Subhashita #12 – Shlokas For Our Daily Life

Anything that we do, we should show our gratitude to His holiness.

Here are the shlokas  which are to be chanted during our daily routine, from the time we wake up in the morning till we go to sleep at night.

 

Author: Roopa

By Roopa Prasanna I am a homemaker with two kids a son and a daughter aged 9 and 6 yrs respectively. I love telling stories to my kids. It has helped them to grow up better and they are more relaxed at the end of the day. My other hobbies are listening to music and reading. I have always believed our ancient wisdom holds the key to many of our questions. You can reach me at roopa.hebbar AT gmail.com

A meeting of Kindred Spirits (Part 1 of 3)

5th Year Anniversary Celebration of Swarnaprashana Parenting Group

It was Monday morning. I woke up with a strange and wonderful sense of peace and calm – very unlike other Mondays – in fact very unlike most other days as well! A quick recollection, and it all came flooding back – a weekend full of learning, unlearning, joy, celebration and a sense of time standing still. And yet, it all got over so quickly! Yes, I am talking about the fifth year anniversary celebration of the Swarnaprashna holistic living and parenting group.

Held on 10th and 11th of June 2017 at the very picturesque The School of Ancient Wisdom at Bangalore, the event was a meeting of kindred spirits and parents who became quick friends. Though packed tight with learning sessions on everything from Yoga & Meditation to Parenting & Healthy living, the two days were as relaxed as one can ever hope to get. For me, personally, it was a total treat, like a surprise package of all things that are on my “most liked list” – as if someone had gone through my mind map and picked the choicest of favorites and come up with an agenda that I would never miss for the world. I am sure it was the same for almost every parent who came to the meet! Now, that is not a small feat to achieve – but achieve it they did, the organizing team of Velu, Divya, Mani, Priya, Ananth, Nandhini and all the others who worked hard for more than a month to pull together this beautiful event for others. There is a reason I have emphasized the last word – I will elaborate more on it later.

The lush green and peaceful School of Ancient Wisdom
The beautiful environment of The School of Ancient Wisdom

All of us were to arrive by 5 – 6 PM on Friday evening. But as luck would have it, the rain gods decided to give us a shout! It started pouring delaying some parents from reaching the venue before 6.30 – no problem, said the kids who had arrived by then….We will just take our time getting to know each other so that we can hack our plans for the next two days! And that set the tone for the next two days – something you would never have seen in any other meeting of adults in your life am sure – a free rein of the meeting room for the kids to play, run, fight, sleep, eat and what not – amidst very serious discussions!

So while the adults listened, talked and took notes (pretending they don’t hear the noise!), the little ones had the time of their lives as well. This itself can be one of the best highlights of the meet – a highly tolerant and relaxed huddle of parents where every single parent took the disturbance (adventure for the kids!) in their stride and kept a watch on the kids collectively. Reminded me of the long forgotten huge joint families of yesteryears. Yes, I know, we are a parenting group and some might say this is expected but well, I can only thank the organizers and all the parents for proving we can have a productive meeting with our kids 🙂

After a quick round of introductions of all the parents and how they came to be part of the Swarnaprashna group, we came to know that one of the child had her first birthday the next day – and the parents have decided to spend it with us, in this retreat, instead of the usual party and merry – a awe moment of their dedication and interest to the cause of holistic living for sure.

It was soon time for Dinner followed by the Negativity removing mediation session by Velu. The day was also perfect for it – being a Friday AND a full moon day – a great combination to rid oneself of negative influences and disturbing feelings. If you have been following the discussions on the WhatsApp parenting groups, you will know that removing dhristi is one of the suggested weekly rituals one can follow to maintain emotional health and well-being for the entire family for those who believe in it. It is usually done with salt/chilies/mustard/eggs or any combination thereof (some also use natural straw/camphor and burn them after the cleansing ritual). Scientifically, we are using these high pranic energy filled items to “absorb” the negative energies around us, helping us keep a clean energy space around us. However, our meditation session focused on removing the negative energy within/around us in a different way by using a combination of visualization and self-suggestion. Each of us was also asked to hold a metal coin in our right hand (or a Lemon) which acted a medium to capture all the negativity – this was thrown into the fire built specifically for this purpose at the end of the meditation session.

One of the main things that we learnt during the pre-session discussions was on the importance of discarding the materials used for removing the dhristi (like the coin/salt/chillies…etc.) safely – without letting it affect another person (i.e. not throwing it in a public place where another person is bound to walk over it). As important as it is to get rid of our negative energies, it’s equally important to ensure we don’t pass it off to another person, knowingly or unknowingly. So it’s always best to discard any items we use in a space where another person/animal will not get exposed to it – for at least 24 hours. After that, the energy will get dissipated naturally. The meditation was a very soothing experience for me (not what one might expect out of a Dhristi removing ritual aka Black magic removing meditation!) – and helped me slip into good sleep in the calm and safe environment of The Ancient School of Wisdom.

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a Sustainable Living Coach who firmly believes in the ancient wisdom of minimalistic living and circular economy where nothing was ever considered a waste. She advocates and conducts workshops and training sessions on Chemical-free living and sustainable living practices. She also takes Gardening workshops for children in Bangalore and hopes to empower them with the knowledge to grow their own food.

Glory of Gardening!!

Ever since we started encouraging parents to have their own herbal garden, one parent came forward to share her experience and tip for set up your own garden.


My mom has avid interest in plants and our interest in gardening is inherited from her. As we grew up my parents planted saplings of coconut, mangoes, tapioca and many more.  I and my brother took turns to water all the plants and the energy was irresistible. The plants that were so small are now tall trees…Today not only all are pickles, thoku, mango bars are made out of the fresh mangoes and some amount of coconut oil are made out of coconut that is yielded from our trees  but we also give it away to our friends and relatives.

Accessing food that are healthy is biggest challenge we face today.  “Food is your medicine” as we believe and give our children all the vitamins, immunity building substances, minerals etc but today that’s far from reality.  We are not devoid from getting fresh vegetables, so we started to grow naturally. With all raising buildings we dint have adequate sunlight, so terrace gardening was the only option. Watching your seeds sprout and growing you find enrichment and the glory of having to pluck something form your kitchen garden is irresistible. Soon we started noticing some tiny ants construct their homes on mango trees. These tiny creatures live in so much harmony that their nests are so beautifully engineered binding the leaves together like a cluster and forming a nest chamber. Interestingly these ants kill other insects, pests and act as pest control for plants. Traditionally in kerala farmers have used ants nests (Puli urumb) as pest control for vegetables. It is quite interesting that we learn so much from nature in the process. Not all seeds germinate and are self sufficient in terms of our requirement but we are thankful for nature’s contributions, for what we are able to consume from what is grown today, for how exotic our yard has turned out to be, for all creatures who has found habitat in our garden, for all the new things that nature has taught us in the process..  My 3.8yrs young gardener is already exploring garden and asks appa, do you want shankpushpa or chethipoo? We started converting kitchen waste to compost which is one of the best soil nutrients.  Its almost like a magic to see garbage transform into so wonderful “black gold”.

World is on the brink of natural disaster with polluted environment, earthquake,  bad health, droughts, farmers selling kidneys to clear debts, committing suicide what not? Our actions have not just impacted climate and planet but all species.

If every house hold thinks of retaining some precious greenery around, let the trees flourish again, try to grow edible plants in small space, increase soil fertility with organic composting, we are doing our bit to live in harmony with Earth.  Society is gradually turning into soil and waking up to the fact that a small piece of land, a backyard ,a balcony , a roof top or a terrace can produce so much. If there is no yard, there is power when people come together and do community gardening in apartments.  It will be great to see schools take this initiative to enlighten children with wonders of nature.   When I walk into office campus I wonder why so much space is wasted with shrubs and lawns instead of edible plants..  Let us work for the benefit of all species, bigger self, our family, our friends, generation after us and “mother earth”. With little bit of patience, time and care to nurture, it is fascinating to see what nature can give us back in abundance and in this process with nature we can witness the whole “cycle of creation”.

Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. — Alfred Austin

Quick Tips on growing vegetables:

it’s a beautiful process to bond with plants so get your hands dirty,

Vegetables require direct sunlight, so it’s best to grow them on a terrace or a yard where there is adequate sunlight. On a terrace its better to be done after waterproofing. We can grow them in a patch, grow bags, sacks, gunny bags, waste buckets, pots and any containers.

 

For soil mixture mix equal proportions of soil, sand, compost made out of kitchen waste, dry cow dung powder.

Make sure some shells are kept under bags so that water do not get stagnated (we use coconut shells)

Seeds – There are various types of seeds (Organic, Hybrid,  Heirloom , GMO). This link gives good informationhttp://www.underwoodgardens.com/what-are-heirloom-seeds/#.VuGJWE1f0iR. Be careful to choose the right seeds.

Soak seeds in water and seed them for climbers like ash gourd, snake gourd, cowpea etc. Others can be seeded immediately in soil. As the seeds sprout, make sure they are not over watered.

The age old mantra of farming “Feed the soil not the plant”. Natural manure in the form of kapalandi pinnaku in Malayalam (flat cakes and is cattle feed) , veppin pinnaku (neem cake) Soak in water for couple of days and use that as manure. You will be surprised to the plants grow so healthy. Dry cow dung powder , compost from kitchen waste etc. are other good soil nutrients. Panchagavya don’t require special introduction which is another important ingredient for plants

For pests  – Neem oil mixed diluted in water sprinkle them on plants to keep insects/ aphids away we can also mix small amount of detergent to this. Garlic / ginger/ green chillis grinded together diluted in water and sprinkled over plants keep pests away.

Don’t throw away your kitchen waste, make your own compost with Kamba (Earthen pots) and use that every fortnight for your plants. . http://www.dailydump.org/.

There is enough help available online for all.

There is an app called “garden calendar” that can be downloaded, It guides to grow plants according to phases of moon and forces of nature. Most of the time we do not know what is moons influence on nature so this gives recommendations on favorable days for gardening activities, transplanting, seeding etc.

Lastly as we all know plants can feel, so give them all your affection…Nature does the rest.. Happy Harvesting!!

Author: Hridya

I am Hridya a trained classical Dancer, Amateur Photographer and a Financial system analyst working for HP. In my constant search to all sorts of questions on holisitc living, nurturing a child, ancient traditons, after life, Spiritual growth I came across this blog. In my free time i enjoy music, gardening, being outdoor travelling and experiencing adventure.

Coriander Plant – Ancient Herb #3

Start the herbal garden to protect your family, environment and above all, kids at home inculcate the good practice to plan tress and also pass on the ancient wisdom to this life saving herb.

By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen – List of Koehler Images, Public Domain, Link

Coriander is one of the ancient herbs in treating many ailments like obesity, menstrual issues, controlling kaba and many more.

Planting

It can be planted on water bottles with the top lid up to the neck cut off, small baby bath tubs which give more yields, flower pots
(this is the last option).

Seeds

Coriander seeds are easily available in most of the organic stores. Make sure it is native variety, not hybrid or GM seeds. You can also get in touch with Greenhands project for seeds.

Sowing

Sowing coriander seeds should be done in a even manner as harvesting and watering becomes difficult I’d the seeds and sowed dense in a single place. Better to draw line like markings in the soil and sow the seeds evenly in every row giving space between each row.

Soil

Porous soil is best suited for coriander. Make sure the u can stick ur finger inside it. Tats the porous consistency. A mix of coding and vermicompost is an added advantage.

Watering

Use sprayes for watering and the stem is very fragile and too much watering is not gud for the plant. All it needs it is wetness.

Duration

5 weeks

Important note: Use of scrap water bottles, scrap tubs trays are the best as coriander has very small root so it doesn’t need a shallow pot. I prefer hanging them by kitchen window to get a cilantro breeze inside the kitchen and hanging these greens is the best way to save space.

Subhashita #11 – Kakah krishna pikah krishna

काकः कृष्णः पिकः कृष्णः को भेद पिककाकयोः
वसन्तसमये प्राप्ते काकः काकः पिकः पिकः

Kakah krishna pikah krishna, Ko bheda pika kaka yoho?
Vasanta samaye praptey, Kakah kakah pikah pikaha!

Author: Roopa

By Roopa Prasanna I am a homemaker with two kids a son and a daughter aged 9 and 6 yrs respectively. I love telling stories to my kids. It has helped them to grow up better and they are more relaxed at the end of the day. My other hobbies are listening to music and reading. I have always believed our ancient wisdom holds the key to many of our questions. You can reach me at roopa.hebbar AT gmail.com

Indriya Nigraha

Allan-Hermann Pool - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Allan-Hermann PoolOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0

We have ears, tongue and eyes among gnanendriyas most powerful knowledge providers with which there will be lot of internal disturbances.

We should not listen through “EARS”, which is not related to us or for which we are neither responsible nor answerable. Unnecessary inflow of information from this indriya generates unwarranted garbage in our astral body. This should therefore be controlled.

Next gnanendriya is “TONGUE”. Through this we become slave to taste and take unnecessary food. This in one way results in indigestion and also other diseases like diabetics. So we should have control on tongue.

Further powerful and dangerous gnanendriya is “EYES”. No doubt through this indriya we see world around us, but we also see unwanted items and create unwarranted desires. So friends eyes, tongue and ear are most dangerous gnanendriyas which require control.

Now, there is another karmendriya which is also equally dangerous. It is speech generated through tongue. Through “TALK” we either to good deeds or bad deeds. So we should be careful with this karmendriya also.
We have a commander-in-chief of indriyas. He is “MIND” . If one can control this, he can even become Almighty. Entire spiritual practices are basically aimed at controlling mind. People generally think that “indriya nigraha” (control of indriyas) is important sadhana. But it is not so. What is required is realisation

oriented attitude towards subject matter of indriyas. In Bhagavad Geeta in second chapter, Lord emphasized that any interest on subject matter of five elements (sound, touch, form, taste and smell are subject matters) converts interest as desire. If desire is fulfilled then thought for repetition is generated. If desire is not fulfilled angry will raise. With angry, person looses senses and losses control on himself. So realization oriented knowledge referred above should help us in removing interest on subject matter of five elements. To do this, we should divert our interest on some better aspects. Like doing “NAMA SMARANA ” or uttering “MANTRA” or doing meditation. Let our sadhana start on any of these points.
Pranamams.

Author: Lakshmi Bharadwaj

Lakshmi Bharadwaj, known as OJAS in whatsapp group, is a home-maker and mother of three lovely kids. She comes with a rich tradition that follows home-remedies, which makes her a passionate towards ancient knowledge in Ayurveda naturopathy and herbs. She is one of the sincere and senior member of swarnaprashana watsapp parenting community. She has been constantly guiding new parents and with her continuous selfless efforts on various social and educative platforms. She is a small startup entrepreneur made it a step ahead in collaborating O&S HERBALS with BALAMRIT and MILKMASLA which stood to her expectations with her efforts. In 2015, She was the Parent of the month for her exceptional guidance in home-remedies to many parents in our whatsapp community.

Subhashita # 10 – ālasyam hi manuṣhyāṇām

आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां
शरीरस्थो महान् रिपुः |
नास्त्युद्यमसमो बन्धुः
कृत्वा यं नावसीदति ||

ālasyam hi manuṣhyāṇām sharīrastho mahānripu |
nāstyudyamasamo bandhuḥ kṛitvā yam nāvasīdati || (IAST)
Alasyam hi manuShyANAm sharIrastho mahAnripu |
nAstyudyamasamo bandhuH kRitvA yam nAvasIdati || (ITRANS)

Author: Roopa

By Roopa Prasanna I am a homemaker with two kids a son and a daughter aged 9 and 6 yrs respectively. I love telling stories to my kids. It has helped them to grow up better and they are more relaxed at the end of the day. My other hobbies are listening to music and reading. I have always believed our ancient wisdom holds the key to many of our questions. You can reach me at roopa.hebbar AT gmail.com

Subhashita #9 – Karna

Akhanda Mandalakaram
Vyaptam Yena Characharam
Tat Padam Darshitam Yena
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha

Author: Roopa

By Roopa Prasanna I am a homemaker with two kids a son and a daughter aged 9 and 6 yrs respectively. I love telling stories to my kids. It has helped them to grow up better and they are more relaxed at the end of the day. My other hobbies are listening to music and reading. I have always believed our ancient wisdom holds the key to many of our questions. You can reach me at roopa.hebbar AT gmail.com

Subhashita #8 – Ajnyaana Timira

अज्ञानतिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशालाकया ।
चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥३॥

Ajnyaana-Timira-Andhasya Jnyaana-[Aa]n.jana-Shaalaakayaa |
Cakssur-Unmiilitam Yena Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah ||3||

Meaning:
3.1: (Salutations to the Guru) Who Removes the Darkness of Ignorance from our Blind (Inner) Eyes by applying the Collyrium of the Light of Knowledge.
3.2: By Whom our (Inner) Eyes are Opened; Salutations to that Guru.

Author: Roopa

By Roopa Prasanna I am a homemaker with two kids a son and a daughter aged 9 and 6 yrs respectively. I love telling stories to my kids. It has helped them to grow up better and they are more relaxed at the end of the day. My other hobbies are listening to music and reading. I have always believed our ancient wisdom holds the key to many of our questions. You can reach me at roopa.hebbar AT gmail.com