Am I pretty enough?

We are bombarded by stereotypes. We always have been! Society’s ideas are always injected into us, moulding us into adults with wildly inaccurate cognitions. We are blindfolded into believing that the amount of English someone speaks is a measure of their intelligence, we grow up believing that the number of zeroes in our bank balance determine our wealth, and we even go to the extent of believing that success is solely name and fame.

People are of a general opinion that India became completely free from the clutches of the British in 1947 . However, I beg to differ. So many British ideologies still influence our thinking to this day. One of these ideologies is the fallacy that fairness is beauty. Unfortunately to this day, majority of the Indian population struggles with the ‘fair skin complex’ . Conveniently enough, cosmetic brands make a profit from our self hatred.

At some point or the other in our lives, we find ourselves questioning; are we as flawless as the Barbie dolls we grow up playing with ? Is our hair as flawless as the models in advertisements? Are we as skinny as the actresses flaunting their bodies on TV? And is our skin as fair as the women who appear in fair skin commercials?

Personally, I always grew up wanting to be more fair, thinner(even though I wasn’t really overweight) and beautiful. At that point, society constantly repeated that God created everyone perfectly, and that I looked fine the way I was , that I needed to love myself and have high self esteem, be confident. However, there was only one problem. Society didn’t tell me HOW to do so.

After all, what is beauty? If it means being fair, does that mean all fair skinned people are beautiful and all dark skinned people are ugly? NO! If according to you the ideal beauty means having long hair, does that imply all short haired people are ugly? Of course not. If you actually give it some thought, you will come to the understanding that beauty doesn’t have a scale! Beauty can’t be measured in any way . There is NO ‘ideal’ beauty which exists. But the cosmetic industry continuously creates the concept of beauty and keeps it alive. So this new cognition makes us reprimand ourselves, what are we really comparing ourselves to?

A person becomes beautiful ONLY when they love themselves not because they fit into society’s idea of beauty, but when they express their own, unique type of beauty, which is incomparable to anyone else!

As a passionate, aspiring photographer, I’ve been going around, capturing unconventional ideas of beauty to break societal stereotypes and empower people to feel gorgeous in their own skin!

Be sure to like and follow these pages:

https://www.facebook.com/officialdarkisdivine/

https://www.instagram.com/officialdarkisdivine/

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Why I’m not a feminist

Yes, you read the title correctly. I bet you’re so used to seeing people, especially women calling themselves feminists, that when you see someone declaring that they’re NOT a feminist, it raises your eyebrows.

You might wonder why, though. My answer is very concise and clear. It is because all modern day feminists are hypocrites. The very word feminism has stopped carrying any meaning!

Ideally, feminists ought to care about the empowerment of ALL women, irrespective of nationality, caste and especially religion. However, I don’t see this happening ! I see only selective outrage. Do these fake feminists care about the thousands of women whose lives are being destroyed by the triple talaq ? Do they even bother fluttering an eyelid towards the sad state of women who are sold as slaves in Middle Eastern countries? Do they stand up to the padeophilia that takes place in Churches ?? No, they don’t ! But all these hypocrites promptly hold up placards showing their ‘grief’ at something as non-oppressive as respecting the practices of an ancient temple like Sabarimala. You might have seen in the news, the thousands of Hindu women in Kerala who are willing to wait for their turn to enter the temple (#Readytowait campaign) , because they respect the tradition. So, who are these feminists actually representing ? And who asked them to take up cudgels on behalf of the ardent devotees ?? This definitely proves that these activists are firing from the shoulders of the women devotees and have some other vested interests.

My point is, they’re completely oblivious to the ACTUAL problems of women. The real question is, why are these hypocrites only targeting Hindu practices, which don’t actually discriminate against women ? Realistically, their focus should be on empowering women to proper health,education, financial literacy,etc.

As a practicing Hindu, my perspective is very simple ; I unabashedly believe in the empowerment of all beings, including animals ! I believe everyone has the right to be treated fairly, irrespective of where they come from or what they believe in. Hinduism has produced numerous powerful women figures, like Rani of Jhansi, a queen, battle commander who fought against the British in the 1857 War of Independence. Or even Kittur Rani Chennama, who questioned all societal stereotypes.

In Hinduism, there are 330 million Gods and goddesses. It might be surprising to know that more than 80% of them are women! When someone wants wealth, they bow down to Devi Lakshmi, when they want knowledge, they bow down to Devi Saraswathi. When they want protection, they pray to Devi Durga. Even the most feared kings would not enter the battlefield before prostrating to Durga!

Right from the Vedic times, there has been no need for any reforms or revolutions, simply because women were empowered to begin with. They never gave up on themselves and others and they always commanded respect just by the divine way they carried themselves.

Hither to, why do you think the concept of sati came up?? It was purely because of Mughal invasions and their inhuman practice of snatching away the queens and princesses of Hindu kingdoms that they captured.

In other words, as a practicing Hindu girl, I wouldn’t want to rely upon hypocritical , narrow minded, attention seeking women who have sold themselves to anti-National elements.

Hinduism empowers me to live as #Shakthi, the primordial divine feminine consciousness.

Sabarimala now, what next??

Hindu temples have withstood the test of time, standing victoriously even after several sinister invasions, mostly brutal; and also natural calamities.  Hindu temples are not merely places of worship; they have thousands of different dimensions which not many people understand. They serve as places for spiritual alchemy, places which heal people from deadly diseases and some are the epitome of occult.

I have been keenly observing the events which have been unfolding over the past few days relating  to the verdict of the Sabarimala case. My observation has  been  both from the perspective of a young woman, and that of a practicing Hindu.

There are so many ways one can argue to justify the actions from both sides; the Supreme Court and the handful of practicing Hindus . Feminists demand equal rights; they wanted to know why they had been historically “discriminated” against, by not being allowed into the temple.

After all, what authority does anyone have to not allow them ?How can the constitution show prejudice towards women when it has declared everyone should be treated equally? And most importantly, isn’t everyone equal before God? Is Hinduism misogynistic ?

On the other hand, there are a many of us who are flabbergasted that the Supreme Court has the nerve to poke its nose in matters which in the case of other religions, would be termed as ‘religious sentiments’ . Has anyone wondered why there isn’t a single woman who has entered lakhs of mosques across the world? Has it struck anyone’s mind why there isn’t a single female Pope so far nor any female pastors who are allowed to hear confessions? No! People don’t dare interfere in sentiments concerning other religions, but all the fake feminists who are oblivious to the ACTUAL problems of women, decide to speak up against Hinduism?

First of all, I want to emphasise that banning women to enter Sabarimala is NOT on the basis of discrimination. There are numerous temples in India which don’t allow the entry of men, simply because it is meant only for women. 

The nature of the deity and the argument that Sabarimala Temple is associated with celibacy is not even considered. It is ignored and considered as illogical.

I really wonder if there are female Aiyappa devotees who are very particular to visit only Sabarimala. I am not sure how many of them even went to other Aiyappa temples (18 of them in Kerala), where they are allowed.

How unnecessary of the anti-national , anti-Hindu feminists to pick Sabarimala to distort and defame traditional practices!

In essence, I think it’s time for Hindus to wake up to the reality , seeing the hypocrisy through the facade of ‘equality’ .

#Readytowait 

He who steals must steal no longer…

Carnatic music is one among the greatest treasures of South India and which is being performed since several millennia.  Carnatic classical music originated from the Sama Veda. Historically, this form of music is known to be the among the easiest way of connecting with the Divine, owing to the fact that Bhakti is known to be its driving force.

To this day, several enlightened masters who contributed the most to Carnatic music are remembered, respected, quoted by all Carnatic musicians and musicologists alike.  Among the stalwarts, were the Trinity of Carnatic music, consisting of shri.Thyagaraja Swamigal, shri.Shyama Shastri and shri.Muthuswami Dikshithar.

Now, I want to bring to your attention something horrific that has been happening in the world of Carnatic music, the last few months. For those of you who don’t already know, a few Carnatic musicians have been misappropriating  Kritis and other works associated with pure form of Carnatic music, plagiarising and presenting them in praise of other religions.  It is obvious that they are doing this to showcase themselves as being “secular” and have taken it upon themselves to ‘bridge the gap’ between religions.  Now, you might wonder, what’s wrong with this ? What’s the worst that could happen if a few words are edited, here and there ?

Well, lets be very clear in the fact that there is a VAST difference between appropriation and appreciation. Carnatic music in its original form is meant for the entire world to enjoy and this is irrespective of peoples’ race, religions, caste and creed. It’s meant to be shared with the whole world, for the whole world to experience the ecstasy of Bhakthi.  However, misappropriating the lyrics from Krishna to Jesus is unacceptable and such acts of plagiarism hurts the sentiments of thousands of Hindus world over. Such an act is as good as one Nation stealing the National Anthem of another Nation !

Currently, Carnatic music has become the newest platform for the intellectual recolonisation of India and is leading towards degeneration of Hindu culture in particular.  Hence we need to WAKE UP before it is too late.  At this rate, in about 100 years, future generations of Hindus will be made to believe that these Kritis and Compositions are based on the bible !

https://thewire.in/communalism/in-tamil-nadu-non-hindu-carnatic-musicians-are-being-othered

I urge you to read the above link, where a presstitute, Krupa GE, makes atrocious statements about how Cristian Carnatic music is already an ‘established genre’ of music. As an aspiring Carnatic musician, it boils my blood to see how Carnatic music is being ruthlessly plagiarised and then flippantly justified, without any respect or credit being given to the creators of this divine form of music.

As sacred sentiments were hurt, Carnatic musicians who had taken part in this horrendous activity received back lash to which T.M Krishna (a musician) called it ‘communalism’

As a practicing Hindu, I wanted to point out that in NO way do we cherish hatred towards any other religious group or anyone . After all, Hinduism states ‘ Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavanthu’ , which is a blessing for the entire world, saying ‘let the whole world be happy as everyone is an extension of me.’

So in essence, please don’t strip any Hindu practice of its originality, irrespective of whether it’s Carnatic music or even Yoga.  Learn and practise these in its original form only.

You are worth fighting for!!

Dear friend
I know that you don’t want to hear this. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before. That life gets easier, that everything becomes better, that you need to give it time for the mess around you to settle down.

I know that you dont believe it’s true. After all, how could it be? Each day, you struggle to get out of bed and to silence your demons and insecurities, each day, you try to hide from the hell you are put through. I know that you’ve hurt yourself, starved yourself and have even tried to numb yourself. I know that all your efforts were in vain and that you’re exhausted.

But look at you, you’re still alive. Fighting against all the odds that threaten to swallow you. You are stronger than you believe, you still wear the mask of smile despite the growing sorrow within, you’re still breathing the same air as me.

Listen to me, please.
Your heart and body was not made for this. It wasn’t made for being tired or for being sad. You were made to burn as bright as the stars you came from.You’re made of great dreams that will come true one day.

Hold on.

I know that it is unfair of me to ask of this Herculean task. It’s true that I don’t know you. But I do know something about you. I know that right now, you would rather leave than live.

But I’m asking you to stay in this senseless now so that you can enjoy the blindingly beautiful then. It is a place where your hopes and aspirations live.
You’ll fall in love with living. With the breath taking sunsets that are yet to be painted on the evening sky. With the food that you’ve yet to taste and to the places you will visit, with the grass nestled between your toes. With the breeze gently ruffling your hair and with the sun warming your face.
Cry. Get angry. Scream into a pillow. But also, call someone who loves you. Let us share your burden and battle your demons together.

Remember, you can never be violated !
You are loved. Help can be found because, you’re worth fighting for 💖

RAISE YOURSELF BY YOURSELF!!!

One of the most admirable aspects of Hinduism is its relevance to the modern era. Over the centuries of scrutiny, Hindu scriptures continue to enriching whoever attempts to understand them. One of the most beautiful, striking scriptures, which still enlightens the reader, is the Bhagavad Geetha.
As the Bhagad Geetha is too extensive to condense in a small essay, I have chosen one of my favourite verses to expand upon. This verse is in chapter six, fifth verse.

uddharedaatmanaatmaanam naatmaanamavasaadayeth |
aatmaiva hyaatmano bandhuraatmaiva ripuraatmanah ||

Translating this Sanskrit verse, it means ‘ Raise yourself by yourself! You are your best friend and worst enemy, DO NOT degrade yourself.’

India has always been a spiritual nation – blessed with access to great works like Vedas and Upanishads, and hence producing great leaders like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda.
In the present day, we see a lot of western influence forced onto us as a society and by which the youth seem to have been taught that the ancient scriptures are all a matter of fiction. In reality, our ancient scriptures have answers to the problems of today. To make matters worse, the modern day education not okay is irrelevant but also brings down the levels of self confidence and intellect of the youth. Did you know, according to a recent survey, 77% of Indian youth suffer from alcohol and drug addiction? Thousands of youngsters have suicidal tendencies and some of them throw away their lives, just because they don’t know how to handle situations.
This particular verse of the Bhagavadgeetha is completely applicable to the youth of today and it explains beautifully that one should always lift oneself Up- which basically means whether the youth is a success or a failure is completely dependant only on himself. In other words, the youth of today should not depend on others or external circumstances for their growth. They should take entire responsibility for their lives and be the change they want to see.

Deep down in most youngsters, lies a feeling of not being intelligent enough, or not being beautiful enough, or not being strong enough. All these feelings arise only because we compare ourselves to supermodels, or Harvard graduates, or fitness experts. When we compare ourselves to others, we lose out on our uniqueness and we feel inadequate. This is one of the main reasons why the modern generation of people are a confused lot.
This verse says very clearly ‘ Do not degrade yourself.’ This means, we underestimate ourselves by comparing with others, and we stop seeing a possibility in ourselves. The ONLY person you should be comparing yourself to, should be yourself. Only by this way, can you develop and value yourself, while you do not wait for others approval.

If you help yourself, you are your greatest friend. But if you destroy yourself, you are your greatest enemy. Just by understanding this verse , a major difference can be seen in the mindset of people.

Tryst with the Divine

If God is everywhere, why should we go to temples?
A question that has puzzled a lot of people; if god really exists everywhere, why should we indulge in deity worship or go to a temple ?
Different people have different ideas about God – some consider God just as an invisible person sitting above and cynically judging all their actions; some have a business deal with God – they pray only if God gives them what they want. The list is endless; people have their own unique ways of relating to God.
My Guru has said ” Deities are not mere idols! They are embodiments of IDEALS!”

When prayer starts in a person, seeking for the higher truth also blossoms. We might not realise it, but as the seeking takes over us, our cognition evolves and the way we relate to God drastically changes. From my very own experience, my relationship with God drastically changed after Swamiji gave me the right context to worship. Initially, I always considered God as someone who grants me wishes, but as time passed, it dawned upon me that prayer should be done just for the sheer joy of it, to experience that we are also extensions of the Divine.

Over the centuries, people have criticised idol worship. Even in the modern era, people can’t help but wonder why Hindus bow before a mere stone.
The truth is, God is everywhere, but are we experiencing that at every moment in our lives ? Certainly not! Till we realise it and until it becomes a part of our cognition, deity worship is the best path!

So be very clear, when we pray to a deity , we are not just bowing down to the stone, we are bowing down to the cosmic energy which is represented by the stone! Deities are nothing but representations of the divine Cosmic energy. Many a time sceptics have argued that prayer doesn’t necessarily have to require a deity or a temple ; why can’t we just close our eyes and meditate ?? We must understand that till we associate ourselves with a form( our very own body) , we must relate to God through a form. Only when we go beyond our body and realise that we are not just our body, can we relate to God without a form. Deity worship is undoubtedly the sweetest, most romantic tryst with the Divine. 💕

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogposts, Wealth can never be measured by the number of zeros in our bank balance ; the real wealth lies in the richness of our experiences! The way we cognise life makes us rich and living with Bhakthi is the most royal way to live.

Eat beans, not beings :)

The scorching summer heat has been getting to all of us. As years pass, our planet keeps becoming warmer at an alarming rate as an effect of global warming. The Earth’s carbon footprint has been drastically rising. Something momentous has to be done, or there won’t be a planet for us to live in, at a later stage. This might sound like a fourth grade EVS class, but let me tell you the catastrophic consequences of the increasing carbon footprint. Firstly, the overall temperature increases. There becomes shrinking water supply( various manufacturers have already hinted at this) , devastating changes in crop yield due to decreased precipitation, and the list goes on.

Now, let me reveal to you something you don’t already know. I bet you didn’t know that a staggering 50% of the carbon footprint is caused due to consumption of meat! Don’t believe me? Click on this link to read the statistics.

 (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/2014/7/2/5865109/study-going-vegetarian-could-cut-your-food-carbon-footprint-in-half   )

Let’s face it, hypothetically, if the entire world turns vegetarian, we could produce food for 3 billion more people without trashing the Planet’s resources. You all are probably quite used to hearing how eating meat is unethical, violent and cruel to animals. There are numerous documentaries of how animals are tortured before being killed and served on your plate for dinner.

Understand, absolutely NO animal whatsoever, is slaughtered feeling blissful or joyful. When they’re on their death bed, they’re crippled by fear and agony. Do you really think they bless the world before being ruthlessly murdered? Definitely not! When these pitiful animals undergo this trauma, their bodies releases hormones accordingly, which are stored in their bodies (Similar to how our bodies release adrenaline when we are scared). Unfortunately, humans fail to understand that, and ignorantly indulge in eating these bodies, unknowingly consuming all the agonic hormones which are stored there. So be very clear, next time you’re about to eat meat, ask yourself if you really, truly want to eat a plateful of depression.

Apart from the societal convention, are you aware of the effects of meat eating on your consciousness ?
Whether you’re familiar with it or not, deep inside each and every one of us, lies our latent, potential energy, called Kundalini energy. This energy can be awakened only by a Guru, in order to open up higher possibilities, including enlightenment.
However, even the remote possibility of any spiritual awakening is not possible with a non vegetarian diet. In order to experience great truths like Advaitha, one has to constantly keep aligning themselves to the cognition that everyone and everything is an extension of them, and so accordingly, there isn’t even an ounce of violence towards other beings, leave alone slaughtering them.

In order to have a better understanding about how we ARE what we eat, and how what we eat determines the quality of life, click on this link to hear a short clipping from Swamiji’s discourse.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KekTzDXQ3CY

Yoga: Elixir for life.

YOGA! Over the past few years Yoga has been trending all across the world, becoming a popular fad among youngsters. As a child, I was always more of a couch potato but I knew one thing for sure; Yoga has a religion and it’s Hinduism. I had always heard of myriad incidents where some Yogis master power over their bodies and minds to such an extent that they could breathe through their toes and stay in the same position for days and days, without any food or water. However, all these extraordinary happenings had always been brushed away by me, because they were always referred to as ‘myths’. Only now does it dawn upon me, after meeting my Guru, that the word ‘myth’ is highly arbitrary in nature and it creates doubt in us about our very own traditions and culture, when it IS a possibility even for us.
Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Yoga and the way it is being practiced. People have come up with ridiculous practices like ‘beer yoga’, ‘goat yoga’ and oh, before I forget, ‘nude yoga’.
Before I continue, watch this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMbiK4yY7WE
What exactly is wrong with this video? Well, it’s a group of Americans talking about how a religious practice, yes, religious practice, that originated in India and is deeply rooted in Hinduism is good for their body and mind but they would rather not associate it with Hinduism. Yoga, unfortunately, is the newest platform for the intellectual recolonization of India and Hindus in particular.
Yoga, by definition means “union of the individual spirit with the universal spirit” In other words, we practice Yoga to experience the space of Oneness (Advaita). Yoga is a path to the ultimate and it IS the ultimate. Yoga not only gives you physical and mental wellbeing, it prepares our body to receive high energy initiations from the Guru, leading ultimately to enlightenment.
Also, I want to emphasize that you don’t necessarily have to be Hindu or Indian in order to practice Yoga. To different people, the universal consciousness can mean different things; you can call it Sadashiva, Krishna , Jesus or even a formless cosmic energy. Hinduism doesn’t discriminate. But to participate in the stripping of its identity and roots, forcibly disassociating it from Hinduism is absolutely felonious. The science is available for the world to enjoy and benefit from! However, diluting the practices in any form and coming up with preposterous, absurd names such as ‘downward dog’ or ‘wheel pose’ is unacceptable.
It has been said before but let me remind you about the Kohinoor diamond which was once part of our proud Indian heritage. The priceless diamond now sits, embedded in the crown of British royalty. The British arrived, looted the country, colonized the people and stole the jewel to claim it as their own. Whether you realise it or not, the same thing is happening to Yoga. Yoga is a gem from the depths of Hinduism and we are allowing this intellectual theft to happen. Most Yoga nowadays is the product of a deep-seated human need for fulfilment, combined with a tendency to “white wash” anything that is brown.
In other words, if you ever feel like doing ‘mindfulness meditation’ or ‘upward dog’, please do not call it Yoga. Yoga is much much more than any ordinary fitness regime. If you want to practice the most authentic Yoga, refer the scriptures and constantly align yourself to it, so you know you’re on the right track. I’m also proud to say that my Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda is reviving this extraordinary science and bringing Hinduism back to its glory!

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