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Thread: Need Direction Towards God

  1. #11

    Question Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Well, there aren't any temples close enough for me to visit anytime soon, but I got my cards delivered today and have spent sometime looking at them and reading about what each God and Goddess is supposed to bring into one's life and I have felt drawn to 8 of them in particular, with Ganesh being the strongest, followed by Chandra, Sri Vishnu, Saraswati, Dhanvantari, the Buddha, Sita Devi, and Mahadev Shiva.

    Can my fellow forum members help guide me into how to pray and such now that I have identified which incarnations of God are calling to me. There is a romanized version of a Sanskrit mantra on the back of each picture of each God or Goddess, but I'm not sure how to pronounce these types of things. And the meditations are in English, but I'm not sure if they are appropriate. For example, the one for Ganesh is ----
    "I pray to the lotus feet of Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, the elephant-headed lord of all creatures, who drinks the juice of the kapittha and jambu fruits, the son of Uma who destroys all sorrows." ----

    How would I pray to Ganesh? Would I use this? I'm very new to any sort of religion having been raised very unspecifically and I want to make sure I'm doing it right. Any advice is great!

  2. #12
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    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Namaste OmAspie,

    Congratulations on having identified your chosen deity! There are some very good Ganesha worshipers in this site, I just thought of giving you some preliminary info on worship.

    I don't see anything wrong with you reading the English translation given at the back of the cards. I recite some 'stotras' (devotional hymns to god) in my native language as it gives me the best pleasure in worship. You could choose a number - say 12, 21, 48 (time permitting) and recite the prayer given in the card deck that many times, offer food (or fruits) to god. This is typically the routine how we pray:

    1. Light a lamp in front of god (typically called 'Kamakshi Lamp') with cotton wick and Gingelly oil. Prior to lighting lamp, smear a little sandal paste on the bottom (pedestal) of the lamp, facing 4 directions and add a little Red powder (called 'Kumkum') on top of the sandal paste. This is preparing the lamp and shall be done once in a while whenever you clean the lamp.
    2. Have a picture of your chosen deity behind the lamp. Light an incense.
    3. Recite the prayer.
    4. Offer food.
    5. Offer prostrations (4 times or 12 times) before the deity.

    So really it is very simple!

    Below: Kamakshi Lamp for lighting:


    Namaste.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  3. #13

    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Speaking of Ganesha worship, I am curious to know if any philosophical systems have developed exclusively around the worship of deities like Ganesha, as they have for Vishnu and Shiva.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  4. #14
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    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Vannakkam OmAspie .. Viraja has given some good pointers but I will go even simpler. Cotton wicks can be made easily by taking a cotton swab ball, or the things stuffed in pill bottles, and rolling it into a snake. Any oil will actually do for the time being. Gingelly is sesame.

    You can also wave incense in front of Ganesha. Pictures and small statues (we call them murthies) can be ordered on line. Since Ganesha is the easiest to contact mystically, and more or less the gatekeeper to Hinduism, I'd suggest you just start with him. In the beginning, you can just chant Om Ganesha. Then once you get the feel for it, you can move ahead. There are some on-line Ganesha puja instructions as well.

    Best wishes. Welcome to the religion.

    Aum Namasivaya

  5. #15

    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Quote Originally Posted by OmAspie View Post
    Well, there aren't any temples close enough for me to visit anytime soon, but I got my cards delivered today and have spent sometime looking at them and reading about what each God and Goddess is supposed to bring into one's life and I have felt drawn to 8 of them in particular, with Ganesh being the strongest, followed by Chandra, Sri Vishnu, Saraswati, Dhanvantari, the Buddha, Sita Devi, and Mahadev Shiva.

    Can my fellow forum members help guide me into how to pray and such now that I have identified which incarnations of God are calling to me. There is a romanized version of a Sanskrit mantra on the back of each picture of each God or Goddess, but I'm not sure how to pronounce these types of things. And the meditations are in English, but I'm not sure if they are appropriate. For example, the one for Ganesh is ----
    "I pray to the lotus feet of Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, the elephant-headed lord of all creatures, who drinks the juice of the kapittha and jambu fruits, the son of Uma who destroys all sorrows." ----

    How would I pray to Ganesh? Would I use this? I'm very new to any sort of religion having been raised very unspecifically and I want to make sure I'm doing it right. Any advice is great!

    Sita Ram OmAspie,

    Excellent advice has been given. I would like to emphasize the power of chanting Ganesha's name. As applies to any of the great Hindu deities, their names are tremendously powerful, and their japa, nama-japa, reaps extraordinary spiritual benefits upon a devotee, resulting in higher states of consciousness. This is one spiritual practice which is practiced by and suitable for all. One of the best ways to pray to Ganesha is by chanting His name and focusing on the sound. The power lies in the vibrations. Let the name(s) of Ganesha resonate throughout your very consciousness throughout the day. Starting in small, concentrated increments of meditatively chanting (out loud, very quietly to oneself, or completely mentally) is recommended.

    Also, one of the best way to worship Ganesha is to live an ethical life according to principles and values of Sanatana Dharma. Search for and read about the yamas and niyamas, and begin implementing them in your everyday life.

    Jai Sri Ganesha
    Sanatana Dharma ki Jai!
    Jai Hanuman

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    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Namaste,

    All you need is to pray to God from heart in your mother tongue to show you direction. Be it any form of God like Rama, krishna, Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu, or simply call it God.

    You can read some info about any Hindu God. If you any attraction or inspiration in some God, then pray to him / her. Then read more about him like his mantra, chants and hymms dedicated to that God e.g. If you like Rama, you can chant his name (mantra Om Shri Ramchandrai Namaha), or listen to hymms dedicated to Rama. If you like Shiva, you can listen or read Shiva Sahastranama, read Shiva Purana (or Ramayana in case of Rama). I think practically thats how you can begin. Keep praying to God and ask for direction and answers. Pray to God to show correct path.

    There is one more way or select a form of God.

    After reading some info, say you are attracted to Ganesha and Rama. So which one to select. Obviously you can pray to any one or both. But one form of God will suit you better according to your prakruti. You can buy a small photo (4 inch x 6 inch or 5 inch x 7 inch) or if possible visit temple. Keep gazing at the face of God. Do not do anything or react to thoughts, be it any thoughts. After some minutes, your mind will calm down. But in one form of God, it will calm faster. If you try to chant the name or mantra of that God say Rama, your mind will calm faster and easier than chanting Ganesha's name. In that case, go ahead with Sri Rama.

    I ma not learned as other members and this method is crude one. I do not know any procedure given in vedas or puranas. What I know is that Bhava (spiritual emotion / attraction) towards God is important factor. A Krishna devotee may have respect for Rama, he will enjoy chanting Krushna's name more than chanting Rama's name. Bhavas easily develops in chanting ones name. Beej mantra is considered very powerful and it connects your heart with God.

    I have given this crude method because not everyone has access to a Guru or acharya. In foreign countries, one may not have a nearby temple so that one can visit it daily and interact with fellow devotees and temple priests. Also we do not have direction. In that case it's trial-and-error method. I hope my approach can be helpful to beginners. These are my personal views. I am not an authority in spirituality.

    Aum
    IS
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

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  7. #17

    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Thank you to all for your wondrous advice, guidance, and inspiring thoughts. Yesterday I acquired a beautiful lithograph of Ganesha, made in India (that part made me so happy!) that I plan to place on my shrine. I already have loads of incense and candles and all the goodies. I've found myself praying a simple "Om Ganesha" to myself throughout the days and it is both comforting and inspiring. I look forward to learning more about proper prayer to make Ganesha happy with me and bring us closer together!

    OmAspie

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    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Quote Originally Posted by OmAspie
    I'm now familiar with how we are all God, everything is God

    I don't know who Narayana is nor the differences about the different sects.
    There are various hindu sects and schools of philosophy. Some of them, such as Advaita, teach "we are all Supreme, everything is Supreme", whereas others, such as Vaishnava, teach that we are not the Supreme but we are subordinate to Him.
    Do not mix and be confused with these different approaches but rather become aware that there are different schools of hindu philosophy.

    About Lord Narayana you can read here:
    Narayana sukta from Taittiriya Aranyaka of Yajur veda
    http://sriranganatha.tripod.com/id101.html

    regards

  9. #19

    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Quote Originally Posted by brahma jijnasa View Post


    There are various hindu sects and schools of philosophy. Some of them, such as Advaita, teach "we are all Supreme, everything is Supreme", whereas others, such as Vaishnava, teach that we are not the Supreme but we are subordinate to Him.
    Do not mix and be confused with these different approaches but rather become aware that there are different schools of hindu philosophy.

    About Lord Narayana you can read here:
    Narayana sukta from Taittiriya Aranyaka of Yajur veda
    http://sriranganatha.tripod.com/id101.html

    regards

    Does not all Hindu belief go back to the teachings from the Vedas and the Upanishads that teach about Brahman?

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    Re: Need Direction Towards God

    Quote Originally Posted by OmAspie View Post
    Does not all Hindu belief go back to the teachings from the Vedas and the Upanishads that teach about Brahman?
    Yes they do, but that does not mean that there are no different philosophies.
    There are impersonalistic philosophy such as Advaita and there are personalistic such as Vaishnava. Both of these two philosophies claim that their teachings are based on the Vedas and Upanishads. Vaishnavas do not accept Advaita philosophy.

    regards

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