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Why home made food is more nourishing

I was brought up in a family where we  were not allowed to eat any thing from out side, not even snacks and sweets. Every  item including sweetmeats  and snacks were made at home.  I never understood the reason but followed the advice. As I grew up I did take the liberty of sharing  food with friends, bought from hawkers or bakery. Later rules were slackened and  we had no hesitation in eating out or buying snacks from hawkers. My parents however, remained steadfast in their resolution.

Many years later I understood the logic behind eating home made food. When housewife prepares food for family her thoughts of love and affection go into food. Besides high level of hygiene is maintained. These two vital components are missing in eatables bought from outside. Hygiene is certainly a suspect in eatables sold by way side hawkers, snack and sweet makers. ( I had peeped into kitchens of several small eating places and found workers sweating under cramped space, walls darkened with smoke and insects crawling around.) Hygiene of kitchen staff even in star hotels is  also suspect though it may not be true in all cases , especially reputed hotels and restaurants.  But one thing certainly can not be substituted and that is love and affection of housewife preparing food for family. This is one single factor that  adds to nourishment . Physical  stress and mental   makeup  of Kitchen Staff in any eating establishment affects the dishes prepared. This will also hold true for cooks employed at home.

A great new initiative in Mumbai  for door  delivery of all ingredients for a recipe is a welcome move. The housewife has to only cook the ready made ingredients by following the recipe. It saves her time for shopping , storing ingredients and preparatory work before cooking . She adds all the love and affection while cooking.   Her thoughts count and that is vital part of nourishment. Please visit

www.burgundybox.in

Happiness

Why have you abandoned your dreams and turned your back on      
                                             HAPPINESS

                                      

  By courtesy of  Author Ligia Houben

As you read this question, you may feel your heart beating a little faster, as it may resonate with you.

If you are like me, you may have dreams you want to fulfill and goals you want to achieve. It is what inspires us to have a purposeful life.
You may create castles in the sky just imagining how your life would be if you became the person you want to be. You may wish being able to use your personal power and overcome that obstacle that is keeping you stuck. Moreover, you may hope being more grateful for what you have, instead of dwelling on what you do not have in your life. These are just a few possibilities that if you acted on them, would make you happier.

However, time passes by, and these dreams stay only as ideas in your head. What makes you wait? What is making you turn your back on happiness? Life is short and frail, and the moment to act is now! Not tomorrow or next year. It is not when all the stars are aligned, and the weather is perfect. It is not when you start feeling better, or your luck improves. It is not when your loved one changes and you are in a better mood. No…the moment is now! It has been said that if we lived like it was our last day, we would make different choices. We wouldn’t waste time in complaining, fighting, or envying others for their happiness. We are responsible for our happiness, and that is the beauty.

We can do something about it! It just takes a moment to make the decision and start being the person you want to be and achieve happiness. Start making meaningful choices every single day, and you will see how your life changes; how your life is being transformed. It may not happen in a week or a month. It doesn’t matter. What brings deep happiness to your life is to know you are doing something about it! You are taking action. You are not a spectator in this grandiose theater that is life. You are an actor and a great one! One with purpose, with love, with compassion, and with hope for a brighter future!Remember Your Life Has Meaning!

About the Author

Ligia M. Houben, MA, CG-C, CPC, CHT

Life Transitions Consultant & Coach

Grief & Loss Specialist-Author-Speaker

7600 SW 57th Ave. St 211

Miami, Fl 33143

305-666-9942/305-299-5370

www.ligiahouben.com

www.the11PrinciplesofTransformation

 

Yogic Cure for Cervical Spondylitis

By Dr. Archana Sharma,( Professional Trainer.)

(Post Graduation in Yogic Science & Human Excellence from Dev Sanskrit University, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Ph.D in Yogic Modules for Psychological Problems of Corporate Personnel. )

Cervical Spondylitis is caused by long term degeneration and stiffness of the spinal column in the neck.

The symptoms of this problem is pain, muscular spasm in the back of the neck and shoulders.

Headache is also very common symptom. Sometimes pain radiates in the shoulders, neck and arms.

Yogic management

Yoga asana can reduce stiffness , tension and muscular spasm. Yoga asana  is also helpful in preventing further degeneration, boosting energy and balancing  specific part of the body to heal the tissues and stop  abnormality in bone .

Asana :– Following asans should be practiced:

Poorna butterfly( Full butterfly ),       Skhandha Chakra (Shoulder
Rotation),     Greeva Sanchalan (Neck Movement),.   The neck movement should be performed carefully

.Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose),     Shashankasna (Hare pose), Makarasana (Crocodile pose),     Marjari asana (Cat stretch pose). In cat  stretch, be careful of neck movement,    Shavasna (corpse pose)

These asnas should  be performed slowly and later a little rapidly if there is  pain free movement.

Pranayama:- Nadishodhan Pranayam (Psychic Network purification, without retention and with retention both.)

Dhyan (Meditation):- Kaya sthairyam (Body awareness)  and Yoga Nidra ((psychic sleep)

Diet :- Avoid all food which increases uric acid  level in bones.

Dr Archana can be contacted on email,

 archana.yoga05@gmail.com

 

Unbelievable life of Baba Lokenath

Baba Lokenath Brahmchari  lived for 160 years, from 1730 to 1890. He was born in a  remote village in West Bengal.At the age of 11 he along with his bosom friend , Benimadhav, were initiated into spiritualism by 60 year old Guru Bhagwan Ganguly. Starting from Kalighat, famous  Kali Temple, they moved to Jungles  and practiced Hath Yoga for 35 years, living stark naked. Then they traveled to Himalayas and did Sadhna ( spiritual practice ) for 45 years. After attaining enlightenment and living in snowy peaks, completely naked, and having mastered practices of Hindu Traditions proceeded to Mecca  & Medina for study of Holy Koran. Walking on foot from Himalayas they reached Kabul. They were invited by Mollasadi, a great scholar of Holy Koran to stay with him. Baba studied Koran under guidance of Mollasadi.  In Arabian Desert they met a spiritualist of high  attainment by name Abdul Gaffar. He was 400 years old.  The two seers of truth exchanged their experiences of the highest spiritual plane with each other.  Baba Lokenath believed  in universality of all  religions. Baba`s statement that I am a Musalman ( Muslam Immam ) and reference to Abdul Gaffar as a Brahmin has deep spiritual significance.When the 3 Yogis reached Medina, a large number of people were drawn to Lokenath by his strong spiritual presence and mastery of Koran.After this visit ,  Baba Lokenath made 2 more trips to Mecca & Medina.

Returning to Himalayas they stayed for 6 years in Badrinath to get accustomed to cold before proceeding to Mahaprasthan, the path Pandavas took for final retreat as described in epic Mahabharata. Exposure to cold for 6 years had developed a white sheet on their bodies as protection from cold.  Baba had also mentioned to his disciples about his travel to Mansrovar, Tibet, China and Siberia from where they moved further northwards to ” land of no sun” It took them few days to get used to darkness when their eyes could see like a cat. During their stay they met unusual human beings, very short in height  ranging from one to one and half feet.

Baba Lokenath also traveled on foot to some parts of Europe.

Returning back to India, Baba settled down in Baradi , a small village near Decca ( now in Bangladesh .) A disciple had built an Ashram for him.  Baba spent remaining period of his life in Ashram, covering his body with a white sheet and sitting in ” Gomukh Asan “ He never blinked his eyes or slept. Many devotees were benefited, materially and spiritually, by his blessings. He took ” Samadhi” at the age of 160.

Note: Any error in above post, due to lack of my understanding, on reading book on Baba  Lokenath`s life, is regretted. For full and correct understanding of Baba`s life please read the book and see website mentioned below.

Website: www.babalokenath.org   and a published book 

” The    incredible life of a Himalayan Yogi ”

There is also an Ashram in Bageshwar, Uttarakhand.

Destiny

Can destiny be changed ? Yes & NO. If predestined it can change. That means it was destined. The topic was discussed on 4th July `15 on TV as conversation between Brahm Kumai Shivani and Suresh Oberoi . It was concluded that every event is predestined and cannot be changed. Those soothsayers who say  they can change a man`s destiny are only misleading  gullible people. There was an astrologer in the court of a king who became unpopular with his blunt predictions. The king decided to kill him but before doing so asked him to predict his death.The astrologer was clever and said, ” he would die an hour before Kings death.” The king   dropped his plan to kill him. The astrologer was not destined to die that day.

There are many examples. Novelist, Hemingway escaped 2 aircraft crashes  but died when he fell in his bathroom. He was not destined to die in air crash.  Recently a passenger booked for travel in Malaysian Airline missed his flight and another wait listed passenger was accommodated. The aircraft crashed. One who missed the flight was not destined to die but one who got in at the last minute  was  destined to die.

I can cite from my own experience. In August 1975 I had to travel with family by car from Patna to Samastipur. The driver did not report in time. I decided to drive myself. About an hour later while driving on the highway I crashed into a Tractor which was taking a U Turn in the middle of the road and suddenly stopped. The car hit its rear tyre which burst with impact but we were unhurt due to cushioning effect of  rubber. It was destined that in absence of driver  I would drive the car and meet with an accident. On another occasion I had acute cervical pain but had to travel by night train to Samastipur. My wife came up to station to persuade me to stay  back but I ignored her advice. That very night Patna got flooded by overflowing rivers and my wife left home with children by car before the house got submerged in water. Next day when she reached Samastipur I was very angry with her for abandoning the house and our entire assets. If I had stayed back that night I would have shifted all valuables to the roof and stayed in the open. The flood water receded after 14 days and those who stayed on roof tops had to suffer with frequent rain, lack of food and sanitation facility. We were destined to lose total assets but escaped misery.

Astrologers put ads on internet  for free horoscope reading. I wrote to two of them and both predicted that vast fortune awaited me due to rare planetary combination.  But added that I need to be guided by them on payment of  their professional charges. I scoffed at their proposal and wrote to them that if I were destined to get vast fortune I would still get without any guidance.

Is there a God

Is there a God? Are there several Gods of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jews. Jains, Buddhists? This question has been raised in Amir Khan`s movie PK. He is an Alien and lands on earth without a stitch of cloth on his body.He is  wearing a Locket which  has a sensor for transmission of signals to his spaceship. It looks like a precious jewel.The first human he meets robs him of the Locket..He can no longer  go back to his planet unless he finds the Locket. In his search he was told ” Only God can help you”. He found that humans pray to different Gods as per dictates of their respective religion to seek favours.   He goes to temple, mosque, church and gurdwara  and prays to get his Locket.. He does not get it and wonders which God can help him. He finds a Godman and seeks an answer. The Godman turns out to be a fraud and exposed like we have seen in real life over last few decades.
Who is God? What is God? Where is God? How to realise God?

Dr.V.K.Sahu,M.Sc. Ph.D., a scientist , in   Mumbai had circulated a paper on this subject in year 2000.   A few selected portions  are reproduced below:

Man`s body is a God`s temple- the body, that is but dust; the soul, it is bud of eternity; and God, seen through senses is a matter; God, seen through  ego and intellect is Mind; But, God seen through the Spirit or Soul is Atma or Self or God Himself- the eternal never changing Absolute. Therefore this self enquiry into the innermost self evolves into the state of absorption of the sense, mind intellect and ego into the self and leads man to liberation from the bondage and gives him all Bliss, Consciousness  and Divine Knowledge of God`s existence. And certainly God exists and is the only Reality and he is our Creator, Saviour and Redeemer. You can experience him by Love, Feelings, Meditation and Self Realization.

As it is difficult to visualise God in any form, Saints have meditated on Deities. Ramakrishna meditated on Goddess Kali and communicated with Her. Baba Lokenath Brahmchari ( who lived for 160 years from 1730 to 1890 ) was gifted with divine grace and got enlightened after 80 years of spiritual journey. He traveled to Mecca  & Medina on foot and had deep knowledge of Holy Koran. Though he was a Hindu he also called himself Musalman which is derived from Mussalam Imman which means one in which there is total divinity.   He had  followers of both religions. ( www.babalokenath.org) A Guru is needed for guidance. It is a question of faith. All religions lead to same God though paths of each religion may be different. One can choose one`s path. There should be no conflict between followers of different religions.

Agassisz also writes: ” I will frankly tell you that my experience in prolonged scientific investigation convinces me that belief in God. a  God   that is behind and within the chaos of vanishing points of human knowledge – adds a wonderful stimulus to the man who attempts to penetrate into the regions of the unknown ”

” Geo Macdonald, ” How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource: We go to him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but also the desired heaven”

Bacon,” They that deny a God, destroy man`s nobility; for clearly man is kin to the beasts by his body, and he be not kin to God by his Spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.”

God is therefore one of the names which we give to that Eternal, Infinite, and incomprehensible Being , the Creator of all things, who preserves and governs every thing by his almighty power and wisdom, and who is the only object of our worship. Thus God is a Spirit, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. Absolute Existence and Absolute Knowledge are all synonymous and mean the “Same As I “

8 steps of yoga & Asanas

Yoga is a quite misunderstood word. Mostly it is believed to be a set of body  postures as routine exercise for keeping fit. It has much deeper meaning.

Yoga- the ancient science of living was developed in India about 5000 years back and  flourished in the next 2000 years  as philosophy of life. Yoga was developed to full fledged science by the learned Saint Rishi Patanjali in 300 BC.He defined Yoga in 8 steps called Ashtang Yoga. Doing Asanas or bdy postures  alone is not complete yoga but a part of it. Meditation in true  sense is only possible if each step is followed, stage by stage.

1) Yama or Rules or Regulations:( Non violence, truth, non stealing, celibacy and self restraint, non hoarding.)

2) Niyama or Observation:( Purity, Cleanliness, Contentment, Devotion to God, Self learning, Dedication.)

3) Asana or Postures  ( a set of body postures for physical fitness )

4) Pranayama or Controlled Breathing

5) Pratayahara or Control over the sense organs.

6) Dharna or Concentration ( Fixation of mind )

7) Dhayana or Meditation: ( Contemplation,  Concentration )

8) Samadhi or Immortal Stage:( Ultimate knowledge and control over bodily functions and mind )

ASANAS

There are 12 basic Asanas as shown below but with variations they number more than one hundred.

 

12 basic asanas

 How many Asanas one should do every day. A posting on the Face Book gives a view.

” I was fortunate to go for an intensive yoga retreat in the Himalayas a few years back. Some things I learned from that experience and my own practice that I thought I’d share for International Day of Yoga–
(1) Not all asanas are meant for all people, and moreover each asana has infinite variations and you have to find the one that is appropriate for you. I can do a 90-minute session of yoga with only 3 asanas, and it’s much more effective than hurriedly cycling through a laundry list of asanas.
(2) There is a place for ‘flow’ yoga where you quickly transition from one asana to another, but for the most part, it is best to do hold an asana for as long as possible, to let it do its work on your body and psyche, and then to do shavasana in between so that your being fully absorbs the previous asana before moving to the next one. You should be in rested mode before starting a new asana.
(3) Yoga should not be made into cardiovascular exercise. It is about deep breathing, calm and complete equanimity within. You can sweat and have a high heart rate and burn lots of calories, but that is not the focus.
(4) Yoga is not about what it looks like; it’s about what it feels like.
(5) Ultimately, yoga is a solitary practice and not very conducive to large class formats.”

Haidakhan Baba

In 1979 I was fortunate to have `Darshan` of Babaji at Haidakhan, a hill side Ashram, about 30km away from Haldwani in Uttarkhand, Since then I have been his follower, In him I saw a Guru and God, Later my family joined me in visiting Ashram to receive blessings from Babaji. Whenever Babaji visited Delhi we all went for his `Darshan` and  blessings. We have been following his teachings of  Truth, Simplicity & Love. We were fortunate that Babaji visited our home in Delhi in 1981 and blessed us,

Babaji took `Samadhi` in 1984. But his presence is always felt. We kept visiting Ashrams in Haidakhan and Ranikhet, I was lucky to have worked for Ashram at Ranikhet as Chief Advisor to Chaiman of Samaj from 2010 to 2013, The Ashram runs charitable Hospitals, both allopathic and ayurvedic , largely for the benefit of poor.

Though Babaji never went overseas  his devotees are from all over the world. The Ashrams are being run in several countries. The devotees from all over the world assemble at Indian Ashram during celebrations of Devi Puja. Young generation who have never seen Babaji in physical form visit Ashrams inspired by divine vision. Please see

http://www.haidakhandisamaj.org

His teachings ( text copied from websites on Baba )

“I have come to give, only to give. Are you ready to receive? I give everything but few ask for what I have really come to give.”


People often ask me about teachings of Sri Babaji. It is quite difficult to answer, for Sri Babaji’s teachings encompass all levels of consciousness, from gross material to the highest liberated (nirbikalpa samadhi) and devotional – bhakti (prema) ones.

He teaches and guides His disciples according to their level of attainment. Being Shiva Avatara (manifestation of original form of Shiva – Sadasiva), He also teaches Bhakti Yoga and bestows Hari Nama and much, much more.

His imparts needed lessons in a most practical and down-to-earth ways. He doesn’t appreciate intellectual knowledge all that much, it is experiences that He wants from His disciples, not mere dry mental speculations.

From the beginning of time, He is present in this material plane, He is immortal, always physically available to the chosen few. With sincerity, however, anyone can reach Him either physically or on inner planes through Śiva Pancaakshari Mantra, Om namah Shivaya.

Wherever His disciples may be, Sri Babaji is willing to reach and lovingly assist them through materialization of His from, or through the inner voice. His Love and caring knows no limits.

Sri Babaji Himself is a perfect example of teachings of Truth, Simplicity and Love and calls for His disciples to practice the same. Time and again He emphasize the equality of all religions:

“There is only one Truth … God is Truth.”

Never, not even once have I heard Him say anything negative against any spiritual path or against any religious doctrine. His flexibility, openness and Love are really unfathomable.

What most of us just read and talk about, He lives. He is practical Master of Love and Wisdom, always detached and completely transparent in His actions.

The presence of Sri Babaji makes it possible for divine Love to be realized every single moment. Thoughts such as “I” and “mine” dissolve away and a sense of united humanity become an everyday experience.

“In the past people had difficulty being humane. It is to bring the message of humanity that I have taken on a body.”

Indeed, around Sri Babaji there is no room for racial, caste or religious distinctions. Rich and poor, scholars and illiterates are all the same to Sri Babaji, who shows us all how to live with love and respect for one another.

Karma Yoga and Nama Japa, repetition of God’s Name are the fundamental parts of Sri Babaji’s teachings, given forth in His last public manifestation from 1970 to 1984:

“Have faith! Reciting the Name of the Lord is not the first, but the last stage of spiritual practice! When lions enter the forest, the other animals run away. Likewise, all evil thoughts will vanish with the recitation of the Lord’s name. Reciting the Name of the Lord will bring you the company of a good people and you will be near saints. Blessed are the few who will discard the kingdom of the world for the Lord’s name. Such a devotee always resides in My heart.”

Sri Babaji
Sri Babaji

Shiva Avatara, Bhole Baba – Simple father

“In the womb, you take a vow not to get attached; but as soon as you come out, you get entangled. Abandon attachment! Your mind plays tricks on you! That is why you are after pleasures! All worldly things – including the desire for liberation – are obstacles to which you are attached. If you want divine peace, leave behind ignorant karma.”

 

Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is a common disease as person ages. Doctors tend to prescribe  medicine to control it while changes in lifestyle can control it. Once on medication, one gets addicted to it. My Blood Pressure at age 40 was 130/90 and I was told to take Beta Blocker 25mg. The dose was increased to 50 mg when I was 50. When I was in 60s I had fluctuating Blood Pressure, some times going as high as 180/100. More medicines were added and  I ended up taking 4 different drugs to keep Blood Pressure under 120/80. Now at the age of 80+ I have started reducing dosage by half by following a regimented life. I hope to discontinue all allopathic medicines by  this year end. I am changing  to some herbal  medicines which has helped in reducing dosage of allopathic medicine.

Primary Blood Pressure can be controlled without medicine. In case of secondary Blood Pressure caused by some other ailment, itis to be treated differently.Normal Blood Pressure average is 120/80 ( with the upper number 120 being the pressure at the end of heart beat( systolic ) the lower number 80 ( diastolic ) is the pressure at the beginning of heart beat. If Blood Pressure is 140/90 or above it is termed Hypertension. Hardening of arteries with age is the main cause of High Blood Pressure. Lifestyle and dietary  habits can  prevent hardening of arteries. Narrowing of arteries because of formation of plaques is another cause of high Blood Pressure. Herbal supplements are available to unclog plaques and arrest rise in Blood Pressure.

There are 4 main chemicals in allopathy to control Blood Pressure but each one has side effects .

Prayer as cure

Faith is the biggest healer. Even medication wont work if patient does not have faith in its cure. Miracles have happened though such instances may be few. Prayers have cured a patient when medication failed. There are vibrant temples or other religious places of worship where patients go and pray for cure. One such place is Jageshwar Temple in Kumaon Hills. The priests  , on behalf of patient recite, given number of Mritunjay Mantra ( a mantra for long life ). This Mantra can be also done at home of the patient by a priest but vibration of Jageshwar Temple produce faster results. This is a prevalent belief.

Temples or places of worship have very strong vibrations as multitude devotees visit the place with positive thoughts. Some temples in India have daily collection of millions of rupees , donated  by devotees when their wishes get fulfilled.  Devotees of Saints also donate large funds to trust and one such Saint is Sai Baba of Shirdi. Such sums would not be donated if devotees were not benefited,in monetary terms or any other relief sought.

Group prayers by family members of patient, friends  and members of a sect are also commonly observed.