Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Sad end of a Honeycomb

Honey from the Backyard
Earlier in the year a honeycomb began to develop in a corner of the backyard. It was on some very low dry branches and therefore one had to be very careful while watering the plants near it with a hose. Once when I sprinkled water on them by mistake the bees got after me and I ran indoors but not before a couple had bit me on the face. These are tiny local bees but their sting sure hurts. After that I was very careful in watering around that spot and it seems the bees too realized that and never ever bothered me again. Steadily the honeycomb became larger and larger. My mother used to say that a honeycomb is very fortunate in a home. She was a spiritual lady and from experience I believe in most of what she said.

Wild honey as opposed to farm grown honey is also very medicinal and this honey was as close to wild as one can get in an urban area. However, I was in two minds if to take that honey. In my communing with nature, my understanding is that all life is precious and in principle I am against disturbing the bees and stealing the work of their hard labor while having to destroy their homes for it. At the same time there was a risk from the bees too. In case they got inadvertently disturbed a group of them attacking could be dangerous. Moreover my grandchildren would visit soon. They are infants and play in that area. While having full sympathy for all life I am pragmatic enough to realize that one has to protect oneself and not yet spiritual enough to be fearless with all kinds of dangers from the animal and insect world as some ancient spiritual persons living in the forests were in ancient times as per historical records. They lived fearlessly with snakes and lions that were completely friendly to them. Today morning a construction worker in the neighborhood who had seen the honeycomb approached me and volunteered to remove the honeycomb if I would let him have a bit of the honey that he needed as a medicine. He said he was experienced in collecting honey from forests in his village. Therefore I agreed suggesting that he could keep half the honey.

A little while ago he smoked the bees out when it was dark. He said it is safer at night. He has left half the honey for me as in the picture. I am grateful for the honey because it is medicinal but very sad that so many bees were forced out of their homes. A few drowned in the honey collected and some have died in the operation. However, even though most have escaped safely they have all lost their homes. Imagine an entire village forced out of their homes in an earthquake or some such natural disaster. There is no doubt that the bees loved their homes just as much.

It has left me wondering about the old saints who said in some of the scriptures, “Eat the honey and the honeycomb too, for it is good.” Perhaps they knew something that we ordinary humans do not know and in providing honey and health to humans perhaps the soul of bees evolves to higher levels, the purpose of all including humans to exist. Hope so but one is sad about it tonight. I shall pray for them all that they find a nice new and safer home soon.

UPDATE: Next Morning

The Backyard near the Honeycomb

Around seven o’clock this morning I looked at the spot and their were numerous bees hovering furiously over the spot. They looked angry and I stayed away. Around 9 am I checked again and they were still there. Then I began playing a CD of sweet devotional music near a back window that is near the spot. Either because of that or otherwise they seemed to calm down and one by one have gone to rest somewhere near the spot. There is a thick thicket of green near the spot and a clothesline as shown in the picture just snapped. May they dwell in peace with new beginnings. In the meantime a dear friend, a classmate from college who retired as the senior most official of the Indian equivalent of IRS and who is an accomplished poet too a little while ago has contributed a lovely poem to the post as a comment

Eat the Honey
By Vinod Khurana

Eat the honey and with it honeycomb too
Lest bees become complacent
And eat their own honey too

Love a child much but let him become a man too
Lest he becomes complacent
And remains a child all his life too

A man struggles hard to repay the debt of life too
He has to be ever on watch
Lest he is indebted until the last too

Eat the honey and with it honeycomb too
But let no harm come on the innocent bees
And give a thought to repay their debt too


The Aftermath

I am putting this down so that it might be guide to others but being a novice at this, if you have more experience on the issues please share. After breakfast it was noticed a few of the bees were clinging to the kitchen window pane desperate to get out and join their family. They had somehow got in last night. The window also has a mosquito net to it and it is not possible for the bees to get out that way. Therefore I used a technique used earlier to rescue trapped insects. I took a glass and held it over the bee until it moved into the glass and covered it quickly with a plate and then left the bees outside one by one. Next was the honey in the pot. I am a novice at this, not having done this before. A few more bees were in there and these were rescued gently with a tea strainer and left outside too. Next the honey was strained through a very course strainer into another pot. It shall be moved into empty jam bottles after they have been steamed.  The honey comb remained and even though the scriptures recommend eating that it is not really feasible. I found a solution for that. Just add a couple of glasses of water and bring to boil. All the honey dissolves in the water and much of the honey comb dissolves too. I do not intend to pasteurize the rest of the honey but this bit is boiled. The solution tasted heavenly when warm but the wax stuck around the mouth. After cooling that would not happen. I shall have a bit of that drink first over the next few days and I am delighted at having found a way to eat the honeycomb too. The honey would be kept for winter, a tablespoon a day when it is colder. Until then it shall rest in the fridge. I have tasted a spoonful of that and it is truly heavenly, the essence of all the lovely flowers that have grown around the garden over the past several months, truly a gift from the gods.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Joy of Regrets - and the Sorrow

It is common with human beings to think of their past actions and feel sorry about things they could have done differently. As one ages, the length of one’s experience is longer and such regrets can become voluminous so that the mind focuses on that far more than enjoying the present moment and doing what is required here and now. Most humans then become sad or depressed about it. Essentially we may classify our past mistake into two categories. First are those that have caused harm to others and we should indeed be very sorry about that, especially if the harm has been to sweet innocent and vulnerable children. It is an unforgivable sin.

However there is a second category of mistakes that have not harmed anyone else but harmed our own selves and these are such that should be a moment of celebration and joy because of the learning they have provided us. The joy in the present note is with reference to such mistakes and the essential learning they provide. There was a period in my life when I took to drinking regularly. However it led to my behaving very badly on occasions and there was an adverse impact on health. Therefore I resolved to only drink on rare occasions, less than a month. However, even there my experience was of bad behavior on my part. It goes without saying that later one feels terrible. Time and the grace of the Almighty heals the wounds but the important lesson learnt from this for me was not to touch alcohol again.

These latter humans, who are happy at realizing their past follies, regard life as an education and feel that learning only takes place by making mistakes and realizing what those mistakes are. They feel sorry for those who do not have such regrets because that simply means that they have wasted their lives and learned nothing, like a student who attends a particular course at school or university but pays no attention to the lessons.

Certainly they feel happy and grateful for the times they did things right but they are also happy about the times they did not do them right and learned something from it. That would help them not to repeat those errors in future.

Of what use is that learning to an old person or if an opportunity is lost forever?

Well such persons also believe that life goes on in new lives even after death and similar opportunities keep on repeating.

But what if one does not believe in reincarnation?

Well some of those rare humans who are delighted at their past mistakes and the learning it provides are even more delighted if they do not believe in reincarnation because then they have a good laugh over the past loss since it would not really matter in a decade or two except as a nice joke while life lasts. They do feel a little sorry though for all the stuff they worked hard to acquire and will mean nothing after a decade or two when they are gone and it all will have to be left behind.

Laugh about it all, Laughter is a step in the direction of Heaven.  LOL :-)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cleanliness is the Beginning of Yoga


When Patanjali the father of Yoga listed the eight parts of yoga in his founding text on Yoga, the first thing he mentioned that a human needs to do after rejecting his animal and inhumane tendencies such as violence (yama) is cleanliness. He described the five rules or Niyams required for evolution after giving up animal characteristics like violence, stealing etc. These five rules were – cleanliness, contentment i.e. giving up on greed, tap i.e. order and discipline, self assessment to weed out weaknesses and finally trust in the Lord.

When this author interpreted Yoga from a modern point of view he had coined the term Entropy Yoga described in an earlier post and cleanliness is the first step here too.  Civilization in the Indian subcontinent appears to have begun in the Indus valley and this civilization as evident from its ruins was a highly clean civilization. The people of this civilization invented the sewerage system and covered drains. However in the millennia that passed since the time many cities and towns of India have become some of the dirtiest of cities in the world. A lot of inhabited India has become hugely messy and the messiest of places are its public places like markets and religious towns. The cleanest parts are the areas largely untouched by man as in the Himalayas and the countryside.

It is heartening therefore that the new Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has realized this and stressed on restoring cleanliness to the country beginning with a five year campaign on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who too used to stress the same on the second of October 2015. India is now fortunate to have got a leader that is taking this message across the length and breadth of the country and this blogger wishes much success for this campaign.

PS: When I shared this link on facebook, a friend and former Professor of mine, Professor S M Yahya from IIT Delhi and former Pro VC, Aligarh Muslim University, pointed out that in Islam there is a great stress on Cleanliness and in Arabic there is a saying that cleanliness is half of belief.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Playing as Happy Children in the Lord’s Garden

Two Children Playing

Children on the whole are happier than grown ups most times because children worry less about future, finances, health, career and everything else besides that troubles grown-ups and makes their lives less than happy. For the most part, children leave those worries to parents and other grown-ups while they concern themselves with their immediate needs of the day and their play. No wonder they sleep like a log and dream of sweet things while they do.

When we grow up, either our parents have already departed or if not, they may have become too old to play the role they did when we were young and would be in need of care instead. However, there are some adults who trust in the Lord and regard Him as both father and mother and therefore are able to win back some of the happiness they experienced as children. Certainly the Lord is infinite and formless but since His consciousness flows through everything he may be regarded as a Father or Mother or even both and even more – friend, teacher, brother etc.  This is the reason that it has often been found that those who believe in God are usually happier much more often than those who do not have that faith and end up worrying, fretting and bitching about life and the views of others rather than fix their own peace and well being.

A photo from the garden grown by the Lord for the author's home
Children who have one or both parents or in some cases even other grown-ups to look after them do not have to worry much except for doing something bad that will make mama or papa punish them. It is the same with grown-ups who start trusting in the Lord, because they too have to worry about not telling lies, hurting others etc. because they know that this Big Daddy or Mama punishes too.

What about those who do not believe in God, do they also get punished anyway? Well these are like the children who run away from home because they are bad often and get punished often at home. They escape the punishment of Mama and Papa but they get punished something awful by thugs and hoodlums on the street. The funny thing is that as a grown up we cannot run away from Big Papa because he is everywhere so he joins in with the thugs or angels as the case maybe in giving us our just deserts :- )

Be good, do good, trust in the Lord, then you shall find peace and joy whether you be child or old, even with one foot in the grave and even after life departs for that is just discarding clothes that are worn out for new ones all fresh and bright.

Top Image: Two Children Playing by Corne, Michele Felice, image  from Wikpedia

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tiny Cottages in the Wilderness

Dwellings of Heavenly Peace and Beauty

I spent a lot of time dreaming about the plans for my present home around a quarter century ago and then built it in three phases spread apart by five years each between breaks in work as I saved money for each phase by working across the globe. It is a large and comfortable home in a modern urban area. When I began the home it was in near wilderness but with the grace of the Lord it has now developed into one of the most modern areas in the country, a modernization that I have contributed to, including naming the streets on a North American pattern.

However, my first love has always been and still is the country side, hills and forests and I keep frequenting that area, living in rented places or guest houses. Human history attests to the fact that those who are spiritually inclined love modest dwellings in quiet and green isolated locations. Queen Victoria, who became the mightiest of Queens our planet has seen during her lifetime, was also fond of such cottages. Every summer for a few months she would leave for Balmoral Castle but after checking in, she moved to another small cottage and it is said that those were the happiest moment of her life. Queen Victoria was a highly spiritual person with deep spiritual leanings as revealed in my book - The Babaji Affair.

If opportunity permits I shall build another small cottage in a wild green location, close to hills and natural water sources, even now for summer visits, although it is getting to be a bit late in the day now. As a result the plans I make up now are for small tiny homes and cottages. One design was shared earlier (A cottage for Mother Hubbard). Here are a few more. The first is small tiny cottage with just one small room as a bedroom. It has a small entrance lobby with a small table near the kitchen to enjoy a baked pie of onions and wild mushrooms picked up nearby, or fish and chips made with the fish caught earlier in the day from the brook that flows down the hill and behind the trees at the back. The brook is so near that if a surprise guest dropped in with a bottle of wine, one could run down to it with a net and catch a few more fish in a hurry while grabbing a bunch of that sweet crunchy wild cos lettuce that grows beside the black berry bushes and which needs nothing more than generous dab of that mayonnaise sauce that has been sitting in the fridge, for the salad :).  A plan for a more spacious two room cottage is also shown. It is spacious enough to keep the table for the fish and chips with salad in the kitchen.

The second design has two largish rooms, one to use as a living room on the ground floor and a second as a bed room on the first floor. There is a small toilet and wash basin on the ground floor because one cannot run up the stairs during the middle of TV news to a larger washroom on the first floor. A closet is shown but more can be built under the stairs.  The stairway leads to an attic and terrace on the roof of the first floor. Having to cross two or three doors to reach a room is a security feature that I build into all my designs.The entire details are not posted here but any architect can work them out, or inquire from me as a comment in this post.It must be noted that there is a difference in design between wooden dwellings and those made from brick, cement and concrete. The present designs are intended for brick and concrete constructions although they can be rendered in wood too.

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A Tiny One Room Cottage
A Two Room Cottage

There are plenty of designs for small cottages on the net and these should add to the pool for enthusiasts around the world, especially younger ones who can locate a spot in the wilderness and begin working towards their own place of heavenly beauty and peace. Building homes and cottages is a long term project and the time to begin working towards it is soon after thirty, so that it is all comfortable and nice by the time one is fifty. The single room cottage has no side widows so it can a built as a row as some more cottages for friends. The two room cottage has no window on one side and as a result can be built as a duplex along with a friend. It is always easier when more than one person gets into a project like, but it can be done alone too, as I did for my home that was in the wilderness, but I did request the help of a friend from Delhi to come in for a couple of months in the second heaviest phase and had the help of my adopted son Shyamu in the third phase for the first floor, around fourteen years ago.

Plan for a Small Cottage, ground floor

First Floor Plan for a Cottage

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Farm that Joe Lives on

Farmer Joe's Postmodern Strip Farm
The picture above shows the farm that Joe lives on with his wife. It is beside a paved road along with a collection of other strip farms that are narrow in front and deep length-wise so that many farms can be set side by side and avail the facilities of a main paved road in front, as are usually found in postmodern villages (see here).

Joe lives on the farm with his wife. His two sons have grown up and study at a University and a daughter has married and lives in town. They visit often though and help out on the farm whenever they do. His grandchildren love to spend their entire vacations at the farm even without their parents because bobby loves to fish in the lake and his sister Jill loves to pick up the flowers and play with grandpa Joe who is in his mid fifties now.  Joe has a three story house on the farm. There is a basement to store his stuff and utilities, a main floor on which he lives with his wife and that has two additional rooms for his children or guests. If everyone arrives simultaneously some have to get on the couch or some cots in the basement when it is not too cold.   There are four bed rooms on the first floor with a bathroom where four farm helps live. They all eat together at the restaurant that his wife runs with the help of Lucy, one of the helps at the farm. Because of this, the restaurant runs throughout the year, even in the lean seasons when there are few visitors from afar. They serve food made out of fresh farm produce only, at this restaurant. Everyday Lucy writes on a small black board in front of the restaurant what the day’s menu and deserts are. These vary throughout the year according to what is being produced on the farm. They serve lovegan food (see here) only that consists of stuff made from vegetables, wheat, eggs and milk products aside from fish.. The fish and chips of the restaurant are famous for fifty miles around served along with a green tossed salad or Cole-slaw and tartar sauce.

Joe's wife had figured that since she had to cook everyday anyway, she may as well do it for everyone at the restaurant only and now they rarely cook at home except for breakfast or that late night meal when there is a party at home. Even Christmas dinners for everyone are at the restaurant with family and if a lot of other customers arrive they open a lot of wine and push the tables to the side for a song and dance in the middle. The wine is on the house since the restaurant does not have a license to sell wine but those not from the farm pay a modest flat rate for the buffet dinner. Farmer Joe and his wife reserve gifts of free food for a shelter nearby that houses both aged persons and unaccompanied  minors in a shelter called HISA.

The restaurant has a sales counter too for farm fresh jams, honey, fruit, vegetables, cheese, flowers and wine that they produce at the farm and rarely is it that a visitor can resist buying something for home before leaving the restaurant.

There is a large room on top of the restaurant that can be reached from an outdoor stairway behind the restaurant. It has four beds set against the walls, a couch, and a TV that comes in handy when additional temporary workers drop in, especially when the fruit has to be picked or the spinach cut and dried. Joe and his wife Martha grow huge amounts of spinach on the farm. Some is chopped up for the hens, some used for the green pasta sauce (see here for recipe) at the restaurant but most of it is cut, cleaned and dried on racks in the barn. Martha uses the powdered dried spinach along with a little powdered celery to mix in the flour of her bread that is a signature product of the farm and is in demand in some far away special organic food stores.

There is a chicken coup and a diary at the farm but the chickens are only for egg and never killed. Similarly the cows are only for milk or to rest. Farmer Joe keeps five hundred chickens and twelve cows. Neither the cows nor the hens are locked up because they have a back yard orchard to roam in bounded by a small lake on the farm from where the hens and cows can drink too. The eggs of the farm are much healthier than those elsewhere because the hens get a lot to munch on in the orchard besides their regular feed.

The lake has both fish and ducks and this is where the duck eggs and fish for the restaurant and the local market come from. The lake is shaped like a U so that farmer Joe does not have to spend on fencing for the chicken and cows. The lake really fills up in rainy months but dries out a bit in the dry ones. It has gently sloping sides on the inner side so that the hens, birds and cows can easily walk up to it for a drink but the outer side is steep for a deep end that provides a home for the fish in the dry months. There are two wind generated water aeration pumps for the lake that oxygenate the water for the fish whenever the wind comes on. Farmer Joe’s farm is connected to the urban electricity grid but he has solar panels on the south side of his barn and home roofs so that most times he is feeding into the grid rather than taking from it, except when the days have been very cloudy.

The most interesting part of the farm is the orchard set within the lake. It is not like a conventional orchard with just a single variety but there are trees of five different varieties of fruit and one more that does not produces fruit but farmer Joe says it fixes nitrogen to fertilize the orchard. The rest of the trees along the road are fruit trees too. The gas for his cooking and the cooking at the restaurant comes from a bio-gas plant that is fueled by cow dung. Farmer Joe wanted to feed human shit into it too but his wife is fussy and did not permit that. She said that she once read a novel about a maid that mixed shit in the cake she baked and served it to her mistress who just loved the unusual flavor and lapped it up, LOL, but Martha was so horrified at the idea that she would have none of that anywhere near her kitchen. Needless to say everything on the farm is organic, fed by the huge amount of compost everything on the farm produces. Not a single leaf or bit of food is wasted but everything goes into the compost pit that is emptied out once every year for farm manure along with the manure that comes from the bio-digestors.

Set within the orchard are a hundred bee keeping boxes that produce honey for farmer Joe and the market too aside from pollinating all the fruit trees and flowers. With so many diverse activities on the farm, farmer Joe does not produce wheat but gets it from the market. He feels wheat is produced best in larger mechanized farms.  But they make their own fresh bread and pasta from wheat that is ground up into flour on the farm itself. Instead he has a patch for fodder for the cows, assorted vegetables and flowers around the farm and home. His roses and tulips are for flower shops in town. farmer Joe does not have to purchase much cooking oil though because there is so much butter on the farm after the milk is separated for the cheese. His wife coverts some into clarified butter and uses that for the fish and chips too, no wonder they taste so heavenly. They do not get much sugar either except for some for the cake icing and dusting the donuts, because of so much honey that they have on the farm instead.

Being a farmer down to his bones, farmer Joe can be very crude when it comes to expressing his feelings on things he feels strongly about. This is what he thinks of GM foods (The F words have been edited out),
Although on rare occasions farmer Joe will use fertilizers and he is also not strictly against GM plants but he is very strongly against patenting any and making a profit. He believes patenting life forms such as plants and seeds and then making a profit out of it is a great sin against life. Those who permit such patenting in his view are committing a great folly in their blind lust for wealth and power and shall be roasted in hell slowly and painfully while an imp of hell fires shall say, I have a patent over your life for me to grill as I like , because you too patented life while on earth, and you know what, I have patented the pain killer too, EIEI O

Farmer Joe and his farm in this post is fiction but included here as an example of the type of farms a post-modern village  might have.

Pond Image modified from

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

More on Dress Colors

A Book on Dress Colors

Although most posts of this blog are on important issues that matter to our world and our own inner selves, there are a few articles on a lighter note too. Some were on the absolutely hilarious or abominable practice, depending on how one looks at it, of additions to food that are taking place in the best of places on our planet. I choose to view these as ridiculous exceptions and therefore humorously, lest one stops eating anything that does not come from one's own kitchen because that article described how some famous chefs might be peeing into their gourmet creations to add that final exotic touch (here). A second set of posts on a playful note have been on choosing dress color

Based on a small book on how to choose dress colors, applicable to both men and ladies, developed using some principles of astrology and numerology, I found a dashing shirt color for myself and some famous persons on our planet. My belief in these latter sciences is only peripheral and not firm but then one has to find out one’s unique color somehow and just using personal judgment barely suffices because that can vary with time and person. Moreover, one may never explore precisely the right shade of dress for oneself or a loved one seeing that there are so many shades and colors to choose from in the modern RGB world where we begin with palettes of thousands of colors.

My shirt color turned out to be an unusual shade of green and I could not find a shirt in of that color in the stores. Therefore I went to a fabric shop that stores a wide variety of shades and selected the right color from his shop. The shop owner was intrigued and asked, “Why do you want a shirt in such a color.” I explained it was because of astrology and he said, “O!” -------LOL

Soon after, the shirt was produced by a tailor and I put up a selfie (here)of that in an earlier post. Frankly I did not feel fully delighted with such a shade of green but friends said it looked good and I did look dashing and younger. The book talked of being successful in love with that and would you believe it, I did begin to get chased by some and had a hard time escaping : -) 

I have now put that shirt away deep inside the wardrobe until I am ready for some more romantic love in life because frankly I have had enough of that when I was younger and it was fun. But, Lo and behold! The author of the book has continued his research and come with a revised version that suggests a second effective color. It turns out that the difference in shade is only slight in very many cases but those with a greenish shade have a second bluish shade too. Based on that, the shade of my shirt and a Dress for Hillary Clinton in the second shade is displayed below. However, I have yet to decide if I should get a shirt in the second shade. It may force me to run and hide in the Himalayas  :- )

From a spiritual point of view pure white has been regarded as the most appropriate dress color across spiritual traditions and the CAANS system too states that the colors white as also black are not personality dependent and applicable to all in equal measure aside from browns and grays that are described as neutral for ladies and men respectively. It is only when other colors outside of plain black and white are sought that the CAANS System determination comes into play.

A CAANS System Dress Color
For men if the determined color is too bright it is suggested they wear it as a tie with a white shirt, at least in professional and work settings and I think my shade would be nice for a tie.I shall look for one. It will be definitely nicer than a red tie I have worn most often before.

After writing this post, I googled for images of Hillary Clinton and found one here in the same color as described here. It has confirmed what was discovered earlier, that many successful person have already discovered their ideal dress colors and it is one on the contributing factors in their success in life. Hope Hilary wears a lot of this for her 2016 campaign aside from white and black as also some of her other green shade mentioned in an earlier post perhaps in combined prints of this blue and the original green something like illustrated on the cover of the book. Wishing her success for 2016 whichever way she decides.

Hillary Clinton

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jacaranda, tree of Angelic Beauty

Jacaranda Trees along a Street

Seeds, fruits and foliage feed  the body
Beauty of  flowers feeds the soul
Jacaranda is a flowering tree in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of  South America. It has been planted widely in Asia and Australia now. Jacaranda can be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds though plants grown from seeds take a long time to bloom. Jacaranda grows in well drained soil and tolerates drought and brief spells of frost and freeze. Several are widely grown as ornamental trees throughout the subtropical regions of the world because of their intense flower displays. It has a delicate and pretty foliage too and makes a great potted plant as well until it grows to a height of three feet or so at which time it must be transferred to garden, park or the forest. 

Blue Jacaranda is used in medicine and industry. It’s wood, in a cream and pink tone and pleasant smell, is used in cabinet making and carpentry, specially in the automotive industry for luxury cars. The method of using jacarandas as medicine varies. Some experts use essential oils derived from the leaves, others from bark, seeds aka fruits that look like a cross between a tiny turtle shell and a nut or flowers. Others use, instead, a water extract of any of these same parts. Either by use internally or externally, however, Brazilians--where the jacaranda originated--among others in natural healing fields proclaim its efficacy in treating bacterial infections as well as gonorrhea and syphilis. Since about one-third of the world population is allergic to penicillin--the primary drug used in fighting these venereal diseases as well as other infections--it is beneficial to have the option offered by the jacaranda Mimosifolia.

The tree in bloom with its soft blue flowers is an exhilarating and divine sight. In a novella first published in 1992 (Mystic and the Blossoms) this author described a village road with Jacaranda on both sides and shedding masss of blooms on the road. Since then either because of this story or otherwise the practice has been adopted on many other beautiful roads around the world.

Jacaranda leaves and flowers

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gulmohar, Tree of Flamboyant Beauty

Gulmohar tree, foliage and flowers

Trees add value to the planet since all produce oxygen, add organic matter to soil, help stabilize climate and offer sites for birds and insects to make their homes and playgrounds on. Some trees produce food  for humans and diary animals and these need to be given emphasis in modern times because of a currently huge and rising population on the planet. Nonetheless, beauty is required too because

While fruit and seeds feed the body, beauty feeds the soul.

While it is trees like the almond, peach and cherry that provide beauty as well as food in cooler parts of the planet, it is trees like Palash, Gulmohar and Jacaranda that are some of the most beautiful trees in regions with hot summers. The Gulmohar tree is a beautiful tree because both its flowers and feathery fern-like leaves are exceedingly beautiful. Flowers range in color from yellow to bright red. The botanical name of this plant is Delonix regia. It is also known as the flame of the forest.

The seeds yield about 20 percent fatty oil known as the “karanga” oil. Its main use is in the tanning industry. The oil also finds use in soap- making, illuminating and pharmaceutical preparations. The oil cake is a good fertilizer. The seed cake can also be used in poultry rations to substitute black “til” component.

Although this needs to be researched further , the oil is likely to be a good bio-fuel too. It may be made to simulate both diesel and gasoline by mixing in different proportions with ethanol, another bio-fuel.

The plant has medicinal uses although this too needs further research.

One impediment towards modern research is what appears to be the abominable practice of modern medicinal research, born of pharmaceutical greed to do research on extracts i.e. unnatural chemical products rather than what God made i.e directly the plant product, thus producing medicines that are often not only deficient but also those causing harmful side effects. The justification used for working on extracts is that dosage can be controlled but it is false argument because there are other natural ways of controlling dosage e.g. mixing plant product with another neutral food product in different proportions to maintain fixed dosage by volume.

Gulmohar leaf is used in folk medicine of Bangladesh for treatment of diabetes, but so far no scientific studies appear to have been done to confirm this use in traditional medicine. It appears that the the seed purifies and enriches blood and is used in cases of inflammation, ear ache and chest complaints. The oil appears to possess insecticidal and anti-bacterial properties. Leaves and flowers of this plant may be edible seeing fondness of cows and other animals for them however this use of the tree needs to be explored and verified further.

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