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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Benefits of walking =HEALTH=

Benefits of walking - (wearing the right footwear will make this enjoyable and bring about right results)

* The human body is made to walk.
* Walking 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent.
* Walking cuts the risk of stroke by more than 25 percent.
* Walking reduces hypertension. The body has over 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are more supple & healthy when we walk.
* Walking cuts the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and stroke.
* Women who walk have a 20 percent lower likelihood of getting breast cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of getting colon cancer.
* Women with breast cancer who walk regularly can reduce their recurrence rate and their mortality rate by over 50 percent.
* The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk.
* We don’t have to walk a lot. Thirty minutes a day has a huge impact on our health.
* Men who walk thirty minutes a day have a significantly lower level of prostate cancer & a 60 percent lower risk of colon cancer.
* For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate.
* Walking also helps prevent depression, and people who walk regularly are more likely to see improvements in their depression.
* In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphins when we walk. Endorphins help us feel good.
* Walking strengthens the heart. Walking strengthens bones. Walking improves the circulatory system.
* Walking generates positive neurochemicals. Healthy eating is important but dieting can trigger negative neurochemicals and can be hard to do.
* Walking generates positive neurochemicals. People look forward to walking and enjoy walking.
* And research shows that fit beats fat for many people. Walking half an hour a day has health benefits that exceed the benefits of losing 20 pounds.
* When we walk every day, our bodies are healthier and stronger. A single 30 minute walk can reduce blood pressure by five points for over 20 hours.
* Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs.
* People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.
* People who walk are less likely to catch colds, and when people get colds, walkers have a 46 percent shorter symptom time from their colds.
* Walking improves the health of our blood, as well. Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke.
* Walking significantly diminishes the risk of hip fracture and the need for gallstone surgery is 20 to 31 percent lower for walkers. 

* Walking is the right thing to do. The best news is that the 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals.
* We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals.
* Walking feels good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy. It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psychosocial health, and helps with our emotional health. Walking can literally add years entire years to your life.

Its good to walk. Be good to yourself. Be good to your body.

  I care about living things on 
earth so I recycle and do not 


Monday, March 7, 2016

Wish you a very happy Women's Day.

Dear Friends
Wish you a very happy Women's Day.

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri 

Millions of people will chant the mantra "NA MA SHI VA YA"on the night of Maha Shivaratri. These are sounds that bring the grace of Shiva, and they are also are the sounds of the five elements:

  • NA is a sound for the earth element
  • MA is a sound for the water element
  • SHI (pronounced like English word "she") is a sound for the fire element
  • VA is a sound for the air or wind element
  • YA is a sound for the ether or causal plane

Chanting these sounds on Maha Shivarati helps harmonize us with all the elements so that we are transformed into being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, in the right way, with the right attitude.

Did You Know?

Bilva LeavesMany people offer bilva leaves to Shiva lingams on Maha Shivaratri. A famous devotional song called Bilvashtakam celebrates the offering of bilva patra (form of the bilva that has 3 small leaves attached to it) to Shiva and explains how this simple ritual remove negative karma.

Maha Shivaratri 

Shivaratri is great festival of convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in month of Magha is known as Maha Shivaratri according to South Indian calendar. However according to North Indian calendar Masik Shivaratri in month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. In both calendars it is naming convention of lunar month which differs. However both, North Indians and South Indians, celebrate Maha Shivaratri on same day. 
Vrat Vidhi – One day before Shivaratri Vratam, most likely on Trayodashi, devotees should eat only one time. On Shivaratri day, after finishing morning rituals devotees should take Sankalp (संकल्प) to observer full day fast on Shivaratri and to take food next day. During Sankalp devotees pledge for self-determination throughout the fasting period and seek blessing of Lord Shiva to finish the fast without any interference. Hindu fasts are strict and people pledge for self-determination and seek God blessing before starting them to finish them successfully. 

On Shivaratri day devotees should take second bath in the evening before doing Shiva Puja or visiting temple. Shiva Puja should be done during night and devotees should break the fast next day after taking bath. Devotees should break the fast between sunrise and before the end of Chaturdashi Tithi to get maximum benefit of the Vrat. According to one  contradictory opinion devotees should break the fast only when Chaturdashi Tithi gets over. But it is believed that both Shiva Puja and Parana (पारणा) i.e. breaking the fast should be done within Chaturdashi Tithi. 

Shivaratri puja can be performed one time or four times during the night. The whole night duration can be divided into four to get four Prahar (प्रहर) to perform Shiva Puja four times. lists all four Prahar durations for staunch Shiva devotees who perform Shiva Pujan four times in the night. We also list Nishita time when Lord Shiva appeared on the Earth in the form of Linga and the time window to break the fast on next day. 

Shivaratri is also spelled as Shivratri, Shivarathri and Sivaratri. 


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Mahashivaratri Festival

Mahashivaratri Festival or the ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun, which corresponds to the month of February - March in English Calendar. Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivaratri 

Auspicious festival of Mahashivaratri falls on the 13th or the 14th night of the new moon during Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Phalgun. The Sanskrit term, Krishna Paksha means the period of waning moon or the dark fortnight and Phalguna corresponds to the month of February - March in English Calendar. Shivaratri Festival is celebrated on a moonless night. According to Hindu mythology, Shivaratri or 'Shiva's Great Night' symbolizes the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Many however, believe, Shivaratri is the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya - the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. Celebrating the festival in a customary manner, devotees give a ritual bath to the Lingam with the panchagavya - milk, sour milk, urine, butter and dung. Celebrations of Shivaratri Festival mainly take place at night. Devotees of Lord Shiva throng Shiva temples across the country and spend ‘the Night of Lord Shiva’ by chanting verses and hymns in praise of the Lord. The festival holds special meaning for the ladies. They pray to Goddess Parvati also called 'Gaura', the giver of 'suhag' for good husbands, marital bliss and a long and prosperous married life. Significance of Shivaratri in Hinduism Festival of Mahashivaratri has tremendous significance in Hinduism. According to sacred scriptures, ritual worship of Lord Shiva on Shivratri festival that falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun pleases Lord Shiva the most. This fact is said to have been declared by Lord Shiva himself, when his consort Parvati asked him as to which ritual performed by his devotees pleases him the most. Even till date, devotees of Lord Shiva perform the ritual worship of Shivratri with care and devotion. They observe day and nigh fast and give sacred bath to Shiva Linga with honey, milk, water etc. Hindus consider it extremely auspicious to worship Lord Shiva on a Shivaratri as it is believed that worship of Lord Shiva with devotion and sincerity absolves a devotee of past sins. The devotee reaches the abode of Lord Shanker and lives there happily. He is also liberated from the cycle of birth and death and attains moksha or salvation. Significance of Shivaratri for Women Mahashivratri Festival is also considered to be an extremely significant festival by women. Married and unmarried women observe fast and perform Shiva Puja with sincerity to appease Goddess Parvati who is also regarded as ‘Gauri’ - one who bestows marital bliss and long and prosperous married life. Unmarried women also pray for a husband like Lord Shiva who is regarded as the ideal husband. 

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Mahashivaratri Mantras

Maha Mrityunjay Mantra
One of the ancient Sanskrit mantras, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is a verse of Yajurveda. It is the great death-conquering mantra, which is popularly referred to as Tryambakam Mantra, as it is identified with the three-eyed Hindu deity - Lord Shiva. The Mantra has many names and forms. It is sometimes called the Rudra Mantra, with reference to the furious face of Lord Shiva. On the other hand, when it is called the Tryambakam Mantra, then it is referred to the alluding three eyes of Lord Shiva. When it comes to life, it is Mrityunjaya Mantra is called the Mrita-Sanjivini Mantra. 

Mrityunjaya Mantra holds the highest place among the Sanskrit mantras used for meditation. The recital of Mrityunjaya Mantra is beneficial for the body and soul in many ways. According to Yajurveda, if the mantra is chanted with immense concentration and devotion, then it purifies the karmas of the soul. Mental, emotional and physical health can be improvised by the regular chanting of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. In the following lines, we have provided the Mrityunjaya Mantra. 

Mrityunjaya Mantra 
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat 

English Translation 
"OM. We worship and adore you, O three-eyed one, O Shiva. You are sweet gladness, the fragrance of life, who nourishes us, restores our health, and causes us to thrive. As, in due time, the stem of the cucumber weakens, and the gourd is freed from the vine, so free us from attachment and death, and do not withhold immortality." - by Arthur Berriedale Keith 

Word By Word Translation 
Tri-ambaka-m - The three-eyed-one Yaja-mahe - We praise Sugandhi-m - The fragrant Pusti-vardhana-m - The prosperity-increaser Urvaruka-m - Disease, attachment, obstacles in life, and resulting depression” iva “-like Bandhanat - From attachment Stem (of the gourd); but more generally, unhealthy attachment Mrtyor - From death Mukshiya - May you liberate Ma - Not Amritat - Realization of immortality

Mahashivaratri Significance
Mahashivaratri is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated with religious fervor across the length and breadth of India. Followers of Lord Shiva consider the festival very special, as it is the time to show their love and devotion to their favorite deity. It is significant in every devotee's life, as it also tests ones ability to abstain from food (because fast is observed on the day) and remain vigil in the night without sleeping (because one has to remain awake all through the night, on Mahashivratri). In addition to this, Maha Shivaratri bears significance in Hindu mythology. In the following lines, learn all about the significance of Mahashivaratri. 

Significance Of Maha Shivratri 

Importance In Hinduism 
According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva declared that the rituals performed by his devotees on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun please him the most. Therefore, year by year, the day is observed as Mahashivratri, wherein devotees observe fast, sing songs and bhajans and offer prayers to the Almighty to seek his blessings. Pujas conducted in Lord Shiva temples during the day have significance too. This is because the rituals are conducted strictly in accordance with the method that is prescribed in Shiva Purana, a Hindu epic. According to the Purana, poojas are conducted once in every three hours, on Maha Shivaratri. 

Importance In Human Lives 
It is believed that the devotion of Lord Shiva on Mahashivaratri would freed the devotee from the past sins. Moreover, the devotee would reach the adobe of Lord Shiva and live there happily, because he/she is liberated from the cycle of birth and death, once he/she attains moksha or salvation. Therefore, all the devotees of Lord Shiva would flock the temples to offer their prayers. To serve the purpose, jujube fruits, stalks of Bilwa leaves, flowers and garlands are offered to the Shiva Linga by the devotees. If the devotee celebrates the festival at home, he/she would perform the Mahashivratri Puja by taking a holy bath (in warm water) early in the morning, wearing new clothes and then smearing bhasm (holy ash) on their forehead. 

Importance For Women 
Maha Shivaratri is especially important for women. Ladies, both married and unmarried, would perform Shiva Puja and observe fast with great devotion and sincerity. This is predominantly done to appease Lord Shiva along with his consort Goddess Parvati, who is often called Ma Gauri. It is believed that Ma Gauri bestows marital bliss on unmarried women and blesses the married women with healthy and blissful married life. Since Lord Shiva is regarded as the ideal husband by the Hindu women, the unmarried women would not miss to observe the stringent fast on Shivaratri.

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Rituals of Maha Shivaratri

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Rituals of Maha Shivaratri

A number of legends in Hindu mythology explain the observance of the various rituals during Maha Shaivaratri. A particular legend has it that Lord Shiva once declared the 14th night of the dark fortnight of the Phalgun month to be his most favourite day. He also laid down the steps of the performance of the rituals in his honour to Goddess Parvati, his divine consort, who repeated it to her friends who in turn passed it on to the ruling princes on earth. Thus the sanctity of Shivaratri was broadcast all over the world. The present day Shivaratri rituals are performed in accordance with the age-old Shivaratri observances and as per the ceremonial instructions given by Lord Shiva.

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The real celebration of Shivratri takes place in the temples on the night of "Chauthas" or "Choudesh" (fourteenth day of the waxing moon) and lasts till the morning of Amavas (dark night). On the Maha Shivaratri day, the orthodox Hindu rises early in the morning and bathes in a sacred river (like the Ganga), or any other holy water source. He offers prayers to the sun-god, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

Thereafter, he wears clean clothes (preferably new) and applies vibhuthi (sacred ash) on the forehead making a special mark of three horizontal stripes (tripundra). The three stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance. In a way, they are also said to represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.

Many people also wear a Rudraksha Mala (bead made with seeds of the Rudraksha tree). The Rudraksha tree is said to have sprung from the tears of Lord Shiva and is considered holy for the Hindus.

Then he carries a pot of water and proceeds to any Shiva temple nearby to bathe the Shiva Lingam. If he worships at home, he sets up a small Shiva Lingam there itself and bathes it. In most places, Shivratri is largely observed in temples. The devotees walk around the Shiva Lingam three or seven times with his pot, and then pour water over it. Some also pour milk. Joyful shouts of ‘Shankarji ki Jai’ (Hail Lord Shiva) and the sound of bells reverberate throughout the temple. 

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According to the Shiva Purana, the Maha Shivratri worship must incorporate six items:
1) Bael leaves - The ceremonial offering of bael leaves represents purification of the soul. 2) Vermilion paste (Sindoor) - Applying this on the linga after bathing it represents virtue. 3) Food items - Food items such as rice and fruits are offered to the Lord to ensure a long life and fulfillment of desires. 4) Incense (Dhoop) - Incense sticks are kindled before the deity to gain wealth. 5) Lamp (Diya) - The lighting of the lamp is believed to be conducive to the attainment of knowledge. 6) Betel leaves (Paan patta) - This signifies satisfaction with worldly pleasures.

These six items form an indispensable part of Maha Shivratri and are still used in the traditional worship of the Lord, be it a simple ceremony at home or grand temple worship.

In many temples, everyone who wants to take part in the pujan(worship) on Choudesh night is individually given a Shiv ling by the temple management. As the devotee sits down to perform the worship, this Shiv ling is placed before him. A medium-sized vessel with a narrow neck known as "kalsa" or "kalash" is kept near him. It is filled with water mixed with milk, and also leaves of the bel tree, flowers and fruit. Roli, aipun and rice along with water for pujan are kept individually. The puja is directed by a pandit(priest) of the temple who sits on a platform and performs the rituals with chanting of mantras, and everyone imitates his actions even if they do not know the rituals themselves or cannot chant the mantras verbatim.

A magnificent light is the indication or identity of Lord Shiva and the Shiva Lingam is considered to be the symbol of it. Hence, the formal worship on Maha Shivratri consists of bathing the Shiva Lingam. Lord Shiva is said to be burning with the fire of austerity and so only those items are offered to Him that have a cooling effect. A cool water bath is believed to propitiate Him best. The devotee baths the Lingam and prays that He give him wisdom. He decorates the linga with flowers and garlands;

offers incense sticks and fruit; hugs the linga and rings the temple bells. 

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On Maha Shivaratri, pious Hindus abstain from food and drink for the whole day and night, a ritual that is believed to give great merit to the worshipper. They observe a Vrata (penance) during the night and worship the Lord by dropping water with bel leaves onto his emblem - the Shiva linga. This is done in commemoration of the dropping of the bel leaves by the hunter Suswara as mentioned in the story of King Chitrabhanu. The story of Suswara is recounted during the Maha Shivaratri night and is believed to give much merit to the listeners. The puja is done four times during the night. The whole night is divided into four "prahars", or quarters, of three hours each. There are special prayers for each of the four quarters and the devotee who goes through these prayers is considered to be working his way up to unification with Lord Shiva after his death. At the end of each "prahar", a bath is taken in milk, curd, ghee and honey respectively. This is followed by a service which may include singing and dancing. The observance of all these rituals are said to give one happiness in this and the next world. The same is as much true for a high-class person as an outcaste.

On the next day (Amavas), alms are given to the sadhus - bhakts(devotees) of Shiv. In memory of Suswara's hospitality to the stranger, Brahmans are fed and the worshipper makes a prayer to Lord Shiva that He be propitiated with his fast and grant him self-knowledge and bless him with salvation.

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The occassion of Maha Shivaratri has a different significance for different people. For the insincere, Maha Shivaratri is a day of celebration shorn of any piety or depth of knowledge. Unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband. For housewives, it is the time to seek blessings of the Lord for their family and children. For most people, especially children, it is time to celebrate, enjoy and eat the delicious "mithai" (sweets) first offered to god as 'Prasad' (food offering) and then distributed to friends and family members. But for ardent devotees, it is an auspicious day to honour the Lord, purify themselves and express their devotion to God through worship and the performance of rituals such as fasting, praying and meditation.