Vein Knowledge

Few days back I happen to meet a student whom his teacher has rewarded with knowledge. His face was shining bright. And why don’t his face shine for he had reason, he got knowledge from his teacher (Guru). It was pleasure to see him. Somehow a question came to my mind, for how many days will you be able to carry this gift? Will you be able to enhance this knowledge?

I remember in school days, we were taught, “Knowledge increases with its use”. True it is, knowledge will increase with its use, but with proper use. One can increase knowledge with its constructive thoughts, thoughtful and watchful use of knowledge.

When I met that student, I recalled the story of “Alchemist” by Paul Cohelo, very famous story. The boy who is the hero of the story meets a wise man, who gives him a spoon having few drops of oil and asks him to carry the spoon while he moves around the palace. The boy does what he was being told but when he returns to the wise man, there was no oil in the spoon.

Teachers give us knowledge and set us free to move around the palace. It is up to the student how much he preserves his knowledge, how much he use his knowledge and grow. The usual mistake a student does is to lose the knowledge like the boy lost the oil in the spoon.

Today after many days when I met that student again I can see he has lost the shining brightness. It was normal phenomena; till the student will realize that the shining brightness is lost a good amount of time would have been lost. The student will then have to put extra efforts to get that knowledge.  Our mind is like a spoon and the knowledge we receive is like oil. It is our duty to protect that oil while we move around the luxury of the palace.

My personal experiment to learn about Ashraya Dosh

I had spent one month with a family which

— Don’t unite to lite lamp atleast once a day. Though each of them pray individually if they wish to pray.

— Don’t care to choose good vegetables and food.

— Don’t clean food before cooking and don’t get time to clean dinning table

— Don’t get time to clean temple placed in the house nor time to clean vessels used at the time on Pooja (worshiping God). The greatness is they don’t have time to Clean God’s Statue.

All these was making eligible for Ashraya Dosh, if we take reference of those books and writings.

Effects I have seen in that family

— Children didn’t have sense of talking with elders.

— Food use to get stale within short time period (after all without keeping surrounding clean how can you keep food in the same state for a long time period)

— Minds were restless and were indulged in finding shortcuts to success. (though there is no shortcut to success)

— Thoughts and Acts were Wicked.

— Always making plans to acquire food and funds with unfair means. (cheating, lie, fraud were in blood)

Another Family with whom I spent one month, which

— Use to unite without fail to lite lamp atleast once a day

— Use to eat food together

— Even if they had less Rupees in pocket, they use to make sure they get good quality food

— Put extra efforts to clean food and vegetables.

— Keep kitchen, vessels and dinning table crystal clean.

— Didn’t strictly follow religion but use to clean Statue of God everyday.

Effects I have felt in this house

— As soon as you enter in this house all your senses get calm.

— Mind and thoughts gets filled with fresh thoughts. A sort of peace is being felt.

— Children use to give respect to elders and were ready to serve elders at their best.

— People were pure from heart and were not involved in any cheating and unfair means.

— Truth was their strength and their thoughts were not wicked.

— They were able to happily manage their family budget with their work.

Now from all these posts on Ashraya Dosh, its up to you What you learn and What you follow?

Ashraya and Dosh by Shruti, Ramanuja

Shruti :– “आहारशुद्धौ सत्त्वशुद्धिः सत्त्वशुद्धौ ध्रुव स्मृतिः—When the food is pure, then the inner-sense gets purified; on the purification of the innersense, memory (of the soul’s perfection) becomes steady.”

Ahara means the sense-perceptions

Everyone knows by experience that impure food weakens the power of receptivity of the Indriyas or makes them act in opposition to the will. It is a well-known fact that indigestion distorts the vision of things and makes one thing appeal as another, and that want of food makes the eyesight and other powers of the senses dim and weak. Similarly, it is often seen that some particular kind of food brings on some particular state of the body and the mind. This principle is at the root of those many rules which are so strictly enjoined in Hindu society—that we should take this sort and avoid that sort of food—though in many cases, forgetting their essential substance, the kernel, we are now busy only with quarelling about the shell and keeping watch and ward over it.

Râmânujâchârya asks us to avoid three sorts at defects which, according to him, make food impure.

The first defect is that of the Jâti, i.e. the very nature or the species to which the food belongs, as onion, garlic, and so on. These have an exciting tendency and, when taken, produce restlessness of the mind, or in other words perturb the intellect. The next is that of Âshraya, i.e. the nature of the person from whom the food comes. The food coming from a wicked person will make one impure and think wicked thoughts, while the food coming from a good man will elevate one’s thoughts. Then the other is Nimitta-dosha, i.e. impurity in food due to such agents in it as dirt and dust, worms or hair; taking such food also makes the mind impure. Of these three defects, anyone can eschew the Jati and the Nimitta, but it is not easy for all to avoid the Ashraya.

This is the part of the writings on Shruti and Ramanuja.

Ashraya Dosh — Part 3

The food that you eat generated blood and this blood affects your thinking. Go through some of science white papers and you will learn that its not just a statement but fact. What ever food you eat affects your thinking.

A meat eater is said to be aggressive and a vegetable eater is said to be non-aggressive person. The former’s blood would be hot while the latter’s blood would be cold. Which means, with his thoughts he would be angry person while the other will not be that much angry. Many would jump here telling that they are vegetarian but get anger seats on their nose tips. They would be always ready to kill anyone who makes them angry. Then I would say, please go and read the “Part 2” of this sequence. I bet you would be missing one of the points mentioned in the “Part 2”.

In Bhagavad Puran in the end verses of 1st chapter, you will learn about the formation of human body. In that you will learn who each part gets nourished. If you can’t read or understand it. Here is in simple language. Each part, be it mind, eye, ears, nose, hands, legs, heart any body part, gets nourished with the “QUALITY” of food you take.  So if you miss any quality standard you are prone to “ASHRAYA DOSH”.

Now question will come what will happen if I am prone to “ASHRAYA DOSH”?

1) Your Thoughts would be degraded.

2) Your Speach would be degraded.

3) Your Act would be degraded.

4) You would be indulged in getting money from unfair means.

5) Your words won’t be giving anyone peace and no one would like to be with you.

Many would be speaking bad words, addressing others and elders with bad words, thinking that they are supreme power. Such people are suffering from Ashraya Dosh.  A unhealthy mind results in unhealthy body and unhealthy body, mind together results in unhealthy society.

Ashraya Dosha — Part 2

In the previous post you learnt about few habit of ours or most of us. Here you will learn how these habits leads you to Ashraya Dosha.

1) Type of Food:– The food which you eat turns into blood in your body. This blood nourishes each and every body part. One of the important part of your body is your brain, which controls your thoughts, behavior and your activities. Impurities in food effects the creation of blood. Let the scientists comment on how impurities affect creation of blood?

Let me continue here with the main topic, do you remember why our grandparents insist on getting good food? If not, they were aware of the fact that good food can make a healthy body and brain. Do you notice, our grandparents at the age of 90 was able to do their work on their own. Many was able to walk without support and needed glasses very late, while today, a child of class 1st, ie, 6-7 years need glasses and shout with body pain at night.

Believe it or not, it is because of food. Stale food, Rotten food contains germs, these germs make the food impure (Dushita). In ancient time, till the age of our grandparents, before serving food to house members, food was being served to God. Every house use to have a small temple or statue of God in their house. Where they use to serve food before serving to other members of house. Today hardly we follow this. In order to serve food to God, you should choose best vegetables. If you keep this religious part away, the best vegetables you choose was consumed by members of family. Which was building their health. And a healthy family builds healthy society.

According to Gita, Tulsidas and people like him, God is no where else, he is in you, a healthy body, a healthy soul and a healthy soul is the place of God.

If you forget this, you get impurities in your blood. This impure blood makes your thoughts impure. Will tell you later how?

2) Method of Cooking:– Do you remember our grandma use to take special care to preserve food, while cutting vegetables she use to keep her complete concentration on vegetables and use to take care to pick smallest weeds, insects or any unwanted particle from vegetables and pulses.

But I have seen many don’t dare to clean vegetables before cutting. Don’t you know that there could be pesticides on the skin of vegetables which goes in your stomach and may fall you sick? Many don’t lend eyes on leaves of certain vegetables and cut them blindly. Can’t you see or are you such lazy that you can’t notice, left overs of insects on leaves, half eaten leafs by insects? Many would tell me, who care of it, its a small thing, why do we waste time in it, we have number of work to do.

You get water on your door step, vegetables on your door step, you have oven to cook food, servants to clean house, air conditioner to chill. Did your grandma had all these facilities, still she use to take care of cleanliness. She was not going to job but she was required to take food to field on time. Don’t you remember?

Keeping that aside, food containing weeds, insects cooked together with food, left overs cooked with food spoil your health and your family member health. God (which I will refer here as your good thoughts) will not be happy with such food. If no evil thought come to you, you are trapped in Ashraya Dosha.

3) Place of Cooking:– Do you remember how our grandma use to cook food? She use to first clean kitchen, wipe floor with mud (ancient houses had floors made of mud + cow dung), then she use to take bath, put on fresh clothes, clean vegetables, pulses, clean utensils used for cooking food, clean wood used in fire. And remember she would have brought water after taking bath. While cooking she will not touch anyone who has not taken bath nor even let kids or people walk in the kitchen. Do you remember how tasty that food was? yummy, yummy… Right?

But today what we do, we don’t even clean our platform or stove which we use to cook food. In some house, women don’t even wipe out floor from the platform or stove for whole year till Diwali and keep on cooking or sometimes till they change house. Do you know how many insects would pill up on this dirty place? Do you know how many infections you will invite through such poor platforms? Some are lazy and some don’t have time and some simply don’t like this job.

Food cooked in such place is offered to your body (which I will refer here as God). If you look at such place, you start commenting and making publicity of such house and lady without looking at yourself and even advice others not to eat that house. If you avoid such place, then how God (evil thoughts) can come to you? If no evil thought come to you, you are trapped in Ashraya Dosha.

4) Place of Serving Food and Plate:– The environment where you eat food also affects your thinking and attitude. Many don’t use their eyes before the take food in their plate and start eating food. I have observed in many houses people wash vessels and keep them out in sun or wherever they wash them. Don’t dare to dry them and arrange them at place. They will arrange all vessels at the end of the day or sometimes whenever required. After all they would be missing their favorite (stupid type) daily soaps or would be getting late to chat with friend or getting late to reach office. Such left out vessels are prone to attract germs. HOW? If vessels are left out, they will attract animals like cats or dogs or monkey to lick them. Such animals would leave back germs on these vessels. As you would have removed all leftovers from the vessels, you usually never think of cleaning them (again you would be hurry in reach out daily soap or friends or office).

Now it is seem many don’t think of cleaning place at which they take food. If it would be floor (ancient style) then without thinking about the floor and using eyes to notice dirt on floor, plate would be placed and food would be served. If its dinning table we don’t think of cleaning the mats. I have heard people telling, “XYZ, we don’t find any dirt, it all happens, we are busy and we don’t have time to do such things, we will inform servant.” and some would say “one day we are going to get mixed in this mud, mud is everywhere, outside body and inside body, let it be there”. I would say GREAT PEOPLE.

Then comes the clothes of cook and the person who serves. If its house or hotel, both cook and serve if both are different or same person, they should think of cleaning clothes before cooking and serving. If is seen that many people wipe their hands with clothes while cooking. And many GREAT ladies clean many things with that “pallu of sari” (an edge of Sari) and then when cooking clean hands and vessels with that “pallu” (remembering those scenes make me feel vomit at this moment).

Again I would say, if you are cooking food for GOD (here I refer it as your body) then don’t you think, food should be of good quality? Don’t you think, the method of cooking should maintain quality? and Don’t you think the place where you eat food and the plate you use should be clean and pure?

Ashraya Dosh

What is Ashraya and What is Ashraya Dosh? How it affects any individual and community in whole?

These were questions when I first learned years back about ashraya. Simple meaning of Ashraya is Shelter and Dosh means Fault. Now the question comes is, is it the fault of the person who gives you shelter? or fault from taking shelter from wrong person? But the term “Ashraya Dosh” is not exactly related to shelter, it is related to our food habits, cooking of food, place where we eat food, method we used to cook food. Thus it is related to dosha which we fall into through food we take.

First let me explain how one falls in this dosha.

First thing we need to take into notice is which kind of food we bring in our house? Many of us or most of us, go to market, look for cheap vegetables and bring that home. Some time or most of the time people go to the market when its time to close market. At that time vendor would be closing his shop and would be interested in selling remaining vegetables at the lowest cost you ask. You will be able to buy the bulk in a low cost. Isn’t it? You bring that bulk home with happy face. Right?

Second thing to notice is the method of cooking. Some times or many of us cut vegetables first and then clean them, Right? While cutting vegetables we would be busy watching our favorite show on Television, Right? In that important show where in-law would be harassing a poor lady, we might cut some worms as well or forget to remove weeds from the vegetable, have you noticed this? or you have just ignored it!!!!

Third thing to notice is where you cook and how you cook? Many or most of us don’t dare to clean platform or floor where we cook food, what difference it makes it is clean only, Right? When we are lazy in cleaning platform, why do we dare to clean or wipe utensils to cook food, Right? All these things are far away from thought as we are always in rush to reach our favorite show or meet friends or reach office, and in all these important work we forget to wash our hands before cooking, Right? Some would ask a question, Now whats the need to wash hands? When we don’t think of washing hands why will we think of changing clothes before thinking, Right?

Fourth thing to consider is the place where the food is served and the plate in which food is served. When we have schedule for crazy television shows and or for office, work or job, how can we spend time on cleaning utensils we eat into, Right? We pass this job to our servant or leave them out in heat to dry on its own, Right? And in all these hectic schedule, how can we get time to notice that, our uncleaned utensils are being licked by cats or dogs, Right? (this might be common at many places in India, Right? Please readers of other Nations don’t rush washroom to vomit or curse Indian people…. Please)

See how these habits of yours can lead to Ashraya Dosh, here……

What is Gita?

Before answering this question, I would briefly narrate my experience.  I was a teenager waiting for my graduation results when I happen to receive a currier of ISCON temple containing Prasadam, CD and some other material. My father is used to give donations to temple every year. I opened the packet and was delighted to find CD. I wished to listen and or view the material in the CD. With eager hands I placed that CD in my computer, which i love most, and started enjoying verses of Gita. From that day, I use to listen Gita everyday. Till I got some odd job and admission in post graduation. I use to listen it almost for half of the day. I would admit here, I fell in love with the 10th chapter and unknowingly I started to follow that chapter. Learned ways to meditate. Honestly, it use to give me a lot of piece and enjoyment. Gradually with hectic schedules I was unable to grab that CD. But fortunately I managed to return back to Gita. I would term it as my mother here. And for how many days a mother can remain away from her child?

While I returned back. I learned meaning of Gita and felt like being grown-up. It showed me path in my life. It became my teacher and showed me a new world of knowledge, eternal light, full of peace and happiness. After knowing this world, I was surprised to find why I was not able to touch that world earlier when I use to listen Gita every day? Gita answered all my such questions. Though I say I learned a lot from Gita, I feel like its just 0.005% of what Gita can teach one.

What is Gita?

If you go with the meaning of the word, Gita, means song. In sanskrit, Geet, means, a song. Bhagavad means fortune or fortune maker. Thus, Bhagavad Gita in whole, means, the Song which tells the glory of fortune maker, or the glory of lord.