Let us Start
The origin of Sati is not definitely known, but generally it has been ascribed to the self-immolation of God Shiva’s wife, Sati. She, on finding that her husband was not invited by her father, Daksha, for some Yaga, to which he had invited all the other deities, created a fire out of her innate powers and immolated herself in front of the guests.
Sati is of great antiquity but was not favored from ancient times by all legists. All the ancient scriptures disagree with sati and say that one should not die before ones’ destined time. Sati was mentioned by Vishnu (100-200 A.D.) as the other alternative for a woman after her husband’s death if she is not able to lead a chaste life.
In spite of the disapproval, we find that in the Mahabharatha, that Madri burnt herself on the funeral pyre of her husband. In the sixth century, Sati was practiced in the South as well. In the Tamil literary work Silapathikaram, it is mentioned that Kanaki went with her husband to Madurai. There Kovalan was wrongly accused of stealing one of the anklets of the Queen. The king, without further enquiry ordered the man to be prosecuted.
When Kanaki heard of this, she committed Sati after cursing the city. During the Chola period in the South, women voluntarily committed Sati saying that if they lived after their husband’s death they would be enslaved by their co-wives, or would be misused by the men of their place and so on. But pregnant woman were not allowed to commit sati.
Sati appears to have continued during the Mughal rule too, and Akbar tried to abolish this system but in vain.The ritual of Sati goes on like this; When a man dies, his corpse is taken to the cremation ground, his wife accompanying it, attired in the best garments with her friends and kindred. Once the crematorium is reached, a fire was lit and after circumambulating the spot, she sits near the body and wails for her husband and then rejoices on the act that she is able to accompany her husband in death.
Then the people tie her on the pile and throw oil and dry sticks over it once the pyre is lit. In the town of Surat, even girls below 10 years who had child marriages were forced to perform sati just because the man to whom they were betrothed has been dead. Law at last after so many centuries abolished the usage of sati on December 4, 1829, in British India but it still seems to be there with one or two cases having been reported after the enforcement of the law.
Hindu women, to escape from the hands of the invaders, particularly the Muslims, resorted to Jauhar, with whom they did not want to have any contact. This is a variation of Sati, in that, in Sati, the woman is forced to die whereas in the case of Jauhar, the woman voluntarily vows to die.
Women often executed Jauhar when they were besieged and their men decide to face their foes and fight to death. But like sati it was not made compulsory, for many Rajput women, among those who suffered by an enemy confrontation did not commit Jauhar.
The Tulapurushadana or the royal weighment was a ceremony observed by kings and also by lesser people. It implied a gift, equal to the weight of a man in gold and later with precious metals and other objects. It was one of the sixteen great gifts, which have been mentioned in the Puranas.
Rukmini placing a Tulsi leaf in a weighing scale while Krishna sat in the other pan is an example of this in mythology. This ceremonious gift of the Tulapurushadana is also referred in the Tamil classic, Silapathikaram.This practice is observed even today by the common in fulfilling a vow made for the sake of children or some sickness or some sin, etc, in holy places and shrines. Akbar, during his solar anniversary was weighed against gold, silver, silk, perfumes, copper, drugs, ghee, iron, rice, seven kinds of grain and salt. These items were then distributed to the courtiers or the poor and beggars or prisoners, as a means of keeping away the royal person free from bodily and mental harm.
A system of coercion to exact or enforce one’s demands in private and public life has been known in India from antiquity. It was called by Indian legists, ACHARITA or as it is now called in a new garb, Gherao. Sitting at the door of a debtor, or fasting or the creditor starving him to death can be taken as an example for the act of Dharna. Sometimes bribes could break up a dharna no matter how powerful it had been. Not only the common people but even the ruler, the ministers, the courtiers sometimes resort to dharna to have their demands met. Sitting on the door of the debtor and starving oneself to death may frighten the debtor as he would think that the creditor may die and his ghost shall haunt his house. Sometimes the creditor may try to immolate himself near the debtor or at times may carry a heavy unbearable stone on him until the debtor arranges some way to repay. Dharna is very much in vogue today with various unions and establishments going to the streets with out taking any food or without doing any work until their demands are met.
Svayamvara means choosing one’s husband, oneself, in an open assembly. These days though women have the right to choose their husbands according to their own wish, it can’t be termed svayamvara, as it is not the practice of choosing from a wide choice of men on one go. Such a selection is often made after a grand exhibition of strength, skill and such things, which marked out the candidate in a large crowd of eligible competitors. The maiden is usually a full-grown woman who could make her own choice, using her own free will, discretion and judgment. Such a system of choosing one’s mate has been in vogue in India from antiquity.
In India, the svayamvara has been known from the days of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. In the former epic, we learn how the great hero and bowman Arjun won in an open tourney, the hands of Draupadi. The same epic tells about the choice of Damayanti, who, in an open assembly, selected her husband, the great Nala, preferring him to the gods Agni, Varuna and Indra. In the Ramayana, Rama won Sita; the daughter of King Janaka, in an open competition by bending the great bow, the weapon of god Shiva which none could bend.
(source: http://www.indianmirror.com/strange/stindia1.html)SATI The origin of Sati is not definitely known, but generally it has been ascribed to the self-immolation of God Shiva’s wife, Sati. She, on finding that her husband was not invited by her father, Daksha, for some Yaga, to which he had invited all the other deities, created a fire out of her innate powers ...
Eifel Tower scanning Paris
Don’t forget to try all the buttons at the bottom of the photo or just swing with the mouse
(contributed by : Amr on 27.09.2012)Eifel Tower scanning Paris Don’t forget to try all the buttons at the bottom of the photo or just swing with the mouse (contributed by : Amr on 27.09.2012)
Papuan is a cover term for the various indigenous peoples of New Guinea and neighboring islands, speakers of so-called Papuan languages. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern part of the world’s second largest island and is prey to volcanic activity, earthquakes and tidal waves. Linguistically, it is the world’s most diverse country, with more than 700 native tongues.
Some 80% of Papua New Guinea’s people live in rural areas with few or no facilities of modern life. Many tribes in the isolated mountainous interior have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world, and live within a non-monetarised economy dependent on subsistence agriculture.
(source : http://interesting-amazing-facts.blogspot.in/search/label/amazing%20pictures)Papuan is a cover term for the various indigenous peoples of New Guinea and neighboring islands, speakers of so-called Papuan languages. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern part of the world’s second largest island and is prey to volcanic activity, earthquakes and tidal waves. Linguistically, it is the world’s most diverse country, with more than ...
If you thought yoga was just about sitting in awkward positions while chanting repetitively, think again. Whether you’re looking to cure a cold, ease back pain or simply become more flexible, yoga is a discipline that’s seriously underrated. We’ve spoken to the experts to find out more about just a few of the ways yoga can benefit us all.
Due to the way in which yoga helps us to become more flexible, it’s especially ideal for those with cardiovascular problems. ‘Hatha yoga emphasises methods of doing yoga postures (asanas) and energetic breathing exercises (pranayamas) for physical health and wellbeing,’ says UK yoga instructor Kirsty Weir.
‘The benefits of this type of yoga practice from a physiological point of view include changes to cardiovascular functions along with benefits to musculoskeletal structures. For example, standing postures and forward bends are known to be sedative and can lower blood pressure, while backbends and inversions are great for stimulating and increasing blood pressure. Shoulder stands promote circulation to the neck region and are well known for their beneficial effects on thyroid conditions.’
If the daily commute or pressing deadlines are getting you down, yoga might just be what you need to put things into perspective. ‘Yoga has a balancing effect on both body and mind and as such it’s perfect for addressing stress-related illnesses such as insomnia, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome and IBS,’
If you’re new to yoga but concerned about a lack of flexibility, Iyengar yoga could be a great place to start. ‘Iyengar yoga is good for people who are slightly older because it’s not so dynamic or strenuous and there’s a big emphasis on the use of props to create safe alignment – something that’s very important as we all get older,’ explains Miami yoga instructor Fred Busch,
Feel the burn
You might be surprised to learn that yoga can actually help us to lose weight and tone up, thanks to its ability to aid digestion and promote the burning of abdominal fat. ‘The physical exercises benefit the whole body, both on the muscular and inner organs level,’ explains Minakshi at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas. ‘For example, the benefits of the sitting forward bend [as illustrated in the photo] include developing a healthier and more flexible lower back, the burning of abdominal fat and better digestion.’
Osteoporosis is just one example of a condition that can be helped by yoga, thanks to the focus on correct bone alignment.
‘For preventing osteoporosis, correct posture is paramount,’ explains Juliana Mitchell, a yoga instructor at . ‘This can be explained by a principal called ‘Wolfe’s Law’ which states that bone density grows along lines of stress. In good posture, we evenly distribute the body’s weight through the key weight-bearing bones, helping the body to continually rebuild bone mass. Many yoga classes emphasise a pose called tadasana or mountain pose. At first glance it can seem like just standing there. But tadasana is a master pose which can be refined for the rest of our lives – it teaches the body and mind how to distribute body weight, and works as a maintenance plan for our key weight bearing bones.’
A breath of fresh air
The emphasis on correct breathing technique means yoga is ideal for those suffering from respiratory conditions while those suffering from insomnia can also benefit. ‘Certain pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) can be very beneficial for asthma, as well as sleep disruptions caused by sleep problems,’ says Juliana at New York Yoga. ‘A yoga teacher with a strong knowledge of pranayama and of yoga therapeutics would be necessary in this regard. Certain restorative yoga poses can also be excellent for asthma.’
Get tough on toxins
It’s all too easy to ignore the damage done by a poor diet – alcohol, processed foods and smoking can all have disastrous effects on our bodies – but certain types of yoga are known for their ability to neutralise some of these poisons. ‘I find that ashtanga and vinyasa yoga, due to the high cardio nature of the practice, help to bring about a better alkaline to acidity pH ratio in the body,’ says Donnalynn Civello, holistic health coach at New York Yoga.
‘These yoga styles help to release both physical and emotional toxins in the body. Through these practices, the physical toxins (from processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and prescription drugs) are slowly released from storage in the fat cells and discharged from the body as sweat, etc. This enables a lower acidity level in the body as these toxins are highly acidic.’
Sort the sniffles
Feeling the first snivels of a cold? Yoga isn’t just great for getting rid of colds – it can prevent them coming back, too. ‘Colds can be repaired with yoga – that’s the good news,’ reveals Tara Stiles. ‘The even better news is the more yoga you practice the less you’ll get colds in the first place. A regular yoga practice will strengthen your immunity. Your yoga practice and these additional breathing techniques can cleanse the body and the sinuses, leaving you feeling refreshed and relieved even during the worst of colds.’
Yoga’s ability to improve the nervous system means it’s the perfect solution for a wide range of related conditions. ‘When we practice the yoga asanas (postures), they give us physical benefits such as flexibility and strength, as well as balance our parasympathetic with our sympathetic nervous systems, which in turn allows our endocrine system and our digestive system to function more efficiently,’ explains Michelle Dortignac at Unnata Aerial Yoga.
‘If your endocrine system is functioning more efficiently, you will have fewer problems with conditions such as hot flushes for menopausal women, hypothyroidism and insomnia. If your digestive system is functioning more efficiently, you will have fewer problems with conditions such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux.’
Back to basics
If long days hunched over a computer have left you with a bad back, yoga might just be the answer to your prayers. ‘Yoga stretches can help to unravel the tension which builds throughout the day, and the impact of hours sitting at a desk, hunched over a screen,’ says Katie Mutton, a yoga instructor at London-based Yoga Team. ‘Once the body is free from physical tension it’s easier for the mind to relax, sleep improves and your immunity gets a boost, so you stay healthier.
What are you waiting for?
With yoga increasing in popularity, there’s never been a better time to find out more. ‘I’d suggest that an absolute beginner finds a qualified teacher (the British Wheel of Yoga website is a good start) and trys a beginners’ course to learn some of the basics,’.
‘Fundamentally I think you should find a good teacher that you like and that you can learn from. Keep looking until you find that person. The beauty of yoga is that the more you do it the more you want to know and your knowledge and practice will deepen over the years. Acceptance, reflection, growth and happiness can all come with a deepening yoga practice. We should all do yoga because quite simply, it makes us feel better!’.
Stop living with daily back pain and start taking action to relieve your back pain for good
by The Healthy Back Institute
Back pain is such an obvious problem in our day-to-day lives that we either let it get the best of us, take way too many over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory pills, or run to the doctor for physical therapy or surgery. And you know the pain or spasm is coming (or going to get worse than it already is), because you had a stressful day at work or you lifted too many boxes or pull a weed the wrong way from your beautiful garden.
The good news is that suffering back pain need not be a part of your daily routine. All you need to do is engage in a few easy exercises to loosen up and restore proper posture, and your back will be supple in no time.
You don’t need a personal trainer or a gym membership, or even a lot of space to do them. And these three simple exercises should always be your first line of “therapy” when you feel a twinge of discomfort… and certainly long before you reach for the pain relievers or muscles relaxants. A few relaxed sets of each of these exercises can immediately make you feel better, and prevent a needless trip to the doctor.
These simple exercises are knee bends, waist twists and hip rolls. They are a great way to get the blood moving, release those feel-good endorphins, stretch the muscles, restore normal range of motion and help you detox those nasty toxins that cause pain and inflammation. These are the secrets to back pain relief — and prevention.
Since these simple exercises contract and extend the major muscle groups, including the core stabilizing muscles, you can do them anytime with varying degrees of difficulty. Simply adjust them as you get more accustomed to doing them.
Done regularly, these beneficial exercises will increase your health and fitness levels by promoting blood circulation and releasing muscle tightness and spasms, thus helping to tone your body. They will make you feel warmer and even help improve your digestive health as they assist the action of your intestines to move the bowels and aid in the detoxification process.
Detoxing is important when considering pain, as toxins (metabolic waste) in the blood and muscles creates inflammation and pain.
Let’s now look at how easy it is to do these three simple back pain relief exercises:
Exercise 1 — Hip Rolls:
Stand back away from your support and stand with legs at shoulder-width apart.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and put your hands on your hips.
Imagine you have a hula hoop, or are doing the hula, and rotate your hips clockwise 5 times, then rotate them counter-clockwise 5 times.
Be sure to relax and smile and breathe naturally with this exercise.
Exercise 2 — Waist Twists:
With your hands relaxed at your sides and with feet a shoulder-width apart, simply start swinging your arms right then left, patting both hands on your lower back as they reach around.
This will massage the kidneys. Be sure not to swing or pat too hard, just in a relaxed easy motion! Breathe naturally and relax.
Simply do a count of 10, and then relax. Then move onto the next exercise.
Exercise 3 — Knee Bends:
Do some gentle, relaxed knee bends. If you have knee or back issues it is best to do them with the assistance of a chair, table or desk.
Stand in a relaxed shoulder-width position and place your hands on the support. Tighten your stomach muscles and exhale while bending your knees and going down as far as you can without falling or straining your knees. Inhale while standing up. Do 10 of these to finish this quick exercise circuit.
The complete series of these three simple exercises only takes about two minutes to complete. Initially, try to do the exercises three times each day.
So take an exercise break at work instead of a coffee or cigarette break! You’ll be delighted on how good your low back will start to feel over time.
(source : http://www.truthaboutabs.com/back-pain-relief-exercises.html )