31 December, 2010

What should I do this year end? g f xavier

1.Make the last day best day of the year.
2.Thank all who came across in this year of life.

3.Pat one’s own back.
4.Smile at all persons and the things around.
5.Disorganize the room only to set new next year.
6.Leave the mobile phone uncharged.
7.Keep the fingers off from the keyboard.
8.Have a look at the nature.
9.Do not reflect.
10.Run a lap, draw a picture, read an article.
11.No alarm clock.
12.Ask God ‘Why me?’.

Kelly Clarkson The Last Day Of The Year Lyrics
What happened to the man who used to take me
straight into misery
I want you back and now I must admit it shames me
How could this be?

Tell me what's this desperation
'Cuz I don't recognize these chains
I think I made a bad mistake

'Cause once I ran away
I've loved you since the day
The day I broke your heart (heart heart heart heart)
It's more than I can take
I loved you since the day
The day we fell apart (part, part part part)
Now everything is coming under
'Cuz you were the chance I can't afford to waste
I loved you since the day
The day we fell apartt

I must admit the grass looks so much greener
On the other side
Since you left I notice now you're so much meaner
And it's something I think I like

Tell me what’s this desperation
'Cuz I don't recognize these chains
I think I made a bad mistake.
[- From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/k/kelly-clarkson-lyrics/the-last-day-of-the-year-lyrics.html -]

Nothing else to say to all my friends.

Vielen Dank………
شكرا لك………..
Je vous remercie………..
Jetzt Dank Ich Dir - Christina Stürmer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0EJflN1L5k)

29 December, 2010

Behind Alles Gute........... (g f xavier)

Alles Gute…..I hear this often and again as I venture into.  Is there anything called luck or chance? Dictionary.com depicts Luck as the force that seems to operate for good or evil in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities.
To me luck is just a word found out to console one in an unwanted event or a word to downplay one’s capability of achieving something. The words luck and chance are the result of human ignorance. As I read elsewhere, “The rationalist feels the belief in luck is a result of poor reasoning or wishful thinking. To a rationalist, a believer in luck who asserts that something has influenced his or her luck commits the ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ logical fallacy”. 
(Not interested in going to the absurdness of trusting a bracelet, ring or chain for luck or fortune. These irrational thinking paved way centuries ahead to creating Goddess Fortuna and so on.)
I read in one of Dozy’s articles, “Chess is a game of cool calculation; luck has nothing to do with it”. There is a good calculation and effort behind what it happens. There is a reason behind anything and everything. There is a reason to score high and to be at the fag end. There is a reason to fall in love and to leave the one whom you love. For everything there is a situation, someone behind, our efforts, etc…
Buddhism would explain better. Buddhism teaches that whatever happens does so because of a cause or causes and not due to luck, chance or fate. In the words of Ven S Dhammika “Becoming sick, for example, has specific causes. One must come into contact with germs and one’s body must be weak enough for the germs to establish themselves. There is a definite relationship between the cause (germs and a weakened body) and the effect (sickness) because we know that germs attack the organisms and give rise to sickness.” There is nothing called luck in Christianity. Everything is from God,
My own experiences endorse the irrationality on the belief in luck, chance or fate. I always found a cause for what happened in life. My effort or my fault, someone or something, etc… My belief in God doesn’t allow me to say a pure rational stand denying Him. But nothing is on our way and nothing is destined. Create your own future and the way it should be. Use all the means for it, primarily God. Have the best fight against all odds. The chemistry is in you.

28 December, 2010

Gone are the days.........

Again another year gone……………….
That was a lukewarm year for me. Lot of things happened but almost nothing I did.
Year began waiting for the much hyped ‘fly away’ moment. So long and so long, many many questions from all quarters especially from ‘anybody’. Fabricated answers and cooked up explanations featured for 9 months.
Nothing productive I did. Almost all the New Year resolves remained broken and un-followed. Thrilling to see me glancing on all these and smiling away.
It feels to be the longest year in my life with trying times. Of course it is not new to be through trying times.
A Jain monk, looking at my palms, said that the life ahead is full of tough times. Nothing will come my way, but I need to grab it. Will yearn for every moment. Almost true…………
I try not to be blithe or naive. Still I say ‘no complaints’.
Be optimistic. There are so many elements that urge me to be optimistic and positive. Thanks to the circle of friends around the ‘given circle’. Thanks to the old school classmates with whom I am reknit. Thanks to the electronic friends whom I have never met in person. Thanks to my dreams over the grim realities. Thanks to everything that kept me living.
Sorry to endorse the statement “I live only because of the fear to end life on my own”.

23 December, 2010

A Christmas wish. (from g f xavier)

A Christmas and New Year wish from G.F.
Why to wish?
People feed on words, live by words, would fall apart without them.
We almost never see reality. What we see is a reflection of it, in the form of words and concepts, which we then proceed to take for reality.
Christmas is the time when God makes a descent upon men.
 One Christmas day a father was helping his children to build a snowman. A plane was passing over head and the smallest child gazing at it said, “Daddy how do people climb up into the sky to get into planes?”
“They don’t, Child”, replied the father. “The planes come down out of the sky to collect the people.”
This little anecdote captures the message of Christmas. We don’t have to go up into the sky to find God; he came down on earth to find us. This is Christmas.

May this Christmas be an especially happy one for you, filled with every happiness and lots of good things, too, the kind that will bring good luck, success and prosperity in everything that you do, in the New Year too.

I have a poem for you.
All of yester year in behind us
So the past with sobs and sighs.
Walking, we tread the virgin year.
Year of our ‘life’
Year of all ‘yes’
Year of ‘triumphs’.
So I never gaze behind
Not to be a pillar of salt.

            I am reminded of the words of Susan longacra “Reach for the stars even if you have to stand on the cactus”. We have nothing to look back only to become pillars of salt. We aim at prospects and not retrospect.

Let us make a prayer together “O come, Emmanuel, God’s presence among us, our king, our Judge, our source of strength, after all these years we marvel that you have been born into our world. Give us eyes to see you and a heart to welcome you with deep love and gratitude. The distance between you and us be measured by the distance of us with the service to God’s poor. Remind that Jesus is our first love and that anything else is secondary. Let 2011 be a year in which our life becomes a brighter reflection of who you are.

Ring out the old, Ring in the new, ring, happy bells, across the snow; the year in gang, let his go, ring out the false, ring in the true.

22 December, 2010

History of the ground (part V of the Grand Mosque of Damascus)

For more than 3000 years before umayyaden dynasty was the ground of Damascus mosque a sacred ground for various groups. Damascus is known to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. There is no knowledge about how Damascus was in the third millennium BC. The documented history of the city starts in the second millennium BC, in the Amorite period, when Damascus became the capital of a small Aramaean principality. The spot where the mosque now stands was a temple of Hadad in the Aramaean era. They built the temple in 1000 BC to God Hadad Ramman, the god of thunderstorm and rain. The Aramaean presence was attested by the discovery of a sphinx, excavated in the north-east corner of mosque.

A huge Temple of Jupiter was built over the Aramean Temple by the Romans in the 1st century AD. The temple was made on a raised rectangular platform with square corners on all four sides. With the break-up of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, Syria became a part of the eastern province of the Byzantine Empire. It was during the 4th century that the temple became a church. The temple was broken and a church was built and was dedicated to John the Baptist. The Muslim took over the Damascus in 636. However, it did not affect the church. Under the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I the church was demolished and between 706 and 715 the current mosque built in its place. The building today is shared by both the Christians and Muslim Pilgrims.

(Temple of Jupiter: Just in front of the Mausoleum of Saladin is a small archaeological garden, where a few of the columns and some masonry from the Roman Temple of Jupiter, which was later replaced by the Umayyad Mosque, have been preserved. The western gateway to the temple can also be seen at the entrance to Souq al-Hamidiyya.)

(A sphinx is a mythological creature that is depicted as a recumbent feline with a human head. It has its origins in sculpted figures of lionesses with female human. The sphinx is also used to represent some gods with the use of heads other than human)

18 December, 2010

Umayyad Caliphs (661-750) (part IV of the Grand Mosque of Damascus)

Umayyad Caliphs (661-750)
  • Muawiyah I ibn Abu Sufyan (661-680)
  • Yazid I ibn Muawiyah (680-683)
  • Muawiya II ibn Yazid (683-684)
  • Marwan I (684-685)
  • Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (685-705)
  • al-Walid I ibn Abd al-Malik (705-715)
  • Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik (715-717)
  • Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (717-720)
  • Yazid II ibn Abd al-Malik (720-724)
  • Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik (724-743)
  • al-Walid II ibn Abd al-Malik (743-744)
  • Yazid III ibn Abd al-Malik (744)
  • Ibrahim ibn Abd al-Malik (744)
  • Marwan II (744-750)
The Umayyads did manage to achieve a high degree of stability, particularly after 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan succeeded to the caliphate in 685. Under his rule and that of the four sons who succeeded him, the dynasty at Damascus reached the zenith of its power and glory. He is also known as ‘father of kings’. During his time the greatly remembered buildings such as the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the lovely country palaces in the deserts of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq were constructed.

The major advancements/accomplishments of the Umayyad Dynasty are the following:
1. The capital of Islam moves to Damascus, Syria
2. Expansion of Islam touched the regions of India, China, North Africa, and Spain
3. Arabic is the official language of the Empire
4. Arabian currency is used about the Empire
5. Roads are built
6. Postal routes are created.

Under 'Abd al-Malik, the Umayyads expanded Islamic power still further. To the east they extended their influence into Transoxania, an area north of the Oxus River in today's Soviet Union, and went on to reach the borders of China. To the west, they took North Africa, in a continuation of the campaign led by 'Uqbah ibn Nafi' who founded the city of Kairouan - in what is now Tunisia - and from there rode all the way to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
The greatest Umayyad builder Al Walid, son of Abd-al- Malik enlarged and beautified the great mosque of Makkah, rebuilt that of madinah, erected in Syria a number of schools and places of worship. He was perhaps the first ruler in medieval times to build hospitals for persons with chronic diseaces. But his greatest achievement was the conversion in Damascus of the site of the Cathedral of St.john the Baptist into a Mosque. The Umayyad mosque is still considered the fourth holiest sanctuary of Islam, after three harams of makkah, al-madinah and Jerusalem.

15 December, 2010

Umayyad dynasty. (part III of the Grand Mosque of Damascus)

The period concerning us is 661 – 750. But before going directly to this period it will be worthwhile to know in short the history of Islam empires till Umayyad.
After the death of Mohammed Islam was ruled by four men called the Rightly Guided Caliphs or the righteous Caliphs. It was after the murder of the last of these Caliphs that Islam started to move in various directions
After the prophet Mohammed, the next Caliph was Abu Bakar (Mohammed's Father-in-law) (573-634) the next was Umar (634-644), Uthman (644-656), and the last Rightly Guided Caliph Ali (Mohammed's Son-in-law) (656-661).
The death of Ali split Islam into two directions, the son of Ali, Husayn guided Muslims under the premise that the leader of Islam must be a blood descendent of Ali, who was Mohammed's family. These people are seen today as Shiite Muslims. The other leader was Mu'awiyah, he was the first leader of the Umayyad Dynasty (661-750). According to Philip Khuri Hitti, scholar of Islam, Mu'awiyah’s Islam was considered of convenience rather than conviction.  These people are called Sunni because they believe any Muslim can lead the faith.
Mayyad dynasty ist he first great Muslim dynasty, who were not closely related to Mohammed, to rule the Empire of the Caliphate (ad 661–750). Umayyad rule was divided between two branches of the family: the Sufyānid (reigned 661–684), descendants of Abū Sufyān, and the Marwanid (reigned 684–750), Marwān I and his successors. 

08 December, 2010

Grand Mosque of Damascus (Part 1)

“Inhabitants of Damascus, four things give you a marked superiority over the rest of the world; your climate, your water, your fruits and your baths. To these I wanted to add a fifth, this mosque.” al-Walid I ibn Abd-al-Malik.

The Ummayad Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque of Damascus (Arabic: جامع بني أمية الكب, transl. dschami bani umayyat-ul-kabiir), is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. Located in one of the holiest sites in the old city of Damascus, it is of great architectural importance. It is thought that the mosque had the largest golden mosaic in the world. In 1893 a fire damaged the mosque and many mosaics were lost. There is a shrine containing the body of St. John the Baptist. Also the head of Husayn ibn Ali, Mohamed’s grandson, is kept in this mosque. In 2001 Pope John Paul II visited the mosque, primarily to visit the relics of John the Baptist. It was the first time a pope paid a visit to a mosque. My attempt here is to study the history, religious and structural significance of the mosque. I fully depended on the books and articles, also not forgetting the fact of the bulk amount of pictures and information received from Internet. The outcome may not be perfectly scientific but the whole amount of information and study, I owe to the authors and books mentioned at the end of the write up.

04 December, 2010

Does god exist?

I found this video worthwhile and hope it provokes us to think a little bit.
I got this from Suzan Simpson when she posted it in Facebook.
I thought it necessary to upload it im my blog.
Some times we are carried away by certain realities and we substutute God for these mere realities.