Monday, May 21, 2018

Wanderings on ' Books'

                          Wanderings on ' Books'.

  •  If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he read.
  • Books loved anybody who opened them , they gave you security and friendship and did not ask for anything in return, they never went away, never not even when you treated them badly.
  • Old classics have an undying value, nevertheless the student should not begin, but end with them.
  • In science, read by preference , the newest work; in literature, the oldest literature is always modern.
  • Some books seem to have been written, not to teach us anything , to let us know that the author has known something.
  • A man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
  • A book is a success when people who have n't read it pretend they have.
  • In a bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.
  • You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
  • Once you learn to read and enjoy reading, you will be forever free.
  • Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.
  • Let us read, and let us dance, these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
  • Modern research studies prove that reading good books is an effective way to fight against depression in children.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Food for thought

                                     Food for thought

  • To bless one's food is an ancient and universal human practice. Be thankful for all food, it is Brahman ( the Almighty ) . His universal energy is transmuted into our individual energy and helps us in all we do. So the Upanishads teach us that we should be grateful to food, never criticise food and never waste food.
  •  Food when eaten slowly gives happiness and fulfilment. Fast eating is bad.
  •   To eat is a necessity. But to eat intelligently is an art. 
  •      There is no sincere love than the love of food .
  •        Let food be thy medicine and be thy food.
  •          You should enjoy eating. The loss of pleasure in eating , which can lead to depression, is itself an appetite depressant.

  •  Mom's cooking is unbeatable.
  •      According to Swami Vivekananda, whoever cannot cook well can't become a good sadhu. Unless the mind is pure, good tasteful cooking is not possible.
  •           Find yourself a recipe, and you can cook one dish. Teach yourself, the science of cooking and you can cook creatively for ever.   




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Colorful facts

                             Colorful facts

  • Purity is always represented in white color.
  • Ignorance is indicated by black color .
  • Renunciation is depicted in yellow or orange color.
  • Red depicts Anger.
  • The color you see in darkness is not black, but a dark gray called eigengrau .
  • Native Americans believe that brown is the color of self-discipline.
  • To the Greeks, chloros was a pale shade of green, hence the word chlorophyll.
  • Human blood will appear green at 30 ft under water since red light doesn't penetrate that deeply.
  • Owls are one of the only birds who can see the color blue.
  • The blood of mammals is red, the blood of insects is yellow, and the blood of lobsters is blue.
  • The plants that need to attract moths for pollination are generally white or pale yellow . Plants that depend on butterflies, such as the poppy or hibiscus , have colorful flowers.
  • Almost all cultivated carrots were purple or white before the 17th  century.
  • Straw berries can also be white or yellow and some can even taste like plneapples. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Timeless truths

                              Timeless Truths

  •     If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.
  • When you are totally at peace with yourself, nothing can shake you.
  • Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging of an uncompleted task.
  • The real measure of your wealth is  ,how much you'd be worth, if you lost all your money.
  • Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.
  • Don't let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice.
  • Do what you love and the money will follow .
  • Don't let the past steal your present .
  • Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery.And today ? Today is a gift.That's why we call it the present.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Socrates's House

                                          Socrates' House

Socrates , the great classical Greek philosopher, one of the founders of Western ethical philosophy was the most sober and most chaste of all men. He lived content upon very little or nothing, that entirely commanded his passions, and that his reasonings were so persuasive that he drew all men to his side.
No man ever taught to live well, like Socrates, for in his whole life, he was an example of untainted probity and in his discourses he spoke of virtues and of all the duties of man in all spheres of life in a manner that made him admired of all his hearers.

In the entire world literature and in all languages, there is always depiction of atleast one anecdote from his inspiring life.

It is said, once a house of a modest size was built for the wise philosopher. On every side, people shouted and cried. Each of them found a fault to tell of the house he had built up so well. All the so called friends commented that the house was so small, so mean and so miserable that one could not move at all. It was so narrow and so tight one could not budge to left or right. His so called friends went on criticizing and ended up saying that it could hardly be called a residence appropriate to his eminence. As the philosopher heard them cry, he laughed aloud,and replied, ' Friends, it is wrong on your part to criticize like this. This is not wise and proper.'
He added, " Though my small cabin is little worth,
                    It's everything I require on earth,
                    All I pray is, that it may be
                     Filled with friends who are true to me."

In this, the cream of Socrates's philosophy is reflected. According to him that to have need of nothing at all is a divine perfection, and that to have need but of little is to approach very near the Deity, and hence it follows that,as there is nothing more excellent than the Deity, whatever approaches nearest to it is likewise most near the supreme excellence. The philosopher's main delight was to be with his virtuous friends, to teach them all the good he knew, and recommend them to all whom he believed capable to assist them in the way to perfection.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Glorious past

                                        Glorious past

    In the history of man's social evolution, there is an inexhaustible and interesting store of facts and beliefs pertaining to various practices and customs.

  • .The practice of shaving began in ancient times as a defence against enemies grabbing and pulling soldiers by their beards during battle.
  • Crushed charcoal and stones were sometimes used as tooth powder for brushing teeth in ancient times.
  • The Greeks invented ' Worry Beads' as a tool for relief from distress. While many cultures and faiths created beads for religious purposes. Greeks carried and played with them to relax.
  • Hippocrates, the ' father of medicine ' prescribed pigeon poop as a cure for baldness.
  • Sap from the roots of the marshmellow plant has been used in sore throat-soothing candies since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
  • Hair braiding has historically been a method of socializing and passing on community traditions through generations of family members especially in African culture.
  • Throughout history, Earrings have been effective amulets worn to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune. Sailors believe that wearing earrings protect them from drowning, and that it helps their eye sight.Earrings were worn by both men and women. Ear piercing is quite a ceremony. A gold ring was believed to be a cure for all kinds of ear-troubles, although other metals, jewels and all sorts of materials were prevalent among primitive and among sea-faring men later. The ear was believed to be the center of intelligence. The custom of pulling a child's ear to make him remember his school lessons comes from that ancient belief.
  • Ancient Egyptian ladies painted their mouths or lips red for magical purposes. It was believed in those days that by emphasizing the natural red circle of the mouth, they were well protected, as the good spirit of life was safe within them and could not escape from the body. At the same time, the bright red circle kept evil spirits from slipping in to cause troubles, the least of which were soreness, dryness of the tongue, and chopped lips. Red was the color of magic and was the 'stop' signal or danger sign, to any garrison of invaders that would cause fevers and plagues, a condition much dreaded in early times.
  • Rice throwing is a very old custom believed to be a survival of the ancient religious rites of the Hindus and Chinese. Rice throwing symbolizes blessings from the elders. Among the orientals, rice is the symbol of fruitfulness and prosperity. Rice throwing symbolizes the bestowal of fertility, heath, wealth and happiness on the bridal pair and the youngsters. From time immemorial, rice has been the main dish of most orient people. They must have been aware of its nutrient values. Beneath the gesture of throwing rice, there lies deep in the nature of man , an unconscious knowledge of what is good for him. A symbol is merely convenient substitute for the real knowledge.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fire under the ocean - A natural wonder


                         Fire under the ocean - A natural wonder

     Hindu mythology has many stories about the mysterious submarine fire that is hidden at the bottom of the sea. 
Puranas, epics and sanskrit literary works term this fire as ' Vadavanala or Vadavagni ' , vadava meaning ' mare ' and anala or agni denoting fire.
Vadavanala is a mare which breathes fire and stands on the ocean floor or it is fire found in the shape of a mare under the ocean. This submarine fire causes the sea water to evaporate and turn into mist, thus preventing the sea from overflowing on to the land. It is said that at the time of pralaya or deluge, vadavagni will stop doing this, causing the ocean to expand and submerge the earth. The fire of the submarine mare will burst forth in the form of volcanoes. Everything will be destroyed by lava and water. Thus there could be an interesting link between sea-level changes and mass extinction. Infact, oceans are the cause of both creation and destruction of the universe. Scriptures all over the world bear testimony to this fact.

Ancient wisdom is revealed through stories, symbols and rituals. The origin of fire-breathing mare is interesting. According to one story, Kamadeva, the cupid, the god of love, once tried to arouse desire in the mind of Shiva, the ascetic. Shiva opened his third eye, released a missile of fire anddestroyed the god of love and desire. The world cannot function without desire and love. Hence, Vishnu, the protector of the universe caught the fire of Shiva's third eye, turned into a mare and hid her under the sea. Thus the mare could be a symbol of fertility, movement and power.

According to Harivamsha purana, Aurva the grandson of the sage Bhrgu and the son of the sage Urva, gained great power by his austerities . He was requested by the gods to beget children to perpetuate his lineage. He agreed but warned them that his offspring would be so powerful that they would consume the world. So from his thigh he created a devouring fire which would have destroyed the world. But before that Brahma, the creator of the universe put the fire into the ocean as its habitation and water as its food, thus preventing the destruction of the world.

In the Mahabharata , a different version is seen. Aurva was the son of sage Chyavana. He wanted to take revenge upon the kings who persecuted brahmins. Even after the kings begged for forgiveness, Aurva continued to harbour his anger and hatred against the kings. His ancestors appeared before him and asked him to forgive his enemies. Aurva then discarded the flames of anger and hatred into the sea. Incidentally 'Arvan' means horse in sanskrit. So the fire and horse has relation.

This story may be a hint to the scientific fact. Most of the water in the deep ocean is extremely cold, almost close to freezing. There is another type of extreme environment found in the deep sea known as Hydrothermal vents. The water at the hydrothermal vents is very hot. It is heated by volcanic activity at tectonic spreading ridges. The hot water spews from holes in the crust called vents, looking like dark smoke because of dissolved chemicals it picked up from the underground. Certain types of Archaea and Eubacteria microbes are able to turn the chemicals from the hot water into the energy they need to survive. Many other types of living things including fish, shrimp, giant tubeworms, crabs and clams thrive in this environment as well. Underneath the earth geothermal current is present.
What a beautiful convergence of ancient wisdom and modern science !