Month: February 2015
The act of sitting together on the ground and eating seems quite ancient for the present techno-freak generation. A classy dine on the furniture or to sit in front of the television and eat; are few of the recent techniques of eating food. With transformation in living patterns we are going away from the nature and becoming dependent upon the mechanical world i.e. going away from nature to virtual. Yet at few places the bond of togetherness and tradition of sitting together in ‘sukhasana’ to eat is maintained, which in turn is beneficial for healthy living and high thinking.
Let’s make you aware with the pros of this unique habit prevalent at Gurudwaras and temples.
- The continuous movement of the abdominal muscles of bending forward and then becoming straight while eating, facilitates the proper process of digestion.
- The ‘sukhasana’ or ‘padmasana’ posture applies pressure to the lower spine that in turn brings calmness and relaxation.
- This position activates the satiety value and we feel full soon, and it also makes us eat slower due to which overeating is prevented.
- According to leading nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar, eating food while concentrating on every aspect of the food – its smell, taste, texture and how much you are eating is the key to losing weight.
- The sitting postures help to keep our joints supple, flexible and less prone to injuries and degenerative diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Sitting cross legged maintain the blood circulation and the blood is pumped to all the required organs for digestion, much better than the sitting on the chair.
- The act of sitting on the floor and eating calms the mind and body that further leads to warm and blissful bonding among family members.
- In the Holy Koran, it was narrated that the Prophet used to eat (sitting) on the ground. He said: “I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits.” It automatically inculcates the feeling of gratitude and keeps us grounded.
- ‘Sukhasana’ means ‘calmness of body and mind through posture’ which makes us live longer and healthier.
The favourable act is a secret to blissful life and I am sure that none of us would like to compromise with our happiness. So why not go for some cool low furniture with runners and rugs in the room and enjoy the delicious food with friends and family on the floor. Moreover those who sit on the ground are not afraid of falling from the bed!
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
To achieve steadiness and cleanse the mind, body and soul; we adore and praise the supreme Lord and his miraculous creation. Literally, ‘Man’ means mind and ‘Tra’ means wave or vibration, so mantra is a technical practice that enlightens the mental and physiological state. You might have heard about distinct mantra for different deity and purpose. For every puja conducted at home, the Vedic scholars chant so many mantras yet most of us are oblivious to the relevance of chanting mantras and simple recite them in our daily routine. Let’s know them and then chant.
Biological and Spiritual Significance:
- Mantra chanting balances the nervous system and normalizes the hormone production, which in turn maintains the working of the body systems.
- An upsurge in the energy level is attained, which replaces the materialistic thoughts with realization of Almighty.
- It transcends the senses of the body and we feel free from the bond of time and space, thus away from the weight of worries.
- ‘As music has charms to soothe a savage beast, so the spiritual sound of mantra soothes the restless mind’; it soothes our cellular level.
- Mantras awaken our dormant conscious and help us to connect with our spiritual identity; we begin to experience oneness among us and Him.
- It helps us to concentrate on our breathing pattern, whose regulation is a secret for stronger immunity and body balance.
- It won’t work if you don’t do it, so by constant repetition, in group or alone, it will enhance the will power and faith.
- Mantra activates the chemical signals in the body that transforms the unconscious into conscious, automatic into deliberate and mindless into heartfelt.
- Chanting mantras is a conscious method of controlling our moods, and in turn, our frequency and resultant all-around radiance.
- It enhances the concentration level and in turn the memory power enlarges.It acts as a brain stabilizer and one can experience the state of trance by recognizing our own natural state.
The pros of reciting mantras are unlimited and not just few of them mentioned above, but all of it can be experienced if you try it sincerely. No matter from which ever generation you belong, the next time you chant a mantra, do it genuinely and then feel a change within you.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
If the foundation is strong and firm, no matter how many floors are constructed above it, the building will remain intact and strengthening. Similarly the valuable Vedas are the base of knowledge and is the mirror of all education. People might say that the generations today believe on scientific revelations and rational thoughts of school, yea we agree to it but the eternal truth remains significant forever. Our scientific and technological progress may be huge, but the bases of knowledge have been received from our holy Vedas and will act as a guiding torch for many more generations, yet to come.
Relevance of Vedas for present age:
Hoping for community welfare rather than individual gain has always been the message. If every individual holds the perspective of viewing One eternal power within every being than most of the issues will automatically be resolved. The act of Universal brotherhood is an immediate necessity for regaining the peace and humanity on this planet.
Attributes of Universe:
The name may be different but the ultimate source is One. Vedas reveal the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent traits of the powerful energy. He is one utmost source who is formless and eternal. He was, is and will forever be. Becoming aware with this universal truth and accepting His presence each moment makes the being fearless and inculcates the deep faith on His presence.
Just like a candle brightens the entire room, similarly the enlightened soul gives direction to the mind and body. God, soul and matter-always exist; weapon cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot spoil it, and air cannot dry it. As the soul keeps on changing the outer physical appearance, but its original traits remains constant. If each one of us comprehends this enlightening truth, then there will be no differentiation on the basis of caste, creed, colour, appearance, religion and so on.
Vedic thought holds that the best instrument of knowledge is the silent mind. As per the Vedic sciences, serene and pure mind is capable of going beyond name, form, number, time, place and person or it would just be another object or entity in the outer world. This shows that there is much above physical reality and the appropriate instrument for knowing the universal Being is not a limited instrument which looks externally, like a telescope, but the silent mind that is able to see within.
Elimination of Delusions:
Vedas has a commendable source of knowledge, which is relevant for ages. Even the earlier misconceptions about ghosts, occult powers and man worshipping every creature out of fear; the turmoil was eliminated with the rational Vedic sciences. Still the presence of evil energies is dominant over the planet but the blinds can be removed by the light of knowledge-Brahma. The presence of fake gurus may dispel us from the path of spirituality but we have to be cautious and aware.
In the Vedic sciences, human well-being is defined as the harmony of body, mind, prana and soul (Atman or Purusha). The natural healing process by recognising the underlying vital energies is the secret to well-being. Today we might have advanced in medical sciences, but the bases lies in the Vedas and holds all the thoughts behind the cosmic life force of development. Organic and natural systems of progress or healing are far better than the artificial processes.
Jyotish or Vedic astrology is aimed at helping us understand how the various matter of the Universe i.e. the lights of the stars and planets affects our own bodies and minds and the fate of our world as a whole. It comprehends the knowledge of karmic influences on us, and how the heavenly bodies have their varied effects. Few might say that astrology is illogical but still few of the actions that go beyond expressions and understanding become a part of new physics. If we recognize that the universe is pervaded by consciousness, we can recognize that light ultimately is a power of consciousness, which means that astronomy must recognize astrology.
The ultimate unity of science and spirituality through Vedas can act as a guiding torch for achieving the ultimate destination of supreme truth. By learning the secrets of Vedas, we can enhance our art of living and improve our lives as per the supreme fathers wish.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
The night of stillness or the great night of Shiva is a largely celebrated festival among Hindus. Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of ‘Maagha’ according to the Hindu calendar. Among all the 12 Shivratris that occur throughout the year, Mahashivratri holds the utmost spiritual significance. The absolute formless God, Sadashiv appeared in the form of “Lingodbhav Moorti” exactly at midnight on Maha Shivratri, due to which all the Shiva devotees perform “Shivlingam abhishekham” at midnight.
- As per renowned stories, the auspicious ‘Samudra Manthan’, where lord Shiva drank the poison ‘Halahala’ to save the entire humanity from evil destruction; marks the celebration of this event on this day.
- Another legend reveals, once a hunter waited on the wood apple tree for his hunt, in the meanwhile he started throwing leaves on the ground. Oblivious to the presence of Lingam on the ground, Lord Shiva was pleased with the patience and dedication of the hunter and blessed him with wisdom.
- It was said that once Goddess Parvati pledged Lord Shiva to save the Earth from destruction, in return lord Shiva kept a condition that the devotees will worship him with complete faith and dedication. On this day devotees express their gratitude through enthusiastic prayers.
As per the research, the Northern hemisphere is positioned in such a way that there is a natural upsurge of energy in beings. The fundamental of this night long festival marks the gain of natural energies into our body and soul. Beings who want to proceed ahead on the path of spirituality, offer special prayers on this day and become still with the stable Lord. After many millennia in meditation, the day when supreme Lord becomes stable is Mahashivratri. This day provides enhancement possibilities to the yogic seekers.
Mahashivratri is not only a ritual but a cosmic definition to the Universe. It dispels ignorance by spreading the light of knowledge, and blesses the beings with wisdom and happiness.
Adoring and praising the creation of supreme Lord begets gratitude in the mortal beings. But in a world, where biasedness prevails in terms of caste, religion, colour, dialect and so on; the human beings have disregarded almighty and his beautiful creation. The true essence of humanity and kindness is overshadowed in the presence of abhorrence, cruelty and self-centred traits. Remembering those lovely lines of a poet, “Ek Umar Bhi Kam Hai Pyaar Ke Liye; Log Kaha Se Samay Nikal Lete Hai Nafrat Ke Liye”; meaning- Life is too short for love; where do people get time for hatred.
Getting far away from the base of life, we are indulged in the glittering world of materialism; i.e. the major cause of troubles and grief in our lives. When the matured beings are parting from the devotional feelings of remembering God then imagine the deteriorating culture among the new generations.
Yet here we highlight the worth of remembering God by adhering the holy Vedas and how they prove to be beneficial for us.
Significance of Vedic Worship:
Our Vedas are the source of living on the spiritual path, towards the supreme destination of existence. Performing the worship according to the rites and rituals helps us to celebrate and honour life every moment and also seek His blessings for prosperity and physical or mental well-being. The Vedic worship includes a combination of Mantra (recitation of Vedic mantras), Yantra (meditation on mystical representation of subtle energies) and Tantra (rituals of worship).
- The worship includes all the five Panchamahabhutas or the five elements of fire, water, earth, air and ether that represents the presence of ‘macro world’ within our ‘micro world’.
- It brings happiness and longevity in life by seeking the grace of Supreme Lord.
- By performing the worship, positive ambience is created by rejuvenating the entire space.
- Pujas and Homas being self-healing meditation techniques benefit an individual with a more ideal state of mind and body.
- It increases harmony in the family creating a significant decrease in emotional numbness.
- Vedic worship radiates increased IQ, better moral reasoning and emotional maturity among the people, who perform it.
- It is a self-cleansing ceremony that leads to active brain functioning, decreased cardiovascular disease and improved general health and blissful long life.
Most importantly, the worship as per Vedic rituals leads the devotees to seek fruitful blessings of the creator more than the latest short cut ways, available nowadays. No matter how far we progress, the realization and awareness about omnipresent and omniscient God is an essential dose for mortal life; and thanking Almighty every moment enlightens the humans on the spiritual path.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
“Na ca saknomy avasthatum bhramativa ca me manah nitmittani ca pasyami viparitani kesava”; meaning- O Krishna, I am unable to keep composed; my mind is unsteady, and I see dire indications of inauspicious omens.” The supreme Krishna guided the perplexed Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and the direct gospel from the lips of Lord Krishna holds significance in our daily lives and provides solutions to everyday troubles.
The 700 shlokas across 18 chapters as a part of epic Mahabharata highlights the Vedantic views, which needs to be imbibed in our lives. The core philosophies of karma, dharma, reincarnation, atman, brahman, maya and moksha forms the basis of the teachings of Krishna.
In the beginning of the chapter, the act of knowing your true self i.e. leaving apart the physical body and materialistic possessions that are delusion, identify your higher self or eternal soul. When man is free from the effect of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, anxiety and other such emotions; then he completely connects with the supreme power and stays neutral and contented at every situation in life.
Be in the moment:
Gita explains about the relevance of cherishing the journey more than the final destination. Whatever field you have mastered in, the pleasure of creating yourself up to that level is more inspiring and beautiful than the final end of creation. So be it any phase of life, if you live in that very moment without being judgemental about results, the greed and curiosity for more, vanishes.
Gita highlights the necessity of weighing everyone at the same level, be it friends or foe. “He alone sees truly who sees God in every creature he does not harm himself or others.” If the Supreme father doesn’t discriminate among all his kids, then how can we mortal beings perform against the law of nature? As the feelings of acceptance indulges the flower of love blooms within us and provides the strength to treat everyone as One human family.
Be cautious about your actions:
Lord Krishna explains Arjuna that every situation in our life is the result of our prior actions; fate and destiny need not to be blamed. Think about what you are doing right now, as your present actions decides your future results. The beautiful life is a gift of God, utilise it now and get rid of your flaws within time.
Have faith on HIM:
Almighty is infinitely more, beyond what can be seen, felt, heard by our physical senses; so it’s pointless to be thoughtful about every action on this planet. Have faith on his supreme blessings and say ‘I am in you and you are in me’. This bestows you with strength that prevents you to get trapped in the vicious circle of life.
Perform your duty:
“You might like another’s duty, and dislike yours. But still, do your own duty, and not another’s, even if you can do another’s duty very well. Or you’ll go on being caught up in the field of opposites. And there will be no end to your suffering.” It is much easier to become a hermit and stay in forest, leaving your family and responsibilities; but the true challenge is to perform your duties within the world of illusion and stay connected to the true self every second.
Act good, the lord is watching:
As a watch keeper, the Lord is aware about every act you perform. We can fool other mortals but not the supreme power. So be true to yourself and act wisely, without expecting the fruitful results, as it is your journey that matters. Gita says that you keep doing your duty in the best way you can and there will always be bigger power that will protect the truth. In short, never stop your war against injustice just because your enemy look so formidable. ‘In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of truth, I advent Myself time to time.’
The elements of Bhagvad Gita has been inspiring from the life of Mahatma Gandhi to Robert Oppenheimer, so why not you. Each one of us is Arjuna on the karmic battlefield of life, and the teachings of Lord guide us to win the battle against our own blood relations.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja