Let not your spiritual practices be done for show, or to catch the public eye; but follow them silently and steadily, so that even your neighbours may not know of them. There may be people, who may ridicule you or try to shake your faith; there may be others, who by their praise and respect for you, increase your egotism. Therefore, always bear in mind this great teaching of Sri Ramakrishna: “Meditate in your mind, in the forest or in a quiet corner”. The meaning of this is that all Sadhana must be done in strict privacy, that others may not come to know of it. If you steadily practise like this even for a little time, you will find what great joy and bliss will come to you. You will be a changed man altogather.
Swami Brahmananda, Ramakrishna Mission.
(Spiritual Teachings of Swami Brahmananda, XXXIV, Letter to a Disciple)
All are mere words, of what use are they to you?
You are entangled in the web of verbal definitions and formulations.
Go beyond your concepts and ideas; in the Silence of desire and thought the Truth is found.
For those of you who are unaware, Qandeel Baloch is a Pakistani woman who was very big on social media and was often critiqued for posting “racy” or “inappropriate” content that was disapproved of by the South Asian (but mainly Pakistani) community. She was murdered by her brother because he thought she was bringing dishonour to her family, although people believe there might be another side to the story since photos of her were released with a mufti (Islamic scholar). There are actually people justifying this “honour killing” because they believe murdering somebody is justified as long as it’s to restore honour to the family. This absolutely appalling and despicable mentality runs rampant in South Asian communities and it needs to be addressed. Women’s lives are not yours to take, control or assign worth to. Unsurprisingly there are Pakistani men who support this murder because they too view women as property and objects they own and can choose to dispose of when they feel like it. To these men, and all men- women are not your possessions. You do not have the right to us, to our lives. It is a sad day when this needs to be said but the fact is, South Asian communities hold this disgusting mentality that it is justified to fucking kill someone if you think they are behaving inappropriately. Our lives BELONG TO US. I am so tired and sick of these communities that are brainwashed and fed the same sick attitudes and beliefs. I am really fucking tired of people using religion and the idea of retribution from God to control and police women’s behaviour. It is absolutely a Muslim problem and it is absolutely a Hindu problem, and above all- it is a South Asian problem. Policing and controlling women’s behaviour to what men believe is appropriate is a very large problem in our communities and we need to acknowledge that the way these men do it is using religious beliefs that come with Islam and Hinduism.
Nepalese Sagun Lamps & Water Pitchers
Early 20th Century, Nepal.
These early 20th Century Sagun lamps function both as oil lamps and water pitchers with removable ladles for use in purifications and blessings. Covered in rich iconography we see Ganesha and Kaumari with their respective mounts or vehicles, the mouse and the peacock.
The handles of these lamps are composed of the Naga Serpent Deity who in Hinduism is a nature spirit who protects springs, wells, and rivers.
(via Jewel of the Lotus)
Growing up as a Hindu I’ve always admired Vishnu for his kindness, charisma, beauty, mysteriousness, and fluidity of gender and expression. I’ve never properly sat down and drawn him, so here he is today, with somewhat of a modern aesthetic twist I suppose.