Archive | March 2018

418. Neemflower Rasam

veppampoo rasam

I got little more of neemflower for Ugadhi.  So, I prepared neemflower(veppampoo) rasam. It tasted good. Of course, we all know the benefits of neemflower for our health.

Ingredients required :

Neem flower – 1 tsp

Tur dal – 1 tbs

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Kalamirch – 1/2 tsp

Dhania – 1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Red chilly – 4

Channa dal – 1/2 tsp

Urud dal – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Ghee – 1/2  tsp

Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Tamarind water – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 bunch

Coriander leaves – 1 bunch

Method of preparation :

First,  pressure cook  turdal with little ghee and turmeric powder. Then,  fry neem flowers in ghee,  in a kadai and keep it aside. In the same kadai put cooking oil and fry channa dal, urud dal, dhania, red chilly, fenugreek seeds, jeera and kalamirch. Make it a coarse powder. In the kadai put ghee and do seasoning with mustard seeds and asafoetida. Pour tamarind water and put salt. When it boils, put the powder, cooked dal, curry leaves, coriander leaves.  Switch off the gas  and add fried neem flowers. The tasty and healthy neemflower rasam is ready. We should not add neemflower  when the gas is on, as it will spoil the taste.

 

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417. Madhwacharya – III

It is indeed because of this farsighted vision of the Madhwacharya that the holy Ganga of dasasahitya flowed in the Kannada land and made Kannada literature more glorious than ever.  Madhwacharya’s philosophy is the real philosophy that will grant eternal bliss in the form of moksha-Golden words  of Sri RaghavendraSripadharayar said that the one who is the most powerful amongst all jivas, the abode of all good qualities is one bearing the name Sri Madhwacharya.

Sri Trivikrama Panditacharya, contemporary of Sri Madhwacharya  had a unique sight of seeing Sri Madhwacharya worshiping Lord Krishna, and he was wonder struck to see the divine sight – Hanuman performing puja to Sri RamaBhima to Sri Krishna and Madhwacharya to Sri Veda Vyasa .  It seems that Sri Madhwacharya had reveled to Sri Trivikrama Panditacharya that he is the third avathara of Vayu, the Wind God.

In Pajaka kshethra, there is a pond called Vasudeva theertha. When we go around this theertha, we can see a tamarind tree. One person gave a cow to vasudeva (Madhwacharya)’s father to feed milk for the baby Vasudeva. But due to the poverty, Vasudeva’s dad could not pay anything to that person. Vasudeva gave few tamarind seeds to that person and when he saw it, it was turned out to be of gold. This is believed that the same tree which is next to Vasudeva theertha.

Next we can see a Nagabana towards eastern side of the vasudeva theertha. Vasudeva planted Ashwatta tree with upside down and the plant has grown to a big tree in the due course. The same tree was alive till few years ago. Now the Nagabana is being renovated. Coming further we can see two big stones. It is believed that, child Vasudeva kept them on the vessels of milk and curd. Even these stones are being worshiped with utmost devotion as these are being touched by Sri Madhwacharya in his childhood.

Another temple present in Pajaka is of Madhwacharya itself. Here we can see footprints of Vasudeva on the stones. There is a story beind these footprints which is quoted in “ Sumadhwa Vijaya” Composed by Sri Narayana Pandithaacharyaru. Once Vasudeva had gone up to the Durga hill. Hearing his mother calling him, he jumped back to his house in one hop and the place where he hopped still bears the mark of his feet. On this very spot Sri Vadhiraja Theertha of Sode matt installed an idol of Sri Madhwacharya.

Let us worship Sri Madhwacharya to get his blessings.

416. Madhwacharya – II

I wish to continue to share the mahima of Madhwacharya.

Sri Madhwacharya was camping in Srimushnam, observing the Chathur masa vritha. To squelch the thirst of a pregnant lady, he produced water with his Danda. The Danda Theertha in Srimushnam is a notable holy spot for Madhwas.

According to his  Dwaitha philosophy, the Supreme being is Vishnu or Narayana. This universe is real and is not Mithya or an illusion. The finite beings comprising the universe are subject to a system of gradation, beginning with the Goddess Laxmi, followed by other minor gods, seers, human beings and undivine beings. The rank of any soul in this scheme of gradation depends on the degree of its devotion to God. God is an embodiment of all virtues and excellences and ever remains untouched by any kind of blemish (Dosha). He has countless Roopas and forms.

Every follower of the Madhwacharya should have a firm belief in the Pancha-bheda—five real and eternal distinctions. The distinction between one Jiva and another Jiva (jeeva-jeeva), between the Jiva and matter (jeeva-jata), between one piece of matter and another (jata-jata), between matter and spirit (Jata-Deva), between the Supreme Being and the individual soul (Deva-Jeeva).

The worship of Vishnu consists in Ankana, marking the body with His symbols,  Namakarana, giving the names of the Lord to children and  Bhajana, singing His glories. Sri Madhwacharya laid much stress on constant practice of the remembrance of God Smarana. He says, “Form a strong habit of remembering God. Then only it will be easy for you to remember Him at the moment of death”.

Renunciation, devotion and direct cognition of the Lord through meditation lead to the attainment of salvation. The aspirant should equip himself with the study of the Vedas, control of the senses, dispassion and perfect self-surrender, if he wants to have the vision of the Lord. These are some of the important teachings of Madhwacharya.

I will continue with some more interesting  news about Madhwacharya in my next blog.

415. Madhwacharya- I

madhwa

Madhwacharya  was born in a Brahmin family in Karnataka in a place called Pajaka near Udupi. He became sanyasi in his teenage. He is also known as Anantha Theertha  and Purnaprajna.  He joined an Advaitha vedantha monastery in Dwarka, Gujarat, under his Guru  Achyutrapreksha.  Madhva studied the Upanishads and the Advaita literature, but was unconvinced by its nondualism philosophy of oneness of human soul and god.

He commenced a pilgrimage to the North where he touched Benares, Allahabad, Dwaraka, Delhi and other places and reached the famous Badrikshetra. He composed the Brahmasutra Bhashya at this place and went further North alone, all by himself, to the depths of Himalayas.

     He founded the Sri Krishna temple at Udupi and established eight mutts, the sanyasis of which has to worship the image by rotation. The system of rotation has continued until the present day at Udupi.  Sri Madhva wrote commentaries or Bhashyas on the ten principal Upanishads, the special treatises called Prakaranas ten in number, the Gita Tatparya and many other works during this period.
     During one of his visits to Vishnumangala, he had to meet a reputed champion of the Adwaita school by name Trivikramapanditacharya. The debate between them seems to have extended to fifteen days and covered all the different systems of philosophy like the Bauddha, Sankhya, Nyaya and Adwaita.
     In the end Trivikramapanditacharya has to admit defeat. He was very much impressed with the Acharya and became his disciple having renounced Adwaita and accepting the Dvaita sidhanta. The conversion of Pandita Trivikrama was a great moral victory for the Acharya and many were the new adherents to his system. At his request Sri Madhvacharya wrote a metrical commentary on the Brahmasutras which is famous as Anuvyakhyana.

I will continue to narrate the Mahima of Madhwacharya in my next blog.

414. Vishnu Sahasranama

In Mahabharatha, Bheeshma Pitamaha was defeated and grievously wounded by Arjuna. But since he could choose the time of his death as per the boons received by him, he chose to die in Uttarayana and was waiting for the auspicious time. Meanwhile the war was over leading to death of all those male members in his family except the Pancha Pandavas and the unborn child of Abhimanyu.  Yudishtra the eldest of the Pandavas became the King of Hasthinapura and whom else would he go for advise other than Bheeshma the great. Anushasanika Parva is in the form of questions and answers between Yudishtra and Bheeshma Pitamaha.To a question as to what is the best possible sthothra, Bheeshma answers that it is the Vishnu Sahasra Nama and teaches it to Yudishtra.

Vishnu Sahasranama is the list of one thousand names of Lord Vishnu. This is a very popular chant in Hinduism dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector of the Hindu trinity. It helps in overcoming the negative astrological effects including doshas that ensue from the poor positioning of the planets in one’s birth chart. Vishnu Sahasranamam can also overcome different kinds of bad luck and curses. Chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam regularly can help invite fortune and good luck inside the household. You can attain your personal and professional goals realized leading to a happy and contented life. It also helps overcome financial losses and poor economic condition.

Chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam on a daily basis can significantly relax the mind and free it from unwanted worries and distracting thoughts. Thus, the mind in capacitated to focus on the positive aspects and learn efficiently. The 1000 different names of Lord Vishnu have great power if chanted with a pure heart. The ultimate benefit of chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama is that it moves a devotee closer to the possibility of gaining salvation or Moksha in the afterlife.

 

 

413. How to deal with oversmart people?

We call a person when acts with knowledge and politeness.  To be the center of attraction, some people act to be too smart. We can call them as oversmart.  They are always impatient to show their elegance and make themselves highlighted amongst others. They always take credits for the work that they have not done.

The oversmart  people try to do less work and get more result by showing over smartness. If we try to  avoid them, they will think that we are not competing with them.  If we still think this person is hard to bear,  we should try to minimize the contact with them and avoid as much as possible.

If we get an opportunity to work with them, we have to complete our task with them and let them do whatever they want to do.  We should not argue with them even if they do anything wrong. We should keep ourselves  tranquil and composed. If such people have some knowledge we have to recognize it first. Then, we have to publicly recognize and utilize his/her knowledge by assigning challenging assignments in his/her areas of proficiency, and therefore check how he/she applies and contributes his/her knowledge.

We should understand that intellect is not measured by our IQ alone but its also calculated by our capability to rheostat the sentiments that can avert us from being intelligent. Even if we identify the right things to do,  we will still be doing the wrong thing if we do not succeed to switch your emotions. When we don’t display how our mind works, the over smart person will get astonished by our movements and forget preparing themselves. They may even forget to act over smartly.

We have to   keep backup plan if we involve this kind of person or give them some responsibilities. So, in worst condition, we will have plan B,  if Plan A is not successfully implemented by this kind of people.  We should expressively show that  we view everyone as equal &  not as a superior or inferior.

So, we can also behave smartly while dealing with oversmart people and safe guard us wisely.

412. Tapioca puttu

DSC01705

First, let us see how to prepare Tapioca sweet puttu.

Ingredients required  :

Tapioca – 1

Grated Coconut  – 2 tsp

Sugar – 1 tsp

Elaichi – 4

Ghee – 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation :

First, we have to remove the skin of tapioca and wash well. Then, we have to grat it and put it in a cup. To this, we have to add  coconut, sugar, elaichi and ghee. We have to mix it well and pressure cook it for 10 minutes. The tasty tapioca sweet puttu is ready.

Shall we see how to prepare Tapioca kara puttu.

Ingredients required  :

Tapioca – 1

Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp

Mustard – 1/2 tsp

Broken Urud dal – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – one bunch

Method of preparation :

We have to remove the skin of tapioca and wash well.  Then we can grat it as before. In a kadai,  we have to put cooking oil and do seasoning with mustard, urud dak and asafoetida. Then, we have to add grated tapioca, salt and chilly powder. After sauting it properly for 10 minutes, we can put curry leaves and switch off the gas.  The tapioca kara puttu is ready now.

411. Holi

Festivals are a welcome relief from the humdrum and monotony of everyday existence. One such festival is Holi. Holi is the festival of colors and is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun as per the Hindu calendar. It generally corresponds to the month of March in the English Calendar.

Holi, the festival of colours was celebrated not only across the country but around the world.  The day is usually happily spent in the company of friends, family and loved ones. While smearing each other in vibrant colours form a huge part of enjoying the festival, gorging on sumptuous snacks  also form an equally important part of the celebrations.

The burning of heaps of wood and/or cakes of cow-dung on the full-moon night of Phalguna month is known as Holika bonfire.  Lord Vishnu appeared as half-man, half-lion and killed Hiranyakashyap at dusk, on his porch steps. A Holika bonfire is lit every year to remind us of the victory of good over evil. Holi is celebrated on the day after the bonfire.

The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships and for Holi gifts as well.  It is said that as a child, Sri Krishna was envious of Radha’s fair complexion, so when he complained about this to his mother, Yashodha, she playfully told him that he could color Radha’s face with whatever color he liked, which he did. Holi also celebrates their love for each other with the color red.

Happy Holi.

 

410. Yogasana 9 – Dhanurasana

dhanurasana

While doing dhanurasana, our body takes the shape of a bow.  It is also one of the three main back stretching exercises. It gives the entire back a good stretch, thus imparting flexibility as well as strength to the back.

We have to do dhanurasana in empty stomach. Early morning is the best time for doing this asana.   For doing this, we have to lie flat on stomach. We have to keep the feet hip-width apart and the arms should be kept beside the body.  then, we have to move the hands to touch the knees first and then the ankles.  We have to breath well and inhale oxygen. Next, we have to raise the chest as well as the legs. Our eyes should look straight. The body will be in bow-pose now. We have to take deep breathe and release. Finally, we can release the hands from the ankles and bring the body to the normal position. We can repeat this for few more times.

Benefits of Dhanurasana :    Our back and abodomen muscles get strength. It helps to stimulate reproductive organs. The neck, chest and shoulders become wide as the blood circulation increases. The leg and arm muscles get toned. Our body and mental stress will be relieved by doing this asana.

People of all ages can practice this asana and get the benefits.

 

409. Is it necessary to look young than our age?

There is no harm in showing our actual age to the society. We need not conceal our age by doing extra make-up. We should present ourselves gently so that we get respect for our age. Those who are naturally healthy,  look brisker, have more spark and vitality.  When we look our best, it tends to boost our confidence, which in turn, leads to better performance.

Some people wear the clothes that are not at all suitable,  to show that they are still young.  Some others overdo their make-up, which we cannot even see.  We should wear the clothes which suit us and present ourselves with dignity.

Some actors and actresses always pretend to be in “Sweet sixteen” age. They spoil their health by not eating the healthy food.  They  undergo many operations to become slim.  They take medicines so that they won’t feel hungry.  These things are against nature  and  their life comes to an end suddenly. The young generation people who are following these actors  and actresses should keep away from the things mentioned above.

What we put inside our body reflects on the outside. A good appearance starts with good health and taking care of our body’s needs. We have to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates in our diet. We can opt pulses, vegetables, whole grains and fruits. We can avoid prepackaged foods. We have to drink lot of water everyday.

As we age, we naturally lose a certain percentage of muscle mass. Stretching and doing exercises that promote flexibility are also essential for our health. They improve the look of the body, making us appear longer and leaner. They also help us to maintain balance and improve posture, both of which contribute to a more healthy appearance.

So it is not at all necessary to look young than our age. It is enough if we are healthy and look with decent personality according to our age.