Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yoga for Boosting the Immune System

Yoga increases the immune system
Yoga is a spiritual science that has a tremendous impact on our physical and mental states. Practicing yoga on a regular basis results in great benefits to our overall health. It especially strengthens the immune system and keeps one fit both internally and externally. So Yoga is a good to improve our immune system in order to be able to combat daily ailments such as colds and coughs, inactiveness, aches and pains in different parts of the body.

Yoga for preserving the vital force of our body
Our immune system is a defense system that guards the body from bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Without the immune system functioning properly, the body becomes subject to illness, infections and health problems. Generally the factors that weaken the system are - a toxin-heavy environment, consuming foods with toxins, bad diet habits, lack of exercise, leading extremely stressful lives, and wrong lifestyles. Here Yoga helps to improve the functioning of the immune system by expelling unnecessary toxins from the body. As Yoga is a form of exercise and it inculcates discipline, it provides the body the required amount of physical exercise and also helps in improving our diet and lifestyle habits. 
Finally, practicing yoga on a regular basis decreases the amounts of stress hormones released in the body. Moreover, some yogasans like the Kurmasan, if practiced regularly stimulates the thymus gland to produce antibodies, and chest and lung openers like Ushtrasan (Camel pose), Yoga Mudra and Bhujangasan (Camel pose) also increase lung mobility and flush out the lungs. The thymus gland is mainly responsible for producing the required antibodies that can fight with viral and bacterial infections. Yoga boosts the performance of the immune system by the following ways:
  • Improves blood circulation and oxygen supply into the body
  • Helps clearing out mucus from the lungs and sinuses
  • Increases lung efficiency
  • Stimulates and exercises all internal organs
  • Soothes the nervous system and brings calm and peacefulness to the practitioners.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Control the Mind ?

Shree Krishna giving tips to control the mind.
1. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Geeta, “dhyayato visayan pumsah – By meditating (thinking) on the sense objects, one develops attachment for them and from such attachment lust develops”.

2. Mind is doing 3 functions – Thinking, Feeling and Willing. Mind’s main function is producing sense enjoyment thoughts. If one allows those thoughts to go further, then it will turn in to feeling. Once if it reaches feeling stage, then it is difficult to control it, automatically it will go to willing stage and then execution. What we should do is, as soon as any bad thoughts sprouts out then immediately we should chant God's Name with his remembrance continuously in the mind. Then those bad thoughts will be gone. This process should be done firmly whenever any bad thoughts originate in our mind. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Geeta states, “abhyasena tu kaunteya – by constant practice one can control the mind .” Lord Krishna is talking about this type of practice only i.e., whenever any bad thoughts appears, we should chant God's Name with rememberance in the mind.

3. That is why Krishna is saying, “yato yato niscalati manah cancalam asthiram”. From whenever the mind fluctuates, one must withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self. We should never allow the mind to go on a thoughts trip. That is dangerous. Results will be bad.

4. Mind’s is like a factory where whatever input we give, we will reap the output accordingly. We are also having a mental factory. Inputs are sense enjoyment thoughts. These thoughts are processed it comes out as desire. Like a commander General who is very vigilantly watching on top of the castle, for the progress of enemy’s camp. Similarly, we should be vigilantly watching our thoughts and change it to Hare Krishna chanting if it is bad thoughts.

5. That is why Krishna is saying “ mayyeva mana adatsra – just fixate your mind on me”.
Swami Mukundananda lecturing on how to divert the mind toward God
6. Also Krishna says, “tasmat sarvesu
kalesu mama anusmara - Always think of me”. Thinking is the action of mind. Thinking about Krishna’s pastimes and chanting Hare Krishna in the mind both are same only.

7. H. H. Swami Mukundananda says that mind is like a devil. In that story Yogi controlled the ghost by giving standing instruction i.e., climbing the ladder up and down permanently. Whenever any work is there, Yogi told the Brahman to use the ghost for the work. After the work is over, ghost will do climbing again. Similarly whenever any work is there, mind can be concentrated on it. When there is no work, mind should be engaged in chanting God's Name continuously. In this way, mind can be engaged constantly.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Life, Death and rebirth
Since the soul is eternal; it is neither born nor does it die. What we call death is the soul leaving the body that
had become too dysfunctional and uninhabitable for it. The soul is then given a new body to continue on its journey. This changing of bodies by the soul is called reincarnation. The Bhagavad Geeta explains this in a very wonderful way:
dehino ‘sminyathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntaraprāptirdhīrastatra na muhyati
(Bhagavad Geeta 2.13)
“The soul changes bodies in this life itself, from childhood to youth, to old age. Similarly, at the time of death, the soul changes bodies. The wise are not bewildered by it.”  The Western world believes that this is the only life we have, and the religions that have originated in India say that we keep taking births, until we are liberated from Maya. Since we have not seen the past or future lives, how can we be sure that the concept of rebirth is correct?, 
Swamiji clarifying on the topic of rebirth
The Nyāya Darśhan gives the following proof of rebirth:
jātasya harṣhabhayaśhokasampratipatteḥ (Nyāya Darśhan 3.1.18)
It says if you observe a little baby, you will find that without any apparent reason it sometimes becomes happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes fearful. The Nyāya Darśhan explains that the little baby is remembering its past life, and hence experiencing these emotions.
The Nyāya Darśhan gives another proof of rebirth:
stanyābhilāṣhāt (Nyāya Darśhan 3.1.21)
It says that a new born baby has no knowledge of language. How can a mother teach it to suckle the breast when it is inserted in its mouth? However, the baby has experience of drinking milk from the breasts, teats, and udders of innumerable mothers in infinite past lives, even in animal forms. Hence, when the mother puts her breast in the baby’s mouth, it automatically starts suckling from past practice.
Without accepting the concept of rebirth, it is impossible to explain the disparity between human beings. For example, let us suppose someone is blind from birth. If that person were to ask you, what did he do that he was punished in this way, what answer would you give him? If you said it was the result of his karmas, he would respond that if there was no previous life then there were no past karmas at the time of birth. If you said that it was the will of God, he would reply that if God is all-Merciful, why would He want someone to
be blind? The only logical answer would be that the person had had previous lives and it was the consequence of that person’s karmas from past lives.
Most of the Eastern religions accept the principle of rebirth. Actually, many famous intellectuals and thinkers in the Western hemisphere have also believed in it, for example Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Schelling,
Most early Christians accepted it, but in the sixth century, in the Council that took place, King Justinian rejected the concept of rebirth, and took out all reference to it. He banned belief in it, and said that those who mention it will be punished. The Sufi tradition of Islam believes in rebirth. The famous Sufi Saint Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi said: “I have had many many births before I became human.”
 Muslim, Khurasani, are other Sufi Saints who have also talked about rebirth. Also, the Shias amongst the Muslims believe that the soul is born repeatedly.

The Size of Soul

Swami Mukundananda lecturing on the size of soul
The soul does not have physical boundaries, since it is formless. But this does not mean that the soul is indistinguishable from other souls. Each soul resides in a different body; each soul has a different personality, existence, karmas, and destiny, which are associated with it.
On the subject of the size of the soul, Indian philosophers present three divergent views:
1. Some say that the soul is vibhu, or infinite, because it is non-different from its source, God, Who is infinite.
2. Others say that the soul is madhyamākār, or medium-sized.
3. Yet others claim that it is aṇu, or tiny in size.
Now let us consider each of these views. First, is the soul infinite in size? No, for had this been so, there would not have been any question of going to heaven or hell after death; we would have existed everywhere; simultaneously; at all times. Our soul would have encompassed the earth, heaven, and hell, and there would be no need to go and come from anywhere. However, the Vedas state:
puṇyena puṇya lokaṁ nayati pāpena pāpamubhābhyāmeva manuṣhyalokam (Praśhnopaniṣhad 3.7)
“If you do pious deeds, after death you will go to the higher abodes; if you engage in sinful activities, you will be sent to the lower planes of existence; and if you engage in both kinds of activities, in your
next life you will come back to the earth planet.” This Vedic mantra negates the possibility that we are infinite in size.
Now consider the second view. Is the soul medium-sized? Let us assume the size of the soul is some finite value “X”. This means the soul cannot reside in any life form of size less than “X”. However, in nature, we see life-forms that vary in size-from the smallest organisms to giant whales. Therefore, the assumption that the size of the soul is a finite value “X” is flawed. The Jain scriptures are of the view that the soul is finite. They state that the soul is equal to the size of the body.
They come to this conclusion because the soul provides consciousness to the entire body. However, if the soul were of the size of the body, the problem would come upon rebirth. Let us say that the soul was in an elephant’s body in one life, and hence, equal to the size of the elephant. If in the next life it were put in a pigeon’s body, how would such a big soul fit into the tiny pigeon’s body? So only the third option remains: The soul is infinitesimally small.  To give us an idea of its size, the Vedas state:
eṣho ‘ṇurātmā (Muṇḍakopaniṣhad 3.1.9)
aṇupramāṇāt (Kaṭhopaniṣhad 1.2.8)
The above mantras of the Upanishads declare: “The soul is miniscule in size.”

Who Are We?

Swami Mukundananda revealing the secret - Who are we ?
When we ask the question, “Who am I,” we begin our quest for spiritual knowledge. This is the first step. The inscription on the temple of Apollo at Delphi says Knothi Seuton, or “Know Thyself ”. It is said that once Socrates was pondering over philosophic truths and walking absentmindedly on the street, when he bumped into someone. Annoyed, the man asked, “Can you not see where you are walking? Who are you?” Socrates replied nonchalantly, “My dear friend, I have been pondering over that question for the last forty years, and have still not found the answer. If you have any tips to offer, do let me know.”

The Bhagavad Geeta says in this regard:
kṣhetrakṣhetragyayorgyānaṁ (Bhagavad Geeta 13.3)
“To understand the difference between the body and the knower of the body is wisdom.”

The body is not you; it is like a house in which you reside, or like clothes that you wear. You are the eternal soul seated within it. The body is made from matter, and hence it is perishable, but you, the soul, are Divine, and hence immortal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Troubled by Asthma? Don’t lose your Heart.

Asthma is one of the chronic health conditions caused by sedentary life style. The statistics show that about 300 million people suffer from it and is the cause of around 250,000 deaths every year. In many cases this is completely reversible if lifestyle is changed and natural medicines are used with precautions. Instead people rush towards hospitals and start taking bronco dilators only to worsen the condition. Here are some easy tips for asthmatic patients which if applied with sincerity, it is sure to control the problem.
Prepare 4-5 bottles of sharbat of Pomelo(chakotara), if it is rainy and summer season don’t mix water. Take 5 grams 7-8 times a day. In hot season, mix water from clay pot.
- Honey, garlic, onion, Tulsi tea and gur (jaggery) are good for asthma. So they should be used daily.
- Take a banana. Pull out a small portion with knife and fill the open surface with salt and pepper. Keep in the moonlight overnight. Roast it in the morning with its skin. It’s ready now. Then have it chewed well.
- The dried skin of the pomegranate should be ground into pieces and taken with fresh water.
- Addsome camphor in the boiling water and inhale its vapor.
- Grape juice is very effective for asthma, cough,TB, etc.
- Ten drops of Neem (Margosa) oil should be mixed with a pan (beetle leaf) and should be taken.
- In the cold weather, gajak or laddus made out of sesame and jiggery should be taken.
- Mix some rock salt in mustard oil and massage well on the chest.
- Practice meditation every day.
- Perform some breathing exercises daily.
- Don’t use cough producing foods like chembu(Arabi) rice and milk products etc.
- Eat fresh and simple food.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, oily, and spicy things etc.
- Don’t be anxious or depressed - asthma is not powerful than you, you can control it.
- Eat 1 cup of frozen blueberries daily. Blueberries are very anti-inflammatory and great enjoyed as dessert or in smoothie recipe.
- Eat in the morning3-4 pieces of fig soaked overnight.
- Take five grams of Indian gooseberries mixed with one tablespoon of honey every morning.
- A teaspoon of bitter gourd-root paste, mixed with an identical amount of honey or juice of the Tulsi leaves (holy basil leaves) should be taken every night for a month.
- Take a handful of drumstick leaves. Put it in 180 ml of boiling water. After it gets cooled, put some ground pepper, salt, and lime juice. Take once every day; this should be followed at least for a month.
- Prepare a fenugreek decoction by putting a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of boiling of water. After it gets cooled, put a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and take it two times a day-every morning and evening
- Ten garlic cloves, boiled in 30 ml of milk; this mixture must be taken once each day by the patient.
- Safflower seeds are helpful in the treatment of bronchial asthma. Half a teaspoon of powder of the dry seeds, mixed with a tablespoon of honey, should be taken one or two times a day in treating this disease.
- Take 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder and mix them well before consuming. Take it once a day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Have Low Blood Pressure? Treat at your Home.

Though it is desired to have blood pressure low by so many people, it is not good in many cases. Like high blood pressure it is also a serious health condition. In some cases it is more serious when it is too low.
People have a wrong notion that allopath is the ultimate solution. But it is a well known fact that it works only in some exceptional cases. They find it easy to swallow the pills. But not know the side effects which will again take them to the hospitals.
 If you become a bit active – changing your life style – use home remedies, take fresh fruits and vegetables, perform some exercises and meditation; you will find it enough to keep all the diseases at bay.
Here are some simple tips to control low blood pressure.
-          Soak 32 raisins in a bowl full of water overnight. Chew them well one by one 32 times in the morning when the stomach is empty.
-          Soak 7 almonds in a bowl full of water overnight.  
      Peel them and grind to a smooth paste. Mix with a glass of warm milk and drink it in the morning.
Crush 10-15 leaves of Tulsi (holy basil) squeeze through a cotton cloth. Mix a tea spoon of honey and take this early in the morning before anything else.
-          Drink plenty of water – about 4-5 liters a day.
-          You can increase salt intake a bit more as it helps to activate metabolic rate.
-          Two glasses of beet root juice should be taken daily.
-          Food with more fluid contents like fresh fruits and milk should be used.
-          Adequate sleep is necessary. One should not awake overnight.
-          Daily meditation helps a lot to keep worries away. This in turn helps keeping blood pressure normal.
-          Some exercises like swimming, walking etc should be done. Practicing some Yogasans daily is the best of all. 
-          Spikenard is effective against Low Blood Pressure. 30-40 grains along with little camphor and cinnamon should be taken in daily basis.
-          Taking a walk after the meals also helps to bring your blood pressure to normal.
-          Laughter for 10- 15 minutes in the morning helps in controlling low blood pressure.
-          One tea spoon of Garlic juice or tulsi juice mixed with double amount of honey should be taken once or twice a day according to the need.
-          Use of Hing (asafetida)significantly helps in low BP. It does not let the blood coagulate.
-          Make a habit of taking buttermilk 2-3 times a day.
-          Take some Aak flowers (sodom apple) and peppers. Grind them to make capsules of half a gram. Take a capsule two times a day – every morning and evening.

Illusion of the Universe Will Break One Day

Swami Mukundananda
I was once traveling in the desert in India. I traveled for over a month and always found the most beautiful landscapes before me, beautiful lakes and all that. One day I was very thirsty and I wanted to have a drink at one of these lakes; but when I approached that lake it vanished. Immediately with a blow came into my brain the idea that this was a mirage about which I had read all my life; and then I remembered and smiled at my folly, that for the last month all the beautiful landscapes and lakes I had been seeing were this mirage, but I could not distinguish them then. The next morning I again began my march; there was the lake and the landscape, but with it immediately came the idea, "This is a mirage." Once known it had lost its power of illusion. So this illusion of the universe will break one day. The whole of this will vanish, melt away. This is realization. Philosophy is no joke or talk. It has to be realised; this body will vanish, this earth and everything will vanish, this idea that I am the body or the mind will for some time vanish, or if the Karma is ended it will disappear, never to come back; but if one part of the Karma remains, then as a potter's wheel, after the potter has finished the pot, will sometimes go on from the past momentum, so this body, when the delusion has vanished altogether, will go on for some time.
Again this world will come, men and women and animals will come, just as the mirage came the next day, but not with the same force; along with it will come the idea that I know its nature now, and it will cause no bondage, no more pain, nor grief, nor misery. Whenever anything miserable will come, the mind will be able to say, "I know you as hallucination." When a man has reached that state, he is called Jivanmukta, living-free", free even while living. The aim and end in this life for the Jnâna-Yogi is to become this Jivanmakta, "living-free". He is Jivanmukta who can live in this world without being attached. He is like the lotus leaves in water, which are never wetted by the water. He is the highest of human beings, nay, the highest of all beings, for he has realised his identity with the Absolute, he has realised that he is one with God. So long as you think you have the least difference from God, fear will seize you, but when you have known that you are He, that there is no difference, entirely no difference, that you are He, all of Him, and the whole of Him, all fear ceases. "There, who sees whom? Who worships whom? Who talks to whom? Who hears whom? Where one sees another, where one talks to another, where one hears another, that is little. Where none sees none, where none speaks to none, that is the highest, that is the great, that is the Brahman."
Mirage in the Desert
Being That, you are always That. What will become of the world then? What good shall we do to the world? Such questions do not arise "What becomes of my gingerbread if I become old?" says the baby! "What becomes of my marbles if I grow? So I will not grow," says the boy! "What will become of my dolls if I grow old?" says the little child! It is the same question in connection with this world, it has no existence in the past, present, or future. If we have known the Âtman as It is, if we have known that there is nothing else but this Atman, that everything else is but a dream, with no existence in reality, then this world with its poverties, its miseries, its wickedness, and its goodness will cease to disturb us. If they do not exist, for whom and for what shall we take trouble? This is what the Jnana-Yogis teach. 
Therefore, dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life. It is very hard to come to Jnâna. It is for the bravest and most daring, who dare to smash all idols, not only intellectual, but in the senses. This body is not I; it must go. All sorts of curious things may come out of this. A man stands up and says, "I am not the body, therefore my headache must be cured"; but where is the headache if not in his body? Let a thousand headaches and a thousand bodies come and go. What is that to me? I have neither birth nor death; father or mother I never had; friends and foes I have none, because they are all I. I am my own friend, and I am my own enemy. I am Existence-
Swami Mukundananda lecturing on Vedas
Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. I am He, I am He. If in a thousand bodies I am suffering from fever and other ills, in millions of bodies I am healthy. If in a thousand bodies I am starving, in other thousand bodies I am feasting. If in thousands of bodies I am suffering misery, in thousands of bodies I am happy. Who shall blame whom, who praise whom? Whom to seek, whom to avoid? I seek none, nor avoid any, for I am the entire universe. I praise myself, I blame myself, I suffer for myself, I am happy at my own will, I am free. This is the Jnâni, the brave and daring. Let the whole universe tumble down; he smiles and says it never existed, it was all a hallucination. He sees the universe tumble down. Where was it! Where has it gone!

High BP - Troubling One Fourth Population

Watermelon with its medicinal seeds.

Garlic the BP controller.
   Almost one fourth of the adult-population is suffering from high blood pressure. It is that poor physical condition which leads to serious ailments like heart attacks, kidney failure and diabetes, etc. And even more dangerous is that it may secretly develop inside you without your knowing. Every year, approximately 7.1 million people die of high BP. The main cause of it is the inactive, unhealthy sedentary lifestyle. Changing your life style is the best way to control this condition.
    Here are some easy tips which may work as panacea if applied in your life to control such fatal condition.
- Drink two – three glass of watermelon juice mixed with a bit of rock salt or pepper every day.
- Dry watermelon seeds in the shadow and Grind it. Take two teaspoon of it and mix in a glass of boiled water. After one hour, filter it well and drink slowly. This can be taken four times a day.
- Use henna (Mehandi) on your palms and soles of the feet from time to time.
- Take garlic, onion and ginger in equal quantity. Crush them well. Take about 10 gram of it every morning and evening.
- Make a habit of eating ripe papayas every day. Among all the fruits this works wonder in high BP.
- Use rock salt in place of common salt.
- Peel half a kilo of garlic, dry them out for 4-5 days in the sun light. Then put them in a bottle of glass with honey to the extent of penetrating the upper surface of the garlic. Keep this in the sun for 15 days. Then have two loves two times a day.
– Every morning and evening drink a glass of milk. Using this method for some days helps in both the high and low blood pressures.
- Light exercise like comfortable walking should be done in daily basis.
- Some of the pranayams like Anulom-Vilom, Bhramari, Shyam Uchcharan, Sheetali and Sheetkari should
Watermelon Seeds
be practiced every day.
- Maintaining relaxed mind helps a lot in high BP, practicing meditation two times a day helps to get your mind relax.
- Food should be fresh and simple – with not too much oil and spices.
- Use Auto-Suggestion method – think, “I am active, I am energetic. Situations come and go, problems come and get solved, I am the child of God. Neither any problems nor any situations can disturb and distract my mind.”