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  • Maa Bhagwati Temple, Kerala

    Sri-Mangottu-Bhagavathi-Temple

     

    Bhagavathy (Bhagavathi) or Devi is considered as female aspect of the divine Shakthi, as conceived by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. Shakthi is considered as the female counterpart without whom the male aspect remains impotent. Shakthi is the energy and Shakthi worship is a vital part of Hindu Tradition. Devi is the manifestation of supreme lord “Prakriti” where male aspect of the divine is considered as “Purusha”.

    Devi manifests herself as Creator (Durga or the Divine Mother), Preserver (Lakshmi, Parvathy and Saraswaty) and Destroyer (Mahishasura-Mardini, Kali). Devi is worshipped mostly in the form of divine mother. One of the important aspects of the Female divine is the various Shakti Peethas spread all across the country, where over 51 body parts of Devi Sathi, first wife of Lord Siva fell after being broken apart by the Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu.

    Another notable aspect is Mahavidyas, which denotes the supreme knowledge, revelations and manifestations, refer to a group of ten goddesses. They constitute an important aspect of Mahadevi theology, which emphasizes that the Devi has a tendency to manifest and display herself in a variety of forms and aspects. Ten Mahavidyas are: Kali, Tara, Chinnamasta, Bhuvanesvari, Bagla, Dhumavati, Kamla, Matangi, Sodasi, and Bhairavi. Devi is worshipped as Durga, Kaali, Lakshmi, Saraswathy, Rajarajeswari, Parvathy and many more. In kerala, we can see most of the devi temples are woshipped devi as Badra kali (kaali). Though she is eternal, the goddess becomes manifest over and over again to protect the world.

    [Source: http://www.thekeralatemples.com/temple_index_bhagavathy.htm]

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    Hello Everyone,   PLEASE READ WITHOUT FAIL

    Who are they? —– They are Doctors

    Who is he? —— He is an Actor

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  • Treatment for High Blood Pressure: 7 Natural Ways

    Here are 7 Natural Ways of High Blood Pressure Treatment:

    •The DASH plan – DASH, also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is an eating plan that includes daily particular servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, meat and low-fat dairy. This plan results in lower systolic blood pressure. Diet, basically, plays a big part in regulating your BP. As well, according to experts, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day can help in reducing high blood pressure.

    •Take a nap – begin a routine of preparing for bed, and as your body will anticipate sleeping, it will start to decrease hypertension. Your BP drops naturally when you sleep, and if you have a regular sleeping routine every night, your body can start preparing the sequence even before you go to bed. This is known as sleep hygiene.

    •Exercise – this is one of the most effective ways in reducing high blood pressure, since having a lazy lifestyle results in obesity and a possibility in hypertension. Thirty minutes daily exercise can help keep levels in check and is a good way to lose weight. Physical activity can also stimulate brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier, relaxed and deliver nutrients and oxygen to your tissues which helps your cardio system to work properly.

    •Manage Stress – an important step in controlling high BP is to learn how to relax. Good and deep relaxation coping techniques can help fight off stress which causes hypertension. You can try yoga, deep breathing or a good night’s sleep. Stress management can also result to better immune function, better digestion and more energy.

    •Watermelon – this fruit contains an amino acid called arginine, which studies showed reduce blood clotting and hypertension. The good amount of potassium and magnesium in watermelon is also significant in bringing down pressure in blood, and carotenoids prevent hardening of the walls of veins and arteries.

    •Garlic – raw garlic cloves once or twice daily is a recommended treatment dosage for elevated blood pressure. Garlic has also been used to cure symptoms such as: dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, fast pulse and more. Studies concluded that garlic powder supplement may be of clinical use, but should only be under the supervision of a medical expert.

    •Eat dark chocolates – dark chocolates contain compounds called flavonoids which cause expansion of blood vessels. Eating a square of dark chocolate daily can reduce high blood pressure, and researchers found that chocolate increased insulin sensitivity which is good for lowering diabetes risk.

    High blood pressure is a critical health condition that burdens millions of people all over the world. And although there are good natural ways on effectively reducing high BP, it is still best to follow doctor’s orders and maintain their medical prescriptions – and keep a healthy lifestyle!

     

     

     

    (source : http://www.healthybloodpresstreatment.com/)

  • 5 More Powerful Reasons to Drink Okuma’s Wu-Long Tea.

     

     5 More Powerful Reasons to Drink Okuma’s Wu-Long Tea:

    In addition to weight loss, multiple scientific studies confirm that Wu-Long Slimming Tea:

     

    1 – Clears Up Skin Conditions & Gives Your Face a Healthy Blemish-Free Glow

    Researchers from Japan’s Shiga University of Medical Science found that drinking Wu-Long Tea daily clears up skin within as few as 30 days. (Source: Archives of Dermatology)
    2 – Reverses Signs of Aging & Reduces Free Radicals by 50% Within 15 Days

    Free radicals have been linked to signs of aging, including wrinkles, skin blemishes, and even cancer. Fortunately, Wu-Long Tea significantly reduces free radicals in the body and helps slow down (and even reverse) signs of aging.

    In fact, in a 2004 study conducted by Dr. Kenichi Yanagimoto and colleagues from the University of California, Davis, it was found that people who drank Wu-Long daily experienced a remarkable 50 percent reduction in free radicals within just 15 days!
    3 – Promotes Strong, Healthy Teeth & Prevents Cavities

    A new study from the Department of Dentistry at Japan’s Osaka University shows the regular consumption of Wu-Long strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay by significantly inhibiting plaque build-up.
    4 – Strengthens Your Immune System & Helps Prevent Sickness

    According to a 2004 study, test subjects who consumed Wu-Long were found to have stronger immune systems and significantly lower risk for infections such as the common cold. (Source: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling)
    5 – Enhances Mind-Body Wellness & May Even Improve Longevity

     

    Perhaps the most notable testament to the power of Wu-Long comes from the esteemed Chinese pharmaceutical book Bencao Shiyi (The Compendium of Materia Medica), which says the tea “will make one live long and stay in good shape.”

     

     

    (source : http://okumatea.com/?subid=61012)

     

  • Sai Baba

    Teachings and practices

    Sai Baba opposed all persecution based on religion or caste. He was an opponent of religious orthodoxy – Christian, Hindu and Muslim. Although Sai Baba himself led the life of an ascetic, he advised his followers to lead an ordinary family life.

    Shirdi Sai Baba, leaning against the wall of his masjid, with devotees

    In his personal practice, Sai Baba observed worship procedures belonging to Hinduism and Islam; he shunned any kind of regular rituals but allowed the practice of namaz, chanting of Al-Fatiha, and Qur’an readings at Muslim festival times. Occasionally reciting the Al-Fatiha himself, Baba also enjoyed listening to moulu and qawwali accompanied with the tabla and sarangi twice daily.

     

    Sai Baba encouraged his devotees to pray, chant God’s name, and read holy scriptures. He told Muslims to study the Qur’an, and Hindus to study texts such as the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Vasistha. He advised his devotees and followers to lead a moral life, help others, love every living being without any discrimination, and develop two important features of character: faith (Shraddha) and patience (Sabr). He criticized atheism. In his teachings, Sai Baba emphasized the importance of performing one’s duties without attachment to earthly matters, and of being content regardless of the situation.

    Sai Baba interpreted the religious texts of both Islam and Hinduism. He explained the meaning of the Hindu scriptures in the spirit of Advaita Vedanta. His philosophy also had numerous elements of bhakti. The three main Hindu spiritual paths – Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Karma Yoga – influenced his teachings.

    Sai Baba said that God penetrates every thing and every being. He emphasized the complete oneness of God which was very close to the Islamic tawhid and the Hindu doctrine of the Upanishads. Sai Baba said that the world is transient, and that only God and his gifts are eternal. He emphasized the importance of devotion to God – bhakti – and surrender to his will. He also talked about the need of faith and devotion to one’s spiritual guru. He said that everyone was the soul and not the body. He advised his followers to develop a virtuous character, and taught them that all fate was determined by karma.

    Sai Baba left no written works. His teachings were typically short, pithy sayings rather than elaborate discourses. Sai Baba would ask his followers for money (dakshina), some of which he would give to the poor and other devotees the same day, and the rest was used to buy wood to maintain Dhuni. According to his followers, this was done to rid them of greed and material attachment.

    Sai Baba encouraged charity, and stressed the importance of sharing. He said: “Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat them with due respect. Shri Hari (God) will certainly be pleased if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting. If anybody wants any money from you and you are not inclined to give, do not give, but do not bark at him like a dog.” Other favorite sayings of his were: “Why do you fear when I am here”, and “He has no beginning… He has no end.”

    Sai Baba made twelve assurances to his devotees:

    Sai Baba (1918)

    1. Whosoever puts their feet on Shirdi soil, their sufferings will come to an end.
    2. The wretched and miserable will rise to joy and happiness as soon as they climb the steps of the mosque Dwarakamayi.
    3. I shall be ever active and vigorous even after leaving this earthly body.
    4. My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees.
    5. I shall be active and vigorous even from my tomb.
    6. My mortal remains will speak from my tomb.
    7. I am ever living to help and guide all who come to me, who surrender to me, and who seek refuge in me.
    8. If you look at me, I look at you.
    9. If you cast your burden on me, I shall surely bear it.
    10. If you seek my advice and help, it shall be given to you at once.
    11. There shall be no want in the house of my devotee.
    12. If you take a step towards me, I will take 100 steps towards you

    How much these notes are true?

    Worship and devotees

    Main article: Shirdi Sai Baba movement

    The Shirdi Sai Baba movement began in the 19th century, while he was living in Shirdi. A local Khandoba priest – Mhalsapati Nagre – is believed to have been his first devotee. In the 19th century Sai Baba’s followers were only a small group of Shirdi inhabitants and a few people from other parts of India. The movement started developing in the 20th century, with Sai Baba’s message reaching the whole of India. During his life, Hindus worshiped him with Hindu rituals and Muslims considered him to be a saint. In the last years of Sai Baba’s life, Christians and Zoroastrians started joining the Shirdi Sai Baba movement.

    Shirdi is among the major Hindu places of pilgrimage. The first Sai Baba temple is situated at Bhivpuri, Karjat. The Sai Baba Mandir (Hindu temple) in Shirdi is visited by around twenty thousand pilgrims a day and during religious festivals this number can reach up to a hundred thousand. Shirdi Sai Baba is especially revered and worshiped in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.

    The Shirdi Sai movement has spread to the Caribbean and to countries such as the United States, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The Shirdi Sai Baba movement is one of the main Hindu religious movements in English-speaking countries.

    Sai Baba had many disciples and devotees:

    1. Nana Saheb Chandorkar: Deputy Collector – legend has it that Sai Baba saved this man’s daughter from labor complications.
    2. Ganapath Rao: police constable who resigned to become an ascetic,and also known as DasGanu, He was an itinerant who spread Sai Baba’s message.
    3. Tatya Patil: had immense faith in Sai Baba and served him until Sai Baba took samadhi. He is also known to be Sai Baba’s younger brother.
    4. Baija Mai kote patil: Sai Baba treated her as his mother.She was Tatya Patil’s mother.
    5. Haji Abdul baba: He served Sai Baba until Sai Baba died in 1918.
    6. Madhav Rao Deshpande: Later known as Shama, one of the staunch devotees of Sai Baba.
    7. Govindrao Raghunath Dabholkar (Hemadpant): Sai Baba allowed him to write the Shri Sai Satcharita.
    8. Mahalsapati Chimanji Nagare : A priest of Khandoba Temple.
    9. RadhaKrishna Mai: A great devotee of Baba, cleaned the temple every day and looked after Baba’s needs.

    108 Shirdi Sai Baba Slogans (mantras) are sung by devotees in praise of him as worship.

     

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_Baba_of_Shirdi)

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    [Contributed by: User – Chetan Bhatt on 03/03/2013]

  • Varanasi

    Varanasi (Sanskrit: वाराणसी Vārāṇasī, Hindustani pronunciation: [ʋaːˈraːɳəsi]), also commonly known as Benares or Banaras (Hindi: बनारस, Urdu: بنارس, Banāras [bəˈnaːrəs] ) and Kashi (Hindi: काशी, Urdu: کاشی, Kāśī [ˈkaːʃi]), is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It is regarded as a holy city by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest in India.

     

    The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi and an essential part of all religious celebrations. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river’s religious importance. The city has been a cultural and religious centre in North India for several thousand years. The Benares Gharana form of the Indian classical music developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians resided or reside in Varanasi, including Kabir, Satguru Ravidass, Trailanga Swami, Munshi Premchand, Devkinandan Khatri, Bhartendu Harishchandra, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Shukla, Ravi Shankar, Girija Devi, Sitara Devi, Gudai Maharaj, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Bismillah Khan. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here, and Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi (Kashi).

    Varanasi is home to four universities: Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Residents mainly speak the Hindi and Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the Hindi language. People often refer to Varanasi as “the city of temples”, “the holy city of India”, “the religious capital of India”, “the city of lights”, and “the city of learning.”

    History

    Painting of Benares in 1890.

     Etymology

    The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south. Another speculation about the origin of the name is that the river Varuna itself was called Varanasi in olden times, from which the city got its name.[9] This is generally disregarded by historians, though there may be some earlier texts suggesting it to be so.

    Through the ages, Varanasi was variously known as Avimuktaka, Anandakanana, Mahasmasana, Surandhana, Brahma Vardha, Sudarsana, Ramya, and Kasi.

    In the Rigveda, the city was referred to as Kasi or Kashi, “the luminous one” as an allusion to the city’s historical status as a centre of learning, literature, and culture. Kasikhanda described the glory of the city in 15, 000 verses in the Skanda Purana. In one verse, God Shiva says,

    The three worlds form one city of mine, and Kasi is my royal palace therein.

    Legendary history

    According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, several thousand years ago, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is also a general belief that it stands on the weapon “The Trishool” of Lord Shiva. It is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Many Hindu scriptures, including the Rigveda, Skanda Purana, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, mention the city.

    Varanasi is generally believed to be about several thousand years old. Varanasi was an industry centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. During the time of Gautama Buddha (born circa 567 BCE), Varanasi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kashi. The celebrated Chinese traveller Xuanzang attested that the city was a center of religious and artistic activities, and that it extended for about 5 km along the western bank of the Ganges.

     Kashi Naresh and Ramnagar

    Varanasi became an independent Kingdom of Kashi in the eighteenth century, and under subsequent British rule, it remained a commercial and religious centre. Varanasi suffered during the raids into India by Muhammad of Ghori, as described by Kamil-ut-Tawarikh of Ibn Asir: “The slaughter of Hindus (at Varanasi) was immense; none were spared except women and children, (who were taken into slavery) and the carnage of men went on until the earth was weary.” In 1910, the British made Varanasi a new Indian state, with Ramanagar as its headquarters but with no jurisdiction over the city of Varanasi itself. Kashi Naresh still resides in the fort of Ramanagar. The Ramnagar Fort of the Kashi Naresh is situated to the east of Varanasi, across the Ganges. The Ramnagar Fort was built by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh with creamy chunar sandstone in the eighteenth century. It is a typically Mughal style of architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards, and picturesque pavilions.[5] The other fort of the Kashi Naresh is the Chet Singh Palace, near Shivala Ghat, Varanasi built by Maharaja Chet Singh.

    Ramnagar Fort and its museum are the repository of the history of the kings of Benares and since the 18th century has been the home of Kashi Naresh. Even today the Kashi Naresh is deeply revered by the people of Benares. He is the religious head and the people of Benares consider him the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is also the chief cultural patron and an essential part of all religious celebrations.

    Geography

    The city of Varanasi is located in the middle Ganges valley of North India, in the Eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, along the left crescent-shaped bank of the Ganges river. It has the headquarters of Varanasi district. The “Varanasi Urban Agglomeration” — an agglomeration of seven urban sub-units — covers an area of 112.26 km 2 (approximately 43 mi²). The urban agglomeration is stretched between 82° 56’E – 83° 03’E and 25° 14’N – 25° 23.5’N. Being located in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India, the land is very fertile because low level floods in the Ganges continually replenish the soil.

    On a local level, Varanasi is located on a higher ground between rivers Ganges and Varuna, the mean elevation being 80.71 m. As a result of absence of tributaries and canals, the main land is continuous and relatively dry. In ancient times, this geographic situation must have been highly favourable for forming settlements. But it is difficult to ascertain the original geography of Varanasi because the city’s current location is not exactly the same as the one described in some old texts.

    Varanasi is often said to be located between two confluences: one of the Ganges and Varuna, and other of the Ganges and Assi, (Assi having always been a rivulet rather than a river.) The distance between these two confluences is around 2.5 miles (4.0 km), and religious Hindus regard a round trip between these two places—a Pancha-kroshi Yatra (a five mile (8 km) journey) ending with a visit to a Sakshi Vinayak Temple as a holy ritual.

    A view of the Ghat of Varanasi from the River Ganges

    Climate

    Varanasi experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa) with large variations between summer and winter temperatures. Summers are long, from early April to October, with intervening monsoon seasons and are also extremely hot, even by South Asian standards. The temperature ranges between 32°C – 46 °C (90°F – 115 °F) in the summers. Winters in Varanasi see very large diurnal variations, with warm days and downright cold nights. Cold waves from the Himalayan region cause temperatures to dip across the city in the winter from December to February and temperatures below 5 °C are not uncommon. The average annual rainfall is 1,110 mm (44 in). Fog is common in the winters, while hot dry winds, called loo, blow in the summers.

     

     

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi)




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