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Friday, October 19, 2012

Navratri and number 9

Navratri and number 9
As the auspicious festival of Navratri begins, it's time to wear the festive mood. Navratri in 2012 starts on the 16th of October and will continue till the 24th of October.
What is Navratri?

Navratri, or Navaratri, is a Hindu festival to worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga (Shakti/Devi). It is usually celebrated in the month of October; the dates, however, are determined by the lunar calendar. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit (nava means nine and ratri means night).

Significance of the Nine Nights

The Navratri commences on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin. The nine days of the Navratras are devoted to Maa Durga, Maa Lakshmi and Maa Saraswati, with each goddess being worshipped for three days, respectively.

1st to 3rd Day: The initial days of the Navratras are dedicated to Maa Durga, the Goddess of Valor. During the first three days, Maa Durga is dressed in red and mounted on a lion, and her various incarnations are worshipped. On the very first day of Navratri, barley seeds are sown on a bed of mud prepared in the puja room.

4th to 6th Day: The next three days are devoted to Maa Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. She is dressed in white and mounted on an owl, and is worshipped for peace and prosperity.

7th & 8th Day: The final days are dedicated to Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. She is being worshipped to acquire spiritual knowledge. Yagna, or holy fire, is performed on the 8th day of the Navratras.

Mahanavami: The 9th and final day of the Navratras is called the Mahanavami, the day when the festival of Navratri culminates. On this final day, nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped and it is known as Kanya Puja.

The festival of Navratri is one of the most celebrated festivals among the Hindus. Dancing, feasting and fasting become the daily routine for the Hindus during the nine days of the Navratras. Although it is celebrated all across India, the festival of Navratri is most popular in Gujarat and Bengal. While Dandiya and Garba Raas are the highlights of the Navratras in Gujarat, people in Bengal pamper themselves with new, bright clothes and indulge in feasting sweets during this festive season.

Now, it is that time of the year again when one needs to get into the festive mood and start chanting 'Bolo Durga Maiyya ki Jai!!!'

Numerological meaning of number 9

This festival is celebrated for nine days. What is the importance of number 9 in numerology? Read on to find out the significance and numerological meaning of number 9:

In numerological world, number 9 is ruled by the Planet Mars. People with ruling number 9 are aggressive, courageous, dashing and quick. They are naturally attracted to people born between July 21 and August 20 and between November 21 and December 20. They also have an affinity for those governed by the numbers 3, 6 and 9. They are very lucky as far as career and financial status are concerned.

In numerology, if you are born on the 9th of the month, you are considered a fighter. You are aggressive and don't stop until you reach your goal. You have a fiery temperament and a dashing personality. You are full of vigour and vitality. You are brave and do not flinch from confrontation or conflict. You are exceedingly devoted to your friends and will go to any lengths to help them. You always sympathize with the underdog. Though you act in good faith, the lack of tact and delicacy in your manner often causes you to be misunderstood. You will need to be more discrete, especially when dealing with friends and relatives.



The 13 Best Foods You Aren't Eating= HEALTH=


20 diet tips for BUSY Executives..=HEALTHAWAWRENESS=

20 diet tips for BUSY Executives..

Your health has everything to do with how you balance your diet and time.
Driking tea/coffee at work

Being overstressed and under-rested, and thinking that there are a few simple steps that can be followed to stay healthy, brings to mind Cecile B DeMille’s famous quip: “It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.”
Experts agree that the key to healthy eating is the time-tested advice of balance, variety and moderation. In short, this means eating a wide variety of foods without getting too many calories, or too much of any one nutrient.

If you know someone – or, you are one of those busy executives – whose life circumstances are such that you just do not have the “luxury” of getting adequate physical and emotional rest on a regular basis, please consider sharing the following 20 diet tips [better still - practice them!]:
  1. Find out how many calories you need

    It is not as easy as it sounds, but it is very important for an individual to know his/her caloric requirement [approx 1,800 calories/day] – on the basis of which reduction in calories for weight loss, weight management, or weight gain, can be pursued. Speak to a dietician or nutritionist who can help you decide on what suits your needs best.
  2. Be a fan of fruits and vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial fibre, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. They fill up your stomach quickly, so you feel full just as quickly. They are also low in calories and help to keep your calorie count low. Take at least 3-4 servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables each day. Snack on apples, melons, peaches, carrots, or green and red pepper strips. Don’t forget juices – or, a glass of fruit or vegetable juice.
  3. Watch for portion-size

    Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. One serving of pasta means 1/2 cup of cooked pasta. However, most restaurants serve a pasta dish with 4 servings of pasta! You do not need to finish and clean off the plate every time. You can simply ask to take home the leftover.
  4. Do not skip meals

    Eating small frequent meals helps to balance your calorie intake throughout the day and also keeps your blood sugar level balanced. Instead of eating three big meals, try to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day.
  5. Eat your breakfast

    “Breaking the fast” from the prior evening is crucial for sustained mental work. The brain’s sole source of energy is glucose, and it has no storage reserves. Eating breakfast has been shown to improve overall attitude, increase concentration and problem-solving ability. In addition, studies show those who eat breakfast typically consume fewer calories and fat compared to those who do not start their day off with a healthy meal. If you aren’t used to eating something in the morning, grab something light like a yogurt and a piece of fruit, or a bowl of oatmeal. Avoid heavy breakfasts – skip high fat meat, deep fried snacks like samosa, batata wada. Choose oatmeal, 100 per cent fruit juice, milk, yogurt, fresh fruit, or high fibre cereal for a great breakfast.
  6. Take time for balanced lunch

    Yes, for the busy executive many of your lunches are often something you grabbed out of the pantry and snacked on while working at the computer. Not only is it important to take a break during the day, it is crucial to take time to eat. When you eat at the computer, it becomes unconscious eating. You aren’t paying attention to how much of that food item you are eating and this, in turn, is a quick way to gain weight. It becomes impossible to be conscious of feeling “full” when your mind if focused on work, and not your body. Take some time for yourself to eat a balanced meal during the day. Include some protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will help you to improve your energy and focus during the day as well as keep your weight where you want it.
  7. Go for wholesome fresh foods

    If possible, purchase fresh foods and avoid package [processed] and convenient foods such as fast-food. Packaged and convenient foods are often high in sodium and fat content. Many people are amazed that they can easily lose weight by packing a home-cooked lunch to work instead of eating out.
  8. Reduce, don’t eliminate certain foods

    Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. Everyone has his or her favourite treats. Simply allow yourself a little indulgence, but watch out for the frequency and the quantity. Having a small treat once in a while can be rewarding to your weight loss experience. Cutting too much of your favourite treats usually leads to an early relapse.
    Choose skim or low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat such as flank steak. This can reduce your fat intake significantly. If you love fried chicken, you don’t have to give it up. Just eat it less often. When dining out, share it with a friend; ask for a take-home bag, or a smaller portion.
  9. Understand food claims and labels

    A product labelled with a fat-free claim does not mean that it is low in calories. Similarly, a product labelled as low-sugar or low-carb does not mean it is low in fat or calories. Always read the nutrition label on the packaging, or ask an expert.
  10. Watch for sugary drinks and relinquish caffeine

    Juices, pop, cream and sugar in your coffee or tea all add up. Opt for drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. In addition to providing hydration to your body, it will also help you feel full.
    Starting your day off with a pot of coffee is not exactly a balanced breakfast, but it is likely the most common. People are more dependent than ever on caffeine to provide them a “perk” of energy. The downside is that’s all it is providing – a quick perk. The reality is caffeine gives you small bursts of energy and then you crash to an energy low which leaves you to need even more. Caffeine also pulls fluid from your cells, which can cause mild dehydration and contributes to the three o’clock slump. Symptoms of mild dehydration are: fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability, anxiety, and mild headache. hmm, sounds familiar? Stick to one caffeinated beverage a day and work on drinking more water
  11. Keep a food journal

    Writing a daily food journal helps you pin-point your eating pattern and enable you to easily modify it.
  12. Exercise

    Most authorities recommend 30-40 minutes of physical activity a day to stay healthy. Also, try adding weight-bearing exercises at least two times a week. This will help burn some of the unwanted calories.
  13. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods

    You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Speak to a dietitian or nutritionist for individualised needs.
  14. Go for the grain

    Nutrition experts recommend 6-11 daily servings of grains, including bread, rice, cereal and pasta. To reach this goal, you can include plenty of grain-based snacks that are low in fat and calories, like crackers, pretzels, and fat-free flavoured rice cakes.
  15. Balance your food choices over time

    Not every food has to be “perfect.” When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.
  16. Know your diet pitfalls

    To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what’s wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Check your list with the rest of these 20 tips. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions. Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables? If not, you may be missing out on vital nutrients.
  17. Make changes gradually

    Just as there are no “miracle foods,” or easy answers to a healthy diet, don’t expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too soon, can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, life-long eating habits. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually, you may find you like skim, too.
  18. Remember, foods are not good or bad

    Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is “good” or “bad.” Don’t feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars, or ice-cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.
  19. Don’t forget dairy

    Include snacks from milk, yogurt and cheese group. To help meet your daily calcium requirements, choose two to three servings of dairy products each day. Snack on low-fat yogurt, or have a low-fat or skim milk shake.
  20. Start small

    You’re not going on a diet. Rather, you’re changing the way you eat for the rest of your life. So, there’s no need to cut out dietary fat – all at once. You might start by switching to milk instead of cream in your coffee, or low-fat mayonnaise on your sandwiches and so on.
In addition to this, check your height and weight. Or, use a chart to see if you are overweight for your height. Your body mass index [BMI] is the weight in kilogram divided by the height in meter-squared: remember, it should be below 25.
Most important: follow the Three As in life – adjust, adopt, accommodate.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Navratri Special - Goddess Lakshami - Compasssion and Movement *

Lakshmi is the second form of the Goddess worshipped
from the 4th to the sixth day during the 9 day Navratri festival

Where the first three days are spent in physically cleansing onself
of bodily flaws and toxicity and acquring physical illuminance so necessary
for commiting actions, the second phase is one that is spent
on utilising the fruits of the first phase in serving our fellow humans

Compassion and Sharing

That's the underlying mantra or mindset to be acquired or worked for
during this phase .. Three days may seem to be a microcosm in time
to acquire the gift of mindset, but the idea is to make one experience 
at least the effect of it even if ever so small ...

When the mind is single mindedly fixed on understanding and then
ingraining in oneself the sentiment of sharing, even a glimpse of it
would ignite in one the single minded desire to acquire it ...

The powers acquired in the first three days of worshipping Kali
are to expended for the good of society .. or ones spiritual progress,
for in sharing we gain much more than if we were to selfishly hoard it

There is a metaphorical significance attached to the image of
Lakshmi as the consort of Vishnu ..

One of the names of Vishnu is "Nara"
which is also used for denoting water
And "Ayan" refers to residence ...
Vishnu's name Narayan thus denotes one who resides in Water
Lakshmi is also referred to as residing in Rice - rather grains of rice ..

And we all know that rice is cooked in the presence of water ...
The fire required for cooking it is the effort...

In other words, only when one makes the effort and sweats it (releasing
water via perspiring) that one can attract Lakshmi (wealth and abundance)

The message is simple -

hard work has no substitute for abundance ..


The appearance of goddess Lakshmi is related to an ancient story.
Durvasa the short-tempered sage once presented Indra, the king of the
gods (devas) with a garland of flowers which would never wilt. Indra gave
this garland to his elephant Airavata. Sage Durvasa saw the elephant
trampling the divine garland and cursed Indra, for he had shown disrespect
to the sage. The sage cursed Indra that he and all the gods would lose their
power because it had made them so proud and vain.

Due to the curse, the demons vanquished the gods out of the heavens.

The defeated gods then went to seek refuge to the Creator Lord Brahma
who asked them to churn the ocean of milk, Ksheersagar, to obtain the
nectar of immortality. The gods then went to Lord Vishnu, to seek his
assistance. Lord Vishnu took the Avatar Kurma (Tortoise) and supported
the Manthara Parvata (mountain) as a churning rod, while the king of the
serpents, Vasuki, became the churning rope. The gods and the demons
(under the leadership of the pious and wise King Bali Chakravarti) both
helped each other in churning the ocean of milk.

Amongst the host of divine gifts which appeared from the ocean,
goddess Lakshmi appeared and then chose Shri Vishnu as her consort,
as only He had the power to control Maya (illusion).

Because of this, Lakshmi is also called the daughter of the sea;
since the moon also appeared from the ocean during the churning,
the moon is called her brother. Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune,
is Lakshmi's older sister.

She is said to have also arisen from the sea of milk.

According to the Vishnu Purana, Lakshmi is the daughter of Bhrigu and
Khyaati and resided in Swarga but due to the curse of Durvasa, she left
Swarga and made Ksheersagara her home.

The reappearance of Lakshmi after Samudra manthan and her marriage
to Vishnu thereafter, remain the same. Laxmi is the power and Maya
of Lord Vishnu. In some places She is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and
Sridevi, both either side of Vishnu. Bhudevi is the fertility form in which
She is Mother Earth. Sridevi is the wealth and knowledge of Her which is
seen with Narayan. Most people are mistaken that they are separate
beings although they are one, Laxmi.

Celebration in Hindu society

Hindus worship Lakshmi the most on Diwali, the festival of lights.
According to tradition people would put small oil lamps outside their
homes on Diwali and hope Lakshmi will come to bless them.

The prefix Sri (also spelled as Shri, pronounced as shree) renders as
'one who takes delight in Sri' Lakshmi, meaning wealth,
wealth of any kind.

Primarily eight kinds of wealth are established,
associated with goddess Lakshmi.

They are:

1)आदि लक्ष्मीĀdi Lakṣmī[The main goddess]
2)धान्य लक्ष्मीDhānya Lakṣmī[Granary wealth]
3)धैर्य लक्ष्मीDhairya Lakṣmī[Wealth of courage]
4)गज लक्ष्मीGaja Lakṣmī[Elephants, symbols of wealth]
5)सन्तान लक्ष्मीSantāna Lakṣmī[Wealth of progeny]
6)विजय लक्ष्मीVijaya Lakṣmī[Wealth of victory]
7)विद्या लक्ष्मीVidyā Lakṣmī[Wealth of knowledge]
8)धन लक्ष्मीDhana Lakṣmī
[Monetary wealth]

Any thing that need be affluent gets the auspicious prefix or suffix
'Lakshmi', or 'Sri' like Rajya Lakshmi (Wealth of Empire),
Shanti Sri (Wealth of Peace), etc.

In modern India, common titles standing in for the English Mr. and Mrs.
are Shri (also Sri or Shree) and Shrimati (also Srimati or Shreemati),
as in "Sri Gupta" or "Srimati Mangeshkar".

Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by those who wish to acquire or to
preserve wealth. It is believed that Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those
houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking.

She does not visit the places which are unclean/dirty or
where the people are lazy.

In Uttarakhand, after the worship of the goddess on Diwali night,
the Shankh or Conch is not blown. This is because the shank is also
from the ocean like the goddess herself, so it is given a day of rest.

Laxmi is the patron goddess of Kolhapur city, Maharashtra.

Lakshmi is also known by the name "Chanchala"
meaning  one who is fickle which is again a misnomer
and misunderstanding of a great concept

Its said that Lakshmi doesn't stay (remain stable) at any one place ..
One never knows when she'll just get bored and get up and leave ..

If one were to study the history of money and how it came into being,
one comes across metal as a medium of exchange that gave way
to coins ... in different shapes and ultimately stabilised in the round one

It denoted a key concept of economics

That money must circulate inorder to increase

A stagnant water body decays and harbours disease
while a flowing water body (river) is not only fresh in itself
but also fertilises all the lands that it passes through (even if it is
not the son ..ooopppss .. river of the soil)


 ” Then there are two other symbols  that we see.
With Her hand

She gives.

If you open one door the air won’t come in.
You have to open the other door.

She must give.

So people think what they have to give, but they give the worst they have,
just like the waste paper basket. “O, this is useless so I can give to this
friend”. All friends are used as waste paper baskets.

Whatever is the worst is given.
How can you touch your depth like this?

Whatever is the best, you should give.
If you are free to give then you should give the best. …..
we are very ego oriented, we understand what will give joy to us.

We don’t understand what will give joy to others
and when we understand this
then the joy reflects on us thousand times more.

This river ultimately merges into the ocean
where it experiences tranquility ...

Compassion and sharing is what keeps your
abundance and prosperity
moving and multiplying, ultimately increasing it ..

When you share, you bond with another heart ..
The joy of giving multiplies your happiness and
inspires one to give ever more
resulting in more coming your way ...



you are suddenly prosperous and popular and liked by everyone

Vishnu also represents compassion and Love for one's fellow beings
and all of creation ... and only a compassionate force is the ideal
receptacle of the favours of the Goddess
who represents wealth and abundance

The Heart of Vishnu is the seat of Divine compassion and discrimination
It does not dole out favours indiscriminately but with an awakened mind

and thus it is that the in the Heart of Shri Hari Vishnu, Lakshmi resides,
secure in the knowledge that her powers and abundance will find their
optimum and ideal purpose in creation ...

And where Vishnu (Hard work, compassion and discrimination ) is,
can Lakshmi (Wealth and abundance and prosperity) be far behind??
Something that the Goddess is asking you to consider
and think over .... Will you do that and more importantly,
once you do, will you ACT on it ??
May the Goddess bless you all with the abundance mindset
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