Welcome. For solutions to improve the modern world, about yoga that is beyond the poses, a spirituality beyond religion and science, a green world full of trees and flowers; or just peace and happiness, please do browse through the archives. Your visit is appreciated. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Colors of Heaven - Orchids



 
While the Lord decided to color the sky in shades of blue, plants in shades of green and earth in shades of grays and browns, other brilliant colors appear in sunset and sunrise and in different flowers on earth from time to time. Some humans do not appreciate the beauty of flowers because a certain degree of evolution is required before beauty can be appreciated and its value understood just as the value of fine music too requires a certain degree of evolution for appreciation.

According to the a theory of creation of life - Panspermia or its adaptation Pansmeria,  (See), the genes of various life forms arrive on different planets from other planets in the universe from time to time through various mechanisms such as in the icy interiors of comets. Accordingly, the genes of plants and animals have probably reached earth in this manner. While some of these may have come from planets that are earth like, others would have arrived from planets with superior climatic and ecological conditions that may be classed as heavenly planets relative to ours. One can only guess at the source of genes of the various flower families found on earth.

Both orchids and the aster family are the largest flowering families on earth. The flower family Asteraceae is perhaps the most common flower family on earth. Both Aster and dandelion belong to this family and if there genes have arrived from a distant planet it must have been an earth like one. The orchid family of flowers, on the other hand, with its pretty colorful and frequently fragrant flowers is a truly heavenly flower. Vanilla that flavors the best of chocolates belongs to the orchid family. The roots and leaves of many orchids are edible and Orchids have been used in traditional medicine in an effort to treat many diseases and ailments. They have been used as a source of herbal remedies in China for several thousand years. Orchids, especially Gastrodia elata, Dendrobium species and Bletilla striata, continue to be grown commercially in China as a part of a large herbal medicine industry. A much greater modern study aside from traditional Chinese ones is required to discover the full range of medicinal benefits of different orchids. Recent studies show that the alkaloids in the Dendrobium species are anti-pyretic and analgesic and it has been suggested that these preparations may increase immunity, decrease oxidant stress in aging and have anti-cancer activity. To quote from the Shou chin yang lao hsin shu:
‘If it is possible to know the medicinal characteristics of foods and regulate them properly, they can be twice as good as drugs. That is because old people are generally averse to taking medicine but enjoy eating, so that treating their complaints through diet is more effective. Furthermore, in geriatric diseases, one must be cautious about purging old people, which makes treatment by diet even more desirable. In general, when an aged person is suffering, the physician should resort to nutritional therapy first, and call for drugs only if this fails. This is the great rule in caring for the elderly.’
Hippocrates, the father of western medicine put it more briefly,
Let your food be your medicine


Image from
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phalaenopsis_philippinensis_NationalOrchidGarden-Singapore.jpg
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation

Monday, March 2, 2015

Green is life and flowers add color to it



     
A splash of red in the garden

While this blog has several posts on trees, there are only a few on flowers except the rose. While green is life, flowers add color to it. I realized this today when I noticed a bougainvillea bush has suddenly burst forth on a bush just outside the boundary wall of my home as shown in the picture snapped this morning. If you are wondering why the lawn looks lumpy, it is because it is an Oxalis lawn that has a lovely green shade. Readers and followers of this blog can therefore look forward to some posts on flowers along with any perceived health or spiritual significance in the near future. I am keen on doing one on orchids, one of the most heavenly flowers on the planet soon.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Ultimate Goal of Yoga




In some traditional Asian cities, monkey families move in and live in abandoned buildings. When they are hungry they grab some food from your hand or from someone’s kitchen if a window is left open, or that lovely fruit tree just when the fruit was ever so luscious. The Discovery channel has done an interesting series on these monkeys called the monkey thieves, for that is what these monkeys are, thieves. However, you cannot really present the poor lot to a judge for these folks did not go to school or church. No one taught them a lesson in morality and ethics. They were simply satisfying their basic need or self interest – hunger.

Humans have evolved out of creatures similar to monkeys and although humans consider themselves as way superior, in truth they are not really much removed from monkeys and Chimpanzees. The full story of human evolution is in a companion blog at http://alienaccount.blogspot.com . We have descended from chimp like creatures and on a planetary time scale measured in billions of years that is not very far removed; 99 percent of our genetic code is identical. Do not be surprised if they look very different. Even amongst humans, looks can vary vastly with a much smaller difference in genes; in fact I have met a few in my travels across the world that look and even behave like various animals that inhabit our planet. The use of violence to achieve human aims or to express human emotions for any purpose except self defense is an animal thing that many humans still resort to even though the closer a human to a lower animal the smarter he thinks himself to be just as all pigs do and as King Solomon too noticed remarking that,

A fool is to the extent wise that he knows that he is a fool, but one who does not is indeed a fool


According to Patanjali, the father of yoga, discarding the use of violence is the very first tiny baby step into yoga (the first of the five yamas in the first of the eight steps of yoga). The fact that many humans have not done that yet is a sign that humans have not evolved much out of their animal origin. There has not been enough time for it on a universal time scale. It is because of this that exceptional yogic abilities as described by Patanjali are still rare amongst humans on earth just as they are absent in animals. This point has been elaborated in my book - The Babaji Affair.  The chimps are our close cousins in the vast spectrum of life that spans the universe.

It is therefore not surprising then that there are very many humans too that will base their actions just simply on self interest without questioning the morality of it all. Thus when a pissing (is the spelling OK?) scammer sends out millions of spam emails declaring that he knows of an unclaimed secret inheritance and that he could get you a share too, seeking your collaboration, something that most long time email users would be familiar with by now, the hope is that some rare naive soul would believe that lie and fall in his net. He does not question that even if someone did believe in that lie, it would be against their moral principles to usurp an inheritance illegally. You see the pissing scammer has not yet evolved to that level. He is closer to the Chimp who lives merely on the principle of self interest.

The principle of working for self interest is not limited to individuals. Collectively it applies to organizations and nations too. Thus it is in the self interest of many corporations- the interest of maximizing profits – to pollute human foods with genetically modified strains that may cause cancer just long as it makes that lovely pile of dollars. Many politicians that rule us will cheer them on just as long as they give him a campaign contribution or a cut, because it is in his self interest to get power and perhaps even that lovely mansion by the ocean. It is only a very small handful of corporations that have evolved to put customer satisfaction as their prime goal within not just the constraint of making some profit that they have to for surviving and growing but also the constraint of not causing harm out of their sense of ethics and not just because of the law.

The same applies to nations. When President George Bush invaded Iraq, he said forcefully that he is doing so because it is in their self interest to do so. That went down well with the public. It is a different matter that things did not turn out so well later and he was blamed. Had they turned out fine he would have been heralded as a hero in the pages of history. However, to be fair to Bush, even morality appeared to be on his side at that time, not just mere self interest because a picture of Saddam as a brutal dictator, who was no good for his people, had been pre-painted in the media.

Of humans, who have attempted to evolve to the point that their actions are based on morality and ethics and not just self interest, the path is not an easy one too. Whenever a course of action is followed one does not know how the future will emerge and if the future turns out to be bad there is a feeling of guilt. In my own life there have been many occasions like that, a few tragic as must be in the life of all. A human may never know fully how the results of any decision may turn out to be in future. While acting on the basis of morality and ethics rather than just self interest is a superior path in that it at least brings the satisfaction or consolation of doing the right thing, the advanced yogis of Himalayas have gone further. In their view even though a human may neither understand morality rightly nor know how the future will unfold, there is someone who does – God or the Universal Consciousness who is beyond the confines of space and time. Yoga is an attempt to unite the individual consciousness with the universal one and then to do in all things not as the individual consciousness ascertains but what the universal one dictates. True the Universal consciousness has given individual ones the freedom to choose but it has also given it the freedom to surrender that will to Universal will, the ultimate goal of yogis.

There is much more to yoga than the physical poses currently popular and there is far more than mere morality. Patanjali the father of yoga has described yoga as consisting of eight parts. Physical poses are just one of the eight and morality too is just an eighth part. Evolving as a life form and eventually uniting one's limited individual consciousness with the highest, the Universal consciousness is the ultimate goal, something that beings advance towards through the experience of several life times. Although such unity is rare, as long as one continues to evolve one is on a worthy track towards more meaningful, peaceful and happier lives. Thus the ultimate goal of yoga is not just to improve mind and body but it is to assist us in meeting the very purpose of life as described here


Note: For those interested in learning more about yoga, while it is good to know what the ultimate goal is, it has to proceed step by step from simpler things like 1. Entropy Yoga 2. Kriya yoga as taught by Baba Haidakhan 3. Sun Inspired yoga. You may search for those through Google or in this blog if you are interested by typing the search term yoga in the left side bar search tool or check out this:

http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2014/12/five-steps-to-sun-inspired-yoga-improve.html

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Most Human problems are because of Greed, some from violence and wrath of God



Wars are fun, you crazy un ?
There are many problems around the world arising from sickness, poverty, homelessness, refugees, wars etc. It does not take much analysis to deduce that uncontrolled and excessive greed is at the root of it. Take for example rising economic inequalities around the world over the last three decades. At the root of this is the greed of corporations for huge profits and their managers for huge compensations. If one considers wars, at the root of many are the greed of arms industries to sell arms or greed of some countries or individuals to maintain greedy advantage. The growth of large unmanageable cities with poor quality of life is because of greed too. Homelessness is because of the greed of the rich not to release more in taxes to create shelters and the hell that earth may soon be converted into by global warming is because of the greed to cut down all the trees that God planted on earth.  The use of violence by humans to meet their goals compounds the suffering. While all this is man made suffering, Nature or the Lord is undoubtedly not pleased with this behavior and and is seen by some to punish from time to time with natural havoc and calamities.However it is actually man's own doing. The Almighty Lord is always loving.

What is the solution? The solution is an education system for mankind that includes non-religious and secular human values in the curriculum as an essential part. Ancient humans knew that and therefore ancient education was a part of religion including mankind’s earliest schools and universities. However greed has crept into religious institutions too and perhaps it is no longer the best way. 

Note: Begin education in good human values here: http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/02/the-joy-of-simplicity.html   Feel free to copy and use any of the seven pictures at that link in any school, college or university