Sunday, June 26, 2011

the evening and night.

Having having spent the afternoon looking after the affairs of the family we come to the evening rituals.Vyasa says that we should finish the evening surya upasana,(sandhya vandana) agni upasana and vaishvadevam. After supper one retires to bed.
The evening fire ritual -aupasanam- is equivalent to donating gold to that extent the several mountains; performing hundred Vajabeya yagna; or performing 10 million kanya dhana. Wow!

Some people do puja in the evening or night.

Before retiring to bed one should wash one's hands, feet and wipe them dry. Once should lie on the left side while sleeping. One should not lie with the head pointing north. Any other side is all right.
Those who sleep very well are agasthya, madhava, musukunta, kapila and astheeka. It is recommended that one thinks of these people while going to bed to ensure a good sleep. One should keep in a vessel of drinking water at the headend. One can also recite vedic mantra or garuda mantras to protect oneself.

If it is the proper season to get a good progeny one can visit the spouse. On other days if a natural urge prevails one can do so. It is said that no male can refuse a spouse if she desires sex. This is because they have been a boon from Indra. The Shastras prescribes certain things. Perhaps more appropriate to say proscribes - certain dates. If anybody observes this thing automatically only have a planned family!

Thus we come to the end of the karma is that one should be doing daily. It is said that one who observes all these things will obtain everything that he desires.

Friday, June 10, 2011

after food....

Having finished eating one should drink a little water and move away to wash hands (upto elbows), feet (upto knees) and mouth. One should rinse the mouth 18 times. (Do it; you will never get dental problems! My wisdom tooth was pulled out. The dentist asked me not to brush for four days but to gargle 18 times.) The water must be spit out to the left side.

Sage Gowthama advices to remember the King Saryati, his daughter Sukanya, the Risi Shyavana (yes, the shyavan prash is named after him as it is his formula) Lord Indra, aswins. (not the cricketer, but the celestial twins) and wet the eyes. Rubbing the eyes with the wet thumbs will prevent eye diseases. [All the above mentioned persons are linked by a story. I hope you know it!]

Good betle (piper betle) leaves along with a little lime and arecanut helps digestion. Taken on fridays it gives the benevolent looks of lakshmi!

On the other hand some people get into the habit of making a meal of it as well as snack out of it and they are sure to lose the longevity, intellect, strength, pragna and vitality. The tongue no longer can discriminate tastes.

One should walk 200 steps and then sit like a king and work.

The afternoon is the time for vedic recital (repetition),reading ithihasas, puranas and sastras.
Time can be taken off to attend to household works too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What can be eaten and what not?

What can be eaten and what not?

Some food items as a species are not good. Some are to be avoided as they do something bad to us. Some are time barred! Some are to be avoided due to their association. Some due to their inherent quality. Like this there are various ways why some food items are to be not partaken.

Onion, red 'drumsticks', garlic, (in short allium cepa family ) mushrooms, stem of lotus flower, suraikaay belong to the species of the plant kingdom that is to be avoided.
if someone with nasty thoughts look at food it becomes bad. Food cooked in oil and stored for a long time becomes bad.
'pazhaiya sORu' which is popular in tamil nadu is also objectionable.
Curd, honey don't become stale and fried eatables stay for a long time.
Food items cooked with alcohol and onion; milk from cow which delivered just within 10 days are bad due to association.
If a doubt arises whether a particular foodstuff can be eaten or not it is not to be eaten. This concept is called 'sahrulleham'.
Sage parasara proscribes white brinjal, resins from tress (the famous asofoetida is one such), milk of camel, goat; and 'temple properties' .
Food items from yava and wheat are not time barred ever. Except curd no food items gone sour can be consumed. (for emergencies such item can be washed and eaten)
At night time sour ginger, curd, cooked rice with gingely, gooseberry (amla) are to be avoided.
Some items are not to be brought together. Bronze vessel + coconut water / cane juice; copper vessel + curd/ milk; salt + milk, ghee.
Such combinations denature the food.
Ok, ok you say we don't want don'ts tell us do-s.
If a person has one of these in his stomach Lord Hari is near him: Tulsi, agaththi, gooseberry, soil (sundaikkaay).
He who eats anything uttering the words 'Narayana' reaches good worlds ultimately.

(I know that there will be a lot of objections to including onions and garlic in this list but what to do? It is said so in sastras! Personal tastes are health concerns (by western concepts) might clash with these ideas. Make your choice!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Food - do's and dont's

It is quite a while since i posted here and i sincerely apologise for it. I shall try to be more regular.
Usually one should not drink with a vessel from the left hand.. but here is an exception – while eating one can drink so while touching the plate with the right hand.
Salt, pickles, vegetables, ghee, oil, paayasam and rice should always be served with a ladle – not with hand. What has been fried in oil can be served with hand if need be. Fruits too can be served with hand. Any fruit or snacks must be served to children first and then to guests.
Ghee, honey, payasam, curd and fruits can be eaten with out leaving any remnants. Other things – a little at least must be left in the plates. (perhaps this was meant for the dogs and a few gypsy clans whose dharma it used to be to partake only the leftovers from the plates or leaves used to eat. Dogs exist still but the gypsies have taken another path of life.)
one should not eat while walking or standing. One should not be wearing a headdress; one should not sit facing south. In such cases the nourishment from the food will only go to the rakshashas.
While eating one does not touch the feet; one should not have the food in the hands and eat from it – I mean the entire food in hand; one does not sit on the cot and eat (the ants will visit?); one does not eat while in transit; one avoids eating with the footwear on the feet.
Fruits, semi fruits, roots, sugarcane are not to be eaten using teeth to tear them. (serve them pre split)
what slipped out from the plate is also not worth eating.
Of course one does not eat with a dirty hand, dirty body...when you sit and eat dont put out the lower limb straight. Dont let the mind wander on other things – like reading a book- while eating. One is supposed to enjoy eating!
When is one not supposed to eat? During the sandya (twilight time) pradosham, (daily evening from about an hour before sunset) after ten in the night, (of course assuming a sunset time of six o’clock,) in the dark without light.

What of contaminants?
If any ant, hair, worm are found the food surrounding it immediately should be removed and thrown away. After sprinkling a little water on the food one can continue eating. In case one realises the contaminant after putting the food in the mouth, one spits it out rinses the mouth with water, takes a little ghee and then continues with the eating.

How much to eat?
Simple, guided by one's hunger!
Well if some guidance is needed – for sanyasin 8 mouthfuls; for vanaprasthan 16; for gruhastha 32.

how many times a day?
The saying goes – one who eats once is a yogi; twice is a bhogi 9one who enjoys); thrice is a rogi (sick man)
Exceptions are made for some people – a brahmacary, agnihotri, bull, one who is doing samaveda recitation. Such people need a lot of energy and so there is no restriction.

Why am I writing about eating this much? It is the only karma that everyone still keep doing!