In ancient India an advanced science of medicine and surgery for trees had been developed. It was the duty of the King to also protect trees and the environment in the Kingdom and harming or cutting a tree was a punishable offence.
A deep science of diagnosis and treatment of trees was developed and practiced, this has been detailed in a number of Sanskrit texts.
We share some books on this subject
Having crossed the earth from corner to corner from sea to sea, continent to country. I can share with all who happen to stumble upon these words, nowhere on planet earth is as magnificent and as Divinely charged as the Himalayas.
Many mountains are there, of all beauty and form but the Himalayas are not great for just their altitude or their majesty but for the living legacy of Saintly persons who have been drawn to them and continue to reside there.
Other mountains are there but few are known since beginning of time for the Sages who have walked their snow peaked paths.
Having spent a year living in the lap of the Himalayas I can attest for all who are seeking to find somewhere beyond here and something beyond what you see and here now which means to find that inner road within to the eternal Truth of all existence, then I suggest you pack up your things if not now then some day and take some time to be in the lap of these Himalayas.
A door will open inside the heart for sure for all the Sages who lived there have come to find the final parth within to the eternal silence that is beyond description, form or word.
There are two basic categories of man. One who has mentally surrendered to God and one who has not. Surrender is a concept that is essential to the Vedic view on life and the cosmos, by surrendering mentally we allow the intelligence that orchestrates ALL to flow through us rather than constantly challenge it and try to control it (which we never actually can, we can get the temporary illusion we are in control but ultimately time will devour all we think we have “created”).
To reach this point of surrender there are many ways. Some reach there through anguish and suffering at their last ends they reach this point.
Some reach it through association with fellow men who have reached this same point and have totally surrendered and thus the mere association with them is enough to reach this point within themselves. As those who have truly and totally surrendered are quite rare today, this type of meeting is also quite rare.
Through logic and deduction one may reach this point too but it requires that the mind and the heart (soul) are connected as without this one will miss the very source that has brought this creation into place which is pure consciousness or Chaitanya. The thought process might go something like. Who am I actually? Where have I come from and where do I go after my body has finished its mortal existence. All around me are mortals too and where does that go? What is it that is present within the body that continues beyond what we call “death”?
Surrender is so simple and so natural but so forgotten in this day and age. It is not something you can just think to achieve; it has to exist as a total expression from the heart and not just the head.
Many religions have taught an imposed or forced type of conditional surrender, but any time this has been put to the test, it has rarely passed.
For the one who has not (yet) surrendered (I add yet as it is bound to happen some lifetime in the future no matter how far away), life is an endless play of games filled with pleasure and pain. Like a child that does not know who or where its parents are, one acts and thinks and does but it is without any connection to ones source.
For one who has truly surrendered wholeheartedly without any doubt, there is a fullness of life that can not quiet be explained with any mortal words.
Today if you take any form of transport in India (or even if you go for a morning walk), you will be confronted with two simple choices. Tea or Coffee sir?
Coffee is quite recent; it’s the new child on the block just hitting India in the last few years with great force. Its growth of popularity as a drink of choice is remarkable.
Tea (black tea) as we know it or the Indianised masala tea (black tea with spices) is not too old itself, just a generation or two it has been here but it is without any doubt the national drink of India.
Both were introduced from outside-in. Which means ancient India in all it’s great heritage and tradition had no sight of them.
As both are commodities there is a massive lobby promoting them in India and worldwide.
Anyone can tell you the ‘West’ runs on coffee. Similarly today India runs on its sweetened milky tea.
Both are addictive and both are not ideal for health having some medicinal effects (like the white dot in the black half of the yin-yang circle) and then a lot of detrimental effects for health. The lobbies will fervently argue the contrary but any objective research done on this subject will show the truth.
Not surprisingly, India had a great heritage of it’s own drinks called kashayam which were various local herbal brews sweetened with raw unrefined sugar. Not surprisingly too these drinks are very good for health and have no harmful or side-effects as do our younger brothers of tea and coffee.
Even now as I write this on a flight within India I am offered just tea and coffee. One would think that kashayam never existed. Sadly the local folk of India do not ask what was there before tea and coffee. As if the entire nation has amnesia of its past, erased by the sweet syrupy chai that is now everywhere.
At Vedic Society one of our visions is to help revive India’s lost Ayurvedic drinks. Watch this space as we do this.
Nepal with the 2nd largest Hydropower potential in the world has become victim of the words of the petrol industry. Not only is petrol (by putting the price of EVERYTHING up) but there are often petrol shortages and to top it all the petrol and diesel is adulterated to the nth degree in Nepal.
Today I almost missed my flight due to a queue of motorcycles at the petrol pump near the airport as there has been a shortage recently due to strikes.
Nepal does not need petrol.
It could be a model country on earth for renewable energy and renewable energy sourced transport.
Its hydropower potential could not just supply Nepal but all of its neighbors with sufficient for all needs.
So let’s look at the positives of Nepal’s present dependency on petrol, who wins and who loses:
1. Petrol is adulterated making the pollution more than ever. Result: Whole country loses through impact on EVERYONES health and immunity.
2. Petrol is much more expensive than using locally sourced renewable energy. Result: Whole country loses as inflation goes through the sky.
3. Petrol is imported means funds flow out of Nepal. Result: Nepal’s economy loses jobs and income
4. Petrol fumes damage Nepal’s architectural marvels over time. Result: Loss for whole world of one of the most beautiful living heritages on earth.
In Kali Yuga the transport of the world has become WIN-LOSE-LOSE-LOSE. Win because you get from A to B quickly but loose as the earth’s air and environment loses, wars are fought for petrol, economies run by it and people destroyed by it.
Let the hydro power of Nepal flourish and shine this decade and lead the world. Norway did it and Iceland did it with Geo-thermal energy, Nepal is next.
Petrol’s end is near.
I first met Chun Chun Baba (as he was called by the people of Kathmandu) in his little room in Pashupathi. A room the size of a shed was occupied by not just him (dressed in black) but some 20 dogs and a number of insects he used to feed each day. The dogs would growl when anyone came to see him but if you would whistle and persist you could enter without any harm. Anyone with a fear of dogs or animals would not dare to enter. Fortunately I was half-brought up by a black dog so I would enter confidently despite the sloppering gnarls and snapping of glistening teeth.
Chun Chun Baba was an Aghori who had done his ‘sadhana’ in the burning Ghats of Calcutta and Pashupathi. Many people would seek him for his sound advice and mystical powers. He was a child of God who had left all worldly needs no doubt. When I met him he had fallen ill, those close to him reported that he had take a serious disease from someone who came to seek his help. Often he would do this and recover in a few days but this karmic load so to speak was too much and it was just a few months later that he left this world.
In his wake a trust was formed by those who loved him dearly and now some land has been given where the dogs (and their pups) live merrily. Chun Chun is no more but each day his dogs and their kids get a feast lovingly prepared by those who loved him and his dogs.
And this is one of his dear grandchildren that lives the life of a royal dog, in Pashupathi.
Today we fixed the date for the Somayagya to take place in Nepal this year. This is 2nd in a series of 108 planned Mahasomayagyas. We are doing it in collaboration with the Institute for Studies in Vedic Sciences in Akkalkot.
This is the 1st time in living memory that a Somayagya has been performed in Nepal without any harming of animals, when I say living memory this is at least a few thousand years of well documented Nepali history. Some 13 years fore a great and devote Pundit called Tirtha Raj Acharya had organized a Somayagya in Pashupathi, it was done in the Katyayana tradition but sadly some animal lives were taken at the last day. This is not correct as per the tradition we are following and as per common sense there is no logic in this, this is, as my dear friend Prash calls it, Kaliyuganomics.
So we wish to share this marvelous news that in Panauti, a small ancient village not far from Kathmandu, a Somayagya will be performed this November.
We wish to invite all to come attend and be part of this celebration of eternal truth.
There are few places on earth let alone the known universe like Pashupathi. Just as New York and London have attracted those who seek money and power, Pashupathi has attracted those who seek to cross over the ocean of illusion and find just those things that are eternal and true. Since the beginning of time Pashupathi has been a site of great pilgrimage and home to many Saints. Many unnamed souls who have reached across the ocean of illusion to the bank of right living and right perception have walked here. Today’s Pashupathi remains as elegant and interwoven and mysterious as ever. Whoever you might think yourself to be this lifetime, this limited identity will surely shatter at Pashupathi for on its menu of delights it offers the opportunity to meet countless humans just as you who have left worldly attachment, men and woman from all parts walking the same lifetime as you and I and now saying farewell to what comfort we think this world can provide.
A river runs through Pashupathi and on these very banks there are daily those whose mortal breath has left their body, burnt and their ashes thrown into the river. As one confronts the very temporary attachment to the human body we trick our self to think it is permanent, we can then begin the journey to go deeper and ask what is it that remains when ‘I’ am no more? Not just humans but countless animals have made Pashupathi their home, monkeys, pigeons, bulls, dogs and deer. Pashupathi is considered the aspect of Shiva (a word in Sanskrit for consciousness) that is protecting and caring for animals. So on this day, a Saturday, in Pashupathi, people have descended from Kathmandu in droves to ‘feed everything’. By sacrificing some of their food for the satisfaction of some other creature and bringing some joy or contentment to that creature, the universes great logic of cause and effect will lift them up a little higher, a little more freely, a little less to suffer on their way. This is one of the most ancient truths of Vedic culture; feed everything as if it was your own child. So I leave this with many words unwritten about Pashupathi on Saturday, I think its right time you made your way here too!
Just imagine this is a “normal” parking lot in Nepal. As far as the eye can see…
100% renewable sourced energy (Nepal’s grid is hydro powered)
Affordable (a fraction of the cost of petrol et al)
Very much less parts.
The benefits are endless.
This photo was taken at the annual EV rally to raise funds for Nepal’s Spinal Rehabilitation Center.
About 60 of these electric cars exist to date in Nepal. Vedic Society is jointly working on a massive project called Clean-Man-Do to get a lot more of these on the roads of Kathmandu.
We need all the support we can conjure up.
After marriage it is the custom for women in Nepal to dress only in red. I am not sure who was the originator of this tradition but in terms of Ayurveda and Jyotish which are two of the most ancient and profound sciences that have been given to the world by the Rishis, this is absolutely not appropriate, it is actually quite dangerous to the home, the marriage and society. Let me explain why.
Each colour has an effect on tridosha and subsequently will affect body and mind. Red is the shortest wavelength of all colours and hence is a hot colour that is absorved vibrationally by ranjaka pitta in the skin and has a waming effect on the physiology. Women are energetically cooler than men; they have more kapha and are more lunar. In ancient Ayurvedic terminology we would say women contain more natural Soma. Now red is an Agni or fire colour and thus the opposite of the natural nature of a woman. In moderation it would be fine, but as a daily dish (the skin vibrationally ‘eats’ whatever we expose it to), it’s not on. It will reduce the cooling lunar qualities of the woman and increase Agni or Pitta.
Red is related to Mars, not ironically it is the ‘red planet’ in our solar system. It’s reflected rays of sunlight are indeed in the red spectrum mostly. In any marriage too much Mars, especially in a woman, will make her have more difficulty relating to men. She could try to dominate or control them or be a little less than lady like in her behavior. So having mars (which is strengthened by the wearing of red colour) too strong in a woman is not ideal.
So this tradition as deeply rooted as it has become should be question and though through. White would be a much safer and more logical colour for the women of Nepal.
Who would think that olives would grow in the Himalayas? Not only do they grow there but the olive oil I have tasted from these magestically situated olive trees is the finest I have ever had on earth. I have tasted all the best of France of Italy and Spain. Even Greece and Turkey or Israel. But never in my life did I taste such a round, sweet and harmonious olive oil as the olive oil made in the Himalayas. Why? How is this possible? With the home of the olive situated 1000′s of kilometres away in the Greek Isles or perhaps Turkey or ancient Iran.
It’s a very simple equation, Charaka Samita teaches that the quality of the environment, it’s beauty and it’s natural features are absorbed by the plants and become part of it’s vibrational structure. Hence anything growing with a view like this…
…must imbue the same beauty. It’s not just the olives in the Himalayas that are delicious but all fruits and vegetables are charged with the great prana from the worlds greatest mountains.
It is no wonder that the oldest living civilizations remain here till today with a history unended.
It is no irony that in English the word river rhymes with giver as without rivers upon Mother Earth life would be void. The word for river in Sanskrit is nadī and this is the same word for the channels (called meridians in traditional Chinese medicine) that run through our very body. So the very body of our beloved earth is a macro of our human Prakrti.
In Vedic times rivers were protected by kings who upon advise of the Rishis, munis and elders and wisest people of the society, took care of such natural resources so they would never become polluted or destroyed. But in the so called modern India which is really a free for all and who is most corrupt, has most money and least connection with God can dominate like some young child playing in a shop of most fragile items.
We think polluting our rivers has little consequence but we can not see the perfect circle of life that everything is connected, and that same river outside represents a river within. Sadly both have become polluted now, the one outside with waste and that within with junk food and junk thinking.
Still today the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Bagmati the countless other sacred great rivers are worshiped but in ignorance people realize not what they are doing. Of course the act of sanctifying a river is great but the prayer has little consequence if you do not acknowledge this river is festid with every kind of pollution and you one by one stop this pollution. When the great songs were made to Ganga or Yamuna, they were fertile, full of water and their water was as pristine as rains from the heavens. But today water has become something to destroy, because no one is speaking for the water any more, it has lost its voice. All the Vedic kings have gone and the Rishis and Munis have retreated to the forests and snow capped peaks as no one is ready to listen to them anymore.
As mango season descends on India, the original home of the mango which is mentioned in Charaka Samhita as being an alleviator of Vata and promoting fertility, strength and muscle, perhaps the younger generations do not know how a real mango should taste. For sadly in ther market in the name of greed and quick money the farmers and the wholesalers are using a very dangerous chemical bag of tricks to stretch their pockets a little. They of course could not have possibly read Chanakyas Nitishastra where it is clearly declared that any money made by deceiving or trickery will be lost or cause misery to you and your decendents. You might be able to trick your fellow man but it is absolutly impossible to trick God. And God’s hand is the hand of karma of cause and effect. Every action will have a reaction. The reaction might not be there for the seller in the street who does not know he is being tricked but for the farmer and the wholesaler this is bad money. Sadly in India the regulation of chemicals is very weak and even if there was a regulation people would side-step it in the name of money.
For those who still have mango trees and know how they taste (I myself have lived weeks virtually just off mangos when the season is in full bloom), you will quickly be able to identify the adulterated mangos. On this note it is not just mangos that are being adulterated but more or less every food item, every element and everything that can be adulterated in the name of money. People have forgotten the eternal truth that one is here as a guest on this planet for just a while and one should harm nothing intentionally.
Some good journalism is appearing on this subject and I list a few here:
If you are buying mangos, buy them green rather and then ripen them in straw or any warm insulated place at home. And wake up to the heavenly taste of the celestial fruit of India.
May all fruits in Bharata (Bharata denotes the entire world actually it is the ancient name for the Vedic civilization) be free of toxic tricks!
Almost everyone knows their birthday which comes once a year and is based on the Gregorian calendar introduced with Christianity, but is this the real birth day? Does this day have the same astronomical quality as the day you were born? Nope.
In Vedic times the birthday was (and still is) celebrated when:
(a) The sun has returned to the same sign as it was when you were born (Note: this is different to Western astrological sun signs which are not based on visible astronomy!).
(b) The moon has returned to the same degree as when you were born.
We are working on an online calculator for your Vedic birthday so watch this space.
The Vedic birthday will have the same lunar and solar quality as the day you were born and in Vedic culture was the day that you would celebrate, pray, feast and give charity.
Bird on a wire
out a window
don’t fly too long
rest your wings
bird on wire
out a window
sing your sweet
Today I was invited by the youth club of Panauti, a small very very ancient village outside of the Kathmandu valley to give advice on their tiny plot they were to cultivate organicaly to raise funds for the local library. I On the outskirts of the town is a tiny plot surrounded by brushel and cactus plants. Surrounding this plot are the 1000′s of acres of land being cultivated by the villagers. I asked the young man how much is organic at present. He said none. Can you beleive this in just one generation we’ve managed to put chemicals into the soil, water, air and plants we eat in such a rapid ammount, with so many questionable chemicals that have questionmarks above them maybe safe maybe not. I can say surely with utmost confident NONE ARE SAFE.
Not one man made chemical that is used to kill any form of microorganism is “safe” for humans. But in kali yuga it seams death and killing consciousness is more prevalent than life consciousness. So here in a sea of chemical farming is a tiny little plot that is to be organic. Ironically I got a mail from a friends contact in Bhutan who is working on the national organic program there, he reported it is the vision of Bhutan to become a totally organic state and they are moving in this direction. So here in Nepal where the soil for thousands of years fed so many without any need for chemicals where the plants remained pure, so suddenly things have become polluted. Ayurveda teaches if one takes polluted food, the mind is polluted, if the mind is polluted we loose yukti or discernment and thus we can easily choose to pollute our food more. So the cycle perpetuates itself more and more. So as I write this I hold in my heart a prayer that once again and swiftly Nepal’s soil will be pure and free from all chemical pollutants. That the earth mother that has fed us for so long, will return to purity and be free from pollutant.
There is no greater representative of Kali Yuga than the combustion engine. It explodes, it’s by product is deadly (can kill you in minutes in a closed room), it’s noisy, to produce it is fuel countless wars are fought continually. Those selling the fuel become rich beyond all description but do not share their wealth save a few symbolic gestures. Right now billions of liters of fuel are being burnt to move us humans from A to B. We have inherited this system as children in my generation thinking it is the only way, it is OK, to walk in cities that have unbreathable air, to have the noise of cars and trucks and engines everywhere. We think this is normal life forgetting it is just a blink in the history of humanity. No greater symbol for kali yuga is there than this engine, we think it’s progress, we think it’s dharma, but it’s taking us backwards, destroying slowly the mother of us all (Bhu Mata).
Every other system that is better has been shelved and suppressed by the petrol mafia. So many industries have vested interests. At the top just a few who control with greed and deception. There are other ways but it requires individuals to awaken to them. The sun, the wind, rivers, give more than enough for all our energy needs. Electric cars an motors can take us from A to B silently, without pollution, without harm or a wake of destruction.
Let’s hear it for the roar of Kali Yuga, the roar of the combustion engine.
In Nepal they call the potato the King of vegetables. How did a simple tuber from Peru make it’s way to the other side of the world and become everyone’s favorite vegetable ? At what cost ? In the medieval city of Panauti which boasts Nepal’s oldest preserved temple as the entire town is constructed on one piece of rock, potatoes fill the basement of virtually every house. I can not walk anywhere without seeing sacks of potatoes being carried or basements filled with potatoes. The farmers are waiting for the season to be over so they get a higher price but one of the youth joked with me that despite getting a higher price they will have lost 30% of their horde due to rot, so despite the higher price their actual profit at the end of the day is the same.
The surprise for this ironically named King of vegetables is that it contains known neurotoxins and some senior Vaidyas like Vaidya Rk Mishra have for decades been advising his patients to stop all nightshades of which potatoes are a part of this family. Besides containing slow poisons such as solanine, atropine and scopolamine, potatoes are addictive which is probably how they became King. The lowly Amalaki which grows wild in Nepal’s forests and has the highest source of heat stable vitamin C known to man, does not get such a title in local times. Fortunately the Rishis had their say long before modern man started to think about things (which he is surprisingly not good at).
I joked with the youth here in Panauti (I secretly call it Potatoti) that they will all start to look like potatoes and the joke is not far from the truth for many of the older generations I observe especially the middle aged folk who probably have eaten the most for the really elderly would have had a much more traditional diet of piralo (taro root), yams and sweet potato, a definite impact on health and physique from the excess of spud consumption.
I found it funny that it is the King of vegetables as in the Nepali monarchy there have been some recent Kings who might have left much for want, so perhaps in the context of today’s Nepal it is not such an inaccurate title.
But as I write this I am trying to shed some insight in the people of Nepal (and India) that potatoe is not a local vegetable, it was brought from far away, not so long ago. It has detrimental effects on health and has also been connected to birth defects. It’s also addictive that is why everyone loves it. It has a similar neural pathway to nicotine in tobacco which is ironically also a nightshade.
So as I write this post in some jest, it is with a prayer that the Vaidyas of India and Nepal (who probably for now eat the most of the nightshades) can re-consider these “modern” foods that have become overnight Royalty, in favor of their truly Royal foods that are now lost and locked away in the shastras.
Let’s hear it for the Royal family of bitter gourd, loki, ash gourd, snake gourd, white pumpkin and so many more…
I sent a friend to the local organic farmer, Krshna Shresta who is one of Nepal’s first organic farmers doing it for more than 2 decades. He has a tiny plot but grows everything he needs to feed his family and others save salt and a few spices. They returned with a true bounty with sweet potatoes grown on his hilly slopes, with elephant ears, with cabbage, with amalaki harvested from the edge of the jungle, with his own wheat flour, coarsely ground by stone grinders, with carrots and most important of all with what his home made “tofu” as he calls it though it has no semblance to soya based tofu. It is made from buckwheat flour and taro root with his own ginger. You fry it up in ghee and then steam it and add salt and spices, it is most heavenly and pure manna from heaven.
Oh and I almost forgot the 4 bright green asaparagus stems he sent as a gift. Nepal has the most delicious and wholesome asparagus I have ever had.
So for today which is a festival for our Vedic Books team I prepared a sweet potato curry with the asparagus and the home made tofu on the top. On the side we had deep-fried amalaki.
It is good to return to the simple living and high thinking that is here in Nepal through it’s ancient foods and it is good to see noble souls like Krshna, keeping these traditions alive.
With a prayer and song food was offered and then a true Nepali bhoz or feast prevailed.
For those who have studied Sanskrit you will know the most beautiful way to greet is in Sanskrit. We say Namaste. I bow to you. We also say Namaskara. This means I bow. There is humility and a sense of surrender and service in this greeting. When we part we say Punar Milamah. Until the next meeting. We also usually say again Namaste or Namaskara. Humility is there in the words and beauty and perfection.
I keep remarking how in English, the dominant language of the world today by no doubt, we greet with Hello which actually sounds like Hell and Low. When we part we say Good Bye which sounds like Good Buy. I think it’s time for a few more Sanskrit words to make their way into modern English like did pundit or yoga or ayurveda. It’s time for us to greet to by saying Namaste.
Namaste to All!