Hindu Fasts Feasts and Festivals / Wedding Dates 2016

HINDU FASTS FEASTS AND FESTIVAL / WEDDING DATE 2016

Hindu festivals are arranged scientifically, astrologically and relate to the exact date when the original incident occurred. They are celebrated annually when the planets realign themselves in the exact position once again. The incidents are historical and based on fact.

For example the birth or appearance of Lord Rama as described by Maharshi Valmiki, the original author of Ramayana in Sanskrit about the birth of Sri Rama. This is a very rare chart; this chart clearly shows Lord Sri Rama as an exemplary and a role-model (true hero) for mankind. Sri Rama is deemed to be the incarnation (Avatar) of God Sri Maha Vishnu. Place of birth : Ayodhya. Year : Sri Prabhava. Month: Chaithra. Day : Sudda Navami. Birth Star : Punarvasu. Maharshi Veda Vyasa in his Adyatma Ramayana described Bhagavan Sri Rama’s birth time in these slokas (Sanskrit verses) This alignment reoccurs on the 15th of April 2016 when Sri Ramnaumee will be celebrated.

Madhu maase, sithe pakshe, Navamyaam, Karkate subhe, Punarvas nakshathra sahithe, utchasthe graha-pamchake ! Mesahm Pooshani samprapthe, pushpavrushti samakule, aviraasee Jagannaatha, Parama-atmaa, sanaathanaha =

During the Spring season of Vasantha-ruthu (madhumaase means Chaithra month; in April), Sukla paksha (waxing Moon), Navami thithi (9 th day after new-moon), in Karkaataka lagna (Cancer is birth house; ascendant) . in Punarvasu star (Moon is in Punarvasu star in Cancer; so Cancer is also Indu-lagna; Cancer is own house for Moon) when 5 planets were in exaltation and when Sun was in Mesha (Aries) Bhagavan Sri Jagannaath (the Supreme Lord of Universe was born; then sweet-scented flowers rained profusely for one muhurtha (duration of 12 minutes) from the sky on the castle where Sri Rama was born. The time of birth was described based on Lunar System of Vedic astrology. Sun stays in Aries during Mesha month (roughly from April—14 to May—14 ) of every year.

The term “Panchangam” (astrological calendar) means five attributes, which are: Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, Yoga, and Karana. Panchangam is a Hindu astrological calendar. The above attributes have their nature: tithi (lunar day, for example, Pratipat, Dvitiya, etc.); nakshatra (lunar mansion – the ecliptic is divided into 27 nakshatras); karana (half of tithi); yoga (a special calculation when the longitude of the sun and of the moon is normalized to a value ranging from 0° to 360° and divided into 27 parts); vaasara, often abbreviated as vaara – a day of the week (1. Ravi vasara – Sunday [Ravi = SUN]; 2. Soma vasara – Monday [Soma = MOON]; 3. Mangala vasara – Tuesday [Mangala = MARS]; 4. Budha vasara – Wednesday [Budh = MERCURY]; 5. Guru vasara – Thursday [vrihaspati/guru = JUPITER]; 6. Shukra vasara – Friday [Shukra = VENUS]; 7. Shani vasara – Saturday [Shani = SATURN].

FASTS FEASTS AND FESTIVALS

Ekadasi                                                                 05 January

Makar Sankranti                                               14 January

Thai Pongal                                                        15 January

Thai Poosam Kavady Flag Raising                15 January

Ekadasi                                                                20 January

Full Moon                                                           23 January

Thai Poosam Kavady                                      24 January

Ekadasi                                                                 04 February

Vasant Panchami                                             12 February

Ekadasi                                                                 18 February

Full Moon                                                           22 February

Ekadasi                                                                 05 March

Maha Shivrathri                                           07 March (Join us on our Grand tour of India and experience Maha Shivrathri in our mother land – visit www.astroworld.co.za or write to us for further information. punditroshan@telkomsa.net

Solar Eclipse                                                   09 March (Not visible in South Africa – but precautions should be taken by expectant mothers)

Ekadasi                                                                 19 March

Holi                                                                        23 March

Full Moon                                                           23 March

Lunar Eclipse                                                 23 March (Not visible in South Africa – but precautions should be taken by expectant mothers)

Ekadasi                                                                 03 April

Hindi / Telugu New Year                                   08 April

Ramayan week commences                           08 April

Tamil New Year                                                14 April

Sri Raamnaumi                                                 15 April

Ekadasi                                                                17 April

Sri Hanuman Jayanti                                       21 April

Full Moon                                                           21 April

Ekadasi                                                                 03 May

Ekadasi                                                                 17 May

Full Moon                                                           21 May

Ekadasi                                                                 01 June

Nirjala Ekadasi                                                  15 June

Full Moon                                                           20 June

Ekadasi                                                                 30 June

Ekadasi                                                                 15 July

Guru Purnima                                                    19 July

Full Moon                                                           19 July

Ekadasi                                                                 30 July

Naag Panchami                                                 07 August

Varalakshmi Vrat                                             12 August

Ekadasi                                                                 14 August

Raksha Bandhan                                               18 August

Full Moon                                                           18 August

Shravani                                                              18 August

Lunar Eclipse                                                     18 August (Not visible in South Africa but precautions should be taken by expectant mothers)

Gita week begins                                             19 August

Sri Krsna Janmashtami                                  25 August

Ekadasi                                                                 28 August

Solar Eclipse                                                      01 September (Partial visibility in South Africa – to be observed by all expectant mothers from 08h13 to 14h01 – refer to the article on “Precautions to be taken by expectant mothers during an eclipse – www.astroworld.co.za )

Sri Ganesh Chaturti                                         05 September

Ekadasi                                                                 12 September

Full Moon                                                           16 September

Lunar Eclipse                                                     16 September (Visible in South Africa – to be strictly observed by everyone from 18h53 to 22h56) – visit our website for information : “Lunar Eclipse” www.astroworld.co.za

Purattasi                                                              18 September to 17 October

Pitar Paksh                                                         commences in the morning of 17 September – water oblations may commence today.

Ekadasi                                                                 26 September

Pitar Paksh                                                         ends in the evening of 30 September – water oblations continue on this day as usual.

Navarathri                                                          01 October

Sri Saraswathi Pooja                                       08 October

Sri Durga Astami                                              09 October

Sri Durga Naumi                                               10 October

Vijay Dashmi                                                     11 October

Ekadasi                                                                 12 October

Full Moon                                                           16 October

Ekadasi                                                                 26 October

Dhan Trayodasi                                                 28 October

Narak Chaturdasi                                             29 October

D I W A L I                                                            30 October (Do write to us on punditroshan@telkomsa.net should you require a letter to be submitted to your employer for leave purposes)

Gujarati New Year                                           31 October

Govardhan Pooja                                             31 October

Skanda Sashti                                                    05 November

Prabhodhani Ekadasi                                     11 November

Kartik Purnima                                                  14 November

Full Moon                                                           14 November

Gita Jayanti                                                        10 November

Ekadasi                                                                 24 November

Ekadasi                                                                 10 December

Kaarthigai Deepam                                         12 December

Full Moon                                                           13 December

Ekadasi                                                                 24 December

 

MOST AUSPICIOUS WEDDING DATES 2016

Weddings and Marriage Registration done in a dignified manner

http://www.astroworld.co.za/marriage/

January                2 10 16 17 30 31

February              6 13 27 28

March                   5 6 12 20 26

April                      2 3 17 23 24 30

May                       8 14 21 22 28

June                      5 11 12 18 25

July                        2 9 10 15 24 30

August                  7 14 21

September         3 4 11

October               15 16

November          6 12 26 27

December           3 4 10 18 24 31

Chakra Balancing & Massage

Chakra Balancing & Massage – Preparing yourself for a very happy and successful 2017 and new dawn of the No 1.  Increase the flow of abundance, progress, prosperity and good health.

Are you looking for more than a surface massage of your muscles? Do you want something that goes deeper…that awakens your chakras, clears blockages in your energy flow and helps you experience and express your luminous spirit?

 

Astroworld Chakra Balancing Massage, was developed based on over 25 years of experience helping people heal and awaken and has proven to be most beneficial to all.

This is a must for every student or business minded persons that want to be successful in the new year. An investment in yourself is a true investment for a happy and successful life.   How often parents find that their children are unable to cope with their studies at school or university.  This program will help to clear all blockages and guarantee that they produce excellent results now and always.

Benefits Of A Chakra Balancing Massage

–Balances your body’s Life Energy so your life is more effortless, joyful.

–Very beneficial to students that are prepared for a new year as it help to remove stress and anxiety.

–Mobilizes the power of the Healer Within to promote wellness, ease.

Deep relaxation and a relief from busy thoughts and uncomfortable emotions. As your thoughts slow, clarity, insight and understanding naturally emerge. –A deeper awareness of Self that you can let go into.

–Access to positive feelings and more spacious sensations, more joy, less pain. –Learn take home energy meditations to extend the benefits into your daily life. –Can be helpful in troubled relationships, chronic health problems, financial issues, weight problems.

 

What Are Chakras?

The roots of healing go back thousands of years to traditional energy healing practices that integrate aspects of ourselves. In many cultures, energy centers, sometimes called chakras, were identified. The most well known system today is the Hindu seven chakra system developed hundreds of years ago, but there are numerous others.

 

While many of these ancient approaches have value, it can be a mistake to just import an ancient system and expect it to work well today.

 

Our consciousness has evolved tremendously over time and the issues we face require new approaches. We can take the best of older systems and make them suitable for today.

 

Our issues are organized in our bodies in very specific ways. We do take grief “to heart” and feel “heartaches” in the heart center area. We get “all choked up” in the throat center, and carry undigested experiences in our bellies.

 

Work on the chakras of each of these areas can be of tremendous benefit in freeing us from challenging issues. It can help us handle stress better, change old patterns of behavior and transform pain, negativity and uncomfortable emotions.

 

As our chakras are balanced and awakened, our potential for loving, healing and leading is awakened.

We can live our lives more effortlessly and joyfully, becoming a greater source of light and healing for others.

What makes this work most effective is the combination of guided meditation and hands-on work.

We work together to clear out energy blocks and reconnect to your vital life force.

 

How It Works

Our Chakra Balancing Massage focuses on your body and mind as an energy system made up of interacting components. Each system of our body uses life energy to accomplish an interrelated purpose.

As examples, our heart and circulatory system pumps blood to and from all the organs and cells, our respiratory system helps us breath, our nervous system acts as a communication system. These “energy systems” all work together to support and enliven each other.

The deepest source of their energy is the chakra system. Our chakras are source points for life energy that each express a unique state of consciousness.

We live in a sea of interacting energy.

And we ourselves are beings of life-energy. We are Being of Light!

In the Chakra Balancing Massage we create a safe, supportive environment to promote your natural healing capabilities. Using guided energy meditation, soothing touch and intuitive guidance, I work with you on your full body, bringing special attention to the energy chakras.

Here the work is to help release excessive, uncomfortable energy, and fill each chakra with pure, calming life energy that then naturally circulates throughout your body and beyond.

Call us now to book an appointment : 0716300834

 

Sixteen Sanskaars in the life of a Hindu

SIXTEEN SANSKAAR’S – Purificatory rites in the life of a Hindu

  1. GARBHADHAN SANSKAAR

In this sanskaar, the Acharya , husband – wife, parents, followers of learned guru along with as many people having faith in God and Vedas, sit in yajashala to offer ahutis in sacred fire of Yajyen. All such prayers are showered with pious and beneficial result of such offerings. In this connection Saamveda mantra 104 says that he who offers aahuti in vedi (burning fire in havan kund) he is taken out of illusion and enemies etc. All this brings excellent effect on the child who is to take birth. Valmiki Ramayan and Tulsikrit Ramayan prove the fact that king Dashrath had the garbhadhan sanskaar done for his wives with the blessings of Shringi rishi and was blessed with 4 sons. The Supreme Personality of Godhead took birth in his home with his expansions.

  1. PUNSVAN SANSKAR

This sanskaar is performed after garbhadhan sanskaar when a women becomes pregnant. In this sanskaar offerings are made to pious fire of Yajyen and is performed in second or third month to ensure the stability of pregnancy.

  1. SEEMANTHONAYAN SANSKAAR

It is performed in fourth, sixth or eighth month of pregnancy. In this sanskaar offerings of khichdi i.e., a dish prepared by boiling of rice and dal together are also added along with other offerings of ghee and samagri.

  1. JAATKARAM SANSKAAR

It is performed on the same day when the child takes birth . The child is to take ghee and honey in optimum quantity i.e., in the ratio 1:4. “OM” is written on the tongue of newly born child either with thin neem stem or thin stick of gold.

  1. NAAMKARAN SANSKAAR

This sanskaar is performed after 101 days from the day on which the child takes birth or in the second year.some acharyas are of the opnion of that this Samskar can be performed on the 10th day of the chil’s birth. In this sanskaar all the family members along with learned Acharya and other invites perform Yajyen and together choose a pious name from Vedas, attributing all good sanskaars on the child, in the Yajyen.

  1. NISHKRAMAN SANSKAAR

This sanskaar is performed after one and a half months or four months. In this child is exposed to fresh, pure air outside the house. Mother of the child for the first time comes out of the house with the baby.

  1. ANNAPRASHAN SANSKAAR

This sanskaar is performed after 6 months from the day child takes birth. After this pious sanskaar child is offered with solid food comprising khichdi etc. and prior to this sanskaar child is only fed on milk because the intestines of the child are weak and are not capable of digesting any food other than milk before 6 months of age.

  1. CHOODAQKARM SANSKAAR- (MUNDAN CEREMONY)

In this sanskaar, all hair on the head of the child, that have been there since he was nourished in mother’s womb are removed by barber while performing holy Yajyen. These hair are removed either in the first year of birth or in the third year. Round about two and a half years of age, child has about 20 teeth in his mouth. Due to growth of teeth, child suffers heaviness and heat in his head, the gums are swollen and he may also suffer loose motions. Owing to all this, child displays irritated nature. Thus to overcome all these problems, his hair are removed. Moreover it is essential to remove the hair from child’s head which he holds since the time he is nurtured in his mother’s womb. The hair are removed while chanting Ved mantras and the whole ceremony is conducted while performing Yajyen.

9.Karnavedha / KARNBHED SANSKAAR

It implies making a hole in the ear. This sanskaar is done in third or fifth year of age. As in the case of previous sanskaars this is also done in Yajyen ceremony. Mantras bless the child with long life, happiness and wealth. This sanskaar leads to controlling of disease of hernia as well. It is applicable to both male and female children.

  1. UPNAYAN SANSKAAR

In this sanskaar, child is made to wear sacred thread (jeneu/yajyopaveet). This sanskaar is done in 6-8 years of age and the child is given deeksha of Gaytri mantra/guru mantra and henceforth child is called dwij (one who has been given second birth by the Acharya ). The word dwij implies second. First birth is given to child by parents but as stated above, second birth is assumed to be given to the child by his Acharya while giving deeksha, who upholds the status of spiritual father. After performing the sanskar, the child goes to school to attain education. In ancient times, the child went togurukul after performing this sanskar. Yajyopaveet has 3 threads which educate the child to control rajo, tamo, satogun of the prakriti which has effect of uncontrol of sensesand organs, spreads anger, pride, laziness, etc.

  1. VEDARAMBH /Vidyarambha SANSKAAR

This sanskaar is more or less like upnayan sanskaar and may be performed along with upnayan sanskar. After the performance of Yajyen, complete in all respects, male/female child remain under the control and care of learned Acharya who knows Vedas and has full control on 5 senses, 5 organs and mind. Then the Acharya starts giving preach of 4 Vedas. This preach includes academic education, moral duties to inspire pious deeds, to discharge duties to serve parents, society, all humans and the nation including all spiritualism.

  1. SAMAVARTAN SANAKAAR

When male/female child, after strictly following the rules of brahamcharya, complete their education at higher levels, then this sanskaar is performed. It may be compared to the present times CONVOCATION ceremony after passing out from university etc.

  1. VIVAHA SANSKAAR

Marriage is a turning point of the life. So it has also not to be started without getting blessings of almighty GOD . This blessing according to eternal philosophy of Vedas is only obtained while performing a holy Yajyen with Ved mantras. Thus this pious Yajyen gives sanskaar to the bride and bridegroom which also helps the couple to obtain a long, happy family life.

Marriage is a religious function. In this religious function, the holy yajna with Ved mantras is performed. The Ved mantras are also recited concerning the future family life of couple which makes pious effects on both hearts.The following custom is performed. The welcome of whole barat and specially of bridegroom in mandap. The best seat is offered to bridegroom by bride, water is given to wash the hands, mouth and feet and to do achmann. System of donation of cow. Bridegroom also gives heartily respect to the bride. The yajna in full respect is performed.Pannigrahn custom is performed when bridegroom takes hand of bride, while reciting Ved mantras.

In Ved mantras, there are promises to be fulfilled like offering whole life by both to each other while doing pious deeds according to Vedas. Then both go around the holy fire of yajna between which holy Ved mantras are recited and offering of ghee and havan samagri is continued in the fire. Then the custom of Shila arohann is done which shows to be firm like astone in the matter of moral duties of family etc. Then the custom of Phere is done. Then Saptpadi i.e., to go together up to seven steps, within the voice of Ved mantras wherein good advices remains. Then other custom are done. Mandap is made in both the houses i.e., in the house of bride and bridegroom too. Then barat i.e., bridegroom and their relatives, friends etc., reaches the house of parents of bride. Four small plates, four small bowls and one bowl of ghee, four small spoons, one big spoon, about one kg pure ghee, the dry twigs of mango tree, four packet of havan samagri, match box, camphor, one hand fan, a big bowl full of water, Yajopavit (sacred thread) turmeric powder, wheat flour, roli (a powder prepared from a mixture of turmeric and lime used to decorate the havan kund and mandap). Mandap comprises of four seats (asans) on ground to be occupied by purohit and otherswho will perform the marriage function, two wooden seats to be occupied by bride and bridegroom, flower garlands, sweets and boiled rice. The said articles are used in the decoration of mandap and to perform the holy Yajyen and to perform the marriage function .

The marriage is a religious function and is performed while doing holy Yajyen with Ved mantras. When barat reaches the residence of bride’s parents, the bride gives pious seat to the bridegroom, water towash the feet, hands, mouth. Water is given for three ACHMAN (intake of water with Ved mantras). In optimum ratio, curd, honey, and ghee (3:1:1) is served to the bridegroom. Cow is donated by the bride’s parents. Pitcher full of fresh water is placed, at the place where holy Yajyen is performed for the marriage.

PANIGRAHAN means bridegroom takes the hand of bride and the Ved mantras are recited. AGNIPARIKRAMA i.e. the couple moves around the burning fire of havan kund in which the AAHUTIS (offerings) are given by Ved mantras. SHILA AROHAN i.e. one stepis put by bride on the hardest stone which means she is educated that she has to carry on the family life with firm mind like a stone. LAJA-HOM means walking around the pious fire. SAPTAPADI – in this process, the couple slowly -slowly takes 7 steps together with Ved mantras. Then couple sees shining sun together. Then the couple sees the DHRUIV and ARUNDHATI stars together. This pious marriage is performed as stated above, while performing a long holy Yajyen while reciting Ved mantras.

  1. VANPRASTH SANSKAR

After discharging all moral duties in married life between 25 and 50 years of age, Vedas say to enter Vanprasth ashram. It means one should go towards jungle (lonely place) for deep study of Vedas and practice of ashtang yoga. Vanprasth ashram teaches that one should now keep oneself separate from family life, to devote full life time to worship GOD according to Vedas’ philosophy. At this pious occasion a great holy Yajyen from ved mantras is performed in the presence of society.

  1. SANYAAS SANSKAR

Sanyaas is the last stage of life. Sanyaas is attained by a complete ascetic. A sanyaasi is to serve whole of the society, Actually sanyaasi leaves his married life but he is to look after the whole family of the world. sanyaas is taken either at the age of 75 or at any age when he realizes himself a firm ascetic. In sanyaas complete Vedic knowledge and asceticism is the base because he has to spread the true knowledge in the society. A Yajyen is performed in presence of the society and thus the sanyaas is given.

  1. ANTYESHTI SANSKAAR

Antyeshti is also a pious sanskaar. When soul goes out from the body and body thus becomes dead then cremation is called antyeshti sanskaar. This is also done while offering aahutis, in burning pyre (chita), of Ved mantras mentioned in 39th chapter of yajurved.

 

Ekadashi Recipes

PIZZA POTATOES Serves: 4 Some steamed broccoli and a large tossed salad complete this simple meal.

Ingredients: 4 large baking potatoes 1 cup marinara sauce, or more as needed 1 to 1/2 cups grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

pizza sauce mix 1 can of chopped tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes cooked skinned and chopped 2 tble spoons virgin olive oil 1 tsp sweet basil 1/2 tsp oregano 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp garam masala 1tsp salt

Bake or microwave the potatoes until done. When cool enough to handle, cut each in half lengthwise. Fluff the inside of each potato half with a fork.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce on each potato half, followed by 2 to 3 tablespoons grated cheese. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve at once.

 

Sabudaana Vada

Most fattening, but delicious !

Ingredients: – 1 kg Potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed – 1 cup (150 gms) Saboodana (sago) – 2 tsp Sendha namak (rock salt) – 1 tsp Chilli powder – 1 tbsp (heaped) Hara dhania (green coriander), chopped – 1 tsp Green chillies, chopped – 1 tbsp Lemon juice – Ghee (clarified butter)/*Oil for deep frying

*Peanut oil or Olive oil or Palm oil – not corn oils.

Wash saboodana till water clears. Soak in water, with level coming upto 3 cms / 1½” above the saboodana, for about 1½ hours.

Drain in a colander and mix in potatoes, salt, chilli powder, hara dhania, green chillies and lemon juice.

Shape potato mixture into flat, round vadas 5 cms / 2″ in diameter (grease hands if it sticks).

Heat ghee/oil for frying. Fry vadas golden and crisp on both sides and serve hot, with a chutney.

Sabut Aloo Long list of ingredients, but simple to make !

Ingredients: – 500 gms Potatoes (small, whole) boiled, peeled – ½ cup (100 gms) Dahi (yogurt), beaten smooth – 2 tsp Dhania (coriander) powder – ¼ tsp Pissi kali mirch (powdered black pepper) – 1 tbsp Sendha namak (rock salt) – 2-3 Green chillies – 2 tsp Ginger, chopped – 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 sprig Kadhi patta (curry leaves) – 1 tsp Zeera (cumin seeds) – 2 tsp Sugar – ½ tsp Laung (cloves) – ½ tsp Daalchini (cinnamon) broken into pieces – ½ tsp Choti elaichi (cardamom) seeds

Grind together green chillies and ginger.

Powder together sugar, laung, daalchini, choti elaichi.

Mix together, potatoes, dahi, dhania, kali mirch, green chilli and ginger paste, and the salt.

Heat ghee in a pan, and add kadhi patta and zeera. When zeera splutters, add potato mixture, and sauté till oil separates.

Remove from flame, mix in the powdered ingredients and serve immediately.

Paneer Mazedaar Rich and creamy — a reward for fasting !

Ingredients: – 500 gms Paneer, cubed – 3 tbsp Singhare ka atta (waterchestnut flour) – 2 tbsp Magaz (melon seeds) – 2 tsp Sendha namak (rock salt) – 1 tsp Chilli powder – 2 tsp Zeera (cumin seeds), roasted, powdered – 2 tsp Dhania (coriander), powdered – 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified) – 1 tbsp (or to taste) Green chillies,  chopped – 2 tbsp Hara dhania (green coriander), chopped – ¼ cup (60 gms) Malai (fresh cream)

Mix together paneer, atta, magaz, namak, chilli powder, dhnia powder, well enough to coat the paneer.

Heat the ghee, add green chillies and ginger to it. Sauté till slightly coloured, then add paneer mix.

When the paneer is light brown, add enough water to cover the paneer and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes, until well blended.

Add malai and half of the hara dhania and heat through. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining dhania.

Hare Nariyal Ki Chutney Really adds zest to your fast !

Ingredients: – 2½ cups (approx. 1 whole) Fresh coconut, grated – 125 gms (2½ cups) Hara dhania (green coriander), chopped – 25 gms (approx. ¼ cup) or to taste Green chillies, chopped – 1 tsp Ginger, chopped – 4 tsp Sendha namak (rock salt) – 1 tbsp Sugar – 2 tbsp, or to taste Lemon juice

Grind all the ingredients together, to a fine paste.

Can be stored in a dry jar and refrigerated for a  few days.

PEANUT CURRY

Ingredients: 1-2 cups finely ground, roasted peanuts 2 green chilies tamarind or kokum to taste ghee (clarified butter) 3-4 cups water

For paste: cumin seeds coriander fresh coconut 2 sticks of cinnamon 2 cloves jaggery salt to taste

What you do: Boil water, add ground peanuts and ground paste of cumin seeds, green chilies, cloves, cinnamon, salt and jaggery .Add kokum or tamarind pulp to it according to taste. After the curry is well cooked, garnish with coriander leaves and coconut.
STUFFED BANANAS

Ingredients: 6 ripe, peeled rajali bananas 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup fresh coconut green cardamom ghee for frying

What you do: Cut banana into 3-inch pieces. Cook sugar and coconut with cardamom seeds on slow fire, until sugar melts and the mixture thickens. Slit each banana piece, and fill in coconut mixture. Hold together with a toothpick. Fry in ghee over medium flame till golden brown.

SABUDANA KHICHDI

Ingredients: 2 cups sago (sabudana) 1 cup roasted, coarsely pounded peanuts 1 tsp. cumin seeds 6 green chilies 4 tbs. ghee 1/2 lemon finely chopped fresh coriander for garnishing 1/2 cup freshly scraped coconut

What you do: Wash sago, drain and set aside for one hour. Heat ghee. Add cumin seeds. Then add green chilies, letting it fry briefly. Mix in sago, peanuts, salt and sugar to taste. Keep covered and cook on slow flame for 5-10 minutes. You can add small cubes of boiled or fried potatoes. Garnish with coconut and coriander leaves. Serve hot.

 

SWEET POTATOES KHEER

Ingredients: 1 cup grated sweet potatoes (ratali) 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup fresh coconut scraped 5 cardamoms, ground 4 cups full cream milk

What you do: Wash, peel and grate sweet potatoes. Cook in milk till it turns soft and the mixture thickens. Then add sugar, cardamom powder and coconut and cook for a few minutes. Serve hot or cold. This kheer looks like vermicelli kheer and tastes excellent.

SWEET POTATOES KAP

Ingredients: 1 kg sweet potatoes 250 gm sugar ghee for frying cardamom powder

What you do: Wash and remove skin of sweet potatoes. Cut into round thin slices and fry in ghee. Take sugar (1/4 in equivalent volume of the slices) and make sugar syrup of one thread consistency. Add cardamom powder to it. Place fried sweet potato slices in syrup and stir lightly. Keep for some time and then remove. They will turn crisp.

VARAI KHICHDI

Ingredients: 2 cups varai 1 cup roasted, coarsely pounded peanuts salt and jaggery to taste 4 green chilies 1 tsp. cumin seeds 2 cloves and 2 pieces cinnamon, powdered finely chopped fresh coriander leaves 1/2 cup fresh coconut 2 tbs. ghee

What you do: Heat ghee. Add cumin seeds and green chilies. Then add varai and roast for a while. Put 4 cups of hot water in the varai along with salt and jaggery.

When almost cooked, add ground peanuts and clove-cinnamon powder. Add a little ghee over it and cover and cook a little more. Garnish with coconut and coriander. Just before serving, squeeze lemon juice over it.

For variation, add small cubes of fried potatoes to the dish.

SAGO MILKCAKE

Ingredients: Sachamoti Sago : 1 Cup Sugar : 1  Cup Milkmaid : 1/4 Tin Milk : 1 Cup Water : 1 Cup Ghee : 2 tablespoon May be add: Pista (Pistachio), Badam (Almond), Cashewnut, and Saffron as per taste.

Method: Mix  1-Cup Water and milk and boil them on a stove. Add the Sachamoti Sago and mix till boiled. Add sugar to the boiled Sago and mix well. Add Milkmaid and Ghee and mix them till it becomes a Semi-solid Mass. Transfer the content to a plate, which is already given a thin coating of Ghee. Allow the contents to cool and then cut to required shapes. Other nuts and additives may be placed on the ready cake and it is ready to serve.

PANEER DELIGHT

Ingredients: Sachamoti Sago: 250 GMS. Paneer :  250 GMS. Milk : 200 ml Apple : One Mango (Ripe) : One watermelon : 1 Slice Sugar : 4-Tablespoon Strawberry Milkmaid : 1 Tin jelly crystals : 85 GMS. ** Moshams chain stores throughout NZ carry bona-fide jelly from Pakisthan Desiccated Coconut : 50 GMS. Food Colour: Red & Green Ghee : Small amount to fry Decorative : Almonds, Cashew and Raisins

Method: Chop the fruits into small pieces and keep ready. Heat 200 ml of water and dissolve the crystals in it. Add 200 ml. Coldwater & place it in the fridge to set in a container. Cut it into small pieces. Beat paneer with sugar and milk in a mixer to get a smooth paste. Add a little saffron dissolved in Milk. Bake the paneer till a golden crust is not formed on the top. Fry Sachamoti sago in one tablespoon of Ghee and enough water to boil. Cool it and add milkmaid to it. Place the baked paneer in a round bowl and trim off the excess. Mix all the chopped fruits, nuts, cardamom with the sago and milk mixture and pour it on top of paneer. Decorate with coloured desiccated coconut pieces. Chill for 2 to 3 hours and Serve cool.

Avial – Curried Vegetables – South Indian style

Ingredients      Vegetables – Carrots, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Eggplant .      Coconut 1 cup      Green chillies 8      Red chillies 2      Cumin seeds 1 t.spoon      Tamarind paste 1/4 t.spoon      Salt 1 t.spoon (or to taste)      Coconut oil 2 t.spoon      Yogurt 1/2 cup      Curry leaves a few

Method      Chop all the vegetables evenly, and cook it with little water.      Add turmeric and salt to this.      Grind coconut, green chillies, red chillies, cumin seeds, and tamarind paste finely in yogurt.      Add the ground masala to the cooked vegetables, and let it cook until the flavour comes out.      Garnish with curry leaves and coconut oil.

Cucumber Pachadi – Raita

Ingredients      Cucumber washed, peeled & finely chopped      Yogurt 2 cups      Cilantro (coriander leaf) washed and finely chopped      Green chillies 1-2 finely chopped      Coconut grated 1 t.spoon      Salt 1/2 t.spoon      Mustard seeds less than 1/4 t.spoon      Hing a small pinch      Cooking Oil 1/2 t.spoon

Method      Wet grind green chilles, salt, coconut and little cilantro in little yogurt.      Mix the above with cucumber, and the remaining yogurt.      Fry mustard and hing in little oil and add it to above.

 

ALU POSTO (POTATOES AND POPPY SEEDS)

A dry accompaniment to a meal of rice and curries.

INGREDIENTS : Potatoes – 500 gm. Nigella seeds – a pinch. Green chilies – 6 gm. Sugar – 4 gm. Poppy seeds – 20 gm. (heaped) Oil – 30 ml. Ghee – 25 gm. Red chili powder – 5 gm. Salt to taste.

METHOD : Heat oil and add nigela seeds. Add diced potatoes and fry lightly for 10 mins. Grind poppy seeds with a little water and add to the potatoes. Cover with lid, stirring occasionally and adding 2 tbspn. of water. When water dries and potatoes are done, add green chilies, sugar, salt and red chilly powder. Top with ghee and allow to cook for one minute. Serve hot with rice.

Time taken — 20 mins. Serves — 4.

Spinach – Saak

Ingredients: For a serving size of 4-5 2 packets frozen spinach, thawed 1″ cube of ginger, finely diced 3 Shukhno lonka (dry red chilli) Dash of Hing (Asafoetida) Potatoes – about 4 medium-large ones Kasoori Methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) Mouri/Saunf (Fennel seeds) Salt to taste

Method: Cut the potatoes into small pieces, and then either lightly boil them or microwave them for about 8 min. Heat oil, preferably in a wok or kAdAi. To the hot oil, add ginger, hing, and fennel seeds. Add the spinach, and fry on a high flame. After about 5 min of frying, add salt, the dried chillies, and the potatoes. Mix evenly, and add the kasoori methi – then fry for a few minutes. At this point, you might add a little water if you so desire. Serve hot.

SHUKTO: (bitter subji)

Ingredients: Cut all the veggies in big chunks 2 potatoes 1 radish 1 raw green banana 1 bitter gourd 1 egg plant (medium)

grind to paste: 4tsp poppy seed 4tsp cumin seed 4tsp mustard seed 1 tsp chestnut flour (or kutu ata) 2 tsp mustard seed salt sugar little oil

Method: Heat oil, season with mustard seeds, after it starts spluttering, add the veggies, cook till tender, after its soft add the ground paste, salt, sugar, water. Bring to boil and this bitter dish is ready.

ALURDAM

Ingredients: 500 gms small sized potatoes 1/2 tbl spoon mustard seeds 2 twigs kurry leaves 50 gms tamarind 4-5 green chillies salt according to taste 1 tbl spoon ginger paste 1 tbl spoon sugar 3-4 tbl spoon olive or peanut oil Boil potatoes and peel them.

Method: Soak tamarind in a cup of water for 10 mins.and strain the juice.  – Heat oil in pan and fry ginger, mustard, kurry leaves till brown.  – Then add the boiled potatoes & fry for a minute or two.  – Then add chillies, sugar & salt & add tamarind juice.  – Stir & serve hot

Korela Bhaja (Fried Bitter Melon)

5-6 bitter melon (korela)

  1. Slice the bittermelon (like you would a cucumber) and coat the slices with     turmeric powder and salt. Leave to sit for 5 minutes. 2. Meanwhile heat oil for deepfrying in a karai or wok. Deep fry the slices;     some people prefer thicker slices fried til they are just cooked but still green     and soft – while others prefer wafer thin slices fried ’til they are crunchy and     become dark bitter melon chips. 3. Again you may remove the seeds if you like before eating. Serve as a starter. Invokes digestion – Very delicious!

Sweet Lassi – yogurt drink

Ingredients:       1 scoop Ice       2 scoops Yoghurt       1 splash Lemon juice       8 handfuls Sugar       3 pinches Salt       1 squirt Rosewater

Mixing instructions:

Mix them all together in a blender. The measurements are not precise because  you oughtta just throw everything in to taste. This is mainly here to help out  those, like myself, who tried making the Sweet Lassi with the other Sweet  Lassi recipe, and found out that it was pretty bad – watery, not sweet, et  cetera. Ice is the key.

Pudina (Mint) Chutney

Ingredients:   2 bunches mint leaves   2 small mangoes   1½ table spoon sugar   5-6 green chillies   ½ tea spoon mustard   salt to taste

Method :   Wash mangoes, peel it off and grate it nicely. Wash mint leaves and mix it   with grated mango. Mix all ingredients to it and grind without water. If needed,   add grated dry coconut for taste.

Misti Doi (sweet yogurt)

1 litre long life (UHT) full cream milk 1 litre long life (UHT) single cream 1 cup natural yogurt 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup sugar

That’s it, mix them together ( no need to boil and cool the milk ) and put the mix in the oven at very low temperature for 6 hours. by trial and error you will find the correct temperature setting for your oven for the perfect DOI ! If it’s not setting up the temperature a bit.

Let me break the myth about GAMCHA BANDHA DOI. Any DOI, if it does not set firm, put it on a gamcha like cloth and hang over a sink to drain for 6 hours. There you go, enjoy your Gamcha Bandha Doi – nice and firm.

Pesto  (Italiano Sauce)

Equal amounts of  (one good bunch):         Fresh Basil leaves         Fresh Mint leaves         Fresh Parsley leaves 200 grams + of Parmasen Grated Cheese 200 grams Almonds 4 table spoons Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp whole black peppercorns 2 tsp sweet basil 2 tsp paprika 1 cup water squirt lemon juice (half lemon)

Put it all into a blender and blend until thick and creamy

Serve at room temperature with salads

APPLE CHEDDAR SALAD

INGREDIENTS: 2 small red apples, quartered and thinly sliced 2 tsp. lemon juice 2 cup thinly sliced celery 6 oz. mild Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes 1/4 cup mayonnaise dash of salt and pepper lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS: Place apples in small bowl; toss with lemon juice. Add celery and next 4 ingredients. Toss to coat. Serve on lettuce-lined plate.

 

Sabudani Thali-Peet (Tapioca thali-peet)

Ingredients:      2 cups of soaked tapioca(sabudani)      1 cup of Peanut powder      1/4 cup of cooked mashed potatoes      2 to 3 Green chillies      1 tsp of Cumin seeds      1 tbsp of chopped cilantro      a pinch of hing      salt to taste

Preparation: Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp of oil.Make a dough(like Chapati dough) and it will be sticky.

Heat the pan(tava)on the stove top. Take the ball size tapioca mix and pat it to a size of a thali on the tava. It shoudn’t be thin nor thick. Pat it evenly. Make 4 to 5 holes in the thalipeet and put a drop of oil in each of the hole. After 5-8 min flip it over for a min or so. Then transfer it to a serving dish.

MINTED FRUIT SALAD

INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup orange juice 1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate 1/3 cup water 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract 8 cups cut up assorted fresh fruit Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except fruit; stir until sugar dissolves. Place fruit in large shallow dish; pour lemon juice over. Cover, chill 3 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate leftovers
Crispy Baked Potatoes – The Scottish Way

Ingredients: -potatoes of equal size, preferably organic -sea salt -olive oil -butter, salt and pepper to taste

Method: -Pre-heat oven 400F/200C or gas mark 6. To appreciate the full flavour, choose organic potatoes. Choose equal sized potatoes large enough to bake – you will need potatoes that are large enough to scoop out the centres and refill.

-Clean the potatoes and wipe dry thoroughly using kitchen roll or a clean teacloth. Pierce the potatoes 3 – 4 stabs. -Sprinkle sea salt on a tray. -Rub some olive oil on your hands. Roll potatoes in oil then roll in the salt on the tray. -Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for approximately 1 hour. Test the potatoes with a skewer on the half hour (turn if necessary).(As an alternative, you may thread the potatoes onto a skewer and place on the top oven shelf.) -When ready, cut the potatoes in half, leave for a few seconds to set, then scoop out the soft centre, placing it in a bowl. Add fresh butter, salt & freshly milled black pepper to taste. Mix and pile back into the shells. Serve with fresh coriander and a light salad.
Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients: 4 oz. blue cheese 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 cup sour cream 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp Hing Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
Angoori Petha  A variation of the famous Agra ka Petha that one finds in Vrindavan made of loki squash.

Cooking Time :   30 mins. Preparation Time :   30 mins. Serves/Makes :  Makes 40 pieces.

Ingredients 2 kgs white pumpkin (ash gourd) 1/4 teaspoon slaked lime (chuna) 3 cups sugar a few drops yellow food colour 1 cup desiccated coconut

Method 1.

Peel and deseed the pumpkin. Using a melon scoop, scoop out balls from the pumpkin. 2.

Prick each pumpkin ball with a fork at close intervals. 3.

Rub the slaked lime on the pumpkin balls and keep aside for 5 minutes.  4.

Wash the pumpkin balls thoroughly. Drain and keep aside. 5.

In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the sugar and yellow food colouring with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. 6.

Skim off any impurities floating on the surface, using a slotted spoon. 7.

Add the pumpkin balls and cook on high flame for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the fire. Cool completely.  8.

Drain form the sugar syrup and roll the petha balls in desiccated coconut. 9.

Cool completely.

Handy Tip(s) 1. VARIATION : ANGOORI PETHA PIECES 2. Cut the pumpkin into 25 mm. (1″) squares and then folow the above recipe from step 2. Do not roll in desiccated coconut. 3. VARIATION : PETHA SLICES 4. Slice the pumpkin into thin slices (approx. 15 to 20 slices) using a wafer slicer and then follow the above recipe from step 2. 5. Do not roll in desiccated coconut.

Coconut Sheera  A dessert made of coconut milk.

Cooking Time :   60 mins. Preparation Time :   5 mins. Serves/Makes :  Serves 4.

Ingredients 2 1/2 cups coconut cream 1 litre full fat milk 1/2 cup sugar 5  cardamom (elaichi) pods, crushed 1/4 cup chopped cashewnuts

Other ingredients ghee for greasing

Method 1.

Soak the cashewnuts in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside. 2.

Mix together the coconut cream and milk and simmer in a non-stick pan, stirring continuously. 3.

When it reduces to half, add the sugar and continue simmering on a low flame stirring continuously till it thickens and leaves the sides of the pan and resembles khoya.    4.

Add the cardamom and cashewnuts and mix well.  5.

Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate.  6.

Serve chilled.

Hariyali Tikki aur Chole

This potato and methi tikki is filled with cheese. The cheese just melts once the tikkis are fried with the result that the tikkis taste best when they are hot. Be careful while filling the tikkis with cheese and make sure that the cheese is completely enclosed in the potato portion. Otherwise, the cheese will ooze out of the tikki while it is being fried. You can enjoy these tikkis with ketchup and can even make a burger out of it. I love them with hot chole!

Cooking Time :  10 mins. Preparation Time :  5 mins. Serves/Makes :  Makes 10 tikkis.

Ingredients Main Recipe 1 cup grated boiled potatoes 1 cup chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves 4  green chillies, finely chopped 10 cubes mozzarella cheese [cut into 25 mm. (1″) cubes] salt to taste oil for shallow frying

Main Procedure 1.

Combine the potatoes, fenugreek leaves, green chillies and salt in a bowl. Mix well.  2.

Divide into 10 equal portions and shape each portion into a 50 mm. (2″) diameter circle.  3.

Place one cube of the cheese in the centre of each circle. Bring the sides together in the centre so as to seal the cheese stuffing inside the potato circle.   4.

Roll the tikki between the palms of your hands in such a way that there are no cracks on the surface. Press firmly on top to make flat tikkis.  5.

Repeat the procedure and make 9 more tikkis.   6.

Shallow fry on both sides in hot oil on a griddle (tava) until golden brown in colour.  7.

Handy Tip(s) 1. Two medium sized potatoes will give you 1 cup grated potatoes.   2. Instead of mozzarella, you can use your favourite cooking cheese.

Lavender Mint Tea – Recipe Excerpted from Excerpted from 500 Treasured Country Recipes, by Martha Storey. Lavender adds a pleasant but not too flowery contrast to the sweetness of mint in this herbal tea that is refreshing hot or cold.

Simple Solution: There are teas for all occasions: for morning, afternoon, and bedtime, teas to soothe, and teas to stimulate. In recent years, our appreciation of tea has expanded to include herbal tisanes (some of which are centuries old) and a wide array of green teas, barks, and spices. Taking a break for tea or making a pot to share with a companion is somehow very relaxing.

Lavender Mint Tea 1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers or 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves or 2 teaspoons dried mint 1 cup boiling water 1.  In a teapot, combine the lavender flowers and mint. Pour boiling water over the mixture; steep 5 minutes.

Yield: 1 cup

Variation: For more interesting blends, add rosemary, lemon balm or lemon verbena, and rose geranium.

Three ways to Make Iced Tea Brewed Tea. Make tea approximately double strength and steep only 5 minutes. Pour into a pitcher over an equal amount of ice.  (If you are using a glass pitcher, let the tea cool before pouring it in.) If you sweeten the tea while it is hot, you’ll need only half as much sugar. Refrigerator Tea. Follow the procedure for sun tea, except let the mixture brew in the refrigerator overnight. This method has two advantages: When it’s done, it’s already cold, and no matter how long it sits, it doesn’t get cloudy. Sun Tea. In a glass jar or pitcher, place 1 teaspoon of loose tea or 1 tea bag per pint or tap water (with sugar, if you wish).  Cover and set in the sun for 1 hour or so. Timing is not critical – because the water doesn’t boil, the tea will not get bitter.

Creamy Herbed Potatoes

Ingredients 12 small new red potatoes 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream 2 teaspoons hing 1 teaspoon salt freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or parsley

Preparation Scrub the potatoes and place in a saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes well. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the sour cream. Stir gently and add the salt and pepper and hing. Serve warm with a sprinkle of chopped dill or parsley or other fresh herb like rosemary, sage or thyme.
Peach-Sweet Potato Bake

Ingredients: 6 Sweet potatoes 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup cashew pieces 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Ground ginger 8 oz canned peach halves 3 Tbs. butter

Cut sweet potatoes in half, steam, and peel. Put these in a greased baking dish with peaches. Mix other ingredients together and sprinkle over top. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.
Aubergine Fold and Feta Rolls Serves 4 Preparation Time 30 mins to 1 hr Cooking Time Less than 10 mins

Ingredients 1 large aubergine, about 500g/1¼lb 120ml/4floz extra virgin olive oil 2 tsps Hing powder finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 small beef tomato (beef tomato is just the name of the variety of tomato) 275g/10oz Greek feta cheese 8 large fresh basil leaves 8 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and finely sliced salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 fine metal trussing skewers or cocktail sticks soaked in cold water for 30 minutes.

Instructions Trim off the stalk end of the aubergine and then cut lengthways into 8 x 5 mm/¼in thick slices discarding the ends. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a large baking tray, sprinkle lightly with some fine salt and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour – this will make them easier to roll later on as well as draw out some of the water. Rinse the aubergines in cold water and then pat them really dry with kitchen paper. Mix the olive oil with the Hing, lemon zest and some seasoning. Brush over both sides of each aubergine slice then season with plenty of pepper. Place on the barbecue over medium-hot coals and barbecue for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly charred. Set aside and leave to cool a little. Cut the tomato into 4 thick slices, discarding the ends and then cut each slice in half again to make 8 slices. Cut the feta cheese into 8 slices. Place the aubergine slices onto the work surface and place a piece of tomato in the middle of each slice. Arrange a slice of feta on top, then roughly tear the basil and scatter on top. Sprinkle over the sun dried tomatoes and season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Flip over both ends to enclose the filling and secure with a cocktail stick. Brush the outside of the rolls with the rest of the Hing and lemon oil and barbecue over medium-hot coals for 1-2 minutes on each side or until they are heated through and slightly golden.

Serve at once.
Kalakand  An instant version of the traditional dessert. Cooking Time :   15 mins. Preparation Time :   10 mins. Serves/Makes :  Makes about 16 pieces.

Ingredients 3/4 cup paneer, unsalted (milk curds – casien) 8 tablespoons whole milk powder 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup cream 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

For the garnish 10  almonds, slivered

Method 1. Combine all the ingredients in a non-stick pan. 2. Cook over a medium flame, stirring continuously for approximately 10 to 15 minutes till the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan. 3. Spread onto a 175 mm. (7″) diameter pie dish. Cool and cut into 16 pieces. 4. Garnish with slivered almonds and serve chilled.

Handy Tip(s) 1.Use fresh paneer for best results.

NEW POTATOES WITH PARSLEY AND ALMOND PESTO

Serves: 6 While some savor the powerful flavor of the classic basil and walnut or pine nut pesto, others find it overpowering. I like to think of this pesto as a mellower alternative.

24 small new potatoes, scrubbed 1 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves 1/4 cup toasted almonds 1 tsp hing 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Juice of 1/2 lemon Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook or microwave the new potatoes until tender but firm. Let cool to room temperature, then cut in half.

Place the remaining ingredients in the container of a food processor.

Process until ground to a coarse, paste-like texture, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to loosen the mixture. Toss at once with the potatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Masala Chai – Recipe
INGREDIENTS 1 14-ounce can unsweetened condensed milk (low-fat or nonfat, if desired) 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Pour the entire can of milk into a clean, dry jar. 2.  Add all the spices and cover tightly with a lid. 3.  Place in the refrigerator. The longer it stays refrigerated, the better it gets. 4.  To use, stir the mixture, and scoop out 2 to 3 tablespoons directly into a cup of very strong, very hot black tea. Ah! 1 3/4 cups

 

We recommend Kaffree Tea or similar caffeine free teas.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients: 1 cup whole milk (or 3/4 cup water) 2 cups white sugar Just over a pound of peanut butter

Preparation Boil sugar with milk or water. Boil the milk and sugar until it reaches the “soft ball stage.” You’ll know you’ve hit the soft ball stage when you take a drop of the mixture between you thumb and index finger, pull your fingers apart, and see the drop form a string.(kinda like pulling a slice of cheesy pizza and seeing a string of cheese between slices.)

Take the pot off the stove. Add peanut butter and stir vigorously until you see a stringy texture (kinda like a paved road or neatly combed hair). While the mixture is still fairly liquid, pour it into a pan and flatten it out to a uniform layer about 3/4 in. thick. Variations Put in about 2 or 3 heaping teaspoons of carob powder into the peanut butter mix. This makes the fudge really tasty and helps as a thickener too (this is the best solution for vegans!). Try it with coconut milk instead of milk, or add in shredded coconut in the final stage. The fudge works even better with almond butter or cashew butter, and best with hazelnut butter.
Red Chile-Citrus Zest Pesto More Healthy Food Solutions

Excerpted from Southwestern Vegetarian by Stephan Pyles with John Harrisson. This is a decidedly US Southwestern pesto! Try whisking about 2 tablespoons into a cup or so of plain vinaigrette for a flavorful and spicy salad dressing. I also like to brush it on curd stakes before they go on the grill.

Ingredients 6 dried ancho chiles 2 tablespoons grated lime zest 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest 3 tablespoons grated orange zest 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves 2 tsp hing 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup grated queso fresco or crumbled feta cheese 1/2 cup olive oil Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the ancho chilies on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the anchos to a mixing bowl, cover with warm water, and weight down with a plate or pan so the anchos remain submerged. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just pliable. Drain the anchos; stem and seed them under running water (this reduces the HEAT). Transfer to a food processor and add the citrus zests, cilantro, hing, pumpkin seeds, sugar, and cheese. Process until smooth, then drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running. Season with salt to taste. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

Makes 1 cup

Cream Cheese Mints
Ingredients: 1 3-oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature (Cream cheese). 4 drops food colouring (mint – green, lemon – yellow, strawberry – pink) 1 tsp flavoring extract as above 1 T milk

Stir the above together until well mixed then add 1 lb confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar (icing sugar in some places has wheat flour in be careful)

Mix all the sugar into the cream cheese mixture, kneading it with your hands. When completely mixed, roll into a large sausage. Break off small amounts and roll into balls, about 1″ diameter.

Place balls on waxed paper, and press flat with fork dipped in confectioner’s sugar. Let dry until tops are just dry, then flip and dry out underside. Store in airtight container so they don’t dry out any further.

Yields 80-90 mints.

Scrambled Curd – Great Vegetarian Dishes by Kurma dasa This is the vegetarian counterpart to scrambled eggs. Fresh curd cheese (panir) is scrambled with sour cream and sprinkled with black salt (which has a distinct sulphur-like flavour), spices, and fresh herbs to produce a stunning result. Serve at breakfast with hot gradually add the lemon juice and toast or Puffed Fried Breads (Pooris),  and Tomato Chutney. PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 40 – 50 minutes YIELD: enough for 4 – 6 persons

Ingredients: 6 litres (101/2 pints) full-cream milk 7 tablespoons (140 ml) lemon juice 2 tablespoons (40 ml) ghee or butter 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) yellow asafoetida powder (in some places this also has wheat or rice flour in – get the resin and grate it to a fine powder if you can purchase it) 1/2 teaspoon (1 ml) turmeric 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) sweet paprika 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) coarsely ground black pepper 3/4 cup (185 ml) cream or sour cream 2 tablespoons (40 ml) coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Indian black salt (kale namak), finely ground

  1. Boil the milk in a heavy-based 8 – 10 litre/quart saucepan, stirring constantly. When the foam rises, gradually add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to low. Stir very slowly until the solid curd cheese separates from the yellowish whey. (If separation does not occur after 1 minute, add a little more lemon juice. 2. Pour the curds and whey into a colander lined with a triple-thickness of cheesecloth. Press under a heavy weight for 10 to 15 minutes. 3. Unwrap the curd cheese and break it into 21/2 cm (1-inch) chunks. 4. Heat the ghee or butter in a large pan or wok over moderate heat. Saute the asafoetida and turmeric in the hot ghee. Add the pieces of curd cheese and stir gently until the turmeric-coloured ghee is well distributed. Increase the heat and add the paprika, salt, and pepper. When the curd cheese is well mixed, remove from the heat. 5. Add the cream or sour cream and the black salt, stirring carefully. Add the fresh herbs, mix well, and serve hot.

Bubble and Squeak

Ingredients 1 large King Edward potato, peeled and chopped 100g/3½oz Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced a knob of butter salt and pepper freshly grated nutmeg 25g/1oz old used ghee dripping (full of flavour), for frying

Method 1. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and allow to get quite cold. 2. Steam the cabbage until tender and plunge in cold water. 3. Finely chop and crush the potatoes. 4. Drain the cabbage well and mix in the potatoes. 5. Season with grated nutmeg and salt and pepper. 6. Take tablespoons of the mixture and shape into round cakes. 7. Fry them in hot old ghee dripping to a good crisp golden brown on both sides.

Serve pipping hot

ISRAELI SALAD (adaption) Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients: 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 14/-inch dice 4 medium plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage 1 tsp hing 1/2 cup finely diced radish, optional 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all the vegetables in a salad bowl. Toss together. Use enough olive oil to moisten the vegetables, and add lemon juice to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again.

Mango-Fruit Salsa

Ingredients: 2 cups fresh mango, peeled and diced 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced 2 cups fresh kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), chopped Juice of 1 lime 1 tsp hing

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and allow to sit for a couple of hours for flavors to blend before serving.
Ekadasi Egg Substitute – Recipe More Cooking Tips Solutions

by Annie Berthold-Bond, www.Care2.com Producer, Green Living Channels

This egg substitute really works! I’ve used it for baking very successfully, although note that it doesn’t leaven like eggs for soufflés or sponge cakes. I’ve adapted this recipe from a great book called The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N.

Simple Solution:

Here is the recipe for substituting 1 egg: INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup water 1 tablespoon whole flaxseed (available in most health food stores)

Place the water and flaxseed in a pan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, watching closely as the mixture thickens to a gel (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat before the mixture gets too thick and gummy. The flaxseeds don’t need to be removed from the gel.

White Chocolate Pistachio Truffles These delicious creamy white chocolate truffles will testify that nothing is as nice as home-made chocolates. (NOTE: check the label of the white choc to see that there are no grains, cocoa, E 410, E 412, 410, 412 etc)

Cooking Time : 5 mins. Preparation Time : 10 mins.

Makes 30 truffles.

Ingredients For the white chocolate truffle 1 cup (125 grams) white chocolate, chopped 1/3 cup fresh cream a few drops coconut essence

To be mixed into a topping 3 tablespoons coarsely powdered pistachios 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut

Method For the white chocolate truffle 1.Heat the cream in a broad pan and bring it to a boil. 2.Remove from the fire and add the white chocolate and coconut essence. Mix well to get a smooth mixture. 3.Refrigerate until firm.

How to proceed 1.Divide the white chocolate truffle into 30 equal portions. 2.Shape into even sized rounds. 3.Evenly coat the pistachio and coconut topping on the truffles by rolling them in the topping mixture. 4.Refrigertate until firm. 5. Serve chilled.

SAGO JALEBI

Ingredients: Sago (Soaked in Water)-1 cup Potatoes (Boiled & Mashed)- 1 cup Maida- 3/4 cup (use kutu atta or waterchestnut flour – Singhare ka atta) Besan- 1 Tablespoonful (banana flour or arrow root flour) Ghee- 2 cup Sugar- 1 cup Water- 1 cup Saffron & Saffron colour- little amount. Almond & Pista (in pieces)- 5-6 pieces of each.

Method:

Mix soaked Sachamoti Sago & boiled meshed potatoes in a mixer well. Add, Maida & Besan in it. Add some water & prepare liquid mixture. Now, in a shallow frying pan, put some Ghee & heat it. Put the liquid mixture in pikari (an instrument to make jalebi) & make jalebi in light heat. After preparing jalebi, put these in Chasni (a hot mixture of water & sugar). Mix some saffron colour & put some cardamon powder in the Chasni as per your taste. Serve hot with putting some Pista/ Badam pieces on it. You can decorate jalebi with silver foils.

You may contact us for further details of how this great fast known as Ekadashi is observed.

Call Pundit Roshan Singh :  0716300834

 

Grand tour of India – March 2016

Grand tour of India

Period:     04TH / 15TH MARCH 2016

Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days India Tour

Four and Five Star Hotels

 Highlights :

Agra

  • Mohabbat the Taj – The Sage of Love – a show you will not forget. Presenting the most astonishing live show for the first time in India.

Delhi

  • Bahaai mandir
  • Qutum Minaar
  • Raj Ghaat – Final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Birla Mandir
  • Day at leisure for shopping in Chandni Chowk or Ajmal Khan Road open market

Akshardham : Where art is ageless, culture is borderless, values are timeless.

  • The hall of values – Sahajanand Darshan – brilliant shows with robotic figures and experiential effects.
  • A boat ride through 10,000 years of Indian culture
  • A 3D film shot in 108 locations of India taking the viewers on an exciting journey through the majestic Himalayas, sacred places, festivals, traditions and values of India.
  • The Sahaj Anand Water Show is a breathtaking 24-minute presentation which unites a variety of intriguing media to bring to life a story from the Kena Upanishad. Multi-color lasers, video projections, underwater flames, water jets and surround sound in symphony with lights and live actors produce a captivating and inspiring presentation. International experts contributed their expertise with BAPS volunteers and sadhus to produce this one-of-a-kind presentation.

Agra Fort

  • Agra Fort is located (270 10’ 47’’N & 780 1’ 22’’ E) on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the most important and robustly built stronghold of the Mughals, embellished with number of richly decorated buildings encompassing the imposing Mughal style of art and architecture.

Rishikesh : Feel the presence of God through the chanting of holy mantras and melodious songs sung by the young brahmachari children in Parmarth Niketan during the evening Ganga Arti.

Haridwar : Be fortunate to celebrate Maha Shivrathri and Ardh Kumba Mela

The Taj Mahal

  • One know that the Taj is one amongst the worlds wonders. One knows that it is one amongst the Unesco World Heritage Sites, One knows the Taj as a legend of eternal love of an Emperor for his favourite queen.  Well The Taj has distinctions much beyond just these Therefore, The Taj surely, deserves your visit once and more.  Come walk along the pathway beside the reflecting pool with fountains up to the mausoleum crafted in soft & pure marble and jeweled with semi precious stones.

Mathura :

Fortunate are those that are able to visit the very prison house where Lord Krishna was born.

Mumbai :

The cosmopolitan Victorian city to simply shop till you drop

Drop us an email to obtain a detailed itinerary : punditroshan@telkomsa.net

Visit our website for further details : www.astroworld.co.za

Contact : 0716300834

 March.2016

04 (Fri)              ARRIVE DELHI

Arrive in Delhi. GARLANDING – a traditional Indian way to Welcome Guests.

Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.

Delhi – India’s capital & major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its fold the ancient and the modern. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. It is not surprising then that what constitutes Delhi today is a conglomerate of seven cities. Down the ages region in & around modern Delhi saw Lalkot built in the mid-11th century, Siri established by Allauddin Khilji, Tughlakabad, &  Ferozabad built by Tughlaks followed by the city of the Lodis &  then came Shahjahanabad, capital of the Mughals under Shah Jahan.

Overnight stay at hotel.

05 (Sat)              IN DELHI

 

After breakfast proceed for the sightseeing tour of Delhi. Visit the (Birla Mandir) Laxminarayan Temple, built by one of India’s foremost business families and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver. Proceed to the war memorial, India Gate, built in memory of the 85,000 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during World war1. Opposite the India Gate, is the massive Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the President of India. Continue on to Qutub Minar, the 75m high Victory Tower. See the Iron Pillar, which has never rusted in all these years. In fact legend has it that if one manages to put his arms around the pillar backwards one’s wishes would be granted. Lotus Temple,

A replica of SYDNEY OPERA!

Afternoon: Sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. Visit the Jama Masjid, the largest Friday mosque in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jehan. Later visit Raj Ghat– It’s a simple black granite memorial to the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Connaught Place, Govt. Buildings

Afternoon visit AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE.

Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu temple, and a spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi, India Over 11,000 artisans worked on this lavishly decorated Hindu temple complex inaugurated in 2005.

Overnight stay at hotel.

06 (Sun )            DELHI / HARIDWAR / RISHIKESH BY DELUXE AC COACH

                               (By surface 230 kms – 06 hrs drive)

Breakfast at hotel.

After breakfast drive to Rishieksh

Later drive to Rishikesh, it represents the Gateway to the Himalayas in the Tehri-Garhwal region of UTTRANCHAL Several temples dot the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh

On arrival check-in at hotel.

EVENING GANGA AARTI AT PARMARTH NIKETEN ASHRAM

Overnight stay at hotel.

 7  (Mon)          RISHIKESH/ HARIDWAR BY DLX. COACH   ( MAHASHIVRATRI )

Breakfast at hotel.

Morning full day visit HARIDWAR

Haridwar– It is an ageless pilgrimage destination, held in reverence for centuries. Several temples and ashrams are found in this town and a visit to Haridwar is like stepping into a completely different world.

Upon arrival visit – Mansa Devi Temple: It is located on top of a hill called the Bilwa Parvat, the Manas Devi Temple is worth visiting. The temple can be reached by the rope way or one can take the normal trekking route to the top. The top of the hill gives you an excellent view of Haridwar. You will be lucky as along with SHIVRATRI you will also

Participating in ARDH KUMBH in Haridwar.

According to Hindu mythology, ‘Ardh Kumbh Mela’ takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. Kumbha (meaning pot) Mela (meaning fair) is considered a very sacred Hindu pilgrimage

Though all the Kumbh Melas enjoy almost similar quantity of devotees but the name of Haridwar comes at the top of all Indian pilgrimages. Hence the Kumbh Mela of Haridwar enjoys exceptional media coverage and Tourist traffic. The place is termed as the gateway to heaven in Hindu mythological scriptures. The Myth behind the celebration of Kumbh Mela goes like this, after the Deva-Asura war, which went on for quite some time, both the involved parties came to a conclusion that they instead of fighting should come together and churn the milky ocean to obtain the Elixir. The sea was churned and elixir was obtained but it was not meant for the Asura or the demons hence the god who appeared from the sea with the Kumbh or the pitcher of elixir ran from the chasing Asuras. In this chase a few drops fell on earth and now at these four places the Kumbh Mela is conducted.

IN EVENING ATTEND GANGA AARTI AT HAR KI PAURI – It is one of the most sacred ghats in India. It is said that this ghat was built by Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. Also known as Brahmakund, the Ghat is magnificently illuminated in the evening during a Maha Aarti performed on this ghat.

08 (Tue )           IN RISHIKESH

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast city tour visiting – Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula: Built in the year 1939, Lakshman Jhula has turned out to be the chief attraction of Rishikesh. The bridge is made of iron but it is completely suspended. If you walk in the middle of the bridge you will find the bridge swaying mildly. You cannot simply ignore the beauty of the surroundings. There is also another similar suspended bridge called Ram Jhula. These two beautiful suspended bridges are two hot destination in Rishikesh.

Triveni Ghat: On the bank of river Ganga, hundreds of people come here every day to take a dip in the holy river. The gentle murmur of the river is very fascinating. In the evening you will find thousands to people sitting on the bank to watch the religious function called “Arati” conducted during evening every day. The place is peace personified. You will not even notice when it has becomes dark. Time will seem to fly past you.

EVENING AARTI AT TRIVENI GHAT.

Overnight stay at hotel.

 09 (Wed)           RISHIKESH / DELHI BY DELUXE COACH

                                BY SURFACE (260 KMS – 07 HRS DRIVE)

 Breakfast at hotel.

After breakfast drive to Delhi , upon arrival check in at hotel

Rest of day free at leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel.

 10 (Thu)            DELHI / MATHURA / AGRA BY DELUXE COACH

                               BY SURFACE (200 KMS – 05 HRS DRIVE)

Breakfast at hotel.

After breakfast drive to Agra en-route visiting KRISHNA JANAMBHOOMI TEMPLE IN MATHURA. Afterwards drive to Agra. On arrival check-in at hotel.

Afternoon visit – Agra Fort: After Taj Mahal proceed for sightseeing of Agra Fort. It represents first major building project of Akbar, though remains of only a few buildings built by him now survive. Built on the site of an earlier castle in AD 1565-75, the fort, apart from other important units,contains Jahangiri Mahal, Khass Mahal, Diwan-i-Khass, Diwan-i-Am, Machchhi Bhawan and Moti Masjid. Many extant buildings were erected by Shah Jahan (AD 1630-55). Irregularly triangular on plan, it is enclosed by a double battlemented massive wall of red sandstone which is about 2 km in perimeter and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions.

Overnight stay at hotel.

 11 (Fri)              AGRA / DELHI BY DELUXE COACH

                               BY SURFACE (200 KMS – 05 HRS DRIVE)

Breakfast at hotel.

Morning drive to Delhi upon arrival check in at hotel.

Rest of day free at leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel.

12 (Sat)              IN DELHI

 Breakfast at hotel.

Rest of day free at leisure for Shopping ( No Car Services)

Overnight at hotel.

13 (Sun )           DELHI / MUMBAI BY AIR

Breakfast at hotel.

After breakfast transfer to airport to board flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai meeting, assistance and transfer to hotel. Mumbai- is one of the most glamorous and happening cites of India. Being highly influenced by the British during the colonial rule, the city has transformed drastically and is now known as the commercial capital of the country.

On arrival at Mumbai railway station meet, assistance and transfer to hotel.

Overnight stay at hotel.

 14 (Mon)           IN MUMBAI

Breakfast at hotel.

Day free at leisure ( No Car Services)

Overnight at hotel.

15(Tue)             LEAVE MUMBAI

In time, departure transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.

                                                            “Services Ends”

All check-in and Check-out – 12 Noon.        

CITY NAME HOTELS
DELHI CROWN PLAZA ( 5 *)
RISHIKESH DIVINE RESORT NEW WING
AGRA 4 POINTS BY SHERATON OR

HOWARD PLAZA

MUMBAI FARIYAS

 

Any child under the age of 12 will pay 50% of the airfare depending upon the airline and a percentage of the land arrangements.

 

COST INCLUDES FOLLOWING SPECIFIC SERVICES:

International Flights

Domestic Flight in India

### Accommodation on TWIN sharing basis with Break-fast inclusive of all presently applicable taxes. ### AC Transport for all transfer/sightseeing & long run as per itinerary including fuel charges night hault, driver’s allowance, interstate taxes and toll/parking. ### Guide: English speaking guide in Delhi / Haridwar / Rishikesh ### Meeting and assistance at Airport.

The quoted price may change depending upon the exchange rate when payment is being made
COST DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC SERVICES:

### Personal expenses such as laundry /phone calls/ mini bar charges. These are to be settled directly by the client also does not include table drinks, tips.

### Any by cycle rickshaw or auto rickshaw ride from vehicle parking to place to be visited

### Cable car ride in Haridwar to visit Mansadevi temple.

### Any jeep or Elephant ride in Jaipur to visit AMBER FORT. ### Camera / Video Camera charges at monuments ### Personal & health insurance coverage ### Meals other than specified ### Any item not mentioned in cost includes column ### ENTANCE FEE AT MONUMENTS.

 

 

Can a lady become a Guru or Pundit

A question was put to me yesterday.

 

QUESTION :

Can a lady become a Guru / Pundit

 

ANSWER

This is a very complex question and requires a lot of in depth explanation. In simple terms we firstly have the four divisions in the Varna Ashram system that divide human beings in terms of the work that they are cut out to do according to their past Karma’s.

 

Not by birth

First of all, varna designations should be determined by character, training, and work, not by birth. A lady can rise up to the level of a Brahman no matter in which of the four ashram’s she has taken birth. Just like a man she has to ensure that she has fulfilled her duties as a good and loyal wife, be a loving and caring mother, sister and daughter in law and learn to love and serve the Lord as well as these are her primary duties as a woman. She is the custodian of her entire family and should do everything to ensure that her family is kept on the path of righteousness. Krsna makes it very clear in the Bhagavad-gita that as a result of the degradation of womanhood it leads to the fall down of our entire society. On these grounds a lady is a Guru and teacher in her own home therefore she is a Guru and teacher to mankind.

 

With this in mind we should consider how we will be able to uplift not only ladies but the entire mankind to the level of God consciousness.

 

 

Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.

 

A brahman is the Guru / Teacher and an intellectual that can lead and guide society towards leading a good, cultured and happy life blended into God consciousness and show him the way how to go back home, back to Godhead.

 

The Ksatriya is the administrator, protector, soldier but should also be a devotee of the Lord. Even though he has a job that is rough and difficult to protect society he has to be a devotee of the Lord. For example the president of our country and every member of parliament fall into this category. They are supposed to collect taxes and ensure that it is correctly administered so as to ensure that every person in society becomes equal and well provided for. The Ksatriya takes direct instructions from the Brahman of how to carry out his duties well. The Ksatriya has to ensure that they are devotees of the Lord and teach everyone to follow by their example.  This is the manner in which Lord Ram ran the kingdom of Ayodhya. He sat of the throne and administered on behalf of His Guru Vishwamitra and Vashishta Muni. He did not take a single rupee for Himself.  If this can be followed by the present leaders of our country we can make heaven on earth today.

 

The Vaishya is the class of man who is the farmer or the merchant who nourishes society. Is under the direct shelter and care of the Ksatriya who will provide him with good grains, fertilizer, water etc. to ensure that his crops will be good. He is a devotee of the Lord and serves man and the Lord in a balanced way.   There is a great flaw in our country as the Kshtriayas do not take instructions and guidance from the scriptures nor do they have proper guidelines from any spiritually charged persons. They therefore make and break the laws all the time.

 

The Shudra is one who carries the entire society. He is regarded as the legs that does the fetching and carrying for everyone. His work is difficult yet he is not conscious of the pain when he toils in digging the earth to lay strong foundations for sky scrapers. He puts together brick by brick and builds the most beautiful structures. At the end of the day he does not get any recognition for what he does and all credit goes to the architects and proprietors of the buildings. This is the position of the Shudra. Generally man looks down upon them as they are underpaid and overworked. They should also be devotees of the Lord but because of they are so engrossed in finding food, clothing and proper shelter they indulge in taking alcohol and lead a gross material life.

 

The duty of mankind no matter what status that they belong to is to ensure that each person is assisted to come to the level of Brahaminism to be free and liberated from being Shudra and to become Vaishya and for the Vaishya to become Brahman. On the other hand the Lord has given a very simple formula where everyone can become Brahman by becoming God Conscious, Krishna Conscious and lead and divine and happy life. In this way the Varna Ashrma system can be fully used to make the entire society happy only because our aim is to serve man and God alike.

My humble prayer is that we all work together in trying to do some good for others around us to uplift man from their difficulties. Offer food to the Lord and feed the poor and the hungry and teach them how to chant the holy names of the Lord. In this way we do not have to depend upon the government but Krsna and we will be able to deliver everyone back home, back to Godhead.

Ishvara Paramatma Bhagavan

I humbly request you to please take the time to read this post carefully, digest the content and then like and finally share it with everyone. I find that most of you are looking at the topic and simply clicking on like.

 

This is most sublime and confidential knowledge that has been given to us by Krishna Himself and has been passed down in an unbroken disiplic chain.

Isvara – The Supreme Lord

“God is everywhere yet localized, all-pervading yet aloof. He walks yet doesn’t walk. He is far away yet very near as well.” Such contradictory statements are not whimsical. Rather, they indicate God’s inconceivable power.

 

The Absolute Truth, Krishna, can be realized in three phases: Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. These aspects of the Absolute Truth are comparable to the sunshine (Brahman), the sun’s surface (Paramatma) and the sun planet (Bhagavan); three different features of the same reality.
The Brahman aspect of God is the beginning less, impersonal form of the Lord, the effulgence of Krishna’s transcendental body. Just as the root of a tree maintains the whole tree, Krishna, the root of all things, maintains everything by His energies: He is the heat in fire, the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon; the active principle of everything. Although Krishna spread Himself throughout His creation, He retained His own personality. “Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality,” Krishna explains in Bhagavad-Gita. “Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme” (Bg. 7.24). Although Impersonalists may eventually achieve the Lord, their path is fraught with difficulties, for it is unnatural for the embodied soul to conceive of the unembodied, which is only a partial aspect of the Absolute Truth.

Paramatma

Realization of God as “Paramatma,” the Supersoul in the heart of every embodied soul, is compared to knowing the sun disc in the sky. The Paramatma is the supreme proprietor, witness and permitter, and He accompanies the wandering soul through its 8,400,000 embodiments. Acting as the soul’s friend, He remains the soul’s constant companion during his sojourn in the material world, no matter what type of body the soul inhabits; pig, mosquito, philosopher, demigod. The Supersoul helps him fulfill his desires by supplying knowledge, remembrance, and forgetfulness.

 

Although the Supersoul appears to be divided among all beings, He is never divided. Rather, He is situated as one; like the sun reflected in millions of buckets of water. Paramatma can be perceived through meditation, cultivation of knowledge, or by working without fruitive desires. A person in full knowledge of Paramatma understands that the Supersoul is the localized aspect of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within this material world and that the next step is to worship Him as Bhagavan.

Bhagavan

The word “Bhagavan” refers to one who possesses in full all opulence’s that we possess in minute degree: riches, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. Although everyone can claim some degree of these opulence’s, only the Supreme Personality of Godhead can claim them all absolutely.

 

“Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates,” Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita (4.6), “I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.” Krishna appears in this world “to deliver the pious, annihilate the miscreants, and to reestablish the principles of religion” (Bg. 4.8). He does not change His body when He appears, like a common living entity, who appears in body after another. Rather, He appears in His original eternal form, with two hands, holding a flute. Still, it appears that He takes birth like an ordinary child and grows to boyhood and youth. But He never ages beyond youth. At the time of the Battle of Kuruksetra, He was more than one hundred years old by material calculations, but He looked like a young man. He is the oldest person, but neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or changes.

 

To know Krishna as Bhagavan is a privilege reserved for bhakti-yogis. “I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent,” Krishna explains (Bg. 7.25). “For them I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible.”

 

“One can understand me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when, by such devotion, one is fully conscious of Me, one can enter the kingdom of God” (Bg. 18.55).

 

The Vedic scriptures declare that Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the source of both the Supersoul and Brahman and the origin of all avataras. Avataras are scheduled incarnations who descend from the spiritual world to execute the Lord’s mission of protecting the devotees and annihilating the miscreants. Their descent is foretold in the scriptures so that unscrupulous persons can be checked from claiming to be avataras. In this age, just over five hundred years ago, the Lord descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to spread the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra for the peaceful deliverance of both devotees and miscreants.

 

A common misconception of uninformed students of the Bhagavad-Gita is that Krishna’s universal form (described in the Eleventh Chapter) is the last word in God realization. The universal form is most impressive and spectacular: “If hundreds of thousands of suns were to rise at once into the sky, their radiance might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form. Arjuna could see in the universal form of the Lord the unlimited expansions of the universe situated in one place although divided into many, many thousands” (Bg. 11.13).

 

The universal form frightened Arjuna and boggled his mind, especially the kala-rupa, the form of time that was devouring and chewing up all the combatants on the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Arjuna therefore requested Krishna to withdraw His terrifying universal form and show him His four-armed Vishnu form. Krishna agreed. Then, reverting back to the two-armed form that Arjuna was accustomed to see, the Lord declared, “This form of Mine you are now seeing is very difficult to behold. It cannot be understood simply by studying the Vedas, nor by undergoing serious penances, nor by charity, nor by worship. Only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus been seen directly” (Bg. 11.53-4).

 

The kingdom of God is called Vaikuntha, the place without anxiety, and it lies far beyond this world of matter. It is eternal, and every single one of its atoms is fully conscious and blissful. Shaped like a lotus flower whose petals are the countless spiritual planets where the Vishnu expansions of Krishna reside, Vaikuntha has a whorl called Goloka Vrindavana, a planet where every word is a song and every step is a dance, where trees fulfill all desires, palaces are made of touchstone, and transcendental cows supply unlimited milk. The original Krishna enjoys life there as a cowherd boy with His loving devotees. Those who reach that supreme abode never return to the material world.

 

Your servant and ever well wisher
Pundit Roshan Singh

Prabodhani Ekadasi – Sunday 22 November

Utthana (Haribodhini or Prabodhani) Ekadasi

Lord Brahma said to Narada Muni, “Dear son, O best of the sages, I shall narrate to you the glories of Haribodhini Ekadasi, which eradicates all kinds of sins and bestows great merit, and ultimately liberation, upon the wise persons who surrender unto the Supreme Lord.
“O best of the brahmanas, the merits acquired by bathing in the Ganges remain significant only as long as Haribodhini Ekadasi does not come. This Ekadasi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Kartika, is much more purifying than a bath in the ocean, at a place of pilgrimage, or in a lake. This sacred Ekadasi is more powerful in nullifying sin than one thousand Asvamedha sacrifices and one hundred Rajasuya sacrifices.”

Continue reading Prabodhani Ekadasi – Sunday 22 November

The holy trinity

The three interesting-looking persons depicted here are Brahma, the world-creator, Vishnu, the world-maintainer, and Shiva, the world-destroyer. Perhaps you’ve heard them characterized in that very misleading cliché of introductory World Religions texts as “the  Hindu trinity.” And perhaps you’re simply inclined to dismiss them as the fanciful projections of a primitive mythologizing imagination run riot. But, if you go to the proper sources, the venerable Vedic texts Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam,  you’ll find Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva accurately explained in the context of an exacting and comprehensive account of God and His creation, an account that is unrivaled in completeness and coherence by any other philosophical, scientific, or religious literature, and that is not only intellectually satisfying but also aesthetically captivating and spiritually fulfilling. Continue reading The holy trinity

How to make it rain

from Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.8

nunamta virudhah ksina  

mayi kalena bhuyasa tatra yogena dṛṣṭena  

bhavan adatum arhati

Word for word:

nunam — therefore; taḥ — those; virudhaḥ — herbs and grains; ksināḥ — deteriorated; mayi — within me; kalena — in course of time; bhuyasa — very much; tatra — therefore; yogena — by proper means; drstena — acknowledged; bhavan — Your Majesty; adatum — to take; arhati — ought. Continue reading How to make it rain