Sri Andal- A Brief Life-Sketch

Sri Andal (a female) is  one of the twelve Alwars  who appeared on this earth in 3000  B.C.  at Srivilliputhur near Madurai. Andal was found in the Tulsi garden, in the premises of the temple of Sri Vatapatra Sai. Peri alwar, her father, found her while tending the garden.

From childhood she used to listen to the pastimes of Lord Krishna with rapt attention and developed a deep love for the Lord. Andal helped her father in weaving flower garlands to offer to the temple Deity every day. One morning, Peri-alwar observed her wearing and adorning herself with the flower-garland intended for the Deity and herself looking into a mirror and enjoying it. He considered this as an act of disrespect and, with great anguish, did not offer the garland to the Lord on that day. The Lord appeared in his dream and informed him that He relished only the garland worn by Godai (Andal) and that in future flower garlands worn by Godai alone be offered to Him.

Peri-alwar realized the divinity of Godai(Andal), and from then she was reputed as “Andal” (one who ruled Bhagvan) and “Choodi Kodutha Nachiar” (patroness who would offer flowers after adorning herself). It became a routine for Andal to wear the flower garland prior to offering to the Deity. As Andal grew up, day by day, her love for Krishna also increased and she resolved to marry Him. When Andal attained adolescence, Vishnuchittar (Peri-alwar) was amazed at her conviction to marry Krishna. She was advised to observe Margali –bath rituals, which was a custom of yore for marriageable girls to have choice husbands. read more

Srila Bhaktivinoda’s Grief

We are now sitting in our bhajana-kutira in Sri Purusottama-ksetra. Why have we abandoned the capital of scholarship, the crowded and busy Calcutta, to escape to this far-off place? Some time back, when we had just started the publication of Sajjana-tosani, our heart was enlivened with hope: the more an unadulterated Vaisnava-dharma is promoted throughout the world, the more benefit its people would get. We took up our work with such honest intentions. Many learned gosvamis and babajis started coming from all different parts of Bengal to offer help. One impersonalist, a renowned scholar, joined us and, captivated by the beauty of suddha-bhakti, started manifesting pure Vaisnava behavior. On hearing the charming instructions on Vaisnava-dharma even mundaners were enchanted by suddha-bhakti. Those fond of music and song who were previously averse to God now submerged themselves wholeheartedly in the waves of suddha Hari-kirtana, continuously rejoicing at their good fortune. In towns and villages, devotional societies were established one after another. The pure Vaisnava faith manifested its glories in the hearts of almost every person in Bengal, astounding and delighting all by its natural splendor and sweetness.

Seeing such changes, beyond our boldest expectations, in the life of Bengal, our enthusiasm in preaching suddha-bhakti increased day by day. Unfortunately, at this very point the times and course of events suddenly altered. All those false religions that had hidden themselves hither and thither from the powerful rays of Vaisnava-dharma, just as glowworms hide from the rays of the sun, suddenly started crawling out from their hiding places, taking on new forms. Mayavada, the religion of the demons that for the time being had sunk into the abyss of forgetfulness, emerged once again in people’s conversations and discussions, this time camouflaged by the words of smrti and having taken refuge on the boat of brahmana scholars’ logic.

Following them, Mayavada’s accomplices, the yogis, appeared both in this country and abroad, causing confusion in the entire religious domain. From the other side, sensualists began causing harm to the world by taking the form of varied pseudo-religious groups such as sahajiyas, baulas, and the like. A few worms swarming in the stool of pratistha displayed the utmost impudence by posing before the ignorant public as avataras of Bhagavan. Others took attractive Vaisnava names, decorated themselves with acarya titles, and started promoting non-Vaisnava ideas in the guise of Vaisnava-dharma. read more

Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Pharmaceutical Drugs

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Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. In fact, our five-year long research project on this sacred plant has revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects. This entire database of 1,585 ncbi-hyperlinked turmeric abstracts can be downloaded as a PDF at our Downloadable Turmeric Document page, and acquired either as a retail item or with 200 GMI-tokens, for those of you who are already are members and receive them automatically each month.

Given the sheer density of research performed on this remarkable spice, it is no wonder that a growing number of studies have concluded that it compares favorably to a variety of conventional medications, including:

Lipitor/Atorvastatin (cholesterol medication): A 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D found that a standardized preparation of curcuminoids from Turmeric compared favorably to the drug atorvastatin (trade name Lipitor) on endothelial dysfunction, the underlying pathology of the blood vessels that drives atherosclerosis, in association with reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetic patients. [i] [For addition curcumin and ‘high cholesterol’ research – 8 abstracts] read more

Ghee – An Ayurvedic Perspective

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The milk of cows is considered to possess the essence or sap of all plants and Ghee is the essence of milk… When we consider Ghee we are in the company of superlatives. In India, Ghee has been so highly regarded for so many things, for so long, that one is slightly embarrassed to enter into this crowded river of praise. This is what I have heard:

The ingestion of Ghee is like offering the finest of fuels into the fires of digestion-Agni. In accord with this, Ghee builds the aura, makes all the organs soft, builds up the internal juices of the body-Rasa, which are destroyed by aging and increases the most refined element of digestion-Shukra or Ojas, the underlying basis of all immunity and the “essence of all bodily tissues”. Maya Tiwari calls Ghee the “single most ojas producing food on earth”. Ghee is known to increase intelligence–Dhi, refine the intellect-Buddhi and improve the memory-Smrti.

Although Ghee kindles or increases the digestive fire- Agni, on which all nutrition depends, it does so without aggravating Pitta- the elemental functioning of fire within the body. In fact, Ghee cools the body, essential in much of today’s world in which everything is overheating. read more

Cow killing is not sanctioned

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Islam is a modern and flexible religion which always teaches its followers the philosophy of peaceful co-existence, tolerance and harmony. The basic tenets of Islam and fundamental principles have been divided as “Huquq Allah” and “Huquq Al ibad” (God rights and human rights). These two rights form the basic teachings of Islam. God rights relate to namaz, roza, haj and zakat (five times prayer, fasting in the month of ramzan, pilgrimage to Mecca and alms giving to the poor). Human rights include family rights, neighbour rights and nation rights.

If one practises God rights in right earnest but neglects human rights, he or she cannot enter heaven until forgiven by the people he has wronged.

Similarly, Islam clearly sets out what is permitted and what is prohibited. All permitted things may be used and the prohibited avoided. The cow is among the permitted animals but there is no compulsion to eat it. Just as divorce is permitted but that does not mean that a man can divorce his wife without appropriate reason. Although horse is halal, eating it is not permitted because these animals are useful to mankind and consuming them will render them extinct. Same goes with the cow. Though cow is a permitted animal, it is not compulsory to eat its meat but, more important, to drink the milk it provides and consume ghee made from it. read more

Pope Francis says atheists can be good!

Want more stunning symptoms of how confused the religious leaders are in Kali Yuga! Read on…Pope Francis says atheists can be good! Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point, says Francis in marked departure from Benedict’s line on non-Catholics. Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good, Pope Francis has said in his latest urging that people of all religions, and none, work together.

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments in the homily of his morning mass at his residence, a daily event at which he speaks without prepared comments. He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus.

“Even them, everyone,” the pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. “We all have the duty to do good,” he said. read more

Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean – Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority.

In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint. Led by monks, members of the Bodu Bala Sena – the Buddhist Brigade – hold rallies, call for direct action and the boycotting of Muslim businesses, and rail against the size of Muslim families. read more

30,000 Greek Households Lose Electricity Each Month

Since the Greek government enacted the remarkable law that property taxes will be enforced via the electricity providers in the beleaguered country, an incredible 30,000 households per month have seen their power supply cut off. Ekathimerini reports that some 700,000 customers have now had their debts restructured (with payment plans) as part of the billing process; but what is perhaps incredible is that while the State has specifically banned ‘disconnection’ for not paying the property charges, the utility’s computer system is unable to distinguish if payment is for electricity or property tax. There are apparently workarounds involving deposits for tax debts but the situation is set to deteriorate further this year due to the increase in electricity rates and expected further reductions in household incomes.

Via Ekathimerini,

About 1,000 electricity connections are cut every day in Greece as Public Power Corporation customers are increasingly unable to pay their power bills on time, while accumulated debts to the country’s electricity giant stood at more than 1.3 billion euros at the end of 2012. This is not only due to the economic crisis that has eaten into household incomes, but also to the special property tax paid via power bills. read more

Who is Lord Karttikeya?

The appearance and universal position of Lord Karttikeya is described in the Mahabharata (Markandeya-samasya-parva, Salyaparva and Anusasana-parva). The following is a summary: After the marriage celebration of Lord Siva and Goddess Uma, they desired to beget a child. Thereupon all the demigods became filled with anxiety because the combined potency of Lord Siva and Goddess Uma, made invincible by penance, would surely produce an immensely powerful child who might become the cause of universal destruction.

When the celestial couple were in conjugal union, the demigods requested Siva to restrain his fiery semen and not beget offspring. As master of his senses, Siva agreed to the demigods’ request, but Goddess Uma cursed them: “Since you have opposed the birth of issue from me, you therefore shall have no offspring of your own!” After some time, the demigods were harassed by the powerful demon Taraka, who, by the blessings of Lord Brahma, could not be defeated either by demigods, raksasas, or humans.

They appealed to Lord Brahma for help, explaining their difficulty in fighting with Taraka and their inability, due to Uma’s curse, to create offspring capable of defeating that demon. Lord Brahma relieved their anxiety by advising them to ask Agni to procreate a male issue who would bring the demise of the asura Taraka. (Since Agni was not among the demigods who had interrupted Lord Siva’s and Goddess Uma’s attempt to conceive a child, he was the only demigod not cursed by Uma.) read more

Women in combat: Let’s get real

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In a milestone for gender equality, the Pentagon is finally ending the combat ban for women – a ban that had become woefully obsolete. At last, women warriors will get the recognition and promotions they deserve. The brass ceiling has been shattered, and that’s good news for both women and the military.

Or is it? I admire tough fighting women as much as anyone. Their leadership skills are as good as men’s. They have important roles to play in war, and they’ve been on the front lines – and dying – for years.

But please, people. Let’s get real. Women cannot equal men in ground combat, the kind of dirty, brutal stuff that (fortunately) makes up a very minor part of modern military life, especially post-Afghanistan. It’s not that they can’t be trained to kill – they can. The issue is that the physical differences between men and women are very large, and on the battlefield, they really matter, and can’t be wished away. Men are better fighters because they are bigger and stronger and can endure far more physical punishment before they break down. read more