Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wish You Happy New Year

Each year we start with the greetings "Wish You A Happy New Year".

We want to be the first one to greet our friends, neighbour or the boss as we want to show up ourselves to be very smart. We try to influence by doing so especially, if we are in need of favours.

The second thing is we try to celebrate our best by organising bash new year parties or by attending them. We do not care of spending lavishly on such parties by drinking and merrymaking whatever might be the financial condition throughout the year.

But, I do not understand the lavish spending of money on New Year parties or on Deepavali crackers or on marriage parties. Why all this extravaganza? Why so much is wasted to show up yourselves?

This lavishness of spending can be more usefully and generously spent for social causes and public welfare works. There is so much of poverty and so many people deprived of their bare necessities of food, clothing, shelter, education and health, etc. Why can't we spend this money for such purposes of giving them food, education and health?

I think that by generously contributing to such public welfare causes, we can get more satisfaction and a greater feeling of happiness than spending unnecessarily on bash parties and celebrations.

So, from this year on, let us try to save on parties and celebrations and spend a portion of the money thus saved for generous causes.

So let us wish for "A Happy New Year to the WHOLE HUMANITY".

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Playing Football for Healthy Life

Football or Soccer is a very useful tool for keeping your body and mind fit and healthy. Many Scientists and Doctors have found and established the fact that people playing football are more healthy and cheerful than others who do not play. Many researches have shown that football game keeps your body fit and prolongs your healthy life span and you are less prone to sickness. Further you become more social and active and are able to develop healthy lifestyle.

Not only for those who play it but also for those who simply watch the game and enjoy it by jumping, shouting and getting excited at each kick of the ball thereby boosting the morale of players, they also benefit much from the game both physically and mentally.

It is very easy to play football. Even if you are alone, you can practice kicking the ball and landing into goal. It needs only a ball and no more kits. You can play it in your courtyard, backyard, on the streets in front of your house or in a playground wherever there is space as per your feasibility by keeping some stones or marks for your goal point.

How Playing Football / Soccer is Good?

  • Football is an outdoor game. Naturally you receive sunlight and fresh air to your body. Sunlight is very important for our skin and body. Vitamin D is produced in our body with the help of this sunlight which is a very important element for our energy and growth.
  • It is a very good exercise for the body as you walk, run and kick the ball continuously while playing and there is movement in all parts of your body. Your blood circulation keeps perfect due to these continuous movements.
  • There is a lot of exertion in your body which in turn burns the fat and excess calories in your body and thus keeps your body very fit and slim.
  • Your body builds up very smart and attractive with good muscles and flat belly.
  • While playing with friends, you enjoy the game and feel very happy and fresh thereby become free from stress which again is good for health.
  • Your concentration power also gets improved as your attention gets centered on controlling and safeguarding the hold of the ball and cleverly making way towards the goal escaping from your opponents. 
  • It creates and develops self discipline and endurance within you.
  • Another plus point is playing football matches can build a healthy team spirit and good coordination among the players.
  • You get exposed to people and feel free in interacting with them and thereby become more social and more comfortable on any circumstances.
  • Thus you will develop confidence in yourself and self esteem and be able to face any situation smartly and bravely without any stage fear.
Some precautions need to be taken
  • Do not over do any fitness exercise. Over playing beyond your capacity may harm you. Your body may become very weak and you may even faint if you play excessively. So play football within limits and stop playing if you experience much sweating and breathing problems or pain in legs and body.
  • Keep some food drink or juice with you while playing football matches for long durations so that you can rehydrate your body and remove exertion.
  • Protect yourself from the ball hitting your head or other sensitive parts of your body. If get hurt, have medication and medical check up, if necessary, immediately.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Controlling Diabetes In A Healthy Way

Before discussing how to control Diabetes with simple, healthy lifestyle tips, let us first have a look at  what is Diabetes  and the various types and classifications of diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a kind of disease where abnormal levels of blood glucose or sugar is present or produced in our body. It is a kind of disorder in the carbohydrate chemical reactions of our body. Normally most of the food we consume is digested by being converted into small pieces of glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar present in our blood.  It is the vital energy that keeps all actions of our body fit. Now this glucose requires the presence of a hormone called insulin for its passage through the bloodstream. A patient with diabetes lacks the presence of this hormone of insulin in his body. It can be due to some hereditary and/or environmental factor resulting in insufficient production of insulin or either it may be due to a lesser or no sensitivity at all to the insulin that is required for converting the blood sugar into energy.

So when the insulin is insufficient or absent in our body, the glucose can not pass into our blood cells for transforming into energy. The resulting effect is accumulation of high levels of glucose in our blood. This state of body with high levels of blood sugar is known as diabetes. Thus diabetes refers to a disease in our body where high levels of blood sugar or glucose get accumulated due to absence or shortage of insulin.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes in normal sense refers to a case where excessive blood sugar is present in the body. But some cases of diabetes do not refer to presence of excessive blood sugar. On the other hand, they refer to other symptoms like excessive urination and thirst, etc. So to differentiate these cases, Diabetes is classified into Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Diabetes Insipidus (DI).
  • Diabetes Mellitus refers to cases of normal Diabetes with excessive levels of blood glucose which is a most common type of Diabetes.
  • Diabetes Insipidus is another type of metabolism disorder where the patients suffer from excessive and frequent urination symptoms and excessive thirst problem due to kidney dysfunction, etc. They do not possess excessive blood sugar problem. In this type of diabetes,  patients require to take water and fluids with salt very frequently to compensate the loss under medical guidance. Urine output may decrease with low protein and low sodium diets.
Diabetes Mellitus is further classified into 3 types according to its nature or origin.
  • Type 1 Diabetes refers to cases of diabetes acquired at early stages of adulthood or during childhood period and is characterized by insulin deficiency caused by absence or loss of insulin producing beta cells in the body. Patients with this defect need to take insulin injections permanently throughout their life.
  • Type 2 Diabetes is a case of diabetes mellitus with high levels of blood sugar developed in course of time due to old age, obesity and inactivity, etc. Irregular and bad eating habits without any time schedule also lead to this stage. But type 2 diabetes is easy to control through healthy diet intake, regular exercise and proper medicines.
  • Gestational Diabetes is a case normally affecting females during pregnancy periods. This can be easily controlled through proper diet and exercise.  

Tips to control Diabetes in a healthy way
Now let us have a look at some very simple facts and tips to control Diabetes.

  1. Reduce intake of Sugar and glucose products. Patients with diabetes should avoid sugar wholly. Not only sugar but all sweet dishes and fruits yielding sugar like mangoes, apples and sweet or glucose producing products should be completely restricted. 
  2. You may use sugar free tablets and powder in place of sugar, if you can not totally leave sugar. As these products do not contain sugar, you can be safe. But even these things should be used very cautiously in control as they affect your health with other complications.
  3. Avoid excessive eating at one sitting and adapt yourself to developing a habit of eating in small quantities but more frequently. If you resort to heavy intake of food at a single sitting, it will increase your blood sugar levels abruptly and haphazardly thereby affecting your health. To keep the sugar levels in control, take small quantities of food in one sitting. Thereby, sugar production will be normal and your food also gets digested very easily. Your glucose levels will start coming down only after two hours of eating, by which time you can have another dose of food. Thus you can have small intakes of food at each two hour break to keep your blood glucose levels normal.
  4. Reduce intake of protein rich and starch foods and oil and ghee etc. as they are very harmful. Starch and protein produce excessive glucose. Oil and Ghee contain fats and cholesterol which are also very harmful. These things grow fat and make you obese and more prone to diabetic problems.
  5. Intake of fiber rich food and green vegetables is a very good remedy for diabetic management and control. Fiber makes fat and starch very easily cleared out of your body. Further fiber food keeps heavy in your stomach and you do not feel hungry frequently as it takes more time to digest. So consume food made from whole grains or nuts and green vegetables, vegetable leaves and fiber rich fruits which are good for maintaining healthy digestion and well controlled production of glucose or blood sugar levels in your body. 
  6. Milk and dairy products also should be avoided as they contain fat and excessive proteins. You can take some substitutes containing low cream and fat to meet your requirements if you can't avoid.
  7. Consuming water is also good for controlling the blood sugar levels. Taking more water relinquishes your body from excessive sugars in the form of urine. Further water temporarily calms down your hunger for some time.
  8. Get used to consuming raw vegetables and fruits without removing skins as it will control production of excessive sugars in your body. You can have them either by cooking, boiling or in raw salad form. It helps in maintaining good blood circulation and lowering glucose levels as these dishes have much fiber and low starch and thereby lesser sugar.
  9. Eating of karela or bitter gourd in raw form reduces your body's sugar levels. Preparing juice with its leaves or the leaves of Neem tree and consuming the juice in very small quantities for some days can also reduce diabetes to some extent as per ancestral ayurvedic beliefs. Use of some ayurvedic herbs and spices also helps in reducing the cholesterol and acidity and act as antioxidants thereby improving digestion and blood circulation leading to lesser glucose contamination.
  10. Citrous fruits are better than other fruits to deal with diabetes. Citrous fruits contain less sugar content and also act as antioxidants like lemon, grapes, etc. 
  11. Keep exercising. Regular exercise with a planned time schedule can keep your body fit and remove fat from your body and keep the blood circulation in very good condition. But care should be taken to avoid overdoing anything. Excessive exertion can bring down the glucose levels to a very low stage harming your life. So keep a schedule that fits your age and health. Further, you can keep some juice or snacks ready with you while doing exercise in case of emergencies.
  12. Last, but not the least, is proper medication. Along with all other good lifestyle habits, medicine intake should also be there to control the diabetes. Regular checkups should be maintained with periodical visits to your Doctor. Prescribed medicines and other instructions should be strictly followed by you and any complications should be immediately reported to the Doctor so that he regulates his medications accordingly. 
Whether it is type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes of diabetes mellitus, or may be any kind of diabetes, you can monitor and control the blood sugar levels to a great extent by following all or some of the above mentioned tips in a regular manner.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Deepavali : A festival of lights and Happiness

Wish you all "A Happy and Prosperous Deepavali"

Deepavali or Diwali is one of the most famous and widely celebrated festivals of Indians. It is celebrated on a grand scale by people of all classes and castes all over the country and even in foreign countries also by decorating lights and lighting crackers enjoying parties and outings.

Deepavali literally means lines or rows of lights. People used to decorate their homes with oil lights arranged in rows at entrances. The lights are lit generally in earthen clay bowls with cotton wick submerged in ghee or oil. These lights are placed at the entrances of the house both front side and in the back yard and also at all doors and even windows. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi enters the houses through the doors that are filled with lights at entrances on this special day of Deepavali and bestows people with wealth and prosperity.

Nowadays, oil lights are used very nominally only for continuing the traditional religious practice and mostly electric lights have replaced them with dazzling colors decorated artistically in different beautiful designs and patterns. Moreover, they are arranged in such enchanting and marvelous methods hanging around your building that they twinkle to your eyes with periodic and systematic blinkings and appear to be running or circling all over the building attracting the passersby. Even competitions take place between people to decorate their best and win compliments and praise of the neighbors and public.

Deepavali is generally celebrated by most people continuously for five days starting from two days before Diwali and ending after two days. The first day is celebrated as "Dhanteras" on which day it is believed that purchase of gold or silver turns out to be very auspicious for people. So all shopping including a purchase of new clothes, utensils, decorative items, pooja samagri and crackers, etc. is made on this day. Further, homes are washed neatly and the entrance of the house and puja rooms, backyard and even in rooms also rangoli or kolam is made in different attractive designs and patterns to beautify the atmosphere.

The next day is celebrated as "Naraka Chaturdashi" which is deemed to be the day on which Lord Krishna killed the demon king Naraka with the help of Satyabhama and brought happiness to people. So on this day, we get up early in the morning and take a full, refreshing oil bath with shampoo and soap after applying oil on head and body. Our ancestors used to apply the flour of black gram and green grams all over body after oil and take bath with shikakai in place of soaps and shampoo. Even now, we find shikakai especially used for bathing children as it is a health beneficiary. Then people wear new clothes, pray to God and light some crackers to celebrate the death of Narakasura and spend happily.

The day of Deepavali or Diwali is the major occasion. On this day also people wear new clothes, perform puja and go to temples with family and also enjoy the whole day with special lunch and dinners containing sweets and other special dishes. In the evening time, after lighting the lights Lakshmi Puja is performed and newly purchased gold, silver, and other items are also placed before God and worshipped. The clay diyas are lighted and placed before Goddess during this period and after showing to Goddess, they are placed all over the home at the entrances and backyard and on the rangolis. These clay diyas or lights are very auspicious on this Diwali day. They invite Goddess Lakshmi into your house to bless you and your family with happiness, health, and prosperity. Then the firecrackers are lighted by young and old and especially children in a very joyous mood to celebrate the occasion. Lighting of crackers and decoration of lights are the two main competitive things mostly concentrated by some people who take it as a prestige issue on this day. Some of them purchase crackers worth thousands of rupees and place the crackers in long rows on the whole lane of their homes and light them up enjoying the non-stop lengthy bursting sounds and lights which may be very frightening for some weak hearted people.

The fourth day, the day after Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan Puja. It is believed that Lord Krishna lifted the enormous mountain Govardhana on this day to give protection to people and cattle from the anger of Rain God who was prompted by Indra to devastate them as they were not offering prayers to Indra and instead chose to worship Lord Krishna. So people on this day pray to Lord Krishna and the mountain Govardhan in the shape of rice as saviors of their life. They also worship cattle as the means of pleasing Lord since Lord Krishna gets very pleased with this cattle worship and bestows them with all pleasures and protection.

On the fifth day, it is celebrated as Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj. It means "Brothers day". As it falls on the second day after Deepavali it is called as Dooj or Duj which means the second one. On this Bhai Duj day, the brothers go to their sisters' house and dine with them and leave gifts. This is a way of sharing happiness and at the same time taking the news of her wellness and problems, if any to set them right.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dussehra : A festival celebrating victory of Goddess Durga(Shakti) over demons

One of the most important festivals celebrated in India by people of all states is this festival of ten days which falls in the Hindu month of Ashwin or Aswayuja masa occurring generally during the period of second half of September to the first half of October each year. It is world famous as celebrations of Vijayadashami or Sharad Navaratra festival. This is because of the fact that this festival is celebrated for 9 days/ nights and on the tenth day (during the 1st day of Ashwin, which is the beginning of Sharad season, to the 10th day of Ashwin or Dashami).

'Dussehra' word is derived from original 'Dashahara' which has some meaning in itself. It is the combination of two Sanskrit words 'Dasha' and 'Hara' meaning destruction of ten. It is the destruction of ten bad qualities that are possessed by demons. Some people mean 'dussehra' denoting as a festival of ten days also. Vijayadashami refers to the victory of Goddess Shakti or Durga over Mahishasura (a buffalo shaped demon) on the tenth day of fighting with him. Goddess Durga killed many other demons also and brought safety and happiness to the people including devas. So to celebrate this happiness this festival of ten days came into being.

How to celebrate it

Maa Durga, Kali or Shakti Puja
In homes, Dussehra or Vijayadasami is generally celebrated for 3 days only in starting from the 8th day or ashtami to the 10th day or dashami. On ashtami day Goddess Durga is worshipped and especially ladies keep vrat or austerity taking food only one time on that day and on 9th day also as they consider that Goddess gets pleased when sincerely worshipped by keeping fast and bestows them with shakti or power to overcome all bad things and grants good health and prosperity of their family members. On the ninth day, other forms of Durga like Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Kali are also worshipped to be bestowed with the powers of education, wealth, power and overall well being of family. On 10th day it is celebrated as a festival wearing new clothes, visiting temples, preparation of various dishes and sweets and enjoying with family and friends.

For awareness about Navratri celebrations, you may visit this article:

Public celebrations 
This festival is celebrated publicly also by erecting pandals or tents at public open spaces or street junctions or playgrounds and clubs, etc. all over India in different styles according to their traditions. Idols of Goddess Durga (Kali or Shakti), Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Kartikeya,etc. are placed on elevated platforms and worshipped. These public pandals are erected with the help of donations collected from colony people at each place. All the people visit these celebrations wearing new clothes, especially children and girls. Generally the pooja gets started on 6th day evening and is carried on upto 10th day. Normal worship goes both times (in the morning and evening) and then arati is done in the evenings mostly popular among Bengalis, who perform pooja with dance-like performances holding the earthen bowls containing burning coal or dung cakes with incense powder sprinkled over it emitting a good divinely smelling odour with smoke all over the pandal. They make the dancing steps in such a rhythm matching with the beatings of the holy music. It is a very marvellous and thrilling experience both for the performers and the viewers. During this performance all the devotees gathered there experience a thrilling feeling of union with divinely power.

Ramlila performances
Vijayadashami is considered to be the day when Lord Rama fought with demon Ravana and won the battle by killing him and released Goddess Sita from his captivity. So to celebrate this occasion, the tradition of enacting plays from Ramayana illustrating these incidents started from that period onwards. This practice of Ram lila performances is mostly popular in Northern India. Ram lila stages are erected at all colonies just like Durga puja pandals. Ramlila is usually held throughout nights on all these ten days starting late in evenings to accommodate people attending Durga puja so that they can attend Ram lila after returning from puja and after having dinner. These Ram lila performances are enacted in a typical traditional style to resemble the real characters and environment of that age. On the tenth day, the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnath are burnt with firecrackers and people feel the joy of destruction of evil.

Ram Nagar Ram Lila near Varanasi
Ram Nagar is a town near Varanasi in U.P. which is famous for Ram Lila celebrations. Originally the Royal family of Ramnagar kingdom started this festival to be celebrated publicly along with their public many centuries ago. Since then, it grew to be widely popular year after year. It is celebrated for one full month with processions of Ramlila characters and scenes in stages by erecting pandals and stages at many places of Ramnagar and Varanasi by crossing river Ganga at a place connecting Ramnagar Fort with Lanka or BHU of Varanasi. They consider Ramnagar as the kingdom of Rama and Lanka as the abode of demon king Ravana and the bridge on river ganga to be the bridge built by Rama's army consisting vanaras of whom Hanuman was leader. Full Ramayana scenes are very beautifully and artistically presented by these performers during one full month all over Ramnagar and Varanasi.

Dollhouse or Bommala Koluvu (Kolu) decorations
In Southern India, it is customary to decorate their houses with small idols or miniatures of the characters of Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Gods and Goddesses along with other dolls on this festival. Some people treat this practice with competition spirit exhibiting their full skills and tastes in their decorations. People visit one others' places to witness these decorations. It is known as Bommala Koluvu in Andhra Pradesh and as Kolu in Tamil Nadu.

Performance by school children 
Schools take participation in the Dasara celebrations by making students dressed as characters of Ramayana or some other ideal characters and take them in procession on streets and to the children's houses to showcase their talents and improve extra curricular talents. Besides, Saraswati pujas are organised in schools on the navami or ninth day and books are kept in front of Saraswati to bestow them with good knowledge and merit.

Overall, Dasara or Durga Navaratri is a festival of victory of good over evil celebrated all over India and in many parts of the world with different cultures and styles. You come to know many lifestyles of the people by observing these celebrations both of contemporary period as well as epic period.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blood Pressure: Tips for controlling High Blood Pressure Or Low Blood Pressure

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood Pressure or BP is used to denote a disease resulting in high blood pressure or low blood pressure in medical science. It refers to the symptoms of irregular blood circulation in human body. Some circumstances cause huge fluctuations in the flow of blood from the heart to our various parts of body through arteries and again during its return to heart through veins. In normal sense it refers to the pressure put by circulating blood on walls of blood vessels. With each heartbeat the blood gets pumped out and pressure is created in its flow as the blood vessels exert resistance on circulation. Under normal conditions, some fluctuations in blood circulation are common. But when there is huge difference in the pressure of blood leading to health problems, it is a worrying factor to be controlled.

How Blood Pressure is measured? 

Blood Pressure is normally measured with a BP machine known as Sphygmomanometer. An inflatable cuff or band is wrapped around the upper arm at the same height of your heart and pressure is created on the walls of blood vessels or arteries by pumping air into the cuff which presses your hand and creates pressure on blood flow. The first reading is taken as systolic pressure when blood flows out with a sound on first drop of air getting released as you loosen the knob of the cuff.. When the full air gets released from the cuff, the pressure becomes very low which is measured as diastolic pressure. The sounds and flow are heard with the help of  a stethoscope by the doctor.The readings of the machine indicate the low and high ranges of pressure during one circulation in the form of pressure required for supporting one millimeter height of mercury which is abbreviated as mm Hg.

When blood gets thrown out from the ventricles of heart through arteries the peak pressure occurs at the end point of circulation which is measured as systolic pressure. When the blood is received in ventricles before it is pumped out, the pressure will be minimum in the arteries which is measured as diastolic pressure. So each beat of heart measures two levels of pressure- the diastolic at the beginning of the beat before pumping out blood and the systolic pressure at the end point of the beat after throwing out blood . It is generally expressed in the ratio of systolic pressure over diastolic pressure for example 120/80 mmHg.

Causes of High or Low Blood Pressure

There are many causes for acquiring the BP symptoms of either high blood pressure or low blood pressure known as hypertension or hypotension. Some of the main causes are tension, diet, exercise, drugs and alcohol intake, obesity, etc. Other physical factors causing blood pressure are presence of greater volume of blood, greater thickness of blood and resistance factors.

When the blood pressure reading denotes higher ranges above the normal range reading of 120/80, then it is regarded as high blood pressure or hypertension symptom. Excess intake of salt, excessive exercise or exertion and continuous stress and worries lead to high blood pressure. Excess blood produced in body, greater thickness of walls of blood vessels and greater resistance causes hypertension.

Blood pressures reading below the normal range of 120/80 denote low blood pressure or hypotension symptom. Blood loss due to injury or due to periods, some toxic medicines and eating habits cause low blood pressure or hypotension.

Tips for controlling High Blood Pressure
  • First thing you should do to check high blood pressure is to consult a doctor. The doctor will examine your BP and prescribe medicines to bring it under control.
  • Next thing to do is to reduce your daily dose of salt and sodium intake. Even a slight cut in the intake can help to bring down high blood pressure under control to some extent.
  • Change your eating habits. Avoid junk food, fats and creams. Develop healthy habit of consuming natural cooked food rich in whole grains along with vegetables and fruits intake. Avoid masala powders and chilli powders which hinder circulation of blood and cause abnormal fluctuations.
  • Develop regular habit of exercising like morning walk, yoga, stretching of body and limbs in a rhythm, Playing games and sports also contribute to healthy blood circulation. But the practice should be regular and one thing to note is do not overdo anything. Whatever exercise you do is to be a regular daily habit and limited under your control according to your stamina.
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks, smoking, or chewing tobacco and drinking too much coffee and caffeine drinks. You can shift to tea in place of coffee.
  • If you are overweight or obese, try to reduce your fat and weight by hectic exercise under the supervision of a doctor. Avoid consuming fat and milk products like Ghee, curd,etc. in total.
  • Keep a constant watch on your blood pressure levels by taking measurements constantly for at least 3 or 4 times daily and keep in touch with your doctor and take regular doses of medicines as prescribed by him.

Tips for controlling Low Blood Pressure

Common causes of low blood pressure are poor diet or malnutrition, tensions and loss of blood etc. If you are suffering from low blood pressure you will be experiencing weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue,etc.
  • To control low blood pressure also you need to consult a doctor and take medications according to his prescriptions.
  • Next thing to do is eat a healthy, protein rich balanced diet with vegetables and fruits. One thing to note is that eating in small quantities but for more times in a day is a healthy way of getting food digested easily and blood circulation gets improved quickly.
  • Water intake is to be increased for better digestion and blood circulation. So drink as much of water and fruit juices as possible.
  • Avoid heat and high temperatures.as it can be fatal to you. Do not go unprotected on summer days and avoid staying too much on hot baths or in poorly ventilated kitchens,etc. Too much exertion also develops high heat in your body. So be in control. Tensions and worries also lead to developing heat and dehydration in your body. So keep free from tensions.  

Now you must have been able to understand from above tips that a healthy lifestyle combined with proper medical care can keep you away from the problems of blood pressure defects.

Related Topic:-
for tips on "How to control cholesterol and keep your blood healthy" read the following article

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ganesh Chauth: A Festival of the Lord of Ganas & Destroyer of Obstacles

Ganesh Chauth also known as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi is the festival of Lord of ganas and obstacles. Ganesh is a short form of Gana + isha which means he is the Lord of all Ganas or attendants or different groups of living beings. Gana word includes in a larger sense four types of ganas namely Devagana, Manushyagana, Rakshasagana and Bhutagana. Ganesha is referred to as Vighnesha also which means Lord of all Vighna or obstacles. Another term used for Vighnesha is Vinayaka which is short name of Vighna + Nayaka. Nayaka means head. So Vinayaka means Head or Lord of all vighnas or obstacles. So whoever worships Ganesh is bestowed with the power to overcome obstacles and gain success in all his activities of life. So whoever starts a new business or activity worships Lord Ganesha at first.

Ganesh Chauth is celebrated by Hindus as the birthday of Lord Ganesha on the chauth or fourth day of the hindu month of Bhadrapada masa in shukla paksha which generally falls in between the period of second fortnight of August to first fortnight of September each year. It is celebrated for 10 days continuously from the fourth day or chauth to the fourteenth day known as Anant Chaturdashi and the celebrations are widely known as "Ganesh Navaratri". It is mostly popular in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu even though celebrated all over the country.

How It Came To Be Celebrated

The story goes that Lord Shiva, according to Shiv Purana, was returning to Kailash after getting released from the body of Gajasura, an elephant headed demon with the help of Lord Vishnu. Parvati gets joyous and goes to bath to get herself ready to welcome him. When going to bath, she made a figure of child with the sandalwood paste that she used to apply for bathing and breathed life into it and kept the child as guard at the door while bathing. When Lord Shiva enters, the boy stops him as he did not know him. Shiva gets enraged and beheads the child and enters in. Knowing this Parvati weeps and then Shiva sends his ganas or troops to bring the head of Gajasura which he had brought with him as per request of that demon and joins the head to the body of the child and makes him alive. Parvati gets happy and celebrates the occasion.

Later, Lord Shiva makes Ganesha the head of the ganas as he wins the test over his brother Kumaraswamy with the help of Narayana mantra bestowed to him by Lord Shiva because of his humbleness and respect to his parents. All the troops celebrate the occasion by offering various kinds food and fruits to Ganesh. Eating all the offerings, Ganesha returns to his parents and bows down to them seeking blessings. But due to his heavy belly after eating so much food, he experiences much difficulty in bowing to them seeing which the moon on the head of Lord Shiva laughs. Immediately the stomach of Ganesha breaks out and he lies down on the floor with all food scattered out from his belly. Goddess Parvati gets very angry at this with the moon and gives curse to him that whoever sees him will beget bad name from thereafter.

Lord Shiva consoles Parvati and makes Ganesha alive again. Later all people including sages approach Parvati and request her to take back her curse upon Moon as it is not possible to live in the world without viewing moon. So Parvati cools down and tells that her curse can not be taken back but it will apply for one day only on this day of Ganesh Chauth on which day nobody should witness the moon.

But one day Lord Krishna happens to see the moon in the milk on this day of Ganesh Chauth and he is also not spared from getting bad name. It happened that one king Satrajit once pleased Sun God through his prayers and got a golden jewel. It has some magical powers of producing gold of 160 tulas daily to whoever keeps the jewel with him. After possessing it, the king happens to visit Lord Krishna and Krishna asks him to give it to him. But he does not give it and returns home. After that, one day his brother happens to wear it and go on hunting in the forests where he gets killed by a lion and then as the lion had swallowed the jewel, it gets killed by Jambavantha, an immortal vanara in the shape of bear of the Ramayana period. Jambavantha ties the jewel to the cradle of his small daughter for playing with it.

When Satrajit finds his brother missing, he accuses Lord Krishna of killing his brother and stealing the jewel. He got this false accusation because of his witnessing moon in the milk. So Krishna immediately goes in search of the man to prove himself innocent and finds the dead body of the person and the body of a lion at some distance. Then following the footprints, he reaches the cave of Jambavantha wherein the jewel was shining brilliantly like a sun tied to the cradle. When he snatches the jewel, the child cries and Jambavantha comes there and fights with Sri Krishna fiercely. The battle takes place for 21 days and then Jambavantha recognizes that it must be Sri Rama of Ramayana period with whom he had requested foolishly for a fight when he was asked to seek a reward for his services. So he realizes his mistake and bows to Sri Krishna and seeks his forgiveness for his sin and returns him the jewel and along with it his daughter also as a gift.

Sri Krishna returns the jewel to king Satrajit after telling him all that had happened. The king feels ashamed for his action and seeks forgiveness from Krishna and gives the jewel to him as a repentance and also requests him to marry his daughter Satyabhama. Lord Krishna accepts Satyabhama but returns back the jewel to keep with Satrajit.

When all the angels, sages and human beings all come to know of these incidents, they reach Sri Krishna and ask for his help in seeking remedy for saving themselves also from the curse of Goddess Parvati. Then Sri Krishna gets pity on them and tells them to remember this story and read it or hear it from others on this day of Ganesh Chaturthi each year after offering prayers to Ganesha and take the prasadam and then they will not get any bad name on seeing the moon on that day. So from that day onwards, everybody began performing Ganesh Pooja and hearing of the story of Lord Ganesha and the samanthakamani story of Sri Krishna each year on this auspicious day.

How Ganesh Chauth is celebrated?

On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi an idol of Ganesha is purchased or made in the home with clay and installed on a wooden plank or seat neatly decorated. All people take full bath from head to toe on this day and wear new clothes or clean and neat clothes to perform the pooja. The room can also be decorated with flowers and artificial garlands and mango leaves etc. A square frame made of bamboo panes known as "palavelli" is built or purchased from market and applying turmeric all over it, mango leaves and flower garlands are also decorated all around it and it is placed above the Ganesha's idol as a ceiling and one small paper umbrella is also placed over the head of Ganesha. Then some fruits like guava, sharifa, apple, etc. and sugarcane pieces and maize corn are tied to the palavelli on all four corners so that they hang by the sides of Ganesha all around his seat.

How to Perform the Puja on Ganesh Chauth?

After lighting the diya and applying tilak to your foreheads and to Ganesha idol, you start the pooja by reciting some Ganesh slokas and stotras. Some important names of God and important slokas to be chanted at the start of this puja are given at this Link.

The pooja is done with 21 kinds of specified durva grass and leaves known as "ganesh pooja patri" or patri for vinayaka chavithi and some types of flowers and some raw fruits. These items are all sold at all marketplaces on the day prior to pooja. So you need not worry about their identity or availability. 108 names of Ganesha are uttered while offering these things to the idol of God. A little quantity of rice mixed with turmeric and kumkum is also offered now and then during the pooja. Some grains of this rice are to be sprinkled over your heads after puja is over and after hearing of the story of Ganesha which is considered as receiving blessings from Ganesha. After doing pooja with all these items, you light the incense sticks and show them to God for smell and then show the lighted diya to him and then offer the prasadam to God. Some people prepare 21 kinds of modaks as prasadam depending on their capability. After offering prasadam, camphor is lighted and mangala harathi is recited. Some devotees perform all the sixteen sevas to Lord but generally this much as narrated above can be done by all.

How to Cook Undrallu or Modak for Ganesh Puja?
Preparation of Undrallu / Modak for Ganesha is very simple. It is narrated in easy steps at this below linked article.

Other celebrations on this occasion
After the puja is over, you eat the prasadam and offer it to all others also. The story is read or heard in the evening time after lighting diya again to the Lord and making short puja. After hearing the story and putting some grains of the rice that has been offered to God during the puja which is known as akshata on your heads, you can see the moon without fear as the curse on the moon will not affect you now.

People visit others' houses also to witness their Ganesha on this day. It has been a practice to visit at least 7 Ganesha idols after puja on this day.

At homes, most people celebrate this festival only for 3 days, if not for one day only.. Pooja is done on all the 3 days to Ganesha if possible both times and on the fourth day visarjan is done by immersing the idol in the waters or by placing them at the pandals where celebrations are carried out for 10 days so that these idols are also carried away by them on the 11th day for immersing in lakes or rivers.

The celebrations at pandals are very great to be seen. With dazzling lights and decorations and beautiful colourful idols of different sizes, they attract all the people and it has become a spirit of competition among colonies to make the celebrations as beautiful and appealing as they can.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Where Our Indian Culture is Heading Towards?

Nowadays there is much talk of surrogacy, unmarried couple and live-in relationships in our Indian Society. People are tending towards enjoying life without undergoing the binding process of marriage relationships. And enactment of laws are also being considered to safeguard such relationships instead of discouraging such things and protect our Indian culture.

Today only, I have come across a news item in the Hyderabad edition of Deccan Chronicle which points out that our Union ministry for Women and Child Development has proposed allowing of surrogacy to all. It proposed that ''the health ministry allow surrogacy to everyone, including unmarried couples and those in live-in relationships''. It also stressed the need for adequate compensation and cash aid to surrogate mothers.

I wonder what all this is. While surrogacy can be acceptable in some rare extreme cases, other things like unmarried couple and live-in relationships giving birth to children senses very awkward.

When children are not born due to some unavoidable and incurable circumstances, married couple can opt for surrogate babies or test tube babies. This is because they should also enjoy the pleasure of having children and also due to the reason that they should have some support at their old age to look after their needs. But surrogacy should not be allowed for more than one or two children in such cases also. This method of having children should not be abused. Otherwise, it will tarnish the very definition of motherhood which is the divinely characteristic attribute of  a woman.

Regarding unmarried couple and live-in relationships, I do not understand the need for such things at all. Why and how can anybody think of having sexual enjoyment without getting married? Is it not a sin to think so? How can the moral consciousness allow anybody to do this? Don't you hesitate and feel fear in doing so? Are you not guilty of betraying your parents and relatives by thinking about such things? Does it not tend to spoil your younger generations? It will further affect your mental and physical health conditions and make you very weak and unable to control yourself.

Some people try to drag the relationship of Radha and Krishna as similar to a live-in relationship and thereby tarnish their image. But it is only the ignorance of such people. They can not understand such divinely relationships between God and his devotee. Such people should know that the Radha-Krishna relationship is a very pure and chaste divinely relationship of two atmas. There is no physical sexual notion at all here. It is unification of atma and paramatma beyond all earthly pleasures of life. So do not try to compare their relationship as physical bodily relationship.

So, live-in relationships should be maintained only on moral and mental relationships.You can maintain healthy friendships and spend closely with your friend sharing all your knowledge and interests and tastes very joyfully. When you like each other, you may begin to love each other and even then only mentally you share your love. But there should be no word of sex. If sex is to be there, you should get married to enjoy it. But not until then.

Sexual relationship should not be confined to a merely bodily relation. It should be clubbed with spiritual relationship between two souls. Not a simple union of bodies but also as the unification of souls. You give some divinely touch to sex. Only when both body and soul unite you get eternal satisfaction from it. You derive it when both body and mind are pure. It also acquires the blessings of your elders and society and the Almighty God.

So not let thoughts of sexual indulgence enter your mind before marriage. It is only a weakness of the human being just like smoking or consuming alcohol and so needs to be controlled. We should learn to adore friendships with moral and ethical values of life and should not tarnish the image of our society.

Live a healthy moral life and preserve your Indian culture and heritage untarnished and be a pride for your family and society.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Saree: A Dignity and Beauty for Women

One of the most popular attire for Indian women is the saree which gives them beauty and dignity. It is the most popular choice of all age groups of women. It is the age old tradition of our Indian women to wear sarees at all important rituals and occasions of celebrations. Further,wearing a saree is a must for all
Indian brides at their marriage ceremony even in this modern age of changing fashions. Normally Silk Sarees with embroidery and craft work in red colours are worn on the wedding days by the brides.That is why we see a lot of demand for sarees of different designs and brands on all auspicious times and festive occasions.

What is a saree?
Saree is a textile product of long stitchless continuous cloth of normally 5 to 7 metres length and of one metre width which is draped over the body by women especially in Indian Sub-continent. It is normally worn over a petticoat and along with a blouse.

How to wear a saree?
A saree is draped over the body in various styles according to customs, likes and fashions. A saree consists of two ends. One end which remains inside is normally plain without any designs and enormous borders. The other outer end which is left over to hang from the shoulder towards bottom is called the pallu or palla in Hindi and with various names in other languages. This pallu end is fabricated with enormous designs and craft work to enhance the beauty of the saree and the person wearing it. It can be sometimes simple also for daily wear purpose.

Now, hold the plain end of the saree which is to be kept inside to your right side of waist and tuck it into your petticoat after confirming that your petticoat is tight to your waist. Then complete a round by draping the sari around your waist from your front side to your back and bring it again to your front. Tuck the saree all around your waist into the petticoat so that the saree length from your waist to your feet levels with your petticoat and hangs a more lengthy towards your feet but does not hinder your steps while walking. After tucking well, make folds of the remaining saree of about your palm's width with your fingers after leaving enough portion of it for hanging it as pallu after taking it around your back. The folded portion of saree is again tucked into your petticoat at the centre of your front side taking care that the folds are not made in a haphazard manner so that all folds are neatly folded and aligned straightly one behind other displaying your skill. You can pin the folds tight with a saree pin to your petticoat so that they do not loosen. Then the remaining portion of saree is again draped from your left side to your back and bringing it to the front from between your right waist and under arm portion to your left shoulder, you drop it down on your left shoulder to hang behind you. Here again, you drop the pallu in such a way that it looks beautiful and attracts people by folding it into three or four nice narrow lengthy folds. You may have to pin it with a saree pallu clip to hold the folds and keep the saree on your shoulder intact in-spite of your movements.

Some people in Northern India, hang the pallu portion of saree to their front side instead of dropping it on their back. They call this method of wearing as "seedha palla" and southern people method of wearing as "ulta palla" type. Some Keralites drape whole saree against their waist and wear long blouses or T-shirts. Different places of women have different method of wearing or draping the sari. Some orthodox women wear the pallu to cover their heads in front of men even now. Some consider it as giving respect to elders and God by covering their heads with the pallu.

There are many types and designs of sarees and blouses also. Blouses with long sleeves, short sleeves and sleeveless blouses, etc. Again there are normal traditional blouses of plain type without any designs and shapes and modern blouses of various designs and shapes which hold tight to your body. It depends upon your likes and comfortability. Sarees are also of plain types with simple borders and no designs. Some sarees are filled with gorgeous designs and craft work and cost in tens of thousands rupees. There are printed sarees with various printed designs, woven designer sarees and knitted craft work sarees, etc. You can choose among lots of qualities, designs and colours according to your budget from a meagre one hundred rupees cost to tens of thousands of rupees value depending upon your needs and budget.

If you like to witness the beauty and glamour of this Indian attire and know about more styles of wearing this marvellous costume, you may attend the Indian wedding ceremonies where you find a congregation of different styles of saree clad women with dazzling designs and colours.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Consensual Sex With Minor or Major: Is it Good?

A lot of debate and arguments are going on regarding the subject of Consensual Sex nowadays in all corners of society. Today also all the leading newspapers carried on headlines the news of A Delhi Court maintaining that consensual sex with a minor girl does not constitute an offense or crime under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Legally, it may not be a crime as both parties are willingly committing it with mutual consent and understanding and dare. May be their parents, relatives and society may not like it or approve it. But who cares?

The offenders (both the two persons committing the act) do not want to care for their elders or society. Because they want to have the pleasure and experience of sex. Moreover, they think they have the right to enjoy the bodily pleasures and they are free to act as per their will and wish. Nobody have any right to infringe on their freedom.

But is it morally good? Ethically right? Don't you have any moral and ethical values and obligations towards your family and society? Are you not tarnishing the image of yourself and your family by indulging in such acts? You are meant to concentrate on your studies and build up career to establish solid foundation to your life. If you go astray by such things, you will become weak and unable to control your feelings and your goal of life will become difficult to be attained. What is the use of such sexual indulgence when you are unable to grow up your personality and career?  We are not animals to live astray. We are human beings and have some moral codes and human values to distinguish us from animals. If we behave like animals, then what is the difference between an ass and a man?

The Court has done a very good job by stressing the need for creating public awareness on the disadvantages of indulging in sex at tender ages such as physical and psychological impacts on your body and mind. But it has given the stress more on implications of sex and marriage at tender ages.

But I would like to draw the attention of all institutions to create a solid public awareness among all ages of people regarding the bad implications of having sex outside marriage on their personality development as well as the image of our social and ethical values of life.

All crimes on women are deep rooted in this evil lifestyle of indulging in sex outside marriage. Sex is not to be construed merely as a means of physical enjoyment. It is much more than that. It is a mental bondage between a couple. It involves an obligation of taking the responsibility of the partner at all times in all circumstances by the other partner. It is an attachment of body and soul. So it should be a relationship for the whole of your life and not to be treated as a temporary relationship for the time being. If it ends up temporarily, then it leads to many complications in your life both mentally and physically. It can lead to depression and psychological break down. So better avoid it in the beginning itself by controlling yourself.

Maintaining friendships among opposite sex is a good thing. But it should be confined to friendship only. You can maintain most intimacy and love your friend dearly and share all your pleasures and sorrows. But maintain control. Physically there must be some border between you however close you might be. Impose some self disciplines upon yourself. Look at your traditional heritage and culture. You can read books depicting moral characters who maintain deep friendships under one roof but are physically very controlled and maintain norms and ideals. There are such ideal characters in novels of one Telugu writer Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani. Read such novels in other languages also or watch movies and TV serials with ideal characters to educate and grow up yourself with a good personality.

So the main point of discussion is not whether it is consensual sex with a minor or a major. The discussion and solution to be sought is for the problem of sex itself outside the institution of marriage. This evil practice should be eradicated from our society. Enjoy sex after marrying. Till then only friendship. That friendship is to be an ideal one. Don't think of sex at all. Give and take respect and love. Share knowledge and feelings. Enjoy happy and sad events jointly. Be helpful and protective to each other in all circumstances. Remember each other lifelong as the best friend of your life. That should be the relation between you and your girl friend.

Let Us Make A Good Society.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Raksha Bandhan: A Festival of Sacred Threads and bondage of love

One of the auspicious festivals of Hindu culture is the festival of Raksha Bandhan which falls on the Purnima day of Sravana month of the Hindu calendar. The entire month of sravana is very important as many celebrations take place throughout this month. Especially for women, this is the month of worshipping Goddess Laxmi. Each Friday of this month is more auspicious when they observe fast and worship Goddess with turmeric and kumkum and flowers and invite ladies and offer them these things along with  fruits, sweets, bangles and cloth pieces as it is believed that the more you offer turmeric, kumkum and flowers and other auspicious items of women to them, the more your husband and family will prosper with happiness and long life.

On Raksha Bandhan day,  it is mainly observed as sisters and brothers day. It is a festival of love and bondage between brothers and sisters. It is the festival of a sacred thread of love and affection and bondage. This thread is called as Rakhi. The sisters tie the sacred thread of Rakhi to their brothers' wrists after applying tilak to their forehead and giving aarati to them. The sacred thread is first kept in front of God and worshipped and then tied to their wrists. After tying the thread to their wrists,  sweets are also offered to the brothers. The brother in turn gives some gift or money to the sister as a token of affection and care for her. It is a display of love and bondage and commitment between brothers and sisters. Sisters express their love towards their brothers by praying to God for their well being and the brothers in turn wish them a happy and prosperous life and undertake to protect and guard them throughout all their good and bad moments of life.

Originally, Raksha Bandhan was not limited to brothers and sisters only. It is more widely celebrated by all classes of people as an auspicious day of tying the sacred thread amidst chanting of vedic mantras. It is believed that by chanting of mantras and worshipping of the thread placed in front of God, the thread gets empowered by divine powers and whoever possesses it will become powerful for his enemies and nothing bad will happen to him.  Lord Indra's wife Indrani tied this thread to Indra during the war between Devas and Asuras on this auspicious day of shravan purnima and he won the battle. Further Draupadi in Mahabharata also tied Rakhi to Lord Krishna to protect her husbands.

So Raksha is tied to anybody to protect him from dangers of life especially on this auspicious day. Brahmins tie the thread amidst chanting of mantras to all people normally. At times of performing some rituals also there is tradition of tying a rakhi or raksha to the performer of the ritual. Parents bond this sacred thread to their children for safe guarding them. Husbands bond their wives and wives also bond husbands with these sacred threads for their security.

Another main ritual observed by many on this Raksha Bandhan day is the ceremony of Upanayana or Upakarma of their sons. Brahmin community people and some others also perform the upanayana of their sons favourably on this day of Raksha Bandhan as it is a very auspicious day. It is the celebration of bestowing the sacred thread of brahmin hood to their children which is known as yajnopavitam. Only on wearing of this thread can one becomes eligible for attaining vedanta gnana and performance of all rituals. This ceremony has to be normally performed as per our old traditions,  as soon as a boy child becomes eligible for attending school. But nowadays, it is performed at our own convenience but before his marriage. He can marry only after upanayana is done to him. There are four stages of life as per our Hindu Vedic Culture. They are Balya(childhood), Brahmacharya(bachelor life), Grihastha(married life) and Vanaprastha(retired, ascetic life). So to marry, one should cross brahmacharya which is complete only when he is bestowed with the sacred thread. He is bestowed with this thread amidst vedic mantras by pundits during the upanayana celebration in the presence of relatives and friends. This sacred thread is to be worn by him from above his left shoulder across his body and leading towards downwards under the right shoulder at all times and he can perform any ritual or puja only on wearing this yajnopavita. It is to be guarded and protected from all impurities. This sacred thread is symbolical to his attaining knowledge.

Nowadays, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in modern styles. Various types of Rakhis are available in different sizes, colours and designs with varying budgets. So you can purchase them as per your and your sibling's likes. You can tie them to your friends and neighbours also as a token of love and affection. So you find  a lot of people all around you wearing rakhis and moving glamorously in a festive mood in your homes, neighbourhood and at work places or market places. Sravana month itself is a very beautiful season of rains and natural beauty all over. Added to it is the galore of  festive colours and decorations. It gives a great happiness to our minds seeing this display of love and bondage among people.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Independence Day and Independence

Today we are celebrating our 66th Independence Day. We boast of attaining independence on this 15th day of August 1947 and celebrate the occasion with great pleasure and showbiz.

We attend flag hoisting functions and listen to our leaders boasting of our country's development and their illusive contributions with sweet promises of more development if they are voted to power. We utter slogans of "Vande Mataram", "Bharat Mata ki Jai", "Jai Hind", etc. and clap hands at their speeches and return home or watch live telecasts of flag hoisting ceremonies and speeches of CMs, PM and think we have done a lot of Desh Bhakti and feel our duty is over. But this is not enough for your independence

 Where is our Independence? Do we really have it in our real lives?

A look at our society shows how independent we are. There is so much corruption, violence, terror and crime spread all over the society. Public is not safe. There is always fear of danger to lives of innocents. Rapes are becoming common in spite of strict laws. Terrorists and maoists are free to attack at anytime and at anyplace. There is no control on them. Moreover, public and public servants are not free to perform their duties safely and honestly. They get transferred or threatened. People are not free to work in their interested provinces. They are scared of politicians getting them evacuated to their native provinces on bifurcation of states. It appears as if the independence is more for politicians and terrorists to act as per their wishes than for the common public. Corruption is deep rooted in our system.

Economically and politically also we are not so much independent. We have lost the value of our currency and depend on foreign factors controlling our economy. Further, there are continuous insurgencies from neighbour countries on our borders and security of our people is at risk always. So how can we proclaim to be independent in our real lives?

Simply delivering speeches or listening to speeches does not bring us independence. We must act. Each one of us must strive hard to bring real independence to our lives. Our leaders, administration and public should evolve such procedures by implementing which we can feel ourselves to be really free to live with full freedom in our society without the fear of anybody or any factor under some preset moral and ethical norms of society. Each one of us should be very sincere, honest and pure in our thoughts and actions and work unselfishly for betterment of society. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Obscenity and Indecency at Public Places and Within Society

I came across an article in the Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad edition reporting about a drunk couple indulging in kissing acts publicly during lunch at a hotel and fighting with the gentle man and the hotel staff objecting to it.

This may not be a single case of such indecent acts. There may be many more such cases of obscenity and indecency like embracing, lip locking and other such acts which occur daily at parks, cinema halls, buses and many more public places.

Normally, newly married couple and dating and co-living people always look for occasions to indulge in such acts. It is but common and natural to have such feelings of enjoying sex for any person especially when young in age.

Enjoying sex and love in itself is not an offence or sin. But there should be some boundaries and limits for enjoying it.

Sex enjoyment is a private, normally closed room affair. It should not be indulged into at public places. Public display of sexual act is to be refrained as it amounts to obscenity and indecency.

You are living in a traditionally cultured society. You should learn to respect people and relationships. Acts of obscenity and indecency can tamper your relationships in your circles and society.

We are human beings and not animals. Animals may not be able to control their instincts and do not have any moral standards. But even in them, sometimes we do find great discipline and decent behaviour. But as human beings, we are empowered with the ability to discriminate between what is proper and improper according to circumstances and with the ability to control our emotions and instincts accordingly. So why can't we be more decent and ethical in our actions?

We can learn things by observing the behaviour of our parents and elders and from our society. You will notice how dignified their behaviour is as compared to our present modern so called civilized behaviour.

So, what I would like to emphasize here is that we must not indulge in such acts which may project you as indecent and as very much embarrassing to our elders and society.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

An Insight into Traditional Religious Practices of Hindu Culture

I would like to remove some of those misunderstandings and misconceptions among our younger generations regarding the practices of our age-old traditional rites and rituals which are being performed in our day-to-day lives.

The Hindu culture and scriptures have prescribed different types of rites and rituals to be performed on different occasions during our lifespan, from our birth to death. All these have their own significances and impacts on our life.

At birth, we perform the birthday pooja and Graha Shanthi, etc. for the well being of the child and his future. On attaining six months or so, we perform the Annaprasan ( giving first meal to the child) ceremony. After attaining a certain age say 14, we perform the Upanayana ( sacred thread ceremony ) and thereafter, the marriage ceremony, etc.

Many other ceremonies are also performed according to your customs and circumstances.The last ceremony of any person performed is the death ceremony.

Most of these things are to be performed by us even though you may not be believing in these things. Many people may think all these to be superstitious and senseless and as a waste of time and money.

While performing these rituals, you may have to take a bath, wear the Dhoti (the traditional attire for performing ceremonies), and may have to bathe and change clothes again and again for some of those ceremonies, in order to perform the next step of that ritual. This may be awkward to you but it is to be performed for the sake of your family members and relatives.

In case of performing the last journey of the deceased and their death-rites, it might be too much unbearable and undesirable for some people to follow the procedures. Your ego will be coming in between to perform such acts as washing the feet of pundits with your hands (fully wetting their feet with water) and then sprinkling the water on your heads. You may have to dry their feet with your towel and offer them a clean seat to sit. You may also require spreading your towel or Dhoti on the ground for them to walk over it and then, wear it again while performing the remaining part of the pooja.

All these practices may seem very silly and irritating to some people. It lies in your perception of things.If you see things as they appear to you it will be wrong for you. You must not perceive these things and interpret them as they appear to your physical senses. You must go in depth and think of the spiritual and moral values of such practices. If you understand the essence of these practices, then you will not feel hurt or humbled down.

You must think of the Pundits as representatives of your God.While washing the feet of the pundit, you must know that you are washing the feet of God who is receiving your offers.

You cannot contact or come in touch with God directly. So you are keeping a medium in between you and God. That is why you are washing the feet of God represented in the form of your pundit and taking the blessings of God by sprinkling the water so washed over your heads. Whatever service you do to your pundit, think of it that you are doing all this to your God.

You may argue that we do not know whether there is God or not. But, at the same time, you experience some supernatural power controlling everything we do and at all times and all places whichever you cannot explain with all your science and technology. So you agree that there is some power above you. Name this power as God. Even if you do not want to personify Him, it is a fact that there is some Super Power.

Now think that that Super Power is represented by your Pundit. Your pundit may be an ordinary simple man. But to perform your pooja and offer your prayers and offerings, you are treating him as your God or that Superior Power and offering everything to him. You need not go on his superior qualities or on his age. Simply, you offer everything to him in the name of God and think as if God is receiving whatever you are offering to him.

When you think in this manner, you will never feel hurt or subdued and will be able to perform all these traditional rites and rituals with a purified mind and will be able to experience a mental satisfaction and peace of mind. You will feel happy and satisfied that you have done some good job.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sex And Marriage

A lot of fuss is going on regarding age of consent for sex and age for marriage. Discussion for deciding minimum age of marriage is Okay. But I don't see the need for discussing the first one ie. deciding the age of consent  for having sex.

Why should we decide the age of consent to have sex at all? Sex will be there automatically when one is married or matured. Why think of sex and get deprived of other values of life?

The modern generation has already become more and more materialistic and sexual conscious. Ethical and moral values have decreased very much. Everywhere we witness crime and violence. Everybody wants his own selfish enjoyment and growth at the cost of others. No one cares for others. He does not even hesitate  for a while in causing trouble to others for attaining his own desired motive.

In such an environment, publicly debating and wasting time in fixing an age of consent to have sex is very irrelevant. It implies indirectly that the institutions are propagating to have sex among teenagers. One should concentrate more on other problems like giving a standard education to children and along with education make them aware of our moral and ethical values of life. And concentrate more on eradicating social evils and in the upliftment of living standards of people.

Students must concentrate more on their studies and health improvement. Enjoyment of sex will be there on time. But they should not look for it till their education is complete and they settle in their life.

Indulging in sex will distract your concentration from other goals of achievements. So until education is completed, your priority should be at your studies and in getting high degrees and there after in getting a better career. Until then, sex should not be indulged in. Better devote extra time in health build up and extra-curricular activities and development of hobbies. You may spend time with friends for improving these healthy habits and in building up your career.

What is alarming is matured parents debating over the age of consent  for sex. Instead of taking care that younger generation does not involve in sexual indulgence, they discuss it publicly as if some most important thing of career is discussed. We must not encourage sex before settlement in life and if it happens by mistake or spontaneously, we must guide them to be reasonable and not get flown by emotions. So do not waste time in fixing age of consent for sex.

One thing more I may want to point out is that sex should not be treated as mere physical enjoyment. It is more of mental joy and peace. When you have sex with your partner, besides physical enjoyment, you will experience a pure mental love and satisfaction with your partner. So when enjoying it after marriage with your spouse the bondage between you will become more strong both mentally and physically which will be eternal.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some Important Tips for Personality Development of Children

Here are some simple and important tips to children for grooming themselves into good and healthy children. Even though these tips are intended for students, they apply equally to all people in many cases for a good personality development.

Wake up early in the morning and revise your lessons taught yesterday. As your mind will be very fresh and calm it can grasp the essence very easily and quickly in the early hours of the day. So it will provide a strong base for your knowledge and you will be able to grasp and memorize everything very spontaneously.

After this, you can have some light exercise or walk and then take your bath. While bathing you must take a complete bath applying hygienic soaps. The soaps or shampoos should be kept dry in their places in the bathroom and prevent them from getting wet. Wet soaps which get soaked in their containers when using shower baths or due to careless handling are not hygienic and should not be used. In winters, you may not bath on your head but periodical head bath should be taken with shampoo at least once in a week. In summers, it is better to bath from your head daily for full freshness. Bathing gives you freshness and makes you active and healthy. It regenerates your appetite also. 

After taking bath, you will dress up and if you have extra time, you can help your mother in her work or help your father and siblings and you want to pray to God, you can do that also for one or two minutes or if you have any home work left you can do that. But for doing home work, the right time will be in the evening and night of the same day when you got it. Try to complete your home work the same day always and never postpone it.

Then you have your breakfast, take your lunch box and go to school timely. Never go late to school in any circumstance. It tarnishes your image among teachers and students also. So be punctual and don't try to take leave from classes any day unless it is unavoidable. Because if you are absent, you will miss your classes and the lessons taught on that day. It is a very great minus point for you if you miss classes. Because, when the teacher explains a lesson and by concentrating on his teaching, you will be able to understand better than by studying it yourself. So, never miss classes. And try to concentrate wholly on your teacher's teachings whenever he teaches some thing.

One more thing. Always respect your teachers and elders just like your parents. Don't try to see at their weaknesses. Always see their good things and try to learn from their good points only. Just think of them as your career developers and elders in both knowledge and age and always respect them.

After school hours, you must try to take part in sports and games and other extra curricular activities of your choice. Try to grow your sports talent as well as some arts like painting, drawing, music either vocal or instrumental and dancing etc. Participation in games and other extra curricular activities like stage performances keep your mind and body healthy and fit and help you in grooming your personality development.

Another advice is always be away from bad company and bad elements. Never go nearer to bad habits and people having those habits. Maintain distance from such things as far as possible. Don't be weak and succumb to bad habits like smoking, drinking, tobacco chewing, teasing people, etc. You may have to repent for it at a later stage. So be stubborn. Always remember of your parents and other good personalities and try to be moral, ethical and of help to your society and surroundings.

And now last but not the least, "Be proud of your family, your heritage and your country". Never feel ashamed of talking of your parents and family. And never think of your self as inferior to others. Always talk proudly of your family, your village and country.


Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day and Security of Women

On this International Womens Day, we are celebrating the emancipation of women all over the world. But let us have some introspection. Let us be frank speaking. Are we 100% sure that all women truly enjoy freedom and share equal rights with men in all spheres? Are they equally secure and free from fear to do whatever they want just like men do?

Giving answer to these questions may make you think for a while as you are not sure of their security in many situations and environments.

Now, let us talk about women in India. In India, basically women are considered to be subordinate to men.  In most circumstances, man thinks his decision is the final verdict in any matter. He expects woman to adhere to his decisions and act or behave accordingly. He did not like woman's dominance over him. Even though he may be talking of equality of woman, he may still be feeling that she should adhere to his wishes and orders.

It has been inherited traditionally, that man is superior to woman. That she is weak and needs protection. That she should be taken care of and protected by man. That woman can not live without man. But, in case of man there is no such assumption that he can not live without woman nor does he need protection, etc.

So, basically woman feels that she is weak if not supported by man and develops a mentality that she can not stand and face society if she is not protected by man. This innate feeling of woman makes her weak and inferior to man.

This feeling of insecurity in woman is further increased by violent acts of men like his anger, scolding, beating and harassing with threats and other indecent acts, etc.

So, the first thing that women must do is to eradicate this feeling of fear and insecurity from their minds. They should try to develop confidence, courage and will power to do things as they like instead of listening mutely to their men and submitting to their compulsions. Confidence is the most important factor as without confidence they can not take decisions to act. They should develop courage to express their liking and act accordingly. They should develop courage to face and challenge the anti-women minded men and their crimes on them.

It is true that the environment has changed now and people's thinking mentality is changing. We find women stepping out bravely and participating in all activities even surpassing men. They have attained top most positions in all fields.

But even now, men's atrocities are not stopping. The recent Delhi Gang Rape of Nirbhaya, the abduction and shooting of Pakistani teenage rights activist cum school girl Malala Yousafzai and other such incidents have drawn uproar and anguish from all corners with women coming out on roads in such unexpectedly massive gatherings to express protests with huge loud voices indicating that they will no more bear the atrocities and crimes of the society. Further, the fight back put out by these victims, indicates their extreme courage, fearlessness and determination.

Our Laws are also being made more and more strict and stringent to safe guard women's rights and impose stringent punishment on culprits. Many women upliftment and welfare schemes have been launched by our government to create awareness among women and provide them security, education and employment and medical care.

Inspite of all this, unless women develop the will power and determination to face challenges and fight with men's atrocities and social evils, how long can any law protect them from harassment and humiliations? What is the use of such laws merely imposing punishment after occurrence of the crime?

Further, all men should try to create a healthy and safer environment for women. They should cooperate with women in making their living conditions better by treating them with respect and giving equal rights and freedom to them. So, pledge for this cause today. This will be the most valuable and greatest gift you will be giving to women on this "international womens day ".