dwelling-place:
Vouchsafe us shelter broad and sure.
16 The Gods be gracious unto us even from the place whence Visnu strode
Through the seven regions of the earth!
17 Through all this world strode Visnu; thrice his foot he planted, and the whole
Was gathered in his footstep's dust.
18 Visnu, the Guardian, he whom none deceiveth, made three steps; thenceforth
Establishing his high decrees.
19 Look ye on Visnu's works, whereby the Friend of Indra, close-allied,
Hath let his holy ways be seen.
20 The princes evermore behold that loftiest place where Visnu is,
Laid as it were an eye in heaven.
21 This, Vishnu's station most sublime, the singers, ever vigilant,
Lovers of holy song, light up.

HYMN XXIII. Vayu and Others.

1 STRONG are the Somas; come thou nigh; these juices have been mixt with milk:
Drink, Vayu, the presented draughts.
2 Both Deities who touch the heaven, Indra and Vayu we invoke
To drink of this our soma juice.
3 The singers' for their aid, invoke Indra and Vayu, swift as mind,
The thousand-eyed, the Lords of thought.
4 Mitra and Varupa, renowned as Gods of consecrated might,
We call to drink the Soma juice.
5 Those who by Law uphold the Law, Lords of the shining light of Law,
Mitra I call, and Varuna.
6 Let Varuna be our chief defence, let Mitra guard us with all aids
Both make us rich exceedingly.
7 Indra, by Maruts girt, we call to drink the Soma juice: may he
Sate him in union with his troop.
8 Gods, Marut hosts whom Indra leads, distributers of Pusan's gifts,
Hearken ye all unto my cry.
9 With conquering Indra for ally, strike Vrtra down, ye bounteous Gods
Let not the wicked master us.
10 We call the Universal Gods, and Maruts to the Soma draught,
For passing strong are Prsni's Sons.
11 Fierce comes the Maruts' thundering voice, like that of conquerors, when ye go
Forward to victory, O Men.
12 Born of the laughing lightning. may the Maruts guard us everywhere
May they be gracious unto Us.
13 Like some lost animal, drive to us, bright Pusan, him who bears up heaven,
Resting on many-coloured grass.
14 Pusan the Bright has found the King, concealed and bidden in a cave,
Who rests on grass of many hues.
15 And may he. duly bring to me the six bound closely, through these drops,
As one who ploughs with steers brings corn.
16 Along their paths the Mothers go, Sisters of priestly ministrants,
Mingling their sweetness with the milk.
17 May Waters gathered near the Sun, and those wherewith the Sun is joined,
Speed forth this sacrifice of ours.
18 I call the Waters, Goddesses, wherein our cattle quench their thirst;
Oblations to the Streams be given.
19 Amrit is in the Waters in the Waters there is healing balm
Be swift, ye Gods, to give them praise.
20 Within the Waters-Soma thus hath told me-dwell all balms that heal,
And Agni, he who blesseth all. The Waters hold all medicines.
21 O Waters, teem with medicine to keep my body safe from harm,
So that I long may see the Sun.
22 Whatever sin is found in me, whatever evil I have wrought.
If I have lied or falsely sworn, Waters, remove it far from me.
23 The Waters I this day have sought, and to their moisture have we come:
O Agni, rich in milk, come thou, and with thy splendour cover me.
24 Fill me with splendour, Agni; give offspring and length of days; the Gods
Shall know me even as I am, and Indra with the Rsis, know.
1 WHO now is he, what God among Immortals, of whose auspicious name we may bethink us?
Who shall to mighty Aditi restore us, that I may see my Father and my Mother?
2 Agni the God the first among the Immortals, - of his auspicious name let us bethink us.
He shall to mighty Aditi restore us, that I may see my Father and my Mother.
3 To thee, O Savitar, the Lord of precious things, who helpest us
Continually, for our share we come-
4 Wealth, highly lauded ere reproach hath fallen on it, which is laid,
Free from all hatred, in thy hands
5 Through thy protection may we come to even the height of affluence
Which Bhaga hath dealt out to us.
6 Ne'er have those birds that fly through air attained to thy high dominion or thy might or spirit;
Nor these the waters that flow on for ever, nor hills, abaters of the wind's wild fury.
7 Varuna, King, of hallowed might, sustaineth erect the Tree's stem in the baseless region.
Its rays, whose root is high above, stream downward. Deep may they sink within us, and be hidden.
8 King Varuna hath made a spacious pathway, a pathway for the Sun wherein to travel.
Where no way was he made him set his footstep, and warned afar whate'er afflicts the spirit.
9 A hundred balms are thine, O King, a thousand; deep and wide-reaching also be thy favours.
Far from us, far away drive thou Destruction. Put from us e'en the sin we have committed.
10 Whither by day depart the constellations that shine at night, set high in heaven above us?
Varuna's holy laws remain unweakened, and through the night the Moon moves on in splendor
11 I ask this of thee with my prayer adoring; thy worshipper craves this with his oblation.
Varuna, stay thou here and be not angry; steal not our life from us, O thou Wide-Ruler.
12 Nightly and daily this one thing they tell me, this too the thought of mine own heart repeateth.
May he to whom prayed fettered Sunahsepa, may he the Sovran Varuna release us.
13 Bound to three pillars captured Sunahsepa thus to the Aditya made his supplication.
Him may the Sovran Varuna deliver, wise, ne'er deccived, loosen the bonds that bind him.
14 With bending down, oblations, sacrifices, O Varuna, we deprecate thine anger:
Wise Asura, thou King of wide dominion, loosen the bonds of sins by us committed.
15 Loosen the bonds, O Varuna, that hold me, loosen the bonds above, between, and under.
So in thy holy law may we made sinless belong to Aditi, O thou Aditya.

HYMN XXV. Varuna.

I WHATEVER law of thine, O God, O Varurna, as we are men,
Day after day we violate.
2 give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by thee in wrath,
To thy fierce anger when displeased.
3 To gain thy mercy, Varuna, with hymns we bind thy heart, as binds
The charioteer his tethered horse.
4 They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealths
As to their nests the birds of air.
5 When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might,
Him, the far-seeing Varuna?
6 This, this with joy they both accept in common: never do they fail
The ever-faithful worshipper.
7 He knows the path of birds that fly through heaven, and, Sovran of the sea,
He knows the ships that are thereon.
8 True to his holy law, he knows the twelve moons with their progeny:
He knows the moon of later birth.
9 He knows the pathway of the wind, the spreading, high, and mighty wind
He knows the Gods who dwell above.
10 Varuna, true to holy law, sits down among his people; he,
Most wise, sits there to govern. all.
11 From thence percerving he beholds all wondrous things, both what hath been,
And what hereafter will be done.
12 May that Aditya, very -wise, make fair paths for us all our days:
May lie prolong our lives for us.
13 Varuna, wearing golden mail, hath clad him in a shining robe.
His spies are seated found about.
14 The God whom enemies threaten not, nor those who tyrannize o'er men,
Nor those whose minds are bent on wrong.
15 He who gives glory to mankind, not glory that is incomplete,
To our own bodies giving it.
16 Yearning for the wide-seeing One, my thoughts move onward unto him,
As kine unto their pastures move.
17 Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like
Thou eatest what is dear to thee.
18 Now saw I him whom all may see, I saw his car above the earth:
He hath accepted these my songs.
19 Varuna, hear this call of mine: be gracious unto us this day
Longing for help I cried to thee.
20 Thou, O wise God, art Lord of all, thou art the King of earth and heaven
Hear, as thou goest on thy way.
21 Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose
The bonds below, that I may live.

HYMN XXVI. Agni.

1 O WORTHY of oblation, Lord of prospering powers, assume thy robes,
And offer this our sacrifice.
2 Sit ever to be chosen, as our Priest., most youthful, through our hymns,
O Agni, through our heavenly word.
3 For here a Father for his son, Kinsman for kinsman worshippeth,
And Friend, choice-worthy, for his friend.
4 Fiere let the foe-destroyers sit, Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman,
Like men, upon our sacred grass.
5 O ancient Herald, be thou glad in this our rite and fellowship:
Hearken thou well to these our songs.
6 Whate'er in this perpetual course we sacrifice to God and God,
That gift is offered up in thee
7 May he be our dear household Lord, Priest, pleasant and, choice-worthy may
We, with bright fires, be dear to him.
8 The Gods, adored with brilliant fires. have granted precious wealth to us
So, with bright fires, we pray to thee.
9 And, O Immortal One, so may the eulogies of mortal men
Belong to us and thee alike.
10 With all thy fires, O Agni, find pleasure in this our sacrifice,
And this our speech, O Son of Strength.

HYMN XXVII. Agni.

1 WITH worship will I glorify thee, Agni, like a long-tailed steed,
Imperial Lord of sacred rites.
2 May the far-striding Son of Strength, bringer of great felicity,
Who pours his gifts like rain, be ours.
3 Lord of all life, from near; from far, do thou, O Agni evermore
Protect us from the sinful man.
4 O Agni, graciously announce this our oblation to the Gods,
And this our newest song of praise.
5 Give us a share of strength most high, a share of strength that is below,
A share of strength that is between.
6 Thou dealest gifts, resplendent One; nigh, as with waves of Sindhu, thou
Swift streamest to the worshipper.
7 That man is lord of endless strength whom thou protectest in the fight,
Agni, or urgest to the fray.
8 Him, whosoever he may be, no man may vanquish, mighty One:
Nay, very glorious power is his.
9 May he who dwells with all mankind bear us with war-steeds through the fight,
And with the singers win the spoil.
10 Help, thou who knowest lauds, this work, this eulogy to Rudra, him
Adorable in every house.
11 May this our God, great, limitless, smoke-bannered excellently bright,
Urge us to strength and holy thought.
12 Like some rich Lord of men may he, Agni the banner of the Gods,
Refulgent, hear us through our lauds.
13 Glory to Gods, the mighty and the lesser glory to Gods the younger and the elder!
Let us, if we have power, pay the God worship: no better prayer than this, ye Gods, acknowledge.

HYMN XXVIII Indra, Etc.

1 THERE where the broad-based stone raised on high to press the juices out,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
2 Where, like broad hips, to hold the juice the platters of the press are laid,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
3 There where the woman marks and leans the pestle's constant rise and fall,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
4 Where, as with reins to guide a horse, they bind the churning-staff with cords,
O Indra, drink with eager thirst the droppings which the mortar sheds.
5 If of a truth in every house, O Mortar thou art set for work,
Here give thou forth thy clearest sound, loud as the drum of conquerors.
6 O Sovran of the Forest, as the wind blows soft in front of thee,
Mortar, for Indra press thou forth the Soma juice that he may drink.
7 Best strength-givers, ye stretch wide jaws, O Sacrificial Implements,
Like two bay horses champing herbs.
8 Ye Sovrans of the Forest, both swift, with swift pressers press to-day
Sweet Soma juice for Indra's drink.
9 Take up in beakers what remains: the Soma on the filter pour,
and on the ox-hide set the dregs.

HYMN XXIX. Indra.

1 O SOMA DRINKER, ever true, utterly hopeless though we be,
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
2 O Lord of Strength, whose jaws are strong, great deeds are thine, the powerful:
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
3 Lull thou asleep, to wake no more, the pair who on each other look
Do thou, O Indra, give us, help of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
4 Hero, let hostile spirits sleep, and every gentler genius wake:
Do thou, O Indra,. give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
5 Destroy this ass, O Indra, who in tones discordant brays to thee:
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
6 Far distant on the forest fall the tempest in a circling course!
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine,
In thousands, O most wealthy One.
7 Slay each reviler, and destroy him who in secret injures us:
Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine
In thousands, O most wealthy One.

HYMN XXX. Indra.

1 WE seeking strength with Soma-drops fill full your Indra like a well,
Most liberal, Lord of Hundred Powers,
2 Who lets a hundred of the pure, a thousand of the milk-blent draughts
Flow, even as down a depth, to him;
3 When for the strong, the rapturous joy he in this manner hath made room
Within his belly, like the sea.
4 This is thine own. Thou drawest near, as turns a pigeon to his mate:
Thou carest too for this our prayer.
5 O Hero, Lord of Bounties, praised in hymns, may power and joyfulness
Be his who sings the laud to thee.
6 Lord of a Hundred Powers, stand up to lend us succour in this fight
In others too let us agree.
7 In every need, in every fray we call as friends to succour us
Indra the mightiest of all.
8 If he will hear us let him come with succour of a thousand kinds,
And all that strengthens, to our call.
9 I call him mighty to resist, the Hero of our ancient home,
Thee whom my sire invoked of old.
10 We pray to thee, O much-invoked, rich in all prccious gifts, O Friend,
Kind God to those who sing thy praise.
11 O Soma-drinker, Thunder-armed, Friend of our lovely-featured dames
And of our Soma-drinking friends.
12 Thus, Soma-drinker, may it be; thus, Friend, who wieldest thunder, act
To aid each wish as we desire.
13 With Indra splendid feasts be ours, rich in all strengthening things wherewith,
Wealthy in food, we may rejoice.
14 Like thee, thyself, the singers' Friend, thou movest, as it were, besought,
Bold One, the axle of the car.
15 That, Satakratu, thou to grace and please thy praisers, as it were,
Stirrest the axle with thy strength.
16 With champing, neighing loudly-snorting horses Indra hath ever won himself great treasures
A car of gold hath he whose deeds are wondrous received from us, and let us too receive it.
17 Come, Asvins, with enduring strength wealthy in horses and in kine,
And gold, O ye of wondrous deeds.
18 Your chariot yoked for both alike, immortal, ye of mighty acts,
Travels, O Aivins, in the sea.
19 High on the forehead of the Bull one chariot wheel ye ever keep,
The other round the sky revolves.
20 What mortal, O immortal Dawn, enjoyeth thee? Where lovest thou?
To whom, O radiant, dost thou go?
21 For we have had thee in our thoughts whether anear or far away,
Red-hued and like a dappled mare.
22 Hither, O Daughter of the Sky, come thou with these thy strengthenings,
And send thou riches down to us.




"Utterly fearless and uninhibited it is this consciousness that brings
into manifestation and sustains the infinite
variety of beings, from the creator to the
blade of grass. It is ever dynamic and active,
yet it is more inactive than a rock and is more
unaffected by such activity than space."
(Yoga Vashishtha - 5:23)
Shiva represents the unmanifest and Shakti the manifest; Shiva the formless and Shakti the formed; Shiva consciousness and Shakti energy, not only in the cosmos as a whole but in each and every individual. The roots of Shakti are in Shiva. Though one is manifested and the other unmanifested, they are in the ultimate sense one and the same One is the principle of changelessness and the other, the principle of change- Shakti is change within changelessness while Shiva is changelessness as the root of change. The experience of perfect unity of the changeless and the changeable, the dissolution of duality, is the aim of Tantra, and thus of Yoga.
Everything you see around you, whether physical, psychic, mental or whatever, is Shakti, both individually and collectively. This includes everything from a pebble to the sun. All manifestations of Shakti come from the underlying substratum, Shiva. The aim of Tantra is to invert the process to retread the path of creation as it were, back to union with Shiva or the Paramatman (supreme).
Tantra says that Shakti or the power of creating separate centres of manifestation (i.e. objects, individuals, etc.) is in essence consciousness itself (Shiva). However, the power of the phenomenal world around us veils itself through the power of maya. Each and everything in the created universe is actually no more than manifested consciousness and even though everything comes from it, there is no change in the nature of consciousness. From Shiva comes the universe as a whole and everything individually through the power of Shakti, yet Shiva remains the same. The eternal wonder and mystery is that Shiva and Shakti are one and the same.
Tantra regards the material universe as the form, pattern, or expression of the totality. According to Tantra both the manifest and unmanifest are real; to tell someone that the things around him are unreal is nonsensical, because his experience on normal levels of awareness is otherwise. The world, says Tantra, must be regarded as real. One must utilise the body, mind and environment to know that which is beyond. Other systems, like Vedanta, regard the universe as unreal because it changes, but Tantra states that everything, whether changing or changeless, is 'real'; both are no more than two different aspects of the totality.
Shiva is father (pita) of all that moves and is motionless; he is said to be naked, clothed in open space, or digambara, (clothed in the universe). Now he is usually depicted as wearing a tiger skin and holding a trident which represents the three gunas of which he is the eternal master. He is said to ride a bull called Nandi and contains within himself the seeds of creation. He is symbolised by the shiva lingam and is totally unconditioned, in a continual state of nirvikalpa samadhi. Shiva is the king of all yogis - Yogeshwara - for he represents the supreme experience. He is also known as Kuleshana, lord of the kaulas, those who have reached the highest stage of Tantra (Kaulachara).
Shiva has many aspects. Sometimes he is called 'Rudra', the destroyer, who appears to be more like Shakti in nature (the dissolving aspect). This merely emphasises that the active and the inactive, manifest and unmanifest, are really one and the same. All the personifications or deities eventually represent exactly the same thing- the absolute. Only the symbol is different. If you wish you can create your own deity. The widespread worship of vast numbers of dieties indicates the incredible complexity (yet underlying simplicity) and tolerance of the all-embracing spiritual climate of India.
Shakti also has many names and aspects. She is known as 'prana' when associated with the organisation and growth of matter in all forms of life. She is 'kundalini' - the power that lies dormant in everything and which can be unleashed through yogic and tantric practices. She is called 'Kali', the dissolver of the world, who withdraws everything into her womb at the end of the allotted life-span or yuga. She is depicted as 'Parvati', the epitome of the loving and faithful consort of Shiva. She is the primordial power- 'Adya', the universal mother, 'Ishwari' - the consort of Ishwara Lord of the universe. Shakti is also referred to as 'Avidya rupini' (the form of ignorance), for it is she who produces ignorance and individuality. Conversely, she is known as 'Vidya, rupini', (the form of knowledge) for she is the means of removing bondage and achieving liberation or enlightenment.
The 'Kularnava Tantra' says, "By that which one falls, so one will raise oneself". Shakti is the mind of each one of us which can either enslave us or free us. She is 'Maya', (the creator of illusion), for it is through her power that one fails to see 'reality'. At the same time it is through the power of Shakti that the world is experienced; through her that Shiva can experience himself. Shakti is para brahman, the absolute, when she becomes a brahman at the time when Shiva and Shakti unite. Endless different forms of Shakti are worshipped in India - 'Uma', 'Gaud', 'Durga' - her forms are infinite, for there is no end to her power and manifestation. Her forms are as numerous as the reflections of the moon. Continually active, creating, sustaining and dissolving everything into Shiva, only to be re-created - this is the unending process of Shakti.
The concept of Shakti and Shiva is by no means confined to India. In Plato's 'Phaedrus', a book of the ancient Greeks, he states "What is on earth is merely the resemblance and shadow of something that is in a higher sphere, a resplendent thing which remains in an unchangeable condition." The ancient Gnostics were really a European tantric sect which interpreted Christianity in the light of higher experience. One of the Gnostic mystics, Simon the Magus, is reputed to have said, "The universal eons consist of two branches, without beginning or end, which spring from one root.........the invisible power and the unknowable silence. One of these branches is manifested from above and is the universal consciousness ordering all things and is designated male. The other branch is female and is the producer of all things."
The Gnostics divided man into three distinct groups in the same manner as does Tantra. The lowest group in terms of awareness, are those who worship the material world- 'pashu' in Tantra, The second group includes those who worship an underlying reality with blind faith devoid of experience- 'veer' in Tantra, The third group are those wild live in higher awareness - 'divya' in Tantra. So the ancient system of Gnosticism is fundamentally tantric in nature, and many other systems throughout the world are very similar. Energy, including matter and consciousness, are functioning together in the cosmos as well as in each and every human being. This combination gives rise to the world we see around us, to time and to place. Energy is controlled by consciousness and consciousness cannot express itself except through energy. As Sri Adi Shankaracharya writes in the first sloka of his 'Saundarya Lahari', the sixty-fifth Tantra: 'How can Shiva function without Shakti?' Therefore Tantra says that in order to merge with consciousness, one must take the help of Shakti.
There is a supreme experience where Shiva and Shakti no longer exist as separate entities. Some call it 'Brahman', others refer to it as being 'Not this, not this', meaning that it is inexpressible, while still others say that it is one without a second. This is the state of nirvana, samadhi, perfect oneness, moksha or enlightenment. It is the state where Shiva merges so closely with Shakti that they become one. They embrace each other so tightly that they cease to be separate. And this is the meaning of the many 'seemingly' erotic sculptures which personify these two principles - Shiva and Shakti. They symbolise that enraptured state where separateness is no more. This is 'The divine embrace of Tantra'.



OThou kind Lord!  From the horizon of detachment Thou hast manifested souls that, even as the shining moon, shed radiance upon the realm of heart and soul, rid themselves from the attributes of the world of existence and hastened forth unto the kingdom of immortality.  With a drop from the ocean of Thy loving-kindness Thou didst oft-times moisten the gardens of their hearts until they gained incomparable freshness and beauty.  The holy fragrance of Thy divine unity was diffused far and wide, shedding its sweet savors over the entire world, causing the regions of the earth to be redolent with perfume.
Raise up then, O spirit of Purity, souls who, like those sanctified beings, will become free and pure, will adorn the world of being with a new raiment and a wondrous robe, will seek no one else but Thee, tread no path except the path of Thy good pleasure and will speak of naught but the mysteries of Thy Cause.
O Thou kind Lord!  Grant that this youth may attain unto that which is the highest aspiration of the holy ones.  Endow him/her with the wings of Thy strengthening grace—wings of detachment and divine aid—that he may soar thereby into the atmosphere of Thy tender mercy, be able to partake of Thy celestial bestowals, may become a sign of divine guidance and a standard of the Concourse on high.  Thou art the Potent, the Powerful, the Seeing, the Hearing, the all knowing, the all embracing, the all forgiving,  the infinite Isness, the emptiness.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá




Purification.
Sanskrit Lyrics: Namo Ratna Trayāya Namaḥ Ārya Jñāna Sāgara Vairocana Vyūha Rājāya Tathāgatāya Arhate Samyak Sambuddhaya Namah Sarva Tathagatebyah Arhatebyaḥ Samyaksaṃbuddhe Byaḥ Namaḥ Arya Avalokite Śvarāya Boddhisattvāya Mahāsattvāya Mahākāruṇikāya Tadyathā Oṃ Dhara Dhara Dhiri Dhiri Dhuru Dhuru Ite Vatte Cale Cale Pra Cale Pra Cale Kusume Kusume Vare Ili Mili Citijvala māpanāye Svāh


Buddhist metaphysics

The Buddha’s main concern was to eliminate suffering, to find a cure for the pain of human existence. In this respect he has been compared to a physician, and his teaching has been compared to a medical or psychological prescription. Like a physician, he observed the symptoms -- the disease that human kind was suffering from; next he gave a diagnosis - the cause of the disease; then he gave the prognosis -- it could be cured; finally he gave the prescription -- the method by which the condition could be cured.
His first teaching, the Four Noble Truths, follows this pattern. First, the insight that "life is dukkha." Dukkha is variously translated as suffering, pain, impermanence; it is the unsatisfactory quality of life which is targeted here -- life is often beset with sorrow and trouble, and even at its best, is never completely fulfilling. We always want more happiness, less pain. But this ‘wanting more’ is itself the problem: the second noble truth teaches that the pain of life is caused by ‘tanha’ -- our cravings, our attachments, our selfish grasping after pleasure and avoiding pain. Is there something else possible? The third noble truth says yes; a complete release from attachment and dukkha is possible, a liberation from pain and rebirth. The fourth noble truth tells how to attain this liberation; it describes the Noble Eightfold Path leading to Nirvana, the utter extinction of the pain of existence.
Another main teaching of Buddhist metaphysics is known as the Three Marks of Existence. The first is Anicca, impermanence: all things are transitory, nothing lasts. The second is Anatta, No-Self or No-Soul: human beings, and all of existence, is without a soul or self. There is no eternal, unchanging part of us, like the Hindu idea of Atman; there is no eternal, unchanging aspect of the universe, like the Hindu idea of Brahman. The entire idea of self is seen as an illusion, one which causes immeasurable suffering; this false idea gives rise to the consequent tendency to try to protect the self or ego and to preserve its interests, which is futile since nothing is permanent anyway. The third mark of existence is that of Dukkha, suffering: all of existence, not just human existence but even the highest states of meditation, are forms of suffering, ultimately inadequate and unsatisfactory.
The three marks of existence can be seen as the basis for the four noble truths above; in turn the three marks of existence may be seen to come out of an even more fundamental Buddhist theory, that of Pratityasamutpada: Dependent Origination, or Interdependent Co-arising. This theory says that all things are cause and are caused by other things; all of existence is conditioned, nothing exists independently, and there is no First Cause. There was no beginning to the chain of causality; it is useless to speculate how phenomenal existence started. However, it can be ended, and that is the ultimate goal of Buddhism - the ultimate liberation of all creatures from the pain of existence.
Sometimes this causality is spoken of as a circular linking of twelve different factors; if the chain of causality can be broken, existence is ended and liberation attained. One of these factors is attachment or craving, tanha, and another is ignorance; these two are emphasized as being the weak links in the chain, the place to make a break. To overcome selfish craving, one cultivates the heart through compassion; to eliminate ignorance one cultivates the mind through wisdom. Compassion and wisdom are twin virtues in Buddhism, and are cultured by ethical behavior and meditation, respectively. It is a process of self-discipline and self-development which emphasizes the heart and mind equally, and insists that both working together are necessary for enlightenment.
If Buddhism can be seen as a process of personal development, one may well ask: what is a person, if not a soul or self? In keeping with the ideas of dependent origination, Buddhism views a person as a changing configuration of five factors, or ‘skandhas.’ First there is the world of physical form; the body and all material objects, including the sense organs. Second there is the factor of sensation or feeling; here are found the five senses as well as mind, which in Buddhism is considered a sense organ. The mind senses thoughts and ideas much the same as the eye senses light or the ear senses air pressure. Thirdly, there is the factor of perception; here is the faculty which recognizes physical and mental objects. Fourth there is the factor variously called impulses or mental formulations; here is volition and attention, the faculty of will, the force of habits. Lastly, there is the faculty of consciousness or awareness. In Buddhism consciousness is not something apart from the other factors, but rather interacting with them and dependent on them for its existence; there is no arising of consciousness without conditions. Here we see no idea of personhood as constancy, but rather a fleeting, changing assortment or process of various interacting factors. A major aim of Buddhism is first to become aware of this process, and then to eliminate it by eradicating its causes.
This process does not terminate with the dissolution of the physical body upon death; Buddhism assumes reincarnation. Even though there is no soul to continue after death, the five skandhas are seen as continuing on, powered by past karma, and resulting in rebirth. Karma in Buddhism, as in Hinduism, stems from volitional action and results in good or bad effects in this or a future life. Buddhism explains the karmic mechanism a bit differently; it is not the results of the action per se that result in karma, but rather the state of mind of the person performing the action. Here again, Buddhism tends to focus on psychological insights; the problem with bad or selfish action is that it molds our personality, creates ruts or habitual patterns of thinking and feeling. These patterns in turn result in the effects of karma in our lives.
Many other metaphysical questions were put to the Buddha during his life; he did not answer them all. He eschewed the more abstract and speculative metaphysical pondering, and discouraged such questions as hindrances on the path. Such questions as what is Nirvana like, what preceded existence, etc., were often met by silence or what may have seemed like mysterious obscurity. Asked what happens to an Arhant, an enlightened one, upon his death, the Buddha was said to have replied: "What happens to the footprints of the birds in the air." Nirvana means ‘extinction’ and he likened the death of an arhant to the extinction of a flame when the fuel (karma) runs out. He evidently felt that many such questions were arising out of a false attachment to self, and that they distracted one from the main business of eliminating suffering.

The Path to Liberation: the Buddhist Way of Life

The Buddha intended his philosophy to be a practical one, aimed at the happiness of all creatures. While he outlined his metaphysics, he did not expect anyone to accept this on faith but rather to verify the insights for themselves; his emphasis was always on seeing clearly and understanding. To achieve this, however, requires a disciplined life and a clear commitment to liberation; the Buddha laid out a clear path to the goal and also observations on how to live life wisely. The core of this teaching is contained in the Noble Eightfold Path, which covers the three essential areas of Buddhist practice: ethical conduct, mental discipline (‘concentration; or ‘meditation’), and wisdom. The goals are to cultivate both wisdom and compassion; then these qualities together will enable one ultimately to attain enlightenment.
The path is laid out in eight steps, but one may practice all of the steps simultaneously, since they work together.

The first two steps or factors constitute Wisdom. Right understanding (or right views) is the grasping of true reality, as seen in the Buddhist teachings; it is not merely an intellectual understanding, although this helps. Rather it is a direct insight and penetration into the nature of things. Right thought (or right intentions) is that frame of mind which is selfless, detached and free of malice; that generosity of spirit which extends loving benevolence to all beings.
The next three steps on the eightfold path constitute ethical conduct. Right speech involves abstaining from lies, from rude or malicious language, from foolish gossip, and from slander or backbiting that may cause disharmony. One should speak a gentle, kind, and useful truth, or not speak at all. Right action requires abstaining from killing and all violence, stealing, dishonest practices, intoxicating drinks and improper sexual behavior. Right livelihood means that one should abstain from any profession that brings harm to others, such as weaponry, butchering animals or selling liquor. Also one’s career should develop one’s talents, overcome the ego by joining in a common cause, and provide what is needed for a worthwhile existence -- basic comforts and necessities, but not ostentatious luxuries.
The last three steps on the path are those which promote mental discipline. Right effort is the will to cultivate wholesome states of mind and eliminate evil or unwanted ones. Right mindfulness (or attentiveness) involves being keenly aware of the processes involved in one’s daily existence, those of the body, the sensations, the mind and the experiencing of thoughts and ideas. Mindfulness is practiced in Buddhist forms of meditation such as vipassana, through techniques like observation of the breath and bodily sensations. Right concentration refers to the progressive stages of dhyana (this is closer to what is called meditation in most Hindu traditions). In this discipline, the mind is gradually cleared of passionate desires, then thoughts, then finally even feelings of joy, until only pure awareness remains, in a state of perfect calm and equanimity.
Other teachings speak of the Four Friends and the Five Hindrances that one encounters along the path; these are qualities in the heart which may aid or distract one from the process. The four friends are: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. Loving kindness is universal love for all beings, without distinction. Compassion is the ability to empathize with others -- to feel what they are feeling. Sympathetic joy is the quality that takes delight in the happiness of others. Equanimity is a calm acceptance of all that happens, based on the insight of the impermanence of all things; in the end, the only thing that really matters is liberation, so the vicissitudes of life don’t really have much significance.
The five hindrances are: sensual desire; ill will; sloth and torpor; restlessness and worry, or distraction; and skeptical doubt. Everyone has these hindrances in common, so it is important to find ways of eliminating them; they are like toxins  which prevent the cultivation of those qualities essential for self-discipline and stand in the way of our liberation.
The Buddha’s teachings on ethics and living a good life also extended to the realm of the social and political. He was ahead of his time in many ways; considering all people as equal, he rejected the caste system and openly encouraged women to become students and teachers. He taught that governments had a responsibility to lead by example, to teach people ethics and to eliminate poverty by providing opportunities for the people to become prosperous. He was clearly opposed to all forms of war, and taught that violence can never create security. In keeping with these teachings, Buddhism is rare among world religions in that its followers never attempted to spread their beliefs through the use of force. Unique among victorious leaders, the Buddhist emperor Asoka in the third century BCE renounced violence and war, and put Buddhist ethical virtues at the center of his government.
Regarding the Buddhist path as a philosophy, one may consider its epistemology: certain claims of knowledge have been made, but how can they be known to be true? As stated above, the Buddha himself never asked anyone to accept unproven claims on faith, and in fact discouraged them from doing so. He maintained that his teachings could be verified by direct insight and reasoning, by anyone willing to consider them and to follow the necessary path of self-discipline. Starting from a few basic assumptions, such as impermanence and dependent origination, he derived a complex and consistent system of philosophy which has stood for centuries. Later teachers have validated his claim that others could reach the same insights, and they have expanded upon his basic teachings with impressive intuitive depth and intellectual rigor.
In this way the Buddhist teaching has itself become a kind of interactive and self-evolving process, much like its idea of pratityasamutpada. However, the end goal is still Nirvana, which is an experience ultimately beyond all concepts and language, even beyond the Buddhist teachings. In the end even the attachment to the Dharma, the Buddhist teaching, must be dropped like all other attachments. The tradition compares the teaching to a raft upon which one crosses a swift river to get to the other side; once one is on the far shore, there is no longer any need to carry the raft. The far shore is Nirvana, and it is also said that when one arrives, one can see quite clearly that there was never any river at all.
 
Our extensive Spiritual and Poetry insights quotations pages are bursting at the seams with examples of how profound truths are recognised, and applauded, by a Spiritual-Poetical aspect that seems to be innate to Human Nature.