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Monday, December 21, 2009

Why do we prostrate before parents and elders ?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to everyone,

We started the explanation to the fourth question “Why do we prostrate before parents and elders" in our post of 6th December. In this post let us continue with the same.

The good wishes (Sankalpa) and blessings (aashirvaada) of elders are highly valued in India. We prostrate to seek them. Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full of love, divinity and nobility have a tremendous strength. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders, which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why the posture assumed whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables the entire body to receive the energy thus received.

In our tradition there are various forms of showing respect to the elders. They are as mentioned below:

1. Pratuthana: Rising to welcome a person.
2. Namaskaara: Paying homage in the form of namaste (refer our posts of Nov 2009)
3. Upasangrahan: Touching the feet of elders or teachers.
4. Shaashtaanga: Prostrating fully with the feet, knees, stomach, chest, forehead and
arms touching the ground in front of the elder.
5. Pratyabivaadana: Returning a greeting.

Rules are prescribed in our scriptures as to who should prostrate to whom. Wealth, family name, age, moral strength and spiritual knowledge in ascending order of importance qualified men to receive respect. This is why a king though the ruler of the land, would prostrate before a spiritual master. Epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata have many stories highlighting this aspect.

That concludes the first section for this forthnight.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post we will tell you about the herb named as Kaner also called Oleander in English and Nerium Odorum in Latin.

1. It is a plant with a medium height with white, yellow, and red flowers.
2. Bark of the root of the plant cures many skin disorders and purifies the blood
3. Oil prepared from this herb is useful in curing diseases like scabies and ringworm
4. Headache caused due to congestion of the sinuses is relieved by the snuff prepared from the dried flowers of this plant

That brings us to the conclusion of the second section and also to the last post for the year 2009. We will meet next year with the next post on 6th of January. Till then Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Why do we prostrate before parents and elders ?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to our readers,

We concluded the third question of our series in the previous post. The question was “Why do we do Namaste”. Henceforth do keep in mind the significance and meaning of saying Namaste when you say it to anyone. It feels great to know a thing and do it rather than doing it for the sake of doing or doing it because everyone does it. Isn’t it?

Well coming to this week’s post, the question which we will discuss is “Why do we prostrate before our parents and elders?”

So let us know the reason behind it in this post.

4. Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?

Indians prostrate before their parents, elders, teachers and noble souls by touching their feet. The elder in turn blesses us by placing his or her hand on or over our heads. Prostration is done daily, when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc. In certain traditional circles, prostration is accompanied by abhivaadana, which serves to introduce one-self, announce one’s family and social stature.

This practice was prevalent in all Indian houses in those “Good old days” but nowadays the same has reduced to a great extent. The children of today need logical reasons for doing anything and everything. And the irony is that nowadays even some parents do not have the answers to some questions asked by their children! How can one then expect the child to learn the customs and traditions prevalent in our rich Hindu culture?

So for such children, here is the logical answer to the reason behind why we prostrate before the elders:

Man stands on his feet. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our elders personify. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for us and the sacrifices they have done for our welfare. It is a way of humbly acknowledging the greatness of another. This tradition reflects the strong family ties, which has been one of India’s enduring strengths.

… to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this section, let us know about a herb called as Giloy (tinospora cardifolia) in Latin.

1. It is a creeper with large leaves which resemble betel leaves
2. All parts of the plant are bitter
3. If creeping up a neem tree, it is found to be more bitter than usual
4. It is a very good remedy for chronic fevers
5. It also cures many disorders of the liver and stomach
6. It is a good blood purifier and is also recommender in diabetes

That is all we have for you in this post. Till the next posting keep doing Namajapam. Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why do we do Namaste?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna!

We took up the third question in our previous post on 6th which was “Why do we do Namaste?” Lets continue the discussion in this post.

Namaste can have various forms. Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However there is much more to it than meets the eye.

In Sanskrit namah + te = namaste. It means - I bow to you - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. Namaha can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another.

The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet another, we do so with namaste, which means, "may our minds meet," indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love and humility.

The spiritual meaning is even deeper. The life force, the divinity, the Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed the Divinity in the person we meet. That is why sometimes, we close our eyes as we do namaste to a revered person or the Lord – as if to look within. The gesture is often accompanied by words like "Ram Ram,” "Jai Shri Krishna", "Namo Narayana", "Jai Siya Ram", "Om Shanti" etc - indicating the recognition of this divinity.

When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post let us look at the herb named Gurmar Booti, Gymnema Sylvesire in Latin.

1. As the Hindi name signifies, it is a killer of sweet taste
2. A few leaves of the herb chewed would leave a bitter taste in the mouth and then even sweet things wont taste sweet
3. It is very effective in dealing with diabetes as it reduces the amount of urine passed
4. It is also an antidote for snake poison
5. Some physicians recommend it for cholera

That concludes our article for the fortnight. Till the next posting, Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Friday, November 06, 2009

Why do we do Namaste?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to one and all!

Whenever we meet someone we greet them. In western countries it is in the form of a handshake followed by saying ‘Hi!’ or ‘Hello, how are you?’ generally. However in India it is a little different. That method of greeting needs no special mention. We greet people by saying Namaste. This is a part of our day to day life. We meet so many people everyday and greet them. But still how many of us have the time and energy to ponder as to why do we exactly greet in this manner and what does Namaste mean?

We will address this question in this posting because that is the third question of our series.

3. Why do we do Namaste?

Indians greet each other with namaste. The two palms are placed together in front of the chest and the head bows whilst saying the word namaste. This greeting is for all – people younger than us, of our own age, those older than friends, even strangers and us. Thus it is a type of greeting that can be applied across all age classes.

There are five forms of formal traditional greeting enjoined in the shaastras of which namaskaram is one. This is understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage as we do today when we greet each other with a namaste.

… to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post the herb which we will discuss is called as ‘Dhak’, Butea Frondosa in Latin and also known as Palas.

1. It bears flowers called as Tesu
2. The leafshoots, gum and the bark of the tree are used in cases of spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation and leucorrhoea.
3. Its flowers reduce inflammation and pain of injuries.
4. The paste of its tesu flowers is a highly recommended and a specific cure for orchitis (swelling of the testicles).
5. Its seeds are administered in cases of malaria and other fevers.

That concludes the post for this fortnight. Till the next post on 22nd , Radhekrishna to all the readers. Do more and more chanting; Radhekrishna Krishnaradhe Radhekrishna Krishnaradhe and enjoy a trouble free and peaceful life full of divine bliss.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why do we have a prayer room?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to all the Readers!

We looked at the second question yesterday; why do we have a prayer room. Let us look at the answer in detail in this post.

Lord Krishna is all pervading. To remind us that He resides in our homes with us, we have prayer rooms. Without the grace of the Lord, no task can be successfully or easily accomplished. We invoke His grace by communing with Him in the prayer room each day and on special occasions.

Each room in a house is dedicated to a specific function like the bedroom for resting, the drawing room to receive guests, the kitchen for cooking etc. The furniture, decor and the atmosphere of each room are made conducive to the purpose it serves. So too for the purpose of meditation, worship and prayer, we should have a conducive atmosphere – hence the need for a prayer room.

Sacred thoughts and sound vibrations pervade the place and influence the minds of those who spend time there. Spiritual thoughts and vibrations accumulated through regular meditation, worship and chanting done there pervade the prayer room. Even when we are tired or agitated, by just sitting in the prayer room for a while, we feel calm, rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted.

Here a question may arise in the mind that not everybody can afford to dedicate a separate room as a prayer room; then what do such people do? Do they refrain from having a prayer room? The answer to it is that no, even such people have a place where they stand/sit to pray to God. It may be a part of any room but it is a separate small space where the Lord is worshipped. This can be observed in majority of the Hindu households. No matter how poor/rich a person is, he will always have a small part of his house reserved for the Lord. India is not called as a Spiritual Paradise just like that! Its because spirituality is in the blood of each and every human being in our country. It is a part and parcel of the day to day life of each individual. That’s the greatness of Hinduism!

We will look at the third question in the next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

The herb that we will describe in this post is called as Quinine.

1. Alkaloid of the bark of the Cinchona tree has been used as a specific cure for malarial fevers for centuries
2. It acts as a prophylactic against malaria
3. It is also a tonic for the stomach
4. If taken in minute doses after breakfast it helps to counteract general debility

That brings us to the conclusion of this post. Till the next post on 6th November, Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Why do we have a prayer room?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna!

In this post, as promised, we will look at the second question

2. Why do we have a prayer room?

Most Indian homes have a prayer room or altar. A lamp is lit and the Lord worshipped each day. Other spiritual practices like japa - repetition of the Lord’s name, meditation, paaraayana - reading of the scriptures, prayers, and devotional singing etc are also done here. Special worship is done on auspicious occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and the like. Each member of the family - young or old - communes with and worships the Divine here.

Now why do we have a separate prayer room? Why cant we pray in the drawing room or the bed room? Let us know the answer for the same.

The Lord is the entire creation. He is therefore the true owner of the house we live in too. The prayer room is the Master room of the house. We are the earthly occupants of His property. This notion rids us of false pride and possessiveness.

The ideal attitude to take is to regard the Lord as the true owner of our homes and us as caretakers of His home. But if that is rather difficult, we could at least think of Him as a very welcome guest. Just as we would house an important guest in the best comfort, so too we felicitate the Lord’s presence in our homes by having a prayer room or altar, which is, at all times, kept clean and well-decorated.

We will continue with this same question with more details in the next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this forthnight, the herb about which we will tell you is named Mirch i.e. Chili (Capsicum Annum in Latin).

1. It is a necessary ingredient of all Indian curries
2. It has a sharp pungent taste
3. Powdered chili applied to bite of dogs neutralizes the poison
4. The numbness of the body and hypothermia of cholera are relieved by it

That’s all we have for you in this post. Do lots and lots of chanting of the Radhekrishna namam and fill your lives with spiritual bliss.

Till the next post Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why do we light a lamp?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to our Readers!

We started a new topic in the last post which deals with a series of questions related to the customs and traditions that form a part and parcel of Hinduism and which are followed by the Hindus in their day to day life.

The first question was that what is the reason behind lighting a lamp. Let us look at the hidden meaning behind this act.

A bulb or tube light too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.

Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:

Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute

I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.

Wow! Isn’t that amazing!! In a seemingly unmeaningful act lies such a deep meaning! But that’s the beauty of Hinduism. The customs are so simple yet so complicated and logical.

We will deal with the next question in the next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

Let us look at the herb named Brahmi Booti (Herpestis Monniera) in this post.

1. It is a low spreading herb with small leaves
2. It resembles a horse’s hoof
3. It is generally found on the river banks
4. It is a specific medicine to deal with the problem of memory lapses
5. It tends to strengthen the faculties of the brain

We will describe another herb in our next post. Till then Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Why do we light a lamp?

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna Dear Readers,

We begin a fresh topic on Hinduism in this post. The topic is in a question & answer format and the questions are based on certain customs and traditions that are followed everyday in every house amongst Hindus.

We hope this series will:

1. Clarify doubts in the minds of those who repeatedly question the customs and traditions in Hinduism &
2. Quench the thirst of those eager to know more about Hinduism

Let us look at the first question:

1. Why do we light a lamp?

In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and in a few it is maintained continuously - Akhanda Deepa. All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion. Such occasions include starting of a new business or venture, first day of job, buying a new house, buying a new vehicle etc. But what exactly is the reason behind it? Let us see…

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness - ignorance. The Lord is the "Knowledge Principle" (Chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself.

Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.

Now, even a small child may have a very logical question in his/her mind. Why not light a tube light or a neon light? Why only a lamp?

To know the answer and the hidden deep meaning behind this wait for our next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post the herb we will tell you about is known as Chhuimui also known as Lajjalu and Lajwanti (Mimosa Pudica in Latin).

1. It is a plant akin to Touch-Me-Not or jewel Weed
2. Its leaves collapse on human touch but regain position after some moments
3. It has excellent properties of stopping bleeding whether from piles or the womb
4. The juice of its leaves is effective in dealing with delirium of fever
5. Powdered seeds of the plant are effective in leucorrhoea spermatorrhoea

That concludes the post for the forthnight. Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hinduism : Sanaathana Dharma

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG


Radhekrishna to one and all!

We wish all our Readers a very happy Independence Day! We are celebrating the 60th year of Independence this year! Bharath Maata ki jai!!

Coming to our topic, we mentioned some features of the Hindu dharma in our previous post. We will continue the same in this post. Let us take a look at a few shlokas from our Hindu scriptures related to Aachaaraas or customs:


Achaaryaath paadam aadatthe
paadam sishya swamedhyaa
paadam sa brahmachaaribhya
sesham kaala kramena cha

Meaning:

This is an important advice given in the smruthies. It means a person can get only one quarter of knowledge from Achaarya – the teacher, another quarter by analyzing the self, one quarter by discussing with others and the last quarter during the process of living by method addition, deletion, correction and modification or already known aachaaraas or new aachaaraas.

Aachaaraath labhathe hi ayu:
Aachaaraath dhanamakshayam
Aachaaraath labhathe suprajaa:
Aachaaro abhyanthya lakshanam

Meaning:

Aachaaraas are followed for the psychological and physiological health and long life; Aachaaraas are followed for prosperity and wealth; Aachaaraas are followed for strong family and social bondage and following the Aachaaraas give a fine personality, dharmic outlook and vision, says our Dharmasaastra.

In India, everyone followed Aachaaraas for the above mentioned psychological, physiological, family relation, social benefits and national integration based benefits. It is your right and duty to understand scientifically, rationally and logically the meaning of each and every Aachaaraas and follow the same in your life systematically.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

Let us know about the herb called as Akol, known as sage-leaved Alangium (Alangium Lamarki) in Latin.

1. It is a large tree, the fruit of which resembles a rose apple
2. Insipid in taste it is an antidote for opium
3. It is also a remedy for infantile tuberculosis

That concludes our post for the forthnight. Till the next post, keep chanting the holy name Radhekrishna Radhekrishna, Radhekrishna….

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hinduism : Sanaathana Dharma

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna!

This blog has been started by us to disseminate valuable and priceless knowledge on our Hindu culture. Hinduism is the oldest existing culture. It’s most remarkable feature is that it does not force upon any one to do anything. It merely prescribes the correct way in which one must live one’s life. Hence we repeatedly say that it is not a religion but a way of life. Unlike other religions, Hindu dharma has many specialties. Hinduism is known as Sanaathana Dharma. ‘Sanaathana’ means, according to the Bhagwad Gita, that which cannot be destroyed by fire, weapons, water and air and which is present in all living and non-living beings. Dharma means the way of life which is the ‘total of all aachaaraas or customs and rituals’.

Sanaathana Dharma has its foundation on scientific spirituality. In the entire ancient Hindu literature we can see that science and spirituality are integrated. It is mentioned in the 40th chapter of the Yajurveda known as Eesaavaasya Upanishad that use scientific knowledge for solving problems in our life and use the spiritual knowledge for attaining immortality through a philosophical outlook.

Remember that in each and every aachaaraa there will be a component of spirituality in it. Without spirituality, nothing exists in Sanaathana Dharma. Generally, everyone bear a wrong impression that this spirituality is religion. Spirituality is different in Hindu dharma. Here, the question of religion does not exist at all, because Hindu dharma was not created by an individual, prophet or an incarnation. Spirituality is a part of every Hindu custom in the normal life of a Hindu.

Aachaaraas are to be followed based on their merits available from self-experience; you need not blindly follow a person who gives advice without reasoning. All these aachaaraas are mentioned for the well being of the human beings.

… to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post, the herb about which we will tell you is called as Karvi Tori, known as Bitter Luffa in English and (Luffa Amara) in Latin.

· It is a creeper which resembles the sweet luffa
· It is very bitter in taste
· It is a very good emetic and purgative
· It is most useful in asthma as it expels all phlegm from the system
· Its seed ground in water is used for curing jaundice
· The kernel of its seed is an antidote to poison of rabies as it expels it by inducing vomiting and diarrhea

That concludes our topic for the forthnight. Till the next post on 22nd, Radhekrishna to all!!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vulnerable parts of the body (Marma)

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to one and all!

This post marks the conclusion of our discussion on the topic of Vulnerable Spots.

These vulnerable spots mentioned, match with those contained in the martial art literature underscoring a certain commonality in the Indian system of knowledge.

An understanding and validation of this insight could help minimize the risks incidental to allopathic surgical procedures.

An application of this principle of “Vulnerable Points” is found in the martial art form “Varmam” which is still found in practice fairly widely in the state of Kerala and to a lesser degree in Tamil Nadu. One of the offshoots of this science is Acupuncture, which, ironically, is more commonly known and is seeing a revival. This science and its art form are finding application in Sports medicine.

…concluded

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post let us look at the herb named Khas Khas known as Poppy seeds in English.

· They are found in poppy heads (Papaver Somniferum) and are used in many prescriptions for tonics
· Khas Khas ground with Bhang into a paste and applied to the palms and soles cures insomnia
· Mixed with lime juice and rubbed on the body they tend to cure dry itch
· Poppy seeds on the stalks which have not been given an incision to produce the exudation that is known as opium are sporofic and is used for allaying pain
· It is prescribed as a medicine for insanity and insomnia

Some other maladies that it can cure are:

· Griping pain
· Pain after child birth
· Colic and pain in the testicles
· It is also good for tertian or quartan fevers

That concludes the post for this fortnight. Till the next post, Radhekrishna to all the readers. Do lots and lots of chanting to attain supreme bliss.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Monday, July 06, 2009

Vulnerable parts of the body (Marma)

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna!

Continuing the thread from the previous post, we continue the topic of Vulnerable Spots (marma) in this topic:

The word ‘marma’ in Sanskrit connoted the following:

· Vital
· Vulnerable
· Hidden

Wherever the word “vulnerable” has been used in our articles, the word should be understood as enveloping all the above attributes.

We have described the Vulnerable spots of the human body in the last few posts. Let us look at the current relevance of the topic in this post.

Current Relevance:

The text on this topic presents the vulnerable spots from three different windows:

· The system (sinew or skeleton) they form part of
· The part of the body they are present in and
· The extent of their vulnerability.

….to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

Let us know about the herb “Panwar” in this post.

· It is also known as Mehndi (though it has little resemblance to Henna).
· It is a herb growing in waste lands during the rains
· It has seeds like kidney beans
· Ground seeds applied to skin cures ringworm, leucoderma and blemishes
· The powder of its seeds taken internally over some weeks cures these diseases permanently

Till the next posting, Radhekrishna!!!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vulnerable parts of the body (Marma)

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to all!

Many Pranams to our beloved Guruji Mahan Brahmashree Gopalavallidasar. His birthday falls in this month on 13th June. It is only due to Him that our lives have been filled with happiness and supreme bliss.

Coming to our topic of discussion, let us look at the five broad categories of vulnerable spots:

· Those immediately fatal
· Those belatedly fatal
· Those which would be fatal when touched by instruments
· Those that are debilitating
· Those that are painful

How the 107 spots are classified in the above five categories is described by the below shloka:

Tatra sadyahpraanaharaanyekonavimsatih
Kaalaantarapraanaharaani trayastrimahsatat trini
Vishalyaghnaani chatushchatvaarimashadvaikalyakaraani
Ashtau rujaakaraaniti.

Meaning:

Vulnerable spots in number are as under:

· Those immediately fatal = 19
· Those belatedly fatal = 33
· Those which would be fatal when touched by instruments = 3
· Those that are debilitating = 44
· Those that are painful = 8

Source:

Sushruta-samahita. Sharira-Sthaanam, Adhyaayah 6, Paragraph 3-5 & 8 (6th Century BCE)

That concludes this section for this forthnight.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post let us see the herb named lahsan, (garlic in english and allium sativum in latin

· It is used as a spice for curries alongwith onions and ginger
· It is pungent in taste
· It has been used for centuries for dealing with flautulence
· It deals with unpleasant smell of fish
· It lowers the blood pressure
· It contains an oil which is eliminated through the skin and the lungs
· It is used in medicines prescribed for diseases of the lungs and the respiratory tract and also for dealing with leucoderma, ringworm and skin blemishes
· Paste of garlic gives relief from pain caused by a scorpion’s sting

That concludes the article for this forthnight. Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Vulnerable parts of the body (Marma)

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG


Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna!

We are discussing the topic of Vulnerable Spots (Marma) since the last two postings. In this post, let us see more on this topic.

Saptottaram marmasatam. taani marmaani
pannchaatmakaani bhavanti tadyathaa
maamsamarmaani siraamarmaani snaayumarmaani
ashthimarmaani sandhiarmaani ceti. Naa khalu
maamsasiraa-snaayvasthisandhivyatirekenaanyaani
marmaani bhavanti yasmaannopalabhyante.

Meaning:

Vulnerable spots (are) 107. These vulnerable spots are five-fold, they being:

· Muscle-related vulnerable spots
· Blood vessel-related vulnerable spots
· Sinew-related vulnerable spots
· Bone-related vulnerable spots and
· Joints-related vulnerable spots

Surely there are no vulnerable spots other than these: muscle, blood vessel, sinew*, bone and joint-related vulnerable spots: because none else is found.

*Sinew – That which joins a muscle to a bone

… to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

Herb which we will tell about in this post is named Babchi (Psorales Corylifolia in Latin).

· It is a well known medicinal herb, used as a laxative and anthelmintic (anti-parasite)
· The seeds of the Babchi help cure leucoderma if used as a paste for forty days

We will discuss about a new herb in the next post. Till then Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vulnerable parts of the body

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

We began the topic on vulnerable spots in the human body in our previous posting. We will continue with the same in this post.

Below is a shloka which describes the broad body parts where all of the vulnerable spots are present. This skloka is to be read in the context of the shloka mentioned in the previous post as it is directly linked to it.

Teshaamekaadashaikasmin shakti bhavanti
Etenetrashaktibahu cha vyakhyaatau
Udarorasordvaadasa chaturdasha prashthe
grivaampratyurdhvaam saptatrimshat

Meaning:

These vulnerable spots are in

The thighs 11 each
The two arms 11 each
Stomach/ chest 12
Back 14
Neck and above 37

Now the third shloka mentions some broad categories into which the 107 vulnerable spots can be classified. We will look in to that in the next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

The plant about which we will tell you today is called as ‘Siris’ in Sanskrit, (Alibizzia Odoratissima in Latin).

1. It is a large tree generally planted along the roads to provide shade

2. A decoction of the its bark is used as a mouthwash

3. That decoction also gives relief against tooth-ache

4. The decoction helps in curing oedema

5. Cold and catarrah are relieved by snuff prepared from the seeds of Siris

6. If the seeds of the Siris are taken in powder form along with milk, it helps relieve complaints like spermatorrhoea and premature ejaculation

That concludes this section for the forthnight.

Till the next posting,

Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Vulnerable parts of the body

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to one and all!

Continuing the thread from the previous post, let us know something related to the Vulnerable Spots (Marma) in the human body, through a few shlokas.

Tatraikaadasa maamsamarmaani ekachatvaarimasat
shiraamarmaani saptavimsatih snaayumarmaani
ashthavasthimarmaani vimshatih sandhimarmaani ceti.
Tadetat saprottaram marmashatam

Meaning:

There (are)

Muscle related vulnerable spots are 11
Blood vessel related vulnerable spots are 41
Sinew related vulnerable spots are 27
Bone related vulnerable spots are 8
Joints related vulnerable spots are 20
These are the 107 vulnerable spots

….to be continued

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post let us know about yet another Indian herb. Its called Reetha (in Sanskrit), Soapnut in English and Sapindus Trifoliatus in Latin.

1. It is the fruit of the tree of the same name with wrinkled and and darkish yellow outer skin.
2. Breaking open the skin, a dark stone with a white kernel is obtained.
3. The rind of reetha is an antidote against snake poison
4. The rind also has a cleansing property and its powder is used for washing woolens and the hair as it adds a sparkle to them.
5. Its medicinal uses include formulations used for hemicrania, haemorrhoids and sexual debility.
6. Sprinkling water in which rind of soapnut has been dissolved, drives away snakes and scorpions

That is all we have for you in this post. We will continue to impart more and more knowledge on the topic of science and Hinduism in our next post.

Till then do lots of chanting of the Radhekrishna namam and enjoy the supreme bliss.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Anatomy : Parts of the body

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna Dear Readers,

We have described about the Anatomy of the human body in the previous post through a shloka from the Sushruta Samahita (a scripture in Hindu culture).

Let us know the meaning in layman terms, of certain words used in that shloka

1. Kalaah = Parts or divisions
= Tissue which is an aggregation of many parts

2. Dhamani = Reed/ tube
= Blood vessel

3. Srotah = That through which (the mind) pours out
= Sense organs

4. Jalam = Web (of muscles, veins, ligaments and bones)
= Plexus

5. Yoga + = Body fluid flows
Vahini + = Vehicle through which blood flows
srotah = Capillary.


Note: With exception of tendons, the numbers indicated here for the various body components are remarkably close to the modern knowledge.


Let us continue with the topic in the next posting.


Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post the herb on which we will throw some light is known as Hirankhori (in Sanskrit) and Corchorus Fasciularis) in Latin.

1. It is a creeper which grows as weed with the winter crop of wheat and Bengal grams
2. It is a wonderful remedy against bubonic plague
3. It is used extensively to deal with sciatica

Till the next post,
Radhekishna!!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Monday, April 06, 2009

Anatomy : Parts of the body

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Radhekrishna to all!

In the previous post we have seen the classification of diseases into three categories. In this post we bring you a shloka from the Sushruta Samahita that describes the Anatomy i.e. the various parts of the human body.

It goes as below:

Tvancah sapta kalaah sapta aasayaah sapta
dhaaavah sapta sapta siraasatani panca
pesisataani nava snayusataani trinyasthisataani
dve dasottare sandhisate saptottaram
marmasatarm chatur-vimshatirdhamanyah trayo
doshaah trayo malaah nava srotaamsi shodhasha
kandaraah shodasha jalani sat khurcaah catasro
rajjavah sapta sevanyah charudasha sanghaataah
chaturdasha simantaah dvaavimsatiryogavahaani
srotaamsi dvikaanyantraani ceti samaasah

Meaning:

The human body is a collection of 7 layers of skin, 7 tissues, 7 receptacles, 7 elements, 700 tubular vessels, 500 muscles, 900 sinews, 300 bones, 210 joints, 107 vital parts, 24 (blood) vessels, 3 humors, 3 impurities, 9 sense organs, 16 tendons*, 16 plexuses#, 6 bunches (of muscles), 4 (muscular) chords, 7 fibrous sutures, 14 bony complexes, 14 terminal formations, 22 capillaries and 2 intestines.

* Tendons: a band of fibrous tissues attaching a muscle to a bone or other structure
# Plexuses: a network.

Source: Sushruta Samahitaa, Sharira-Sthaanam, Adhyaayah 5, Paragraph 6 (6th Century BCE)

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

In this post let us know about the herb called as Arhar in Hindi, (Pigeon pea) in English and Cajanus Indicus in Latin.

1. It is a lentil eaten in most parts of India

2. It has many medicinal properties

3. It relieves inflammation of internal organs

4. Leaves of the plant act as a specific medicine for all inflammatory conditions

5. Alopecia (bald patches) is relieved if a fine paste of the lentil is applied regularly

6. Orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) is also relieved by this paste

That concludes the post for the forthnight,

Radhekrishna

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Friday, April 03, 2009

Types of Diseases

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG


Radhekrishna to all our readers!

Wishing all our readers a very happy and colourful holi! The festival is a remembrance of the bhakti of the Prahlad, a great devotee of Lord Hari and his strong faith in the Lord. In a nutshell history has that Prahlad’s father the demon Hiranyakashyap wanted to kill his own son Prahlad. His sister Holika hatches a plan that she will take Prahlad in her arms and sit in a fire. As she was granted a boon that fire cannot affect her in any way, she feels that Prahlad will get burnt to ashes in the fire. However it so happens that Prahlad remains unaffected by the fire and Holika gets burnt to ashes. It also proves that when Lord Krishna himself decides to destroy a person, then the benedictions given by anyone else cannot save that person; and when He decides to save a person, then no power can destroy that person. Such is the supremacy of Lord Krishna. The festival also marks the conclusion of the winter season and the beginning of the summer. This is the part of the year when maximum number of flowers bloom. Hence people enjoy the festival by spraying colour on one another. The colour earlier used to be the extract of various flowers which when comes in contact with the skin gives a soothing effect to it. But nowadays with the usage of chemicals in preparing the colours, indulging in this act has become a very risky adventure.

Coming back to our topic, till now we have concluded through the shlokas from the Sushruta Samahita that diseases are of seven categories and they are divided into three types broadly as below:

i Endogenic: Pre-conception and post-conception hereditary diseases and those caused by vitiation of the humours (which formed the first three categories of diseases)

ii Exogenic: Contagious and seasonal (which formed the fourth and fifth category of diseases)

iii Cosmic: Of unknown origin and those natural to the body (which formed the sixth and seventh category of diseases).

Vyaadhiviseshaastu praagabhihitah sarva evaite
Trividhah sadhyaah yaapyaah pratyaakhyeyaasea

Meaning: Diseases that have been mentioned are of three types: treatable, to be endured and to be rejected. Thus it can be inferred that some diseases are curable, some are to be sustained and some are to be ignored.

We will look into a new topic in our next post

Section II: Information about Indian herbs:

Hope our readers are finding the new section useful and knowledgeable

In this post let us know about the herb called as Mulethi in Hindi (Liquorices in English) and Glycyrryhiza Glabra in Latin.

1. It’s the root of a creeper which is used as medicine
2. It helps in dealing with cough because of its expectorant quality
3. It relieves burning sensation while passing urine
4. Fine powder of Mulethi applied to eyes removes yellowness in the whites of the eye

Till the next forthnight,
Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Monday, March 09, 2009

Seven Categories of Diseases

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,
Radhekrishna once again,

We mentioned a shloka from the Sushruta Samahita in our previous post relating to the classification of diseases.

Let us know the same in this post.

The seven categories of diseases are as under:

Ø Those
caused by pre-conception hereditary factors.

Ø Those caused by post-conception hereditary factors.

Ø Those caused by the vitiation of the humours

Ø Contagious

Ø Seasonal

Ø Those caused by divine forces (of unknown origin) and

Ø Those that are natural to the body


Thus the two shlokas mentioned in the previous post deal with the origin of the diseases.

….to be continued

Section II : Information on Indian herbs

In this post, the herb that we are going to mention is called as Bakain in Hindi, Indian Lilac in English and Melia Azedarach in Latin.

o It’s a tree resembling the neem tree

o It has round fruits growing in clusters

o The leaves of the tree have blood-purifying properties

o It is recommended for curing of scabies, ringworm, leprosy and leukoderma

o It helps to reduce inflammation

o The extract of it’s leaves is useful in dealing with cataract


That concludes our post for the forthnight.
Radhekrishna

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Friday, February 27, 2009

Classification of diseases

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG


Dear Readers,
Radhekrishna!

The influence of western culture is increasing at an alarming pace in India, our motherland. One of the best examples of this is the celebration of various ‘days’ by the youth; be it friendship day or valentines day or mothers day; the list is just endless. The people of our country are falling prey to the influence of western culture. They have forgotten the significance of our country and our culture. Hinduism is the oldest existing culture in the history of mankind. And it has sustained itself even today only because of it’s robust principles and traditions. Hence we, the members of Radhekrishna Sathsangam urge all our readers to generate a thirst and curiosity to know more about the glorious Hindu culture and it’s components. And for that same purpose, we have brought the blog on Science and Hinduism so that we can dispense information about our Hindu culture through it. The blog has successfully completed more than four years and it is a modest attempt from our side to spread more and more awareness about hinduism through this medium.

In this post we begin with a new topic. Below are a few shloka’s from the Sushruta Samahita:

Tacca dukham trivdham aadhyaatmika
aadhibhautikam aadhidaivikamiti

They (the classification of diseases by origin) are of three types – exogenous, endogenous, psychic or natural.

Tattu saptavidhe vyaadhaavupanipatati. Te
punah saptavidhaa vyadhyah. Tadyathaa
aadibalapravrttaah janmabalapravrttaah
dosabalapravrttaah sanghatabalapravrttaah
kalabalapravrttaah daivabalapravrttaah
svabhavabalapravrttaah iti.

Diseases are of three types – endogenous, exogenous and cosmic. They fall under seven categories of diseases. What are the seven categories, we will see in the next posting.

Section II: Information on Indian herbs

In this post, let us know about the herb named Jhau in Hindi (Tamarix Gallica) in Latin.
1. It is a plant that grows to the height of about two metres

2. It has leaves resembling those of a fir tree

3. It grows mostly on the banks of the rivers in the basin of the Yamuna

4. It’s leaves and wood are specifically useful for bringing the enlarged spleen to it’s normal size

5. It’s decoction also prevents prolapse of the anus

6. It’s fruit known as Mayaphal has the quality of stopping bleeding

7. Salts extracted from the ashes of the plant contain appreciable quantities of iron and cobalt


Till the next forthnight… Radhekrishna!!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Eight Branches of Ayurveda

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG


Dear Readers,
Radhekrishna to one and all!

Continuing the thread from our previous post, let us take a look at the descriptions of the remaining four branches of Ayurveda.


5. Bhuta + vidya Graha Chikitsa: Graha Chikitsa is that branch or sub-division that mainly deals with the management of psychological disorders of human beings produced as a result of invasion by some evil spirits.

6. Kaumara + brtyakam Baala chikitsa: As the name suggests, it is that branch of Ayurveda which deals with children. The diseases suffered by children and the treatment given for curing is Balachikitsa.

7. Rasayanam Jara Chikitsa: Jara Chikitsa or the rejuvenating therapy is that which promotes rejuvenation in a healthy person and cures the disease of a diseased person.

8. Vajikaranam Vrishya Chikitsa: Vrishya Chikitsa is the branch of ayurvedic treatment which includes drugs that are mainly used for improving fertility and a study of aphrodisiacs. These drugs also increase the strength and stamina of the person. All this is included in Vrishya Chikitsa.

Now let us move on to our next section.

Section II : Information about Indian herbs

The herb for this forth night is known as Oont Katara in Hindi; Camel’s Thistle in English and Echinops Echinatus in Latin.

· It’s a thorny plant growing to the height of one metre

· It is the favourite food of camels

· Juice of it’s flowers relieves night blindness

· Its bark is a specific cure for coughs, fevers and dropsy

· The root of this plant boiled in milk acts as a aphrodisiac

We will take up a new topic in our next post. Till then Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Eight branches of Ayurveda

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG


Dear Readers,
Radhekrishna to all!

We hope that our readers have maintained their respective new year resolutions taken with tons of enthusiasm. We also hope that our readers have started devoting a small portion of time every day for doing Namajapam.

Coming to our articles, you have known the eight specialties of Ayurveda in the last article. In this post, we will describe those eight specialties in detail.

1. Kaya Chikitsa: Kaya means the living human body, which includes body and mind both. It includes both, the visible body as well as the subtle body. Kayachikitsa is that medicinal branch which includes all the diseases situated in the body like fever.

2. Sala – Saalaakyam (Urdhvanga Chikitsa): Urdhvanga means the organs situated above the neck and the treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head is Urdhvanga chikitsa or shalakya.

3. Salya + apa + hartrkam (Shalya Chikitsa): Shalya Chikitsa is the branch of ancient Indian surgery that describes in detail about the pre-operative procedures, general procedures, post-operative procedures, marma’s (vital points) and also about anesthesia. The description of the types of bandages, shastra (sharp instruments), yantras (blunt instruments), and sutures (stitches) has been described in this branch.

4. Visha + gara + vairodhika + pra + samanam (Damastra Chikitsa): Damastra chikitsa is the branch which includes the science of poison.

…. to be continued

Section II : Information about Indian herbs

Coming to our section on Indian herbs, the herb we will tell you about is named Machhechi Booti (Hindi).

· It’s a small spreading herb growing in ponds when they start drying up in the summer heat.

· It’s a good remedy for piles

· It is also used in prescriptions for salves and ointments for drying up wounds

That concludes the post for this forth night.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Etmology of the Eight parts of Ayurveda

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JAY SHREE POOJYASHREE SHREE AMMA
JAY MAHAN BRAHMASHREE GOPALAVALLIDASAR
JAY SHREE RADHEKRISHNA SATHSANG

Dear Readers,

Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous new year!
All of us think about improving our life in some way or the other at the outset of every new year. So this year let us think of improving our life by devoting some portion of our valuable time towards attaining spiritual knowledge. We, the members of Radhekrishna Sathsangam urge our readers to do more and more chanting of the Radhekrishna namam and attain spiritual bliss.

We have started the topic on the Eight Specialties in Ayurveda in the previous blog post. The shloka mentioned in the previous post contains the names of each of the eight specialties. In this article let us take a look at the etmology of the eight specialties. Given below are the meanings of each of the terms mentioned in the shloka. Please read the blog post for 22nd December 2008 to know about those terms and the shloka.

1. Kaya + chikitsaa = Body + treatment

2. Sala – Saalaakyam = Relating to the upper branches of ear, nose, throat and the eyes.

3. Salya + apa + hartrkam = to be removed by thorn (knife) i.e. surgery

4. Visha + gara + vairodhika + pra + samanam = poison + venom + resisting + pacification = toxicology

5. Bhuta + vidya = that which was (ghost) + knowledge = psychology

6. Kaumara + brtyakam = child + service = Pediatrics

7. Rasayanam = treatment with chemicals (science of rejuvenation)

8. Vajikaranam = stimulating amorous desires = Aphrodisiacs

Section II : Information about Indian herbs

In this post let us know about the herb known as Indrayan (Hindi) also known as Colosynth in English and Citrullus Colocynthis in Latin.

· It is a creeper with large flowers

· It has a bitter fruit

· The pulp of its fruit and the root are used in medicine; both are cathartic

· It is also useful in cases of rheumatism and syphilis

· It is a cure for chronic catarrh and premature graying of hair

That concludes the topic for this forthnight.

Till the next forthnight, Radhekrishna to all our readers!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam
 

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