Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why do we do Namaste?


Dear Readers,


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?


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

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