Saturday, May 24, 2008


I became interested in 2 subject this week and both are organic. It is about sprouting and compost... In this weeks blog, I'll share a little that I found out about sprouting and in the next blogging, will try to share information on the compost.

Growing sprouts at home are very fresh packed with nutrients.It is also easy and with very little time or effort, you can supply yourself an abundance of live food, in your home.

Below are some of the seeds that can be sprouted, you'll be amazed with the list.....

Alfalfa – means ‘father of all foods’ in Arabic, a lovely mild taste means you can’t grow enough. Sensitive to heat, ready in 7 days.

Buckwheat – actually a herb, likes light, warmth and wet. Needs to soak for 12 hours and a larger mesh or holes to root into than normal, use black unhulled seeds. The hulls are susceptible to mould so rinse well, ready in 10 days.

Cabbage – very small seeds make rooting difficult, use a very fine mesh. Strong cabbagey flavour, ready in 6 days.

Clover (red) – like alfalfa but sharper taste and bigger leaves, ready in 6 days.

Fenugreek – Tall and bitter, prefers cool temperatures. Mix with milder sprouts to tone it down, ready in 9 days.

Garlic – expensive, but just as good as the bulb for health and taste, but with less odorous after effects. Seed jackets don’t come off easily, just eat them! The first week will see little growth, ready in 12 days.

Mustard – as you’d expect this tiny sprout is hot. Use the black type as it’s easier to grow. Too hot for mass consumption, better for spicing up other meals, ready in 6 days.

Radish – hot, rinse well, ready in 6 days.

Sunflower (in shell) – sprout black ones as the shells fall off more easily and rinse well as they are prone to mould. As buckwheat, soak long and use a larger mesh, they get big! Ready in 10 days.

Wheatgrass – looks like grass and must be juiced. Soak hard wheat grains for 12 hours and use a large holed tray or basket. Harvest with scissors, has a strong flavour and many health giving properties, ready in 12 days.

Adzuki – cousin of the mung bean, crispy, use in salads sparingly, ready in 5 days.

Barley – grows about 2 to 3 times the length of the grain, better cooked, ready in 2 to 5 days.

Chickpea – cook, makes good sprouted humus, ready in 4 days.

Lentil – very easy to grow, steam them or eat sparingly on salads, ready in 5 days.

Kamut – this ancient grain is more nutritious and used the same way as wheat if you can find it. Sprout till the shoots are half the size of the berry, 4 days.

Mung – the famous Chinese sprout, to get them long, grow under a heavy bag of water with a banana or two nearby, (it gives off ethylene gas, a plant growth hormone.) The seed hulls don’t move easily, let them float away by holding the sprouts underwater, ready in 5 days but you can grow longer.

Oats – use oat groats, you can eat sprouts raw, but better cooked, sweet. Ready in 3-5 days.

Pea (green) – like lentils, but bigger and needs cooking, ready in 5 days.

Sunflower (hulled) – sweet nutty taste, but gets bitter and moulds easily if you leave them too long, grow for 2 days, then eat.

Quinoa – Hard to find, untested.

Wheat – sprout this and use it to make sprouted breads, ready in 3-5 days.

As on how to sprout, just soak them for about half a day, rinse them and wet them on daily basis and rinse them..... simple as that. You can use a jar, tray, plastic bag and etc...

There are many websites that has detailed information and there are sprouters that can be bought....

Happy sprouting....


Referring to Sri Ramakrishna's disciples, this is what Sri Sarada Maa said.......

Holy Mother said, 'Sri Ramakrishna accepted his disciples after thoroughly examining them. What an austere life they led at the Baranagore monastery after HIS passing away! Niranjan (Swami Niranjanananda) and the others often starved themselves. They spent all their time in meditation and prayer. One day these young monks were talking among themselves: 'We have renounced everything in the name of Sri Ramakrishna. Let us see if he would supply us with food if we simply depend upon HIM. We will not tell anybody about our wants. We will not go out for begging!' They covered thier bodies with sheets of cloth and sat down for meditation. The whole day passed. It was late at night. They heard somebody knocking at the door. Naren (Swami Vivekananda) left the seat and asked one of his brother monks, 'Please open the door and see who is there. First of all, notice if he has anything in his hand.'
What a miracle! As soon as the door was opened, it was found that a man was standing there. He have brought some delicious food from the temple of Gopala on the bank of the Ganges. They were exceedingly happy and felt convinced of the protecting hand of Sri Ramakrishna. They offered that food to Sri Ramakrishna at that late hour of the night and partook of the Prasada. Such things happened many a time....... Now the monks do not experince any such difficulty. Alas! What hardship Naren and Baburam (Swami Premananda) passed through! Even my Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda), who is now the President of the Ramakrishna Mission, had to cleanse the pots and kettles, many a day.
At one time Naren was travelling as an itinerant monk in Northern India. He did not get any food for two days and was lying down under a tree. He found a man standing near him, with delicious food and a jar of water in his hands. The man said, 'Here is the Prasada of Rama. Please accept it.' Naren said, 'You do not know me, my good friend. You have made a mistake. Perhaps you have brought these articles for someone else.' The man said with the utmost humility, 'No, revered sir. I have brought this food solely for you. I was enjoying a little nap at noontime, when I saw a man in dream. He said: Get up quickly; a holy man is lying under yonder tree; give him some food. I dismissed the whole thing as a mere dream. Therefore I turned on my side and again fell asleep. Then again dreamt of the man, who said, giving me a push:I am asking you to get up and still you are sleeping! Carry out my order without any more delay. Then I though that it was not an illusory dream. It was a command of Rama. Therefore in obedience to HIS command I brought these articles for you, sir.' Naren realized that it was all due to the grace of Sri Ramakrishna, and cheerfully accepted the food

What a faith.... Would we be able to cling to HIM during our times of difficulty with that much of faith???

Friday, May 9, 2008

A brief introduction of Sri Ramakrishna


Thursday, May 8, 2008


Nithyashree Gum Ganapathe - Hamsadwani - Adi (Tisra)


Song to Amman

Song to Lord Muruga

Song about the avatar’s of Lord Narayanan.

When you are de-motivated, there’s no where else to turn but to the Lord. And listening to these songs, brings hope and strength. Very enchanting…


Sunday, May 4, 2008


Today, while, I was pondering on what my stars hold for me, I came across this article by Swami Vivekananda. I read and shared with my husband, and as always, Swamiji came to resuce in our times of doubt.We are now, more relived and stronger and ready to swallow the stars. So for those of you out there, who were predicted to have 'not so good year' and etc, the below from Swami Vivekananda, should be assuring and helpful.

There was a very powerful dynasty in Southern India. They made it a rule to take the horoscope of all the prominent men living from time to time, calculated from the time of their birth. In this way they got a record of leading facts predicted, and compared them afterwards with events as they happened. This was done for a thousand years, until they found certain agreements; these were generalised and recorded and made into a huge book. The dynasty died out, but the family of astrologers lived and had the book in their possession. It seems possible that this is how astrology came into existence. Excessive attention to the minutiae of astrology is one of the superstitions which has hurt the Hindus very much.
I think the Greeks first took astrology to India and took from the Hindus the science of astronomy and carried it back with them from Europe. Because in India you will find old altars made according to a certain geometrical plan, and certain things had to be done when the stars were in certain positions, therefore I think the Greeks gave the Hindus astrology, and the Hindus gave them astronomy.
I have seen some astrologers who predicted wonderful things; but I have no reason to believe they predicted them only from the stars, or anything of the sort. In many cases it is simply mind - reading. Sometimes wonderful predictions are made, but in many cases it is arrant trash.
In London, a young man used to come to me and ask me, "What will become of me next year?" I asked him why he asked me so. "I have lost all my money and have become very, very poor." Money is the only God of many beings. Weak men, when they lose everything and feel themselves weak, try all sorts of uncanny methods of making money, and come to astrology and all these things. "It is the coward and the fool who says, 'This is fate'"-- so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong man who stands up and says, "I will make my fate." It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology. We may be under planetary influence, but it should not matter much to us. Buddha says, "Those that get a living by calculation of the stars by such art and other lying tricks are to be avoided"; and he ought to know, because he was the greatest Hindu ever born. Let stars come, what harm is there? If a star disturbs my life, it would not be worth a cent. You will find that astrology and all these mystical things are generally signs of a weak mind; therefore as soon as they are becoming prominent in our minds, we should see a physician, take good food and rest.
If you can get an explanation of a phenomenon from within its nature, it is nonsense to look for an explanation from outside. If the world explains itself, it is nonsense to go outside for an explanation. Have you found any phenomena in the life of a man that you have ever seen which cannot be explained by the power of the man himself? So what is the use of going to the stars or anything else in the world? My own Karma is sufficient explanation of my present state. So in the case of Jesus himself. We know that his father was only a carpenter. We need not go to anybody else to find an explanation of his power. He was the outcome of his own past, all of which was a preparation for that Jesus. Buddha goes back and back to animal bodies and tells us how he ultimately became Buddha. So what is the use of going to stars for explanation? They may have a little influence; but it is our duty to ignore them rather than hearken to them and make ourselves nervous. This I lay down as the first essential in all I teach: anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet. Religion is the manifestation of the natural strength that is in man. A spring of infinite power is coiled up and is inside this little body, and that spring is spreading itself. And as it goes on spreading, body after body is found insufficient; it throws them off and takes higher bodies. This is the history of man, of religion, civilisation, or progress. That giant Prometheus, who is bound, is getting himself unbound. It is always a manifestation of strength, and all these ideas such as astrology, although there may be a grain of truth in them, should be avoided.
There is an old story of an astrologer who came to a king and said, "You are going to die in six months." The king was frightened out of his wits and was almost about to die then and there from fear. But his minister was a clever man, and this man told the king that these astrologers were fools. The king would not believe him. So the minister saw no other way to make the king see that they were fools but to invite the astrologer to the palace again. There he asked him if his calculations were correct. The astrologer said that there could not be a mistake, but to satisfy him he went through the whole of the calculations again and then said that they were perfectly correct. The king's face became livid. The minister said to the astrologer, "And when do you think that you will die?" "In twelve years", was the reply. The minister quickly drew his sword and separated the astrologer's head from the body and said to the king, "Do you see this liar? He is dead this moment."
If you want your nation to live, keep away from all these things. The only test of good things is that they make us strong. Good is life, evil is death. These superstitious ideas are springing like mushrooms in your country, and women wanting in logical analysis of things are ready to believe them. It is because women are striving for liberation, and women have not yet established themselves intellectually. One gets by heart a few lines of poetry from the top of a novel and says she knows the whole of Browning. Another attends a course of three lectures and then thinks she knows everything in the world. The difficulty is that they are unable to throw off the natural superstition of women. They have a lot of money and some intellectual learning, but when they have passed through this transition stage and get on firm ground, they will be all right. But they are played upon by charlatans. Do not be sorry; I do not mean to hurt anyone, but I have to tell the truth. Do you not see how open you are to these things? Do you not see how sincere these women are, how that divinity latent in all never dies? It is only to know how to appeal to the Divine. The more I live, the more I become convinced every day that every human being is divine. In no man or woman, however vile, does that divinity die. Only he or she does not know how to reach it and is waiting for the Truth. And wicked people are trying to deceive him or her with all sorts of fooleries. If one man cheats another for money, you say he is a fool and a blackguard. How much greater is the iniquity of one who wants to fool others spiritually! This is too bad. It is the one test, that truth must make you strong and put you above superstition. The duty of the philosopher is to raise you above superstition. Even this world, this body and mind are superstitions; what infinite souls you are! And to be tricked by twinkling stars! It is a shameful condition. You are divinities; the twinkling stars owe their existence to you.
I was once travelling in the Himalayas, and the long road stretched before us. We poor monks cannot get any one to carry us, so we had to make all the way on foot. There was an old man with us. The way goes up and down for hundreds of miles, and when that old monk saw what was before him, he said, "Oh sir, how to cross it; I cannot walk any more; my chest will break." I said to him, "Look down at your feet." He did so, and I said, "The road that is under your feet is the road that you have passed over and is the same road that you see before you; it will soon be under your feet." The highest things are under your feet, because you are Divine Stars; all these things are under your feet. You can swallow the stars by the handful if you want; such is your real nature. Be strong, get beyond all superstitions, and be free.


Taraknath Ghosal as known in his premonastic life Swami Shivananda was born on Thursday, 16 November 1854, at Barasat, a small town east of Kolkata.
Tarak had to marry against his wishes. He explained to his wife, Nityakali, his hunger for God, and also gave her spiritual advice and guided her in leading a spiritual life.

On May or June 1880 Tarak met Sri Ramakrishna at the Kolkata home of Ramachandra Datta.
Tarak recalled his wonderful experiences during his early encounters with the Master:
When I first started visiting the Master, I often felt inclined to cry. One night I was crying uncontrollably by the riverside near the bakul tree. The master was in his room, and he inquired where I had gone. When I returned he asked me to sit down and said: “The Lord is greatly pleased if one cries to Him. Tears of love wash away the mental impurities accumulated through the ages. It is very good to cry to God.”

Tarak was first amongst the disciples to renounce worldly attachments. He lived mostly with Ramakrishna during the last three years of the master’s Life.
“For over a decade the swami travelled in different parts of India, sometimes in the Himalayas, sometimes on the plains, and sometimes in deserts or forests, and always he lived a life worthy of a man of God…Mahapurush (Swami Shivananda) had experienced Samadhi three times as a young man during the lifetime of the Master. The austerities and meditations of his itinerant period established him in that blessed state, enriching his life and giving him the necessary depth and strength to shoulder the responsibilities of the great task ahead of him. On the anvil of those years and the ones in which he began doing works of service were forged the character and personality later adored as Mahapurush, the head of the Order, who constantly lived in God and overflowed with love and blessings to all.” - Swami Vividishananda in A Man of God.

Swami Shivananda’s lifestyle was very simple. He regularly wrote letters to the monks and devotees himself. In the afternoons he would meet with devotees and answer their spiritual questions or talk about his days with the master and Swamiji.

From 1902 to 1909 Maharaj concentrated on establishing a permanent centre in Varanasi, with Swami Brahamananda’s help. He named the centre Sri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama, with the idea that one can be established in Advaita (nonduality) by moulding oneself on the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. He decided to preach Vedanta by practicing it in daily life rather than by lecturing about it from the pulpit. He practiced severe austerities in Varanasi and set an example for others.

On 1 April 1921 Maharaj left for Madras to open the students’ Home in Madras.

On 13 February 1922 Maharaj visited Dhaka with Swami Abhedananda and some other monks.

In 1910 Maharaj became vice- president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, after passing away of Swami Brahamananda in 1922, Swami Shivananda was elected president of the Ramakrishna Order.

In January 1923 he went to Varanasi to dedicate a building in the Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama, in the memory of Swami Adbhutananda, who had died in 1920.

After dedicating the Vivekananda Temple on 28 January 1924 and the Brahmananda Temple on 7 February 1924 in Belur Math, Swami Shivananda left for South India.

On 7 January 1925 Maharaj left Madras for Bombay, on the way he stopped for a few days at Cuddapah, a small town where some Hindu and Muslim devotees had established the “Ramakrishna Samaj”

Maharaj arrived in Bombay on 12 January, the Ramakrishna Ashrama was then in a rented house at Khar, on 6 February the swami laid foundation stone of the new Ashrama.

In January 1926 Maharaj visited the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, at Deoghar, Bihar. On 28 January he opened the new school building at Vidyapith and installed the picture of Sri Ramakrishna.

On 24 September 1926 Maharaj inaugurated the building of the new Ashrama in Ootacamund.

On 15 January 1928 Jawaharlal Nehru came to visit the Ramakrishna Home of Service in Varanasi, and he was delighted to meet Swami Shivananda. A few days later, his wife, Kamala Neharu, came to Shivananda for a blessing and spiritual instruction. She became a devotee and visited the swami in Belur Math many times.

Swami Shivananda was keen to spread the message of the master throughout the world. During his presidency many swamis of the Ramakrishna Order were sent to North America, South America, and Europe. These swamis and others worked hard to carry out the mission of Vedanta inaugurated by Swami Vivekananda. It was a golden era for the Order.

He passed away on Tuesday 20 February 1934. One day he humbly said to a monk: “Look, I am my Master’s dog. As a dog protects the precious wealth of it's master from robbers, so I am protecting the valuable spiritual treasures [discrimination, renunciation, knowledge, devotion] of the Master in this monastery. He who stays like a faithful dog will attain the greatest good.”

Sayings of Swami Shivanandaji

“Don’t think of this picture of the Master as an ordinary picture. He himself dwells in it and listens to the prayers of the devotees.”

“In this age the name of Sri Ramakrishna is the mantram for liberation. Rama and Krishna - the combination of these two incarnations is simultaneously manifested in Ramakrishna. If you chant the name of Ramakrishna, you will get the result of japam of the Rama mantram as well ass Krishna mantram. He was born to liberate sinners and suffers, and showed a simple and beautiful path for God-realization.”

“Truth can never suffer, for it is transcendental, not physical. We see the body suffer, not the real person. Persecution, instead of hurting the truth, always brings out it's pristine glory all the more.”