Tuesday, December 31, 2013

OM - The Mystic Sound

OM :
OM is most sacred sound of Hinduism and also referred as Omkaram. In Sanskrit it is described as Pranava-Nadha means primary or root for all sounds. It should be pronounced as A-U-M. Every mantra in Hinduism OM is added at the beginning and ending phrases to acquire power to that mantra.

Cultural belief:
Hindus believe that the letters (A-U-M) in OM represents 'Trimurthi' (Lord Shiva,Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma) . The sound removes all sorts of worries,sins and brings inner peace to chanter.  OM is Un-Manifested form of Lord.Om is considered as origin,center and end of everything. Om is the only sound that makes a person to reach peak of spiritual life and shows supreme reality. The planets which revolve around the sun make a noise which is called as OM.  Chanting sacred OM synchronizes the body with the vibration of the universe.OM is considered as NAME and FORM of absolute.Chanting OM purifies the mind,soul and creates inner peace. Ancient texts state that OM is 'Anahata Nada' (The sound that is not produced by striking two objects). According to the Maitri Upanishad OM represents the primeval vibration of Universe, OM is the Center of the Universe. OM is the seed of infinite knowledge.

Interesting facts:

  • Om is considered as mother of all mantras and treated as sound of all sounds.
  • OM represents three levels of consciousness(waking, dreaming, deep sleep).
  • OM represents the past, the present, and the future in the Mandukya Upanishad.
  • OM represents A - conscious, U - subconscious, M - unconscious
  • OM is the mantra used in meditation to focus the mind.
  • OM is a combination of a vowel(A-U) along with a nasal consonant(Mmmm..).
  • OM makes respiratory rate equal to the rate in balanced and relaxed state.
Scientific Reasons:
  • Chanting OM(A-U-M) produces nitric acid and brings more oxygen to the body.
  • Electro-Magnetic waves are generated in the body.
  • chanting OM gives creativity and happiness.
  • Sound waves of OM transforms water into 'Sri Yantra' Which was explained scientifically using Cymantics phenomena.
  • Chanting OM regenerates and gives new life to body cells and acts as an anti aging agent.
  • The vibration effects prominent change on the endocrine glands.
  • The sound gives power to heart,lungs,free blood circulation, digestion and acts as a detoxifying agent.
  • Chanting OM makes breath slow and steady in a controlled manner and relieves stress.
  • Allopathic research has stated that chanting of vowels and nasal constants (A-U-M) produces interleukin-2 in the body, which has power to suppress pain and reduces tension, anxiety and fear.
  • Chanting OM increases physiological alertness and increased sensitivity to the sensory transmission.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Lord Shani - Deliverance of justice

Lord Shani:

Planet Saturn is called as Lord Shani and weekday Saturday is dedicated to Lord Shanidev.Lord shani is also called as Chayaputra or Raviputra as he is born to Lord Surya and Goddess Chayadevi.'Shani tryodasi' which comes with tryodashi (Lunar day of Hindus) on Saturday, 'Shani Amavasya' which comes on new moon day Saturday are considered as auspicious days for worshiping the Lord. New moon day which comes on Vaishakha or Jyaishta month according to Hindu calendar is considered as the birth anniversary of Lord Saturn. Planet Saturn is powerful giver and destroyer.

Cultural belief:

Lord Shani was believed as a form of Lord Shiva. Lord Yama(death god) is elder brother of Lord Saturn.Shani puja on Saturdays will please Lord Saturn and will be blessed with removal of hardships.Shani Tilabhishekam,Shani Pradosh Vratam,Shani Tila puja,Shani hawan and Shani Shodashopachara poojas  are considered as very much auspicious. Shodashopachara pooja(
16 steps of prayeris considered as the powerful prayer which is explained below.

Achamana — water sipping 3 times for self purification.
Pranayamam - breathing exercise.
Ganapati Prayers — Prayer to Ganesha to remove obstacles.
Kalsha - Inviting waters of all rivers into pot.
Sankalpa — declaration of intent.
Ghanta — Ringing bell(welcoming God)

16 steps of worship:
Dhyana or Avahana - Inviting the Lord Saturn
Asana - offering seat to sit.
Paadhya - offering water to wash the feet.
Aarghya - offering water to wash hands.
Aachamana - offering water to drink.
Madhuparka - offering sweet welcome drink.
Snana - Bathing should be done by pouring sesame oil or full ripe coconut water by reciting Sri Rudram or Purusha Sooktam or Sri Suktam. Pouring oil should be stopped after completion of one of the selected mantras. Unfortunatly, if oil was completed bathing should be continued with coconut water or simply water.
Vastra, Upaveeta - Offering Black Cloth to Lord.
Gandha - Offering Sandalwood paste for fragrance(like scent).
Pushpa - offering flowers with sesame seeds by praying Lord with 108 names('Ashtothara Sathanamavali').
Dhoopa - Lightening incense sticks.
Deepa - Lightening lamp using black wicks or specially made wick using black cloth & sesame seeds.
Naivedya - offering food (Sweet balls made with jaggery and sesame seeds, coconuts or banana's)
Taambula- offering betel leaf with areca nut.
Aarati - offering camphor light.
Mantrapushpa, Pradakshina - offering flower powered by mantra and doing circumambulation.

Interesting facts:

  • Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra is very famous for Lord Saturn, there the God self emerged from earth as black stone.In this village, houses are with no doors.
  • Shri Mandeshwara Temple in East Godavari district,AP is very famous temple where Lord Shiva blessed Lord Saturn for his capabilities.
  • Lord Saturn rides on Iron chariot and mounted on Crow.
  • According to astrology, Lord Saturn in 7th place of Horoscope considered as strong.
  • Aquarius and Capricorn are the zodiac signs ruled by Lord Saturn.
  • Taurus and Libra are the zodiac signs where Lord Saturn is most beneficial.
  • Elinati Shani or Sade Sathi is the period of 7.5 years of transit of Lord Saturn considered as powerful.
  • Peepal tree has strong influence of Lord Saturn so it should be touched only on Saturdays to get positive results. 
  • Prayer of Lord Hanuma with 'Hanuman chalisa' on Saturdays also pleases Lord Saturn.
Scientific Reasons:
  • Astrology connected metal iron to Saturn and called Mandhagaman (means very slow). Science found ferrous (iron) oxide on Saturn.
  • Saturn takes 22.7 years to complete one rotation around sun.
  • In Germany,Scientists observed the room with microscope where group of people chanting 'Sri Rudram'.They found electrons flowed in the room in the form of Shiva Linga.  Mantras like Rudram,sooktam have direct healing and relaxing effect on people in the surroundings.
  • Mr.Sathish Chandra explained power generation using 'Poorusha-Sookta'.
  • Recent researches said that Hanuman Chalisa explains accurate distance between Sun and Earth.
  • If we do head bathing by applying sesame oil all over the body can cure several skin diseases.
  • Sesame seeds contains Vitamin-E, Vitamin-B, Calcium, Magnesium and fiber which give healthy benefits to the body.
  • Black cloth absorbs heat from environment and gives heat to body. Sesame seeds give heat to body.
  • The whole prayer for Lord Saturn passes a valuable healthy habits to generation by generation.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bathing - An Ancient Method of Body Cleaning - II

Bathing is an important daily ritual in Hinduism. Every person belonging to Hinduism will complete the ritual daily 1-3 times. Oil bath(Abhyangana Snanam) is one of the ancient techniques in bathing. Coconut oil, Cow Ghee, Castor oil or sesame oil with a special homemade bath powder(Nalugu Pindi) are used in this special type of bathing. One of the oils is applied on the body and gently massaged to all parts of the body which should be done for 30 minutes. Later after massage, the bath powder is used as the cleansing solution on the body. By this bath, several skin diseases, toxins, bad odors would be eliminated. This bathing benefits with good sleep, nourishes the skin, improves digestion and gives strength to all parts of the body.

Cultural Beliefs:
 According to Ancient texts, there are 5 types of bath.
1)'Nitya snan': Normal bathing ritual which is performed daily.
2)'Nimittika snan': This is performed after completion of certain types of situations like after eclipse, vomiting, saloon, bad dreams, sex, touching bones, visiting cemetery, touching women after pregnancy, touching women at the time of menstrual period, touching a dead person.
3)'Kamya Snan': Completing bath with a desire like bath while visiting a temple, festivals, important days, Karthika masam, important days.
4)'Mukya Snan': It is subdivided in to 2 types.
  • 'Mantra or Brahmya snan': Sprinkling water which are powered by sacred mantras like Purusha Sookta of Lord Vishnu, Namaka-Chamkam of Lord Shiva, Marjana mantras such as 

  • 'Varunam': This is the normal bath which we daily perform.
5)'Amukya or Gowna Snan' : Taking bath without water. This is subdivided into 5 types.
  • 'Agneya Snan': Taking bath with sacred ash. It is also known as Vibhuti Snan.
  • 'Mruthika Snan': Taking bath with Mud which is available at rivers or mud of snake house/ Hillock. It is also known as mud bath.
  • 'Vayuvya Snan': This snan is like when we  walk in the dust generated by group of cows nearby.     
  • 'Divya Snan': Taking bath in rain which arrives in a bright sunny day. 
  • 'Manasik Snan': Doing meditation by remembering God is considered as sacred bath.
Bathing effects on each week day:
  • Taking head bath on Saturday will fulfill all wishes.
  • Taking head bath on Sunday will increase thirst in the body and creates unwanted desires.
  • Taking head bath on Monday will improve beauty and gives peace.
  • Taking head bath on Tuesday will give sadness.
  • Taking head bath on Wednesday will improves financial assets.
  • Taking head bath on Thursday will give debts.
  • Taking head bath on Friday will give obstacles.
Results of Bathing when some ingredients are added:
  • Oil bath with warm water will make skin soft and regulates blood flow.
  • Sauna or steam bath will clean skin pores and increases oxygen levels in the body.
  • Taking bath using turmeric powder act as antiseptic and anti-bacterial.
  • Taking bath using cow ghee increases life span.
  • Taking bath with holy grass/ Kush grass will eliminate all sins.
  • Taking bath using sandalwood paste increases wealth.
  • Taking bath with Indian gooseberry will eliminates poverty.
  • Taking bath with sesame seeds or white mustard seeds will clear obstacles.
  • Taking bath with gem stones gives victory.
  • Taking bath with gold improves intelligence.
Interesting Facts:
  • Every person while entering into temple sprinkle some water on head as a act of purification and treated as bathing. This type of bathing is known as 'Bramha Snan' and stated in 'Padma-Purana'. It also used in the critical time when ever people had no facility to perform bathing while visiting sacred temples or places.
  • In-front of every popular temple, we see a water body(river, lake, pond, tank, ocean) for the purpose of bathing ritual.
  • Famous Lord Vekateswara Temple in tirumala, we can see water body called as 'pushkarini' considered as sacred and possess mystic energy due to idol bath with sacred mantras were done in the tank it is known as 'Chakra Snanam'.
  • In ancient days, people tested the rain water by collecting rain water in a silver bowl and dipping a small part of cooked rice in the bowel. If the rice was spoiled after sometime in bowel of rain water they will not use the rain water for bathing.
  • Oil bath/Head bath shouldn't be attempt on days of death ceremony, Sunday,Tuesday, Hindu lunar days of 'Padyami, Chavithi, Shahti, Ashtami, Navami, Chaturdasi' stated by 'Sukha Maharshi'.
  • Bathing at the time of 4-5AM is known as 'Rushi Snan' which is considered as auspicious.
  • Bathing at the time of 5-6AM is known as 'Deva Snan' Which is considered as normal.
  • Bathing at the time of 6-7AM is known as 'Manushya Snan' which is considered as least.
  • Bathing after 7AM is known as 'Rakshasa Snan' which worst of all.
  • Bathing in flowing waters like rivers is considered as auspicious. Males should do bath opposite to direction of flowing water.females should stand parallel to flowing water.
  • Bathing in ponds,lakes is considered as normal.
  • Bathing at well considered as least.
Their is a popular belief that taking bath in the waters of Rama Setu(Adams bridge),'Rameshwaram/Dhanshkoti' will be blessed with pregnancy.

Scientific Reasons:
  • Bathing will adjust the energies in our body and makes the energies in our body to flow uniformly and it is known as electro-magnetic activity.
  • Bathing will eliminate dust,toxins on the body, relieves stress,relaxes muscles and reduce body pains.
  • Bathing eliminates bad odor and gives freshness to mind.
  • Many scientists stated that waters of Ram-Setu/Adams bridge contains deposits of Gold, Silver, Aluminum and mercury. Whenever a couple takes bath in the water which are enriched with minerals will have chances of pregnancy in women.
  • River water will carry so many minerals because it flows from hills and touches so many herbal trees. People will be benefited physically and mentally when taken a dip in the sacred rivers.
Read More at :                       

Bathing - An Ancient Method of Body Cleaning - I

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holy Bael Tree / Bilva

Holy Bael Tree:
Holy Beal or Bilwa tree (Aegle marmelos) is sacred tree and used to worship Lord Shiva. Bael tree grows in several countries especially in Asain countries like India it has highest value in religious rituals. It was used as medicine and essential food product from ancient age. Bael tree can sustain different temperatures, PH values of soil and can grow where no other tree take life. Bael fruit taste like citrus fruit. Single leaf is a combination of three or five or seven leaflets.

Cultural Beliefs:
The bael leave considered as the three eyes or trident weapon of Lord Shiva. The bael fruit sometimes referred as Shreephal and worshiped in many hindu houses.

Beal leaves offering to Lord Shiva at the time Mahashivaratri festival is considered as auspicious. Lord Venkateswara also worshipped with beal leaves during Friday. According to Swami Shivananda the beal tree can eliminate diseases caused by imbalance of wind and strengthens immunity system of the body.

According to skanda purana bael tree originated from the sweat of Goddess Lakshmi or Parvathi which was fallen on the mountain Mandra. The beal tree emits positive frequencies and eliminates negative energies in the persons who came near to the tree.

A cruel hunter ‘Gurudruh’ accidentally climbed bilwa tree near a pond to hunt animals which comes to quench their thirst by drinking water in pond. A Shiva linga was there beneath the sacred tree. And It was an auspicious day ‘Maha Shivaratri’. Without sleeping he waited the whole night on the tree and chewed bilwa leaves and dropped the leaves on shiva linga. Without any conscious effort, hunter transformed knowledgeable person and attain moksha with grace of Lord Shiva on auspicious day.

The below verses explains 8 different kinds of medicinal plants which are called as bilvas used to worship god.

Bael tree is very dearer to Goddess Mahalakshmi and offering bael leaf to Goddess Lakshmi on friday is considered as auspicious. Below versus in Sri Sooktam(Hymns of goddess Lakshmi) explains about bael tree.

Interesting Facts:
  • Beal leaf is considered as Three eyes of Lord Shiva, Trimurthi Swaroop, Three syllables of sacred sound ‘OM’.
  • The one who worship Shiva linga under the bael tree will attain salvation and reaches Lord Shiva place.
  • The one who pour water on head under bael tree will attain benefits of bathing in all sacred rivers.
  • The one who worships the bael tree with flowers will get blessings from Lord Shiva.
  • The one who lit a lamp under bael tree will attain great knowledge.
  • The one who feeds food for devotee of lord Shiva under bael tree will never get poor and attain all above benefits greater than ten million times.
  • A beal leaf can be re-used 15 times continuously by sprinkling water on leaves to offer god.
  • The front end of leaf contains nectar so it needs to face god while offering in worship.
  • According to Vastu-Sastra if a house have Beal tree in North East it bestows all kinds of wealth & remove unforeseen dangers, In East it blesses with happiness, peace and good health, In West it Blesses with health and progeny, In South it protects from troubles caused by Yama.

Scientific Reasons:
  • Beal will remove imbalance of wind and water in the body and helps in smooth bowel movement for the people suffering from constipation.
  • Bael fruit can quench excessive thirst, eliminate phlegm, cures anemia, reduces hypertension, improves memory power, acts as blood purifier and useful for diarrhea & dysentery.
  • Bael leaves has ability to cure asthma and jaundice. These leaves can purify the water.
  • Oil extracted from bael root used to cure ear related problems and has ability to kill 21 types of bacteria.
  • Bael leaves or roots or fruits posses antimicrobial properties it may be the reason it is used widely in several traditional rituals related to Lord Shiva. 
Bilwashtakam- One of Hymns of Lord Shiva which is powerful mantra explains about Bael Tree.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Vibhuti - The Holy ash

Vibhuti - Sacred Ash:
VI means valuable, bhoothi means asset (fame, wealth, treasure, etc).Sacred ash is prepared by burning dried cow dung flakes or sacred wood (Peepal, Bastard Teak, Neem, etc) during Homa. Any object when burnt, it turns into ash. When ash is burnt it remains as ash. So ash cannot be destroyed. It means we are worshiping indestructible god with indestructible ash.

Cultural Beliefs:
Ancient Texts states that Lord Shiva burnt Kamadev (God of Desire) into ash due to disturbing his meditation. In Hinduism people believe that sacred ash will remove all the sins and purifies ones soul. Vibhuti destroys evils and gives glory by protecting from several diseases. Below mantra should be recited while applying sacred ash on body.

Sri Satya Sai Baba vibhuti mantra is very popular mantra in modern age. Below is the vibhuti mantra of Sai Baba. Sai Baba always distributes vibhuti to devotees.

We can also apply sacred ash by chanting any Lord Shiva mantra. Applying Vibhuti on different parts will enhance positive energy. Applying on forehead enhance knowledge, on throat enhance voice power. Ancients treated this sacred ash as medicine and they believe this ash can cure 81 diseases caused by imbalances in air (vata), and 64 of diseases caused by imbalances in bile (pittam), and 215 diseases caused by imbalances phlegm (kapham).

Interesting Facts:
  • Mother earth cannot weigh small amount vibhuti. Mistakenly also we shouldn't pour vibhuti on earth.
  • Vibhuti should be kept at fore head with red dot at center resembling union of Shiva - Sakthi.
  • Religious texts compared empty forehead with cemetery. So we should always cover our forehead with vibhuti.
  • Lord Shiva covers his whole body with this sacred ash.
  • Sacred ash can be applied on 32 or 16 or 8 different parts of body (Head, Forehead, ears, Neck, Shoulders, Elbows, Wrists, Chest, Navel, Ribs, Back, etc)
Scientific Reasons:
  • Diseases caused by sweat on body can be prevented by applying sacred ash.
  • Body temperature can be controlled. Imbalances (dosha) in blood can be removed. It also has ability to maintain normal blood flow in the body.
  • Sacred ash is in white color; it resembles peace and makes the wearer calm and pleasant. Sacred ash will absorb moisture and kill bacteria in prescribed body parts when applied, this is the main reason people apply it on selected parts on body.
  • Pure sacred ash which is prescribed in ancient texts can have ability to remove sinus problems and mental stress.
  • Some people argue that sacred ash which is made from cow dung contains antibacterial properties this is the reason people will intake a pinch of ash when they are sick. It also improves physical and mental state of a person by giving energy and enthusiasm and removing laziness. It keeps a person in a spiritual state by remembering body is not eternal it will perish and converts in to ash. So, we need to keep life positive by doing positive things. By realizing this we need leave our ego and selfishness.
  • The story of Lord Shiva and Kamadev gives inner meaning of victory over desire by applying Vibhuti.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tradition of eating food with hands

Tradition of eating food with hands:
In majority, people from Asian countries eat with hands. Some say it unhygienic; Some say it’s a bad manner. But, tradition explains it in opposite way "Eating with hands not only feeds body and also feeds soul". According to Ancient Ayurveda, all the nerves connected to main parts of body are interlinked and ends at the hands and feet. Certain postures with figures apply pressure on the connected parts and make them function superior. We also relate it to Acupuncture method of healing and postures(mudras) in classical dances like Bharatanatyam.

Cultural belief:
Fingers are considered as the most vital and precious for any type of action. According to Ancient texts of Ayurveda, each finger is related to one of the five elements. Thumb is fire, Fore finger is Air, Middle finger is ether, Ring finger is earth and little finger is water. You might see small children sucking thumbs which internally aid digestion.

In Hinduism fingers are vital and important parts of body. Below Sanskrit verses explains the importance.

Each finger aids better digestion process by releasing digestive juices and makes the person conscious about taste and smell.

Interesting facts:

  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made of pure gold, it will cure all types of disorders in the body and keeps in good health.
  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made of Silver, it decreases body heat and always protect eye-sight.
  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made of bronze, it enhances the taste and improves brain functionality and removes disorders related to blood.
  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made of brass, it removes mucus in lungs and removes worms in stomach.
  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made of iron or glass, it cleans the blood and improves the blood and eliminates anemia and blindness
  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made with tree bark, it will give additional taste to meal but, it increases mucus in lungs.
  • If we eat meals in a plate which is made of tree leaves like banana leaf, it will boost the digestive system and eliminates all disorders in the body and increases immunity power. 
  • Water which is stored in copper vessel or mud vessel will heal all the body disorders. 
  • Water which is stored in glass vessel will cool the body.

According to Ayurveda, we should take Ginger + Rock salt (1-2grams) before 30min of taking meal. Ginger will eliminate bile secretion disorders. Rock salt will control all disorders, cleans tongue and throat, improves taste in mouth and makes the body ready to take a meal.

We should always pray Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Anjaneya to remove evil eye of others on us while eating.

Scientific Reasons:
Many healthy bacteria live in the body which protects us from outer environment. Normal flora bacteria is one such type which colonizes in different parts of body. When we eat food with our hands these helpful bacteria mix with food and reaches to gut and keeps body healthy. People eating without using hand will always suffer from acute gastroenteritis when sudden change in environment. Whenever figures touches food, signals will reach to brain and brain prepares digestive process to receive and absorb the food by releasing digestive acids. By touching the food with fingers senses can feel the temperature of food what we intake. Taking food with fingers to the mouth and using thumb to push food into mouth without keeping all fingers in mouth is considered as highly beneficial.
If we eat food by sitting on the floor in the posture of Padmasana, it makes you eat according to digestive capacity of stomach and restricts without taking excess food. It improves digestion by producing enough enzymes to digest food in stomach. It relaxes mind by reducing muscular tension and controlling blood pressure.