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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sacred Symbol "A U M" on Flags

Kumbh Mela - 2013: Largest Spiritual Congregation (14 January - 10 March, 2013) at Prayag in Allahabad, India.
The Maha Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of the Sangam - the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Mela  alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and considered holiest of them. As par myth, Brahma offered his first sacrifice here after creating the world. The date of the Mela is decided based upon the planetary positions. In keeping with spiritual faith more than 85 million devotees - are expected to participate in this year's Mela.
The most common sight in the Mela is the Asramas (tents) of Sadhus and the leaders of the religious Gurus are the Saffron / red / Ochre colour flags decorated with the Sanskrit representation of the sacred sound or  "A U M", taken from the Mandukya Upanishad. The Mandukya Upanishad is the shortest of the Upanishads – the scriptures of Hindu Vedanta. It is in prose, consisting of twelve verses expounding the mystic syllable Aum, the three psychological states of waking, dreaming and sleeping, and the transcendent fourth state of illumination.
 The sound is composed of English equivalents ‘A + U + M’, where A signifies Apti or attaining, common to all wakeful humans; U denotes Utkarsha or uprising from mundane objects to subtle elements, as in a dream state; M connotes Miti or measure, its root meaning ‘to end’ the waking state and attain sleep. Once integrated, these sounds form the supreme sound which transcends all other states. It means the Ultimate, the all pervading Atman or soul.

Here are some interesting items depicting the symbol selected at random
 Second World Hindi Convention, Mauritius
Yogi Narahari Singh
 Arya Dewaker Temple, Suriname

Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)
Swami Vivekananda, 150th Birth Anniversary (1863-2013); Picture postcard issued by Kolkata GPO

Friday, February 1, 2013


2013 is the year of the SNAKE begins on February 10th shortly after the New moon in Aquarius, the humanitarian of the zodiac. The 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create. The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal Signs. It is the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animals Signs. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve.

 To Begin with my first blog of the year I thought it may be interesting if the flags which have/had "SNAKES" are presented for the discerning readers : So here I go;

The image of the eagle and the snake in the coat of arms of Mexico and always occupied the centre stripe of  all the versions of the Mexican  Flag has religious connotations, as it relates to the beliefs of the ancient people, but it also serves as a symbol of triumph: the proud eagle defeating the evil snake. Eagle also refers to the legendary foundation of Tenochtitlan (Mexico) by the Aztecs. 
 The Eagle and the serpent meant for combining the two cosmic forces: that of the sun in the eagle and those of the earth in the serpent.
 This ancient flag of Sri Lanka (Sinhala Rajakiva Dhajya) is strikingly similar to the Mexican Aztec symbols. Here in place of an eagle we find a peacock is holding a snake in its beak.
 The first US Navy Jack had the Rattle Snake’s Warning “Don’t Tread On Me” created during the American Revolution in 1775.

The snake flag of Martinique has no official status on the island. It is a historical flag dating from an edict issued 4 August 1766, specifying that vessels of the French Colony of Martinique and Saint Lucia should fly a version of the French ensign, which at the time was a white cross on a blue field, with L-shaped (for Lucia) snakes in each quarter of the cross. The snakes are fer-de-lance vipers (Bothrops lanceolatus, French trigonocéphale) native to Martinique.

(Source; Internet and The Korean Stamp Review)