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Monday, November 9, 2009

Spiritual Vision


A spiritual vision in the context (connection) of our relationships means we see the highest spiritual qualities in others despite what they say or do. This is difficult until we are able to see the same in ourselves. This simple exercise is a beginning. Write down the names of three people you know (family, friend, colleague) and then three positive qualities that you see in each of them.
Now imagine they are doing the same with you - what would they write down for you - write down a few positive qualities you think they would see in you.
Regularly realise your spiritual qualities, which they generate. The more you learn to see them within yourself, the more you will see and appreciate them in others.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why do offer food to the Lord before eating it?


Indians make an offering of food to the Lord and later partake of it as prasaada - a holy gift from the Lord. In our daily ritualistic worship (pooja) too we offer naivedyam (food) to the Lord.
The Lord is omnipotent and omniscient. Man is a part, while the Lord is the totality. All that we do is by His strength and knowledge alone. Hence what we receive in life as a result of our actions is really His alone. We acknowledge this through the act of offering food to Him. This is exemplified by the Hindi words "tera tujko arpan"– I offer what is Yours to You. Thereafter it is akin to His gift to us, graced by His divine touch.
Knowing this, our entire attitude to food and the act of eating changes. The food offered will naturally be pure and the best. We share what we get with others before consuming it. We do not demand, complain or criticise the quality of the food we get. We eat it with cheerful acceptance (prasaada buddhi).
Before we partake of our daily meals we first sprinkle water around the plate as an act of purification. Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the plate acknowledging the debt owed by us to the Divine forces (devta runa) for their benign grace and protection, our ancestors (pitru runa) for giving us their lineage and a family culture, the sages (rishi runa) as our religion and culture have been "realised", aintained and handed down to us by them, our fellow beings (manushya runa) who constitute society without the support of which we could not live as we do and other living beings (bhuta runa) for serving us selflessly.
Thereafter the Lord, the life force, who is also within us as the five life-giving physiological functions, is offered the food. This is done with the chant
praanaaya swaahaa, apaanaaya swaahaa, vyaanaaya swaahaa,
udaanaaya swaahaa, samaanaaya swaahaa, brahmane swaahaa
After offering the food thus, it is eaten as prasaada - blessed food.

Friday, October 30, 2009

32 Names of Maa Durga and their meanings:

The recitation of these thirty two names of Maa Durga relieves from difficulties and make free from doubt.


1. Durga—The reliever of difficulties.
2. Durgatirsamini- who puts difficulties at peace.
3. Durgapadvinivarin- dispeller of difficult adversities.
4. Durgamacchedini- who cuts down difficulty.
5. Durgasadhini- the performer of discipline to expel difficulties.
6. Durganashini- the destroyer of difficulties.
7. Durgatoddharin- who holds the whip of difficulties.
8. Durgenihantri- who sends difficulties to ruin.
9. Durgamapaha- who measures difficulties.
10. Durgamajanada- who makes difficulties unconscious.
11. Durgadaityalokadava naia- who destroys the world of difficult thoughts.
12. Durgama- the mother of difficulties.
13. Durgamaloka- the perception of difficulties.
14. Durgamatmasvarupin- the intrinsic nature of the soul of difficulties.
15. Durgamargaprada- who searches through the difficulties.
16. Durgamavidya- the knowledge of difficulties.
17. Durgamasarita- the extrication from difficulties.
18. Durgamajanasamsthan a- the continued existence of difficulties.
19. Durgamadyanabhasini - whose meditation remains brilliant when in difficulties.
20. Durgamoha- who deludes difficulties.
21. Durgamaga- who resolves difficulties.
22. Durgamarthasvarupin - who is the intrinsic nature of the object of difficulties.
23. Durgamasurasanhantr i- the annihilator of the egotism of difficulties.
24. Durgamayudhadharin- bearer of the weapon against difficulties.
25. Durgamangi- the refinery of difficulties.
26. Durgamata- who is beyond difficulties.
27. Durgamaya- this present difficulty.
28. Durgamesvari- the empress of difficulties.
29. Durgabhima-who is terrible to difficulties.
30. Durgabhama- the lady to difficulties.
31. Durgabha- the illuminator of difficulties.
32. Durgadarin- who cuts off difficulties.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why do we apply the holy ash?

The ash of any burnt object is not regarded as holy ash. Bhasma (the holy ash) is the ash from the homa (sacrificial fire) where special wood along with ghee and other herbs is offered as worship of the Lord. Or the deity is worshipped by pouring ash as abhisheka and is then distributed as bhasma.
Bhasma is generally applied on the forehead. Some apply it on certain parts of the body like the upper arms, chest etc. Some ascetics rub it all over the body. Many consume a pinch of it each time they receive it.
The word bhasma means, "that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered.” Bha implied bhartsanam ("to destroy") and sma implies smaranam ("to remember"). The application of bhasma therefore signifies destruction of the evil and remembrance of the divine. Bhasma is called vibhuti (which means "glory") as it gives glory to one who applies it and raksha (which means a source of protection) as it protects the wearer from ill health and evil, by purifying him or her.
Homa (offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants) signifies the offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the flame of knowledge or a noble and selfless cause. The consequent ash signifies the purity of the mind, which results from such actions.
Also the fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively. The ash we apply indicates that we should burn false identification with the body and become free of the limitations of birth and death. This is not to be misconstrued as a morose reminder of death but as a powerful pointer towards the fact that time and tide wait for none.
Bhasma is specially associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body. Shiva devotes apply bhasma as a tripundra. When applied with a red spot at the center, the mark symbolizes Shiva-Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe).
Tryambakam yajaamahe Sugandhim pushtivardhanam Urvaa rukamiva bhandhanaan Mrytyor muksheeyamaa amrutaat
"We worship the three-eyed Lord Shiva who nourishes and spread fragrance in our lives. May He free us from the shackles of sorrow, change and death – effortlessly, like the fall of a rip brinjal from its stem."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Influencing The Atmosphere


Thoughts are very powerful. It is thought power that creates the atmosphere in my home or office. The atmosphere may or may not be positive depending on the thoughts of those present at home or in the office. If I can control my mind and develop its positive power, I can influence rather than be influenced by the atmosphere around me. My dependence on others and physical things will decrease. I will gain satisfaction, and within that satisfaction there will be great strength. Then nothing will be experienced as difficult. The question of wanting to drop out (leave) of the system or escape does not arise because, although I remain within society, in my thoughts I am beyond its influence.


5. Why do we wear marks (tilak, pottu and the like) on the forehead?


The tilak or pottu invokes a feeling of sanctity in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and colour vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of the Lord worshipped.
In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or colour) - Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra - applied marks differently. The brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valour as he belonged to warrior races. The vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The sudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three divisions.
Also Vishnu worshippers apply a chandan tilak of the shape of "U,” Shiva worshippers a tripundra of bhasma, Devi worshippers a red dot of kumkum and so on).
The tilak cover the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thinking. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga. The tilak is applied with the prayer - "May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces.
The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves - the forehead and the subtle spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak and pottu cools the forehead, protects us and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma. Using plastic reusable "stick bindis" is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?


Indians prostrate before their parents, elders, teachers and noble souls by touching their feet. The elder in turn blesses us by placing his or her hand on or over our heads. Prostration is done daily, when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc. In certain traditional circles, prostration is accompanied by abhivaadana, which serves to introduce one-self, announce one’s family and social stature.
Hindu Rituals and Routines Why do we follow them?
Man stands on his feet. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our elders personify. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for us and the sacrifices they have done for our welfare. It is a way of humbly acknowledging the greatness of another. This tradition reflects the strong family ties, which has been one of India’s enduring strengths.
The good wishes (Sankalpa) and blessings (aashirvaada) of elders are highly valued in India. We prostrate to seek them. Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full of love, divinity and nobility have a tremendous strength. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders, which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why the posture assumed whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables the entire body to receive the energy thus received.
The different forms of showing respect are :
Pratuthana:
Rising to welcome a person.
Namaskaara:
Paying homage in the form of namaste
Upasangrahan:
Touching the feet of elders or teachers.
Shaashtaanga:
Prostrating fully with the feet, knees, stomach, chest, forehead and arms touching the ground in front of the elder.
Pratyabivaadana:
Returning a greeting.
Rules are prescribed in our scriptures as to who should prostrate to whom. Wealth, family name, age, moral strength and spiritual knowledge in ascending order of importance qualified men to receive respect. This is why a king though the ruler of the land, would prostrate before a spiritual master. Epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata have many stories highlighting this aspect.

why do we do namaste

Indians greet each other with namaste. The two palms are placed together in front of the chest and the head bows whilst saying the word namaste. This greeting is for all - people younger than us, of our own age, those older than friends, even strangers and us.
There are five forms of formal traditional greeting enjoined in the shaastras of which namaskaram is one. This is understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage as we do today when we greet each other with a namaste.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However there is much more to it than meets the eye. In Sanskrit namah + te = namaste. It means - I bow to you - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. Namaha can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another.
The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet another, we do so with namaste, which means, "may our minds meet," indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love and humility
The spiritual meaning is even deeper. The life force, the divinity, the Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed the Divinity in the person we meet. That is why sometimes, we close our eyes as we do namaste to a revered person or the Lord – as if to look within. The gesture is often accompanied by words like "Ram Ram,” "Jai Shri Krishna", "Namo Narayana", "Jai Siya Ram", "Om Shanti" etc - indicating the recognition of this divinity.
When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect.

Relaxation

There are a number of simple things you can begin doing to take the rush, hurry and stress out of your life and restore (regain) a more natural and relaxed rhythm:

1. Press the Pause Button
Plan 3-4 moments in your day in which you rest your body and mind for a couple of minutes. Try repeating a short and gentle affirmation (positive thought) like "I am very peaceful and relaxed".
2. Priorities
Check your to do list every day and make sure there is atleast one activity that is active, creative and you genuinely love doing.
3. Gratitude
Thank at least one person each day. This helps you reverse the habit of always wanting and taking into giving, which is much more relaxing, enjoyable and healthy.
4. Spiritual Knowledge
Read one paragraph of spiritual knowledge every morning. Then reflect on what you have read for one minute..

5. Exercise
Plan atleast one physical exercise or posture everyday.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why do we have a prayer room

Most Indian homes have a prayer room or altar. A lamp is lit and the Lord worshipped each day. Other spiritual practices like japa - repetition of the Lord’s name, meditation, paaraayana - reading of the scriptures, prayers, and devotional singing etc are also done here. Special worship is done on auspicious occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and the like. Each member of the family - young or old - communes with and worships the Divine here.
The Lord is the entire creation. He is therefore the true owner of the house we live in too. The prayer room is the Master room of the house. We are the earthly occupants of His property. This notion rids us of false pride and possessiveness.
The ideal attitude to take is to regard the Lord as the true owner of our homes and us as caretakers of His home. But if that is rather difficult, we could at least think of Him as a very welcome guest. Just as we would house an important guest in the best comfort, so too we felicitate the Lord’s presence in our homes by having a prayer room or altar, which is, at all times, kept clean and well-decorated.
Also the Lord is all pervading. To remind us that He resides in our homes with us, we have prayer rooms. Without the grace of the Lord, no task can be successfully or easily accomplished. We invoke His grace by communing with Him in the prayer room each day and on special occasion.
Each room in a house is dedicated to a specific function like the bedroom for resting, the drawing room to receive guests, the kitchen for cooking etc. The furniture, decor and the atmosphere of each room are made conducive to the purpose it serves. So too for the purpose of meditation, worship and prayer, we should have a conducive atmosphere - hence the need for a prayer room.
Sacred thoughts and sound vibrations pervade the place and influence the minds of those who spend time there. Spiritual thoughts and vibrations accumulated through regular meditation, worship and chanting done there pervade the prayer room. Even when we are tired or agitated, by just sitting in the prayer room for a while, we feel calm, rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why do we light a lamp

In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and in a few it is maintained continuously - Akhanda Deepa. All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion.
Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness - ignorance. The Lord is the "Knowledge Principle" (Chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself.
Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.
Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.
Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:
Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute
I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hinduism


Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life. Unlike other religions, Hindu dharma has many specialties. This is not known as a religion, it is known as the dharma; Sanaathana Dharma. Sanaathana means, according to Bhagavath Geetha, which cannot be destroyed by fire, weapons, water, air, and which is present in all living and non living being. Dharma means, the way of life which is the ‘total of all aachaaraas or customs and rituals’.
Sanaathana Dharma has its foundation on scientific spirituality. In the entire ancient Hindu literature we can see that science and spirituality are integrated. It is mentioned in the 40th chapter of the Yajurveda known as Eesaavaasya Upanishad that use scientific knowledge for solving problems in our life and use the spiritual knowledge for attaining immortality through philosophical outlook.
Remember that in each and every aachaaraa there will be a component of spirituality in it. Without spirituality, nothing exists in Sanaathana dharma. Generally everyone bear a wrong impression that this spirituality is religion. Spirituality is different in Hindu dharma. Here the question of religion does not exist at all, because Hindu dharma was not created by an individual, prophet or an incarnation. Spirituality is a part of every Hindu custom in the normal life of a Hindu.
Aachaaraas are to be followed based on their merits available from the self experience; you need not blindly follow a teacher or someone who gives advice without reasoning. All these aachaaraas are mentioned for the prosperity of the human beings and it should be the prime focus for practicing the Hindu aachaaraas.
Achaaryaath paadam aadatthe
paadam sishya swamedhayaa
paadam sa brahmachaaribhya
sesham kaala kramena cha
This is an important advice given in smruthies. It means a person can get only one quarter of knowledge from Achaarya - the teacher, another quarter by analyzing self, one quarter by discussing with others and the last quarter during the process of living by method addition, deletion, correction, and modification of already known aachaaraas or new aachaaraas.
Aachaaraath labhathe hi ayu:
aachaaraath dhanamakshayam
aachaaraath labhathe suprajaa:
aachaaro ahanthya lakshanam
Aachaaraas are followed for the psychological and physiological health and long life; Aachaaraas are followed for prosperity and wealth; Aachaaraas are followed for strong family and social bondage and following the Aachaaraas give a fine personality, dharmic outlook and vision, says our dharmasaastra.
In India everyone followed Aachaaraas for the above mentioned psychological, physiological, family relation, social benefits and national integration based benefits. It is your right and duty to understand scientifically, rationally and logically the meaning of each and every Aachaaraas and follow the same in your life systematically.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

predictions relating to 10h

The Tenth House represents mid-heaven and plays an important role in the chart, second in importance only to the ascendant. This house is known as 'Karma Bhava' (house of action). The main signification of this house is status, Profession and Career. This is most power full angular and also Upachaya house.

In actual practice the longitudes of only two Houses, the ascendant and the 10th House can be accurately calculated. The cusps/mid-points of the other houses are derived from these two points. All the savants of astrology are well aware of the various theories and controversies with regard to the determination of the cusps/mid-points of all other houses derived from these two co-ordinates. This in itself shows the importance of the Ascendant and the 10th house. House division is not the subject matter of this article; I propose to deal with this aspect in detail in separate article at some other occasion.

The tenth house deals with prosperity and growth (significator - Jupiter), Karma (action) including all works and actions (significator - Saturn), profession and career (significator - Mercury) and status and fame (significator - Sun).

All planets in the 10th house give good results, because it is one of the Upachaya house besides being the most powerful Kendra. Even Rahu in the 10th house gives pilgrimage, or political status and the native gets an opportunity to serve others. This also happens when Rahu is in the 10th house from the Narayan (Padakrama) Dasa sign (See Jaimini Sutra 2.4.7, 2.4.8, 2.4.9 and 2.4.10). The Sun and Mars, who get directional strength in the 10th house, can be a great blessing by providing dynamism and success. The Sun indicates pride, respect, position, status, responsibility, independent views and help from political and senior officers. The Moon shows fluctuations of fortune and success in public dealings, emotional views and a changeable work situation. Saturn indicates rapid rise and fall and hard work. If Rahu or Saturn is placed in Cancer in the ascendant or in the 10th house ; or if Jupiter is placed in Pisces in a similar situation, Chhatra-Yoga is formed. Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee are all natives with this Yoga in their charts. Ketu in the 10th indicates a routine job.

In case the ascendant and 10th house are weak and also have low Ashtakavarga strength, the whole chart gets considerably weakened.

Truth about 2h-7h in astrology

Their are some vital aspects about Marka houses and their Lords as well as
Badhaka houses and their lords. Most of savants try to see them only in bad light,
and much more strong and benific aspects are ignored.
A. Marka Houses- 2H and 7H
Marka characteristics are acquired and not natural significations of these houses.
2H- It represents education , speech , finance , mathematics , eyes etc. Much more than
it provides sustenance to firsts house.
The planets assume Marka potential when associated 2H under certain conditions only.
7H- It is like to pivot to whole nativity and complementary to 1st H.7H becomes Marka in some specific conditions.
Lghuparasari says if Rajyoga commences in dasa of Lords of Marka planets(lords of 2H and
7H), it even flourishes in subsequent sub-periods of dasa of papi planets.
B. Badhaka houses: Every savants knows that Houses 7 ,9 and 11 are very important
and its lords or planets placed their in will play vital and significant role in natives life.
If it becomes Badhaka also then the native feel some hindrances. As an example:-
1. Saturn is not able to give yoga results and even dood effects will even be delayed or
hindered until unless Saturn is not conjunct with Mercury or Sun.
2. Badhaka lord is also the lord of Mandi
3. It is associated with 8th lord.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

spirituality

The first step of spirituality to control your five vices – kaam, krodh, lobh, moh and ahankaar i.e. desire, anger, greed, attachment and ego.
Once I was meditating and thoughts flashed over my mind. If these are said to be vices so why God has created them. Then the reply came from it was - God has created every thing for our help. Our misuse to them makes them vice. Yes, it is true. Then, after meditation, I confirmed this message through Vedic books and got the answer. Then I went deeply into it and learnt that Kaam i.e. desire is mostly meant this word as sex [because in Sanskrit one word has many meanings and you have to take according to the reference to the text] – here in vedic texts it was taken as desire and it covers mostly all of the things that you desire. Desire is taken as vice when we misinterpret the use of it. the emotion of kama i.e desire was created to make us to do something. Desire is the first step of karma. According to Upanishads-
"You are what your deepest desire is;
As you desire, so is your intention;
As your intention, so is your will;
As is your will so is your deed;
As is your deed, so is your destiny"

Therefore, if your desires are good and controlled then your destiny is also going to be great. And how to discriminate between good and bad is to just listen to your inner soul i.e. atman- if you are overhearing it – then it is going to sleep deep underneath. Wake it up and listen to it – you will find it as your best and close friend who will guide you much better than anyone else.
I will discuss other parts later on -first read the excerpt below that will help you to divert krodh i.e. anger. I got this from another missionary and want to share it with you which will certainly help to control and concentrate your high energy- that runs as anger in your mind- in a constructive way.

Taming Your Anger
"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the Devil."

Your test seems to indicate that you have some buried anger," said the counselor to his client. "Do you think this could be true?" he asked.

"Me! Angry? Certainly not," replied the client. "I'll punch you in the nose for saying that!"

When it comes to anger we all have a tiger of sorts within. At times it provides great courage and motivation. It causes some of us to lash out and hurt others. At other times we are so afraid it will get out of control we bury it so that nobody, including ourselves, will ever know it exists.

Many of us were taught that anger is bad and to show it is immature. The mature person, however, doesn't deny his anger. He has learned to express it in appropriate ways.

Even though some people never show their anger, everybody gets angry sometimes. Anger is a God-given emotion. Of itself it is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. It's what we do with it and how we handle it that counts.

In fact, there are many things we ought to be angry about, such as social injustice, child abuse, greed, and even legalistic religion that makes rules more important than people and keeps people in needless bondage.

Jesus was very angry with the religious people of his day for this very reason. When he healed a man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were so furious they plotted to kill him. To them, religious observances were more important than the needs of people. We read that Jesus "looked around at them in anger…distressed at their stubborn hearts."

Think too of Florence Nightingale. She was very angry about the terrible conditions suffered by wounded soldiers in the Crimean War. She used her anger creatively to bring about major changes in nursing care. This is a creative and healthy use of anger.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to so live that I will always recognize and resolve my negative emotions as quickly as possible, and do so in creative and helpful ways—and never ever become bitter or nurse grudges.
You can also use the Vedic mantra given below to minimize your anger:
Recite this mantra for 21 times and after the recitation of each mantra every time just blow into the water. Like this do it for 21 times. And then sprinkle the water three times on the face. You will observe that your anger is vanished and you would be cool down.
"OM SHANTE PARSHANTE MAMA KRODH PASHNEEN SWAHA"