The month of Maha is the latter half of Shishir. People have gained considerable energy and strength after celebrating the holy days of Posh. The observance of these festival days have protected people against the biting cold that sucks and dries up the body constituents, and helps strengthen the virulence of both men and women. The holy days of Maha are for gathering and storing up energy, enough to last for the coming seasons of heat and moisture.
Maha is the month to take nutritious food, at the same taking care that the nutrition is assimilated. Sufficient physical labour or exercise is needed for this assimilation. Those who do not take care to provide heat to the body by doing sufficient exercise invite diseases.
Thus, the month of Maha is more for the assimilation of nutrients rather than for taking in nutrients. Therein, rests the key to good health.
Makhana( Lotus seed Popcorn) 1/2 cup Sesame seeds 1/2 cup Jaggery 3/4 cup Fennel seeds 1 tsp Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp Cow Ghee 1 tsp
Dry roast makhana till it become crispy and breaks into two pieces. Dry roast Sesame seeds. In a pan add jaggery, when it starts melting add fennel seeds and cardamom powder, cook it for 2-3 minutes. Add Sesame seeds and makhana mix well and immediately turn off the gas. Spread it on a plate and cut into pieces and serve.
In a pan add powdered sugar and melt it into a brown liquid. Add Walnut pieces and spread it on a plate. Break into small pieces and walnut crunch is ready Mix milk and rock sugar in a pan boil it In a bowl mix Ragi flour and water to make a thick paste. Mix this in milk and stir continuously, till it becomes thick paste. Set it in a bowl and garnish with walnut crunch. Cool and serve.
Whole Ragi Urad dal Rock Salt
Wash ragi and urad dal separately. Soak it in water separately for 5 – 6 hours. Grind Ragi and urad dal separately into a fine paste. Add enough water to make a fine batter. Keep it aside for 8 hours till it ferments. Spread the batter on hot tawa. Flip after a two minutes. Dosas are readyto be served with Coconut Chutney or chutney pudi. From this batter, idlis and dhoklas can also be made.
The venue was the same. The mission almost identical. Even the crowd was quite similar. It is tempting to dismiss the clarion call given by Sri Sri at Ramlila ground, to volunteer for a better India, as a mere show of strength which is doomed to fizzle out. After all, wasn’t this the fate of recent confluences at Ramlila Maidan? However, for one not-so-obvious reason, the destiny of this movement is written differently.
I say this not because Sri Sri is my spiritual guru. Nor because his movement is backed by UN agencies! Not even because he has got the youth of India on his side. The fate of Volunteer For A Better India (VBI) movement, launched by Sri Sri at Ramlila ground on Feb 3rd, will be different only because the movement is anchored in spirituality; because its approach is holistic! From what we saw at Ramlila Maidan last week, I can vouch that this pan-India mobilisation has the intelligence to see things as they exist. It’s not clouded by prejudices of any kind; for or against any person, any party, any ideology, and, for that matter, any thing. As an IIT alumnus emphasised from the dais, seemingly there are no adversaries in spirituality!
It is really heartening that there wasn’t slightest hint of rabble-rousing during the gathering that lasted over three hours and attended a diverse crowd of nearly 200,000 people. Sri Sri didn’t play to the gallery. Instead, he gave a passionate and compelling appeal to the masses. “Keep the fire in the belly for a better India burning, but don’t allow it to burn India!” He extended the hand of communion and made a fervent appeal to the government to join in the movement.
The tone was distinctly different from what Ramlila Maidan has echoed ever since it became the forced destination for awakened Indians to express their frustrations against a failed system. Like Sri Sri, everyone present was totally focussed on the objective and the job on hand. Nobody wasted time or energy in anti-government sloganeering or finger-pointing. Instead, everybody was busy committing what they can do to better India instead of blaming others for what they didn’t do or what they did! The resolve was simple and palpable. “Ham ungli nahin, kadam uthayenge.”
The whole atmosphere of negativity and cynicism that’s drowning India of late was replaced by a positively charged platform for making India better! The ‘Cow Culture’ as eulogised by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan was on full display. The octogenarian Islamic scholar and peace activist must have felt the pulse of the gathering when he talked about living like a cow which churns dry (negativity) grass into nutritious milk (positivity).
The hope for a better India undoubtedly lies in making her people embrace this ‘Cow Culture’. And its promise to deliver on this front makes Sri Sri’s Ram Leela pledge revolutionary. More than anything, VBI will make public participation in nation-building accessible and easier. It will open up ways in which one can take responsibility and contribute to creating an India that is clean, safe and strong. And much isn’t demanded.
Just one hour a day will do. There is a wide range of issues one can get involved with. From women safety to corruption to child rights to literacy to de-addication to environment protection, there will be something that’s close to one’s heart. The idea is to make all Indians think and act about their nation at least for an hour a day. As Sri Sri said, if that spirit of volunteerism and patriotism were alive, no passerby would have ignored Nirbhaya when she was gasping for life after being thrown out of the bus on that fateful evening.
The idea is clicking on the ground. More than 1000 projects have already been taken up in schools, colleges, slums, villages, through workshops, nukkad nataks, medical camps, education camps, awareness drives, etc in NCR alone. On the big stage itself, a series of far-reaching partnerships and alliances were announced. Fifteen thousand Doctors of Delhi Medical Association (DMA) have already pledged to dedicate two Sundays a year for free consultation under the program “Do Ravivar Desh Ke Naam.
This wave of Desh Bhakti is going to reverberate across India as thousands of Sri Sri’s devotees join in. Already several cities have lined up Ramlila Maidan-like events. From Mumbai to Bangalore to Siliguri, the call for action will only get louder. Surely, none can complain about the rising decibel. Those who saw Sri Sri at Ram Leela ground have no doubt VBI is primed to unite Indians beyond the barriers of caste, creed, religion, region, etc. That is the key. As Sri Sri said, “It is not just the work of an organization but the whole country.”
I hope our political class will also join in. May God bless them with the vision to see this initiative as a spirit(ual) revolution and not as a divisive political mobilisation! Amen, Aameen, Tathastu!
Sunday the 3rd of February 2013 will be long cherished in the history of social activism for several reasons. The world witnessed a new order in social activism on that day. Peaceful and musical yet strident and meaningful. The occasion was the launch of the Volunteer for a better India (VBI) movement at the Ramlila grounds by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar renowned spiritual leader and Founder of the Art of Living.
It was a sea of humanity present there. I thought perhaps the Kumbh Mela of social activism was playing at the Ramlila grounds in the capital. Over one lakh people from all walks of life. Disciplined yet celebrative. Drenched in peace yet firm in their resolve. Committed to honestly look at several issues facing the nation without blaming, shaming or naming anyone. People were spilling onto the nearby roads, sitting atop vehicles and far into the horizon waiting to listen to Sri Sri talk. At regular intervals cheerful and celebrative music was in the air. Inspiring to the mind and meditative for the soul.
For a change there were no theatrics or high drama that we normally see at such events. There were no screaming sirens of peace howling into the mike. Nor were there any sarcastic or veiled speeches aimed at any Man, Madam or Minister.
And the best of all, there were absolutely no relay fasts or single-man fasts to impress the nation that anyways finally ends with that million dollar climax scene of sipping juice under the hundred-odd flashing bulbs and cameras of an ever – hungry media ! There was clearly no attempt at bringing the nation or the capital to a screeching halt. Nor did we find any tear-jerkers to give ideas to our Hindi teleserial script-writers!
Welcome to the new order of social activism. With that touch of soulful music. Only a man of peace and genuine concern like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar could have brought such grace and dignity at the Volunteer for a better India (VBI) launch to make a telling point on several burning issues that both the government and people of India are embroiled in today.
Complete with music, determination and total inclusiveness which is a hallmark and virtue of Sri Sri and his Art of Living Foundation, the program saw religious leaders, social activists and welfare workers sit alongside with the mighty United Nations officials. All ready to even give their right hand to volunteer for a better India. As the phalanx of dignitaries rose to make their pledges and workable ideas known to the people gathered there and as well as to people watching the live webcast in over 50 countries.
Just as how all of Sri Sri`s charitable works and programs include people without discrimination towards anyone, the Volunteer for a better India (VFABI) launch was also the perfect all-inclusive affair. Westerners from the Americas and Europe, the under-privileged, farmers and rural citizens from every Indian State, youth in thousands and even many Chinese were spotted amongst the audience. Probably even some spies in the crowd may have simply fallen in love with the peace and harmony running throughout the program and not to forget Sri Sri`s charm and peaceful presence !
India needs and longs for such a leadership and direction. Moreover, it is such noble initiatives that make a powerful impact and inspire people to really put shoulder to the wheel and get working. The huge inspired crowds at the event clearly show that this movement has not begun simply on a passing fad, emotional plank or a prayer. This movement has begun as a force-multiplier in the Indian landscape with the collective genuine intention of more than a million people.
Come February 24th and the Bhavan`s College Grounds in Mumbai I hear is all set to see a wave of support for the VBI. Well I am going to possibly have yet another story to tell about how amazingly Sri Sri Ravi Shankar proves that ideas, issues and life`s challenges can be handled and expressed with dignity, peace. And great music!