Translate to your language

Sunday, February 26, 2017

One chapter of my next book dispatched to reviewers

I have dispatched one of the chapters ("Yoga of the wandering mystics") to all those who have opted for voluntary review of my next book. In case any more people want to join, they can still do it by filling up the contact form on the right of this blog.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Psychic powers

A few decades ago, the US government spent Billions of dollars into the research pertaining to Psychic powers. The research was carried out in top US universities by eminent scientists. At the end of the research, the scientists involved in it declared that existence of Psychic powers was beyond any doubt. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

I invite read-along volunteers

I am currently writing a book covering wide range of topics- tantric practices, various forms of Yoga, and  Buddhist meditation techniques. I will be happy if anyone of you would like to join me as a read-along volunteer. As and when I complete a chapter, I will be making that available to you and you need to give your feedback within a specified time. So, you will get a chance to be a part of the writing process and access to the book even before it is published.

Interested? Please fill in the contact form on the right of my blog with details about you. You don't need to be an expert, but should be willing to read thoroughly and give prompt objective comments about how you find the chapter. Where necessary we can interact to discuss about your  views and how I intend to address them.

Please write something about you so that it will help me in deciding to take you along. Your details will not be used for any other purpose, nor would it be published.

From Eden Gardens to God’s dining table! 😄

When I visited one of the Indian Hindu temples in California, I was given a ‘prasad’ (a portion of the food offered to the God), which was a bit of surprise to me. Normally the prasad distributed in India are sweets. But this prasad was spicy/sour and made of rice! It is called tamarind rice (called Puliogare in South India).
I wondered how the Hindu Gods developed a taste for this spicy rice! Actually, tamarind is such an essential ingredient in South Indian cuisine that a typical South Indian cannot think of cooking without tamarind!

But plant historians say that tamarind is not from India, but from Africa. They say that tamarind was known even before 500 B.C. in Egypt. 

It is believed that humans evolved from Africa. So is tamarind from Eden gardens where the Gods are supposed to have created Adam and Eve?! Probably that explains why it is God's favorite 😄

Do you know something? The very name tamarind comes from the Arab word ‘tamar hindi’ meaning Indian dates! The flesh resembles dates and there is even a sweet variety that tastes almost like dates. Even the botanical name Tamarindus indica suggests that the fruit is from India! Does it mean that the fruit moved straight from Eden Gardens to God’s dining table in India???  😄 😄

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fruits straight from Indian epic Ramayana!

Indians have such fascination for their great epic namely Ramayana that they see the epic characters live in almost everything!

They even have named a family of fruits each after some prominent character from Ramayana. For example, they have Ram Phal (named after the hero Ram, Phal means fruit), Laxman Phal (named after the second hero), Seetha Phal (named after the heroine), Hanuman Phal (named after their most obedient companion). I always wondered what likeness Seetha Phal has with the heroine! Or for that matter Hanuman Phal with the character Hanuman (who has a monkey like appearance).

But as always, there is whole lot of confusion. Indians use these names interchangeably to mean different fruits in the group or the same fruit. Most laymen call all these fruits as just Seetha Phal

Actually these fruits are fruits belonging to the same family ANNONACEAE. Ram Phal is the Custard Apple (Annona Reticulata), Laxman Phal is Atemoya (a man made cross between Annona Squamosa and Annona Cherimola), Seetha Phal is Sugar Apple (Annona Squamosa) and Hanuman Phal is Cherimoya (Annona Cherimola).

There is another member in this family that has recently become very prized one. A few years ago, there were no takers for this fruit (it is a bit sour), But recently, on rumors (?) that this fruit can cure/prevent cancer, overnight this fruit has become the most sought after fruit in India. This fruit is called by different names, Hanuman Phal, Laxman Phal, Mam Phal by Indians. Actually it is Sour Sop (Annona Muricata)

The interesting thing is that none of these fruits are originally from India (as per the plant historians). But what is more interesting is that in some Indian languages, say for example Konkani (a language spoken in Goa – a former Portuguese province, now in India), Andana (sounds like Annona) refers to either Seetha Phal or one of the fruits in this family. Also, I remember seeing this fruit carved in ancient Hindu temples like Ellora cave temples. So, did Seetha actually invent this fruit? – I am just kidding.