Art of Living Wisdom.

Continued from AYURVEDA AND AGNI – 1

Ayurveda says that the Nature or entire Universe is governed and composed by five gross elements (Pancha Mahabhutas) viz. Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The human body is part of this nature so it is also governed and composed by these five elements. All these elements, more than physical substances, represent the specific qualities and properties associated with these elements.

Agni (or the biological fire of the body) has been given prime importance in Ayurveda from the point of view of health. Agni refers to the universal principle of transformation in all its forms. The Agni in human body is responsible for digestion, absorption, assimilation and transformation of food into nutrition and energy. Agni is also responsible for transformation of sensory perceptions and information into knowledge and understanding. Agni is vital for visual perception, skin lustre and regulation of temperature, confidence, courage, enthusiasm, laughter, mental clarity, intelligence and reasoning capacity. Agni is responsible for respiration and utilization of Prana. Agni helps in cellular metabolism (cellular level breathing) and maintains flow of cellular communication. Agni gives us patience, provides strength and maintains lifespan, vitality and vigour.

Ayurvedic Agni

According to Ayurveda each of these five elements is linked with specific sensory organ, specific sensory perception, specific organ of action and specific motor faculty.

In case of Agni this co-relation is as below:

Element SenseQuality SenseOrgan SensoryFaculty Organ ofAction MotorFaculty
Agni(Fire) Form Eyes To See Feet Movement

After looking at this table, one can easily understand why it is necessary to walk for some time every day to keep the vital fire inside burning.

It is said that each part of the human body is associated with a particular God. ‘Padayo Vishnu tishtatu’, meaning Lord Vishnu is present in the feet. Lord Rama is said to be present in the naval region, the seat of Agni (here, referring to the digestive fire). Lord Rama is also one form (avatar) of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu represents the maintenance principle. This again signifies that Agni is vital for maintenance of human body and walking is the best way to keep this Agni alive.

If you really go into the details, originally the Vedic tradition had only fire ceremonies. Fire sustains life. Without fire nothing will move. The first mantra of the oldest scripture known today to mankind, the Rig Veda, is about Agni, the sacred fire. In Vedic tradition, not a day passed without worshipping the Agni.

The fire element which is present in nature in different forms is also present in human body.  When you worship the fire outside, the fire inside also gets rejuvenated. Our ancients knew this secret of life. Now also in many Hindu households there is this beautiful tradition of offering water early in the morning to the Sun. Water element denotes union, love, togetherness, being one with something. Sun denotes the fire element. In many parts of India “Chhath Puja” is performed where fast is kept and rising and setting Sun is worshipped by standing in water up to naval region and offering water to the Sun. Naval region is the seat of Jatharagni (digestive fire inside). Offering water denotes the union. When we worship Sun by offering water it revitalizes the Agni inside us.

“Surya Namaskara” or Sun-Salutation is a beautiful sequence of Yoga developed thousands of years ago. It is said that Sri Krisha used to practice this yoga sequence and taught it to Pandavas. Surya Namaskaras” help in development of Manipur Chakra, (naval energy centre). Sri Krishna was also called as “Padma Nabha” because his naval chakra was said to be the size of fully blossomed Lotus (Padma). The qualities of clarity of mind, self-confidence, bliss, self-assurance, knowledge, wisdom and the ability to make correct decisions are associated with blossoming of the Manipur Chakra. It is the seat of digestive fire. Its mantra is ‘Ram’.

Agni is the fire inside us, the consciousness in us, which is so alive. It is such a great purifier. But the problem is – we do not allow the Agni to do its purification work.

In fever, our body becomes hot. Body activates its defence mechanism. It is burning all those foreign particles and bacteria that have entered the body. When this foreign bacteria or virus goes out of the body, our fever comes down. The purpose of fever is to purify our body. But as soon as fever comes we take medicines to subside the fever. We should remember that fever in a controlled form is good for us.

The fire of fasting (Jatharagni) can purify our blood and remove the toxins from the body. In Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism, Islam and in almost all the religions of the world, fasting and prayer are prescribed for purification. Hunger is connected with primordial survival instinct and it touches the deepest mental impressions (sanskaras) in us. If we do meditations and sincere prayers while fasting, it has manifold effect. It can burn all the rubbish that we collect due to actions of the past. It can burn lot of past Karma. But we never let the fire of hunger to come up. We keep stuffing our tummies before we feel hungry.

The fire of pure love and knowledge (awareness) can purify our entire existence at all the levels. But we never allow that to happen.

Let us again honour that ‘Agni’ or fire inside and outside which sustains our life and gives direction to our life.

             “Om Mahaajvalaaya Vidmahe, 

                                          Agnidevaaya Dhiimahi, 

                                                             Tanno Agnih Prachodayaat”

 

~ Sanjay Sabnis

(With inputs from Vaidya Shrikant Bagewadikar, excerpts from the book “Ayurveda Simplified” by Dr. Nisha Manikantan and talks of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji)

Art of Living Wisdom.

Recently at Pune my wife and I were fortunate enough to meet a renowned master of Ayurveda. He was an elderly gentleman of around 60-65 years with an impeccable reputation as an Ayurvedacharya. It was vouched by many that he can tell the exact number of blocks in your arteries just by checking your pulse (Nadi Pariksha).

We were lucky to get his appointment even though it was one of his ‘off’ days. After doing our ‘Pulse Diagnosis’ (in which fortunately no blocks were declared), we got some time to talk with him. My wife asked him, “How come some people though very old still have a very alert and attentive mind, whereas some people lose the alertness of mind and enthusiasm even at the age of 50 -55 years?”

His answer to this question was an eye-opener.

He explained that, as per Ayurveda the body is made up of seven ‘dhatus’ (seven constituents):

  1. Rasa – Blood serum, lymphatic fluid
  2. Rakta – Blood cells
  3. Mamsa – Muscle tissues
  4. Meda – Fat tissues
  5. Asthi – Bone tissues
  6. Majja – Bone marrow and nerve cells (Brain neurons, spinal cells)
  7. Shukra – Reproductive cells (Eggs & Sperm cells)

ayurveda

Ayurveda has beautifully explained the process of digestion. Ayurveda says that it is the fire (Agni) element in our body which helps in digestion. The digestion process is similar to a distillation column of a refinery. In a distillation column, different constituents get separated from the feed at different temperatures. Similarly during digestion separation of different nutrients from the food takes place at different intensities of fire (Agni). At low levels of ‘Agni’ the Rasa dhatu is produced. For producing Rakta a little higher amount of ‘Agni’ is required. Mamsa requires still more amount of ‘Agni’. And so on. Shukra requires the maximum amount of ‘Agni’ (energy).

Now with age, if we do not take proper care, this ‘Agni’ gets diminished. Suppose the  ‘Agni’ in our body is just sufficient to convert food to ‘Meda’(fat) but not sufficient to generate ‘Asthi’ (Bones), then there will be accumulation of fats. Bones will not get sufficient nutrition. Bone problems will start. At the same time nutrition to bone marrow, nerve cells as well as reproductive cells will get affected. Brain neurons will start showing degenerative changes. Memory, attentiveness and alertness will reduce.

So the key to good overall health is proper digestion. If you don’t want to lose your vitality with age then you have to keep the fire inside you burning. How to keep this fire burning? The Ayurvedacharya suggested simple lifestyle changes and told that the key to maintain the ‘Agni’ was very simple – keep walking.  .

He said that every day one should take ‘nature walk’ for minimum 45 minutes (at a stretch). Exercise inside a gym or any other type of yoga cannot be substitute for this ‘nature walk’. We have to walk in an open unprotected environment for 45 minutes. He said that the hormones released by the body when exposed to unprotected environment are different than those released under the protected environment.

He also insisted that we can have heavy breakfast and lunch but try to minimize or avoid our dinner. We can have fruits and liquids for dinner. We should keep a gap of minimum 3 – 4 hours between dinner and sleep. We should reduce the intake of wheat because wheat flour produces ‘Gluten’ which is not good for digestion. Roti of Jawar, Bajara, Makai or Rice can be taken in place of wheat roti. We should not drink lot of water immediately before or after meals. Only small sips of water should be taken during meals. Water can be taken 15 minutes before meals or 30 minutes after meal.

I have followed these simple steps since last few weeks and I am already feeling much more energetic and lighter.

This interaction with the Ayurvedacharya compelled me to read some more on Ayurveda and ‘Agni’.

More About ‘Agni‘ in the coming post.

Jai Gurudev

Sanjay Sabnis

Movies to Watch.

Released in 2007, August Rush is a moving drama of hope and unwavering faith, the touching story of the 11 year old protagonist, August Rush, orphaned since birth, yet holding onto this one core belief that it is through music he will find his parents again.

August is born of intense parents, both musicians, and although he is unaware of this fact, his sensitive soul grasps music everywhere. He hears music in the rattle of the tram, in the clanging noises of New York, and all these sounds he intrinsically imbibes and harmoniously transforms in his soul, later creating an indelible and unique stamp on the music he composes.

The movie itself unfolds like a musical composition – opening softly with a scene of August in the fields listening to the music of wind moving through the paddy. It is here right at the beginning that he shares his secret to the audience: “Listen…can you hear the music? I can hear it everywhere…in the air, in the lights, it’s all around us! All you have to do is open yourself up… all you have to do is listen!”

ag5

It is innocence, and a return to the self, a sense of belonging to all of nature and the universe that can make one open to the music of the cosmos, the music that moves the planets and moves the self. It is this “opening” to a higher force or call it the “higher self” that invests the little boy with creativity and such unshakeable faith, even in the face of cruel opposition from those who have lost their innocence.

The boys at his orphanage taunt him and roughly awaken him at night. They have come to shake his faith, to break him, the way some people take joy from merciless acts. The huckster, who falsely claims to be his father, also mocks Evan (August’s birth name) when he is afraid of losing him, by cruelly telling him, your parents must be dead and gone, you are wasting your time looking for them.

This is a movie that will make you wonder…about that mysterious power that brings things together, scatters and then reunites them again. This is a story of ultimate victory of good over bad; one that proves that devotion beats doubt. It reveals that if there is something you want, more than anything else, and that if it stems from a pure intention, the Universe is there to support you, despite all the odds. It is a story of love, undying faith, loyalty, and supreme effort. What ties the trio together is their sincerity to find each other. The flame of faith that burns in them colors the certainty of their coming together.

Spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says life is a combination of fate and free will. When confronted by challenges it is foolish to despair and wail, “This is my destiny! I’m helpless!” Gurudev encourages us to apply our efforts. Our efforts will surely pay, if not bringing us the result that we desire, at least the relief that we tried our best. “Put your efforts and then let go.” The results are not in our hands. So it is best to do your best and then surrender to the Divine will.

life combination

Just when we begin to relax and rejoice at the prospect of a reunion of this star-crossed family, the movie reaches a crescendo as we watch August helplessly snatched away by his foster father, in the midst of the rehearsal for his grand debut performance. The tables turn once again when in a random meeting at the park, where August is back to collecting coins in a cap, his father walks up to him, admires his playing and rekindles his lost faith. Only a few hours before the performance August manages to run away from the peddler; ultimately breaking from the tyranny of deceit and doubt.

The movie ends in a gentle yet powerful finale with the long lost lovers finding each other in the crowd and August, on completing the composition, turning around to face the audience and his parents whom he intuitively recognizes. The movie ends with his winning smile.

ag1

This is a movie for music lovers and those inclined to muse over the dramatic twists of fate, a film that will certainly lift your spirits and rekindle the lost child in you, and make you believe once again: that in this world of uncertainties if you have the faith you can turn your fate around!

Art of Living Wisdom, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Vasant season is here !! The cheerful season of Vasant comes afterall the body stiffness experienced during Shishir. Cool mornings and warm afternoons of Vasant open up our limbs ecstatically. The Vasant season is all about beautiful flowers, awesome weather and diverse colorful nature. One such festival that comes during this time is HOLI!!!

With celebration in the air along with colorful faces, the festival of Holi is not just about all this. The scientific purpose is much larger. The energy conserved during the winter months is utilized for the celebrations of Holi. The type of foods eaten in winter produces kapha. This stored kapha begins to melt and dilute in the sunshine of the changed weather causing health problems, obstructing the tubes. Bonfires are lit and coconuts, tender plants of Vasanta, i.e pungent mango and neem flower stalks, are thrown into the bonfire. The smoke emitted from the burning of these plants burns up our kapha on one hand, and on the other, the aromatic steam which spreads in the atmosphere, prevents the new diseases borne out of the rising pitta.

In and around the region of Marwad, there is an old custom to smear the leather in the drums with poison removing herbs before drumming, so that the particles that rise up & purify the atmosphere. Another custom during the Holi festival days is to throw colours and coloured water at one another. Formerly, the colour used was only the colour of boiled Kesuda (flowers of Palasha tree) along with dried Abil and Gulal powders. Kesuda and Mogra flowers are coolants that protect against the heat and sunshine. This custom is meant to check our body constituents from being over heated in summer. Kesuda is a normalizer of pitta, balancing cold and heat. It keeps us cool in the heat and builds up resistance in the blood, preventing disease.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji explains the significance of Holi in a very simple manner, Holi is a festival of colours. Just like in nature there are different colours associated with our feelings and emotions. Each person is a fountain of colours which keep changing. Your emotions and desires burn you like fire. But when they are a fountain of colours, they add charm to your life.

Sudarshan Kriya harmonizes the rhythms of the body, emotions and puts them back in tune with the rhythms of nature. Being in rhythm, we feel good about ourselves, love flows naturally in all relationships.

So, this Holi, lets add this charm in our lives, Let the celebration begin !!!

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Art of Living Courses.

In the recent “Mann Ki Baat” by our Honourable PM Shri Narendra Modi ji, on “Drug Free India“, He mentioned about the dire need for awareness among youth about the impact that drugs have on any human being.

 

What may seem to be fun for a short duration of time, can ruin your entire life. They say that about 98% of cocaine users started with cigarettes. According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, over 10 lakh people die due to tobacco addiction and related diseases in India every year. Those who smoke tobacco easily fall prey to other addictions. 44 per cent of tobacco users (in the age group of 12 to 15 years) have been found to be addicted drugs such as ganja, cocaine and heroine, according to various studies 65% of ganja and 98% cocaine users surveyed said they began with tobacco Those who smoke 15 cigarettes and more per day were found to be addicted to using ganja frequently.

 

Well, there is no dearth of research on this topic, but what is the need of the hour for the drug addicts is a loving, caring environment, where they can shun such addictions and rehabilitate their lives.

 

 Art of Living’s De-addiction program is the natural Solution to Drug & Alcohol De-addiction. The program gives a natural and clean intoxication from breathing techniques or pranayama gears one to take on life’s challenges without resorting to old addictive behaviours. It purifies the nervous system  which is worst affected by substance abuse. In turn, one regain good health.

 

In one of the worst affected states of India, Punjab; De-addiction program has helped transform lives of many.

 

A small video shows the work done.

 

You can also visit http://www.vvmrc.com/  for more details

 

May our society be free from this curse of Addiction of Alcohol and Drugs.

By Namita Bohara

Art of Living Wisdom.

Seeing God as a Child

One can see an expression of the Indian love for children in the manner in which they have idolized even their gods in the form of a child.

We thus see portrayals of Shiva as Bala Shiva, Rama as Bala Rama, Krishna as Bala Krishna, Ganesha as Bala Ganapathy, Karthikeya as Bala Muruga and Hanuman as Bala Hanuman.

Seeing god

Godly Children

Indian legends, the Purana are replete with enjoyable stories of the acts of various divinities in their child like form, some among these divinities being Tattva, cosmic principles and some others being historic personages.

The history epic, Valmiki’s Ramayana contains portrayals of Lord Rama and His brothers as ideal children. Through the behavior and life of these historic and ideal children, the Ramayana conveys the message of obligations of brotherhood, obedience to parents and obeisance to teachers. It celebrates childhood as the budding point for all qualities displayed in later adulthood.

The other history epic, Vyasa’s Mahabharata, through the lives of the five Pandava and the 100 Kaurava brothers, brings to focus competitive spirit amongst children. It showcases how impressions both positive and negative, formed during childhood can assume far greater proportions and cause great impacts to society in years to follow. It alerts us of the propensity of children to retain impressions and emotions well into their lives.

Purana dealing with tattva divinities such as Ganesha, Kartikeya have portrayed them symbolically in child like forms and through symbolic stories of symbolic acts of these divinities, have conveyed principles of the cosmos, of mankind, of mind, of intellect and of ego to help elevate man’s thinking and behavior.

Yet other Purana have immortalized some of the children of long bygone eras, in the saga of the land for generations that have followed in the last many millennia. The story of the boy Sravana’s devotion to his parents, the story of Markandeya’s unshakeable faith in the divinity Shiva, even in the face of death are known to most, through the land, even in this day.

The Purana legends have also showcased scientific possibilities involving children and their upbringing. We thus have legends showcasing the ability of the foetus to grasp happenings and sounds outside the womb. The story of Prahalada showcases how he imbibed devotion towards Narayana while in his mother’s womb and carried it forth as a little boy. The story of Ashtavakra again highlights how Ashtavakra imbibed the Upanishad while in his mother’s womb and used it later to help his father in times of need. Yet again, the story of Abhimanyu reiterates how a child starts gaining knowledge right from the time it is in the womb of its mother.

The legend of Dhruva symbolically narrates the scientific phenomenon of precession of the earth and its effect on the pole star seen in the skies. It is a beautiful way in which the principles of astronomy have been woven into a simple legend.

Srimad Bhagavatham contains many anecdotes on the pranks played by Lord Krishna, His brother Balarama and their gang of friends, Gopa and Gopi. This text highlights the qualities of innocence as well as impishness in children. It celebrates children for the adorable and affable beings that they are

Seeing God in a Child

Children by nature are mischievous. To be mischievous is an innate quality of children.

Krishna’s precocious pranks are part of the rich folklore of this land

Krishna's pranks

Krishna, His pranks and His lovable, playful ways, set the trend for how people regarded children, in the land of India across millennia.

This land, by culture, for the last 5,100 years since the times of Krishna, has viewed children as a replica of Krishna and has relished their pranks as they would Krishna’s. The mischief of children has rarely been associated with punishment and reprimanding. It has instead been eulogized and happily expressed as an imitation of Krishna.

Given this ethos, when elders admonish their children for their harmless pranks, it is not stern and wrathful. It has in it an admiration for their innocence and a tolerance with an understanding that by nature, children are given to their ways of pranks.

A culture that gives space for children to grow up with their mischief also automatically gives them the space to grow out of their mischief as a part of the transition from childhood to adolescence.

Holding Children in High Esteem

It is no wonder that various political, religious as well as social leaders have focused specially on the children in the society. They have not only showered affection on them, but they have also invested time and effort in grooming the children in society, in morals, ethics and values. We thus have in many languages, simple couplets composed specially for inculcating good conduct and values in children. These couplets served as the nursery rhymes in this civilization much before the British replaced them with theirs.

Children’s day celebrations are a facet of the high esteem in which this civilization holds the development of its children.  Classic examples of this commitment, even till a couple of centuries ago, can be seen from the quote of Brigadier General Alexander Walker of East India Company from 1780 to 1810.

Children

Dedicating November 14th, the birth anniversary of prominent leader Jawaharlal Nehru, who was close to children, as Children’s Day, is a representative gesture of the high esteem in which children have been held through the ages.

Nehru with Children

It is a day for us to recognize the value of children, the values in children and the values that have to be taken to the children for the development of a valued society.

It is a day to rededicate ourselves to the cause and joys of children.

By

Rahul Kaimal

Email bharathgyan@gmail.com
Website www.bharathgyan.com

Others.

It is in the white of light of truth and red light of emotion that I write about one of a legendary performing artist. My lessons as a shishya have surmounted to a realization that truth remains meaningless without emotion and emotion is in vain if it is not for the sake of truth. Thus, if I had to explain what Maharaj ji represents in one phrase, it would be with something I heard say in a moment of emotion once, “Khudrat ki meherbaani” or a gift of nature.

natalia

As the wonder of nature lies in its power to infinitely create and recreate itself, in turn, Maharaj ji is constantly composing landscapes of rhythm, movement, song, and poetry. As nature can only be complete onto itself, likewise, his approach to art expresses an internal aesthetic logic connecting culture, spirituality, and humanity. This is especially needed in a world that is becoming increasingly mechanized and commercial, impersonal, and ready-made. On the contrary, Maharaj ji makes an effort to connect his work to those around him.

Born at the perfect time in Indian history, at the perfect place in the artistic heart of Lucknow, and with the several personal qualities to imbibe such a family legacy, Pt. Birju Maharaj ji has done much to advance the art form of Kathak. I have often thought that even if colonialism took the Kohinoor away from India, no one would ever be able to take away India’s true cultural richness which is embodied by such artists as Maharaj ji.

Therefore as a student, I can say that from the first footwork I ever witnessed him dance…to the first tihai I ever learned at his Kalashram academy…to the first words of Hindi I ever spoke to him…to the first smiles I shared with his grandchildren…to the first paran or bhav he encouraged me to perform…to the first meal he had in my home… to the last time I bowed to offer him a Pranaam – today and always, this person will live as a symbol in his fans’ and his students’ reflections as a constant call to duty: to honor the legacy we have inherited.

Be this art or tradition, if called by any other name, remains our way of sharing and understanding that which matters most in life.

Details of the Course:

Dates: 27th – 30th November 2014
(Check-in: 26th evening, Check-out: 30th 6 pm onwards)

Programs: Basic and Advanced Levels

Eligibility:  Basic(Beginners)- Open for all above 17yrs
Advanced- Above 17 yrs with minimum 3 years training in Kathak

Pre-Registration Required.

For More Details
Email: aolnrityasadhana@gmail.com
For Details call: 080 67262637, 8123474509
Register: www.bangaloreashram.org

Source : www.artofliving.org 

 

 

Art of Living Wisdom.

After taking stock of wealth and setting up new books of accounts, it is now time to share this wealth with kith and kin.

The 2nd day after the Amavasya, is therefore celebrated as Bhai Dhuj in the West and North of India.

 

bhaidooj

 

Bhai Dhuj is a festival celebrated during this Kaumudi Mahotsava month, Deepavali period, when the brother goes to the sister’s house to greet her family and give her gifts. Post-harvest, there is abundance and prosperity all around. This is the time of sharing. Given this, it is but natural that the brother visits his married sister bringing goodies for her from her parent’s house. For the married sister, the brother’s house is after all her house of birth. It is an occasion for reunion.

By

Rahul Kaimal

E-Mail bharathgyan@gmail.com
Website www.bharathgyan.com

 

Art of Living Wisdom.

Govardhana Pooja

The Govardhana episode is a very popular legend related to the deeds of Krishna. Krishna, who was born in Mathura around 5,100 years back was a very precocious child, a child prodigy. Krishna is the central character of the Mahabharatha events. It is Krishna who gave us the sermon of the Bhagavad Gita, which is one of the primary texts of the Indian lore, speaking of the duties of man and his relationship between himself, his soul and the divine Creation.

 

Govardhan

 

More on Krishna and his historical personage can be read in the book, ‘Historical Krishna’, a part of the Bharath Gyan series.

 

Historical Krishna series

 

Krishna in his childhood, once questioned his elders as to why they were praying to Indra, when instead they should be praying to the hills, the rivers, the forests, the fields and the cows which were so immediate to them, which were near them, which gave them succour in their daily lives.

Krishna opined that instead of praying to Indra, the people of Vrindavan, among others should be praying to Nature and such aspect that gave them the immediate succour. Hearing Krishna’s wrongs of wisdom the people turned their prayers from Indra to the hills, the orchards, the rivers and the cows that were nearby which gave the people the daily nourishment. Indra, the leader of the divine forces obviously did not like being neglected. Indra unsheathed his wrath and sent down lightning after lightning and torrential hailstorms.

The common people who had listened to the advice of Krishna were frightened by the turn of events and turned to Krishna for help. Krishna literally rose to the occasion and lifted up a nearby hillock, collected the local people under it and shielded them from the wrath of Indra, which eventually subsided after wearing out against the steadfastness of Krishna.

This episode was one among the many defining moments in the life and deeds of Krishna. This event which happened over 5,100 years ago, is commemorated to this day as Govardhana Pooja, a day after Deepavali.

While at one level this legend seems like a miracle performed by Krishna, at a ground level, the Govardhana Giri episode is symbolic of Krishna steering people towards achieving harmony with Nature by focusing their attention on performing their daily chores bearing in mind the dependency of man on Nature. Through this Govardhan Giri episode and bringing people under the shade of Govardhan, Krishna was bringing people to the fountainhead of knowledge and re-emphasizing the need for rational thought, physical sciences and knowledge in one’s daily life.

Annakut

 

This event of Govaradhan Giri is also celebrated as Annakut where varieties of food preparation are decorated in the form of a mountain, symbolizing Govardhana Giri and offered to the divine and later distributed to all.

After all the celebrations and feasting, the Govardhan Pooja is a reminder to people to pay obeisance to the Nature around them that has given them all this prosperity and to pledge to work in harmony with Nature in the forthcoming seasons.

 

Annakut

Start of New Accounting Year

The 1st day of the Karthik month, is celebrated as the start of the New Accounting year by the trading community, especially in Western India, the gateway for trade since the times of Krishna, 5100 years ago. More on this can be found in our work Historical Krishna of the Bharath Gyan Series.

For this community of traders, with new produce, fresh stocks have arrived for trading. New books of accounts were therefore opened to start fresh account keeping. This day was celebrated with prayers for a good financial year ahead and also to commit to conducting business in an honest and righteous manner.

Bali Pratipada

The day after Karthik Amavasya, i.e. the Prathama, Pratipada, according to legends is the day when Vishnu in the form of Vamana, a short statured scholar, sends the mighty Asura king, MahaBali to Patala Loka. More about this legend and where Patala Loka lies, is discussed in out book 2012 – The Real Story of the Bharath Gyan Series.

This event is a reminder to people on how arrogance can bring one down, irrespective of however good one is. Bali was a great king and was loved dearly by his people. He was known for his large hearted charity. But he was so arrogant about his greatness and goodness that he did not deem it fit to listen to his Guru’s advice at a critical juncture and this brought about his downfall

Vamana’s leg on Bali’s head

 

This day of Bali Partipada after Deepavali and all the wealth, is a reminder to people on how not to get arrogant like Bali, about the wealth one has gained but to accept it with grace and share it with all like Bali again

By

Rahul Kaimal

Email bharathgyan@gmail.com
Website www.bharathgyan.com

 

Art of Living Wisdom.

Karthik Amavasya, Deepavali

The day of Karthik Amavasya, New Moon, is celebrated as the main day of Deepavali and is ascribed to many reasons.

Lakshmi Pooja

In most parts of India, especially the north and west, the Deepavali festival is celebrated as Lakshmi PoojaLakshmi is the divinity for wealth. During this Lakshmi pooja traders start new accounting books for the next accounting year

Lakshmi

Why do the traders in India start new accounting year on Deepawali?

India as a land is a monsoon rain fed Country. The Southwest monsoon rain sets in in the first week of June. This South West monsoon rain lashes throughout India for the next four months. India being an agrarian Society, that is Agriculture being its main occasion, it is during these four months of continuous rain that the primary crop of India is sown and reaped.

By the time the abundance of this crop is harvested and brought to the market to be traded, it is the time of Deepavali. It is the time of plenty. It is the time of fresh arrivals.

Isn’t it but apt that the new financial, new accounts year for the traders start with Lakshmi Pooja? It has been so through the centuries and through the millennia.

In the word Lakshmi you have the root word Lakshya meaning aim, goal.  The aim of a society is to be productive, harmonious and noble. It is when there is bounty that all this is possible. This Lakshmi Pooja is not only significant for the traders to start new account but also encourages the people at large to relish their hard work from the bountiful harvest, share their bounty with one and all, which in turn brings out their nobility, their dharma –  the aim, the goal, the lakshya of people.

Thus Lakshmi Pooja is just not praying to the divinity of wealth but is in fact a culmination of four months of agrarian effort and is a form of thanks giving to the divinity of prosperity for the plentitude showered and also a time for setting goals to lead a noble and harmonious life.

Coronation of Rama and Rama Rajya

Rama, the legendary hero of India was born in Ayodhya and ruled the kingdom of Kosala about 7,100 years ago.

The historicity of Rama has been traced in our book, Historical Rama from the Bharath Gyan Series.  Rama, after his fourteen years vanavas, exile and after defeating Ravana who had kidnapped His wife Sita, Rama returned to His city Ayodhya with Sita and His brother Lakshmana, to begin His rule on this day. Rama ascended the throne in the year 5076 BCE.

This day of His return and the event of coronation as King of Ayodhya, Rama Pattabhishekh, was marked with joy by lighting series of lamps, Deepavali. It has been celebrated since then, every year as Deepavali in North India

Coronation of Rama

The noble rule of Rama, from then on through the Itihasa, Ramayana and the Puranic legends, have come down to our times, our knowledge, as the period of ideal rule. This ideal rule of Kingship is what is eloquently referred to as “Rama Rajya”. The details of this Rama Rajya, the components of this ideal rule and its relevance in the modern management scenario is discussed in our work “Rama Rajya” which is part of the Bharath Gyan Series.

This ideal rule of Rama was so much cherished through the systems, practices, traditions and stories by generations and generations of people through the ages in this land that the people thought it fit to celebrate the coronation of Rama, His Pattabhishekham as the festival of Deepavali so that successive rulers of this land can try to emulate the good components, the good features of the rule of Rama that can make the land and its people prosperous, progressive and peaceful through the ages.

It is for this reason that to this day, the festival of Deepavali is remembered and celebrated year after year, yearning for a good rule from the rulers of the land.

The rule of India is in turmoil today. The rule of India is sans values.

Apart from bursting crackers, wearing new clothes, eating sweets, distributing gifts and sweets and wishing each other a Happy Deepavali, if we can reaffirm to ourselves the reason for which the festival of Deepavali has being celebrated continuously for the last 7,100 years and create in our times, an atmosphere of a Noble Rule and a value based living, then the festival of Deepavali will truly light up our lives.

Return of the Pandava

It was on this day, about 5100 years ago, that the Pandava returned to Hastinapura, after their 13 year exile. It was a day of joy for the people of Hastinapura which they too expressed by lighting lamps to welcome them. This formed another reason for the celebrations of Deepavali since then

Pandava return to Hastinapura

The historicity of the Pandava and the events in their lives can be found in our work Historical Krishna, from the Bharath Gyan Series.

Start of Vikram Samvat

About 2000 years ago, in 56 BCE, Vikramaditya was crowned king of Ujjain on this day. This day marked the start of the Vikram Samvat, Vikram Era which we follow to this day. It is one of the official calendars for the Government of India. The New Year as per this calendar start with Chaitra Amavasya, i.e. around April in present times.

Starting from the day of Rama’s return to Ayodhya with Sita and His coronation, to the day of Pandava’s return to Hastinapura with Draupadi, to the day Vikramaditya was crowned king, thereby starting the Vikaram Era, have all been celebrated across millennia, as days of joy and hope for good times ahead, by lighting lamps and sharing sweets.

Mahavira Pari Nirvana

Mahavira, the last Jain Tirthankara, attained PariNirvana, liberation from His mortal life, at Pavapuri, in present day Bihar, on the day of Deepavali.

Mahavir

This day is therefore celebrated by the Jains as a day of salvation and enlightenment.

By

Rahul Kaimal

Email bharathgyan@gmail.com
Website www.bharathgyan.com