Hinduism / Sanatana Dharma, Interview, Society, Spirituality

Episode 36: Vedic Living — Interview with Akshay Kanade

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Krishna and the Cow

“Veda”

means “knowledge” and

“Sanatana Dharma”

is a more accurate term for “Hinduism”. Why? “Hinduism” was a colonial term given to ‘those living near the Indus River’, and, as another point of gentle contention — there is not a real basis for the Aryan invasion or civilisation, so that is most likely based on colonialism, too. (However, we still use it in our episode, as it’s a familiar term and also is still embraced by many). But, for the record…

“Sanatana”

means “eternal”

and “Dharma”

means “natural way”.

Thus, Hinduism is not a religion nor even the best terminology to use. Anybody, regardless of race, class, caste, career, gender, or global location on the map can follow the “eternal, natural way”! Lao Tzu also wrote the Tao Te Ching, which is indeed the “eternal, natural way”. Buddha also found the “eternal, natural way” and taught it for 40+ years. So there is a harmony amongst all dualistic so-called divisions that simply seek to emanate the same message, brought forth through different languages and cultures and times.

—————

Akshay Kanade was born in India and now lives in New York City. How can a man working on Wall Street live in tune with the Vedic mind, body, and spirit? This seems quite tricky from my point-of-view, as a modern woman living in London! It is said that the main attributes that use up Prana the quickest are forcefulness and speaking. Ask anybody living in the city how gentle they are to themselves and to others, with actions, speech, and mind. It’s commendable that we can still live this way in 2019. Akshay talks with me about his ventures with Sanatana Dharma and shares the breadth of his knowledge with us.

He outlines that there are four main goals of living the eternal, natural way:

Dharma – hard to translated directly, but is can be said: as living a moral life with duty; doing what one is supposed/meant to do with dilligence. It upholds both the individuals in society and the entire universal cosmos.
Artha – economic and material well-being as a baseline for every human being
Kama – wishes or passions of the senses
Moksha – liberation from the cycle of birth and death

This ties nicely into the Dharmic literature, as a whole, being a basis for human living. They are considered “Apaurusheya” or “authorless”. The literature fits into either of these two categories:

Shruti – “Heard” or “Perceived as an eternal sound” and written down immediately once heard

Shruti literature includes The four Vedas – Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda; Upanishads; Brahmanas; and Aranyakas

Smriti – “Remembered” or passed down through a disciplic succession and eventually written down

Smriti literature includes: The Mahabharata; Ramayana; The Puranas; Sutras; Panchararatras; Dharma Shastras; and more

Within the Vedas lie texts on Ayurveda, or the science of keeping the body in good health and balance. Ayurveda is still being refined until today and encompasses: regulating diet, meditation and psychiatry, admistering correct medicines, massages, and advice on personal lifestyle/habits.

Akshay and I even touch on whether or not the gods, goddesses, and historical figures in the Dharmic literature were real figures. History is always up for debate, so, you can decide; yet Akshay gives compelling evidence that Lord Ram, for example, was indeed real based on archaeological evidence.

Without giving too much away, please listen to our episode! If you can be so kind as to leave a review on iTunes, this would really help our show move forward.

*Akshay has innumerable resources available for Vedic living and Dharmic learning, so please get in touch with him on LinkedIn.

 

Death & Rebirth, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 31: Near-Death & New Life Experience — Interview with Artisha Bolding


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I am always amazed by near-death experiences, because they are so prominent throughout all cultures and they really show what it means to be a human being on this plane. We all have different notions about what happens after death, and it is our right to explore this realm, because this is a fate that is inevitable for all of us. Here is what I have found, so far, about near-death experiences and experiences leading up to death:

  • The cultural background one is born into factors heavily in the experience; if somebody was raised a Christian, she is more likely to meet Jesus or see relatives in a “heaven” landscape. If the experiencer is from India, she may see Krishna or interpret the light as Brahman. This is also the case for many psychadelics/entheogens. The experiencer, dependent on her own individual make-up, will tend to have a trip to suit whatever makes up their mind’s experiences.
  • On a similar note, friends and family are often found to appear. The onlooker, a nurse or even living family members in the room with the dying person, are likely to pass these off as “hallucinations”, yet they are more-real-than-real to the dying. Strange sounds and frequencies, sights, and smells that are not normally sensed are presented to the dying — as are changes in behaviour that might seem strange to those familiar with the dying person.
  • Preparations for death are quite natural and normal. For example, The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a manual specifically laid out for a smooth journey to the other side so one is not bewildered and afraid of the death experience. The book even outlines the specific “hallucinations” and changes in behaviour, breath, body, speech, and actions of the dying so relatives and friends can ease them into the next and pretty foreign realm!

Along with these, the experiencer normally comes back with a new take on life and what they have been avoiding or not paying enough attention to. These can pull the person back on the right path and give them a whole new set of lungs! This is what happened to Artisha — I explain it as her spirit being reinvigorated and recharged to the illumination of the important while she is still in this physical body. And it’s really a blessing that she is still in this physical body, because she has used her near-death experience to make changes in her work life that spread into the world through media/broadcasting.

Meet Artisha at www.tboldmedia.com and feel free to contact her with your thoughts.

Anthony Chene Productions’ channel on Youtube is also an outstanding place to hear some amazing near-death experiences, presented in a clean and clear way.

Buddhism, Death & Rebirth, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 20: Buddhism is not a Religion!


Buddha Picture Elephant Lying Down Sleeping

Buddhism is not a religion.

That’s a bold statement, considering the sheer volume of monasteries, Buddha statues, and complex practices embodying Yidams, Devas, Mandalas, and Incense. Not to mention carefully laid precepts and the Noble 8-fold path… which sounds like the Christian ladder to heaven, doesn’t it? It does, until we discover for ourselves what Buddhism embodies. Like Christ was a man and the term “Christianity” came after him, so has “Buddhism” come after the Buddha. Buddha is not worshipped as some God we cannot be, but as an inspiring human being who has lived in our not-so-recent-past, engaged in unfathomable amounts of unconditional compassion for others. He came to embody “enlightenment” or “awakening” by figuring out the true purpose of life and passing it on.

There is historical evidence of this right here, folks.

This is from an article you can look up online called “Footprints in the Dust: A Study of The Buddha’s Travels”: the Buddha walked on foot for 40 years, without sandals, in the Indian heat and mountains, mixing with everyone, including dangerous individuals, until he was 80 years old and died of food poisoning. He slept on the ground, sometimes in the winter frost.

When a man found the Buddha sleeping underneath a tree, without a blanket in winter, he asked, “do you need anything? Are you happy?” The Buddha replied, “Yes, I am happy”, and went back to sleep.

He covered 200,000 square kilometres of Indian territory in his life, just to teach about compassion. He taught most days of his life and woke up at 4am, meditating first thing and looked for beings who needed help in his meditation. He would then feed others or beg for food himself after this. He walked, ate, meditated, slept, and taught, day-in and day-out. Is this inspiring, or what?

If people thought they loved Michael Jackson, think of the constant selfless service the Buddha engaged in just to help others. Wow.

Please listen above to find out more…

Buddhism, Society, Spirituality

Episode 13: Samsara Explained; Getting off the Wheel

 

samsara

Samsara is the arena in which we all operate; life is “dukkha”, said the Buddha.

“Dukkha” is normally translated as “suffering”. However, that’s not a very accurate portrayal. It’s more like “dissatisfaction” that lingers around our every move as we flow through life. What we think will give us pleasure, satisfaction, or security, eventually lets us down.

There is a way out of this cycle, though, and the Buddha laid down the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold Path for us to see how to get there. He found this information under the Bodhi Tree on the night of his enlightenment.

I am sure that this is not the only way to become liberated, and I am also sure that we all have the capacity and capability to find liberation on our own, without teachers, words, or gurus. But, if it works for you and you see results, why not go for it?

The path to liberation is hard. But Samsara is also hard.

So choosing the best way forward is up to us — whether we feel the pull in our soul to be satisfied… or to put up with the unending cycle of life and its subtle sways.

In our next episode, I will explain the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold Path.