Monday, November 26, 2007

Books on Ayurveda

A comprehensive list of books on Ayurveda can be found at https://www.vedamsbooks.com/ayurveda.htm

Ayurveda Notes on Rasa and Dhatu

Signs and Symptoms of vitiated tissues (Dhatus)

Restlessness, palpitation, cardiac pain, exhaustion without cause, irritation by loud noises, haemoglobin deficiency, roughness and dryness of skin.
  • Muscle (mamsa) - cracking joints, eye
  • Fat (medas) - lassitude, overly thin constitution, exhaustion, falling hair, nails, teeth, loose joints
  • Bone (asthi) - thinness, weakness, bone, lightness, Vayu bone diseases weakness, and dry mouth
  • Marrow (majja) - pallor, lassitude
  • Reproductive - exertion, impotence, non-ejaculation of semen
  • Essence (ukra)
Sapta (Seven) Dhatus and their functions:
  • Rasa (fluid) Dhatu -Derived from the digested food, it nourishes each and every tissue and cell of the body and is analogous to the plasma.
  • Rakta (blood) Dhatu - Regarded as the basic of life, it is analogous to the circulating blood cells. It not only nourishes the body tissues, but provides physical strength and colour to the body.
  • Masma Dhatu - The muscle tissue, its main function is to provide physical strength and support for the meda dhatu.
  • Meda (fat) Dhatu - Consists of adipose tissue providing support to ashti dhatu. It also lubricates the body.
  • Ashti Dhatu - Comprising of bone tissues, including cartilages, its main function is to give support to the majja dhatu and provide support to the masma dhatu.
  • Majja Dhatu - Denoting the yellow and red bone marrow tissue, its main function is to fill up the ashti and to oleate the body.
  • Shukra Dhatu - The main aim of this reproductive tissue is to help reproduction and strengthen the body.
  • Blood (rakta) - cracks, loss of luster, emaciation (especially of buttocks, neck and abdomen)

Table 1: Dhatus. The information presented here is derived from Principles of Pharmacology in Ayurved by Dr. Kulkarni.

Indian Name Modern Translation of Meaning Indications of Favorable Condition
Rasa nutrient portion of the blood good skin quality, vitality
Rakta blood (e.g., blood cells) good coloration of the cheeks, lips, ear lobes, tongue, tip of nose; warm palms and soles
Mamsa muscles and soft tissues muscles of chest, arms, and legs are strong; facial muscles yield good expression and eye movements, speech is clear
Medas lipids (fats, membranes) proper moisture of skin, eyes, lips, and hair; normal sweating without bad odor; no excessive accumulation of fat in the area of abdomen, hips, back, and neck
Asthi bones, cartilage well-proportioned body, strong teeth and nails, thick hair; joints are supple and freely mobile
Majja marrow glowing face, healthy skin, soft voice
Shukra vital fluid, semen eyes are bright, teeth are white, skin is soft, voice is pleasant, sexual vitality is strong but controlled


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Must Read Books On Spirituality

I understand that no book is needed for attaining the ultimate. Though these are few great books that may guide you on your spiritual path. Here are my favorites -

"I Am That" by Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj

"The First And The Last Freedom" by Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (The Book Of Secrets)" Part I by Osho

"Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (The Book Of Secrets)" Part II by Osho

Buddha Boredom

Feeling bored. Want to change it, want to change it with doing something interesting, something fun, something cool .. check this out -

Something strange is happening. I begin to like this undercurrent of boredom that runs through my life. It is part of my life, no, it is my life! Looked at from one side it is boredom; seen from the other it is sheer s p a c i o u s n e s s. My excitements, my activities are small islands in a vast ocean of boredom-spaciousness. Islands come and go – the ocean is. Why would I want to fill this boredom space with something to do? Is it not beautiful and perfect? It was its emptiness that scared me. But it is not only empty, it is also spacious. And this spaciousness is wonderful, like sitting on a mountain peak with nothing around but translucent blue space. So let there be spacious boredom!

Full Book - http://www.globalserve.net/~sarlo/VishramBoring4.htm

Buddha was utterly bored. He left his kingdom when he was only twenty-nine, at the peak of his youth. He was utterly bored—with wine, with wealth, with kingdom, with everything. He had seen all, he had seen through and through. He was bored. Traditionally it is said he renounced the world because the world is bad – that is absolutely nonsense. He renounced the world because he became so bored with it. ... more

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dowsing, The Paranormal Witching

My exploration to western books is continuing. Recently I started a book on Dowsing, the psychic ability to find water, gemstones, metals or other objects. This is nothing new in Indology and Indology has well developed process for this. The difference from Western dowsing and Indian dowsing is the reliance on the psychic abilities and intuitions. Indology has defined it in more detail and supported it with some other branches of Indology. Also all such topics converge to each other. Whereas in western world all such psychic branches are independent to each other. Also normally we have some detailed process involved to develop these psychic abilities, but in Western world, they have just-do-it kind of approach. Around ten years back, unknowingly, I tried few of dowsing methods and found that the objects were responding to my queries. I remember how the crystal was moving just by the directions of my mind. Though I believe, at that initial level, these were my more my bodily response to my queries rather than any divine response.

Anyways, here is how wikipedia defines dowsing -

Dowsing, sometimes called divining or water witching, refers to practices in which people claim to detect hidden water, metals, gemstones or other objects, usually obstructed by land or sometimes located on a map. Most commonly, the movement or vibrations of apparatus, such as a Y-shaped twig, an L-shaped rod or a pendulum, is used. Some practitioners use no apparatus at all.

Dowsing is considered pseudoscience by the scientific community while Practitioners say their powers are paranormal. Research intended to prove its efficacy has failed to do so, but some people believe that it works, and it is widely practiced in its various forms.
The detailed wikipedia article can be found here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Learning Wicca & Witchcraft

Last few months, being in America, given me the opportunity to exlore various new subjects. I am a person with deep interest in spirituality and mysticism. Being in US, I got opportunity to study about the subjects that are not very common in India e.g. Wicca, Paganism, Neopaganism, Witchcraft, Voodoo, Tai Chi, I Ching, Buddhism, Tibetan Tantra & Yoga. One reason that I was able to study these subject is sufficient availability of time and great network of libraries that makes books on variuos subjects esily accessible.

So coming to the Wicca, what is Wicca? Wikipedia tells us that Wicca is a nature-based religion found in various countries throughout the world. It was first popularised in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. He claimed that the religion, of which he was an initiate, was a modern survival of an old witchcraft religion, which had existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian Paganism of Europe. Wicca is thus sometimes referred to as the Old Religion. The veracity of Gardner's claims cannot be independently proven, and it is thought that Wiccan theology began to be compiled no earlier than the 1920s.
Various related Wiccan traditions have since evolved or been adapted from the form established by Gardner, which came to be called Gardnerian Wicca. These other traditions of Wicca each have distinctive beliefs, rituals, and practices. Many traditions of Wicca remain secretive and require that members be initiated.

Book of Shadows is the book that is regarded as the Bible for Wicca. However, several proposed versions of the Book have been published. If you are interested in learning Wicca, there is an Internet version available of this book called Internet Book of Shadows. You can check that version out here. So if you are interested in learning Wicca, I would suggest that this is the best place to start on Internet. I would appreciate your experience with this book here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pranayama in Hatha Yoga Pradipika

This is what Hatha Yoga Pradeepika says about Pranayama -

On Pranayama

  1. Posture becoming established, a Yogi or Yogini, master of himself or herself, eating salutary and moderate food, should practice pranayama, as instructed by his or her guru.
  2. Respiration being disturbed, the mind becomes disturbed. By restraining respiration, the Yogi or Yogini gets steadiness of mind.
  3. So long as the (breathing) air stays in the body, it is called life. Death consists in the passing out of the (breathing) air. It is, therefore, necessary to restrain the breath.
  4. The breath does not pass through the middle channel (susumna), owing to the impurities of the nadis. How can then success be attained, and how can there be the unmani avastha.
  5. When the whole system of the nadis which is full of impurities, is cleaned, then the Yogi or Yogini becomes able to control the Prana.
  6. Therefore, Pranayama should be performed daily with satwika buddhi (intellect free from raja and tama or activity and sloth), in order to drive out the impurities of the susumna.

Methods of performing Pranayama

  1. Sitting in the Padmâsana posture the Yogi or Yogini should fill in the air through the left nostril (closing the right one); and, keeping it confined according to one's ability, it should be expelled slowly through the surya (right nostril).
  2. Then, drawing in the air through the surya slowly, the belly should be filled, and after performing Kumbhaka as before, it should be expelled slowly through the chandra (left nostril).
  3. Inhaling thus through the one, through which it was expelled, and having restrained it there, till possible, it should be exhaled through the other, slowly and not forcibly.
  4. If the air be inhaled through the left nostril, it should be expelled again through the other, and filling it through the right nostril, confining it there, it should be expelled through the left nostril. By practicing in this way, through the right and the left nostrils alternately, the whole of the collection of the nadis of the yamis (practisers) becomes clean, i.e., free from impurities, after 3 months and over.
  5. Kumbhakas should be performed gradually four times during day and night (i.e., morning, noon, evening and midnight), till the number of Kumbhakas for one time is 80 and for day and night together it is 320.
  6. In the beginning there is perspiration, in the middle stage there is quivering, and in the last or third stage, one obtains steadiness; and then the breath should be made steady or motionless.
  7. The perspiration exuding from exertion of practice should be rubbed into the body (and not wiped), as by so doing the body becomes strong.
  8. During the first stage of practice the food consisting of milk and ghee is wholesome. When the practice becomes established, no such restriction is necessary.
  9. Just as lions, elephants and tigers are controlled by and by, so the breath is controlled by slow degrees, otherwise (i.e., by being hasty or using too much force) it kills the practitioner himself or herself.
  10. When Pranayama, etc., are performed properly, they eradicate all diseases; but an improper practice generates diseases.
  11. Hiccough, asthma, cough, pain in the head, the ears, and the eyes; these and other various kinds of diseases are generated by the disturbance of the breath.
  12. The air should be expelled with proper tact and should be filled in skillfully; and when it has been kept confined properly it brings success. (N.B.--The above caution is necessary to warn the aspirants against omitting any instruction; and in their zeal to gain success or siddhis early, to begin the practice, either by using too much force in filling in, confining and expelling the air, or by omitting any instructions, it may cause unnecessary pressure on their ears, eyes, &c., and cause pain. Every word in the instructions is full of meaning and is necessarily used in the slokas, and should be followed very carefully and with due attention. Thus there will be nothing to fear whatsoever. We are inhaling and exhaling the air throughout our lives without any sort of danger, and Pranayama being only a regular form of it, there should be no cause to fear.)
  13. When the nadis become free from impurities, and there appear the outward signs of success, such as lean body and glowing color, then one should feel certain of success.
  14. By removing the impurities, the air can be restrained, according to one's wish and the appetite is increased, the divine sound is awakened, and the body becomes healthy.
  15. If there be excess of fat or phlegm in the body, the six kinds of kriyas (duties) should be performed first. But others, not suffering from the excess of these, should not perform them.
  16. The six kinds of duties are: Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trataka, Nauti and Kapala Bhati. These are called the six actions.
  17. These six kinds of actions which cleanse the body should be kept secret. They produce extraordinary attributes and are performed with earnestness by the best Yogis and Yoginis.

If you are in Rajyoga practice, you must also go through the kumbhaka and shadkarma section.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hatha Yoga Literature/ Original Text

Normally I like reading the original text, rather than the books written later-on on the subject. Now-a-days I am practicing Yoga and hence was looking for ancient literature on yoga. I found this URL useful for knowing about the original literature -

Hatha Yoga Literature

It tells about following five texts -

1. Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika - the monther of all texts on hatha yoga.
2. Goraksha-Shataka - probably the second most important text
3. Shiva-Samhita
4. Yoga-Sutra and Yoga-Bhasya - mostly deals with raja yoga; this is the text from where all hatha yoga text is drawn
5. Sat-Chakra-Nirupama - mostly deals with chakra awakening

Please let me know in case I am missing some important text here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Enterprise Portal Podcast

In the SharedInsights conference, I talk about key issues in portal arena like the need for portlets marketplace, lack of enterprise search and collaboration applications in the portal space etc.

Please check out the podcast here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

How to Make Millions with Domain Registration

Business 2.0 magazine recently published an interesting article on Kevin Ham who made millions of dollars ($300 million) with domain registrations. Check this out -

Kevin Ham, the $300 million master of Web domains

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Share Market Predictions based on KP System

Shri Sunil Gondhalekar, editor Nakshatrache Dene - a famous Marathi magazine on KP System, has shared some very useful experience on Stock Market predictions. Here is a brief -
  • I consider Jupiter as main source for the overall trend of market
  • I look at it's starlord/sublord/and sub's starlord
  • Also i consider mercury as a key planet for weekly position same as Jupiter
  • If, someone is connected with Mars, Hershal, Jupiter then teji is indicated
  • If connected to Saturn, Mandi is observed
  • If connected with Neptune, Mandi with some fraud observed
  • If connected to Rahu, volatility is observed
  • If connected other planets other than mentioned, regular teji/mandi
  • If connected with pluto, big fall in market
More details can be found at this KP Astrology Discussion Thread.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sanskrit - English Dictionary

While studying Indology subjects, you need a good dictionary for understanding Sanskrit words. I found this dictionary useful - http://www3.aa.tufs.ac.jp/~tjun/sktdic/index.html

Monday, April 23, 2007

Recommended Reads for Tantra by Shambhavi Sarasvati

Books recommended by Shabhavi Sarasvati ji of http://www.livingtantra.net/, the only genuine website on Tantra I found on Internet till now -
(Source: http://www.livingtantra.net/)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fortuna And Other Arabic Parts

In our KP System discussion forum, we are having an intense discussion on the fast moving point 'Fortuna' (also called Pars Fortuna or Part of Fortune). Shri K. S. Krishamurthi, the inventor of KP System, mentioned about Fortuna in the second reader, but he really didn't given much detail. The application and examples are also missing. While doing some googling, I found this article very useful. Please check it out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Commentaries on Classical Literature of Ayurveda

I was searching commentaries on various classical literature of Ayurveda. I personally found that going thorough the recent commentaries are the best and the easiest way to learn the subject. There are lots of books available both by Indian authors and Western authors, but I don't find them useful enough, especially when you have the original text available with you. I also didn't find any good book either by Western or an Indian that shows their experience. So, after doing some googling on Internet, I found following list that looks very good to me -

S.No Name of the Text Book Author/Commentator Year of Publication
1. Sushrutarthsandipan Bhasya
Harana Chandra Chakravarthy 1908
2. Charakopaskar Yogindranath Sen (Calcutta) 1920
3. Charakapradipika Jyotishchandra Saraswati (Calcutta) 20th Century
4. Nighantu Ratnakar Duttaram Chaube (Mathura) -do-
5. Commentary on Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Kalika & Bhaisajya Ratnavali Jaideo Vidyalankar 1970
6. Commentary on Charaka Sushruta & Astanga Samgraha Atrideo Vidyalankar 20th Century
7. Commentary on Charaka, Astanga Hrdaya etc. Pt.Ram Prasad Sharma (Patiala)-do-
8. Commentary on Sushruta Samhita etc.Bhaskar Govinda Gharekar (Varanasi)-do-
9. Commentary on Rasaratna Samuchchya Duttatraya Anant Kulkarni (Varanasi)-do-
10. Critical Commentary on Astanga Hrdya, Bhava - Prakash & Ashtanga Samgraha. Lal Chandra Vaidya (Varanasi)-do-
11. Rasa Hrdaya Yantri, Rasa Sara and 14 Other Books
Yadavji Vikramji Acharya 1910-1911
12. Padarth Vijnana Pt.Ramrakshaji Pathak 20th Century
13. Ayurveda Kriya Sharira Vd.Ranjeet Roy Desai -do-
14. Abhinava Prasut Tantra Pt.Damodar Shastri Gaur -do-
15. History of Medicine in India, Dravya Guna Vijnana (Varanasi) and Indian Medicine in Classical Age etc.Acharya Priyavrat Sharma 1972

Though I don't posses all above commentaries mentioned above, but out of whatever I have, I personally found Lal Chandra Vaidya's commentaries very good and well written. I also like commentaries by Pt. Ram Prasad Sharma. The one I didn't like is Sushrut Samhita's commentary by Atrideo.

The article from where I have taken the list talks a lot about other commentaries as well at different period of time. The details article can be found here.

All of above commentaries are Sanskrit-Hindi commentaries. I am still looking for some good commentaries in English language. If you know good commentaries in English language, please let me know.

Dangers of Pranayama and Kundalini Yoga

Pranayama and Kundalini Yoga, if not performed properly, can be very dangerous. Pandit Gopi Kishan has written a good book about it. I have also found a good discussion on AyurvedaOnline forum that can be found here.

Correct Way Of Performing Neti

1 JALANETI - (CLEANSING OF NASAL PASSAGE BY USE OF WATER)

Contraindications : Blocked nostrils. Salt not to be used if a person is
suffering from hypertension or if salt is contraindicated for any other reason.
Materials Required : Jalaneti cup, glass/tumbler, body-warm potable water,
common edible salt, spoon and a napkin. Saline water should be prepared by
adding half a teaspoon of salt in half a litre body-warm water. Adjust the
quantity of salt and temperature of water as per needs.
Technique : Stand comfortably, preferably before a basin or in a bathroom.
Alternatively, sit on a chair or squat in the open space.
Fill the Jalaneti cup with saline water. Hold the filled cup in the left palm,
keeping four fingers outside and thumb towards the body. Hold the cup firmly
fixing middle finger and thumb in the depressions provided on the respective
sides of the Jalaneti cup. Bring the chin towards chest and tilt the head
suitably towards the right side. Insert the spout of the Jalaneti cup in the
left nostril, keep the mouth open and breathe through mouth throughout. Raise up
the cup slowly taking left elbow up but without changing the position of the
head unless the change is absolutely necessary. Due to this, saline water will
enter from the left to the right nostril and glide down from it. Let the flow of
water coming out of right nostril be slow, smooth, continuous and uniform.
Repeat the above actions, now holding the filled Jalaneti cup in the right
hand for getting the flow of water out from the left nostril. This completes one
round of Jalaneti. Normally, one round of Jalaneti, practised preferably in the
moring, is enough. In special conditions, however, rounds of Jalaneti can be
increased and practised for more than once in a day and at convenient times, as
per needs.

RUBBERNETI (CLEANSING OF NASAL PASSAGE BY RUBBER CATHETER)
Contraindications : Growth of bone or flesh in the nostrils, septum deviation
or blocked nostrils.
Materials Required : 1) Rubber Catheter (surgical quality) of suitable length
and diameter. Clean the catheter thoroghly. Dip it in boiling water before and
after use for making it hygienic. Use the moist/wet catheter only. 2) Clean
napkin. 3) Clean hot and cold potable water.
Technique : Stand before the basin or in a bathroom/ open space or sit in a
chair or squat. Take wet catheter in the right hand. Open the mouth, tilt the
head a little up and back. Give a slight inward curvature to the tapered end
side of the moist/wet catheter and gently insert that end of the catheter in the
right nostril. Along with the inhalation, gently push the catheter inside. If
needed, one can close the left nostril while inhaling by right nostril to
increase the force of inhalation which will enable catheter to go inside along
with forceful
inhalation. But the force should not be more than required as otherwise the
catheter may go more to the upside and touch the olfactory nerves which may
cause intense pain.
Coughing or irritation felt at the throat are the sure indications of catheter
having entered in a throat. At that stage, stop pushing the catheter further
inside. Now wide open the mouth. Enter the pair of thumb and the index finger or
that of index finger and the middle finger inside the throat and catch the
tapered end of the catheter. Slowly pull the catheter out from mouth,
simultaneously loosening the other end of the catheter. Catch hold of upper end
of the catheter in the right hand thumb and index finger and its lower end
coming out from the mouth in the left hand thumb and index finger. Keep the
mouth open and give a gentle massage to inner layer of the nasal passage by
gently moving the catheter to and fro for 3 to 5 times. If required, the number
of massaging movements can be increased provided they are done comfortably and
with the least efforts.
Gently pull the lower end of the catheter out from the mouth simultaneously
loosening the other end of the catheter for facilitating the catheter to come
out comfortably. The upper wide open end of the catheter will cleanse the nasal
passage and remove dirt while coming out from the mouth. Clean the catheter
thoroughly both from inside and outside before using it again. Do the same
action of Rubberneti through the left nostril. Cleansing right and left nostrils
with the rubber catheter will complete one round of Rubberneti.
After completing the practice, clean the catheter thoroughly inside-outside,
shake off water from the catheter, wipe it with a clean and dry cloth. This
should be done meticulously as otherwise lapse in it may prove dangerous. Keep
the catheter in an air-tight box of a suitable size and* preferably of a round
shape.
Notes :
1. One round of Rubberneti may be practised daily or as and when
required,
preferably in the morning. One can practise Rubberneti from any of the
nostrils first.
2. In the beginning, one can lubricate the tapered end of the
catheter with a
suitable edible oil or ghee for ensuring smooth and comfortable
movement of catheter inside the nostrils.
3. Nails of index, middle and thumb fingers must be well trimmed and
filed so hat they don't hurt the mucous membrane while taking out end of the
catheter from the mouth.

Benefits :
1. Cleanses the nasal passage thoroughly.
2. By gentle massage, refreshes nerve ends at the inner layers of
nostrils.
3. Increases the resistance and tolerance level of
delicate inner layers of the nostrils and the nerve ends.
4. Helps to prevent and cure functional types of cold , asthma,
bronchial troubles and breathing problems. Improves the overall health of the
ear, nose and throat.
5. Prevents and restricts septum deviation and troublesome growth
of bone or flesh in the nostrils. Improves breathing.
6. When practiced along with other nasal cleansing processes like
Jalaneti, Shwasana-Marga Shuddhi, Kapalabhati, benefits get enhanced.

Taken from a post from AyurvedaOnline forum. Please check the full post here.