Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Does Our Mind Fluctuate ?

Meditation controls the vacillating mind
Our feelings vary throughout the day because of the presence of the three guṇas in the mind. This has been explained in detail in the chapter titled “How to Deal with the World.” The material energy, Maya, has three modes, or guṇas— sattva guṇa, rajo guṇa, and tamo guṇa. The mind is made from
Maya, and it too contains these three guṇas. As these guṇas vary throughout the day, a person’s thoughts too keep fluctuating.
To give an example, when sattva guṇa becomes prominent in the mind, you may start thinking, “I have received so much Grace from my Guru. The human form is precious and it should not be wasted in mundane pursuits, so I should endeavor to progress rapidly in my sādhanā.” When rajo guṇa becomes prominent, you may think, “I must surely progress on the spiritual path, but what is the hurry?
At present, I have many responsibilities to discharge, and they are more important.” When tamo guṇa dominates, you could think, “I am not really sure if there is any God or not, for no one has ever seen Him. So why waste time in sādhanā?” Notice how the same person’s thoughts have oscillated from such heights to the depths of devotion. For the mind to fluctuate due to the three guṇas is very natural.
If it remained at the highest consciousness all day, there would be no need for sādhanā. Sādhanā means to fight with the flow of the three guṇas in the mind, and force it to maintain devotional feelings towards God and Guru. Though the mind’s natural sentiments may be inclined towards the world, yet with the intellect, we force it into the spiritual realm. Initially, this may seem difficult, but with practice it will become easy. This is just as driving a car is difficult in the beginning, but with practice it becomes natural.
Swami Mukundananda clarifying on the fluctuating nature of the mind
The problem in this process is that we do not see the mind as different from ourselves. And so when the mind presents a disturbing thought, we feel, “Oh! I am thinking in this negative manner.” We begin to associate with the poisonous thought, allow it to reside in us, and damage us spiritually. To the extent that even if the mind presents a thought against God and Guru, we accept the thought as ours. If, at that time, we could see the mind as separate from ourselves, we would be able to dissociate from that negative thought. We could then chastise the mind, “I will have nothing to do with any thought that is not conducive to my devotion.”
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says:
mana ko māno śhatru usakī, sunahu jani kachhu pyāre (Sādhanā Karu Pyāre)
“Declare war on your mind. Do the opposite of what it says, and soon it will stop bothering you.”
Jagadguru Shankaracharya also stated:
jagad jitaṁ kena? mano hī yena
“Who will conquer the world? One who conquers the mind.” 
Saint Tulsidas ji has repeatedly and severely chastised his mind in his
bhajans in the “Vinay Patrikā.” So do not be disappointed if the mind troubles you and repeatedly runs to the world. Put on the spiritual armor (tattvagyān) given by your Gurudev, and begin the fight.

Miracles of Meditation

Meditation is a means of elevating the mind to Divine consciousness, for reaching the ultimate goal of life, which is Divine Love for God. All day long people work and live in a material environment that pulls their minds towards the world. Meditation fills the mind with devotion, detaches it from the world, attaches it on God, and results in the purification of consciousness. This surcharging of consciousness through meditation benefits one throughout the day.
Consider the analogy of milk. If you pour water in it, the milk is unable to remain separate from it and retain its pure identity. However, if you keep the water separate from the milk and convert it into yogurt, and then extract butter from the yogurt, that butter can then challenge the water, “Mr. Water! I will sit on your head and float. You cannot do anything to me. As long as I was milk, you would mix within me and dilute my concentration. But now, I have become butter, and thus I am immiscible.”
Similarly, in isolation from the disturbing elements of the world, if we learn to focus our mind on God for some time, it will help us in sustaining Divine consciousness throughout the day, even while working in the world. Like the sandalwood tree, we too will live in the world but not let the world live within us.
chandana viṣha vyāpai nahīñ, lipaṭe rahata bhujaṅga
“Although the sandalwood tree has venomous cobras lying encircled around it, their poison does not affect the tree.”
Meditation has innumerable other benefits too. Modern scientists estimate that we use only three percent of the mind’s potential. The reason for this is that our mind is scattered, and it keeps flitting from topic to topic and thought to thought. But if we can learn to concentrate our mind, we can increase the utilization of our mental and intellectual faculties.
Meditation also has a very salubrious effect on physical health. Most ailments have their roots in the mind. When one harbors poisonous thoughts, of hatred, envy, anxiety, tension, fear, etc., it disturbs the mental sheath (one of the five sheaths in the body). This disturbance is then passed on to the prāṇic sheath, which then manifests in the physical sheath of the body as disease. Meditation on God heals the various ailments of the mind, resulting in enhancement of vital energy and the improvement of physical health as well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bitter Gourd Not Only Bitter but Better For Health Too

Bitter gourd - bitter but better
Sometimes referred as the secret vegetable of the Okinawan islander’s longevity, bitter gourd is also known as bitter melon in English and karela in Hindi. For ages it has been used in Ayurveda as a medicine to treat diabetes, tone the digestive system and boost the immunity.

It is unsavory on palates as it is bitter in taste. Its bitterness is generally attributed to the quinine it contains. It has been proved the best home remedy for the Type 2 Diabetes for it contains a chemical called charantin which reduces high blood glucose levels and also insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P which has been suggested as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.

It was published -

“Scientists have uncovered the therapeutic properties of bitter melon, a vegetable and traditional Chinese medicine, that make it a powerful treatment for Type 2 diabetes.”
Science Daily (Mar. 27, 2008)

Bitter gourd for multiple diseases
Though not so many researches have been done on bitter gourd, all the studies done upon this have proved its medicinal properties to cure so many diseases.

Bitter melons are very low in calories and provide only 17 cal per 100g but full of precious nutrients. It is a good source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber. And also it is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.

Cooked bitter gourd stimulates the appetite, cleanses the liver, purifies the blood, and provides many other benefits.

Blood: about 50-60 grams of bitter gourd juice mixed with 20-30 grams of lime juice, sipped daily on an empty stomach cures the blood related disorders easily. This should be continued for 4-6 moths.

Cholera: the concoction of two teaspoonfuls of bitter gourd juice, same proportion of white onion juice and a teaspoonful of lime juice, taken daily, is enough to cure the early stage of cholera.
Diabetes: around 50-60 grams of bitter gourd juice taken once a day helps a lot in the treatment of type – 2 diabetes.

Energy: daily intake of this vegetable in ample quantity has shown its best results in increasing energy level, boosting immune system and improving sleep disorder.

Eye problems: It is the finest vegetable to cure eye problems as it contains beta-carotene.
Hangover: Bitter gourd juice can be used to get rid of hangover as it has alcohol intoxication properties.

Liver Problems: It is also a very good in the treatment of liver related problems, so very helpful in curing jaundice too. Sipping two teaspoonfuls of the juice daily helps cleanse the liver.

Piles: Take three teaspoonfuls juice of bitter melon leaves and mix with a cup of buttermilk. Drink this everyday early in the morning on an empty stomach. Continue this for a month you will find good results in curing piles. For fast healing, use the paste of the roots of bitter melon plant and apply over the piles.

Skin problems: regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet.
Respiratory problems: take two ounces of fresh bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted water. Drink daily to improve asthma, bronchitis and pharyngitis.
Bitter gourd juice is the best medicine for diabetics


Anything in excess is harmful. So we suggest not to take more than two ounces (50-60 grams) of juice a day. And diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs should alter the dosage of their drugs to take the bitter melon juice. So better to consult your doctor first.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid this vegetable as it can cause miscarriages.

Soaking in salty water for half an hour before juicing makes it less bitter.

To make it palatable it can be taken with carrot juice, apple juice or honey.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Remembrance of Past Lives

Swami Mukundananda unfolding the the secret of past lives
Memories of past lives are wiped out in the process of death and then rebirth. It is said that death and birth are such painful experiences for the soul that they erase Spiritual Dialectics memories of the previous life. Some residual memories do remain, but usually not for long. As the child grows up, the impressions of the present life are so strong that they erase lingering memories of the past life.
Past lives and Rebirth - A Mystery for People
If God’s design had been different, and we could have remembered our past lives, we could not have lived normally in the present. If a child could remember that he was his mother’s grandfather in his previous life, how would he behave like her child? However, there are exceptions to the rule. Occasionally, there are children who continue to remember their past life even as they grow up. Their statements about their previous lives have been corroborated by scientific investigations.
A British scientist, Harry Price, did research on this for fifty years. He then presented evidence about rebirth in his book “Fifty Years of Psychical Research.” Another scientist, Dr. Richards, has also given many evidences in his book, “Thirty Years of Psychical Research.” An American scientist, Professor Stevenson, came to India three times to check evidences. He wrote that he came across actual cases of children who remembered their previous lives. In fact, such children have existed in all cultures, even in countries that are primarily atheistic. Here are the names of a few such children whose statements regarding their previous life have been investigated and found to be true:
Cuba : Rachale Grande
USA : Rosenberg
Japan : Katsu Gori
France : Thirijage
Austria : Alexandrana Samona
Australia : Earnest Brig
Denmark : Luna
Brazil : Paulo Lauren
Sri Lanka : Ruby
India : Karimulla
Turkey : Ismail
Lebonan : Ahmed Elaver

Tulsi Leaves to Keep the Diseases at Bay

Tulsi Leaves for healing multiple diseases
Though it was worshiped for thousands of years by Hindus, it is just now that Tulsi (Holy Basil) is gaining its popularity all over the world for its medicinal properties. In Ayurveda it is considered as the destroyer of all the three doshas. It has been proven that daily use of it helps a lot to maintain the normal health. Taking juice of Tulsi leaves with water on empty stomach in the morning purifies the blood, increases the glow and memory power, and tones the digestive system as well. Tulsi juice immediately stops vomiting.

Fever & Common Cold: extract juice from a handful of fresh Tulsi leaves and give it to drink mixed with a glass of fresh water. This should be repeated after every 2 to 3 hours. It is especially very much effective in children to bring down the fever. Even chewing some leaves can work wonder in both common cold and fever.

Sore Throat: boil half liter of water with some fresh Tulsi leaves and drink it slowly. This water can also be used for gargling. This should be repeated twice or thrice a day according to the need and continued for some days.
Respiratory tract: a decoction of Tulsi leaves, cloves and common salt is extremely useful in any case of influenza and any other respiratory tract related diseases. It should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left.
Versatile Herb for the Body
Heart Disorder: daily use of Tulsi leaves (in any form) gives comfort to the heart patients. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.
Stress: recent researches have proven the adaptogen (anti-stress) quality of Tulsi leaves. Just chewing 12 leaves every day helps relieve the stress to a large extent.
Mouth Infections: chewing a few leaves every day is enough to combat any of the oral infections like pyorrhea, bad breath etc.
Insect Bites: extract of fresh Tulsi leaves should be taken and must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots can be applied in case of insect or leeches bites.
Headaches: a decoction of the leaves can be given in case of headache. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste if applied on the forehead gives instant relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general.

Eye Disorders: Two drops of Shyam Tulsi (black holy basil) leaves applied in the eyes daily at bedtime corrects the eye-problems mainly caused by the deficiency of vitamin A.
Teeth Disorders: Powder of the leaves can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. Daily use of this keeps you away from bad breath, pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.

Finally: “Chew 10-12 fresh Tulsi leaves every day keep diseases at bay”.