Why Is Duty Important In Our Life?

Each person has a duty of his own and for others. The one who fears the consequences of the duty shies away from it. That’s why Lord Krishna made the spiritual discourse ‘Bhagavad Gita’ when the dejected warrior Arjuna refused to fight against his kith and kin in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The Gita became the guide for human life. Mistakes are natural and common when we do anything. That doesn’t mean we should refrain from them. In an office, one person made very few mistakes as he hardly worked. Many people think they have done their duty to their parents by just sending money and providing all amenities to them.

Undoubtedly, no one can remain idle at any point of time: because the human being is compelled by the Nature to do some actions. Even during sleep, our heart and other internal systems keep functioning in tune with the surroundings. That’s why we feel sweat and cold. According to Hinduism, anyone performing his duties personal or social, without caring for the results, will get absolved of the effects arising from these duties. Such an individual is called a ‘Karma Yogi’ and is destined to gain the blessings of God.

Palaces, Forts, Skyscrapers, Bridges, Highways, etc., symbolize the dedication of many people who spent their energy and time for making memorable and useful objects of our life. Thanks to the hard work and sincerity of farmers, we get an uninterrupted supply of food to sustain us. A recent News item reported that some sniffer dogs spent a whole night with a king cobra in an airport kennel. Though these animals were trained to spot the narcotics, they didn’t have an idea of how to sniff out the reptile. Nonetheless, the duty-conscious canines were barking through the night to alert the lousy human guards.

Human beings are bound to discharge their natural duties like rearing-families, helping others and nurturing the flora and fauna in the surrounding nature. One cannot remain idle without doing these duties as the future birth is said to be linked to them. Further, it’s a common belief that a person can reach God by discharging duties without minding their fruits. One that forgets the duty is called a robber: because, he/she leads an idle life without contributing anything to the world and actually living at the cost of others. Therefore, do not remain idle due to laziness or fear of responsibility excepting the times when you need to rest from work or convalescing from sickness. Work hard like a Bull. Work without selfishness like our heart. People that realize and perform their duties will not fail in their efforts, but earned name and fame.

God (Krishna) said,”I have neither duty nor expectations from all three worlds. Even then, I am always involved in my work. If I abstain from my duty, great chaos will prevail. The humans which look to me as their path will suffer heavily. So, I should stay in my duty to set an example.”

Source by Mohan Thulasingam

Bengal Tigers in Fact and Folklore

If you are planning on heading out on a tiger safari in India, you are likely to already have a strong interest in these mighty creatures. You may have read up on their hunting and territorial habits – useful things to know about to maximise your chances of sightings – and, of course, as one of the world’s favourite animals, there is a wealth of common knowledge about tigers. You’ll be aware that in India you’ll see Bengal Tigers, so learning some more species-specific facts and ways that local societies have interacted with and incorporated tigers into their cultures can help you appreciate the relationship between humans and tigers.

National Animal of India

As you will no doubt hear as you venture forth on your tiger safari, the Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India. Found in almost every region of the country, their cultural and ecological significance makes them an important national icon. Symbolising power, valour, and passion, tigers have long been figures of awe. In former eras this meant that tiger hunting was considered an honourable pursuit for nobles, but in modern times the focus has thankfully shifted to conservation. As the top predator in the food chain, their continuing survival is vital to the Indian subcontinent’s ecosystem, thus adding more layers to the tiger’s symbolic status. As befits an embodiment of India’s natural wealth, and a key species for measuring the health of its ecosystem, respecting tigers means protecting them, now more than ever.

Tigers in Religion

Perhaps the greatest role that tigers play in Indian religion is as Durga’s mount. In many forms of Hinduism, Durga ‘the invincible’ is a fierce, powerful, creative, compassionate form of Devi, the female aspect of the divine. She is frequently depicted riding on a tiger – especially when riding into battle. Shiva, one of the most important and powerful gods, whose role as the destroyer is vital to the continuing existence of a cyclical universe, is often shown wearing or sitting on a tiger pelt to show that he has conquered worldly passions. The deity Ayyappan, worshiped primarily in the southern regions, is also associated with tigers, having tamed and ridden on one. So remember, as you continue on your tiger safari, that the connection between tigers and local culture runs deep.

Protecting India’s tigers

Although tigers and humans have a long history together, they have also had their conflicts: despite our awe of tigers, they are threatened, as a species, by human activity. Going on tiger safari can benefit the species if done responsibly. For a start, the tiger reserves you travel through are an important part of conservation, and in supporting them you support the wildlife they protect.

Source by Marissa Ellis-Snow

Five Similarities Between Religion and Spirituality

When we were children we were asked, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If we based our answer on the creation story in the Bible, we would answer, Chicken. But if we based our answer on our experience in raising chickens, our answer would be, Egg.

The same can be said of the answer to the question, Which came first, Religion or Spirituality?

In terms of our experience with religious books and discussions, religion came first. It is only now that more and more people are talking about spirituality and writing about it. In terms of the origin of the reality behind those words or in terms of the object of our understanding, spirituality came first. The spirit was there before there was any religion. God was there before there was anybody to worship him.

We can even say that spirituality is an offshoot of religion. For many centuries people professed religion. Some of them fiercely opposed religions other their own. Christians for many centuries opposed paganism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other religion. This has happened also with paganism, Islam, and the rest with respect to the other religions. They too opposed other religions.

But more and more people discover that mere religion cannot answer their deeper yearning for a better experience of life. So, they turned to something deeper and better than religion. They found this in spirituality.

Because spirituality in a sense is an offshoot of religion, there is bound to be some similarity between them, just like the similarity between the egg and the chicken.

First, both believe in a higher power of some kind. Religion believes in God the Father or Jesus, or Allah, or Brahman, or Tao. Spirituality believes also in this God or it may conceive of God as a universal or primal energy. Both believe that such being possesses power higher and greater than what we have.

Secondly, both religion and spirituality desire to have a relationship with this higher power. Although the nature of the relationship is different in religion than in spirituality, the desire for this relationship is there. Religion connects with this higher power with fear and trembling. Spirituality connects with this higher power with love and affection.

Thirdly, both religion and spirituality have rituals and practices which deepen one’s religiosity or spirituality. Religion usually has sacred rites or sacraments. Spirituality has meditation or yoga sessions.

Fourthly, both have respect for the sacred, the other worldly. This is not just respect for God. This is respect for the reality that is beyond our senses and reason. When religion pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes superstition. When spirituality pushes this respect to its extreme, it becomes religious spirituality.

Fifthly, both have fear of failure. In religion this failure is punished by hell fire or repetition of existence or some other worse fate. In spirituality this failure is the inability to realize one’s true worth or value and the destiny of a life of meaninglessness. Hell, repetition of existence, non-existence, meaninglessness are forms of punishment for failure, either in religion or in spirituality.

Source by Jose Bulao

Cultural Influences On Sexual Behaviour

In contrast with other primates, human sexual behaviour is strongly determined by cultural influences. Every society places some restrictions on sexual behaviour.

In contrast, very restrictive societies try to control pre-adolescent sexual behaviour and prevent children from learning about sexual matters.

Until recently, most Western countries would have been classified as sexually restrictive societies, but despite the fact that attitudes towards sexual activities are more permissive than they were even 30 years ago, the earliest works of sexual literature such as the Kama Sutra suggest a sophistication and lack of inhibition in early civilizations which is rare today. This is still the case even after the so-called ‘sexual revolution’ in the West during the 1960s.

Religion is a powerful influence on sexual behaviour. In spite of increasing materialism in the West, religion still exercises a hold over the minds of many of its members. Even those who profess to holding no religious beliefs can be subjected to guilt taught to them by religious parents.

Most organized religions tend to restrict and regulate sexual behaviour to within marriage or its equivalent. Some extreme religions find any sexual act difficult to admit to or tolerate, and such attitudes can lead to psychosexual problems in members of the sect. Revivalism, extreme Methodist protestantism and Calvinism are examples of such credos. Hinduism is relatively relaxed in this respect.

Reliable methods of contraception, and in particular the introduction of the hormonal contraceptive Pill, have been suggested as the main cause of the rapid changes in Western sexual behaviour seen since World War II. To some extent the importance of this has been over-emphasized, and the proposal that it has led to a loosening of sexual attitudes and widespread promiscuity is exaggerated. Certainly adolescents become sexually active earlier than their predecessors, but this tendency is in line with the increasingly earlier age of puberty, which is in turn assumed to be the result of improvements in nutrition.

Recent evidence has shown that the vast majority of 14 and 15 year-olds who are sexually active are not indiscriminate in their choice of partner; most have only one partner over several years.

One element which has had an impact on sexual behaviour is the emancipation of women. Not only is it now accepted that women can vote and pursue a career when married, it is also accepted that women can make the first moves in the mating game. This change has been largely attributed to contraception, but this is unlikely to be the whole story. It has been proposed that one of the outstanding factors in emancipation was the part played by women throughout the world in the two major wars of our century. Both of these were ‘total wars’ and the contributions that women could make in peace time as well as in war were recognized by nearly everyone during those times. When the wars ended, some women were reluctant to give up their newfound freedom, and this has since led to ‘women’s liberation,’ feminism and equal opportunity laws in many countries.

In some parts of the world the progression to women’s freedom and sexual equality has been delayed by the so-called ‘macho’ societies – especially in the Catholic countries of Latin America. A macho society is one in which men expect their women – wives, sisters, daughters – to be faithful and chaste while at the same time they expect all other women to be sexually available. This is an extreme case of the double standards that were seen in some Western cultures before the emancipation of women.

Source by Cheryl Brady