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The meaning of Om Namah Shivaay mantra

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Swami Muktananda, on the basis of his personal experience, spoke in glowing terms about the efficacy of the panchakshari , the five-lettered mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, in inducing seekers to spontaneously delve into deep meditation. The five syllables of this mantra na, ma, shi, va and ya are the bij-aksharas or seed-letters of the five elements of creation; earth, water, fire, air and ether, of which our body is made. Flesh represents the earth; blood represents water; the body heat that helps in digesting food represents fire; the prana or life-giving force represents air; and the mind represents ether.More...

Nature, the divine connection

Surendra Pal shares his observation on the spiritual connection we have with nature:

Divine nature

Human beings have been drawing spiritual inspiration from nature. This has been going on for ages. According to Buddhist philosopher and photographer Daisaku Ikeda, the response to nature's beauty is not merely aesthetic but reflects also the ability to discern a deeper meaning and interconnectedness in things.

By observing an ordinary flower and pondering over its beauty, one could feel inspired to try and unravel the mystery of creation. For hasn't Keats said that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

To feel love and compassion for all, observe nature with totality of mind without getting affected by previously constructed images, opinions or past knowledge. Look around to observe things as if you are seeing them for the first time. Become one with the object of observation.More...

Narad Bhakti Sutra - Sanskrit text

Narad Bhakti Sutra: Nuggets of experiential wisdom from reverred sage Narada. Sanskrit text follows...
Narada Bhakti sutra, Sanskrit lyrics
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Mantra for life

Mantras have long been used for multifarious purposes. They work on the subtle energies and create a positive consciousness. Like all good things, there is potential for abuse here as well. If used in tantra, especially the kind practiced in Bengal, there are also mantras to remove an enemy or attract a person, etc. Scary, but reports of efficacy are as varied as there are people who have been given these so called 'powerful mantras' to direct their lives as per their will. Understandably, it is the easiest way to exhort money or following from desparate people, who don't know any better.

Used in the positive sense, Mantras help us immensely. This is experiential wisdom :-) 

Mantras are like seeds. A seed holds the entire tree within it in potential form. If you sow the seed, it sprouts and matures into a full-grown tree on its own accord in due course. The seed and the tree are one and the same -- they exist as one packet of energy. 
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Self Healthcare for Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes is on the rise, especially in developed countries. Ayurveda terms diabetes mellitus a 'rich man's diseae', since it is more a case of excess of food that the body finds difficult to digest.

Ayurveda suggests Pashchimutan yoga asana for regulating the pancreas' functioning. Ancient Indian wisdom suggests chewing 5 neem leaves and 5 bel (bilva or wood apple) leaves to control diabetes. These are insulin free remedies for diabetes, handed down through generations of Vaidyas.

Q. What is the biggest challenge facing people with Type 2 diabetes?

A. Fear. This can be a scary and complex disease. People often feel overwhelmed. Suddenly they have to worry about blood sugar levels and probably other risk factors, like high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. They’re usually told to lose weight and exercise more. They may be prescribed new medications. It’s a lot to handle. And it’s hard to make lifestyle changes if you’re afraid and overwhelmed. I try to reassure people that they can make a real difference in the outcome, and then I emphasize short-term, achievable goals.

Weight loss is recommended, as is a diet scarce in carbohydrates. Losing weight and a slightly reduced food intake is a big help. The saying in India is that starving never killed anyone but excess of food poisons the body. By the way, yogis do live on very little or no food! More...

Mindfulness Meditation - Buddha within

Meditation has answers for all mental troubles. But not just that. Meditation has been essential to Indian spirituality, and has many variations too. For instance, Raman Maharishi, the sage of Arunachala advocated meditating on the simple question 'who am I'. Mantra meditation is most widely practiced in India. Especially by members of Gayatri Parivar, headquarterd in Shanti kunj, Haridwar, India. The Gayatri Parivar has popularised meditataion on Gayatri mantra for not only spiritual gains, but health benefits too.

Lotus therapy: Mindful Meditation - Buddha's legacy

There is also a Mindless meditation, where the idea is to empty the mind of all impressions, and connect with the true self within.  Patnjali's suggested ideal: Yogashcha Chitta-vrutti nirodhashcha.

The latest to catch on is Mindfulness meditation. Not a new concept though, to those already familiar with Indian spirituality... More...

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