Archive | March 2019

468. How to increase blood circulation?

We all know that we become dull when the blood circulation is not proper. We have to take proper care to increase the blood circulation so that we can do our normal works efficiently.

Due to some disease, the blood circulation may decrease. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes, obesity and  smoking  are some of the many causes of poor circulation. Reduced blood flow can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as pain, muscle cramps, numbness, digestive issues and coldness in the hands or feet.

Some food items help us to increase our blood circulation. Capsicum red, green and yellow help to expand blood vessle. Consuming pomegranate as juice, raw fruit or supplement  may improve blood flow and oxygenation of muscle tissue, which could especially aid active individuals. Onions are an excellent source of flavonoid antioxidants, which benefit heart health. Cinnamon is a warming spice that has many health benefits including increased blood flow. Garlic is well known for its beneficial impact on circulation and heart health. The vegetable beetroot is the best source of energy for increasing blood circulation.

Our lovely turmeric helps us a lot for blood circulation. Leafy green vegetables increase blood flow. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and  grapes are packed with antioxidants, including flavonoids. Eating walnuts may reduce blood pressure, improve blood vessel function and decrease inflammation. Tomatoes may help reduce the activity of angiotensin, converting enzyme (ACE), which causes blood vessels to constrict to control blood pressure. Berries  have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which may have a positive impact on blood flow. Ginger, a staple in traditional medicine in India and China for thousands of years, can likewise lower blood pressure and improve circulation.

In addition to taking vitamins and supplements to boost our blood flow, we can improve our body’s circulation by leading a healthy lifestyle that incorporates things like doing exercise, stress management, massage, lot of fluid intake and stopping smoking.

So, let us hope that we can lead a healthy life by taking proper food and following the correct lifestyle so that we can increase blood circulation.

467. Kasi Samaradhana

We visited Rameshwaram first and brought the sand. We took it to Kasi and immersed in Ganga river. We visited Rameswaram once again to give the Ganga Jal brought from Kasi, for doing abhishekam to Ramanathaswamy. Finally, we did Kasi Samaradhana.

We did puja in Raghavendraswamy Mutt and gave Kasi Ganga Jal pot, Annapoorani Vigraha, Prasadham, Kasi Kayiru and  Vishnu Padam to all our relatives. We did Thambathi puja to an aged couple and gave them Dhothi-Sari. We gave Muradhubayana to 5 Sumangalis, by keeping all he mangala items in Muram.  We did Go-dhana by keeping Cow-Calf in brass on a brass plate. We also did Phala-dhana  by keeping 5 types of fruits, each 4 in number, in a big brass thambalam and gave it with all mangala items. Finally, we did Dheepa-Dhana  to 10 male members.

The Kasi Samaradhana Puja was over by doing all the Dhanas. We fed all our relatives and 10 brahmins. The kasi Yathra is complete with this puja. We returned home with full contentment.

466. Kasi Yathra – VI

In Kasi, our visits were over and we saw in two days as much as we can. On the second day night by 12 AM, we were asked to get ready. We travelled by bus to Gaya. It was really a tedious journey. As we were the first persons to book for the trip, we got seat in the front row. We could reach Gaya after travelling for nearly 8 hours.

We were accomodated in  Udupi Mutt, in Gaya. We were given coffee and asked to get ready for Srartha. It took a long time, as about 20 people participated. Immediately, we all were taken by walk through very narrow lanes and huge crowd to offer Pind to our ancesstors. There is nothing better than paying tribute to our ancestors soul. I felt like on a journey, after end of our life.

The pind daan has to be offered in three places. First, we went to  Phalgu River. My husband and other male members carried the balls and perform the pooja on the banks of the river, which was almost dry.  Next, at , the male members carry the balls and perform the pooja in the temple complex. Finally, they offer it at the feet of Lord Vishnu. A big size Vishnu Pad is kept there. The third place is Akshay Vat tree. The Pind balls are kept under the tree, with prayers.

After making small purchases, we returned to Udupi Mutt by walk and had our lunch directly, by 3 PM. After taking rest for sometime, we started by bus to Allahabad.  The distance from Gaya was about 380 KM and it took nearly 10 hours travel.  We stayed in Swaminarayan Mandir Dharamshala.  After taking bath and wearing new sari, we started for visiting some temples and doing Veni dana.

Nagvasuki Temple, located in Daraganj is situated on the banks of the River Ganges. Dedicated to Vasuki, who was the king of serpents, this temple is visited by large number of tourists every year. A fair is held every year near this temple on the occasion of Nag Panchami. We can see here statues of many legendery characters like Bhishm Pitamah, the great warrior of Mahabharata. This is one of the most ancient temples of Allahabad.

Another temple we visited was Veni Madhav temple, located in  proximity to the Prayag Ghat is situated on the banks of river Ganges. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Narayana and to Lakshmi, who was the wife of Narayana. Believed to be blessed with the presence of idols of God Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi, this temple is also known as LakshmiNarayana temple.

Finally, we visited Alopi Devi temple. This temple is regarded to be one of the 18 shaktipeeths and also the holliest of them all. The uniqueness of the temple lies in the fact that there is no statue of the Deity that is worshipped here. In the sanctom sanctorum of the Alopi Devi Temple, lies a wooden cot, also known as “doli” of the new bride. It is this wooden craft that is devotedly worshipped by the people from all over the country. According to the Hindu belief, while Lord Shiva was grieviously travelling through the skies with the burnt body of his wife Sathi, Lord Vishnu threw his chakra at the corpse in order to relieve Lord Shiva from his pain. The various places where the body parts fell were sanctified and deemed as “Shaktipeeths”. Alopi Devi temple is the place where the last part fell, marking the disappearance of Sathi. Hence this place came to be known as Alopi which means disappeared.

Finally, we we left in a place where puja for Veni Dhan was performed The puja took place for more than 1 hour. The Pandit said the Manthras in a very fast manner and we followed & did puja  as per his instructions. Finally, we carried the items of Morathubayana and walked with the boatman. We travelled in a boat for about half an hour to a place called Sangam, where many boats like us gathered.

We had to cross three boats, parked nearby and reached a platform, where we took a bath in Thriveni Sangam and did veni dhana.  We showed morathubayana to the rivers.. Again, we came back, gave  the morathubayana, dakshin etc to the pandit and returned to our place, for taking lunch. After lunch, we visited Ananda Bhavan, the house of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.  Finally, we started to Allahabad railway station. We came by train from there to Jansi. From Jansi we caught another train to Coimbatore.

The trip was really good and we could see many places.

465. Kasi Yathra – V

After finishing small purchases, we returned to our room. A friend of us in the next room called us and asked us to accompany for seeing Banaras saris nearby. We went with them and spent about 2 hours for selecting & purhasing few saris.

When we came back, we were asked to get ready for boating and seeing Ganga Aarathi.  Words are not sufficient to explain the beauty of ganges and uniqueness of Gabga Aarathi.  On the way of seeing the Ganga Aarathi, we visited many famous Ghats. There are nearly 64 ghats. The famous and oldest ghats of all these are the Dashashwamegha, Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghat. Some of the ghats are made there by Hindu rulers such as Ahilya Bai Holkar of Malwa region, Peshwa’s of Gwalior, Man Singh of Amber, Jai Singh of Jaipur etc. Most of the ghats were made at the time of Maratha.

All of our group people were accomodated in a big boat.  There were hundreds of boats around us, carrying Indian and foreign tourists. Some costly boats with lot of decorations and facilities were also visible, to attract rich tourists. Our local guide was explaining and making us to see the important ghats.  The ghats are primarily used for bathing and puja rituals, but there are two  viz., Manikarnika and Harishchandra ghats where cremations are solely performed.

The boats were taken for a ride to visit all the important ghats and finally gathered before Dashashwamedh ghatGange Aarathi is performed daily in the evening by a group of priests there. Through the Aarathi, Agni Pooja is performed in which a commitment is made to the Lord Shiva, Matha Gange, Surya, Agni  as well as the whole universe made by the Lord Shiva. This beautiful ritual makes every moment of the evening period special and fills with the spiritual thoughts. It is performed by the brass lamps which accompanied with the mantra chant in the presence of the huge crowd. There are 5 priests on one side and 7 on another side. We were able to watch both sides, sitting in our boat.

All the priests who have to perform the Aarathi, wear same cloth, the dhoti and kurta which is tightly bind with a long towel. First they make preparation  by making collection of the five elevated planks, a multi tiered oil lamp, an idol of the Goddess Ganga, flowers, incense sticks, a conch shell, a big and heavy brass lamp having a snake hood at the edge of the River Ganga.  Ritual of the Gange Aarathi is performed by the students of the Vedas and Upanishads which is lead by the head priest of the Gangothri Seva Samithi. The whole event takes around 45 minutes, from 6.45 PM. Every person born in this world has to see this Ganga Aarathi in his/her lifetime.

The boats dropped us in Kedharnath Ghat. We liked to visit some temples near this ghat. This ghat is famous for  Kedar temple is in this place. The belief is that our visit here is as good as visiting the kedarnath temple in the Himalayas. a real spiritual experience. We also visited Chinthamani Ganapathy temple and returned by walk to our room.

I will continue the details in my next blog.

464. Kasi Yathra – IV

After visitng Kasi Viswanathar, we moved to visit Annapoorani Devi, the Goddess of Food.  There was a golden idol of the Annapurna Matha in the Annapurna temple.  Annapurna temple has a huge crowd of pilgrims at the occasion of Annacoot. Annacoot festival is celebrated in India every year after Diwali. On the occasion of Annacoot, coins are distributed to all the devotees. It is considered that whoever will worship this coin, he will be blessed by the Annapurna Matha for his successful and prosperous life. Annapurna Matha is the Goddess of the Varanasi city who always protects the Kashi and fulfill His devotees with the food.

Once, Lord Shiva said to the Goddess Parvathi that the whole world is an illsion and the food is the part of that known as ‘Maya’. The Goddess of food, Matha Parvathi became very angry and She had to show the importance of all the material, in order to that She had vanished all things from the world. In the absence of food from the earth, the earth became infertile and everyone had suffered from the deep hunger. She had to reappear in the world by seeing His devotees suffering from the deep hunger. She, then made a kitchen in the holy city, Varanasi. Lord Shiva too came to Her and said that I understand that the material can never be sent away as an illusion. Matha Parvathi became very happy and offered food to the Lord Shiva with her own hands. From that time Matha Parvathi is worshiped as an Annapurna means the Goddess of Food. It is considered that She does not eat a little bit till the time Her devotees have not been fed in Her temple.

After visiting  temples, as much as we can, we got very much tired, walked slowly. We caught an auto after 10 minutes and reached our place of stay. We had dinner and went for sleep at about 11 PM.

Next day morning our tour organiser has arranged for doing srartham in Uttaradi Mutt. After having meals, we went to a nearby shop for purchasing Kasi Gangajal Sombu, Annapoorani vigraha, Vishnu Padam and Gomuki chakra stone. You might have known about other things. I will just tell a few words about the Gomuki chakra stone. Found in the Gomathi River, the Gomati chakra stones are popular remedies for many problems people face in their day to day lives. Gomati Chakra is a white coloured stone with small circles seen on one side of the stone and the chakras are considered to be a symbol of Goddess Lakshmi. Gomati Chakra resembles the Sudarshan Chakra or Discus of Lord Krishna. According to many Vaishnavas and oral tradition in Northern India, the Gomathi Shilas were once part of Lord Krishna’s palaces in Dwaraka. They were used to adorn the walls and floor of many of Sri Krishna’s palaces. The Gomathi chakra stone can be used in innumerable ways to fix problems in one’s life. It is used as a Yantra and also is used in worships. It is believed that those people who possess Gomathi Chakra will be blessed with money, good health and prosperity. Gomathi Chakra Shilas are used along with Shaligrams in some special worship.The “Salagrama-Kosha” quotes that when Shaligram and Gomati Chakra are placed together and worshipped, the mass of sin will be burned down. Gomati Chakra Shilas are also used as protective amulet for children. Gomati shilas brings in wealth and good health.

OK, I will continue with more interesting news about our travel, in my next blog.


463. Kasi Yathra – III

In Kasi,  after visiting Durga temple, we went to Sankata Moksha Hanuman temple.  Here, the devotees  offer Prasad and Sindoor on the statue to the Lord Hanuman, which is sealed in the campus of the temple. They also decorate the idol of the Lord Hanuman with the flower garland. The temple of the Sankat Mochan has unique feature by having the idol of Lord Hanuman in front of his Lord Rama. According to Astrology, Hanuman saves human beings from the anger of the planet Shani, and especially people who have an ill-placed Saturn in their horoscopes visit this temple for astrological remedies.

Our next place of visit is Kavadai amman temple.  Here, we have to offer 5 kavadai or choli to the Goddess along with flowers. The priest  keeps them in front of Her. It is believed that She takes our misfortune and grants good luck to us. The priest gives back one kavadai to us, for keeping  in our pooja room.

Finally, we returned to our room. After, having tea, we started by auto to the famous Kashi Viswanath temple. As the crowd was more,  the automan  dropped us at a place about two KM from the temple. The guide took us through many narrow lanes. We almost ran behind him, in the traffic. First, he took us to the famous Visalakshi Amman temple. The Vishalakshi Temple or Vishalakshi Gauri Temple is dedicated to the goddess VishalakshiMaa, meaning wide eyed Devi. It is located at Mir Ghat. This temple is among the 52 Shakthi Peetams, and is part of the famous triad of temples – Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kashi Visalakshi. When Adi Shankaracharya visited the temple, he performed prayers to replenish the powers of the temple, which had borne the brunt of several invasions. He also installed a Sri Yantram and it is to this Yantram that puja is done. Kumkumarchana to this Sri Yantram is considered very auspicious.

Next, we went to have the darshan of the famous Kasi Viswanathar.  It  is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples.   Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe. Kasi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous temple in Varanasi, also known as the Golden temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It was constructed in the year 1780 by the Maratha monarch, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of the Indore. This makes Varanasi a tourists place because of great religious importance to the Hindus. True devotees of the Lord Shiva get freedom from the cycle of the death and birth. After death they directly intermingled into the Mahadev. People beliefs that the one who decided to end their life at the temple, Lord Shiva himself drive a mantra of freedom in his ear.

We had to walk and stand in queue for a long time again. The crowd was much more as went near and the police people simply pushed away all the devotees,  before having the darshan of God. They could have allowed to stand there atleast for a few seconds. We stood at a distance and tried to see the Lord, again & again. Many people of our group came again on the next day, to have the darshan, once again. We thought  that Lord Viswanathar will call us once again to visit Him, after some years.

I will continue the details of the visit in my next blog.