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1456
General Discussion / Re: The Significance of Ekadasi
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:58:27 AM »
Given below is an excerpt from the auto biography of Swami Chaitanyananda , a Senior Direct Disciple of Swami Sivananda , who is not known much to the outside world as he maintained lot of seclusion in Uttarkashi ,Himalayas.I was blessed to meet him in person many years back when he came to chennai ( after a gap of more than 50 years ) .His message is simple and direct :
http://chaitanyadham.tripod.com/teachings.htm
People ask, "What should I do? How should I practice?" although our Swamiji's( Swami Sivananda )  books are full of answers to these questions."Meditate daily, pray, do Japa, fast on Ekadasi, observe mouna daily for two hours, do charity 1/10th  of your income, etc."
So he has given everything. But we imagine that these things are commonplace, and we want something new.  We feel it is all commonplace, we have out-grown all that.

1457
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:40:11 AM »
Sage of Kanchi
There is no need to vocalise the words of the mantra. Even if it is repeated mentally, healthy vibrations will be produced in the nadis. If the same --the Vedic mantra -- is chanted loudly ("Vedaghosa") it will give divine joy to the listeners even if they do not understand the meaning. Such a sound has the power to make mankind happy.

1458
General Discussion / Re: The Significance of Ekadasi
« on: September 14, 2013, 01:51:51 PM »
The following is a very comprehensive article on how Ekadasi is to be observed according to ISKCON who are very strong followers of Lord Krishna and the Vaishnava Bhakti Sampradaya . In essence this article says the aim of all these observances ( i.e fasting etc ) is to give more time to contemplate on Lord Krishna  through Japa and Kirtan keeping a very light diet  that takes very little time to prepare . We need go to such extremes but can eat fruits and milk or observe at least half a day fast ( which is also advised ) and contemplate on Arunachala and Bhagavan Ramana .
During normal working days it is difficult to do this but since the coming Ekadasi falls on a Sunday i.e Sun 15 Sept 2013 people can give it a try . Also it is ideally advised to fast once a week or have a fruit diet once a week to detox the body and give it good rest and keep the mind free - light and sattvic to focus on God .

EKADASI OBSERVANCE
http://ekadashi.iskcondesiretree.info/02_-_Ekadasi%20observance.htm

From the very beginning of His childhood life Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu introduced the system of observing a fast on the Ekadasi day.
In the Bhakti-sandarbha, by Srila Jiva Goswami, there is a quotation from the Skanda Puran admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekadasi becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down.
On Ekadasi, everything is cooked for Vishnu, including regular grains and dhal, but it is enjoined that a Vaisnava should not even take visnu-prasadam on Ekadasi.
It is said that a Vaisnava does not accept anything eatable that is not offered to Lord Visnu, but on Ekadasi a Vaisnava should not touch even maha-prasadam offered to Visnu, although such prasadam may be kept for being eaten the next day.
It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekadasi, even if it is offered to Lord Visnu.
= REF. Ädi 15.10

Ekadasi literally means "the eleventh day."
There are two Ekadasis in a month : on the eleventh day after the new moon, and on the eleventh day after the full moon.
Of all vratas (vows of austerity), Visnu is most pleased with those who observe the Ekadasi vrata.
Therefore anyone who does not observe the vrata and eats grains on Ekadasi is said to eat sin, for he disobeys the Lord's order and thus displeases Him.
Thus, although Ekadasi fasting is good for health, it should be undertaken principally for the sake of pleasing Krsna.
To observe Ekadasi vrata and Dvadasi vrata means to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Those interested in advancing in Krsna consciousness must observe Ekadasi regularly.(SB 9.4.29)

Hari Bhakti Vilasa quotes from many scriptures to establish the necessity of observing the Ekadasi vrata, to glorify the vrata, to establish the proper day on which to observe the vrata, and to give the proper mode of observance.
Observing the Ekadasi vrata (vow of austerity) is one of the principal duties of Vaisnavas.
To fail to do so is a serious offence.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung, madhava-tithi bhakti-janane jatane palana kari (Suddha-bhakata, from Saranagati):
"I observe with great care the holy days like Ekadasi and Janmashtami, for they are the mother of devotion."

All people, male and female, of all castes and ages, from eight to eighty, should observe the Ekadasi vrata in all circumstances.
This applies to the Ekadasis of both the waxing (gaura or sukla) and waning (krsna paksa) phases of the moon.

FASTING


All devotees must avoid the following foods on Ekadasi : grains (wheat, rice, etc.), dahl, peas, bean type vegetables, mustard seeds, sesame seeds (except on Sat-tila Ekadasi, when sesame [tila] seeds may be offered and eaten), derivatives of these foods (wheat flour, mustard oil, soya bean oil etc.), and food items containing these products.
For instance, care should be taken in using powdered spices, which, if mixed with flour, should not be used on Ekadasi.
Particularly, commercially prepared powdered asafatoeda (hing) is always mixed with flour and is not to be used on Ekadasi.
If even a slight piece of grain is ingested, even accidentally, the Ekadasi fast is broken.
Devotees should not even think of neglecting the Ekadasi fast, unless its observance would severely strain their health.
Only in rare cases, those who are physically unable to fast may take grains on Ekadasi, but then only with the explicit permission of their guru.
Those who, in the course of the year, break the Ekadasi fast even once, should observe the yearly Bhima Nirjala Ekadasi (see below).

Pancaratra Pradipa states:
"One who is very strictly observing Ekadasi should avoid all spices except pepper, rock salt and cumin.
He should also eschew certain vegetables, such as tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, and leafy vegetables."
Simpler than this and even more strict is to fast completely.

Srila Prabhupada usually observed the Ekadasi fast in the simplest manner prescribed in scripture, by refraining from eating grains, beans, peas and dahl.
Sometimes he observed a half-day fast.
Some devotees eat only fruit on Ekadasi, some take only water, and some fully fast, even from water (this latter is called nirjala vrata).
Non-grain high carbohydrate foods are often prepared on Ekadasi.
Sago (tapioca) is a common example.
But sago is sometimes mixed with rice flour, and apparently sometimes even with crushed insects.
So unless one is sure about the source, sago should be avoided.
In India, preparations resembling capatis and rice are made on Ekadasi from non-grain ingredients.
Srila Prabhupada was pleased if his disciples strictly observed ekadasi, but he did not emphasize it.

(Tamal Krsna Goswami): I told Srila Prabhupada we were strictly observing Ekadasi, no eating or drinking.
He said, "Very good." (TKG'S Diary, page 70)

Actually on the Ekadasi days we should not take any food, or even drink water.
But in our society we are not doing so strictly.
We say, "On Ekadsi, you don't take food grains.
Take a little fruit, milk."
Ekadasi day, there is no eating sumptuously.
Simply you take a little fruit and flower.
Try to avoid that also.
You don't take even water. That is really Ekadasi.
But because we cannot do it in the Kali-yuga the time is different therefore we are allowed to take a little fruit and milk, which is called anukalpa.

For those who are accustomed to full fasting from a young age and have the physical strength for it, refraining from food and water on Ekadasi is an excellent practice.
Not only food, but also sleep is supposed to be given up or minimized on Ekadasi.
Those who are so practised may also stay awake all night on Ekadasi, chanting the glories of the Lord.
Yet, due to so many discrepancies of modern life, the physical strength of the average person is much less than when this type of fasting was commonly practiced.
Therefore many devotees who try to follow this vow become physically devastated.
Even if they force themselves to stay awake throughout the night, they cannot properly chant because of hunger, weakness and tiredness.
In such cases, is better to follow the process of devotional service according to one's physical ability, rather than attempt something one cannot properly do.

Fasting means if you don't feel weak, then you fast--not that you imitate Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.
That is not possible in the beginning. But it is possible if you practice.
It is not unusual to feel a little weak when fasting, although with practice one can fast without being disturbed by weakness.
However, if a devotee feels too weak to properly perform his standard services, it is better that he take a little non-grain prasada on Ekadasi and continue with his regular activities.
If there is service and on my fasting, service will be stopped, then I can take.
First consideration: service.
Now if somebody feels weak, he can take maha-prasada, render service.
( Morning Walk Los Angeles, June 7, 1976)

Full fasting on Ekadasi is good for health and good practice in restraining the senses, yet the main purpose of observing Ekadasi-vrata is to increase remembrance of Krsna.

One who thinks of food instead of Krsna gets little benefit from fasting.
It is therefore better, both for health considerations and to help the mind from being diverted, to break fast with a simple rather than elaborate meal.
One of the limbs of a vrata is to diminish the devotee's propensity for enjoyment.
If one thinks, "Today somehow or other I will renounce, but tomorrow I will enjoy profusely," then the purpose of the vow will not be successful.
If a devotee who is fasting sleeps more due to weakness (real or imagined), cannot rise the next morning, or makes elaborate arrangements to enjoy breaking the fast the next morning, he will derive little benefit.
When Tamal Krsna Gosvami asked Srila Prabhupada if devotees could fast fully on Ekadasi, Prabhupada replied "Yes, but don't lie down and sleep."

Artificial observance is merely a superficial austerity.
Indeed, the disturbance to a devotee's regular routine and service may even be a hindrance to his spiritual advancement.
Nor should devotees do strict fasting to impress others, or think themselves superior for doing so, or put pressure on others to also do so.
Full Ekadasi fasting is optional, and should not be forced onto anyone.

TIMING OF THE FAST :


Observance of Ekadasi vrata is calculated to begin at sunrise.
The period before sunrise is considered to be part of the previous day.
So the Ekadasi vrata starts at sunrise and lasts until the next sunrise.
We observe Ekadasi from sunrise to sunrise.
Twelve midnight is the western astronomical calculation, but the Vedic astronomical calculation begins either from the sunrise or the moonrise.
Generally it is sunrise.
Our calculation is like this: when the sunrise is there, Ekadasi tithi (date) must be there.
If the tithi begins a few minutes after the sunrise, then we accept that day as prior to Ekadasi.
( Letter to: Madhudvisa, 30 September, 1969 )

If one eats grains during the period from sunrise to sunrise, one breaks the vrata.
He will not get the results of the fasting, and he will get impious reactions as well.
In Vedic culture the day begins at sunrise no matter when the lunar tithi begins (The Vedic system differs from the Gregorian calendar in as much as the days are named are deemed to begin at sunrise, rather than midnight).
Therefore, technically speaking, since ekadasi or any other day does not begin until sunrise, one could eat grains before sunrise.
However, one should generally not eat in the pre-dawn hours, and especially not on ekadasi.
Hence, ekadasi fasting and other observances should be followed from the time of waking up on the ekadasi vrata day.
Some Vaisnavas are particular not to eat anything after sunset the night before, to make sure there is no undigested food left in the stomach on ekadasi day.

BRAKING THE FAST


Ekadasi fasting ends with päraëa, i.e., breaking the fast the next day (Dvadasi) by taking grain prasada.
Parana must be performed within a specific time, calculated separately for each Dvadasi.
For the dates of Ekadasi and the times for breaking fast, one can consult the Vaisnava calendar (available from ISKCON centers).
The specific calendar used by ISKCON should be used, as the prescribed dates for Ekadasi and important festivals may vary according to the system of calculation used by the panditas in each sampradaya.

If devotees accidentally break the fast on Ekadasi, they should observe fasting on the following day.
Hari Sauri Prabhu recalls an occasion when:
The devotees inadvertently broke the Ekadasi vow because the cook accidentally put peas in the vegetable preparations.
Srila Prabhupada told us we were all nonsense.
He angrily rebuked us, "Now you have to fast for three days!" This shocked everyone.
"Yes, that is the procedure," he confirmed.
Seeing the stunned look on our faces he relented, but said that we should observe Ekadasi for the rest of the day and then again tomorrow on Dvadasi.
( Transcendental Diary, 1.258 )

Similarly, if the morning fast to be observed on an appearance or disappearance day of an acarya or avatara is inadvertently broken, it should be followed the next day.
(c.f. TD4 p.42)

BHIMA EKADASI :


It is said that the Pandava Bhima could not observe fasting on ekadasi and so Krsna told him to fully fast, even from water, only once a year.
This comes annually in the month of Trivikrama, at the hottest time of the year in India, which makes it a great austerity to observe.
This day is also known as Pandava nirjala ekadasi or simply nirjala ekadasi.

Srila Prabhupäda did not emphasize strict following of nirjala ekadasi without taking water.
Hari Sauri Prabhu recounts that "When I was with Srila Prabhupada in 1976 nirjala ekadasi was observed while we were in America.
Prabhupada never mentioned that we should strictly observe it by fasting from water."

REMEMBERING KRISHNA :

For many devotees, Ekadasi simply means a change of diet.
Many hardly even notice Ekadasi coming and going.
But Ekadsi observance means more than refraining from eating grains.
The traditional system of following the Ekadsi vrata is to fast and stay awake all night chanting the Lord's glories.
It is a three day austerity that entails taking only one simple meal before nightfall on Dasami (the day before Ekadasi), and a similar simple meal on Dvadasi (the day after Ekadasi).
Although this strict observance may not be practicable for most devotees, everyone should try to take advantage of the auspicious time of Ekadasi to advance in Krsna consciousness.

In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekadasi day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life.
The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase one's faith and love for Govinda, or Krishna.
The real reason for observing fasting on Ekadasi is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing similar service.
The best thing to do on fasting days is to remember the pastimes of Govinda and to hear His holy name constantly.
( NOD Ch.7 )

Srila Prabhupada recommended that devotees with sufficient time chant twenty five or more rounds of japa on Ekadasi.
Why just twenty-five rounds? You should chant as many as possible.
Real Ekadasi means fasting and chanting and no other business.
When one observes fasting, the chanting becomes easier.
So on Ekadasi other business can be suspended as far as possible, unless there is some urgent business.
( Letter to: Jadurani, 9 July, 1971 ) However, although Srila Prabhupada told a few devotees to chant twenty-five rounds on Ekadasi, he did not make it compulsory for all.
He particularly exempted devotees busy in preaching from the necessity to chant extra rounds.

Tamäla Krishna: We should always chant twenty-five rounds on ekadasi if initiated.
Prabhupäda: Initiated? Everyone. Why initiated?
Tamäla Krishna: So that should be standard for our movement on ekadasi day?
Prabhupada: Standard is sixteen, but if one can chant more, then he is welcome.
Tamäla Krishna: It's not mandatory for ekadasi.
Jayapataka : Recommended.
Prabhupada: No. Ekadasi means that, fasting and chanting.
Tamala Krishna: Sometimes I'm wondering, because our men have to go out on book distribution.
Prabhupada: No, no. That is also preaching work. For that purpose you can stop this, but generally, one who has no preaching work, he can chant extra.
And even preachers sometimes need to wind down and get recharged with an extra dose of hearing and chanting, for which enhanced Ekadasi performance provides the ideal opportunity.



1459
General Discussion / Re: The Significance of Ekadasi
« on: September 14, 2013, 01:01:38 PM »
Since the next ekadasi is coming on Sun 15 Sept I am sharing this information .
Ekadasi 2013 Dates  from Sept 2013 to Dec 2013
 

01    September    (Sunday)    Aja Ekadashi
15    September    (Sunday)    Parsva Ekadashi
30    September    (Monday)    Indira Ekadashi
15    October    (Tuesday)    Papankusha Ekadashi
30    October    (Wednesday)    Rama Ekadashi
13    November    (Wednesday)    Devutthana Ekadashi
29    November    (Friday)    Utpanna Ekadashi
13    December    (Friday)    Mokshada Ekadashi
28    December    (Saturday)    Saphala Ekada

Source :
http://www.drikpanchang.com/vrats/ekadashidates.html

Rules Of Ekadasi Fasting :

Ekadashi fasting is observed on every 11th Tithi in Hindu calendar. There are two Ekadashi fasting in a month, one during Shukla Paksha and another during Krishna Paksha. Devotees of Lord Vishnu observe Ekadashi fasting to seek His blessings.

Ekadashi fasting spans for three days. Devotees take single meal in the afternoon a day before fasting day to make sure there is no residual food in the stomach on next day. Devotees keep strict fast on Ekadashi day and break the fast on next day only after sunrise. Eating of all type of grains and cereals is prohibited during Ekadashi fasting.

Devotees can choose to observe fasting without water, with only water, with only fruits, with one time latex food according to their will and body power. However it should be decided before starting the fast.

At times Ekadashi fasting is suggested on two consecutive days. It is advised that Smartha with family should observe fasting on first day only. The alternate Ekadashi fasting, which is the second one, is suggested for Sanyasis, widows and for those who want Moksha. When alternate Ekadashi fasting is suggested for Smartha it coincides with Vaishnava Ekadashi fasting day.

Ekadashi fasting on both days is suggested for staunch devotees who seek for love and affection of Lord Vishnu.

This page list Ekadashi fasting days for Smarthas. Vaishnavas should check Vaishnava Ekadashi Fasting to know Vaishnava fasting days. Vaishnava fasting day might be one day after of Smartha fasting day.

Note : Kindly follow the link above for more details with regard to Smartha /Vaishnava fasting

1460
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: September 14, 2013, 11:48:34 AM »
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete - Buddha

1461
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: September 14, 2013, 09:52:17 AM »

The Seven Practices for a Healthy Mind


l Our breath is our best friend

2 Long breaths are first-aid for the mind

3 Developing mindfulness of the breathing at least 20 minutes is cultivation

4 Adhering to right speech

5 Trying to correct yourself

6 Adding at least one good deed daily

7 Reserving one hour daily for right thinking

Source : Buddhism for a Healthy Mind
http://thesevenpracticesforahelthymind.blogspot.in/

1462
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 12, 2013, 03:45:05 PM »
For performing penance to cleanse your life, it is not necessary to go to a forest. Take a vow to speak the truth, say it at an appropriate time and in a pleasing manner; not to tell a lie, even if it is going to please another. If you follow these precepts, you are no less than a great sage.- Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

1463
Quote
She described the more popular idli and sambhar as a "complete meal".

"The rice and urad dal in idlis complement each other, making it a complete protein. The vegetables and dal in the sambhar are good supplements," she said.


The  essence of the above article is given above in the Highlighted text .
Plus we must note the following :

1) Skipping of breakfast is not good for health .
2) Eating excess of any good breakfast be it Idly ,Sambar etc is also not good in morning .
One Doctor told on TV couple of years back that Idly,chutney is the good breakfast  but for that matter do not eat 10 Idlis and do not eat Idllis floating in a bowl of sambar ( as served in some famous Hotels in Chennai )  and do not eat Idlis fully soaked in Oil + Chilly powder . He told Idlis taken with mint chutney is more than enough and take not more than 2 Idlis in the morning .


1464
General topics / Re: Subramanya Bharati's death anniversary - 11.09.2013
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:40:17 PM »
http://blog.nilavan.net/2008/07/blog-post_4616.html

Poet Bharatidasan who kept Bharathiar as his Guru also wrote about the greatness of Tamil in his song given below .This song came in a Tamil movie .

இனபத் தமிழ்

தமிழுக்கும் அமுதென்று பேர் - அந்தத்
தமிழ் இன்பத் தமிழ் எங்கள் உயிருக்கு நேர்!
தமிழுக்கு நிலவென்று பேர் - இன்பத்
தமிழ் எங்கள் சமுகத்தின் விளைவுக்கு நீர்!
தமிழுக்கு மணமென்று பேர் - இன்பத்
தமிழ் எங்கள் வாழ்வுக்கு நிருமித்த ஊர்!
தமிழுக்கு மதுவென்று பேர் - இன்பத்
தமிழ் எங்கள் உரிமைச்செம் பயிருக்கு வேர்!

தமிழ் எங்கள் இளமைக்கு பால் - இன்பத்
தமிழ் நல்ல புகழ்மிக்க புலவர்க்கு வேல்!
தமிழ் எங்கள் உயர்வுக்கு வான் - இன்பத்
தமிழ் எங்கள் அசதிக்குச் சுடர்தந்த தேன்!
தமிழ் எங்கள் அறிவுக்குத் தோள் - இன்பத்
தமிழ் எங்கள் கவிதைக்கு வயிரத்தின் வாள்!
தமிழ் எங்கள் பிறவிக்குத் தாய் -இன்பத்
தமிழ் எங்கள் வளமிக்க உளமுற்ற தீ!

Here is the source to all poetic works of Bharathidasan
http://blog.nilavan.net/2008/07/blog-post_3027.html

1465
General topics / Re: Subramanya Bharati's death anniversary - 11.09.2013
« on: September 11, 2013, 08:52:49 PM »
A complete source to Subramania Bharathiar's Poetic Works

http://www.tamilvu.org/library/l9100/html/l9100ind.htm

We can use this thread to share about Subramania Bharatiar's works and sayings

Here is Bharathiar talking about greatness of Tamil Language
தமிழ்

யாமறிந்த மொழிகளிலே தமிழ்மொழிபோல்
  இனிதாவது எங்கும் காணோம்.

பாமரராய், விலங்குகளாய், உலகனைத்தும்
  இகழ்ச்சி சொலப் பான்மை கெட்டு
நாமமது தமிழரெனக் கொண்டிங்கு
  வாழ்ந்திடுதல் நன்றோ? சொல்லீர்!
தேமதுரத் தமிழோசை உலகமெலாம்
  பரவும்வகை செய்தல் வேண்டும்.    1

யாமறிந்த புலவரிலே கம்பனைப்போல்,
  வள்ளுவர்போல், இளங்கோ வைப்போல்
பூமிதனில் யாங்கணுமே பிறந்ததில்லை,
  உண்மை, வெறும் புகழ்ச்சியில்லை;
ஊமையராய்ச் செவிடர்களாய்க் குருடர்களாய்
  வாழ்கின்றோம்; ஒருசொற் கேளீர்!
சேமமுற வேண்டுமெனில் தெருவெல்லாம்
  தமிழ் முழக்கம் செழிக்கச் செய்வீர்!    2

பிறநாட்டு நல்லறிஞர் சாத்திரங்கள்
  தமிழ்மொழியிற் பெயர்த்தல் வேண்டும்;
இறவாத புகழுடைய புதுநூல்கள்
  தமிழ்மொழியில் இயற்றல் வேண்டும்;
மறைவாக நமக்குள்ளே பழங்கதைகள்
  சொல்வதிலோர் மகிமை இல்லை;
திறமான புலமையெனில் வெளிநாட்டோர்
  அதைவணக்கஞ் செய்தல் வேண்டும்.    3

உள்ளத்தில் உண்மையொளி யுண்டாயின்
  வாக்கினிலே ஒளி யுண்டாகும்;
வெள்ளத்தின் பெருக்கைப்போல் கலைப்பெருக்கும்
  கவிப்பெருக்கும் மேவு மாயின்
பள்ளத்தில் வீழ்ந்திருக்கும் குருடரெல்லாம்
  விழிபெற்றுப் பதவி கொள்வார்;
தெள்ளுற்ற தமிழமுதின் சுவைகண்டார்
  இங்கமரர் சிறப்புக் கண்டார்.    4



Note : This line யாமறிந்த மொழிகளிலே தமிழ்மொழிபோல்
  இனிதாவது எங்கும் காணோம்.


A Tamil fanatic will say Tamil is the best language and that is understandable but Bharathiar was an expert not just in Tamil but also in Sanskrit , English and also few other languages and with this background if he has praised Tamil then we must understand how much depth in what he says .

1466
Humour / Re: Funny pictures,quotes,videos...
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:21:29 AM »
LOL  :)


1467
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: September 11, 2013, 10:31:11 AM »
Quote
My father was transferred to various remote places all over India to the North and East when we were at school in Chennai.He decided to be alone and the rest of the family stayed back in Chennai in the 60s.He cooked his own food,was absolutely dedicated to his work,very efficient ,did his sadhana -he used to carry a small copy of sivananda lahari written in his own hand and used to chant it while travelling in buses or trains.

The above quote is a from Ravi's comment to Anand in the other thread .
The highlighted portion is what I want to talk about .
1) regarding making hand written copies of divine texts
These days due to availability of Xerox , Printers , IPOD ,IPHONES , Laptops , Tablets etc we do not take effort to write in hand the divine hymns that we want to master and are content to listening them in our computer ,IPODs ,laptops etc or take a xerox copy or printout of the same the net and read it .No doubt it is a very good thing but real sadhana is when we really write out in our own hand what we want to memorize . Writing with our own hand involves all our senses to operate and we end up learning the divine hymns much faster and more clearer .
In the past they had no access to such technology devices and hence relied on making a original copy of the same with their own hand and in a way it was a great blessing .
I am also quite lazy in making hand written copies ( I started it few months back and then gave it up  thinking I have it in my IPOD ,Computer etc ) and after reading the above quote from Sri Ravi I feel I have to  restart the same .

2) regarding cooking one's own food

This is again a great sadhana in itself and I see many people suffering because they are unable to make simple meals for themselves .Either they are too dependent on their wives /maids /mothers and  if they are not available they resort to eating in hotels / ready made junk foods that is not only expensive ( in today's high inflation ) but also not good for health .
Once in a way eating outside is Ok for a change or when u are really busy etc but it should never be a regular habit .
Also some people over complicate their cooking by making many dishes and end up completely drained after cooking and also at the end they waste most of the food .
I read once Kanchi Paramacharya scolding a person who in his late 50s or so marrying for the second time ( after his first wife died ) just because he wants a  wife  to cook good food for him . He told that this guy is increasing his samsara just because he cant cook himself and used that opportunity to advise all young men to learn to cook right from a young age so that they are not too dependent on their wives /mothers/cooks for their day to day meals and also when they cook their own food people keep it simple ( since they will not have much time ) and do not over complicate it and that is also good for their health .
Cooking is a great sadhana as it involves using all the senses ( right from buying the vegetables , to washing them , cutting them , cooking them , serving them , tasting them etc ) at the same time but one must approach it with love and not a burden .

1468
Health & Welfare Issues / Re: Kind request for your prayers please...
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:41:22 AM »
Quote
BTW, you will be surprised to know what is the most favorite song of my son - It is the group chanting Aksharamana Malai CD tha I have.

Sanjay

It is really a blessing that your son loves listening to  AAMM group chanting . I have a friend of mine whose son aged 5-6 also loves listening to the same and he has started memorizing the verses slowly .In the Sankaracharya thread I have given Kanchi Mahaswamigal's quote on power of  words /sound vibrations and how it differs from one good word to bad word  and it is really a blessing that kids get to hear these divine words / divine sounds at a very young age .

1469
Thanks to Sri Ravi for sharing the letter of Yogi Suddhanantha Barathi . That letter is useful for everyone .

To Anand

One insight that I received from a spiritual person with regard to Fate and Free Will is that when u start the day start with the thought that you have absolute free will to change things in your favor  and put all your efforts in that direction ( like improving your area of expertise ,using common sense , taking feedback from others ,your day to day prayer and sadhana etc etc  ) and at the night before you sleep , accept whatever the outcome ( Good , Bad ,Worse ,Ugly , Excellent etc ) as the Will of God and do not curse yourself for some mistakes that you did or jump with joy for the success you had .
Repeat the same process the next day .
Try it and see for yourself .Om Peace .

1470
Health & Welfare Issues / Re: Kind request for your prayers please...
« on: September 10, 2013, 06:14:12 PM »
Got this link to a beautiful Medicine Buddhist Mantra from a Buddhist friend of mine and they have great faith in this mantra especially to heal others .I do not know its meaning but very beautiful to listen to around 8.30 mts .

Medicine Buddha Mantra (with words)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUJucA-mrgE&feature=youtu.be
Tibetan Buddhist Mantra - To eliminate not only pain of diseases but also help in overcoming the major inner sickness of attachment, hatred, jealousy, desire, greed and ignorance. Mantra chanted by Khenpo Pema Chopel Rinpoche from the CD 'The Blessing from H.H. Penor Rinpoche for World Peace'.


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