The Blessed Pushkarini in Melukote, The Srivaishnava Pilgrimage Center in Karnataka

Melukote in Mandya district of Karnataka is a sacred Srivaishnava centre where the great saint Sri Ramanujacharya spent his early years after coming to Karnataka from the Chola country. If a general view of Melukote is taken, two landmarks become most conspicuous by their location and they are the Narasimha hill and the Kalyani or […]

Outstanding Architecture and Overelaborate Carvings at the Kolaramma Temple in Kolar, Karnataka

The Kolaramma temple in the town of Kolar is not only popular but also one of the big temples of that district. Kolar is an ancient town known by various names such as Kolahalapura, Kuvalala, Kolala and finally Kolara. This name Kolahalapura is connected with puranic hero Parashurama. According to another tradition a cowherd boy […]

Zen Koan #44: Parable of The Thief Who Became a Disciple – Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Mindfulness

Much of life is dedicated to minimizing pain and maximizing ecstasy. We have become more and more sophisticated in our technology—we can live in space and map the human genome. Yet we have not been efficacious in our quest to culminate woefulness. Our age-old quandaries of prejudice, cruelty, and division persist, simply taking incipient forms […]

Zen Koan #43: Parable of Zen in a Beggar’s Life – Buddhist Teaching on Buddha Nature

According to Zen Buddhism, the only source of energy that can be subsidiary is commiseration, for the reason that it is safe. When you have commiseration, your energy is born from insight. It is not visually impaired energy. With commiseration, we practice in order to learn ways to bulwark the lives of people, animals, plants, […]

Belur’s Chennakeshava Temple, The Exemplar Hoysala Architecture and Sculpture in Karnataka

The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is perhaps the best specimen of Hoysala architecture and sculpture. The place was known as Velapura or Velapuri. Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana defeated the Cholas at Talakad and to commemorate this great event built many temples in 1117 CE, of which Chennakeshava temple at Belur is the most important and beautiful. […]

Zen Koan #42: Parable of The Dead Man’s Answer – Buddhist Teaching on Mindful Breathing

Despair and anxiety can never be worked through until one confronts them in their stark and full reality. One can never apply some center from the outside. Difficult as the task is, we must accept ourselves and our society where we are, and find our ethical center through a deeper understanding of ourselves as well […]

Zen Koan #41: Parable of Joshu’s Zen – Buddhist Teaching on Being with Disappointment

Our struggle is obligatory, but it is eventually just our inclination to be present that counts and that this is the true effort of the way. Glad to know that you have time to meditate. In a country like America, where people can do so many things, and where there are so many distractions, to […]

Zen Koan #40: Parable of In Dreamland – Buddhist Teaching on Loving Our Humanness

Just as gainsaying, the linear conception of time establishes an incipient area of ethical responsibility, so in taking up this responsibility we locate ourselves more entirely and firmly in history. On retreat, you are living with many people, which may create an uncomfortable environment. It is from this particular viewpoint that the rationale for this […]

Zen Koan #39: Parable of Sleeping in the Daytime – Buddhist Teaching on Surrendering to what is

The Dharma being the collection of Universal Laws, is worthy of knowing whether one is a Buddhist or not. However, to follow your own nature, in this sense, is not the same as following your personal habits or whims, as in the expression “be natural?” Nature here refers to your self-nature, or Buddha nature. Maybe […]

A Dalai Lama Reading List

The 14th Dalai Lama, Lhamo Thondup, Gejong Tenzin Gyatsho (also Tenzin Gyatso,) is called Sku ‘dun (pronounced “Kundun”) out of respect, which means literally “the presence before us.” He spent his early years between the Potala and the Nor bu gling kha summer palace, studying Buddhism under the supervision of scholarly Dge lugs pa monks. […]