Monday, September 22, 2014

Navratri and Fasting: an Ayurvedic Detox Method


"In all religions, they recommend fasting. But there are some rules for fasting. It is not that you should not eat all day and then eat a lot at night. Sometimes in Navratri in the name of fasting we feast.
We eat potatoes, fried food, french fries.This is not correct.This is a wrong type of fasting. You should not fast like that.A little bit of food and food which is easily digestible. A little bit of fruits and drink a lot of water. When body is not so heavy or dull, then it blossoms and meditation happen better.Isn't that so. How many of you have this experience. At the same time too much fasting will raise the pitta in your body." -- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Fasting is an ancient method to detox prescribed by Ayurveda per body type, dosha (Vata, Pita, Kapha). Having no food increases acidity, it's very bad (Tamasic)!
One should have more alkaline fruits and vegetables, cucumber, watermelon is very good.
In general khicchadhi is used in Ayurvedic detox diet and used in Panchkarma
One needs to first know ones doshas. For example, if you have Kapha dosha, to restrain from deep fried food, have green beans, carrots, and so on.  
It's also necessary to have lots of fluid, 6 - 8 glasses, to wash away the eliminated toxins and reduce the taxing on the liver and kidney. Certain juices maybe good for certain body type and ailments. Coconut water is very good, and a complete meal.

Fasting means to eat healthy, low carb diet, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, protein, healthy food, which is essentially called a "Sattvic" diet in Ayurveda.
It's not a to starve yourself to please a God. Ancient teachers linked it to God, like Tuesday for Hanuman, etc. so that people would fast. Starving yourself is not good. Now fasting has become ritualistic and dogmatic without people understanding the true meaning behind it.
A lot of people will eat unhealthy food as mentioned by Sri Sri. Nowadays you see a lot of detox diets. That's exactly what the ancient method of fasting was. If we can't practice the ancient methods correctly and they have become corrupted let's follow the new modern scientific method which is essentially "Punarnava" the old method renewed.

It was said that we should fast on the elevanth day of the lunar month, "Ekadashi." Why? Because certain cronic ailments peek either on no moon night or full moon night.If we eat a detox diet three days prior to the no moon or full moon night, our ailments will be reduced because it takes three days for that to reach all the cells of the body. It is very scientific.
The human body is a good conductor of life force energy, prana. When the cells are not burdened by digesting food, the cells then turn to conducting more energy and can survive on it. It raises the energy Prana in us. This is why having a light stomach is good for meditation as well.

Navratri is a good time to do a complete detox of the enter system. Fasting is a good time to do complete cleansing on all levels - it's not just refraining from food, but to be in a pure state of being. It is to raise the Sattva (purity), remove impurities (Tamas) and imbibe good qualities (Rajas). There's no point in not eating, yet being angry, or worried, or doing non-sattvik things.

Purifying on body level through yoga, fasting (detox). It is good to fast for at least 3 days because it takes that much time to be cleansed down to the cellular level. It's the same in Ayurveda's Panchakarma.
On the breath level through Pranayama; on the mind level by turning the senses inwards, showing restraint on our speech, and keeping the senses in check. Purifying emotions through devotion, Puja, Kirtan/Satsang. Keeping the intellect engaged in spiritual knowledge. All the detox/purification makes it easy for us to be in awareness and meditation goes much deeper.

This gives all our levels of existence deep rest and rejuvination. It's a good time to go to a spiritual retreat for a few days or to an Ayurvedic Panchakarma. Fasting and spiritual pracitices during Navratri, Ramadan, Pentacost, were meant for yearly detox. So if we do this during Navratri then we will be renewed by Dussera!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Better to Light a Lamp than to Curse the Darkness

Spirituality unites and Religions divide people.
We must go back to the Spiritual aspects of Religion and abolish all aspects of religious following that don't align with the original message.
All faiths started as a spiritual messages for personal and social transformation and then deteriorated into dogma, blind belief systems, outdated practices, traditions that were never renewed as per time and place. Followers deviate from and sometimes do the opposite of what their religion teaches, yet use religion to justify their actions. So thick is the ignorance and so deep is their slumber.
Still there are many who are not blind, who find the real meaning of scriptures through study, reflection, and direct experience of divinity. A few spiritual leaders come along to reform the followers and renew traditions as per time and place. They become role models because they practice the values, and imbibe the wisdom.

We must ask ourselves what is Religion. Traditions, Rituals, Values and Wisdom.
We must ask ourselves what is Spirituality. We must ask ourselves what is Truth.
We must ask ourselves what is the pursuit of man. We must ask ourselves what is humanity.
We must ask ourselves what is conscience. What is and what isn't common sense. 

I wish we can abolish Religion but we can't. We must return to spirituality.
What do we do with those who call themselves staunch followers of their religion, who create divide, who are angry, who demean other religions, who hate, who kill, who behave like demons in the name of God?

Sri Krishn says in the Gita, that evil increases in the world when the noble and wise withdraw, don't do or say anything and this causes imbalance because the ignorant and evil forces create havoc in the world.
It's Better to Light a Lamp than to Curse the Darkness. The darkness of ignorance in these so called followers. Let those who are spiritual, evolved, who are good humans, who are wise and loving, reform their religion. Let them raise their voices of love and drown the voices of hatred, let them light the lamp of spirituality, self-evolution, spiritual growth, awareness, love, compassion, wisdom, and the oneness of all humanity. May dark demonic shadows be cut asunder by the sword of light, by the warrior who has become a luminous being of love, whose tongue flashes flames of truth, whose white horse moves with great strides, and in this awakened soul seven candles burn pure, therefore she wears a crown of seven stars.

Also on SpeakingTree.in

Inferiority Complex of being Indian or Hindu

I feel very strongly about this so I would like to express it. There is so much cultural, religious, language, ethnic divide in India - what is the solution? First you are Human, then you are male/female, then a Citizen of a country and then of a particular religion, and so on. Don't muddle your identity - this is key to unity. See truth without prejudice, hatred, ignorance in perception. Indianslack self-esteem in their own culture and country which leads to inferiority complex. Don't demean your own esp. in public - you are what you demean. Criticism comes when you are not taking responsibility to fix what you criticize. Do something to serve community and country, weak people are arm chair critics. And why are Hindus so fearful of being good Hindus in India? ...and around the globe. We are idiots to tolerate injustice, inequality; be silent and not respond to: misrepresentation, accusation, disrespect, and prejudice of a ancient wisdom tradition which many non-Indians respect, understand, and defend more than we do! Is there something wrong in being truthful good human beings? The whole world is reading the Gita - it is the most secular spiritual text. It also says all religions and path are the same! Hinduism is one of the few major religions that is based on pluralism. It's not about superiority or inferiority - it's about equality, human dignity, and mutual respect. We learn things from other countries but why is it so hard to learn good things from them!? "Deepen your roots and broaden your vision" !!

Also on SpeakingTree.in

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Devotion - A play of duality

"When you know you are God, how can you have this devotion and fascination for Krishna Mama?" my son asks me in astonishment. "On the one had you say I am God, you are God, everyone is God...ok Brahman, and then on the other hand you say pray to an eternal God - Krishna?!" He's quite confused by my talk on Advaita and Bhakti at the same time :)
"Knowing that Krishna and I are one, that there is only One, we can still play the game of duality; and enjoy the bliss and ecstacy of devotion; and do so knowingly", said I :)

Aa apne rang se bhar do Murari
Ek Rang Ban kar Mein Naachoongi
Is Raas ki Raat Tujh Sang Bitaoongi
Kesari ke Krishn...Krishn Mein Kesari
Rass mein doobh kar mit gayi Kesari

Fill me with with Your presence Murari
Merged in you I will dance in the bliss of ecstacy
This dance of Maya on the eternal Void
He is in me as me, I am in Him as Him....
This great expanse flooded with bliss

Hey Deen Dayal Hare!
Jai Krishna Gopal Hare!
Jai Nand Ke Laal Hare!


Monday, August 4, 2014

On Nothing is Everything Superimposed

No mind can reach there, nor logic, nor can any information illumine it...
No uniform of a Swami or Sanyasi or Sadhu are required to achieve it...It is by the Atman that one reaches that Atman...the mind and intellect can be a friend...When ONE alone remains...nothing eternal, no other, just a great living vibrant conscious expanse...
Like on a canvas a painting is superimposed
On Void is Creation superimposed
On Realization is Human Experience superimposed
On Self are Thoughts superimposed
On Nothing is Everything superimposed
On Void is Creation, Thoughts, Human Experience, and Everything superimposed!

Friday, August 1, 2014

What's the Purpose of Life?

Have you realized your life purpose? We are here for others! Our God given gifts are to be shared with others. Whether it is cooking, creating, scientist, singing, teaching, counseling, entrepreneurship, ... Do you know your gifts and role in this grand play? Yes we can earn a living from using our gifts but when we also do it as a service to others n offering to the divine we will find our soul's purpose and fulfillment!

The Soul has a purpose that is within, the body has a purpose in the world, outside. The outward role can be to be of a teacher or leader or business person or worker. Often we operate from just the mind, but when we function from our Soul then life flows to fulfillment, with body and mind aligned with the soul. It is a beautiful flowering of life! The ultimate purpose of the soul is Moksh.

Your life is not about you. It has nothing to do with you, it's about others you touch, to bring them back to themselves. Life will find it's own way to express this purpose.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Oneness of Devotion

When love becomes sacred it's devotion 
When the mind drops into prayer it's devotion 
O Sweet devotion! I dance in your bliss!
When intoxicated singing His name it's devotion 
When I sense my beloved as vast love everywhere, as everything ...everyone, as all existence...it's supreme devotion
When I become that nectar of devotion, when the beloved fills me...and merges...there's only devotion

The divine is present all the time, when I become aware, that instant there's Darshan
Krishn is always my soul but when the "I" drops, that moment there's Darshan
When I say I am Him and He is me the world thinks I'm crazy 
They praise my devotion of duality and can't relate to love as unity
I AM Krishn..this child's play...this dance of duality...a raas in the oneness of eternity
Who is Krishn but consciousness where is consciousness but all that is!
Jai Krishn Gopal Hari... Hey Deen Dayal Hare
Shyam ke rang me rang gayi Meera...merged...Rass khan to rass ke khan hue




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Prabhu Ki Kripa - God's Grace

ये मन बुद्धि भी है प्रभु कृपा से
ये जीवन भी है प्रभु कृपा से
जीवन धरा भी है प्रभु कृपा से
जैसी हूँ में प्रभु कृपा से... उनकी शरण में हूँ उनकी कृपा से
चित् सागर की छोटी सी बूँद हूँ मैं प्रभु कृपा से
अपना लें मुझे अपनी कृपा से
यह प्रेम भक्ति प्रभु कृपा से
में हूँ नहीं बस उनकी कृपा है
केसरी का प्रणाम और समर्पण उनकी कृपा में

Ye mann buddhi bhi hai Prabhu kripa se
Ye jeevan bhi hai Prabhu kripa se
Jeevan dhara bhi hai Prabhu kripa se
Jaisi hoon mein Prabhu kripa se...unki sharan mein hoon unki kripa se
Chit saagar ki choti si boondh hoon mein Prabhu kripa se
Apana lein mujhe apni kripa se
Yeh prem bhakti Prabhu kripa se
Mein hun nahi bus unki kripa hai
Kesari ka Pranaam aur Samarpan unki Kripa mein

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vedic Dharma does NOT worship cows!

Vedic Dharma ('Hindus') do NOT worship cows! Hindus revere cows because they regard all of creation as sacred - whether conscious or inert, whether animal or plant. It is not that Hindus worship cows as deities. Hindus honor cows in gratitude for their generosity, value, and gentleness. The cow is looked upon as a mother, who's milk we drink, who contributes unconditionally, in so many ways, to the daily sustenance of the people in India for ages. A cow is often kept in the village home, a part of the family, like a pet, who's milk is used daily, therefore we don't kill and eat them.

Vedic hymns do address the natural elements, but the seeker is told to focus on the elements' underlying powers and not merely their physical aspects. Each element has 'adhibhautik' (physical), 'adhidaivik' (celestial), and 'adhyatmik' (spiritual) significance. Example : 'Agni' signifies fire on the physical plane, purity on the celestial plane, and Light, or God, on the spiritual plane.

Here's a very nice article by a child in the US on this topic:
http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1536


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reaction is Worse than Wrong Action

Reaction is worse than wrong action. Bhagvan Ram did not react to Rakshas Ram - He responded with right action. Sri Krishn enacted Karm for justice and Dharm.
Wrong action can only do short term damage, right response will bring long term good. We need to stay centered and calm.
Detachment is key. Forbearance is the Tapasya. Awareness is the Sadhana. Implementing this is living Wisdom.