Dhyan Praveshika Team

21st December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Looking into the most basic yoga pose - Tadasana

Also known as Yoga Mountain Pose, Tadasana is the basic standing form of the human body.
While it sounds simple - just stand there, there is a huge difference when you are practising this asana!
Here’s how to embody your Tadasana:
Lift up your toes, and spread them wide, feeling all four corners of your feet engaging the ground. Feel your arches naturally lift.
Let your toes release onto the ground while maintaining the evenly grounded feet.
Line your ankles, knees and hips up so they stack one on top of the other.
Engage your quadriceps and feel them lifting up toward your pelvis.
Release your pelvis down toward the earth – not tucking under, but extending.
Extend your spine toward the sky and broaden your collarbones.
Relax and soften your shoulders, letting the shoulder blades slide down the back of your spine.
A strong, supple Tadasana is the perfect base posture to explore pranayamas. Each of these has a slightly different effect. Be aware of the grounding action through the pelvis, legs and feet, and the ascending, lifting action of the spine.
This asana works on your muscles so that your posture is not only better, but also pain-free while you are at your sedentary desk job. It works to align your skeleton and bring it back to a neutral stance. When this happens, your body comes in to the start point for all the other asanas to follow. However basic - this asana combats our excessive smartphone usage and unhealthy sitting postures at work because of which there is always a tight muscle or some alignment amiss. This asana corrects them all. It is the muscular effort that it takes to get into this asana that helps strengthen the core and straighten rounded, weak backs.

21st December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

The Four Noble Truths

Formal study of Buddhism nearly always begins with the Four Noble Truths. The Truths are something like hypotheses presented by the Buddha in his first sermon after his enlightenment, and all of his subsequent teachings support those hypotheses. Buddhism might be defined as a process of verifying and realising the truth of the Truths.
Unfortunately, when they are not properly taught the Truths can sound ridiculous. A common, sloppy rendering of the Truths tells us that life is suffering, suffering is caused by greed, suffering ends when we stop being greedy, and the way to do that is to follow something called the Eightfold Path. Often people get hung up on "life is suffering" and decide Buddhism isn't for them.
However, if you take the time to appreciate what the Four Noble Truths are really about, everything else about Buddhism will be much clearer.
The First Noble Truth: Life Is Dukkha
The Second Noble Truth: The Origin of Dukkha
The Third Noble Truth: The Cessation of Craving
The Fourth Noble Truth: Practicing the Eightfold Path
The Buddha spent the last 45 or so years of his life giving sermons on aspects of the Four Noble Truths, and most of these sermons were about the Fourth Truth -- the path (magga).The path is eight broad areas of practice that touch on every part of one's life, from study to ethical conduct to what you do for a living to moment-to-moment mindfulness. Every action of body, speech, and mind are addressed by the path. It is a path of exploration and discipline to be walked for the rest of one's life.
Without the path, the first three Truths would just be theory; something for philosophers to argue about. Practice of the Eightfold Path brings the dharma into one's life and makes it bloom.

20th December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Sing the song of celestial love

Sing the song of celestial love, O singer! May the divine fountain of eternal grace and joy enter your soul. May Brahma, (the Divine One), pluck the strings of your inner soul with his celestial fingers, And feel his own presence within. Bless us with a divine voice That we may tune the harp-strings of our life To sing songs of Love to you.

13th December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

GULF OF KHAMBAT - Beginning of the Indus Valley Civilisation

A large underwater city exists off the coast of Gujarat in India, that has been submerged for thousands of years. For decades archaeologists have argued about the origins of the mysterious “Harappan” (Indus Valley) civilisation that flourished across what is now Pakistan and northwest India. New findings by Indian scientists working in the Gulf of Cambay suggest that the Harappans were descended from an advanced mother culture that flourished at the end of the last Ice Age that was then submerged by rising sea levels before ‘history’ began.
According to marine scientists in India, archaeological remains of this lost city have been discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India. And carbon dating says that they are 9,500 years old.
This news completely contradicts the position of most Western historians and archaeologists, who (because it did not fit their theories) have always rejected, ignored, or suppressed evidence of an older view of mankind's existence on planet Earth. Human civilization is now probably much more ancient than many have believed.

13th December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

MOAI STATUES

The giant stone statues (Moai) of Easter Island have been a mystery for a known about them. Although it was thought at first that the statues were merely heads, excavation has shown almost all of them to have bodies. Very few of the statues were ever actually erected; most were left in quarries, or abandoned during transport.
Archeologists don’t know why the statues were built, how they were transported and erected, or why they were abandoned unfinished. There is a form of hieroglyphic writing on some of the statues, which nobody has been able to translate. The people of Easter Island themselves are something of a mystery; it remains unclear where they originally came from. Although they don’t know why they were built, archaeologists suggest that the statues were symbols of authority and power, both religious and political. To the people who erected and used them, they were actual repositories of sacred spirit. Carved stone and wooden objects in ancient Polynesian religions, when properly fashioned and ritually prepared, were believed to be charged by a magical spiritual essence called mana. Archaeologists believe that the statues were a representation of the ancient Polynesians' ancestors. The moai statues face away from the ocean and towards the villages as if to watch over the people. The exception is the seven Ahu Akivi which face out to sea to help travelers find the island. There is a legend that says there were seven men who waited for their king to arrive. One of the wildest theories about Easter Island has it that the island is actually the peak of an underwater mountain—and all that remains of the lost civilization of Mu.

9th December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Kundalini Yoga

Also known as Laya Yoga, this school of Yoga is influenced by Shaktism. It derives it’s name as it is the process of awakening kundalini energy through the regular practice of meditation, pranayama, chanting mantras and yoga asana.
This Yoga of Awareness aims to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.
The practice of Kundalini meditation is designed to raise complete body awareness and prepare the body, nervous system and mind to handle the energy of Kundalini rising. The majority of the physical postures focus on navel activity, activity of the spine and selective pressurisation of body points and meridians.

5th December 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Mani Mantra

Om Mani Padme Hum is a six syllabled Tibetan - Sanskrit Mantra.
It is said that all the teachings of the Buddha are within this mantra. According to Buddhism, all beings have the Buddha nature. We all have within us the seed of purity that is to be transformed and developed into Buddhahood.
The first word “Om” is a sacred syllable that repeats itself through the Vedas in many Indian religions. The word “Mani” means jewel or bead and “Padme” is the lotus flower. “Hum” represents the spirit of enlightenment.
The Mantra is commonly carved into rocks known as ‘Mani stones”, or is written on paper with is inserted into prayer wheels. When an individual spins the wheel, it is said that the effect is the same as reciting the mantra as many times as the wheel spins.

21st November 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Göbekli Tepe

The oldest temple in the world.
Turkey's stunning Göbekli Tepe contests the conventional view of the rise of human civilisation. These massive carved stones are about 11,000 years old and predate Stonehenge by 6,000 years.
Archaeologically categorised as a site of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period (c. 9600–7300 BC) Göbekli Tepe is a series of mainly circular and oval-shaped structures set on the top of a hill. There is archaeological proof that these installations were not used for domestic use, but predominantly for ritual or religious purposes. Subsequently it became apparent that Göbekli Tepe consists of not only one, but many of such stone age temples. Based on what has been unearthed so far, the pattern principle seems to be that there are two huge monumental pillars in the center of each installation, surrounded by enclosures and walls.
Each T-shaped pillar varies between 40 to 60 tonnes, leaving us wondering how on they accomplished such an impossible feat. In a time when even simple hand tools were hard to come by, how did they get these stone blocks there, and how did they erect them? With no settlement or society to speak of, with farming still a far cry away, in a world of only roaming hunter-gatherers, the complexity and developed blueprints of these temples represented another enigma for archeologists. Do we have to change our vision of how and when civilized human history began? The plot thickens..

18th November 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Samsara

"The passage through successive states of mundane existence"
Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit term that means "wandering", as well as "world”. The term connotes "cyclic change", a transmigration or metamorphosis - a circuit of living where one repeats previous states, from one body to another. It speaks of our worldly life of constant change, delicately encapsulated by rebirth, growth, decay and redeath.
The concept of Samsara developed in the Vedic times, and is traceable to the Rig Veda. While the idea is mentioned in the Samhita layers of the Vedas, there is lack of clear explanation there, and the idea fully develops only in the early Upanishads.
According to Hindu tradition, the body dies, but not the soul. The soul assumes eternal reality, and is indestructible and always in a state of bliss. The concept of samsara is closely associated with the belief that the person continues to be born and reborn in various realms and forms.
The aim of spiritual quest in the Upanishadic traditions is find the true self within and to know one's soul. A state that leads to a blissful state of freedom - moksha. Saṃsāra is the journey of the soul.

11th November 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Hand of Hamsa

The Hamsa, also known as the Hand of Fatima is Middle Eastern and North African protection symbol. It appears as a hand, with the last two fingers on either side facing up or down. The center of the hand often contains an eye, although that differs from culture to culture. It brings its owner happiness, luck, health and good fortune.
This symbol relates to the belief that God exists in everything. Another popular meaning of this symbol refers to the sun and the moon - the eyes of Horus, referring to how humans cannot escape from the eyes of conscience. The Hand of Fatima also represents feminity and is found similar to a woman’s holy hand. The five fingers of the hand are further associated with the five pillars of Islam. While the Quran prohibits the wearing of charms and amulets, the Hamsa symbol is often depicted in and associated with the Islamic cultures.
It is also painted in red - on the walls of houses to ward off evil. But most importantly, the Hamsa is in the process of transcending it's origins to become a symbol of peace in war-torn Middle East, and many Jews and Arabs wear the Hamsa to demonstrate the common ground shared by them and the common source from which their religions spring. No longer just a talisman, the Hamsa has instead become a symbol of hope and peace in the modern world.

9th November 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

The Kali Yantra

This Yantra is a geometric symbol that represents Kali - the Hindu Goddess of time. The Kali Yantra contains within it the transformative energy of change and any person wearing it is protected against planetary malevolence, as well as from accidents, misfortunes and dangers. Since Saturn is the planet of longevity, it has the additional benefit of bestowing a long life on the person who adorns this Yantra.
In the center of this Yantra is a group of five triangles, to represent the five senses. The inversion of the triangle represents the female regenerative power. Each point represents one of the 15 Kali Nityas – one for each day of the waning moon. The 2 circles symbolize the cycle of birth and death.
The Goddess Maha Kali is a fierce killer of demons. It is believed that trusting in her bestows spiritual power and results in fulfillment of desires and increase in wealth and comforts of life. The mantra ‘Om Kreeng Kalikaye Namah’ is used to worship with this Yantra.

4th November 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been used for Ayurvedic healing since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions, and is most well known for its restorative benefits. It is prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.
Ashwagandha is most powerful against stress and fatigue. Regular use of the herb basically works on improving brain function. It has been widely proven that Ashwagandha has anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties without any toxicity or side effects.
There’s only so much that any medicine can do though. It’s important to keep your body free from toxins such as caffeine, nicotine and drugs. Sleeping is an essential part of mental health too, as is having a solid exercise routine.

4th November 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Shree Yantra

Yantras are sacred geometrical designs imprinted on a copper or silver plate. These sacred symbols are regarded as devices for devotional sadhanas or practices, and as objects to direct our mind during worship.
Sri Yantra, also known as Sri Chakra, is the mother of all Yantras because all other yantras are derived from it. In its three dimensional form - Sri Yantra is said to represent Mount Meru, the cosmic mountain at the center of the universe.
Of all the different Yantras, the one believed to be the most powerful, is the Shri Yantra. It is a diagram formed by 9 interlocking triangles that radiate from a central bindu point.
Shri Yantra is one of the most auspicious and important of the Yantras - and is the source of attaining all worldly desires and fulfilling all wishes for wealth of both the material and spiritual kind.
The Vedas say that all the gods and goddesses reside in this Yantra. It is said to have the origin and development of the universe depicted in it.

21st October 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Chakra Cleansing – Your daily fix!

Chakra cleansing and clearing can be the missing piece to achieve the perfect health you’ve desired. Healing & balancing your chakras, can raise your overall state of mind, leaving you healthier, happier and more fulfilled from life. You can cleanse your own chakras, as part of your nightly or weekly meditation, and you can do so as a general upkeep mechanism, or with the intention to free stagnant energy to heal a particular issue you are facing. Breathe gently and deeply as you imagine divine light entering through your crown chakra, removing any blockages or negative energy. Stay mindful and let it move through your body, pausing briefly at every chakra, filling and clearing each one. When you reach the base of your spine, feel gentle release into the earth and ground yourself. Do this as many times as necessary, and give thanks to the higher power once you feel your meditation is complete.

21st October 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

The importance of breathing

Breathing supplies our body with Oxygen, which is vital for our survival. Breathing is the link between the body and our mind, and for both to function well; one must know how to breathe. For example when your mind is nervous or agitated your breathing is short and quick. Practicing simple breathing exercises that can be done any time of the day and anywhere would benefit you in more ways than one. Vietnamese Zen Master and author Thich Nhat Hanh talks about breathing as a way to develop deep insight, which leads to awakening and enlightenment. Meditative breathing, he says, is a tool to calm the mind so it can see into itself and gain that insight. It strengthens mind concentration and stimulates compassion, awakening each person’s true nature.

20th October 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Amazing Giloy! ~ The magic herb you need to know.

Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia) is a herb that has been praised and advocated by Indian medicine for centuries. In Sanskrit, Giloy is called ‘Amrita’, which literally translates to ‘the root of immortality’. Giloy is a universal herb that helps boost immunity. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants that fight disease. It keeps your cells healthy and helps remove toxins while purifying blood, and even combats liver diseases and urinary tract infections. Giloy is used by experts in treating heart related conditions, and is also found useful in treating infertility. It also contains anti- aging properties that help reduce dark spots, pimples, fine lines and wrinkles. The most fascinating thing about this herb is that it grows freely across India and as abundantly as the money plant or aloe Vera. It’s flowers are beautiful too and compliment any surrounding!

14th September 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Sushruta

Sushruta was an ancient Indian physician, and the main author of the treatise ‘The Compendium of Sushruta’.  The Compendium is one of the most important surviving ancient treatises on medicine and is considered to be the foundational text of Ayurveda. The treatise addresses all aspects of general medicine and dubs Sushruta as ‘the father of surgery’. 

The document is extraordinarily accurate and has detailed descriptions of illnesses, medicinal plants, preparations from minerals and preparations from animals. The text discusses surgical techniques of making incisions, extractions and cauterisation and many other specialised surgeries like hernias, fractures of the bone, caesarian and intestinal obstructions. 

The Mahabharata represents him as the son of Vishwamitra, the legendary sage and progenitor of all brahmans. The name Sushruta appears in later literature in the Bower Manuscript (600 AD), where Sushruta is listed as one of the ten sages residing in the himalayas. 

12th September 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Vishwamitra

Vishwamitra is one of the most venerated rishis or sages of ancient times in India. He is also the credited author of Mandala 3 of the Rigveda, including the Gayatri Mantra. 

According to the Ramayana, Sage Vishwamitra created a parallel heaven, known as Trishanku Swarga, for King Trishanku. It is also believed that in the great epic Ramayana, Vishvamitra was born as Lakshmana, the brother of Lord Rama. He gave his brothers the knowledge of the Devastras (celestial weaponry), trained them in advanced religion and taught them how to kill powerful demons.

The Devastras feature in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, where they are used in great battles. They are projectile missiles that are invoked by reciting hymns. They are depicted by archers such as Parashurama, Rama, Lakshman and other warriors. Brahma for example would destroy entire hosts at once and counter most other astras. Sage Vishwamitra, satisfied with the behaviour of Rama in obliging the orders of elders and performing the acts assigned to him, gives him many astras. This was the role he played in the Divine Play. 

9th September 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Bhaskaracharya

Bhaskaracharya was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. His works represent a significant contribution to mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the 12th century. He has been called the greatest mathematician of medieval India. There is strong evidence to suggest that Bhaskara was a pioneer in some of the principles of differential calculus. He was perhaps the first to conceive the differential coefficient and differential calculus. 

In the Surya Siddhanta, dated 400-500 AD Bhaskaracharya wrote - “objects fall on the earth due to a force of attraction by the earth. Therefore, the earth, planets, constellations, moon and sun are held in orbit due to this attraction.“  It wasn’t till approximately 1200 years later that Newton stumbled upon his theory of gravity. 

Other than his many contributions to Algebra and Mathematics, he also made some huge leaps in Astronomy. Based on Brahmagupta’s astronomical model from the 7th century, Bhaskara accurately defined many astronomical qualities like the time taken for the earth to orbit the sun. His epic text ’Siddhanta Shiromani’ is written in two parts: the first part on mathematical astronomy and the second part on the sphere that is our planet. 

9th September 2016 HomeArticles Written by Dhyan Praveshika Team

Brahmagupta

 
Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician and astronomer, and the first to devise rules to compute "Zero". 
 
He incepted methods for calculating the position of heavenly bodies that moved over time, and eventually the calculation of solar and lunar eclipses.

The historian George Sarton called him "one of the greatest scientists of his race and the greatest of his time." 
 
Bramhagupta was a native of Bhinmal (earlier: Bhillamala). He lived and worked there for a good part of his life. 
Prithudaka Svamin, a later commentator, called him Bhillamalacharya, or 'the teacher from Bhillamala'. 
 
Brahmagupta became an astronomer of the Brahmapaksha school and studied the five traditional siddhanthas of Indian astronomy. He also devoured the work of other astronomers including Aryabhata I, Latadeva, Pradyumna, Varahamihira, Simha, Srisena, Vijayanandin and Vishnuchandra.
 
In the year 628, at the age of 30, he composed the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta - a theoretical treatise and revision of the Siddhanta he received from the Brahmapaksha school. A good deal of it is astronomy, but it also contains key chapters on mathematics which include algebra, geometry, trigonometry and algorithmics. When he turned 67, he composed his next well known work - the Khanda-khādyaka, which is now a vital and practical manual of Indian astronomy in the karana category meant to be used by students.