“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton
Begin to weave and God will give the thread. ~ German Proverb
If you feel like your soul has created a lot of difficult situations for you to go through, know that it is because your soul believed you would survive each and learn valuable lessons in doing so. You are meant to make it through all of your tough times. If you’re still reading this right now, then it’s not your exit point. You’re meant to stay here and persevere through whatever difficulties you are going through. Your soul is not trying to destroy you; it just might be challenging you in an extreme way.
When visitors stumbled upon scores of heavy stones that appeared to have moved across the dried lake bed of Racetrack Playa in California’s Death Valley National Park, leaving a tell-tale trail in their wake, scientists were baffled. How had so many boulders, some weighing 300kg, moved as much as 250m across this remote part of the valley, asks Quora user Farhana Khanum?
Adding to the mystery, some trails were gracefully curved, while others were straight with sudden shifts to the left or right. Who, or what, had moved the stones? A slew of theories emerged, from magnetic fields to alien intervention to dust devils to pranksters.
It took a NASA scientist to crack the case. In 2006, Ralph Lorenz developed a kitchen table model using a small rock frozen in an inch of water in a Tupperware container to demonstrate ice shove, the phenomenon behind the mysterious sailing stones.
In winter, Racetrack Playa fills with water and the lakebed’s stones become encased in ice. Thanks to ice’s buoyancy, even a light breeze can send those frozen boulders sailing across the muddy bottom of the lakebed. Stones with rough bottoms leave straight tracks, while those with smooth bottoms drift and digress. Warmer months melt the ice and evaporate the water, leaving only the stones and their mysterious trails.
People can see these sailing stones in a few locations, including Little Bonne Claire Playa in Nevada and most famously, Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa.
In Hinduism the universe is millions of years old. In line with the Hindu belief in reincarnation, the universe we live in is not the first or indeed the last universe.
For Hindus the universe was created by Brahma, the creator who made the universe out of himself.
After Brahma created the world, it is the power of Vishnu which preserves the world and human beings.
As part of the cycle of birth, life and death it is Shiva who will ultimately destroy the universe. This is not necessarily as bad as it might sound because it allows Brahma to start the process of creation all over again.
Examples of how the origins of the universe are explained in Hinduism include:
~A lotus flower grew from Lord Vishnu’s navel with Brahma sitting on it. Brahma separated the flower into three parts – the heavens, the Earth and the sky.
~Out of loneliness, Brahma split himself into two to create a male and a female. From this male and female all beings were created.
~Another story makes reference to life coming from the cracking of an enormous egg, which is the life from which the universe is born.
~The Hymn of Creation from the Rig Veda concludes that nobody knows how the universe came into being and even questions whether Brahman knows.
~Some Hindu texts offer a more scientific explanation based on the evolution of primary elements from a single source.
These accounts, and others, were written many centuries ago in or around what we now know as India. They were not necessarily intended to be taken as literal scientific truth, but are indicators of the complexity and infinite nature of the universe.
Across the arid grasslands of the Namib Desert lies an eerie sight: millions of circular patches of land void of plants, each between 2m and 15m in diameter, arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern across 2,500km of land. These disks of bare soil, known as fairy circles, pockmark the landscape in Namibia, as if giant moths ate through the vast carpets of grassland.
Scientists have suggested radioactive soil, or that toxins released from plants kills the vegetation in circular patterns. Others believe the circles are the work of sand termites. To store water, they burrow in the soil in ring-like patterns and consume the roots of vegetation to allow underlying grains of sand to absorb falling rain.
Another hypothesis ascribes the circles to competition for resources. In harsh landscapes, plants compete for water and nutrients. As weaker plants die and stronger ones grow, vegetation “self-organizes” into unusual patterns.
Considering the eerie beauty of these phenomena, perhaps the most fitting theory is that of local bushmen, who say fairy circles are nothing less than the footprints of gods.
Assiduity /ˌasɪˈdjuːɪti/ ~ Constant or close attention to what one is doing.
Mahayana is one of the two main traditions of Buddhism, the other being Theravada. From Sanskrit, maha means “great” and yana means “vehicle.” Mahayana is sometimes called Northern Buddhism because it is the primary tradition of Buddhism practiced in northern Asia. It is also the largest branch of Buddhism and the one that includes the philosophy of yoga practice (Yogachara).
Mahayana consists of four practice-focused schools – Zen, Pure Land, Vajrayana and Vinaya – and four philosophy-based schools – Yogachara, Tendai, Avamtasaka and Madhyamika. Some scholars classify Vajrayana as a separate tradition and the third main branch of Buddhism.
Unlike Theravada Buddhists whose goal is to become enlightened saints who have attained nirvana, Mahayana Buddhists hope to become bodhisattvas, altruistic enlightened saints who delay nirvana so they can help others attain it. The Mahayana tradition also teaches that even a layperson can attain enlightenment. The schools within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition differ in how to achieve this goal, but believe that enlightenment is attainable in a single lifetime.
Kutarka is a Sanskrit word meaning “bad logician,” “sophistry,” or “fallacious argument” from ku, a root syllable meaning “deficiency,” and tarka, meaning “reasoning,” “inquiry” or “logic” or “speculation.”
In yoga and Indian philosophy, kutarka is negative logic or negative reasoning. It is the wrong logic used for the purpose of finding fault. According to Patanjali, author of the eightfold path of yoga in the Yoga Sutras, there are three types of logic, of which kutarka is the lowest form.
Using kutarka, the person will apply incorrect logic to reach a conclusion. For example, given the statements “God is love” and “love is blind,” the person using kutarka logic concludes that God is blind.
Para vidya is one of two types of knowledge in Hindu philosophy and refers to a higher or spiritual knowledge. The term comes from the Sanskrit para, meaning “the highest point,” and vidya, meaning “knowledge,” “clarity” or “learning.”
The other type of knowledge is apara vidya, or lower knowledge, which includes earthly book knowledge such as grammar, philosophy, science, and mathematics. Depending on specific Hindu tradition, brahmavidya is either a synonym for para vidya or a term that encompasses both para and apara vidya.