Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why do we regard trees and plants as sacred?





Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna to one and all. In the previous post, we completed the twelfth question of the series which was Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?” In this post, let us begin a new question.

The next question of the series is “Why do we regard trees and plants as sacred?”

The Lord, the life in us, pervades all living beings, be they plants or animals. Hence, they are all regarded as sacred. Human life on earth depends on plants and trees. They give us the vital factors that make life possible on earth: food, oxygen, clothing, shelter, medicines etc.

Hence, in India, we are taught to regard trees and plants as sacred. Indians scriptures tell us to plant ten trees if, for any reason, we have to cut one. We are advised to use parts of trees and plants only as much as is needed for food, fuel, shelter etc. we are also urged to apologies to a plant or tree before cutting it to avoid incurring a specific sin named ‘soona’.

Nowadays there is a rising awareness amongst people to plant more and more trees. Even though industrialization has increased a lot, the companies are made responsible to the society in many ways. They are forced to plant trees, especially if the process involves release of poisonous gases. They are also made to ensure that the waste emanating from the industrial process is suitably processed to ensure that there is no hazard to the environment.

Certain trees and plants like tulasi, peepal etc., which have tremendous beneficial qualities, are worshipped till today. It is believed that divine beings manifest as trees and plants, and many people worship them to fulfill their desires or to please the Lord. Section II of our blog post every fortnight is dedicated to such type of trees and plants only!

That concludes this section. We will take up a new question in the next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post, let us know about Multani Mitti, also called as Bole Armeniac in Latin.

1. It is a yellowish white stratified earth used for washing hair.

2. It is used on the skin in the form of a paste for dealing with prickly heat.

3. If it is steeped in water overnight and the supernatant water drunk in the morning relieves bleeding from the nose.

That concludes this post. Till the next post, keep chanting the Radhekrishna namam and enjoy the supreme happiness.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Friday, August 06, 2010

Why do we do pradakshina only in a clockwise manner?





Radhekrishna to all!

In our previous post, we began a new question “Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?” Let us know more about the same in this post.

We don’t do pradakshina only in a temple around God’s idol. There are other situations also when we do it.

Indian scriptures enjoin - matrudevo bhava, pitrudevo bhava, acharyadevo bhava. It means that ‘May you consider your parents and teachers as you would the Lord’. With this in mind we also do pradakshina around our parents and divine personages.

This is a highlight of our Hinduism which is not seen in the western cultures. In western culture, the parents look after their children only till the age of sixteen. So also, the children prefer to stay with their parents only till they start earning money. After that the children invariably start living independently.

However, the scenario is very different in India. The children are deeply rooted in the family. Even though they get married, start earning, they seldom stop living with their parents. Parents are like the roots of the tree. The tree may grow upwards but is always dependent on its roots to stay alive. So also, a child may grow, beget children but still does not leave one’s parents. We see God in our parents. The same applies to our teacher and Guru. So also, we are always a child in the eyes of our parents and they always provide us the nectar of their experiences in life and guide us throughout our life.

The last type of pradakshina is after the completion of traditional worship (pooja), when we customarily do pradakshina around ourselves. In this way we recognize and remember the supreme divinity within us also, which is idolized in the form of the Lord that we worship outside.

These are the different situations and reasons for doing pradakshina.

We will look at a new question in our next post.

Section II: Information about Indian herbs

In this post, let us know about the herb named Bathwa, called as Goose Foot in English and Chenopodium Album in Latin.

1. It’s a well known vegetable which grows in wheat fields.

2. It is easily digested in the body

3. It cures fevers and disorders of the liver.

4. Juice of its leaves applied to patches of leucoderma tends to cure them

That’s all for this fortnight. Till the next post on 22nd August, Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

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