The Power of ‘Om’: Find Peace with Mind, Body and Soul

Om is the cosmic vibration, giving birth to all sounds that exist

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Chanting Om. Image source: www.stylecraze.com
  • Om is considered the absolute symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism
  • Uttering the spiritual word leads to self realization and reconciliation of the inner self
  • There are various physical benefits of chanting Om and is good for heart

“The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence … is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.”
~ Katha Upanishad I

‘OM’ or ‘AUM’ is one of the most important symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is often chanted during the recital of spiritual texts, pujas, weddings and meditative activities of yoga. It is the cosmic vibration, giving birth to all sounds that exist.

Om Symbol. Image source: www.hinduwebsite.com
Om Symbol. Image source: www.hinduwebsite.com

It comprises of syllables A-U-M, corresponding to three principles of nature:

A- Waking state | U- Dream state | M- State of deep sleep

Benefits of uttering Om-

Uttering the spiritual word leads to self realisation and reconciliation of the inner self. It also instils peace and deep sense of being.

Chanting om links all the beings that exist together, including the nature and the universe. There are various physical benefits as well. It lowers down the blood pressure, calms the mind, slows the nervous system and improves the health of the heart in the long run.

A recent TOI report said that the Government of Madhya Pradesh has announced to observe International Yoga Day on June 21 by chanting of ‘Om’, but necessarily not in the morning.

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Right technique of chanting-

Chanting Om during Yoga. Image source: Zeenews
Chanting Om during Yoga. Image source: Zeenews

First, sit cross legged. Make it a point that your spine, neck and head are aligned. Close your eyes and detach yourself from the outer world. Breathe in deeply and while exhaling, chant the word om. It is pronounced like home, without the h. Stretch the syllables equally.

Repeat this 3 times. You will be able to feel the vibration of the word in every cell of your body.

Benefits of Om in Daily Life-

Om pendants. Image source: mulpix.com
Om pendants. Image source: mulpix.com

Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is used by many for the benefits it brings with it. The sacred symbol of Om can be seen at the head of letters, hang it on the main door of the house, at the top of examination papers and so on.  Om is popular with people of all ages, specially Hindus as they wear it in the form of pendants as an expression of spiritual perfection. The symbol is present in every Hindu temples and premises in some form or the other.

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Hindu born children are ushered into this world with this holy sign. According to the ritual, the child is cleansed and the sacred syllable ‘Om’ is written on its tongue with honey. Thus right at the time of birth the syllable. Apart from that, Om is also a popular symbol and is used in contemporary body art as well as tattoos.

-prepared by Devika Todi, an intern at NewsGram. twitter: devika_todi

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Know About “The Dashavatara”~ 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu in Hinduism

In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu is considered as the preserver of this world

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Lord Vishnu, Hinduism
As the preserver, Lord Vishnu has declared, "Whenever evil will prevail in this world, I will take up an avatara in this world to cast-off all the evil and sufferings".

By Kashish Rai

In Hinduism, the meaning of this shok in sankskrit confines to Lord Vishnu:

शान्ताकारं भुजगशयनं पद्मनाभं सुरेशं

विश्वाधारं गगनसदृशं मेघवर्णं शुभाङ्गम् ।

लक्ष्मीकान्तं कमलनयनं योगिभिर्ध्यानगम्यं

वन्दे विष्णुं भवभयहरं सर्वलोकैकनाथम् ॥

It means that:

I bow before God Vishnu..

Who is personification of peace,

Who sleeps on his folded arms,

Who has a lotus on his belly,

Who is the God of gods,

Who is the basis of earth,

Who is similar to the sky,

Who is of the colour of the cloud,

Who has beautiful limbs,

Who is the consort of Lakshmi,

Who has lotus like eyes,

Who is seen by saints through thought,

Who kills all worries and fears,

And who is the lord of all the worlds.

In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu is considered as the preserver of this world. As the preserver, he had declared, “Whenever evil will prevail in this world, I will take up an avatara in this world to cast-off all the evil and sufferings”.

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  • What is an Avatara?

Avatara (or incarnation) in Sanskrit refers to the “appearance” or “manifestation” of God or a Deity in an earthly embodiment. The concept of an avatara is principally associated with Lord Vishnu.

  • Classification of Avatars By Lord Vishnu

Avatars are broadly classified into two kinds:

  1. Sakshaty Avatara: When Lord Vishnu himself descended on earth, he took Sakshaty Avatara.

 Amsarup Avatars and Purna Avatar are sub-categories of Sakshaty-Avatara!

  • Purna Avataras: They include Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and Lord Narasimha
  • Amsarup Avataras: These include Lord Vishnu’s partial incarnation Matsya, Kurma, Varaha Avatara.
  1. Avesa Avatara: When Lord Vishnu indirectly empowered some living entity on earth to represent him, he took Avesa Avatara.

(Lord Parshurama, Vyasa are examples of Lord Vishnu’s Avesa Avataras)

Also Read: 10 Ancient Hindu Temples in The Himalayas That Must be Visited Atleast Once

  • The Concept of “Dashavatara”

According to Srimad Bhagwad Purana, there are innumerable incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Among them, there are 24 important incarnations of Lord Vishnu in total.

But, from Innumerable incarnations of Vishnu, Rishis or Sages selected ten Avatars as a representative of rest, these ten incarnations are known in Sanskrit as “Dashavatar”.

The Dhashavatara list of Vishnu is introduced in Garuda Purana (1st millennium BCE).

The most popular ten avatars based on many puranas are Matasya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki.

 Let us Understand about them in this article!

  • Dashavataras of Lord Vishnu

  1. Matasya Avatara

Matasya Avatara
The image represents Matasya Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

The matasya avatar represents the half fish, a half-human form of Vishnu. According to a story in the “Matasya Puran“, Matasya informs Manu, the leader of the humans, of the great flood, and helps him save all the motile living beings, the Vedas, and the seeds of all plants to sustain life.

  1. Kurma Avatara

Kurma Avatara
The image represents Kurma Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Kurma Avatara represents the half tortoise half-man form of Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that during the churning of the ocean at the time of “Amrit-Manthan”, he balanced Mt. Mandara on his shell to assist the gods and the demons in the churning process. He is also believed to have supported the weight of the cosmos on the support of his back.

  1. Varaha Avatara

Varaha Avatara
The image represents Varaha Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Varaha Avatara represents the half man and half boar avatar of Vishnu. According to Hindu dharma, he slayed the demon Hiranyaksha in order to save “Bhudevi”, the personification of earth, and restored her back to the original surface from a sinking state by using his tusks.

  1. Narasimha Avatara

Narasimha Avatara
The image represents Narasimha Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Narasimha Avatara represents  the half lion and a half-human avatar of Vishnu. He was born to end the reign of the demonic king Hiranya Kashyap and save the supreme devotee of Vishnu “Prahlad” in order to establish peace, order, righteousness, and other elements of dharma on this earth.

  1. Vamana Avatara

Vamana Avatara
The image represents Narasimha Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Vamana was a dwarf Brahmin. This avatar of Lord Vishnu comes to check the growing power of the demonic king Mahabali, which he does by tricking him during a sacrificing ceremony and sending him to the underworld inside of the Earth.

  1. Parshurama Avatara

Parshurama Avatara
This image represents Parshurama Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Parshurama is a Brahmin Kshatriya. In Hindu mythology, he is depicted as a sage with an axe in his hand. He was born to end the tyranny of the evil Kshatriyas, who misused their powers and made others’ lives miserable and bring them to justice for the sake of humankind.

  1. Rama Avatara

Rama
This image represents Rama Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Rama is one of the most prominent deities in Hindu dharma and the lead character of the epic Ramayana. He kills the evil king Ravana to end his terrorizing rule, to establish morality, and to free his wife Sita, whom Ravana had kidnapped.

  1. Krishna Avatara

Krishna Avatara
This image represents Krishna Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Krishna is yet another major form of Vishnu. He is known to end the reign of his tyrannical maternal uncle Kansa, and for his role as the advisor or the Pandavas and the charioteer and guide of Arjuna in the greatest epic Mahabharata.

  1. Buddha Avatara

Buddha Avatara
This image represents Buddha Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Siddhartha Gautam, later to be known as Gautam Buddha, left his family and all material possession in search of truth and enlightenment. He founded Buddhism and taught people ways to end all kinds of suffering through Noble Eightfold Paths.

  1. Kalki Avatara

Kalki Avatara
This image represents Kalki Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

According to Srimad Bhagwad Mahapuran, Kalki remains the only avatar of Vishnu that is yet to be born. It is said that he will end all evil by defeating the demon Kali and start a new “Satyuga” or Kalkiyuga (Kali refers all the negative emotions and elements personified into one).

Kalki is depicted as a warrior riding a white horse and holding a shining sword.

In Bhagavata Mahapuran, it is mentioned that whenever evil triumphs over good, darkness take over light, and tyranny rules over justice~ Lord Vishnu will reincarnate on earth to restore Dharma and guide the people towards right path.

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The Prominence of Hari-Naam in Hinduism: Benefits of Chanting “Hare Krishna” Mahamantra

"Hare Krishna" is known as the "Maha-Mantra" as mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upnishad during the Bhakti-movement by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Know about the benefits of chanting it

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Hare Krishna Text
"Hare Krishna" is perhaps the most powerful but very easy mantra that anyone can chant without restrictions.

By Kashish Rai

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama,

Rama Rama, Hare Hare

The Srimad Bhagvad Gita, which is the sacred book of the Hindus says that Krishna and Krishna’s name is the same. So, when you chant “Hare Krishna” you gain Krishna’s consciousness inside of you, you connect with the supreme being, so you connect with the universe.

“Hare Krishna” is known as the “Maha-Mantra” as mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upnishad during the Bhakti-movement by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” is composed of three words of the supreme being~ “Hare”, “Krishna” and “Rama”.

“Hare Krishna” is perhaps the most powerful but very easy mantra that anyone can chant without restrictions. In the truest might, this maha-mantra addresses the supreme power invoking its blessings on the chanter.

Know about the Benefits of Chanting “Hari Naam” in this article!

  • Benefit 1: You Get The Control Over Your Mind

The Srimad Bhagvad Gita Says, “One must conquer the mind. Those who have, their mind then becomes their best friend. In turn, those who haven’t, their mind will become their greatest enemy”.

The Chanting of “Hare Krishna” may help you to get a hold on your mind, stopping you from becoming the slaves to unwanted desires and whimsical thoughts that your mind can meander into. You can get the utmost peace of mind.

Hare Krishna Mahamantra
The “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” is composed of three words of the supreme being~ “Hare”, “Krishna” and “Rama”.
  • Benefit 2: You Can Reach The Absolute State of Happiness

In today’s world filled up with materialistic things and miseries of life, everyone is in the search for happiness! And the chanting of “Hare Krishna” can allow us to share our contact with the god and his spirit, thus, leading us to our bliss by entering his association.

This is not material happiness, but a state of absolute happiness! This is the reason that everytime one chants “Hare Krishna” with passion, they themselves start dancing!

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Dancing
Image depicts Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dancing on tunes of “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” along with followers. Pinterest
  • Benefit 3: You Can Get Awakened To Your “True Self”

In this fast-paced world, we have become so accustomed to the material universe that we have forgotten our true self- the self of the spiritual. And when we have become so material, we have developed fears of death, old-age, and diseases.As definite beings~ we fear the loss of power, beauty, wealth, intelligence and so many other things.

When we chant Hari-Naam we get this supreme realisation that we are the pure, change-less spiritual souls which is different to the materialistic body. Hari-Naam is a pure spiritual sound vibration, and it can help us develop the consciousness to understand our ‘self’.

  • Benefit 4: You Can Change Your Negative Karmic Tendencies

The basic law of karma is equivalent to Newton’s third law of motion: “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction”.

Spiritually, it means that for every material action performed, nature forces an equivalent reaction upon the performer. We as human beings transform ourselves from one karmic destiny to another.

Chanting Hare Krishna can help us build our positive karma as chanting Krishna means that we are chanting the name with “transcendental energy” to erase all the negatives that exists within us and then Attain “Moksha” (To free ourselves of this cycle of life, we need moksha and the liberation from the endless wheel of birth and death is also known as ‘samsara’. This can only be achieved when our consciousness is completely free from material desires.)

Lord Krishna
when you chant “Hare Krishna” you gain Krishna’s consciousness inside of you, you connect with the supreme being, so you connect with the universe. Pinterest
  • Benefit 5: You Get the The Most Salient Benefit~ You Understand “The Love of God”

The most important benefit of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is to find God-realization and pure love of God.

When our consciousness becomes one with God, our positive nature is depicted in our character and behavior in the same phenomenon just as how the sun approaches the horizon, it is preceded by warmth and illumination.

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Likewise, the name of Krishna is revived in our heart, which has been missing since the start of “Kali Yuga”.

Chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra does not pertain to only recalling the name of god but it takes you on a journey of self-realisation through supreme consciousness thereby redeeming yourself from the mundane state of life.

 

 

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Whole Grains Intake Helps Cut Diabetes Risk: Researchers

Whole grains intake is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes

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diabetes
Eating whole grains can lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

Eating higher intake of high-quality carbohydrates, especially from whole grains, are associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, say researchers.

“High intake of carbohydrates has been suggested to be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,” said study lead author Kim Braun from Harvard University in the US.

For the findings, the research team looked at whether this effect is different for high-quality carbohydrates and low-quality carbohydrates, which include refined grains, sugary foods and potatoes.

In the study, the research team analysed data from three studies that followed health professionals in the US over time.

These included 69,949 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, 90,239 women from the Nurses’ Health Study 2 and 40,539 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Collectively, the studies represented over four million years of follow-up, during which almost 12,000 cases of type 2 diabetes cases were documented.

The researchers observed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes when high-quality carbohydrates replaced calories from saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, animal protein and vegetable protein.

diabetes
Replacing low-quality carbohydrates with saturated fats, but not with other nutrients, is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Pixabay

They also found that replacing low-quality carbohydrates with saturated fats, but not with other nutrients, was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: 61% Indian Business Leaders Fear Cybercrime Risk During Covid-19

“These results highlight the importance of distinguishing between carbohydrates from high- and low- quality sources when examining diabetes risk,” said Braun.

“Conducting similar studies in people with various socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and age will provide insight into how applicable these findings are for other groups,” Braun added.

The study was scheduled to be presented at ‘NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE’, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) this week. (IANS)