Milestone’s Inspirations

January 29, 2009

Gautam Buddha

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Buddha

Life

Buddha, meaning ‘one who is awake’ in the sense of having ‘woken up to reality’ was the title first given to Lord Buddha. It was about 2500 years ago when Prince Siddhartha Gautam left all the worldly pleasures to attain the reality of life, and became the Buddha – the enlightened one. It was a state in which the Buddha gained an insight into the deepest workings of life and therefore into the cause of human suffering, the problem that had set Him on his spiritual quest in the first place.

Early Life

Siddhartha Gautama was born in 563 BCE in Lumbini, Nepal as a son of Shuddhodhana, the king of Kapilavastu and his Queen, Mayadevi. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died only seven days after the birth of Siddhartha and so, He was brought up by His stepmother, Gautami. It is interesting to note that when Siddhartha was born, the astrologers had predicted that the prince would renunciate the comforts of the materialistic world and instead, opt for a path of His own. When the King Shuddhodhana came to know about the prediction, he naturally became extremely cautious and tried to prevent a thing that was bound to happen, and he did not let Siddhartha even move out of the palace. It was the deepest desire of the king that his son would fulfill his father’s dream one day by becoming a King.

The Turning Point

When Siddhartha had grown into an intelligent young man, He moved out of his palace one day, and saw certain things that changed the entire course of His life. He first saw a very old man who could barely walk, a sick man who was in A severe pain, and lastly a corpse. Since, He had never been exposed to pain before, these sights affected him immensely, although His charioteer tried to explain Him that pain and death – both were inevitable.


This entire episode turned His life and His heart compelled Him to evaluate His life completely and then, He began the search for the reason of existence. King Shuddhodhana got perturbed by whatever his son was going through and therefore, he arranged Siddhartha’s marriage with a young and beautiful princess, Yasodhara. For some time, Siddhartha again got involved into the worldly pleasures, but somewhere at the back of His head, He had still not forgotten what He had seen! It was soon after the birth of son Rahul, that Siddhartha on a starry night, left His wife and son in deep sleep and left the palace.

 

A Quest for Light or Truth

Siddhartha was only 29, when He had left home. For some time, He moved around the entire country meeting various sadhus and saints in His search for inner peace. It was during this period that Siddhartha lived the life of a hermit and involved Himself in rigorous ‘ tapasya’ in order to comprehend the reason for life and death. A time came when He realised that it was useless to torture one’s body while finding the truth, and then, He denunciated the method of tapasya and fast.

 

Then one fine day as Siddhartha reached Bodh Gaya and being very exhausted, He took a seat under the shade of a peepal tree and closed His eyes. It was then He felt a divine light coming within Himself. This was the turning point in His quest as He realised that the truth is within every human being and to search for it outside was baseless. After this incidence, He came to be known as ‘ Buddha’ or the enlightened one.


The Right Path and Immortality

For 45 years, Buddha spread His message of spiritual life to not only His disciples but the common people as well. He gave emphasis on the purification of mind, heart and ultimately, soul by following the Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths and the Five Preceptions. This path included the right speech, understanding, determination, deeds, efforts, awareness, thinking and living. As per Buddhism, if one follows these paths, one could overcome desires, which were the reason for all the grieves and miseries.

After spreading His message to the world successfully, Buddha died at the age of 80 years in 483 BCE. at Kushinagar, India. Today, Buddhism has a strong following in various Asian countries and is gradually finding its feet in some of the western countries as well.

 

 

From:http://www.buddhist-tourism.com/buddhism-information/lord-gautam-buddha.html, Date:27-01-2009

January 24, 2009

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule

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jyotirao-govindrao-phule

Born – 11 April 1827


Died – 28 November 1890


Achievements – He was a prominent activist, thinker and social reformer from the Indian state of Maharashtra during the 19th century. During his time, he tried bringing in positive renovations in the spheres of education, agriculture, caste system, social position of women et al.


Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, who was a prominent activist, thinker and social reformer from the Indian state of Maharashtra during the 19th century, was also famous by the name of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. During his time, he tried bringing in positive renovations in the spheres of education, agriculture, caste system, social position of women et al. Out of everything that Phule ever did, he’s most remembered for his selfless service to educate women and lower caste people.


Read on to get more info on Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, who after educating his wife, opened the first school for girls in India in August 1848. Later on, Phule set up the Satya Shodhak Samaj or the Society of Seekers of Truth along with Jyotirao, who was made its first president and treasurer in 1973. The real aim of this institute was to prevent exploitation and misbehavior to people from the low caste Shudra at the hands of the upper class Brahmins in the society.


Due to his relentless struggle to derive justice and equal rights for the farmers and the lower caste, Jyotirao Govindrao Phule is regarded as one of the most significant figure in the social reform movement in Maharashtra state during his time. Phule himself belonged to a humble family from the Mali caste in the city of Pune. His father Govindrao was a vegetable-vendor, whereas his mother died when he was just nine months old.

The life history of Jyotirao Govindrao Phule took a meaningful turn after his intelligence was detected by his Muslim and Christian neighbors who convinced his father to allow him to study at the local Scottish Mission’s High School. Highly swayed by Thomas Paine’s book ‘Rights of Man’, Phule developed an impeccable sense of social justice and grew passionately critical of the Indian caste system.


Interestingly, Mahatma Phule nurtured a favorable perspective on the British Rule in India because he thought it at least introduced the modern notions of justice and equality into the Indian society. Phule vehemently advocated widow-remarriage and even got a home built for housing upper caste widows during 1854. In order to set an example before the people, he opened his own house and let all make use of the well water without any prejudice.

 

http://www.bhagwanvalmiki.com/savitribai.htm

Events

Year

Birth of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.

11th April, 1827

Marathi education in Panthoji’s school.

1834 to 1838

Married to Savitribai, the daughter of Khandoji Nevase at Naigaon.

1840

Primary education(English) in Missionary School.

1841 to 1847

Study of Thomas Paine’s book ‘Rights of Man’.

1847

Humiliation at marriage procession of upper caste friend.

1848

Started school for girls of shudra and atishudra.

1848

Left home with wife because of oath taken to educate the Shudras.

1849

Started girls school at Chiplunkar’s wada

1851

Major Candy felicitated Jyotiba Phule for his contribution in the field of education.

16 Nov. 1852

Joined a Scottish school as a part time teacher.

1854

Started night school.

1855

Took retirement from the management board of school.

1858

Helped in the remarriage of widows.

1860

Started Infanticide Prohibition Home.

1863

Death of Jotirao’s father Govindrao.

1868

Opened the well of his house to the untouchables.

1868

‘Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle yancha povada’.

1st June, 1869

Gulamgiri.

1 June 1873

Formation of ‘Satya Shodhak Samaj’.

24 Sept. 1873

Procession of Dayanand Saraswati.

1875

Report of Pune’s branch of Satya Shodhak Samaj.

20 March 1877

Member of Pune Muncipality.

1876 to 1882

Made presentation to Hunter Education Commission.

19 Oct. 1882

Written the most famous book ‘Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord)’.

18 July 1883

Published the book ‘Ishara’

1 Oct.1885

Junnar Court‘s decision in favour of villager’s right

29 March 1885

Felicitated by Duke of Connaught.

2 March 1888

Felicitated by public and was honoured with the title of’ MAHATMA’

11 May 1888

Started writing the book ‘Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Poostak’

1st April 1889

Death of Mahatma Jotirao Phule.

28 Nov 1890

Cited from:

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/jyotirao-govindrao-phule.html, Date:24-01-2009

 

 

Aurobindo Ghose

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Sri Aurobindo

Born: August 15, 1872


Died: December 5, 1950


Achievements: He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. Worked towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.

Aurobindo Ghose was a multifaceted person. He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. He spent his life working towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.


Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was born on August 15, 1872 at Calcutta. His father was Krishnadhan and his mother was Swamalata. Aurobindo Ghose had an impressive lineage. Raj Narayan Bose, an acknowledged leader in Bengali literature, and the grandfather of Indian nationalism was Sri Aurobindo’s maternal grandfather. Aurobindo Ghosh owes not only his rich spiritual nature, but even his very superior literary capacity, to his mother’s line. His father was an M.D. from England.


When Sri Aurobindo was five years old, he was sent to Loretto Convent School at Darjeeling. Two years later in 1879, Aurobindo Ghose, was sent to England along with his brothers for higher studies. Aurobindo completed his schooling from St. Paul’s in London. In 1890, at the age of eighteen, Sri Aurobindo got admission into Cambridge. Here, he distinguished himself as a student of European classics. To comply with the wish of his father, Sri Aurobindo Ghose also applied for the ICS while at Cambridge. He passed the Indian Civil Service Examination with great credit in 1890. He, however, failed to stand the required test in horsemanship and hence was not allowed to enter the Covenantal Service of the Indian Government.


In 1893, Aurobindo Ghose, returned to India, and became the Vice-principal of the State college in Baroda. He drew a salary of Rs.750/-. He was held in great respect by the Maharaja of Baroda. Aurobindo was an accomplished scholar in Greek and Latin. From 1893 to 1906 he extensively studied Sanskrit, Bengali literature, Philosophy and Political Science.


In 1906, in the wake of partition of Bengal, resigned his job and joined the Bengal National College on a salary of Rs.150/-. He plunged headlong into the revolutionary movement. Aurobindo Ghose played a leading role in India’s freedom struggle from 1908. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was one of the pioneers of political awakening in India. He edited the English daily Bande Mataram and wrote fearless and pointed editorials. He openly advocated the boycott of British goods, British courts and everything British. He asked the people to prepare themselves for passive resistance.


The famous Alipore Bomb Case proved to be a turning point in Sri Aurobindo Ghosh’s life. For a year Aurobindo was an undertrial prisoner in solitary confinement in the Alipore Central Jail. It was in a dingy cell of the Alipore Jail that he dreamt the dream of his future life, the divine mission ordained for him by God. He utilized this period of incarceration for an intense study and practice of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Chittaranjan Das defended Sri Aurobindo, who was acquitted after a memorable trial.

During his time in prison, Aurobindo Ghosh, had developed interest in yoga and meditation. After his release he started practicing pranayama and meditation. Sri Aurobindo Ghose migrated from Calcutta to Pondicherry in 1910. At Pondicherry, he stayed at a friend’s place. At first, he lived there with four or five companions. Gradually the number of members increased and an Ashram was founded.


In 1914 after four years of concentrated yoga at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo launched Arya, a 64 page monthly review. For the next six and a half years this became the vehicle for most of his most important writings, which appeared in serialised form. These included Essays on The Gita, The Secret of The Veda, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Upanishads, The Foundations of Indian Culture, War and Self-determination, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, and The Future Poetry. In 1926, Sri Aurobindo Ghose retired from public life.


Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is based on facts, experience and personal realisations and on having the vision of a seer or Rishi. Aurobindo’s spirituality was inseparably united with reason. The goal of Sri Aurobindo was not merely the liberation of the individual from the chain that fetters him and realization of the self, but to work out the will of the Divine in the world, to effect a spiritual transformation and to bring down the divine nature and a divine life into the mental, vital and physical nature and life of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo passed away on December 5, 1950 at Pondicherry at the age of 78.

 

 Cited from:

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/aurobindo-ghose.html

Date;24-01-2009

 

August 19, 2008

Welcome

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In this I mentions the Biographies of those Educationists,Social Workers, Thinkers and Philosophers who are the inspiration for the Milestone Education Society.

May be you feel happy to read this collection.

Desh Raj Sirswal

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