VAIKUNTA VKADASHI


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VAIKUNTA EKADASI
SIGNIFICANCE:
As per Hindu calendar Ekadashi is a thithi that falls on the 11th
day of both suklapaksha and Krishna paksha in a lunar month. That means in a month we get two Ekadasi days. Ekadasi day has attained lot of prominence in Hindu religion as it is the most sacred, celestial and spiritual day for worshipping Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. He is Padmanabha (11th name as per 24 Kesava Namas) meaning the one with a lotus navel.He is Maha Vishnu sleeping on the great serpent Adishesha. He is AnanthaPadmanabha. He is the Supreme God, Para Brahma who has created this Universe including Lord Brahma. Vaikunta is the sacred abode and sanctum sanctorum where Lord Maha Vishnu resides. It is the ultimate place to enter and rest for all the souls.As per Padma Purana Ekadashi is depicted as the female energy of Maha Vishnu
who in the form of a damsel kills the demon Mura and protects the Indradi Devathas on this day. Pleased by the act of his Female energy He names her as Ekadashi. He also gave her a boon that whoever worship Ekadashi and observes fasting they would reach Vaikunta (His abode) and his doors will be open for such people.

From time immemorial it is the Northern Gate known as Paramapada or Vaikunta Dwara is kept open for a single day and that day is known as VaikuntaEkadashi Day.Ekadasi that is falling on sukla paksha (waxing Moon) of the lunar Month Pushya coinciding with the
Dhanurmasam has attained lot of significance and is called asVaikunta Ekadasi and is considered to be most auspicious. It is also the first Ekadashibefore the onset of Uttarayana. It is also called as Mukkoti Ekadasi, or MokshadaEkadasi. Relevant scripts are available in Padma Purana and Brahmanda Purana.
Mukkoti Ekadasi

Northern Entrance Darshan
:On this day 33 crores of devathas (Muppattu Mukkoti) will have darshan of Lord MahaVishnu. There is also another spiritual and yogic significance for the meaning of Mukkoti Ekadashi. Like we have geographical directions (North, South, East, &West),we also have directions to our body. North is toward our Head, South is towards our Feet, Front portion is East and back portion is West. We have on the top of the head (skull) a hole called Brahma Randhra (door) that is towards the Northern Direction which is not visible. Since it is on the northern direction it is called Northern door of the human body.It is said that one should visualize the image of God through the route of Ida, PingalaNaadi (left and right nostril) concentrated at the centre of the eyebrows calledSushumna Naadi (Gnana Nethram) and take it further upwards to the centre of the head where we have Brahma Randhram and have darshan of the God through the door that gets opened. This is how one should have darshan of the God in daily prayers(dhyana) or whenever visits a temple. Since it is through the route of confluence of three naadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) taken further northwards it is called Mukkotiand Northern Entrance darshan.On this most auspicious day of Mukkoti Ekadashi one should have the darshan of the Lord in this form and to give a meaning to this concept all the temples provide darshan of the Lord on this day through the Northern entrance.There are 14 lokas in this Universe seven above the earth and seven below the earth.Seven above the Earth are called Uurdhwa Lokas in the Northern direction and Vaikunta is in the Northern direction. Darshan of the lord of Vaikunta Sri MahaVishnu on this day which is very nearer to the Uttarayana (the most auspicious time)also catches significance for Uttara dwara darshana.
Mokshada Ekadshi
:While fasting and worshipping on any Ekadashi day is very celestial, sacred and spiritual, fasting and worshipping on Vaikunta Ekadashi is also Mokshadayaka. It is a boon of Lord Maha Vishnu on this day.
What can be done on this day?
Worshipping Lord Sri Maha Vishnu during the early hours between 4-6 am (Pl check the local times) during Brahma Muhurtha. Since Ekadashi is the female energy of Lord it is auspicious and sacred to worship Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi also on this day.Why between 4-6 am:Because this is Dhanur Madam and time before Sun Rise is most auspicious for worshipping God during Dhanurmasam.
Fasting:
It is said that fasting on Vaikunta Ekadashi day is equivalent to fasting on the remaining Ekadashi days of the Hindu year. Persons who are capable of may undertake total fasting while others may resort to partial fasting by taking fruits or milk. Please avoid taking rice on this day as it is a curse that the demon lives in rice on this day.

May the Supreme Lord Sri Lakshmi Narayana bless all the humanity with his Graceand save the mankind from all the Evil

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Sharpen your skills


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Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job with a timber merchant, and he got it. His salary was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to fell the trees. The first day, the woodcutter brought down 15 trees.

” Congratulations,” the boss said. ” Carry on with your work!”

Highly motivated by the words of his boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 10 trees down. The third day he tried even harder, but he was only able to bring down 7 trees.

Day after day he was bringing lesser number of trees down.

” I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

” When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
” Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

That’s right. Most of us NEVER update our skills. We think that whatever we have learned is very much enough. But good is not good when better is expected. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success.


 

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VAIKUNTA EKADASHI


 

VAIKUNTA EKADASI
SIGNIFICANCE:
As per Hindu calendar Ekadashi is a thithi that falls on the 11th
day of both suklapaksha and Krishna paksha in a lunar month. That means in a month we get two Ekadasi days. Ekadasi day has attained lot of prominence in Hindu religion as it is the most sacred, celestial and spiritual day for worshipping Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. He is Padmanabha (11th name as per 24 Kesava Namas) meaning the one with a lotus navel.He is Maha Vishnu sleeping on the great serpent Adishesha. He is AnanthaPadmanabha. He is the Supreme God, Para Brahma who has created this Universe including Lord Brahma. Vaikunta is the sacred abode and sanctum sanctorum where Lord Maha Vishnu resides. It is the ultimate place to enter and rest for all the souls.As per Padma Purana Ekadashi is depicted as the female energy of Maha Vishnu
who in the form of a damsel kills the demon Mura and protects the Indradi Devathas on this day. Pleased by the act of his Female energy He names her as Ekadashi. He also gave her a boon that whoever worship Ekadashi and observes fasting they would reach Vaikunta (His abode) and his doors will be open for such people.

From time immemorial it is the Northern Gate known as Paramapada or Vaikunta Dwara is kept open for a single day and that day is known as VaikuntaEkadashi Day.Ekadasi that is falling on sukla paksha (waxing Moon) of the lunar Month Pushya coinciding with the
Dhanurmasam has attained lot of significance and is called asVaikunta Ekadasi and is considered to be most auspicious. It is also the first Ekadashibefore the onset of Uttarayana. It is also called as Mukkoti Ekadasi, or MokshadaEkadasi. Relevant scripts are available in Padma Purana and Brahmanda Purana.
Mukkoti Ekadasi

Northern Entrance Darshan
:On this day 33 crores of devathas (Muppattu Mukkoti) will have darshan of Lord MahaVishnu. There is also another spiritual and yogic significance for the meaning of Mukkoti Ekadashi. Like we have geographical directions (North, South, East, &West),we also have directions to our body. North is toward our Head, South is towards our Feet, Front portion is East and back portion is West. We have on the top of the head (skull) a hole called Brahma Randhra (door) that is towards the Northern Direction which is not visible. Since it is on the northern direction it is called Northern door of the human body.It is said that one should visualize the image of God through the route of Ida, PingalaNaadi (left and right nostril) concentrated at the centre of the eyebrows calledSushumna Naadi (Gnana Nethram) and take it further upwards to the centre of the head where we have Brahma Randhram and have darshan of the God through the door that gets opened. This is how one should have darshan of the God in daily prayers(dhyana) or whenever visits a temple. Since it is through the route of confluence of three naadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) taken further northwards it is called Mukkotiand Northern Entrance darshan.On this most auspicious day of Mukkoti Ekadashi one should have the darshan of the Lord in this form and to give a meaning to this concept all the temples provide darshan of the Lord on this day through the Northern entrance.There are 14 lokas in this Universe seven above the earth and seven below the earth.Seven above the Earth are called Uurdhwa Lokas in the Northern direction and Vaikunta is in the Northern direction. Darshan of the lord of Vaikunta Sri MahaVishnu on this day which is very nearer to the Uttarayana (the most auspicious time)also catches significance for Uttara dwara darshana.
Mokshada Ekadshi
:While fasting and worshipping on any Ekadashi day is very celestial, sacred and spiritual, fasting and worshipping on Vaikunta Ekadashi is also Mokshadayaka. It is a boon of Lord Maha Vishnu on this day.
What can be done on this day?
Worshipping Lord Sri Maha Vishnu during the early hours between 4-6 am (Pl check the local times) during Brahma Muhurtha. Since Ekadashi is the female energy of Lord it is auspicious and sacred to worship Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi also on this day.Why between 4-6 am:Because this is Dhanur Madam and time before Sun Rise is most auspicious for worshipping God during Dhanurmasam.
Fasting:
It is said that fasting on Vaikunta Ekadashi day is equivalent to fasting on the remaining Ekadashi days of the Hindu year. Persons who are capable of may undertake total fasting while others may resort to partial fasting by taking fruits or milk. Please avoid taking rice on this day as it is a curse that the demon lives in rice on this day.

May the Supreme Lord Sri Lakshmi Narayana bless all the humanity with his Graceand save the mankind from all the Evil

Sharpen your Skills


Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job with a timber merchant, and he got it. His salary was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to fell the trees. The first day, the woodcutter brought down 15 trees.

” Congratulations,” the boss said. ” Carry on with your work!”

Highly motivated by the words of his boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 10 trees down. The third day he tried even harder, but he was only able to bring down 7 trees.

Day after day he was bringing lesser number of trees down.

” I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

” When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
” Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

That’s right. Most of us NEVER update our skills. We think that whatever we have learned is very much enough. But good is not good when better is expected. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success.

 

 

 

A SAVOURY SOUP TO FIGHT COLDS


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  A SAVOURY SOUP TO FIGHT COLDS

  

A savoury soup to fight colds and help you stay healthy this winter

As the weather gets cold and the snow starts to fall, why not snuggle up with a bowl of comforting soup that will warm and soothe your soul? There’s nothing quite like coming in from the cold outdoors to a warm bowl of soup and hunk of whole grain bread.  This holiday soup will also boost your immune system during a time when we are indoors more often, and at heightened risk for catching a cold or flu.

The unique blend of spices is what really sets this soup apart from the rest. Saffron is high in antioxidants and a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Turmeric spice, found in curry powder, is a powerful anti-inflammatory high in manganese, iron, B6, and fibre. Cinnamon is also well-known for its beneficial effect on blood sugar and it’s believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation.

Combine these powerhouse spices with an array of vegetables like carrots, onion, spinach, and zucchini and you have one healthy soup for the soul…and entire body! Think of it as chicken soup for the soul, only with a healthier, modern twist.

Holiday soup for the soul

Red quinoa, a gluten-free complete protein source, adds a beautiful pop of red to this festive soup. Toss in some chopped zucchini and spinach and you have a red and green holiday soup that will steal the show at your next holiday dinner. This soup tastes even better the next day after the flavours develop.
Yield: 8-10 cups

Ingredients:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube + 6 cups boiling water (or use 6 cups vegetable broth)
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (about one 15oz can)
1 tsp good-quality curry powder
Pinch or two of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of saffron threads

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over low-medium heat. Add the chopped sweet onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and zucchini and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.

2. Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Alternatively you can use 6 cups of vegetable broth.

3. Add bouillon mixture (or broth), tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, spices, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.


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most coughs does n’t respond to antibiotics


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Study participants were 18 and older and had sought treatment for an acute cough — meaning they’d had the cough for less than a month — which is one of the most common illnesses seen by primary care doctors. There was no reason to suspect that any of them had the lung infection pneumonia, which is treated with antibiotics.

Participants took the antibiotic three times daily for seven days. While they had no better recovery than those taking the dummy pills, they were more likely to report side effects such as nausea, rash and diarrhea, according to the study, published online Dec. 19 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

That said, more people in the placebo group did experience new or worsening symptoms, but this did not occur frequently enough to justify treating everyone with antibiotics. Thirty people would need to be treated with antibiotics to prevent one person from developing new or worsening symptoms, the study found.

The study is the largest to date that shows antibiotics do not help treat lower-respiratory infections, the researchers say.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics may also pose risks, Schuetz said. “The main risk from antibiotics is related to direct side effects such as severe diarrhea,” he said. “The other risk relates to emergence of multi-resistant bacteria, which on a population level are a threat to society as antibiotics may not work properly.”

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that many patients beg for antibiotics to nip a cold in the bud. “This is not how it works,” he said. “Viruses such as the common cold do not respond to antibiotics.”

So what does work? “Comfort care, such as more sleep, drinking lots of fluids, and using a humidifier at night,” he said. “If you have a cough or lower respiratory tract infection, go to the doctor and let him examine you.” The doctor can take a culture of any mucus that comes up with the cough to see if there is a bacteria present, he explained.

“Getting antibiotics for a dry cough without taking a culture is doing a disservice,” he said. “There is no benefit and there may be a slight risk.”

SOURCES: Philipp Schuetz, M.D., M.P.H., Kantonsspital Aarau, Tellstrasse, Aarau, Switzerland; Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Dec. 19, 2012, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, online

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A SAVOURY SOUP TO FIGHT COLDS


 

  A SAVOURY SOUP TO FIGHT COLDS

  

A savoury soup to fight colds and help you stay healthy this winter

Click here to join World Malayali Club or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/worldmalayaliclub/
Photo credit: Angela Liddon

As the weather gets cold and the snow starts to fall, why not snuggle up with a bowl of comforting soup that will warm and soothe your soul? There’s nothing quite like coming in from the cold outdoors to a warm bowl of soup and hunk of whole grain bread.  This holiday soup will also boost your immune system during a time when we are indoors more often, and at heightened risk for catching a cold or flu. 

The unique blend of spices is what really sets this soup apart from the rest. Saffron is high in antioxidants and a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Turmeric spice, found in curry powder, is a powerful anti-inflammatory high in manganese, iron, B6, and fibre. Cinnamon is also well-known for its beneficial effect on blood sugar and it’s believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation. 

Combine these powerhouse spices with an array of vegetables like carrots, onion, spinach, and zucchini and you have one healthy soup for the soul…and entire body! Think of it as chicken soup for the soul, only with a healthier, modern twist.

Holiday soup for the soul

Red quinoa, a gluten-free complete protein source, adds a beautiful pop of red to this festive soup. Toss in some chopped zucchini and spinach and you have a red and green holiday soup that will steal the show at your next holiday dinner. This soup tastes even better the next day after the flavours develop.
Yield: 8-10 cups

Ingredients:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped 
1 medium zucchini, chopped 
1 vegetable bouillon cube + 6 cups boiling water (or use 6 cups vegetable broth)
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes 
1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked 
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (about one 15oz can) 
1 tsp good-quality curry powder 
Pinch or two of ground cinnamon 
Pinch of ground nutmeg 
2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped 
1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
Pinch of saffron threads 
 
Directions: 
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over low-medium heat. Add the chopped sweet onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and zucchini and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.

2. Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Alternatively you can use 6 cups of vegetable broth. 

3. Add bouillon mixture (or broth), tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, spices, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.