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Lord Krishna is not only one of the most important deities in Hinduism, but is also one of the most important incarnations of God.
In fact, of all the incarnations of God, Lord Krishna alone is considered as a “Poorna Avatara” or a “Complete Incarnation”; that is, he was completely aware of his God-hood, the purpose of his incarnation, and also had complete control over the Universe (Prakriti) right from his childhood.
It is for this reason that the life of Lord Krishna was filled with many miracles and many extraordinary accomplishments, as can be learned from Bhagavata Purana.
Translation: I worship Lord Kṛiṣhṇa, the son of Vasudeva, who killed the great demons Kamsa and Chaṇura, who is a source of great joy to his mother, Devaki, and who is indeed a world teacher and spiritual master of the universe. (Sri Krishna-Ashtakam)
Keeping the debate on his historicity aside, for a Hindu and a practitioner of Sanatana Dharma, Krishna was indeed present in flesh and blood in the Mahabharata war and guided the Pandavas to victory. There is no doubt for a practitioner that Krishna was a complete incarnation of God. Further, God and his manifestations being eternal, Krishna can be worshiped and realized even today, even though the flesh and blood earthly incarnation has ended long ago. Even if one is not able to attain any such experience, one can still learn many life lessons from Krishna’s incarnation and try to adopt them in daily life to attain spiritual progress.
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The life of Krishna, on the one hand, is filled with fun, frolic, love and celebration; on the other hand, it is filled with war, politics, philosophy and spirituality. In every stage of his life and through every action, Krishna comes out as the greatest teacher, the mankind ever had. It is for this reason that the Krishna-Ashtakam calls Krishna “Jagadguru” or World-Teacher.
Let us look at a few teachings that Krishna imparts about Bhakti or Devotion through his incarnation:
Krishna and Yashoda
Though Devaki was the biological mother of Krishna, it was Yashoda who brought him up. It is Yashoda, more than Devaki, who was eulogized as the mother of Krishna.
In Narada Bhakti Sutras, sage Narada speaks about eleven kinds of practicing Bhakti (devotion). One among them is “Vatsalya Bhakti” which refers to parental love. The relationship between Yashoda and Krishna exemplifies this Vatsalya Bhakti. Krishna taught his mother to develop this kind of Bhakti through his love and actions which include pestering his mother or causing trouble around the village. In a sense, Krishna helped Yashoda attain ideal motherhood.
An incident mentioned in the Puranas states that when someone had complained to Yashoda about Krishna having eaten mud, she ordered him to open his mouth. However, when Krishna did so, she saw the entire universe including herself inside his mouth. She could not comprehend what had happened and became fearful and confused. At this reaction, Krishna made her forget her vision and she returned back to her normal state.
Yashoda was able to see Krishna’s universal form because her love for him was pure and deep. Yet, her love was incomplete at that stage, as a result of which she became afraid on seeing his universal form. Further, if Krishna had not made her forget the vision, Yashoda would not have been able to look at Krishna as her son. In other words, Yashoda was not yet ready to attain the highest realization. Therefore, to help Yashoda further perfect her motherly devotion, Krishna made her forget the vision. Hence, through this play with Yashoda, Krishna imparts important lessons about ideals of motherhood and how to practice Vatsalya Bhakti.
Krishna and Gopis
The Raas-Lila of gopis and the incident of Lord Krishna stealing away their clothes is very famous. However, what is not clearly known is why Krishna stole those clothes and what he teaches through his interaction with the gopis.
The gopis had practiced austerities with a vow to have Krishna as their husband. They practiced what Narada calls “Kantya Bhakti” or spousal devotion. The gopis who had prayed to get Krishna as their husband had inadvertently broken their vow when they had bathed naked in the water.Hence, Krishna helped them rectify it by making them come out naked from the water and surrendering themselves. Shame does not exist between a husband and a wife. As long as it exists, conjugal love cannot be complete. Since the gopis worshiped Krishna as their husband, it was vital for them to become free of shame in front of him. The whole incident was aimed at helping them accomplish this and subsequently fulfilling their vows. The subsequent Raas-Lila with dance and merriment were all an extension of this Kantya Bhakti.
Thus, through his interaction with the gopis, Krishna shows how devotion to God in a spousal or conjugal manner must be practiced in life.
Later, when Krishna leaves Vrindavan forever and never returns back to visit Yashoda or the gopis, he teaches them how to perfect a higher stage of Bhakti that Narada calls “Parama-Viraha Bhakti” or the devotion of supreme pain due to separation.” This can be assessed by Krishna’s discussion with Uddava, whom he sends to deliver a message to Yashoda and the gopis.
Krishna and Draupadi
Draupadi was very close to Krishna and shared a sibling relationship. Their bond depicts the sibling-like affection in the devotion to God. This kind of love is an aspect of Vatsalya Bhakti. When Draupadi was being disrobed after the Pandavas were defeated in a game of dice, it was Krishna who saved her honor. Draupadi first appealed to her husbands, and then to the elders present in the Kaurava court. But, when none came to help her and she did not know what to do, she finally surrendered herself to Lord Krishna and left hold of her robe. In doing so, her devotion and surrender became complete and Krishna came and saved her. The event teaches one how to practice devotion.
As long as we hold onto our pride and ego, it is not possible to realize God first hand. However, when one surrenders one’s actions completely to God, He is bound to safeguard the person.
Krishna and Pandavas
The Pandavas exemplify devotion through friendship. Narada calls such devotion “SakyaBhakti”. The Pandavas had many faults, but their one virtue was of an unquestioning surrender to Krishna. It was this surrender that helped Yudhishtira to understand why he had committed Adharma by playing the game of dice. It was this surrender that helped Arjuna fight in the Kurukshetra war with the conviction that he was doing Dharma. This surrender made Arjuna a fit candidate to receive Gita-Upadesha or the teachings of Gita from Krishna.
Krishna always taught the Pandavas about the future course of actions to be taken, about what was right and wrong. Krishna, through his advice and assistance, taught the Pandavas the Sakya Bhakti.
These are some of the lessons on Bhakti and its practice taught by Krishna through his incarnation. He had taught that one can worship God in any form –as a son, father, brother, friend or lover. He also showed how God never abandons his devotees and whenever a devotee is in distress, God would definitely help out him or her. The only key to this is that the devotee must be genuine; his devotion must be sincere, and he must surrender completely.
-By Nithin Sridhar
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. With the baby keeping you busy all day and night, your skincare takes a backseat. It's not always changes in skin texture and looks post-pregnancy are a bad thing, but not taking care of your skin may lead to acne, melasma, stretch marks, puffy eyes, and even dark circles. Syed Nazim, Dermatologist, Aesthetic and Hair Transplant Surgeon, Royal Lush Skin Clinic Saket, New Delhi, shares simple and easy tips for you to follow, to get a glowing post-pregnancy.
* Cleansing: As you sleep, your skin goes through a renewal cycle, by dispensing toxins and debris. So you only need a light-textured cleanser to wash your face with a face wash that is suitable for your skin type.
* Steam: Take steam for 2-3 days a week, it will help you to open up your clogged pores.
* Scrub & face pack: Use a face scrub, to remove the dead skin cells, scrub your face for like 5 minutes and wash it with normal tap water. It will help you to make your skin softer and radiant, leave the mask until it dries off.
* Toner & moisturizer: Apply toner to your face, look for clarifying toners that rebalance your pH to maintain the pH value of your skin. In the end, you only have to moisturize your face, to give hydration.
* Steal baby products: Baby products are always mild in nature so that the baby's sensitive skin doesn't have to compromise. They are created to lock moisture in babies skin. So, you can also use them. Whether it's a body oil, lotion or cream, apply some on your skin every time you're applying them on your baby. If you do this, you can flaunt your skin, this way, you don't have to dedicate a specific time every day for your skincare.
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. | Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash
* Keep all skincare needs in one place: Organize all your skincare products in one place, this organization will help you way much better than anything. Make use of your "me time" and devote it properly to pamper yourself.
* Streaming your routine: Make a proper timetable, for your week how many days you are going to deep cleanse your skin in a week.
If we talk about the baby skincare routine this is important too. As the baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment -- pollution, high temperature etc. Don't worry there are some simple and easy enough tips. Here, what you should know, with regards to bath, diapering, selecting items and that's just the beginning.
* Bath time: Babies need two to three baths a week in warm, not hot water to stay clean. The initial step to an extraordinary child shower is to track down the ideal temperature. Tip: Fill the bath without any more than 2 to 3 creeps of water. To keep your child from getting cold while you wash them, routinely pour cupfuls of water over their shoulders.
* Diaper Basics: There are a lot of things you'll have to do for your little one when they're an infant, like changing your baby's diaper regularly, cleaning tenderly however completely each time with child wipes. Make the surface saturated yet dry simultaneously as well. There are countless myths around diaper rashes that it is caused because of the usage of diapers. But no, it is due to a lack of attention and knowledge about the correct time to change the diaper. Else it will get worse for your child.
* Awareness of Products: Always read the product label before purchasing products for your infant. It's ideal to avoid chemical and alcohol-based products. Use products that are made explicitly for infants.
The baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment -- pollution, high temperature etc. | Photo by Jill Sauve on Unsplash
Newborn babies are so delicate, requiring a lot of care and attention. A single mistake or slip of mind can make things worse. Keep your infant's skin saturated, as well, so consistently have a stockpile of moisturizers around. But excessive oil can cause cradle caps, and dryness can create painful scenarios. If your child is facing such issues you need to consult a certified dermatologist.
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: temperature,sensitive,babies, skincare,child,products
A couple of years ago, finding a strand of grey hair meant visiting the parlor to cover it up. Women and men refused to admit their age, and refused to let it show. Be it moustache, eyebrows, or hair on the head, it was dyed a luscious black, or reddish-brown for those who wanted to go natural. Today, the trend of coloring hair has nothing to do with age. Young boys and girls sport bright colors and hairstyles, which is now a marker of how modern one can be.
This notion of modernity associated with neon streaks and an almost gothic look originates from the ancient Egyptian civilization, where it was considered fashionable to look different from the natural features one was born with. Kohl, lipstick, perfume, and makeup were the inventions of those who hoped to live even after death. Likewise, they were the first people to discover hair dye. Initially, they dyed their hair black, to cover the grey. They used compounds that were extracted from plants, but some of them were lethal. So, they took to extracting the color from fermented leeches.
This was when a chemical was discovered to gently lighten hair color instead of completely bleaching it, and since then, there have been varying degrees of blonde and brown hair. Image credit: Photo by Jessie Dee Dabrowski on Unsplash
When bleach was discovered, women used it to achieve a yellow color, which became known as the sign of prostitutes. The focus shifted to naturally red hair when Queen Elizabeth took the throne, as she suffered from a genetic mutation which caused this. Red heads became more common in Scotland and Ireland, and everywhere else, black hair was still the norm.
When William Perkins discovered mauve during an experiment that went wrong, the concept of mixing two or more chemicals together to create a dye became well-known. So colorless chemicals were developed and mixed in varying ratios to dye hair. When the movie Platinum Blonde was released, the trend of having pale hair increased greatly. People began to go blonde everywhere. This was when a chemical was discovered to gently lighten hair color instead of completely bleaching it, and since then, there have been varying degrees of blonde and brown hair.
Youngsters prefer to sport bright, flashy colors, like teal, blue, purple, and even pink. Image credit: Photo by Tom van Kessel on Unsplash
With the arrival of pop-culture and its influence on the world, these mundane colors are reserved for the elderly. Youngsters prefer to sport bright, flashy colors, like teal, blue, purple, and even pink. Every time a new star sports a different color, the trend sparks interest in others, and sweeps across the globe like a wildfire. Hair dye has come a long way since the time of the Egyptians in the first century. Two thousand years hence, it has the potential to grow into so much more.
Keywords: Hair Color, Hair Dye, Egyptians, Perkins, Pop Culture
The history of Daryaganj goes back to the era of Mughal dynasty, and so its history is as old as the old city of Shahjahanabad, now Chandni Chowk. Interestingly, this market was known as Faiz Bazaar in the Mughal era and was considered as an important commercial place.
In fact, at that time this area was very posh, and had beautiful houses on both sides of a stream from a hauz (meaning, water storage tank) flowing down the centre. Not only this, trees were lined up for shade and it looked like a marvellous garden had been turned into a market.
Also, there used to be Lohe ka Pull which used to connect shops lined on both sides of the market starting from Delhi Gate to the Iron Bridge, but now the pull no longer exists. Well, there's no doubt that the old city of Shahjahanabad was beautiful crafted!
One of the most beautiful things about Daryaganj is its famous book market, known as the Sunday Patri Kitaab Bazaar. Sunday is specifically added here because the book market takes place only on Sundays, that, too, from 9am till 6pm.
Booksellers set up their shops on Patri (footpath). Hence, the name is Sunday Patri Kitaab Bazaar. Photo by Flickr.
In this market, you can find all kinds and genres of books at cheapest rates. In fact, some booksellers sell books according to kilos, and this is really astounding to see. From stationery to art supplies, you can find everything here and that, too, in a lot of variety.
It is interesting to see that some of the shopkeepers of Daryaganj book market are selling books from the past 50-60 years. Not only this, Daryaganj book market is also famous for its branded electronic goods and science lab equipments.
Apart from this, you can also find some of the lost traces of British rule, which once existed in India, in this market in the form of coins, photographs, and even their personal belongings. There is absolutely no doubt that Daryaganj book market offers a lot more than books, as it offers glimpses of the past.
So, if you are someone who is not just into books but also colonisation of India, then you must visit Daryaganj book market and experience a mixture of past and present!
Keywords: Daryaganj Book Market, Books, Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, India, Mughal Dynasty.