In this peculiar sphere of life I had a chance to make deeper contact with the great religions of the world as well as with various spiritual paths – directly: participating in religious ceremonies, traveling to many holy places, meeting and discussing with followers as well as participating in workshops and retreats, and indirectly: reading many books.
Therefore, taking into account a certain insight into this subject, I offer translations regarding Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Confucianism*, Judaism and other religions.
* There is a debate whether Confucianism is a religion or only a philosophical system.
I am familiar with the subjects of mystical paths, esoterica, yoga, meditation, spiritual healing, natural therapies and even parapsychology, inexplicable phenomena, astrology, predictions and so on. Needless to say that openness and broadmindedness doesn’t have to mean an uncritical acceptance of everything and a total lack of discernment.
The paths to holy places or simply places of great, profound, spiritual significance for people of different cultures and being there is for me always a very special experience.
The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and to Jasna Góra Monastery. The monasteries of Athos (autonomous republic of monks) situated on Halkidiki peninsula and churches and cathedrals of Latin America. But as well Guatemalan buses: a palpable evidence of people’s faith! And unforgettable visit to the Center of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
On the way to Santiago de Compostela
Filotheou Monastery, Athos The marina of Osiou Grigoriou Monastery, Athos
Cathedral of Mary’s Assumption, León, Nicaragua Church of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile Church San Jacinto, Mexico City
Good Friday preparations for the Easter celebrations, Ayacucho, Peru The little church in the village of Ollantaytambo (nearby Cuzco), Peru
The image of Christ in one of churches in Guanajuato, Mexico Faith and buses, Guatemala
Bodgaya – geographic center of Buddhism where Siddhartha Guatama attained enlightenment sitting under Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa) and became Buddha. McLeod Ganj (and nearby Dharamsala in Indian Himalayas) – the home of Dalai Lama and the main seat of the exiled Tibetan government. The region of Ladakh (also known as Indian Tibet) where one can still find untouched magnificent Buddhist temples and monasteries. And many, many more Buddhist temples of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.
The statue of Buddha, Sukhothai, Thailand Walking around the temple with the big Bodhi The statuette of Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew,
Tree in the middle of it people pick up Bangkok, Thailand
each falling leaf Bodgaya, India
Novice monks, Luang Prabang, Laos Buddha Maitreya, Chamba monastery, Basgo, Ladakh, India
R: The bronze statue of one of the six Devas known as ‘The Offering of the Six Devas’ (here the offering is a flower, a symbol of charity), Tian Tan Buddha, Honk Kong
Thekchhok Gompa, Chemrey Valley, Ladakh, India Chowkhang Gompa, Leh, Ladakh, India
Chamba Gompa, Basgo, Ladakh, India Thien Tru Pagoda ‘Heavenly Kitchen’ in the complex of temples
called Perfume Pagoda, close to Hanoi, Vietnam
XIV Dalajlama after giving a lecture, vicinity of Dharamsala, Indian Himalayas
Hindu temples of Khajuraho and Hampi in India. Holy ghats on the Ganges in Varanasi, the oldest living city in the world. Famous Kalighat Kali Temple in Calcutta. Rishikesh – the yoga capital of the universe! And reclaimed from the jungle and gradually restored to its former splendour amazing Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia.
L: One of the temples in Khajurajo, India
M: Hanuman: a Hindu deity and a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana, Hampi, Central India
R: Nyatapola Temple devoted to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ghats on the Ganges in Varanasi, India Holy cows cooling down in the Ganges, Varanasi, India
Portable altar of Sadhu: a Hindu wandering ascetic, Varanasi, India Eastern gate of Angkor Thom, Cambodia
L: Ficus benglhalensis, known also as banyan or banian, entirely covers one of the Angkor Wat temples, Cambodia
M: At the entrance to Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission (Ramakrishna was a Hindu mystic and spiritual master living in XVIII century), Calcutta, India
R: Pilgrims getting across the bridge over the Ganges, Rishikesh, India
Hindu mini-temple Hindu mini-temple Ten-armed goddess Mahakali or the Great Kali
The biggest in India, majestic Jama Masjid in Dheli (Friday Mosque) and many other mosques of semidesert Rajasthan.
Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), the biggest Muslim temple in India, Delhi
Pre-Slavic stone circle in Węsiory in Poland and Stonehenge in England that once might have been a temple of the cult of the sun. Cities, temples and cult places of the Americas that are a living reminder of former greatness of its indigenous people and their belief systems: Aztecs – Teotihuacán (Mexico); Mayans – Palenque (Mexico) and Tikál (Guatemala); Zapotecs – Monte Albán (Mexico); Incas – Machu Picchu (Peru) and Isla del Sol ‘Island of the Sun’ on the Lake Titicaca where reportedly was born the god Viracocha, the sun Inti and the first Incas (Bolivia); mysterious geoglyphs of Nazca indians (Nazca lines). And finally holy places for Aborigines: Uluru and Kata Tjuta rock formations located in the very heart of Australia.
Stonehenge, England Machu Picchu, Peru
A view from the Inca temple on the top of Low relief Palenque, southern Mexico
the island of Amantaní, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Tikál, Guatemala Monte Albán, Mexico
Kata Tjuta, also known as Olgas, central Australia Uluru, aslo known as Ayers Rock, central Australia
Lotus Temple in Delhi that is open for followers of all religions, emphasizing the spiritual unity of entire human race. And Auroville – an experimental township founded by Mirra Alfassa where all its citizens are to live in peace and harmony regardless of creed, race and nationality, realizing the concept of human unity.
Lotus Temple, Delhi, India Matrimandir (in Sanskrit ‘Temple of the Mother’), Auroville, India