The Rock Star Who Radiates Divine Playfulness, Bhakti Yoga & Life-Altering Truths | Raghunath Cappo #068

In this episode of the Vital Veda Podcast we have a very special guest, Raghunath (Ray) Cappo, who has a wonderful life-story & absolutely profound teachings to share. 

A hardcore punk rockstar-turned-celibate monk-turned-teacher of all things Vedic.
Raghunath (Ray) Cappo achieved great fame & prominence within the punk-rock scene in the 80s, and yet decided to give it all up and wholeheartedly dive into a purely spiritual path. 
For 6 and a half years he became a celibate monk of the Hare Krishna Bhakti-Vedanta tradition and now dedicates himself to teaching & enlightening others with the powerful knowledge he attained during his wonderful lifetime. 

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Shift from Rajas and Tamas to Sattva

The self realization that allows for the letting-go of toxic habits. 
The power behind realizing this truth for one’s self (pratyakṣa) as opposed to it being “preached” to us.

The Punk Rock Days

Being very attracted to the counterculture but not so much to the lifestyle of drugs & alcohol that is often linked to it. 
Becoming a vegetarian early in life & taking an interest in Ayurveda, but resources were very scarce at the time. 
His First Hardcore Punk-Rock Band       “Youth of Today”
Ragunath (Ray) Cappo singing on-stage for Youth of Today
The cover of Youth of Today's first studio album "Break Down the Walls".
All of his fellow band members became interested in topics such as clean living, positive attitude, vegetarianism, animal rights & karma, so the mission of the band sort of became to rally people into these subjects.  
  • The lyrics were mostly about these topics. 
This marked the beginning of the “straight edge” punk rock movement in the early 1980s.
When the band started gaining popularity and the movement started to grow, Ragunath felt a rise of unhappiness & started to feel uncomfortable with his own ego.
  • He then decided to quit the band and move into an ashram in India to live a monk life. 

Studying the Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most famous and important Hindu texts. 
It is the conversation between Lord Krishna & his cousin Arjuna during the Mahabharata (the war at the dawn of the ages). 

  • In this conversation Arjuna explains that he doesn’t want to fight in this war anymore because it pains him to kill his own kin. He instead wants to become a renunciant & go live a spiritual life immersed in meditation.  
  • Krishna answers saying that everyone has their own dharma (action at any given moment in life that leads to the evolution of the individual soul & the collective), and that he cannot run away from this duty as a Kshatriya (warrior); doing so will only increase his suffering & that of the collective. 
Krishna and Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita
Krishna riding the chariot and Arjuna shooting arrows in the Mahabharata
    • One therefore has to use the god-given gifts and put them to work towards dharma - towards a selfless action that feeds the spirit & not the ego. 
Understanding the teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita made Raghunath realize that he had to use his gifts as a musician & lyric writer and put them to work towards a higher goal that would allow him to enlighten others as well as his own spirit.
  • It is then that he started his second band called “Shelter” along with fellow Hare Krishna punk rock musicians.
    • The idea was to make music imbibed with Vedic teachings, but in a language that his audience could understand.
    • Shelter established the Krishnacore punk rock subgenre & became even more famous & popular than “Youth of Today”.

An Overview Of Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga is the spiritual path where loving devotion is focused towards a personal deity. 
It’s not so much a mechanical process but a mental disposition in which one deposits pure devotion & love on god. 
It implies the recognition of one’s true self as a pure spirited soul that is immersed in a material world, and understanding that the only way to achieve unity with the whole is by serving God with love and devotion.
The process often linked to bhakti yoga consists of: japa, kirtan, puja, the dedication of all activities to the divine no matter how mundane or extraordinary they are, and the capacity to see divinity in absolutely every living entity.  
Kirtan कीर्तन
Kirtan or Kīrtana is the devotional chanting of hymns, mantras and the praise of deities; when done by a collective together it is called sankirtan & when taken to the streets it is called Nagarsan kirtan or Harinam
Chanting the holy names of God (kirtan & japa) is one of the five potent items of bhakti yoga according to the Caitanya-caritāmṛta of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The other 4 being:
  • Association with devotees
  • Hearing the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
  • Residing at a holy place
  • Worshiping the Deity with faith and veneration
Rama, Lakshmana, Sita & Hanuman
Raghunath Cappo in Kirtan during a Bhakti Retreat
It is said that even if a person who knows absolutely nothing of Vedic wisdom experiences kirtan, there is a possibility they can feel what it’s like to be a paramahamsa (a god-realized person). 
Ahimsa अहिंसा
Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence
It is one of the five yamas (restraints for “right-living”) that Maharishi Patañjali elaborates on in the Yoga Sutras. 
By merely living on earth, one is enforcing some form of violence towards other living beings. The practice of ahimsa implies one being able to see God in everything & worshiping him by trying not to enforce any sort of violence towards any of its infinite forms
Ahimsa is a practice that precedes asana (the postures commonly known as Yoga in the west). 
  • The yogic belief is that true success in Yogasana can only be attained if the Self is purified in thought, word, and deed through the self-restraint of ahimsa.
Yātrā यात्रा
Man Standing in front of a temple in India
Commonly translates to “pilgrimage”.
Raghunath explains the subtle & more explicit types of Yātrā:
  • One ideally makes time every day for spiritual focus (tends to be early in the morning & sometime in the afternoon/evening [e.g. meditation]). 
  • Throughout the month one can take one weekend or one day per week for spiritual focus.
  • In a season, one could go away for one entire weekend and have a full retreat devoted to spiritual focus. 
  • Within the year, one ideally goes at least once on a proper pilgrimage or Yātrā. It is here where one deeply and wholeheartedly dives into spiritual culture all day, every day & for an extended period of time. 
    • This is a very impactful opportunity that has paradigm-shifting effects on those who go ahead and do it.  
    • Raghunath organizes spiritual retreats every year to different places around the world
This is the ancient Indian way. There never were luxurious theme parks or all-inclusive hotels; one simply took their family to holy places.
  • Those experiences will forever be remembered by children & will leave a strong imprint on them.

Raising Devotee Children

The idea of creating “a new normal” for children. 
Teaching them from a very young age about spiritual life & the ways in which they should engage and commune with nature & everything that surrounds them. 

The 6 Pillars of Bhakti Yoga

6 pillars that one can apply to life, whether one is a spiritual person or not, that will have a deep impact in your life:

1. Do not criticize:
Criticism is us trying to correct the world, and it generally serves as a smoke-screen that we use to avoid working on our own problems. 
This doesn’t mean that we do not discern right from wrong, but simply that we do not take great pleasure in finding faults in other people. 
2. Be tolerant:
Instead of complaining, one is tolerant. 
The one who complains on a regular basis is signing a contract with itself to be miserable.
3. Take no offense:
To the degree that one is offended, one suffers. 
Not walking around with resentments. 
Being able to let go of past resentments from traumatic experiences or because of the feeling that “people are out to get me” which usually lead one to find offense where there is not. 
4. Be quick to apologize:
It's easy to forget our own shortcomings when we hurt other people & yet we get resentful when others hurt us. 
One should be very self-aware of one’s own shortcomings & be quick to apologize to others. 
5. See the good in others:
For some people it is very hard to see the good in others. That is a very diseased condition that only perpetuates suffering. 
See the good in others & let them know it. Tell them how you feel & why you appreciate them. 
This practice alone can change your whole life. 
6. Be grateful and keep a tally of your blessings:
Being aware of all the reasons for which one can and should be grateful is a very powerful tool to bring awareness and joy into your life. 
For those people who are suffering from mild depression, this can completely shift their perspective & pull them out of that unconscious state.
  • Advice: open up a note on your phone and write 20 reasons why you are blessed; read it every morning and add two more reasons to the list. Try to make that a morning practice. 

Resources

Wisdom of the Sages Podcast HERE

Ragunath’s website HERE

Ragunath's Instagram (@raghunathyogi) HERE


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Brāhma Muhūrta: The Time of Totality & Potent Part of Each Day | Dylan Smith #067

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: The Brahma Muhurta
The Brāhma Muhūrta, also known as the "time of totality" is the period of the day where creative intelligence is at its peak.

Being able to understand and harness these energies is a fundamental aspect of the Ayurvedic daily routine (dinacharya).


In this Episode we Discuss:

An Introduction to The Brahmā Mūhurta

Brāhma in Sanskrit means totality. 
  • It is the field of creative consciousness from which everything springs. 
Muhūrtha is a unit of time. Vedic tradition divides the day into 30 muhūthas of 48 minutes each. 
The brāhma muhūrta is the time of totality. 
These are the names of the 30 muhurtas:
  1. Samudra-muhurta
  2. Brāhma-muhūrta
  3. Dyumadgadyuti-muhūrta
  4. Viṣṇu-muhūrta
  5. Jīva-muhūrta (also known as Amṛta-muhūrta)
  6. Aditi-muhūrta
  7. Kaṇḍa-muhūrta
  8. Agni-muhūrta
  9. Vidhātṛ-muhūrta
  10. Yama-muhūrta
  11. Aśvinī-muhūrta
  12. Puṣya-muhūrta
  13. Ahirbudhnya-muhūrta
  14. Ajapāda-muhūrta
  15. Girīśa-muhūrta

16. Bhaga-muhūrta,
17. Aryaman-muhūrta,
18. Varuṇa-muhūrta,
19. Vāhinī-muhūrta,
20. Naktanakarā-muhūrta,
21. Puruhūta-muhūrta,
22. Sutamukhī-muhūrta,
23. Viśvedevā-muhūrta,
24. Vidhi-muhūrta,
25. Varaha-muhurta,
26. Vasu-muhūrta,
27. Pitṝ-muhūrta,
28. Mitra-muhūrta,
29. Āhi-muhūrta,
30. Rudra-muhūrta

The shloka (Vedic hymn) that introduces the aspect of Dinacharya in Ayurveda states the following:
Brahmī Muhūrta Uttiṣtha Jīrṇajīrṇa Niru Payan
ब्राह्मी मुहूर्त उत्तिष्ठ,जीर्णाजीर्ण निरु पहन
Brahmī comes from the Sanskrit word brahmīk - which is the verb form of brahmā
  • Therefore meaning “that which has Brahma”. When placed before to the word mūhurta, it is saying “The time period that has the value of Brahma, or of creation”. 
Utishta means “get up” + Jīrṇa and Ajīrṇa mean “digestion and indigestion” + Nirupayan means “to judge”.
What this shloka is saying is: wake up in the brāhma muhūrta (the time of totality) & judge your state of digestion or indigestion. 

The Benefits of The Brahmā Muhūrta

The brahma muhurta is the time period before sunrise.
  • Generally speaking, it is said to go from 3:30 am - 5:30 am, but the cusp of the energies available during this period lies on the last 48 minutes before sunrise
One should ideally wake up every day during the brahma muhurta.
The brahma muhurta is also considered in Ayurveda to be the part of the day with Vata dominance
  • Ayurveda divides the day into three parts pertaining to the three doshas.
      • Vata (space & air elements) - from 3am to 6am. 
      • Kapha (earth & water elements) - from 6am to 10pm. 
      • Pitta (fire & water elements) - from 10pm to 3am. 
  • The Vata part of the day is where the air & space element become the most dominant; where subtle movement and actions start to occur
    • The stars are still shining and very much visible. 
    • It is the time period where dreams often occur. 
Brahma Muhurta
    • It is the time when movement starts to happen; some animals begin to wake up & activity is about to start back again.
    • Curiously, it is also the time when people usually wake up to go to the toilet.
According to Ayurveda, the most important aspect when it comes to sleep is when one sleeps, rather than how many hours one sleeps for
  • One should be asleep between 10pm & 3/4am.
    • The pitta (fire + water) part of the day is where the various metabolic processes occur within the body (like digestion of food). Still being active and doing things (even if it is watching a movie or series on your phone in bed) during that time period takes away from our capacity to properly metabolise, which can, in turn, perpetuate various types of ailments in the body. 
    • To learn more about the optimal guide to sleep listen to Optimal Sleep: The Ultimate Guide | Dylan Smith #045
The vata time of the day is also characterized by the quality of gandhana which means “knowledge perception” & sometimes "manifestation". 
Woman doing Yoga during the brahma muhurta
  • During the Vata part one is able to perceive and absorb more knowledge and wisdom
  • According to Ayurveda, this is a great time to study & to do those activities from which we want to make the most out of
Another quality of this Vata time is gati which means “motion” or “movement”.  
  • Waking up during this time period allows one to feel more energized for the rest of the day, you carry on that gati aspect with you for the rest of the day.
    • You feel more energised, creative & light-minded. 
    • On the contrary, if you sleep in and wake up during the Kapha period, that earth & sluggish element will be carried forth the rest of the day.

  • Another aspect of this gati quality is bowel motion, the elimination of waste (a.k.a. mala kriya), which should be carried out early in the morning - before any coffee or breakfast is ingested.
Waking up during the brahma muhurta will promote the creation of sama dhatu (healthy tissues). 
Advice: if you wake up at any time after 3am, to go to the bathroom or whatever reason, start your day right then and there. 
  • Brush your teeth, scrape your tongue & do your dinacharya
Special circumstances:
Cases like infants. the elderly, sick people & night workers are exceptions to these guidelines. 
If you had a celebration/event, went to sleep later than usual and in the morning feel the need for some extra hours of sleep: 
  • Still wake up during the brahma muhurta, do your dinacharya and once you are done with that, judge what your needs are. If needed, then go back to sleep. 
    • BUT, when going back to sleep, sleep for half of the time that you lost
      • i.e. if you went to sleep 3hs past your bedtime, you can ponder sleeping up to 1.5hs extra in the morning. 

"Waking up and not feeling the need to snooze and stay in bed is an indicator of proper health."

In Ayurveda there is a concept called sama dosha which consists of our capacity to both rapidly fall asleep at night & waking up energized and full of vitality. 
The concept of perfect health in Ayurveda is explained in one shloka of the Sushruta Samhita:
“Sama dosha sama agnischa sama dhatu mala kriyaaha
Prasanna atma indriya manaha swastha iti abhidheeyate”
This means: one is in perfect health when the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), the digestive fire (digestion, assimilation and metabolism) all the body tissues & components (dhatus), all the excretory functions (the physiological functions of urination and defecation) are in perfect order with a pleasantly disposed and contented mind, senses and spirit.

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How to Overcome Food Intolerances

Almonds, a very common food intolerance
Food intolerances have become common currency these days.
Some surveys even suggest that a stunning 25% of the Australian population believes they have at least one food intolerance.
I personally have worked in my clinic with many patients who believed they were intolerant to some type of food, and have now managed - with proper care and the mindful implementation of very simple & straight-forward Ayurvedic principles - to reintroduce said foods in their lives, allowing them to enjoy the treats they had already sworn off a long time ago.
Overcoming food intolerances is possible when you have the proper tools and the right understanding of how digestion & nutrition work.

Factors that increase your susceptivity and reactivity to food intolerances and allergies

Food Quality and Food Transformation (samskara):
For example, one may experience inflammatory reactions after drinking cold homogenised milk extracted from stressed cows. But non-homogenised cows milk, diluted with water, then boiled… this “lightens up” the milk: reduces kapha (mucous creating, congesting qualities), and makes milk more compatible for one to tolerate and enjoy.
Especially if a food item is hard to digest for you or triggers any health implications - those who are wondering how to overcome food intolerances need to obtain quality food and “transform it” the right way, then try & reintroduce.
Poor digestion (low digestive agni):
This is a key factor when it comes to food intolerances.
The agni is the digestive fire in your gut. If the agni is not enlivened enough, you won't be able to digest properly the foods that you eat, especially the ones that your body is "intolerant" to.
In a lot of cases, it is not so much the food you are eating, but the poor function of your metabolic pathways and digestive health that impedes you to properly digest food.
I have worked with coeliacs and many managed to eat wheat again. They don’t eat it every day, but they enjoy this nourishing grain weekly in moderation with the right tools, knowledge and intuition of their own body. They enjoy high-quality wheat cooked fresh, reaction-free.
Those who eat even a tiny amount of onion and garlic and bloat like a balloon…
Those who can’t eat oxalates (e.g. almonds, spinach, peanuts, soy, beetroot, swisschard, rhubarb, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.) without swelling up, getting a runny nose, abdominal discomfort, or itchy skin…
A lot of it can be healed. And from what I have seen, it can be easy as organic ancient grain pie.
The Mind
Another key point.
It’s amusing and fascinating how many times I see patients that only after they get their “allergy prick test”, do they get reactions after eating the foods for which they tested “positive”.

When one unquestionably “accepts” the laundry list of foods they were told to avoid (in some cases, for the rest of their life!) their mind and body accept these “allergies” and reject the food whenever it comes.

Allergy Skin-Prick Tests

For the best part, as a study in the Journal of Paediatrics showed, allergy skin-prick tests are incredibly inaccurate.

One of the problems with them is that, according to another study, patients show skin reactions to allergenic foods in 50-60% of the tests- even if the person is not allergic to that food.

Food sensitivities can be complex, however, they can be healed.
Food Intolerance Skin Prick Test

How to Conquer Food Intolerances & Allergies

There are many variables & possibilities for those wondering how to overcome food intolerances.
My general principle for healing food intolerances is - first fix the digestive fire (agni), then slowly introduce the foods in a methodical way.
Also take into consideration the nervous system, gut-brain connection, toxic exposure & more.
Just eliminating the food is not the solution. You need to fix the underlying imbalance. Because if you cannot digest wheat or milk, how are you going to digest the carcinogenic glyphosate that is being spread across the air and rain onto your organic kale? Or the vaccines and spike proteins that are being passed around. Or the external stressors, electro-magnetic fields & any toxin your body has to metabolise.
It's not a matter of avoidance, but rather of applying the proper principles to reintroduce those foods that you have labeled yourself as "intolerant" or "allergic" to.

If you want to work towards superseding food restrictions and optimise your digestion health, check out my recent online offering: “The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition”, and/or book an online consultation.
The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition - Online Course

How did you overcome your food intolerances? Comment 👇


Surya Tarpana: Remedies (Upāyas) to Enliven Sun Energy

Dylan Smith doing Surya Namaskar (salute to the Sun)
Here are some techniques to enliven Sūrya (sun) energy.
You may have been prescribed these “remedies” (Upayas) by a Jyotishi (Vedic astrologer) for your unique birth chart.
The following techniques help strengthen Surya energy and connect to the sun.
Although a lot of these are generic ways to honor the sun that is good for many people, we recommend consulting a quality jyotishi to refine how you personally should be engaging deeply in communion with celestial planetary bodies.

Surya Energy

Surya is the cosmic energy that correlates with:
  • The Self. The Soul
  • Ego, power
  • Consciousness
  • Dignity
  • Organising power
  • Leadership, Government, King - the sun governs the solar system.
Further Jyotish details:
  • Exaltation: Aries (Meesha)
  • Debilitation: Libra (Tūla)
  • Moolatrikona: Leo (Siṃha)
  • Father - relationship with one’s father
  • Education
  • Pitta dosha
  • Cakra: Ajña cakra (third eye)
  • Direction: East
  • Sun in Balance: “Atma Śatki”

Practices / Remedies to Strengthen Surya Energy:

Surya Tarpaṇa

Lord Surya, or Sūrya सूर्य is the cosmic sun.
Tarpaṇa तर्पण has many meanings:
  • Fuel
  • Food
  • Satiating
  • Refreshing
  • Gladdening
  • Saturation
Sūrya Tarpaṇa is the process of imbuing Lord Surya with refreshing nourishment and energetic attention.
Surya Tarpaṇa (Offering Water to Lord Surya) Procedure:
1. Fill a cup or vessel with pure water.
2. Face the sun (sunrise and/or sunset time is ideal).
3. Pour the water in front of the sun and look through the “waterfall” at the sun.
Dylan Smith Doing Tarpana for Lord Surya
4. If you are not performing this in or at a body of water (e.g. riverside, in a river, ocean shore or in the ocean), such as an urban setting, you can pour the water into a pot plant or garden.
5. This practice is best done after taking bath (snān). Traditionally one would bathe in a river first and then offer Tarpana to Surya. This way you are purified and energised before subtly connecting with the sun.
6. Practicing Sūrya Tarpana on Sundays should be prioritised if it is not able to be done daily.
Profound Qualities:
  • The waterfall in between your eyes and the sun is not only a protecting buffer to potentially harmful direct sunlight, but also provides a “healing filter” so the sunlight can invigorate the body and eyes that it hits. Safe and effective “sun-gazing.”
  • This is a form of Surya Namaskar: “honoring the sun” - this creates a reciprocal exchange of energy that absolutely uplifts and energies both our individual self and the essential life-giving aspect of nature.
  • Offering water to the sun cools the sun and invokes Gayatri: the feminine principle of the sun, (in you and in the environment).

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)

Surya Namaskar has been described as the most complete mental and physical exercise available.
It involves a sequence of twelve physical yoga postures or asanas that are so much more than just an exercise.
Surya Namaskar generates prana (life-force) and charges us up like a battery through solar vitalisation.
It is a medium to enhance the energising quality of the sun in us and in the environment.
Procedure:
Dylan Smith with a Group, doing Surya Namaskar
  1. Learn Surya Namaskar from a quality yoga teacher (consider potential adjustments for your unique physiology).
  2. Perform 1 - 13 rounds of Surya Namaskar while facing the sun. This can be done at anytime, but when done at sunrise and/or sunset, there is greater power.
  3. Star with 1 round daily, and can increase to 3, 7, 9, 12 and 13 as is comfortable.
  4. Avoid Surya Namaskar when yoga asanas are contra-indicated, such as when feeling ill, during menstruation and certain medical conditions etc.

Sun Bathing (Responsibly)

Sunbathing with gratitude for the energy and life force Sūrya gives to you.
Responsible sun-bathing considers the three principles of Ayurveda:
1. Desa (habitat) - Where are you in the world. Are you in Scandinavian summer or the Australian summer?
2. Kala (time period) - What time of the day are you sunbathing? In what season of the year? For how long?
Man sunbathing at the beach
3. Patra (unique individual) - What is your skin type? Are you fair or dark-skinned? How is your tan? How used to the sun are you?
These will determine the amount of sun you should expose yourself to and when to get it.
Start with a little sun and gradually increase day-by-day. Getting a little pink is good but you do not want to burn.
Putting oil on and/or the practice self-abhyanga can help protect you from the sun and metabolise the healing properties.
Ayurveda prizes the time periods near sunrise and sunset to be exposed to the sun.
Do not fear the sun, but connect with this Divine Sentient Being.

Listen to Āditya Hṛdayam (Aditya Hrudayam)

Ādityā Hṛdayam is a Sanskrit devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Surya.
It was recited by the sage Agastya to Rāma (the “perfect” expression of the dharma) on the battlefield before fighting with the demon king Rāvaṇa.
This hymn teaches one to ascend to “defeat” the ultimate “enemy”: the darkest negativity or ignorance in one’s own life.
Āditya आदित्य is one of the names of the sun that expresses the infinite cosmic mother, the divine maternal nurturing aspects of the sun.
Aditi is one of the many names given to the cosmic Mother, Mahaśakti. She is the mother of all expressions of consciousness and the source of creative power.
Hṛdayam ह्र्दयम् has a range of meanings:
  • heart, core, essence, best or dearest part of anything
  • true or divine knowledge
  • science / veda
  • going to the heart
Āditya Hṛdayam is the sounds that sequentially enliven the true divine knowledge which is the heart of Sun energy within the heart of the beneficiary (who chants it).
Best to find Āditya Hṛdayam chanted without music or minimal music.
Procedure:
Simply listen to the Āditya Hṛdayam being chanted while you are in a de-excited state (e.g. after meditation, while resting, while sun-bathing).
Listening to Āditya Hṛdayam on Sundays and on Sūrya Jayanti (Sūryas annual birthday) should be prioritised if it is not able to be done daily.

Fasting on Sundays

Fasting the day when Surya energy is strongest makes one “less heavy” (tamasic), thus more pure (sattvic), therefore increasing our capacity to connect with the subtle energies available on Sunday (Sun energy).
There is a diverse range of approaches to fasting, and it is best to consult your health practitioner on how it is best for you. In our online course, The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition, we go through the variety of ways you can fast so you can choose the one that is biblically right for you.

Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri mantra is the most commonly used mantra in Yoga.
It consists of primordial sounds that invoke the aspect of the sun that governs transformation and potential illuminating intelligence, called “Savitri”.
Savitri, represents the transformational power inherent in the Sun.
Savitri is the force of nature that changes night into day.
Savitri is dominant in the moments before sunrise, when the environment shifts from darkness (of the ego) into the infinite light of the higher Self.
Chanting inwardly or listening to Gayatri mantra enhances the impulse of Divine Savitri, which activates our power to move into the realm of Divine light.
It is particularly chanted at sunrise, midday and sunset.

These are general recommendations and it is always best to consult a Jyotishi for specific advice.

What practices do you do to honor lord surya? Comment 👇

The Ayurvedic View on Fermented Foods

Fermented Foods in Jars
As with most dietary fads, they may not only be unsustainable but also potentially do more harm than good, and as usual, Ayurveda will have a say on it (since Ayurveda has a say on everything - It is the "science of life” after all).
Fermented foods certainly have the potential to be highly medicinal, but they have their time and place. Literally.
Fermented food is traditionally a winter food.
Fermenting folk would preserve fruits and vegetables to feed them in long winter months, which typically was only required in colder countries.

Pitta (Fire) 🔥 Aggravation

Ayurveda teaches that fermented foods are heating. The acids that are present increase pitta (fire element) in the body, which may create inflammation.
This has its time and place - like Northern and Eastern Europe who could use that pitta increase in the winter-time. But in warmer climates, like Australia and India, it can trigger imbalance.

Not only do fermented foods have their time and place, they also have their unique “person”

Consider the person eating the fermented foods.
If they have a pitta imbalance - ie. they are prone to inflammation or fire in the body, presenting conditions like acne, skin inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, anger, frustration, hyperacidity, gastric ulcers, hemorrhoids and other “hot” conditions - perhaps they should proceed with caution and moderation.

The Ayurvedic View on Fermented Foods

There is a slight dogma in Ayurveda that fermented foods are bad. This was perhaps developed because most of people in India don't need to preserve foods for the cold months since they experience warm weather year-round.
And those parts of India (and Australia) that do experience cold climates, it is for a short period of time.
On top of that, these warmer climates mostly experience an abundance of produce in summer and the months surrounding.
Fermenting foods for too long can be over-heating and even a bit dulling (tamasic) or rajasic (stimulating).
However, Ayurveda certainly utilises fermented foods:
Thin lassi, a drink of yoghurt + water or buttermilk, is a highly prized simple but powerful food-as-medicine drink in Ayurveda, which actually reduces pitta and supports gut health.
Foods fermenting in Glass jars
There are many pickles and even medicinal wines, known as ariṣṭas and āsavas.
Paneer, a fermented cheese advised having in small amounts.
But note the ways these are taken. They are taken as condiments. Don’t fill a quarter of your plate with kimchi or organic herbalised fermented veggies, or a fermented organic super berry. It should be a small condiment size.
The role here is to give that right amount of acid, that digestive stimulant, that inoculation of microbiome richness.

Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have a wonderful ability to inoculate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria.
Lactic acid, which commonly oozes out of fermented foods as beneficial strains of bacteria and food particles mingle, not only preserves the veggies or fruit, but also slowly releases sugars from the cellulose to feed the good bacteria in your body!
This supports a healthy microbiome, and your microbiome has a plethora of roles in your body, supporting immunity being one key component.

Do Fermented Foods Have a Place at All for Hot Climates or Pitta Types? 🔥

That being said, even in summer, fermented foods in small amounts can be utilised to support digestion and a healthy microbiome.

That is why Ayurveda recommends mixing a small amount of fermented pickle with the first morsel of food, to boost digestive strength (dīpana) for bon-appetit.

A good tridoshic fermented dish you can try is my Amla Pickle Recipe. Amla is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda due to to its many powerful benefits. It pacifies pitta, vata & kapha. Check it out!

Amla Pickle Dish

If you are interested in learning about Ayurveda and how to properly optimize your food intake to enliven health in your body check out my course "The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition".
The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition - Online Course

You can purchase the course HERE.

What are your favorite fermented foods? How do you feel after eating them? Comment 👇

The Yoga of Time, Vedic Medicine & The Veda Mandala | Prashanti de Jager, Master Herbalist #059

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Prashanti’s clinical forte and specialty is his ability to use many of the “Vedic sciences” - Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology, Yoga, Vaastu (Vedic Architecture), Advaita and Dhanurveda (the yoga of warfare) to analyze, diagnose, treat and empower his clients.

The episode is for the “Vedic nerds”, as we explore with a scientifically eccentric perception, the richness that the Laws of Nature: The Veda, has to offer.
Prashanti has unique capabilities to perceive the subtle in all areas of life, as well as an expanded spectrum of awareness on the true depths of wisdom traditions.

About Our Guest: Prashanti de Jager

Prashanti’s clinical forte and specialty is his ability to use many of the “Vedic sciences” - Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology, Yoga, Vaastu (Vedic Architecture), Advaita, Dhanurveda (the yoga of warfare), too analyse, diagnose, treat and empower his clients. 

He shares these potent vedic sciences through The Veda Mandala.

This powerful “confluence of factors” is comparable to having a session with ten different wellness guides all at once. After earning many degrees from the University of Michigan in the fields of Math, Engineering, Biophysics and Emergency Medicine, and studying numerous adjunct healing modalities, Prashanti moved to India in 1990 to study Advaita and the Vedic Sciences.

Prashanti De Jager holding a herb in the Himalayas

On his travels, he experienced the very good fortune of a decade of sitting at the feet of epic paragons like Sri H.W.L. Poonja, Annamalai Swami, Lakshman Swami, the Dalai Lama, Urgen Tulku, Jamgong Kontrul Rinpoche, Hart de Fou, Kaviraj Vaidya Nanakchand Sharma, as well a dozens of eminent Yogis, Priests, Scientists and many truly empowered Grand Mothers.

Traveling all over India training as a Yogi, Clinician and an Ethnopharmacologist, he settled in Lucknow, North India, where he started to treat hundreds of locals and foreigners that came to him with a vast number of health issues.

To ensure high-quality formulas for his clients, he started an Ayurvedic herb company in 1993 in North India where he grew, wild-crafted and processed the herbs by hand. As the reputation for these herbs grew worldwide, a beautiful team/Vision called ‘Organic India’ emerged to serve the demand in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable way.

Besides being a Founder of Organic India, he also is a trustee on other projects like the Dunagiri Foundation Trust, instilling sustainable herbal wild-crafting amongst thousands of tribals in central India and also in the fragile ecosystems of the High Himalayas.

He edits & writes articles for numerous magazines and his own books, and teaches classes on herbs and Ayurvedic Medicine around the world.

He is one of Tulsi’s (holy basil) humans.

a.k.a. Haldi Baba (Haldi being turmeric) - Prashanti wrote one of the most comprehensive - spirit world view, on turmeric. “Turmeric The Ayurvedic Spice of Life”


In this Episode we Discuss:

Sahanau Vavatu

ॐ सह नाववतु। Om, May we all be protected

सह नौ भुनक्तु। May we all be nourished

सह वीर्यं करवावहै। May we work together with great energy

तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु May our intellect be sharpened (may our study be effective)

मा विद्विषावहै। Let there be no Animosity amongst us

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ Om, peace (in me), peace (in nature), peace (in divine forces)

Understanding the root value and spirit centric worldview of Sanskrit

Tripura Darshan (Three worldview)
  1. Spirit centric
  2. Energy centric
  3. Mass centric
Beginning of the Rig Veda
4 levels of Vat (Truth)
  1. Para-vak - the ultimate reality in the form of vibrations, of which thought and words are rough representations. It is the absolute expressed as transcendental           sound (Mantras come from here). 
  2. Pashyanthi vak - here you can have the spirit centric worldview. This is where creativity and genius are. The Heart is dominant.
  3. Madhyama vak - truth touches our minds. The middle between subtle thought and gross speech. The Throat is dominant.
  4. Vaikhari vak - truth touches our lips. Most people are here. Where words come out the mouth in the form of gross physical sound.

Vaastu Sastra

The Vedic science of harmonious design.

Vaastu is fundamental, it is at the base of the Veda Mandala because from Vaastu you can create every other science.

Vaca (calamus acorus)

To read our article on the many uses & benefits of Vaca click HERE
acorus calamus (vaca) roots

Two types of memory

  1. Episodic memory: centered around experiences and events
  2. Semantic/Terrain memory: memory of general knowledge (facts, ideas, concepts and the general meaning of things).

The importance of Dinacharya (daily routine)

The importance of waking up before the sunrise
The value that there is in watching the sunrise.
Surya Traataka:
Various practices to honour the sun.
Starting and watching the rising sun.
The frequency of light that a ghee lamp emits directly impacts the third eye.

Sunrise in Nepal

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Yama (attitudes toward our environment)
Niyama (attitudes toward ourselves)
Asana (physical postures)
Pranayama (restraint or expansion of the breath)
Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
Dharana (intention & intent): Tejas (Fire, energy, brilliance) is developed in this sixth limb.
Dhyana (meditation)
Samadhi (complete integration)

Vaidyas (Ayurvedic Physicians)

Balaraj Maharishi
He sent Prashanti to Tirumula around 1993 to find a very special majik plant and he found it!
Balaraj Maharishi and the first clinical trial of Ayurvedic medicines in the West: Link to read more HERE
Dr. Triguna
Famous pulse physician.

Siddhis - Divine Human Capabilities

How do humans achieve siddhis?
  • Past lives influencing siddhis.
  • Sampradaya - the core of the lineage that has sampradaya has a living goddess (vidya / supreme knowledge) at it’s core. Vidya comes from Pashyanthi vak.
  • Mantras call the Devis (divine beings) and Mahavidyas (10 aspects of mother divine)
  • Bhutas (any encapsulated intelligence with an agenda or energetic force) give siddhis. e.g. Nazi Germany was a Bhuta.
  • Bhutas hide in the life of your own identity. 
Studying elemental bhutas by going close to bush/forest fires and storms.
  • Studying how nature's elements are Beings.
Trigunas (Three Prime Attributes): Sattva (Purity), Rajas (Stimulation), Tamas (Inertia)

Rare, Endangered and Divine Healing Herbs

Divya Aushadhis (Divine Herbs)
Dronagiri Mountain in Tibetan Nitti Valley (where Hanuman picked up a mountain to heal wounds).

Once you're in Joshimath, you go left to Badrinath , to the right you go to Tibetan Nitti Valley. Half way up that valley to the right is Dronigeri. You can see at the top of the mountain Hanuman scooped a trench off the side.

Sanjeevani Booti - the herb Hanuman used to heal Lakshman according to the Ramayana. 
Astavarga -  8 High Himalayan deep nectar rejuvenation orchid herbs.

Very rare and hard to find. Prashanti is probably the only person in the world which produces a formula close to Astavarga (he calls it “Orchid Ojas”).

Hanuman holding mountain
Using “substitutes” for rare herbs.

Prashanti created a whole new metric scale to grade herbs and create the “Astavarga formula.”

The corruption & lies in the Ayurvedic herb industry.
The Processing of Herbs (Shodasha Samskāra):
  • Some of these herbs hate metal, e.g. Amalaki hates metal.
  • Preparing herbs after “lighting up” your chakras and chanting mantras.
  • Preparing herbs in the presence of or nearby Guru.
“The ultimate medicine made, is the medicine maker.”Becoming medicine via medicine making.

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Prashanti’s huge contribution to Tulsi
For more information on the many healing properties of Tulsi read our article HERE

Turmeric & building resilience in the body

When Prashanti “received the codes” for Turmeric.

Eating 30-40g of turmeric (haldi/haridra) & 10-20g of ashwagandha per day.

Difference between dried and fresh turmeric and ginger.

The myth that black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric. 

Trikatu (ginger, long pepper, and black pepper), especially ginger, is the spice that increases the absorption of turmeric.

To read more on Turmeric and its many health benefits click HERE 

Trikatu (Three Pungents)

  1. Ginger - Sattvic - To read more on Ginger click HERE.
  2. Pippali (Piper Longum) - bonfire rasayana (elixir) that has heat but also is a rasayana. It is agni (fire) and amrit (nectar) at the same time.
  3. Marica (Black Pepper) - the most rajasic (stimulating) of them all. Rajas agitates itself to decay. 

Herbal Formulas

Single Herbs vs Formulas.
3 herbs in a formula are great // 5-to-10-ingredients formulas can be challenging for the body.
  • More than three ingredients in a formula - can create confusion. 
But when you cook all together, even 50 ingredients, you can make it sama (healthy and compatible). e.g. preparations like Avaleham (paste), or Amrit/Aristam (herbal wine).

How to apply the principles of Ayurveda to every given situation

3 main concepts:
  • Kala - time.
  • Desa - place.
  • Patra - lineage.
E.g. Treating a 19-Year-Old San Francisco Goth Using the Principles of Ayurveda: Through fashion advice, advicing to wake up at 3am to go party and herb consumption. 
Diversity and curvature vs. straight line.
All the polarities coming into the singularity.
All chakras being in the heart chakra. 

The Puranas

  1. Exegesis - the methodology of how you read or interpret any ancient text or book. 
  2. Repetition - you see it all over the place.
  3. Hyperbolae - e.g. “If you stand on your head for 3 hours you will be enlightened”, said like that to remember, do not take it literally.
3 recurring themes in the Puranas (“The Old Things / Old Ones”)
  1. Tulsipurifies family karma. Points to the epi-genetic qualities of tulsi. Genes don’t change, but their expression changes.
  2. Sirsasana (Head stand).
  3. Ēkādaśi.
    • Literally means 11.
    • 11th lunar day, 2x/month.
    • There is one Purana all on Ēkādaśi.
    • Fasting not only fasting from food, but from the mundane, the heavy - feast on the light, energy and shakti.
    • It’s a great way to cyclically fast.

Prashanti’s Veda Mandala

The Veda Mandala - bringing all vedic sciences together, protecting their essence.
5 Principles for evolving:
  1. Pattern interrupt - e.g. rising run, winter solstice. 
  2. New frame of reference
  3. Trim story
  4. Curate memory 
  5. Shift identity.
Allowing for a truer understanding of “inauspicious” times.
The Veda Mandala
Shamshan sadhana
Practicing it at midnight on the ghats (river banks) of Varanasi.
When the world gets destroyed, Rudra (Lord Siva) maintains Varanasi. 

The Power of Tejas

Tejas =   

It signifies creative will power, splendor and brilliance. At the same time being a very grounded, intentional and spirited force. 

India, Powerful Holy Places and Herbs

Certain places where reality gets thin. Then and there you can see so much truth.

The holiest of holy temples in Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai and Manikarnika ghat in Varanasi.

Tirumala, an area around a Visnu temple (Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple) which is the most visited and wealthiest temple in the world.

Up the mountain from the city of Tirupati.

The Ramban herb - “Rama’s Arrows”
  • Prashanti was told by Balaraj Maharishi to find, identify and process it. Around 1993.
  • Not mentioned anywhere.
  • Prashanti was selling one leaf for $10-100.
  • Incredibly nootropic (cognitive enhancing). 
The Blue Lotus
  • Vertical element of integration.
  • Makes you feel like you are walking two inches off the ground. 
Kushta (Saussurea lappa)
  • Rasa - Bitter, pungent, sweet
  • Virya - Hot
  • Vipaka - Pungent.
  • Gunas - Dry, light, sharp.
  • The brother of Soma. Also going extinct. A high Himalayan Angelica.
Blue Lotus Flower

More on Powerful Vedic Wisdom

Haasta - the combination of Vastu, Jyotish and Ayurveda.
Non-linear knowledge: 

Prana in the Himalayas and the grace, you start receiving non-linear knowledge. 

Covid being part of a major transition that the world will undergo in the next 20 years. 

Prashanti’s definition of Dharma
The Yoga of Time
Solstice:
  • When the sun stops. “Sun stillness.”
  • Siva, masculin.
Winter solstice:
  • A time to dive deep and shift your identity, and then take action and dharma.
  • Adaptogenic herbs, build your ojas (Article on Ojas VV).
  • Take Ashtavarga around the start of winter solstice. Then don’t have to take it for the rest of the year.
  • Trees don’t dry out, they shift their juice from their periphery to their core.
  • Taking herbs.
Equinox:
  • Shakti, feminine.
  • Half way between the solstices.
  • When the energy is it’s fastest.
  • Power, shakti.
Navaratri - Nine nights of mother divine 

To read more on how to tap into mother divine and the regenerative forces of Navaratri click HERE

Saptaka-Charya - Rhythms of the week.


Resources

The Veda Mandala website

Prashanti's personal website

Prashanti's Instagram Account (@prashanti.veda.mandala)

Prashanti's Facebook Account

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


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Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Foraging and Curing Olives

Olive tree

Season (Kala)

As we exit the northern solstice, “Uttarayana,” which is heat dominant (Agneya)  , and transition into the southern solstice, Daksinayana, cooling and moon dominate (Saumya), here in Australia, the earth moves a little more away from the sun in the southward direction.
Seasonal transition (RtuSandhi ऋतुसन्धि) is a significant event in Ayurveda. Not adapting to the outer environment and supporting your biological changes which vulnerably occur at this sandhi (transition) time is considered one of the significant causes of disease.
So that is why in the Vedic culture, 9 nights are designated at these times of transition. These nine nights (Navratri) are provided to go more inward (opportunity for enhanced spiritual connection), eating less or some types of fasting so your cellular energy can be utilised on other biological functions than predominately digestion, and eating certain foods and herbs to assist with this transition.
Here in Australia at this time of year (around late April), nature provides olives. Ripe and ready on the tree to be brined and cured.
Olives being fermented and rich in Lactrobacillus bacteria have the action of sparking up the digestive fire (deepena karma).
This naturally aligns with nature because by the time these olives are cured and ready to eat, it’s winter, and the digestive fire is stronger as it huddles in to keep the body warm and digest higher protein and fatty foods to keep us insulated as we hibernate through winter.
Olives have a delicious abundance of monounsaturated fat. This coupled with biophenol anti-oxidants, helps regulate cholesterol by preventing the bad cholesterol in the arterial walls and supporting the good cholesterol for heart, brain and hormonal health.
Dylan Smith harvesting wild olives
Overall inflammation is reduced in the body by the phenolic compounds in olives when they are had in moderation
However, olives are quite salty and heating. So make sure to consume them in condiment sizes and eat them seasonally - in winter. Pitta types   should eat less of them as they can increase this fire which may manifest as skin diseases, acne, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperacidity and anger/irritability.  
So my fellow Australians and those around the world who are reading this or saving it for when your season comes, look for some wild or generous olive trees and have a go at curing them…

Brine and Cure Method

Brine cured olives are absolutely delicious!
The basic principle of curing olives is that you are using water and salt to extract the glycoside from them - the chemical which makes olives very bitter when picked. Then you are left with sweeter, bitter, salty tasty fruits.
  1. Soak olives in water - Put your olives in a bowl or esky or drum of pure room temperature water. (It is good to have a tap as you will be draining the water and refilling regularly). Or you can sit your olives in a strainer in a bowl of water for easy removal and water change.
  2. Cover the vessel and leave for two days.
  3. After two days, empty the water and refill with new water.
  4. Repeat this process for about 14 days total. (If you forget about your olives for an extra day or two, that is fine).
Brine Cured Olives
Now it’s time to brine…
  1. In a big jar mix 1L of pure warm-hot water with 100gm of salt non-idolised good quality salt. Warm-hot water is used so that the salt can dissolve evenly throughout the water.
  2. Note you can make 5L or 20L of brine (highly concentrated salty water). Whatever you want. Just ensure the water to salt ratio is 10:1 (10% salt). So if you are doing 5L of water, add 500gm salt.
  3. Once the jar of salt water is cooled to room temperate, add your olives in until they reach the top of the jar. It is good to squish them down tightly in. They should be fully submerged under the brine. To achieve this, add a small plate or some big flat rocks to weigh the olives down.
  4. Keep your jar of olives in a dark place with a stable temperature (like a pantry).
  5. How much time to brine? -  This depends on the size of olives, the ripeness, how long you did the water stage for (if at all, you don’t have to do this stage but it makes the olives tastier and smoother), how salty you like your olives .
  6. Taste your olives after they’ve been in the brine for 2 months and get to know the taste of brining olives. This can take 4-12 months for them to be ready.
  7. After the brine stage - When they are ready, you should strain the brine (this will be very bitter).
  8. Then store your olives by adding them into a new brine (this lasts for up to 6 months), in olive oil or in 50:50 vinegar and water solution.
  9. Add herbs and spices like rosemary, fennel and lemon slices is good to add at this into the jar for the storage phase until you eat them all.
  10. Enjoy your very own brine cured olives!
Have you ever brine cured olives? How do you use olives in your cooking? Comment below 👇
Olive brining recipe adopted from @milkwood

Related Reading: Foraging & Eating Seaweed ~ Australian Golden Kelp


Sparking an Organic Herbal Revolution & Prana Potent Herbs | Bharat Mitra #057

A Tea Field where the herbal revolution is taking place in India

Inside India’s Ayurvedic Herb Industry Lies Corruption, Adulteration and Poor Quality Herbs.

Renowned Ayurvedic practitioner Dylan Smith speaks with the founder of Organic India, a large successful multi-national Ayurvedic herbal company that is sparking a revolution in herbal medicine.
This company is a vehicle of consciousness and unity, just like Ayurvedic herbalism should be.
Through regenerative agriculture, Organic India is restoring the dignity of farmers and villages, enhancing the Pranic Power of Ayurvedic herbs and sparking an organic herbal revolution that allows for the protection of endangered species of herbs.
This is a rich discussion exploring the subtle properties of Ayurvedic herbs.

ABOUT OUR GUEST: Bharat Mitra

Bharat Mitra is a visionary heart-centered entrepreneur, whose work manifests in many forms, including business, philanthropy, community co-creation and loving seva. In 1990 Divine Grace brought him to the feet of his master, Sri H.W.L. Poonja, Papaji, whom he has been inspired by and devoted to ever since.

He is the Founder of ORGANIC INDIA, a regenerative and wholly ethical company that, from its beginnings, has been guided by its vision to be a Vehicle of Consciousness in the corporate world. ORGANIC INDIA is now a thriving profitable business that works with thousands of small farmers across India, nourishing land, communities and livelihoods, producing a diverse range of organic Tulsi teas and wellness products retailed in over 30 countries.

Bharat Mitra

Bharat Mitra co-founded UPLIFT with his beloved wife and partner Bhavani Lev. Igniting love and consciousness around the globe, UPLIFT is a living invitation to the field of oneness and selfless service. Together with uniquely talented and gifted people from all walks of life, UPLIFT invites you to be a catalyst for greatness and part of a quantum leap for humanity as ONE uplifted community. UPLIFT is Unity, Peace and Love in a Field of Transcendence. (1)


In this Episode we Discuss:

The Genesis of Organic India: A large successful multi-national Ayurvedic herb company. 

This company is a vehicle of consciousness, light, love and unity.

About Papaji

The space from which Organic India emerged.

A rare being of purity and transmission of light.

The Vision and Mission of Organic India

The Corruption, Adulteration and Poor Quality of Ayurvedic Herbs in India

The contamination of Ayurvedic herbs in India with toxins.

The Importance of Growing Your Own Herbs

Dr Narendra Singh

Dr. Narendra Singh was an esteemed MD and researcher who spent more than forty years researching the healing properties of India’s medicinal herbs through modern scientific experiments and pharmaco-clinical trials.

Our whole herb philosophy is supported by Dr Narendra Singh’s extensive research that validates herbal medicines as most effective and active in their naturally occurring whole form; especially when grown organically and processed carefully to retain their innate phytochemistry.

The Prana of Herbs

More important than the formula

Herbal Extracts vs. Whole Herbs

Growing thousands of metric tons, primarily through tulsi.

Overhead shot of herbs in bowls

Tulsi: The Queen of Herbs

Coming to the rescue for villagers

Regenerative agriculture and an organic herbal revolution

Giving your Soma (flow of consciousness) to Herbs to Enhance Pranic Power

For more information check out our Podcast Episode on Soma with Thom Knoles

Bharat Mitra in a Field where he is making the herbal revolution

The negative immigration due to hopelessness in the villages

And how Organic India is providing hope again to the villages and connect to the dignity of being a farmer.

Restoring Dignity for Rural Farmers

Using a financial model to initially motivate farmers to produce herbs.

Prematurely Harvesting Herbs

For greater yield before they become mature.
You lack the full medicinal value that comes at maturity.
Tea Field where the Herbal Revolution is taking place in India

Endangered Herbs

Such as Kutkti (Picrorhiza kurrora)

Resources

(1) Bio taken from PORTL

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Tonic Herbalism: Potent, Pure & Sustainable Herbs for Daily Invigoration | Mason Taylor #054

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Just as we need our daily bread, we need our daily herbs.

Herbs provide a subtle nutrition to the brain and the subtle tissues of our body. They invigorate us with prana (life-force) and create a state in our physiology that attracts the healing powers and support from nature.

Take advantage of the herbs around you and what is available to you with honour, reverence and gratitude.

When you deservingly nourish yourself with these precious medicinal materials, your life will flourish on all levels.

About Our Guest: Mason Taylor

Mason’s energy and intent for a long and happy life is infectious. A health educator at heart, he continues to pioneer the way for potent health and a robust personal practice. An avid sharer, connector, inspirer and philosophiser, Mason wakes up with a smile on his face, knowing that tonic herbs are changing lives. Mason is also the SuperFeast founder, daddy to Aiya and partner to Tahnee (General Manager at SuperFeast).

Mason Taylor holding a Reishi mushroom

In this Episode we Discuss:

Mason's morning routine (dinacharya).

Seasonal Routine (RtuCarya) to promote health

Summer energy: achievement and goal oriented vs. the reality of what your body wants to do (rest, serenity and leisure).

New Years resolution energy may not coincide with southern hemisphere summer time.

How to deal with end-of-year festivities according to Daoism.

Flowing effortlessly between seasons and utilising the available energies to our benefit.

Mason Taylor harvesting Schisandra Berries

Chinese Medicine, Taoism and Ayurveda

Similarities, differences and integrating various modalities of traditional medicine.

The three dantians - inner body awareness and optimal decision making.

The preservation and cultivation of the three treasures (Jing, Qi, Shen) and getting the Yin Yang flowing and transforming.

Kidneys: energy, liquid essence and ojas.

Diagram showing the location and functionalities of the three danteans

Tonic Herbs and Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine vs. Classical Chinese Medicine.  

The difference between toxic elemental heavy metals and medicinal heavy metals (bhasmas). 

Three levels of herbs: High, medium and inferior.

Pearl powder: properties and healing powers. Click HERE for more information on medicinal Pearls.

Cordyceps fungus: properties and health benefits.

SuperFeast Mushroom Products

Farming, natural sourcing & preservation of herbs

Sustainable farming/sourcing, scarcity and adulteration of herbs (Di Dao herbs vs. big-scale industry herb products).

The purification and extraction of herbs that brings about their most powerful and sacred healing properties.

Mushroom farming: the ideal medium and context to grow them.

Preservation and ‘shelf-life’ of herbs.

Mason Taylor harvesting Chaga Mushrooms in a forrest
Mason Taylor Holding a mushroom in the middle of the forrest
Selfie of Mason Taylor and Dylan Smith

Resources

Shop Vitalveda products HERE

SuperFeast web site: HERE

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


SHARE

Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors and all your social mates.

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


Subscribe


Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Energy, Fatigue & Auto-Immunity | Dr. Paul Anderson Podcast #051

Your energy levels are foundational to any health condition or state.

We’re not only talking physical energy levels and fatigue, but also cellular energy - having the energy to perform all the crucial biological functions.

Optimal energy for efficient cellular repair, replacement and anti-aging effort through preventing disease.

Auto-Immunity is on the rise as our intelligence becomes more "mistaken" and we loose self-recognition of our own bodies.

Luckily, there's a lot to be done to restore our bodily intelligence and harmony amongst our biological system.

About Our Guest: Dr. Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson, ND is a naturopathic physician practicing in Seattle, Wash., and Tempe, Ariz. He is a graduate of NCNM, and a full-time core faculty member at Bastyr University, teaching in the clinical science division.

Dr. Anderson is a recognised educator and clinician in integrative and naturopathic medicine with a focus on complex infectious, chronic and oncologic illness.

In addition to three decades clinical experience he also was head of the interventional arm of a US-NIH funded human research trial using IV Vitamin C and other therapies in cancer patients. He founded Advanced Medical Therapies in Seattle, Washington, a clinic focusing on the care of patients with cancer and chronic diseases.

He is co-author of the Hay House book “Outside the Box Cancer Therapies” with Dr. Mark Stengler as well as a co-author with Jack Canfield in the anthology “Success Breakthroughs” and the author of his latest book, Cancer: The Journey from Diagnosis to Empowerment.

He is a frequent CME speaker and writer and has extended his educational outreach through his website. Former positions include professor of Pharmacology and Clinical Medicine at Bastyr University and Chief of IV Services for Bastyr Oncology Research Center.


In this Episode we Discuss:

Energy Levels & Fatigue

A morning practice to change your brain circuits to influence your energy levels for the day.

Global energy of depression due to Covid-19

Similar to chronic ill patients and later stages of cancer patients.

People who get energetically affected by what’s going on around them.

Having energy “sucked out” of you

Practitioners and doctors having energy “sucked out” of them and how to get yourself in a centred place so you can interact with a lot of strong energies without being affected by them.

Energetic Recognition and Protecting Yourself

Where Does Energy Come From:

Energy is generated in the most metabolising cells:

  1. Heart - the heart has so many mitochondria so it puts out this huge energy signature. 5000 mitochondria per cell, even if you don’t work out a lot. Your heart never gets a break, it pumps till the body dies. You can measure your heart electricity from 12 feet away.
  2. Brain - you can measure the energy output of the brain.
  3. Muscles - Muscle cell have 200-500 mitochondria in each cell. If you work out a lot, maybe 400-500.

Also, abdominal organs are busy all the time.

What part of the cell makes energy - Mitchondria makes ATP (the energy molecule) then converts to energy.

Hrdaya - The heart as the energy centre of the body.

Pattern of Energy:

  1. Did your energy gradually reduce?
  2. or did it drop suddenly (such as cancer or auto-immunity)?

Metabolic Health and Energy Levels

Intermittent Fasting

  • Mostly a mental game in the beginning.
  • Powerful intervention for metabolic health.

What Causes Low Energy and Overall Fatigue

Short term causes:

  • Acute illness.
  • Medications.
  • Depression.

Long term (and acute) causes:

  • The people and media you are associating with.
  • Environment - mould, air quality, environmental toxins.
  • Digestion and absorption - not absorbing the nutrients and energy from food.
  • Balance of minerals / vitamins - taking a high concentration of one constituent may put another out of balance.
  • Hormonal levels
  • Thyroid levels
  • Stress

How to Keep Your Energy In Instead of Letting it Bleed Out

Subtle energies

  • Absorbing patients disease energetically. Being drained.
  • Doctors, OTs, therapists, practitioners etc.
  • Optometrists get eye diseases, cardiologists get heart diseases etc.

Auto-Immunity: Why Does my Body Want to Attack Me?

  • We loose self-recognition.

  • Pragnyapradah - Mistake of intellect.

  • Inflammation will invade other organs.

  • Immune system enters a hyperactive state after being exposed to toxic influences over time and acquiring an accumulate affect.

Types of Auto-Immune Conditions

  • Hashimotos thyroiditis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes type 1
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Lupus - inflammation at various aspects of the body.
    • Tired.
    • Joint pain. Multiple joints.
    • High temperature.
    • Ulcerations or sores in nose and mouth, sometimes.
    • Sensitivity to sun.
    • Inflammations in the blood - excess or deficient levels of various aspects of the blood.
    • Rashes.
  • Scleroderma

A lot of people with low-thyroid have auto-immune (hashimotos) causing that, and don’t even know it.

What Causes Auto-Immunity

  • Orchestration of the immune system.
  • External influences that settle somewhere in the body, and the immune system goes to do it’s job to clean up the cells, and inevitably creates the problem.
  • Viruses invading certain areas.
  • Environmental sources.
  • Toxicity.
  • Diet - diet is a significant way in for toxic material.
  • Glycemic load.
  • Medical interventions - Such as modern biological drugs used to treat cancer. Modern medical interventions and drugs confuse the immune system and don’t allow it to regenerate.

Boosting Your Immune System during Auto-Immune conditions.

Treating Auto-Immune Conditions

Smriti can play a role in restoring the intelligence.

Bio-Films

Wet areas rich in biological systems.

They can get hijacked with pathogens, e.g. mould.

Aspects of Immune System

  • Skin - external layer of our immune system.
  • Respiratory tract - internal mucous membrane immune system.
  • Digestive tract - internal mucous membrane immune system.
  • Surveillance - Surveillance molecules (e.g. Killer T Cells) that look for anything that does not have our marker on it. Recognition molecules that say “you are mine.”
  • Specific immune system - Immune globulin, immune proteins, specially built to look for a specific cancer cell or virus etc. Humoral (anti-body) immunity - specific proteins against specific bad guys.

Resources


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.