Friday, July 20, 2012

Message from The Himalayas: How to deal with adversity

Nainital in the Evening Light

Although all of us hope that life should run its course peacefully and happily, and that is the sincere wish of this blogger for all visitors to this blog, there are times that does not happen. Life goes through its ups and downs. My own view is that the best approach in good times is to use some of it for refreshing and cleansing the soul of past burdens, and, to involve oneself in meditation in bad times to enhance  knowledge for the soul. Recently I enquired from the Babaji of Nainital, my favorite spiritual master, as to how to deal with times of adversity. This was the answer I received,

When one enters the dark phase in one’s life, when times are bad and more bad times to follow are feared, then sit back and reflect. Reflect first on the worst possible outcomes, then on what your best response to that would be. If you have done that honestly and with satisfaction then you will find a new and renewed confidence since the actual outcome can only be better. The feared troubles will not seem that severe because after all the experiences of this life are temporary, lasting less than a century for most humans. With the new found confidence, work peacefully and calmly so that the actual outcome is less than the worst imagined, and in doing so do not leave the company of the goddesses that preside over Love, Truth and Simplicity, so that the blessing of the Almighty are with you and you are able to surrender the outcomes in His hand with sincerity.”

May the Lord bless all readers of this blog and fill their lives with peace and happiness and may the dark moments if any be rare and few, marking yet brighter times to follow.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Can’t Eat the Honey and the Honeycomb too

A honeycomb at home
At a time when modern medicine did not exist, humans depended directly on what was available in nature not just for food but also medicine. Ancient literature has sung glories for the medicinal and tonic virtues of honey. The Sanskrit Ayurveda has praised it and I recall a statement from the bible that went something like this, “Eat honey and the honeycomb, for it is good”

I too am a fan of natural tonics and remedies, viewing modern ones with suspicion and caution. The reason being that the period of research into modern remedies is not as long as ancient ones and more so they are tainted by the greed of commercial interests. Recently the news was full of a leading Pharmaceutical company apologizing profusely for such practices when discovered just so that they can save on possible fines and not perhaps because they were really sorry.

However, my study and experience of modern honey too is not a good one. Its beneficial properties come from its enzymes and micro-nutrients that modern honey may be deficient of. Pasteurization kills enzymes and the modern production of honey from sugar syrups and production in farms and orchards lacking bio-diversity deprives it of micro-nutrients. There is also the possibility of synthetic adulterants that simulate the look and taste but not the goodness.

The option available to a modern fan of honey is to look for wild honey and have it harvested personally. That may be possible for rural folk but is difficult for a largely urban dweller like me. Therefore most times I have done without honey. A few days ago though to my utter surprise and delight Shyamu my assistant and adopted son pointed out that a large honeycomb had come up suddenly on one of the trees in the garden. Aside from the possibility of getting some natural home grown honey the growth of a honeycomb is considered an auspicious omen too. It is a birthday gift from the Lord because both Shyamu’s and my birthday falls in the month of July. There is a photo of it with this post with text added to show where the honeycomb is.

It will be easy to harvest the honey closer to winter if we wished to but I have decided against it. The honey bee is a virtuous creature. It only attacks when attacked as every courageous and upright creature must. The honeycomb is its home and the honey its store of food that it has gathered painfully. Does not matter if the honey bee cannot speak but I have no doubt that it has feelings too, just as you and I do, and in my experience it is far less stupid than some humans I know. The stealing of honey and its home to me now is just as sinful as stealing from a human. Therefore I have decided to let the bees live in peace.Hundreds of lives cannot be disrupted for the sake of one.

I deplore the practices of a certain humans that still look for tiger bones,  rhinoceros horns, whale meat and blue fins with an utter disregard for the welfare of these marvelous creatures.

Even though I regard the ancient literature and scriptures of mankind with a high degree of reverence I believe some of the contents are dependent on time. It dates to a time that humans had to depend much more on nature than modern man. The large variety of foods available to mankind now can provide all the necessary enzymes and micro-nutrients required for good health. Therefore with utmost regard for the scriptures that have taught me to view all life just as the same as my own, I will not eat the honey and the honeycomb too.

True there is danger that someone else may disturb the bees and they may attack but that is a minor risk that I shall take for their sake. As a precaution I have purchased and kept anti histamine pills at home though so as not to be Pollyannaish as a dear friend of mine accused me of recently. It is my experience and belief that no creature attacks a human, even dangerous snakes, black scorpions and fiery ants if you do not fear them and truly love them.