Air Pollution

This Tuesday, Kolkata was officially the world’s worst polluted city. Sad state of affairs, but we will reap what we sow. Continuously trying to improve things – here’s an example.

Open air burning of trash is a common sight in the city – result of unawareness, laziness, etc. At a community level, bring awareness about it.

At a personal level, start using respirator masks. I use 3M Particulate Respirators – available online. Feel free to take from my stock at home. I retail from the best 3M distributor in the city.

Please help!

“Sad But True” ~ Metallica

Ode to Air

Air, air, it’s everywhere,
In your face and in your hair
It can be a gentle breeze,
It leaves your mouth when you sneeze,
It can be a strong gust,
It can carry debris or dust.
So when you feel air blow by,
Just remember to say “hi.”

Air, air, in the sky,
It can carry a plane or a fly,
Sweet air, cradle of life,
Protect it, without any strife.
You inhale it,
You exhale it,
If of air we were deprived,
None of us would have survived

Air, air it’s so great,
About that there is no debate,
You don’t have to be quiet,
Feel free to start a riot.
Let’s work on the solution,
To curb the air pollution,
And make sure no one protests,
That air needs our best.

~  2017 winning poem by fifth grader Ali Adhami of Madinah Academy of Madison

Su Jok

“SuJok” is a combination of two words. In Korean ‘Su’ means hands and ‘Jok’ means feet. Thus, SuJok actually means treating on hands and feet. SuJok Acupuncture is a Physical & Metaphysical, Natural Therapy of healing without drugs. Acupuncture and Acupressure is done in mostly all parts of the body. But SuJok focus only on Hand and Feet as per it’s name origin.

Stimulating the particular points helps to increase the energy flow to the particular organ and keep the organ healthy. If you had tried clapping your hands as a therapy, You will feel it.

Black Pepper

Crowned as ‘the King of Spices’ and wholly packed with large amount of solar energy, Pepper is also called as Marich, which is the Sanskrit name for Sun. Ayurveda recommends Black pepper and its essential oil for treating asthma, sinus congestion, chronic indigestion, cold and other respiratory infections, obesity, improper metabolism, urinary problems, cholera, headache, intermittent fever, toxic remains in the system and for certain other health issues.

The legendary Roman book ‘The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ written by Edward Gibbon quotes pepper as “a favorite ingredient of the most expensive Roman cookery“.

Surya Namaskara

Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation has a great energizing effect on the body, prana and mind. In Sanskrit, ‘Surya’ means the sun and ‘Namaskara’ means the salutation. Surya Namaskara consists of a series of yoga postures. There are 12 yoga poses performed in sequence. Surya Namskara is usually done in the morning during sunrise, facing the rising sun. It may also be done during sunset, again facing the setting sun.

Surya or the Sun God has been given great importance from the Vedic culture which sees divinity in the whole of creation. The Sun is called ‘Pratyaksha Narayana’ or God in the living form, which can be perceived by our naked eyes. The sun provides the energy that makes life possible on earth. Surya Namaskara is a form of worship to the Sun God, Surya. Each of the 12 poses has a specific mantra that the practitioner may optionally recite mentally. Each of those mantras is a name of the Sun-God, describing his glory.

  1. Pranamasana : Om Mitraya Namaha
  2. Hasta Uttanasana : Om Ravaye Namaha
  3. Pada Hastasana : Om Suryaya Namaha
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana : Om Bhanave Namaha
  5. Parvatasana : Om Khagaya Namaha
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara : Om Pushne Namaha
  7. Bhujangasana : Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha
  8. Parvatasana : Om Marichaye Namaha
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana : Om Adityaya Namaha
  10. Pada Hastasana : Om Savitre Namaha
  11. Hasta Uttanasana : Om Arkaya Namaha
  12. Pranamasana : Om Bhaskaraya Namaha

Turmeric

Turmeric “the golden spice of life” is one of most essential spice used as an important ingredient in culinary all over the world. In the 13th century, writing about his travels in China, Marco Polo mentioned “a vegetable which has all the properties of the true saffron, as well as the colour, and yet it is not really saffron”. He was describing turmeric.

Turmeric has at least 6,000 years of documented history of its use in Ayurvedic medicines and socio-religious practices. The world is waking up to the natural healing and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, which have been used since the vedic ages in the Indian subcontinent. Of late, modern medicine has started to recognize its importance, as indicated by turmeric’s presence in more than 3,000 publications in the last 25 years.

तुलसि – Tulasi

Tulasi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. It is mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity.

नमः तुलसि कल्याणी नमो विष्णुप्रिये शुभे
नमो मोक्षप्रदायिके देवी नमो सम्पत्प्रदायिके

namastulasi kalyANi namo vishNu-priye shubhe
namo mokshaprade devi namah sampat-pradAyini

Salutations to Devi Tulasi Who brings Goodness in life, is the beloved of Sri Vishnu and is Auspicious,
Salutations to Devi Tulasi Who grants Liberation, bestows Prosperity.

Bhagavad Gita

Today, Shukla Ekadashi of the Hindu calendar, is Gita Jayanti, the birthday of the Bhagavad Gita. Must be one of the only books to have its birthday celebrated. One of the best places online to explore this ancient text is The Gita Supersite, India’s first cultural informatics project. Had contributed to it when I was at IIT Kanpur

“From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures.” – Adi Sankara

“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.” – Mahatma Gandhi