One of the most beautiful roles that a woman can play in her life is that of a Mother. It is said that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. What is it about motherhood that is so appealing? Is it just about carrying a life within one, nourishing it for 9 months within and then bringing forth life into the world? Or is it about shaping a personality and then giving the civilization a mature individual who can shape other lives in this world? Or is it about prayers and sacrifices which a woman undertakes to give her child the best in this world? In a way, I guess we all feel that motherhood is a little of all this and more.
In the Mārkandeya Purana, we read about the story of Rānī Madalasa, who was the wife of Rājā Ritdhwaja. When she was carrying her first three children and while bringing them up she sang to them verses which illumined the children about the true nature of their Atman. On growing up, the children went on to do Tapasyā and became realized souls. The Rājā worried about the future of his Prajā and he requested Madalasa to give thought to them too. When she became pregnant with the fourth child, Madalasa sang songs of valour so that he would imbibe the qualities of a great warrior and enable him to protect his kingdom and make it prosperous. She also taught him to look at other women as his mother, to care for his subjects and become established in Dharma and Viveka Buddhi. This boy, Alarka, grew up to be a righteous king and a mighty warrior.
In the Māhābhārata, we come across the story of Yayati and his wives Devyani and Sharmishtha. Sharmishtha sacrificed every pleasure known to her as a youngster, to satisfy her father’s Guru Shukracharya’s daughter, Devyani. Her son was Puru who was the youngest son of Rājā Yayati. When Yayati wanted to continue with enjoying the pleasures of life despite his nearing old age, he was told that if any of his sons would exchange his youth for his father’s old age, Yayati could enjoy many more years of youth. It was only Sharmishtha’s son Puru who intrinsically understood the futile search to satisfy physical and materialistic pleasures of life. He offered to take his father’s old age in return for his youth. After many years Yayati came to the realisation that physical pleasures could never be completely satiated and that the search for uniting the Atman with the Brahmn was the only search worth aiming for. He gave back his youth and the entire kingdom to Puru and blessed him. Puru went on to rule justly for thousands of years.
In the Māhābhārata, we also come across the story of a mother who fell asleep. This normal action of hers caused the loss of her very valiant son’s life. Yes, I’m referring to Subhadra and Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu learnt about entering the Chakravyuha because he as an unborn baby, paid attention to his uncle Sri Krishna telling Subhadra about the interesting formation of the Chakravyuha. But when Subhadra fell asleep, Sri Krishna did not continue with the secret of coming out of the Chakravyuha because of which Abhimanyu never learnt about it. In the war, he managed to break through the formation and cause great havoc but was not able to come out of it alive. This story is generally used to warn mothers that whenever Mothers are not alert, it spells disaster to their progeny.
Our scriptures also talk about a child who learnt all about the Mantras, the Vedas and other texts while in the womb itself, so well that he could correct his father when he made a mistake. The father was Kahoda and the child was Ashtavakra. Ashtavakra learnt all the Vedas in the womb of his mother Sujata who was the daughter of Rishi Uddalaka. Sujata used to be seated near the place where her father Uddalaka taught everyday and her son learnt the scriptures before he was born. Though he got a curse from his father Kahoda for correcting him, Ashtavakra forgave him because he was a realized soul.
The best example of learning about devotion to Bhagawan comes from the story of Bhakta Prahlada. His mother Kayadhu stayed at the Ashrama of Narada Muni during her pregnancy and she kept listening to the various leelas of MahaVishnu from him. As her devotion to MahaVishnu grew, so did Prahalada’s. In fact his devotion was so unshakable that even when repeatedly threatened with death by his father, Bhakta Prahlada remained rooted in his faith in Bhagawan.
One may have a doubt in one’s mind that the above tales are of those mothers who do not feature in modern history, so maybe they are just tales and not completely believable. The truth is that even in reasonably modern history we see the repeat of these tales in our lives. Meerabai, the great devotee of Sri Krishna was introduced to Him by her mother. Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj became an epitome of bravery and warrior of Dharma because of his mother Jijabai. Adi Shankaracharya was born a realized soul because of the penance of his mother Aryaamba. It is said that Rahul Dev Barman, the famous music director of Hindi films, could understand ‘sur-taal’ even as an infant and hence he was given the nickname Pancham.
Indeed, a mother has in her, the capacity to shape the world through her offspring. It is one of the most elevated roles of a human life because mothers can bring forth a race of humane, wise and caring people if they set their minds to it. The only condition is that they have to align themselves to the positive vibrations that surround us and mold their thoughts to merge with that of a higher self. Human beings feel complete only when they are emotionally and spiritually satisfied. Mothers can play an important role in this by not just caring for the physical self while pregnant and while bringing up their child, but also fill their entire being with good thoughts and devotion to the Supreme One.
Becoming a Mother is important but more important is becoming a channel for good, kind and wise souls to enter our earth.
(Editorial note: The information presented in this article from literature and personal practice provides food for thought, but perhaps more as a provocative theory of using ancient practices for modern environmental and medical problems. Scientific research to examine these ideas will be essential to apply such information for public good.)
Vedic sciences have a proven tool/methodology for dealing with pollution problems, plagues and epidemics of all types particularly as a Preventive Care and that is Agnihotra and Yajñopathy (Homa Therapy) as a part of day to day life. Astrality of a field or area as also of the individuals can be improved with purification of Atmosphere. ‘Heal the Atmosphere and healed Atmosphere will heal you’ is the fundamental principle of healing by Vedic Sciences. Param Sadguru Shri Gajanan Maharaj narrated the essence of Satya Sanatana Dharma, i.e., panch sādhan mārg or fivefold path. Take ‘Yajña, Dān, Tapa, Karma and Swādhyāya’, as your way of life and that is the eternal religion given by Vedas to the humanity.
The Bheshajya Yajña is a part of Vedic Yajña System and is to be performed during the transition period (Sandhi-kāl) of two seasons. Therefore three Bheshajya Yajñas are to be performed as, ’Nitya’ (Regular order) in a year. This is known as ‘Chaturmāsya Esti or Yajña”. Change in seasons has impact on plant life, animal life and human life. We generally have cough, cold and fever (Flu-like symptoms) during this time. Therefore our great Sages made Bheshajya Yajña as a part of life. Shri Vasant V. Paranjpe has described ‘Bheshyajya Yajña’ as ‘Medicinal Yajñas’ in his book ‘Homa Therapy our Last Chance’.
Research on Agnihotra and Yajñopathy
I would like to mention on Agnihotra and Yajñopathy to deal with COVID-19 at least as a Preventive Care (of course in addition to Govt. Guidelines about washing hands, keeping personal hygiene, social distancing, wearing mask in public etc.) and also at least one very relevant and important research study here, which probably may or may not be there in the aforesaid compilation:
This study conceptualizes the principles of Agnihotra Yajña. The perusal of ancient and modern literature reveals that the functioning of the human body is impossible without maintaining an energetic continuum driven by sunlight. The seven major chakras existing over the spinal cord help to maintain this energetic continuum. Agnihotra Yajña is proposed to balance the chakra system as a whole by minimizing entropy. Offerings of natural elements to fire lit in a copper pyramid during Agnihotra liberate various volatile compounds having potent pharmacological actions. Attempts were made to enhance the efficacy of fumes by incorporating two to three pieces of coconut endosperm and ‘navadhānya’ (nine grains) to the conventional oblations. This investigation clearly demonstrates that the purpose behind the practice of Agnihotra Yajña is ‘letting incessant flow of energy (life) through our meridian lines and acupuncture points. The volatile organic compounds in smoke were analysed using gas chromatography and masspectrometry method …
… In addition to the ingredients tested, cow ghee is another important traditional ingredient that is poured into the fire. The fumes that are liberated during the combustion of ghee help to protect the respiratory system and facilitate the removal of blood clots and the bacterial infections in nasal passage lungs and veins. Hence daily exposure to this medicinal smoke should certainly have a favourable influence on the health of the mind and body of the person inhaling the fume. In addition, the potent antimicrobial action of the above identified compounds, purifies the air in the place where Agnihotra is performed……
…These electromagnetic waves, together with the chanting of Vedic hymns (unique sonic signals) have potential health benefits. The combustion of offerings in the Agnihotra pyramid is thought to increase PCE/Chi/Prana in the surrounding atmosphere and the intake of this increased quantum of PCE/Chi/Prana by breathing is thought to optimize the alignment of chakras and would certainly establish energy connections between the physical body and the electromagnetic body via the chakra system…..
..In the light of all the above facts, Agnihotra Yajña can be considered as a complementary medicine that removes the energy blocks in the meridians/nādis. In conclusion the ultimate purpose of practicing Agnihotra Yajña is to realize “Life” which means ‘letting incessant flow of energy’ through our body–mind system as any blockage in this flow would cause disharmony and chaos in the system, thus leading to poor health.”
Although the ingredients used and studied in Shri Nair’s experiment are different from the standardized ingredients used in daily Agnihotra as recommended by Param Sadguru; the results, observations and conclusions are important from the point of Yajñopathy for building immunity.
‘Agnihotra’ as ‘Kāmdhenu’ not only give protective shield against COVID-19 as a preventive measure but also bring health, peace and prosperity to people performing Agnihotra by purifying the atmosphere.
The performance of Agnihotra at sunrise and sunset is a must as this Primary and Supreme Yajña through its Resonance Effect captures many ethers, electricities and subtle energies at sunrise and broadcasts them in the atmosphere for its purification.
While interpreting Rigvedic Surya Sūkta (Mandala 1 Hymn 115 and Mandala 10 Hymn 170) Shri Shyam Ghosh says, ‘The invisible electromagnetic waves of cosmic energy carry the properties of heat, light and sound which manifest when those come in contact with matter’. (Rigveda for Layman-Shatsukta Paridarshanam by Shyam Ghosh).
Article, ‘Corona Pandemic- Aspects and Perspectives’ refer to our active self-movement and our relation with the sun, i.e., our rhythmical system is connected with the sun and its course throughout the day. Agnihotra establishes connectivity between our biorhythm and the biorhythm of circadian cycle of sunrise and sunset and the subtle energies emanating from the sun are attracted even if you are confined to your house.
Yajñayopathy (Homa Therapy)
In addition to performing Agnihotra daily, I would recommend performing daily or from time to time ‘Tryambakam Homa’ for about fifteen minutes in which one is able to offer oblations with Tryambakam Mantra for about 108 times.
The oblations to be offered in the sacred fire will be that of pure Cow-ghee fortified and enriched with certain essential oils which have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antispasmodic properties to deal with pathogenic bacteria and viruses of any type, therefore it is called as ‘Amrut Havi’, this is recommended by Dr. Kamal Narayan Arya, a Research Scientist of Ayurveda and Yajnyopathy. In ‘Panch Mahā Yajña Vidhi’, Swami Dayanand Sarswati said ‘this śloka not only gives beautiful description of Agnihotra but also prescribes guidelines for preparation of Havirdravya (Medicinal, Aromatic, Strength and Energy giving herbs/medicinal substances for giving offerings to the fire). He says:
Therefore in preparation of Havirdravya aromatic substances like Kesar, Kasturi, Ghee and Milk-like nutritious and strength–giving products, sweet things like jaggery, sugar, honey and medicinal herbs/plants like somalata, disease curing medicinal herbs/plants /substances be used. The following are the ingredients of this Havi:
Amrut Dhara (Divya Dhara)
This is a preparation of three ingredients i.e. Crystaline essence of Ajwain (Omum-Trychyspermum ammi), Pepper Mint (Mentha spicata), and Bhimseni Camphor (Cinemomum camphora).When all these three ingredients in crystal form are mixed together in a bottle automatically they get melted into a liquid form. It is anti-septic, anti-bacterial and head-ache and pain remover.
Cardamom Oil (Elettaria cardamomum)
Anti-spasmodic-muscular and respiratory spasms, muscle pulls and cramps, anti-bacterial, anti-mycotic, anti-viral, carminative activities. Used in asthama, whooping cough and as overall health-booster.
Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
Chemical constituents are iron, calcium ,potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A and C, minerals, compounds like eugenol, eugenol acetate etc. anaesthetic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative and anti-inflammatory.
Number of compounds including cinnamaldehyde which reduces inflammation, anti-bacterial, carminative, anti-microbial, antifungal; suppresses the growth of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi-good for cough, cold, constipation etc.
Helpful for concentration and memory-used in Divya MedhaVati. Steam inhalation for treating upper respiratory infections, cardiac tonic, diuretic in nature, low-BP, vigor and vitality.
Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis amygdalus )
High in anti-oxidants, vitamin E, protects cells from harmful substances/free radicals, maintains blood-sugar control and heart-health, acitic, formic, linolenic and palmatic acids
Ten ml. of each of the above six oils is to be added to half a kilo of pure Cow-ghee and this fortified cow-ghee is to be offered as oblations to the fire while chanting Tryambakam Mantra. Even if you light a lamp of this Goghrita (Cow-ghee) in your house it will give results; but performing Tryambakam Homa for fifteen to twenty minutes will be better, because the vibrations of Tryambakam Mantra will have the resonance effect for creating a protective shield.
Ayurvedic Home Remedy
One more home remedy is preparation of a decoction (Kaḍā) as a preventive measure for COVID-19. This Kaḍā is made up of 7-10 fresh leaves of each of Adulsa (Adhatoda vassica), Parijat (Nyctanthes arbortristis), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bael (Aegle marmelos) and Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) with addition of approx. two grams of each of Black pepper (Piper nigrum), Peepali (Piper longum), Star spice, Sunthi (dry ginger powder), Cinnamom powder. Boil all these ingredients into 1.5 to 2 litres of water to make it as a one litre of Kaḍā and keep it bottled. You can prepare a hot drink of this Kaḍā by adding a table spoon of the preparation to one cup of tolerably hot water and take it with lemon and honey. You can sip this hot drink two-three times in a day. You can also add a table-spoon of this preparation to the vapourizer and inhale the vapours, whenever you have cough and cold or you are sneezing. Parijat has been found to be very useful in case of fever and joint pain in cases of Chickungunya. This Kaḍā will be helpful as a preventive measure as well as an immunity booster when combined with Agnihotra and Trambakam Homa.
–Sh. Anand Gaikwad, Krishi Bhushan Sendriya Sheti M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses, including some that cause the common cold to some that cause major diseases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In December 2019, the pandemic outbreak of a novel ‘Coronavirus disease’ (COVID-2019), later termed as SARS-CoV-2, is potentially fatal and a highly contagious disease. Given that in absence of a definitive COVID-19 treatment and the presence of asymptomatic carriers, the conventional intervention measures to curb the rate of infection and deaths are highly challenging. This novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Respiratory involvement, presenting as mild flu like illness to potentially lethal acute respiratory distress syndrome or fulminant pneumonia resembling that of SARS-CoV is the dominant clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Like other respiratory tract infections, pre-existing comorbidities are reported to enhance vulnerability to COVID-19 patients. Although the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 is not well studied yet, existing evidences suggest likely resemblances to other SARS-CoVs’ infection; the acute lung injury resulting from aggressive inflammation triggered by viral replication. People with compromised immune systems, the very old and young and those with diagnosed heart and lung conditions are most at risk of developing complications if they contract an infection like this. While currently there is no cure for this, we can work with our mind and body through natural remedies to greatly strengthen our immune system. If our immune system is strong, then we can fight and prevent any infection.
Homa oblations to control bacterial and fungal pathogens
According to Vedic scholars, the combination of the powerful energy of the fire and the Vedic mantras/liturgy creates extremely auspicious and purifying vibrations that are beneficial to the people attending yajña or hōma. The homa-ājya that is used in the yajñas is made only from the cow’s milk. Research reports indicate that the cow-ghee contains many essential nutrients, anti-oxidants and saturated fatty acids. These reports provided experimental evidence that the cow-ghee is having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The practice of Agnihotra and placing havan (fire offerings) purifies the house and the outside environment. A scientific report states that homa is an effective method to reduce the fungal spores load in small office or room. As per the experiments conducted, the homa fire smoke has the potency to kill fungal spores. In another study, it is experimentally shown that the medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood (samidha) and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs has the ability to effectively reduce pathogenic bacteria in the air. Another report conceptualizes the principle of Agnihotrayajña as having potent pharmacological action. The anti-viral property of the homa needs to be experimented and tested.
Microorganisms in Vedas
The word krimi occurs in the Vedas for different macroscopic and microscopic creatures. Right from germs like bacteria, viruses and others, various insects like kīṭa, pataṃga are referred as krimi. There are two types of krimis viz., dṛṣta (visible / macroscopic) and adṛṣta (invisible / microscopic) were described in Atharvaveda (AV) as an entire hymn [5-5-23].
सब प्राणियों के लिए दर्शनीय सूर्य अदृश्य कीटों को नष्ट करते हैं। वे दृश्य, अदृश्य सब प्रकाश के कृमियों को मारते हुए पूर्व से उदय हो रहे हैं।
We pray that both the worms (krimi) that we can see, and that we see not, be destroyed. These two categories encompass nearly all krimi (microbes / pathogens). According to their origin and habitat they are categorized as praṇyaśrayī and anyasthānaśrayī. Different śārīrika, mānasika and ādhyātmika vyādhis were thought to be originated from these krimis. These harmful and debilitating (puṣtināṣaka) organisms are recognized by various names based on troubles/sufferings they produce. Sun and fire (agni) were described as internal source of treatment (krimi cikitsa). Today, science also confirms these facts that early morning ultraviolet light rays emanating from sun can be used for various krimijanya-vyādhis. Apart from this, various treatment modalities by using various natural resources, herbal drugs, mineral drugs, fumigation, cleansing (mārjan-prōkṣaṇa) and hymns are described for krimi and diseases caused by them in Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.
Prayer to Soma(god of medicinal herbs),Rudra(primordial doctor) and other deities
sōmārudrā vi vṛhataṃ viṣūcīmamīvā yā nō gayamāvivēśa।
ārē bādhēthāṃ nirṛtiṃ parācaiḥ kṛtaṃ cidēnaḥ pra mumuktamasmat॥
Yajurveda [TS 1-8-22(22)]
Oh Soma (god of medicinal herbs) and Rudra! Enter our homes and eradicate morbidity. Drive away and trouble the unfavorable disease from afar. You will remove from us the sin (which is in the form of disease) that is stuck to our bodies.
adhyavōcadadhivaktā prathamō daivyō bhiṣak।
ahīgśca sarvāṅjaṃbhayaṃthsarvāśca yātudhānyaḥ॥
Yajurveda [TS 4-5-1(2), MS 16-5]
The first anuvaka of Namakaṁ in Śrī Rudram is not only chanted for all-round development of the community as well as the well-being of the chanter, but will also provide protective shield (kavaca) against the visible and invisible enemies like virulent fevers, fatal disorders, absolution from evil stars and bad karma.
udgrābhaṃ ca nigrābhaṃ ca brahma dēvā avīvṛdhann।
athā saptnāniṃdrāgnī mē viṣūcīnānvyasyatām॥
Yajurveda [TS 1-6-4]
Brahma and other devatas improved the two-fold nature (udgrābha and nigrābha) of the ladle, increasing its prosperity. Using this, Indra and Agni drove away and destroyed cholera.
O Germ! I kill you with the mantra revealed by the ṛṣis Atri, Kaṇva and Jamadagni. The leader of the germs was killed by the mantra revealed by Visvavasu, a Gandharva. The other germ leaders were also killed. The mother and father of the germs were destroyed. All types of germs – big and small, black and white were killed. Moreover, the germs in the bodies of animals like cows and horses were also killed. We offer the havis in the hōma, in the yajñaśāla. Similarly, through this mantra, we keep the enemies, in the tooth of Yama. We can listen to the crushing sound of the enemies, while they are killed.
प्राण रूपी वायु और प्रजापति जो इस भुवन के स्वामी है। वे हमारे मन से मृत्यु के भय को हटाये। हम चिरकाल तक जीवन जीये अर्थात् वृद्धावस्था तक ।
It is a prayer for vāyu (custodian of vital air – prāṇaṃ) and Prajāpati, who is the creator and protector of the universe (bhuvanās) – heaven, earth, and hell – (bhuvanasya gōpāḥ) and the people living in them. They relieve us from the attack of mṛtyu (dangers and untimely unhappy occurences) as well as from the sins (aguṃhasaḥ). These may be carried on by the jīva even to the next birth. We have to mark the definite hope expressed in the expression: ‘jyogjīvā jarāmaśīmahi’. This desire is also mentioned as prayer to Sun God in Śaura sūkta. As there are many uncertainties in one’s life, there no guarantee in reaching old age. From birth to death, many mayantarayas (mṛtyu) occur. Hence, they need to be curbed periodically. When this mantra is performed as japa, surely the deities under prayer shall focus this care on the devotees. They promote health and save us from death and distress (Prabhakar, C.L., Veda Nada Sarit, 27(228), April 2020).
sanō mṛḍāti tanvaṛujugō rujan ya ēkamōjastrēdhā vicakramē॥
जरायु से उत्पन्न जगत् से पूर्व सृष्टि में सबसे प्रथम उत्पन्न वायु के समान शीघ्रगामी और अनंत बल संपन्न सूर्य मेघों को गर्जाते हुए वर्षा के साथ आते हैं। वे सूर्य हमें त्रिदोष जनित रोगों से मुक्त कर। वे सीधे चलने वाले सूर्य जो एक होकर भी तीन प्रकार से प्रकाशित होते हैं, हमारे शरीर को सुख दें।
We pray the Sun, who shines strong even through the heavy clouds and rain, and provide comfort to our body by curing many diseases.
प्रत्येक अवयवों में अपनी दीप्ति रूप से व्याप्त हे सूर्य! हम स्तुति, हवि आदि से आपको पूजते हैं। आपके समीपवर्ती देवताओं को भी हवि द्वारा सेवा करते हैं। रोगों से ग्रसित इस पुरुष की रोग निवृत्ति के लिए हम आपको पूजते हैं।
In this mantra, salutations are offered to the Sun, who pervades in full brilliance in all creatures. Oblations are offered to the Sun, His followers and other deities to cure us all from the virulent diseases and viral fevers which affect our body.
Remedy through Cow-Urine
idamidvā u bhēṣajamidaṃ rudrasya bhēṣajam|
इस रोग को दूर करने वाली औषधि को मैं करूंगा यह रुद्र की औषधि अंत काल में सबको रुलाती है। इसका शिव ने प्रयोग किया था।
To cure wrana i.e., all diseases the medicines made available by Rudra are indeed the only cures. According to Monier Williams, wrana stands for wound, sore, ulcer, abscess, tumors, cancer, boil, scar, cicatrix, cracks etc.
jālāṣēṇābhi ṣiñcata jālāṣēṇōpa siñcatal
jālāṣamugraṃ bhēṣajaṃ tēna nō mṛḍa gīvasē॥
हे परिचारको! तुम गोमूत्र के फेन जल से घाव को धोओ, यह रोग को दूर करने में श्रेष्ठ है। हे रुद्र! इस औषधि से हमको सुख दो।
The body parts affected by disease and nearest to the disease parts should be thoroughly washed with the mixture of cow urine (gō-mutra) and activated water. This is the most potent remedy blessed by Rudra for giving healthy life to us for the treatment of these diseases.
हे देव! हमको सुख मिले हमारे पशु-मनुष्य रोग-ग्रस्त न हों और पाप का नाश हो। संपूर्ण विश्व और उनके श्रेष्ठ कर्म हमारे लिए औषधि के समान हों।
Let there be health for us, peace for us, pleasure for us, let nothing cause injury and harm to us, let all diseases be banished, let all the objects in this world be promoters of our health.
The above mentioned three Atharvaveda mantras [11-13] describe how the urine of cow can be used in treating against unicellular amoeba-like organisms (Vedas call them creatures without mouths). Use of the cow urine is suggested as a mixture with vigorously stirred – foaming water – activated water, similar to the making of homeopathic and bio-dynamic preparations. Research reports indicate that the cow urine has antimicrobial activities and particularly on fugal pathogens. As of now, there is no published report with regard to the measures to fight the virus by using cow urine. It is time to investigate the effectiveness of cow urine against even the coronavirus.
It is unfortunate that now-a-days, humans are facing many diseases. The outbreak of coronavirus has been detected a few months ago. Ishvara being our real inspiration has given us the knowledge of four Vedas to destroy illusion and solve all kinds of problems, including those of medical science. Many fatal infections can be destroyed by performance of yajñas and yāgyās. When we obey the Vedic principles, diseases are either destroyed from its roots or do not even generate. Vedic mantras state that agnihotra purifies food grains, water, and bestows mental and physical strength so that people can enjoy prosperous life. Veda mantras have the ability to drive away the health hazards and sādhana is important for siddhi.
Stress is a universal truth that afflicts one and all. Every living being; reptiles, birds or animals; everyone goes through pangs of stress. In case of reptiles and animals, stress is for the most basic necessities for their survival. Maslow’s Physiological and Security needs of hierarchy are primary needs of all and that includes humans as well. Reptiles and animals get anxious and go into stress whenever their survival is at stake i.e. whenever their requirement of food, safety and progenies are threatened, they will either submit to more powerful or fight with the competitor. Animals including human beings are affected by emotions for their family & friends and that is one of the major causes of stress.
Whenever under pressure individuals perform and achieve targets and objectives, it is called Eustress and when one is unable to manage himself, unable to achieve targets and feels that he cannot fight it out, he resorts to running away from the situation. Soon he gets into severe depression followed by stress called Distress.
Covid-19 is a very unique situation the world is witnessing in first half of 2020 and it may prolong for longer duration. Today, survival of humans as a race is threatened and like all other animals, man is also prone to distress. Esteem and Self-actualization are appearing distant and difficult to achieve. Respect, recognition and feeling of accomplishment is essential part of human life is finding back seat when people are contracting Covid-19 in hundreds every day. Death of loved ones has stressed them out and it is affecting all countries, races, caste, creed and colour across the planet. Governments all over are attempting to find remedies to the deadly disease. Physical social distancing, isolation, lockdown and quarantine have been found to be reasonable means to prevent spread of the disease.
Type of job, place of work, indoor or outdoor etc. does not matter, he/she needs that space and recognition in one’s life. In the situation that we all are in today during Covid-19 crisis, both boredom and anxiety are affecting all of us and getting locked into house aggravates the status.
Lockdown was ordered across India on 25th March 2020; no one is permitted to move out and all offices have been closed down. Work from home is the new norm where there are no work place friends to share intimacies. Zoom conferences are formal digital spaces where intimacies and informal discussions are not possible. There is limited space in house in urban colonies to move around, limited number of people to interact with and limited time-consuming activity to fill the time gap. There are very limited number of people in the home with whom one can interact and share feelings. Even if there is a standard family of four with aged parents in the house, inter-personal relational issues amongst the members is a reality; ghar-ghar ki kahani is the order of the day (pun intended). Consequently, it is difficult to share one’s inner feeling with relations at home. At times, it is observed that sharing and caring with spouses are formal and dutiful relations. Very limited interaction takes place with aged parents and conversations are limited. Majority time is spent on mobile, television and computers and still lot of time is available where all sessions of Time Management seem ineffective. Since 25th March 2020, Entire India is going through this phase with intermittent speeches by PM Mr. Narendra Modi and respective state CMs and other dignitaries of the government. All efforts are made to keep the population aware of the latest situation and providing all possible help for safety.
However, stress is coming up as the next issue with stay indoors regulations. All efforts by the government and other agencies, there is limited positive impact and social relational structure is affected adversely.
Over a period of time, both boredom and anxiety are visible in society. India Electronic Media is all full of shows to help us all overcome the isolation and attempts to bring smiles on our faces. Boredom on account of limited activity and anxiety on account of increasing number of infections and deaths due to the deadly disease. The reality of impact of Covid-19 is giving no respite; whopping 2,18,386 deaths have been reported so far as on 29th April, 2020 and end is nowhere in sight. India has suffered 1007 deaths.
More and more cluster is cropping every day and more and more teams are ushered into service of mankind. This is biggest humanitarian assistance ever organized in the history. Economic slump, china hiding the facts and President Trump threatening China of dire consequences is further adding fuel to the fore of increasing stress levels amongst all sections of society. Anxiety, depression and stress are natural outcomes that are of bound to impact most of us.
Management of Covid-19 Induced Stress
Covid-19 has been studied by experts and they opine that prevention is better than cure. Means to handle the disease are in three stages: –
Stage 1- Prevent contracting the disease by staying at home and not coming out in public.
Stage 2. Isolate and quarantine at home for those infected.
Stage 3. Medical treatment at designated hospitals for serious cases.
Stress in all stages of treatment may show some or more of following symptoms: –
Boredom, anxiety, fatigued and wear out
Lack of involvement and loss of interest in usual enjoyable activities
Physical symptoms like high blood pressure, indigestion and uneasiness
Short temper and anger
Fear of unknown- fear of getting infected and if infected; fear of death.
Stress is outcome of psychological, biological and personality traits. Ability to handle mounting isolation and hopeless situation will decide if one will get into depression and stress. In order to come out of stress, we have to understand the corona virus and Covid-19 disease, its symptoms and how best we all can save people by efforts of individuals, elders in the family and following instructions given by the government from time to time. Some of the common measures are: –
Organise the day. Start the day with morning physical exercises at home, call it one mat exercises. Limitation of space has to be taken into account and exercise for minimum of 30 minutes daily. Thereafter divide the individual and family time plan.
Plan and follow time table. It may include daily office chores, house hold jobs and hobbies. Family work plan will bring in variety and motivation to overcome boredom.
Set Objectives. Weekly/fortnightly or monthly objectives be planned for seeking satisfaction and constructive use of time.
Complement each other more often, laugh more than yesterday and find reasons to stay positive.
Be passionate about life with simple rule- This too shall pass.
Indian Vedic Sciences and Stress Management
The fact that covid-19 is likely to affect many of us and its impact worldwide is disastrous; can be considered from the Vedic perspective as well. Indian Vedic sciences is ocean of knowledge on stress management; only a fraction is discussed here.
Breath is basic parameter of stress; it exists in our breath and if you are able to control your own breath, stress can be identified and remedial yogic and breathing exercises can be practised to overcome the same. Fear of Covid -19 infection or death is likely to change breath pattern, it will become fast, heavy and compulsive indicating higher stress levels. Thoughts of fear and death release certain stress causing toxins in human body that can be consumed by various yogic asanas and pranayama. Chanting of Oṃ (ॐ) and Prāṇāyāma like anulom-vilom and bhrāmari will help in normalising blood pressure, mitigate toxins and give a soothing feeling.
Knowledge of Triguṇas i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas can help change own prakṛti from tāmsic to sāttvic. There is a predominant Guṇa in each one of us and the Guṇas change with the time of the day, kind of activities, and thought process. Every time there is a thought of fear or death or isolation, they reflect one getting into Tamas or stress due to negative thoughts and belief. That will result into change in behaviour of person, severe depression and stress. One has to act immediately to come out of Tamas and enter the state of Rajas. The activity will use the toxins of the body and one starts feeling better and will now think of better days in times to come. The process will take one from Rajas to state of Sattva where ultimate relief from stress is felt. It is easier said than done but support of friends and family members can take one out of depression or the stress.
‘Stay home stay happy’ is the soul’s answer to stress management. Primarily, if we are able to consume the enzymes released in the body due to psycho-social conditions created in the Covid-19 rich environment, we shall be able to convert distress into eustress. Gainful use of time available is the call we need to take and shall be able to not only save ourselves and family members but also will be able to enjoy the time of togetherness gifted by the God Almighty.
हमारे जीवन को सरल बनाने वाले औद्योगिकरणों एवं वैज्ञानिक सफलताओं ने कहीं न कहीं हमें प्रकृति से कोसों दूर कर दिया। आज हम हरे-भरे उद्यानों की छाया एवं मनोरम छवि, नदियों की तरंगपूर्ण शीतल लहरों की कल्कलाहट, शुद्ध वायु, सूर्य की निर्मल पहली किरण से जगमगाते हुए आसमान की लालिमा, पक्षियों की चहचहाहट, भ्रमरों का गुंजन, तित्लियों के रंग-बिरंगे पंखों का फैलाव, फूलों की सुगन्ध, चांदनी रातें, टिमटिमाते हुए तारे आदि प्राकृतिक अनुभूतियों को छोड़ अत्यन्त व्यस्त जीवन जी रहे थे। इस जीवन में न तो प्रकृति के लिए समय था, न ही परिवार के लिए। समय था तो केवल चुनौतियों से भरे हुए अहंकार-पूर्ण जीवन के लिए। इन चुनौतियों को पूरा करने और लौकिक सुखों के उद्देश्य में मानव यह भूल गया कि वह अपनी लापरवाही से प्रकृति का अनजाने में कितना दोहन प्रतिदिन प्रतिक्षण किए ही जा रहा है। जिसके परिणाम स्वरूप आज हरियाली खत्म होती जा रही है, वायु में सांस नहीं लिया जा रहा, नदियों का जल पय नहीं रहा, अत्याधिक वर्षा भूस्खलन का कारण बन गई इत्यादि। इन्हीं सब चिन्ताओं से आज हमारे शरीर रोगग्रस्त हो रहे हैं।
2020 के दस्तक देने से पूर्व ही ‘कोरोना’ विश्वपटल पर धीरे-धीरे चुपके-चुपके पैर पसार रहा था। पहले चीन फिर यूरोपीय देश फिर समस्त विश्व का सिकंदर बना अमेरिका इसकी चपेट में आते जा रहे थे….. और फिर बारी आई अपने भारत की। अत्यन्त घातक यह ’कोरोना’ समस्त विश्व में कोहराम मचाकर लाखों की संख्या में मानव जाति को पीड़ित कर रहा है। यह स्थिति कहलाई जा रही है ’कोरोना-महामारी’। इस स्थिति पर नियंत्रण पाने के लिए अथवा उसके संक्रमण से सम्पूर्ण मानव-जाति को बचाने के लिए…….सभी देशों में धीरे-धीरे सम्पूर्ण बंद (lockdown) की स्थिति आ गई। देखते ही देखते देश-विदेश के समस्त बड़े-बड़े उद्योग, यातायात के साधन, लोक-व्यवहार, बाज़ार, उत्पादन, खरीद-बिक्री एक के बाद एक बंद होते चले गए। कोई इसे प्राकृतिक-आपदा कहने लगा तो कोई मानवीय त्रुटि। किसी का भी ध्यान प्रकृति के कायाकल्प की ओर नहीं जा रहा। सब ओर हाहाकार ही सुनाई पड़ता रहा। अगर हम ऐसा मान लें कि शायद प्रकृति हमारी व्यावहारिक ज़िन्दगी से थकने के कारण थोड़ा विराम लेना चाहती थी……तो शायद ’कोरोना-महामारी’ सहज लगने लगे।
वास्तव में प्रकृति केवल वही नहीं जो सम्पूर्ण ब्रह्माण्ड के चारों ओर आच्छादित है, जिसे हम ‘पर्यावरण’ के नाम से जानते हैं अपितु प्रकृति के दोनों रूप हमें जानने चाहिए – बाह्य प्रकृति और आन्तरिक प्रकृति। बाह्य प्रकृति में समुद्र-नदियाँ, पर्वत, वृक्ष-पौधे, वायु आते हैं। आन्तरिक प्रकृति में हमारे विचार आते हैं। दोनों प्रकृतियों को सहेज के रखना ही हमारा कर्तव्य है, तभी प्रकृति और हमारा आपसी संतुलन बना रहता है।
बाह्य प्रकृति –
प्रकृति के साथ सम्बन्ध की अनुभूति ही सिद्ध करती है, हमारा प्रकृति के प्रति स्वभाव। प्रकृति और मानव जीवन का सामञ्जस्य एवं संतुलन ही पर्यावरण का संरक्षण कहलाता है। इसका सबसे बड़ा उदाहरण अथर्ववेद (12.1.12) का मंत्र है-
माता भूमिः पुत्रोऽहं पृथिव्याः।
भूमि मेरी माता है और मैं भूमि का पुत्र (संतान) हूँ।
जब हम सम्पूर्ण पृथ्वी की ही कल्पना अपनी माँ के रूप में कर लेते हैं तो कभी भी पृथ्वी के अंगभूत उसके वृक्ष, नदियाँ, वायु, पर्वत आदि को प्रदूषित नहीं करते और उनके प्रति स्नेहमयी दृष्टि रखते हैं।
‘कोरोना-महामारी’ से पूर्व खानों की खुदाई; तेल, कोयले, लकड़ी जैसे ईंधनों की खपत, समुद्री जीव-जन्तुओं का जीवन, जंगलों की कटाई, दूषित नदियाँ, मांसाहार आदि प्रदूषण पर्यावरणविदों की गम्भीर चिन्ता के विषय थे। विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन जैसी संस्थाएँ प्रतिदिन प्रदूषण से होने वाली अनेक प्रकार की व्याधियों के रोकथाम एवं जागरूकता के लिए नए-नए चिकित्सीय दिशा-निर्देशों को निर्दिष्ट करता रहता था।
अभिशाप बनकर आये इस ’कोरोना-काल’ में अर्थशास्त्री बाज़ार के उतार-चढ़ाव देखते रहे परन्तु चिरकाल से चोट खाई इस प्रकृति ने समस्त हानिकारक प्रदूषको में भारी गिरावट कर खुद को ही नया सा कर लिया।
व्यक्ति के सोच-विचार ही उसकी आन्तरिक प्रकृति की नींव है। मनुष्य के विचारों से ही उसका स्वभाव बनता है इसीलिए ‘कोरोना-काल’ में स्वयं को तनाव मुक्त करने के लिए तथा सद्विचार हेतु ‘ताली’ और ‘थाली’ की गूँज के साथ दियों की जगमगाहट दिखाई दी। वैदिक मंत्र – ‘तन्मे मनःशिवसंकल्पमस्तु’ (वाजसनेयी संहिता 34) का सकारात्मक दृष्टिकोण भारत के प्रधानमंत्री जी ने कुछ इस प्रकार प्रकट किया-
शुभं करोति कल्याणमारोग्यं धनसंपदा।
यही दर्शाता है कि ‘कोरोना’ को संकट नहीं अपितु उस अंधकार के रूप में माना गया है जिसके बाद सवेरा निश्चित है- ‘तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय। मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय’ (बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् 1.3.28)। वैदिक विचारधारा से ओत-प्रोत भारत आपद-काल में यही सकारात्मक संदेश समस्त विश्व तक पहुंचा रहा है।
संगठित समाज और संयुक्त-परिवार-व्यवस्था ही ‘वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’ की नींव है। भारतीय सामाजिक व्यवस्था प्रारम्भ से ही इसकी सराहना करती है। वर्तमान ‘कोरोना-संक्रमण-काल’ के कारण सम्पूर्ण विश्व में चल रहे बंद (lockdown) ने समस्त विश्व को सामाजिक एकता एवं पारिवारिक सम्बन्धों में परस्पर सामंजस्य का पाठ पढ़ाया है। तनावपूर्ण वातावरण में परस्पर सौहार्द ही मानसिक बल प्रदान करता है, जिससे आत्मघाती अवसादों को नियंत्रित किया जा सकता है।
स्वयं को पहचानना अर्थात् अपनी क्षमताओं और कमज़ोरियों का ज्ञान परमावश्यक है। आज हम कहीं न कहीं आत्म-मूल्यांकन भूल चुके हैं। इस ‘कोरोना-संकट’ ने हम सभी को भागदौड़ से हटाकर ’स्वाध्याय’ के लिए प्रेरित किया है-
सांसारिक क्रियाकलापों से परे आत्म-निहित साधना ही हमें योग और ध्यान की ओर ले जाती है- ‘असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं……वैराग्येण च गॄह्यते’ (गीता 6.35) | इस आपत्ति-काल ने ‘आत्मानुशासन’ भी सिखा दिया।
इस प्रकार ‘कोरोना’ ने बाह्य और आन्तरिक दोनों ही प्रकृतियों में नूतनता के दर्शन कराये हैं। ऐसा लगता है कि ‘कोरोना-काल’ के बाद विश्व में कई बदलाव दिखेंगे, यथा- पारिवारिक-सम्बन्धों में, पर्यावरण-संरक्षण के प्रति, आत्म-विश्लेषण में, तथा सकारात्मक ऊर्जा के रूप में।
हम जीवन के प्रति उदासीन हो रहे हैं पर
प्रकृति स्वयं को हमारे लिए पुनर्जीवित कर रही है……….
Menstruation is basically a physiological phenomenon unique to women. In many parts of the world, menstruation is still related to a number of myths and taboos. For example, it is believed in Afghanistan that showering during menses causes infertility. According to a cultural belief held by some sushi chefs in Japan, women cannot be sushi chefs because of menstrual cycles. They believe that menstruation causes an ‘imbalance in taste’ and therefore sushi cannot possibly be properly prepared by a woman. Menses is thought of as a disease in Iran. Traditional beliefs in Bolivia misinform young women and girls that the disposal of their menstrual pads with other garbage could lead to sickness or cancer, according to UNICEF. Such myths and taboos about menstruation present in many societies adversely impact on women’s emotional state, mentality and lifestyle.
Vedas have also advised women with menses to refrain from entering holy places, cooking, etc. However, this advice is from a spiritual perspective alone and needs to be understood in that spirit. Any distortions in the implementation of the spiritual science are man-made and need to be recognized as such. However, due to a lack of understanding of the underlying spiritual science the advice of the scriptures is vastly misunderstood and hence frowned upon by society in the present times.
This resistance happens in the case of other sciences too. For example, modern medical science advises people suffering from a contagious disease like flu (Influenza), to rest and to keep to their room to prevent infecting other family members. They are asked to cover their nose with a tissue while sneezing for the same reason. When the disease spreads rampantly in society to an epidemic level, such as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and Swine flu pandemic of 2009, infected people are forced to remain in isolation, away from society. All this is advised in the interests of the individual, family and society at large. It is not discriminatory to the person suffering from flu. We understand this because we are well aware of the science behind the restrictions. However, if an uneducated person from a tribal area traveling to a city suffered from flu and was advised to keep away from others, he could well feel ostracized. What would we think if he refused to believe the science and demanded to be shown the influenza virus! We understand that it would be in his best interests to believe those learned in that area, namely, the doctors. Similarly, Vedas are the authority in Spirituality. In this article we have explained the spiritual science underlying what the Sanatan Dharma says in the Vedas about menses and corroborated by research using modern scientific equipment. This is solely from the perspective of creating awareness in society about the spiritual aspects of menses.
Here, we will understand the basic principles of Sanatan Dharma and What happens at the subtle level during menstruation ?
Later (in upcoming article ) we will discuss the following topics –
A. Why is menarche celebrated ?
B. How can women by avoiding cooking or touching food during menses benefit themselves and society ?
C. How can women refraining from spiritual activities such as pooja or entering a temple during menses benefit themselves and society ?
D. Understand the underlying spiritual science and benefit from the advice of scriptures
Basic principles of Sanatan Dharma
To understand how Sanatan Dharma looks upon menstruation, let us get acquainted with some of its basic principles relevant to our topic.
A. Sanatan Dharma looks upon life as a continuum of births till the jīva (Embodied Soul) attains Mokṣa (Final Liberation or God-realisation). All efforts during one’s lifetime are looked upon from the perspective of ultimately moving towards Mokṣa.
B. Spiritual purity (Sattva subtle component) is looked upon as the foundation of any success or achievement. Subtle is that which is beyond the perception of the five senses, mind and intellect. Bhagawan Shrikrushna speaks of the 3 subtle basic components of the universe, namely Sattva, Raja and Tama –
सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणा: प्रकृतिसम्भवा: |
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ||
(Śrimad Bhagawadgīta Chapter 14, Verse 5)
Sattva is the component that represents spiritual purity, equanimity and knowledge. Raja represents action, excitement and passion, while Tama represents ignorance and inertia. Each person is made up of a proportion of these three subtle components. Depending on which subtle component is predominant in a person, he or she would be either Sattva-predominant (Sāttvik), Rājasik or Tāmasik. His or her value system, attitude and behaviour will be aligned accordingly. That is why, Sanatan Dharma advises spiritualisation of all aspects of life. Spiritualisation means making every aspect of our life such as our home and premises, bath, dress, diet, jewellery, music, dance, office work sāttvik and enriched with Divine consciousness (Chaitanya). This way our day to day efforts in life lead us to eternal bliss (God-realisation).
What happens at the subtle level during menstruation ?
According to Scriptures
The Scriptures refer to a menstruating woman as ‘Rajaswala’. This is because during menses the Raja subtle component in her is increased. The increased Raja is in anticipation of conception to nourish the baby. When fertilization of ovum and consequently conception does not take place, the excess of Raja is excreted from the body in the form of menstruation.
According to Ayurveda
As per Ayurveda, during menses the Apāna Vāyu is activated in the woman. ‘Prāṇa’ is the subtle vital energy which drives the various actions at the level of the various koṣas. There are 5 Prāṇas, each with a specific action. Activation of the Apāna Vāyu causes movement in the downward direction to facilitate the excretion of uterine tissue and also body toxins (Aām). The high Raja subtle component in the woman during menses causes an imbalance of the 5 Prāṇas.
Subtle picture of a woman during menses
The true measure and analysis of what happens in the subtle dimension can only be through the medium of the sixth sense. At the Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay (Maharshi Spiritual University), we have seekers in our spiritual research team who can actually perceive subtle vibrations emitted by an object or individual. After studying these vibrations they sketch them on paper. We call these sketches ‘Subtle pictures’. They serve as spiritual x-rays and provide clarity about the true nature of the object or individual. The readings are then confirmed or corrected by H.H. (Dr.) Athavale to get the accurate values. The following subtle picture of a woman during menses gives us an idea of what happens during menstruation in the subtle dimension.
The above subtle picture shows how there is emission of Raja-Tama subtle vibrations from a woman during menses. As a result the environment gets charged with the distressing Raja-Tama vibrations.
Universal Aura Scanner study of a woman during menses
The Universal Aura Scanner (UAS) is a scientific instrument that has been invented by Dr. Mannem Murthy, a former nuclear scientist from India. We have used this instrument extensively since 2014 and have recorded more than 10,000 readings in various experiments. It is our experience that it gives accurate readings. We have presented scientific papers based on these studies since October, 2016 in 15 National and 48 International Scientific Conferences. For more details about experiments done using UAS please refer to http://www.ssrf.org/. For more information on the instrument and its usage, please refer to http://www.vedicauraenergy.com/universal-scanner/
Please note that an average object or person can have negative energy, but it is not necessary that the positive energy be present. The negative energy readings are of 2 types and are denoted by ‘IR’ (Infrared) and ‘UV’ (Ultraviolet). IR denotes a lesser form of negative vibrations, while UV denotes a more intense form of negative vibrations. The total measured aura (TMA) is a measure of the object’s or person’s negative energy, positive energy in addition to other miscellaneous components. The TMA of an average object or person is 1 meter. When the TMA of a negativity emitting person or object (which does not have any positive energy) is high, this high TMA is a reflection of its high negativity.
We used the UAS to measure the positive and negative subtle energies and the total measured aura around a woman during menses, after chanting for 15 minutes after this reading and after her 5th and 7th day head bath. This pilot study was conducted on 1 subject only.
From the above table it is apparent that during menses high proportion of both types of negative energy with complete absence of positive energy was found in this subject.
Negativity eliminating influence of chanting
We can also see that after 15 minutes of chanting ‘ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय।’ both the types of subtle negative energies in the subject were completely wiped off. Besides, positive energy was also found in her. This shows that if a woman, though high in Raja during menses, does chanting as much as possible along with her regular activities, the negative influence of menses at the spiritual level can be reduced.
The table also shows that on the 5th day of menstruation, after the subject had taken the head bath as prescribed by Scriptures, her IR negative energy reduced by nearly 40 percent, while the more intense UV negative energy disappeared entirely and positive energy was found in her. This subtle IR negative energy further reduces or disappears in the following days with an increase in positive energy as is apparent from the last column in the table.
Milk has been recognized as a complete food by nutritionists all over the world. It has all the ingredients and nutrients necessary for growth and maintenance of a healthy human body. Modern science as well ancient Indian texts and scriptures are full of references eulogizing the virtues of milk as a complete food. Indian scriptures have described milk as the elixir of life or Amṛta.
अमृतं वै गवां क्षीरमित्याह त्रिदशाधिप:।
तस्माद् ददाति यो धेनुममृतं स प्रयच्छति॥
Similar reference which
means ‘Cow-milk is Amṛta, It protects
us (from disease). Therefore, if someone donates a cow, he actually donates the
Goshu priyamamrutam rakshmana
ṚgVeda in another Mantra
(5-19-4) describes Cow-milk as the most desirable and
likeable drink. There are several similar descriptions in other scriptures,
which enumerate the health-providing, prophylactic and curative properties of
milk. Milk has been described as a drink providing vitality, immunity, (the
inner strength to fight diseases), a complete balanced diet, which gives ‘Subudhi’ or the right thinking power or
wisdom. Charak has described milk as:
स्वादुशीतं मृदु स्निग्धं बहलं श्लक्ष्णपिच्छिलम्।
गुरू मन्दं प्रसन्नं च गव्यं दशगुणं पयः॥
This describes the Organoleptic and nutritional properties of milk. It says Cow’s milk is tasteful, sweet, has a fine/subtle flavor, is dense, and contains good fat, but light, easily digestible, and not easily spoiled. It gives us tranquility and cheerfulness. Charka 27-214 states ‘kshiryojaskar pusam’ which means milk increases the vitality and Virility in man. Dhanvantri another ancient Indian physician has described cow’s milk is a desirable and preferred diet in all types of ailments and that its regular use protects the human body from Vātta, Pitta, Kafa. ‘Raj Nighantu’, another authoritative treatise on ‘Ayurveda’ also describes milk as Amṛta or Piyush. Similar properties of milk as provider of vitality and strength are –
The Cow, through its milk,
transforms a weak and sick person into an energetic person, provides vitality
to those without it and by doing so, makes the family prosperous and respectable
in the ‘civilized society’.
The curative value of cow milk in heart diseases and Jaundice like diseases (Hriday Rog and Pāndu Rog), milk from cows of red colour was considered to be the only remedy for this.
अनु सुर्यमुदयतां हृदयोतो हरिमा च ते।
गो रोहितस्य वर्णेन तेन त्वा परिदध्मसि॥
(Atharv Veda 1-22-1)
Validation of the above claims by Modern Science:
What is for consideration here is whether Cow-milk has been compared with or described as ‘Amṛta’ only on sentimental/emotional or religious grounds or whether there is any description of certain specific qualities or properties of milk and milk products which enhance the longevity or vitality of life to the extent of making the regular consumer of milk a healthy person with a long life and help cure certain ailments. Let us therefore have a look at the findings of modern science to validate what our scriptures have stated.
In modern science Cow-milk occupies a special position among foods as it is an animal food that has a vegetarian connotation. The above table shows the various nutrients found in milk. All these make the milk a complete food. It carries almost all nutrients needed by any human being for growth and development be it children, adolescent, elderly people, pregnant and nursing mothers. It is considered as a protective food. Milk helps to balance human diet by supplementing good quality fat, protein, calcium and vitamins particularly, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. In addition milk contains several bio-protective molecules that ensure health security to humans. Component wise discussion is given below:
The average cholesterol content in cow- milk is only 2.8 mg/g
fat. Moreover, humans absorb 10-14% of dietary cholesterol, thus only 20-40 mg
cholesterol will be absorbed from 50g of dietary milk fat. On the other hand,
the body itself synthesizes cholesterol (1-4g daily) in much higher amounts
than what is absorbed from the diet.
Milk fat has high proportion of
short and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, which do not raise serum
cholesterol levels. Experiments with volunteers have shown that cholesterol levels do not
rise when as much as 2 litters of milk is consumed daily. On the contrary, the
cholesterol level is reduced. It has been suggested that the regular intake of
milk keeps blood vessels healthy.
Compared to other fats and oils, milk fat is easily
digestible. The digestibility of milk fat is 99%. The excellent digestibility
of milk fat is due to dispersion of fat globules in the aqueous phase of milk
forming an emulsion. They are absorbed directly unlike other dietary fats that
have to be emulsified by bile, pancreatic enzymes and intestinal lipases before
they can pass through intestinal well. The
easy digestibility of milk fat makes it a valuable dietary constituent in
diseases of stomach, intestine, liver, gall bladder, kidney and disorders of
fat digestion. Milk fat has a
protective effect against human tooth decay.
Protective effect of milk fat
against some types of cancer (colon, breast and skin) has recently been
reported. A specific fatty acid (a cis-trans isomer of linoleic acid) has been
identified in milk fat, which appears to be an inhibitor of cancerous growth.
Milk proteins are rich in essential amino acids. The digestibility of milk proteins is rated
higher (96%) much more than that of plant proteins (74-78%).
The milk proteins are useful in the diet of patients
suffering from liver and gall bladder diseases, hyperlipidemia and diabetes.
Patients with impaired kidney functions rely on protein with high BV for
relieving strain on the excretory function of the kidney.
Modern medical science tells us that milk helps in curing
uric acid problems and acidity conditions in stomach, treatment of inflammation
of mucous lining of stomach and of
stomach ulcers, preventing hyperacidity. This due to buffering effect of
protein in milk. Drinking milk is,
therefore, advised in case of hyper acidity or peptic ulcer formation.
Immunoglobulin, lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase and
vitamin B12-binding protein have antimicrobial effect also. They not only act
against the microorganisms in the intestine but also prevent the absorption of
Lactoferrin is an iron binding
glycoprotein that occurs in cow milk at a level of 0.2 mg/ml. It plays an
important role in the resistance against intestinal infection, particularly
The milk proteins are used in
slimming diets also.
3. Milk sugar
Lactose, the principal milk sugar, is slowly metabolised and
therefore, a considerable portion of it passes into the large intestine where
it promotes the growth of lactic acid producing bacteria. lactose promotes the
utilization of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
The blood glucose does not rise rapidly on lactose diet.
Milk consumption, therefore,
enables the diabetic person to obtain the biologically highly valuable milk
proteins without running the risk of rise in blood glucose levels.
4.Minerals in Milk
Milk and dairy products are the
most important source of calcium in readily available form. A 250 ml serving of cow
milk contains calcium equivalent to 60% of ICMR’s Recommended Dietary Allowance
(RDA) for adults. Incorporation of milk in the diet also improves the
bioavailability of calcium from vegetable foods.
Recent research has shown that poor nutritional status with
respect to calcium is related to diseases like osteoporosis, hypertension and
The hypertensive patients have shown significant reduction in
blood pressure in response to increased calcium intake.
Introduction of increased dietary
calcium through dairy products has been shown to reduce incidences in colon
cancer and hyper-proliferation in the colonic mucosa in rodents.
Milk is rich in phosphorus that reduces urinary calcium
excretion. Milk and most dairy products,
have a near 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio considered to be ideal for
retention of calcium in the body
5. Rich source of vitamins
Milk is a rich source of vitamins not only in terms of their
contents but also their better bioavailability.
Milk is one of the richest natural
sources of riboflavin (vitamin B2). A 250 ml serving of cow milk contains riboflavin
equivalent to 50% of the daily requirement of a pre-school child.
It is a very good source of niacin (Vitamin B3) though in
small amounts. Indeed, milk is used as dietary ingredient for patient suffering
from pellagra, a niacin deficiency disease.
For vegetarians, milk is sole
natural source of vitamin B12, as this vitamin is present only in animal foods.
Milk is also a good source of folic acid. / Vitamin A.
6. Enzymes :
A number of enzymes in milk are involved in the milk immune system. These are lactoperoxidase, xanthin oxidase and lysozyme. The lactoperoxidase-thiocyanate-system destroys the harmful microorganisms.
It is because of these qualities of cow’s milk that cow has been treated as “Gau Mātā”, a provider of Amṛta, provider of health, wealth, prosperity, fame and respect. This also made the cow an object of worship and reverence. While praying for freedom and prosperity for nation, the Aryans, prayed for high yielding milk cows –
OUR ANCESTORS WERE DAIRY SCIENTISTS :
is a pointer to believe that our Ṛṣis
were Dairy Scientists They understood the:
The nutritive value of various components of milk & milk
The Curative – preventive and therapeutic properties of milk,
Therapeutic and Immunological properties and extra-nutritional role of milk
Immunological aspects of proteins
NEED FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
This discussion provides a lead to further investigate and validate the claims like producing medicated milks and research in to medicinal effects of milk drawn from different colour cows through modern methods of diagnostic medicine.
’उस गुरु को प्रणाम है जो ब्रह्मा है, जो विष्णु है
और जो महेश्वर का रूप है। साक्षात् परमब्रह्म गुरु ही है।’ इसी तरह एक हिंदी दोहे
में कहा गया है कि-
गुरु गोविंद दोनों खड़े काके लागू पांव ।
बलिहारी गुरु आपने जिन गोविंद दियो बताए ॥
‘यदि गुरु और गोविन्द दोनो खडे हों तो किसके पैर छुएं ? मैं तो गुरु
की बलिहारी जाऊंगा जिन्होंने गोविन्द के बारे में बताया।’
वास्तव में गुरु ब्रह्म के समान हैं; कुछ माने में उससे भी बड़े हैं क्योंकि ज्ञान का रास्ता गुरु ही बताते हैं। वेद में तो साफ-साफ निर्देश है- मातृदेवो भव, पितृदेवो भव, आचार्यदेवो भव । ’माता, पिता और आचार्य का सम्मान करने वाले बनो’। संस्कृत के एक श्लोक में कहा गया है -’जो ज्ञान की शलाका से अज्ञान के अंधकार को दूर कर आंखों को खोल देता है, ऐसी श्री गुरु को प्रणाम है।’
हिंदू कैलेंडर के अनुसार प्रत्येक मास के अंतिम दिन पूर्णिमा की तिथि होती है इसे ही पूर्णमासी भी कहते हैं। यह पूर्णता की प्रतीक है। देखने की बात है कि लगभग सभी माह की पूर्णिमाएं किसी विशेष नाम से भी जानी जाती है -जैसे चैत्र मास की पूर्णिमा हनुमान जयंती, वैसाख मास की पूर्णिमा गंगा स्नान, श्रावण मास की पूर्णिमा रक्षाबंधन या श्रावणी, आश्विन मास की पूर्णिमा शरद पूर्णिमा । आषाढ़ मास की पूर्णिमा गुरुपूर्णिमा या व्यासपूर्णिमा के नाम से जानी जाती हैं ।
गुरुपूर्णिमा उन महर्षि व्यास के नाम पर है, जिन्होंने
चारों वेदों का व्यास किया था, पंचम वेद
महाभारत की रचना की थी और पुराणों का प्रणयन भी किया था। ये वेदव्यास के नाम से भी
जाने जाते हैं। महर्षि व्यास एक श्रेष्ठ गुरु के प्रतिनिधि हैं। विचारणीय है कि
कैसे गुरुपूर्णिमा का पवित्र दिन एक बहुत बड़ा दिन हो जाता है- गुरु की पूजन, वंदन और
विश्वास का दिन। माता-पिता के बाद यदि कोई पूजनीय माना गया है तो वह गुरु ही है।
वह हमें ज्ञान देता है जिससे हमारा व्यक्तित्व विकसित होता है। भारतीय संस्कृति
में ज्ञान की सर्वाधिक महत्ता है, इसीलिए समाज में गुरु का भी विशेष स्थान है। वैसे तो
प्रतिदिन गुरुवन्दन करणीय है, पर इसे
समारोहपूर्वक मनाने के लिए एक दिन पर्व के रूप में रखा गया है।
पिता और गुरु अपने पुत्र और शिष्य को सब कुछ दे देना चाहते
हैं । उससे पराजय की कामना करते हैं जिससे उनका यश हो। कभी पिता लोभवश कुछ अपने
पास बचा कर रख भी ले, परन्तु गुरु कभी भी कुछ भी ज्ञान अपने पास छुपा कर नहीं
रखना चाहते, सब कुछ निस्पृह भाव से शिष्य को दे देना चाहते हैं उसके
जीवन को विश्वास से परिपूर्ण करना चाहते हैं ।
गुरुपूर्णिमा मना कर हम अपने आदरणीय गुरुजनों को सादर स्मरण करते हैं और इस तरह् जीवन में ज्ञान की उपयोगिता को स्वीकार करते हैं। गुरुपूर्णिमा अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से उदात्त चरित्र, अनुशासित जीवन, और सम्यक ज्ञान की महिमा स्वीकार करने का दिन है – तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः ।
Declaring International Day for Yoga is a great tribute to the seers and sages of India who propounded the Yoga Discipline.
The literal meaning of the word ‘Yoga’ is union. Union of what? Answer to this question has been given by renowned commentator on Yoga Darśana Yajñyavalkya: Samyogo Yoga Ity Ukto Jivātma-Paramātmanoriti, i.e., Yoga is the union of Soul and God. There is a divine spark in all of us and that, because of ignorance, we are not aware of it and, hence, the advice is to know ourselves. And that can be done only through Yoga. God being present everywhere is present in our souls too and can be discerned there directly.
Thus, Yoga and its purpose defined by
many seers, scholars, philosophers-
Gita offers a secular definition of
योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्
Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam
i.e., Yoga is perfection in action.
By controlling the thought currents of one’s mind, one attains deep
concentration on any subject matter and, thereby, attains complete knowledge of
the matter pondered over.
Sage Patanjali in his Yoga-Sūtra said :
Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhah
i.e controlling the modifications /
thought currents of mind is Yoga. It is a holistic system having both
physical and psychological traits.
Philosopher Allie M. Frazier has also
‘The purpose of Yoga is to unite man with the Divine Ground, with the Cosmic Consciousness. Yoga is the psychological linking of the mind to the super-ordinated principle ‘by which the mind knows’.
Every human being possesses three things – Body, Mind and Soul (Spirit). Yoga aims at the composite development of human personality — physical, mental and spiritual. The Vedas and the Upaniśads advise ‘Ᾱtmānam Vidhi’, i.e., Know Thyself.
आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव तु।
(कठोपनिषद्, अध्याय १, वल्ली ३, मंत्र ३)
To know oneself, one has to concentrate
deeper inside. Performing Yoga-Ᾱsanas is not just a way to physical fitness but
also helps in deliberating deeper essence of his/her body. Out of 84 Ᾱsanas of
Hatha-Yoga, two are very prominent and effective — Shirṣa-Ᾱsana and Sūrya-Namaskār
The Sūrya Namaskār Ᾱsana energises
the whole body, it wards off many diseases related to the spine, stomach,
thyroid gland, arthritis, et al. It is, therefore, recommended that this Ᾱsana
must be learnt and performed by all the practitioners of Yoga.
It is unfortunate that the Yoga
Capsule devised by the Ministry of Ayush for the International Day of Yoga
Celebrations, Sūrya Namaskār Ᾱsana has been excluded, whereas, in many
countries, it forms a prominent part of the Yoga Demonstration on this day
celebrated by almost all the countries in the world.
The word ‘Sūrya’ in the Sūrya
Namsakar does not mean Sun, but God.
सूर्यो वै सर्वे देवा:।
(शतपथ ब्राह्मण १३.७.१.५)
In the Vedas Indra, Varun, Sūrya, et
al, are all the names of God and he (Sun) is worthy of being bowed to by
all. Brāhmaṇas of Yajurveda narrated various references where Sūrya is said to be ‘द्वादश’.
(तैत्तिरीय ब्राह्मण १.५.३.४; शतपथ ब्राह्मण ११.६.३.५)
विष्णुर्धाता भग: पूषा मित्रेन्द्रौ वरुणोऽर्यमा….॥
सूर्य (आदित्य) के बारह नाम – विष्णु, धाता, भग, पूषा, मित्र, इन्द्र, वरुण, अर्यमा, विवस्वान्, अंशुमान्, त्वष्टा, और पर्जन्य।
To avoid the controversy over Sūrya Namaskār Ᾱsana, a humble suggestion is that it be renamed as Iśa Namaskār Ᾱsana as Sūrya here means God.
Prof. Max Muller’s following words in ‘India: What Can It Teach Us’ are worthy of attention:
“They were all meant to express the Beyond, the Invisible behind the Visible, the Infinite within the Finite, the Supernatural above the Natural, the Divine, Omnipresent, Omnipotent.”
It is not only the Vedas, but many
religions, philosophers and scholars declare God as the Soul of the
All are but parts of (the Universe is) one stupendous Whole