Mudra: The Sacred Secret to Draw Energy & Bliss From Within | Indu Arora #087

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The ancient Vedic science of mudras is one that I’ve been inclined to explore for some time now. 
Mudras are much more than mere positions of hands or body parts that one can use to evoke a feeling or state of mind during meditation or yoga.
They are intricate and deeply significant “body holds” that allow us to draw forth different energies from within ourSelves that ultimately lead us to our natural & innate state of bliss (sat chit ananda).
For this episode I had the absolute pleasure to converse with Indu Arora. She is a powerful yogini and Ayurvedic Practitioner who has extensively studied and written about this ancient science of mudras. 
Get ready to explore with us a different and fresh side to Yoga; a side that is very rarely explained and presented in such a graceful, thorough & accessible manner.

About our guest: Indu Arora

Indu Arora is a student for lifetime.
She shares the Yogic and Ayurvedic wisdom which brings simplicity to our complex lives.
Indu is an author and public speaker who has been sharing simple, effective, practical, grounded ways of living life through Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Meditation and Ayurveda since 1999 and she is going to do that for the rest of her life.
Indu Arora

In this Episode we Discuss:

Daily Contemplation or “Atma Vichara”

Atma Vichara is a yogic practice rooted in ancient yogic scriptures, and is also known as “ātma tattva avalokanam”.
  • It consists of the idea of being in touch with the essence or substance of the Self or ātma
Practicing atma vichara is a powerful daily practice that not only grounds the Self, but also creates space for sustainable spiritual & emotional growth and self-accountability. 

The Name “Indu” & It’s Relationship with The Moon

The letter “i” represents shakti - divine feminine energy in the cosmos. 
The word “Indu” means “moon” 🌕 - the calming & soothing energy of the moon. 
Other names for the moon are Soma (alluding to the divine nectar of the moon) and Chandra (alluding to its bright and glittering light). 

An Introduction To Mudras

Mudra
Mud - mudita = delight.
dra = draw forth.
“That which draws forth from within the natural state of bliss or delight. It is a becoming.”
Mudra is a state of mind expressed through the body. Every time we practice a mudra we are opening up that pathway for the mind to become that. 
Whenever there is an energy that takes the form of a shape or sound, that is a mudra.
  • Any asana, kriya, mantra chanting or even sitting in meditation is a mudra. 
Every mudra leaves a unique signature on the breath. 
There are many types of mudras: eye mudras, hand mudras, mouth mudras, sound mudras, internal mudras, full body mudras (asanas). 
  • Hand mudras are just the beginning of mudras, much like asanas are just the beginning of yoga.

What Exactly Makes a Mudra

In short: awareness & understanding. 
Any expression of energy can be a mudra, as long as there is awareness being directed to the source energy. All asanas can be a mudra, but not all are. 
  • If you are practicing them robotically without bringing awareness to the underlying energy of that posture, then you are not doing a mudra, just exercise. 
To become mudra, there first needs to be deep awareness, followed by bhavna (sentiment or emotion) & sankalpa (intention). 

The Gyan Mudra (Meditation Mudra or Wisdom Seal)

Probably the most well known mudra of all. 
This mudra represents the totality of samkhya darshan (the philosophy of duality). 
  • Samkhya states that the human experience is constituted by two independent ultimate principles: puruṣa ('consciousness' or spirit/soul); and prakṛti (cognition, mind and emotion, also known as nature or matter)
The three extended fingers represent the three maha gunas (sattva, rajas & tamas), the three doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), the three states of consciousness (awake, dream & dreamless sleep) and the bondage of time (past, present and future).
The index finger represents the prakṛti and the thumb represents the puruṣa
  • When the index finger (prakṛti) moves towards the thumb (puruṣa) for yoga (unity or union) we are beyond all of these sets of three. We are in (or moving towards) the field of transcendence.

How To Properly Approach Mudras

The Importance of Eating With Your Hands

It is the natural way of humans to eat with our hands. 
  • When babies are born their natural tendency is to eat with their hands using the pincer hold. 
Then we are taught otherwise by our parents and told what is civilized and what isn’t.
  • The same thing applies to many other natural (and healthy) tendencies of the body - we hold our flatulences, our need to urinate, our need to burp, we sometimes even apologize after sneezing! All in the name of being more “civilized” or conforming to certain societal norms. 
In Ayurveda we say that you should not suppress any natural urge. 
Eating with one’s hands allows for a full sensory experience that unquestionably leads to satisfaction and contentment.  
When you eat with your hands, you bring all of your fingers together to hold a piece of food - this is in itself a mudra called samana mudra.
  • This mudra enhances digestion and assimilation of food, by means of the samana prana
The five fingers also represent the 5 elements or mahā bhūtas (fire, water, earth, ether & air).
The thumb represents fire 🔥, the pinky represents water💧, the ring finger represents earth 🪨, the middle finger represents space ✨ and the index represents air 💨.
When using all 5 fingers, you are sending a message to your body saying: “may whatever it is that I’m eating bring balance to the 5 mahā bhūtas (and the three doṣas) that reside within me”.

To learn more on this topic read Drop the Utensils, rather: Eat With Your Hands!

The Namaste Mudra

It is done by bringing together the palms of both hands with the fingers all close to each other. 
  • Represents the duality of ida & pingala, of opposing points, with an intent of gentle gratitude, surrender & appreciation.
There are many forms of the namaste mudra:
  • When we’re keeping our hands in front of the chest we’re recognizing the other being with our heart. 
  • When under the nostrils, that is us doing namaskar to our own prana (life-force).
  • When we keep them in front of the forehead, that is something we do in front of teachers or gurus

Recommended Mudras to Practice At Home

  1. Samana mudra to enhance digestion of food
  2. Gyan mudra to bring balance to the body and allow for greater transcendence
  3. Namaste mudra to bring gratitude and humbleness into our consciousness.

Resources

Indu's Website HERE

Indu's Instagram (@induaroraHERE

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📕 c.

Mudra Training 2022 (October 12-16 at @devanadiyoga) Will be offered hybrid: particularly can join In-Person or Livestream based on convenience and availability.


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


Ganga Devi: The Divine River That Flows in The Himalayas

Dylan Smith feeling his pulse in Ganges
It is rather easily evident to feel the divinity of Gaṅgā Devī गङ्गा (The Ganges River) after bathing, swimming, or dipping (snāna स्नान) in/with the river.
Gaṅgā starts from Gomukh, the terminus of the Gangotri Glacier in the western Himālayas, and flows for 2,525 km through India and Bangladesh, eventually emptying into the Bay of Bengal (North Eastern part of the Indian Ocean, west of India).
Gaṅgā jal (water from the Ganges River) carries the rejuvenating energies of the Himālalyas, deep healing frequencies that percolate the glaciers, snow melts and rain falls that run into the river that flows throughout the Himālalyas: the abode of the Pure Infinite Silence.
Gaṅgā jal is also sacred as she is abundant with celestially charged water molecules that carry the meditative energy and mantras of the many yogis and sages who have lived along its banks for over thousands of years.
Gaṅgā is the ultimate purifier. The river purifies any object or living being that bathes in it or receives its coherently structured water. Gaṅgā is the essence of Shuddha Sattva: transcends the guṇas (primal attributes of nature) to emanate absolute purity. Gaṅga is lucid as heaven’s crystal.
Gaṅgā is a Goddess and form of Śakti (Divine Feminine). 
Ganga Devi in Varanasi, India
Her water carries the grace, blessings and power of the Divine Mother.
She is the string of pearly water-beads that adorn Lord Śiva’s jata (she is the dynamic flow of life itself that springs forth from the unmanifest field of Pure Consciousness, the Infinite Silent Himālayan glacier that holds all that which is yet to manifest in Pure Unity).
Drinking (clean) gaṅga jal, mostly from the upper part of the river, or adding a few drops to ones water, herbal tea or herbal juice is a rasāyana (elixir to spread the essence of longevity within the human body).

The Mythological Story of Ganga Devi

Ganga Devi
Goddess Gaṅgā descended from heaven (svarga) in the form of a river, whose purpose is to purify and cleanse the karmas (binding actions) of all beings on earth.
The Devī Bhāgavatapurāṇa, a text that narrates all the stories of the Divine Mother, tells the tale of how Gaṅgā was cursed by Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, music & creation, to descend on the earth in the form of a river, which would wash away the karmas of everyone bathing in her waters.
Meanwhile, the Śivamahapurāṇam, narrates the second part of her story. 
It is said that Indra, the king of the demigods, was afraid of the highly auspicious spiritual pursuits of an old King called Sagara. Indra feared that this King would be granted enough puṇya (spiritual merit) that he would claim his throne as king of the Devas.
When King Sagara decided to do an Ashwamedha Yajna, one of the most powerful offerings that can be done to the Gods, Indra decided he would do anything in his power to stop it from happening.
Since the Yajna in question requires a horse to survive traveling around the entire kingdom, the mischievous Lord of the Devas decided to steal the horse and hide it.  Indra then proceeded to tie the horse right next to a meditating sage called Kapil who lived in the netherworld (also known as pātāla or nāgaloka), knowing that whoever dared disturb the deep tāpasya (spiritual discipline) of the yogi would immediately burn to death.
King Sagara sent all of his sons to find the blessed horse, and when they finally found it next to the meditating sage, they confused him to be the horse thief.
The sons of Sagara proceeded to shout heinous words at the meditating sage, and the moment the sage opened his eyes and came out of his meditation all of the sons of Sagara burned to ashes.
Sons of Sagara and Kapil
Since the only remains of Sagara's sons were a few piles of ashes, their final rites could never be properly performed, and their spirits were trapped wondering as ghosts in the netherworld where the sage Kapil lived.
However, Kapil instructed Anushman, Sagara's grandson, that if Gaṅgā Devi ever touched his ancestor's ashes, their spirits would be freed and would rise to svarga.
Anshuman went back to his grandfather with the horse, and Sagara crowned him king, after which he retired to the forest.
Anshuman’s efforts to bring the Gaṅgā down to earth were not fruitful. His son Dilipa did not succeed either.
But Dilipa’s son Bhagiratha was absolutely determined to succeed. He therefore entrusted the kingdom to his ministers and went to the forests to practice austerities to bring the Gaṅgā to earth.

Gaṅgā's Descent

Bhagiratha performed a very strong tāpasya (spiritual austerity) for many years and, finally, Sarasawati's curse became effective. Gaṅgā started to come down to earth in the form of a river. But there was a problem: the incredible force of Gaṅgā’s descent would wash away the entire earth.
And so Bhagiratha turned to Lord Shiva and prayed for him to help break Gaṅgā's fall.
Bhagiratha turned to Lord Shiva and prayed for him to break up Gaṅgā’s descent, and so he did.
Gaṅgā, fell at full speed on Shiva's head. But Shiva calmly trapped her in his matted locks of hair and instead let her out in small streams, which further blessed her holy waters.

Once Gaṅgā Devi's currents reached pātāla and flowed over the ashes of Bhagiratha's ancestors, the souls of the princes were redeemed.
Since this was achieved by Bhagiratha’s efforts, Gaṅgā is also called Bhagirathi.

Raga Mala Painting of Shiva releasing Gaṅgā from his matted locks

Curry Leaves: Medicinal Benefits, Uses & a Poem in Ode to this Ayurvedic Herb

Dylan Smith Sitting in siddhasana on Deer Skin
Leaves from the curry leaf tree are one of my favourite spices.

Obviously raw is not the nicest,
but when you fry it in ghee, the bitter and astringent leaves acquire a sweet cooling breeze.
Light to digest,
Kaiḍarya कैडर् (sanskrit name) stimulates the digestive fire (dīpana) and appetite (rochana), and metabolises toxins (pachana) in the gut, kidneys and chest.
This spice balances your hormones so you can properly rest,
and enhances immunity, good body physique and strength(1), of which I can attest.
O leaves of Murraya koenigii (botanical name), you improve the voice and soothe sore throats,
like the swan gracefully glides on the smooth water as it floats. (Hamsapadi 🦢) (2)
You even boost intelligence and wisdom(1) in those who eat your leaves,
are hypoglycaemic(3), help in dysuria and purify the kidneys.
You also purify the blood really well,
protect the liver,(4) reduce blood pressure(5) and strengthen the red blood cells.
My sweet curry leaf tree, so many benefits and blessings do you unravel,
I seem to recognise you from afar mostly everywhere I travel.
You generously disperse your trees and offer an abundance of leaves,
it makes me wonder why they sell you at high prices for such abundant spices.
Some people don’t swallow your leaves and leave them on their plate,
unfortunately, they are oblivious to the potential for a healthy fate and the nourishment they could create.
So dear friend, please forage sustainably a mature, well dressed tree,
so you can enhance your food with the tasty and medicinal kaiḍarya leaves.

Alternative Names

Sanskrit - Kaidarya / kaiḍarya कैडर्
Other names:
“Sweet neem” - in a related family to neem Meliaceae)
“Parvata nimba” - edible variety of nimba (neem)
Botanical names: Murraya koenigii and Bergera koenigi - named after a couple botanists.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa: kshaya, tikta, madhura
Vīrya: shīta .
Vipaka: Katu (5)
Doṣas: KP-
Gunas: Laghu
Karmas: Deepana, pacana, rochana
Digestion:
  • atisāra
  • dīpana
  • pachana
  • When used with buttermilk it helps to cure ulcers in the digestive system.
Balance hormones.
Curry Leaf Tree
Curry Leaves

Medicinal Qualities

Immunity

These enhance good body (physique), intelligence, strength and wisdom. - Susruta
hema śvetavacā kuṣṭham arkapuṣpī sakāñcanā // (47.2)hema matsyākṣakaḥ śaṅkhaḥ kaiḍaryaḥ kanakaṃ vacā / (48.1)catvāra ete pādoktāḥ prāśā madhughṛtaplutāḥ // (48.2)varṣaṃ līḍhā vapurmedhābalavarṇakarāḥ śubhāḥ / (49.1)
हेम श्वेतवचा कुष्ठम् अर्कपुष्पी सकाञ्चना ॥ (४७.)हेम मत्स्याक्षकः शङ्खः कैडर्यः कनकं वचा । (४८.)चत्वार एते पादोक्ताः प्राशा मधुघृतप्लुताः ॥ (४८.)वर्षं लीढा वपुर्मेधाबलवर्णकराः शुभाः । (४९.)
This article translates it as such:
“Kaidarya is given mixed with honey and ghee along with other drugs to bestow good growth, intelligence, strength, complexion and goodness for children up to 1 year.”
  • - Astanga Hrdaya (6)
This is similar to a more complex baby immunisation herbal remedy: Pusya Drops
Pusya Drops by Vital Veda

Hamsapadi (Good for the Voice)

Good for the voice (hamsapadi) - improves voice and soothes sore throats.
Hamsa = “Swan”
Padi = “Feet”
How to swan gracefully glides, swan is easy and smooth.
(Caraka Samhita)

Liver Health

Protects the organs, especially liver (hepato-protective) effect - anti-hepatotoxicity - has the ability to prevent damage to the liver.
Great blood purifier.
Hyperacidity
Krimi Roga (helps in parasites)
How to Use:
Simply fry the curry leaves (we like fresh, but dry is also okay), in ghee or oil with other spices, then add to your dish.
Just like we do in our kitchari or mung dahl recipe.

Other Health Benefits

Restores consciousness (samjnada).
Used in dhupana (fumigation therapy) in apasmara (epilepsy) cikitsa (treatment).
Reduces hypertension (significantly)
http://52.172.27.147:8080/jspui/bitstream/123456789/31140/1/03_A023_67173.pdf

Purifies the Kidneys
Hypoglycaemic - diabetes type 2
“Parvata nimba” - edible variety of nimba.  is useful.
Nimba is the best for Prameha.
Acts at the mulasthana of the mutravaha srotas - medas.
Good for kaphaja mutra krcchra (dysuria- juice of kaidarya + honey + ela (cardamom)"
- (Caraka)

Tanning & Meditating on Deer Skin

Dylan Smith Sitting in siddhasana on Deer Skin
Disclaimer:
Read this whole article before forming any opinion or judgments around the ethics of tanning deer skin.
This article contains photos of deer skin and its flesh.

What Drew Me to Deer Skin

When I met my friend Ei (@buckywardbucksin) she was telling me about all the different animal hinds that she tans.
Tanning is the process of converting animal skin into leather through a variety of methods. It is one of the practices of “Bush Crafts.”
I was interested in this hobby of hers, as I am mostly always interested in practices people use to connect to nature, especially practices that are radical and unfamiliar to me.
When Ei mentioned deer in the animals she was listing, it immediately sparked my interest further.
I thought about all the Yogis, Rishis (seers) and sages of India that historically meditated on deer skin; including my Guru’s Guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Maharishi's assistants would always carry a deer skin all around the world for him to sit on while he would lecture or meditate.

Not Only Ethical, But Sustainable (for Me)

Ei gets her deer hinds from a hunter in upper New South Wales who hunts for deer meat and sells it commercially.
After skinning the deer, the hunter usually throws out the skin into a landfill.
Instead of that, Ei gets the skin from the hunter (for free) and with absolute reverence for the animal, tans the skin and creates a whole range of things (Ei has a whole wardrobe of different animal hinds which she wears at parties, gatherings and during her vision quests and survival camps in the bush).
Ei is one of the most ecologically sustainable persons I have ever met. She doesn’t waste a thing!
She keeps all the offcuts from her leather that she creates to make handbag handles, she keeps the fur that sheds to make fishing lures, cushion stuffing or gives it to the compost, and keep skin scraps and reject skin offcuts to make a traditional glue (apparently this procedure was used to glue together a crashed plane on a stranded island, and it could fly again).
You’ll get a deeper insight into Ei’s sustainability throughout this article.
Due to the ethics and sustainability of this practice, my desire to connect with nature through animals, and a desire to own a deer skin to meditate on, even as a strict vegetarian (I eat eggs occasionally) for nearly a decade…
I would join Ei for 4 long days of tanning my own deer hind.

Meditating on Deer Skin

Why the Yogis and Rishis meditated or sat on deer skin:
  • Deer skin offers a soft and cushioning experience, which supports a more comfortable meditation.
  • It is said that the deer skin prevented unwanted intruders such as ants, snakes, insects and scorpions from crawling on its surface and harming the meditating yogis.
  • Deer skin effectively isolates the earth's magnetism, assisting in an unbounded cosmic experience.
  • During meditation, the energy flows upwards towards the crown, and deer skin acts to insulate against the downward pull of the earth's energy field.
  • The deer skin in its natural form (tanning it with natural substances) still has Prana (life-force) in it, which influences the meditator who sits on it.

Deer skin effectively isolates the earth's magnetism, assisting in an unbounded cosmic experience.

Why Deer?

Deer is a Sattvic (pure) animal.

Deers are herbivores or vegetarian. They are also very gentle (sattvic) creatures. The energy which is stored in their skin is considered pure and sattvic, unlike other animal skins which may transmit impurities or bad energies to those who sit upon them.
The deer skin is believed to enhance the solitary tranquility and awareness required by a a meditator or yogi who intends to go very deep (recluse / sanyasi type of people) as they absorb the pure sattvic energy as they sit.
Swami Brahmananda Saraswati
Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (a.k.a. Guru Dev) meditating on deer skin
Note that other sattvic herbivores may not produce the “neutral” effects of the deer.
You may have seen Yogis or Rishis sitting on tiger skin. This was more commonly used in invoking the wrathful aspects of consciousness or deities, and denotes rajas (stimulating and dynamic energy) rather than sattva.
Tiger skin is more powerful than deer skin, but is only to be used by yogis with great mastery over their passions or lust (kama) and anger (krodha).
Ramana Maharishi sitting on tiger skin - picture taken around 1930 in India

The relationship between Deer and the Mind

Deer represent the fickle nature (chamchalatī -  चंचलता) of the mind. 
Just as the deer wanders around elusively and is hard to catch, so is the mind. It is always wandering and it is challenging to stabilise a coherent composure with self-mastery over the mind.
This is why it is difficult for people to initiate into meditation or find extended periods of deep meditation challenging (8+ hours/day, usually relevant for reclusive ascetics / “Sanyasis”.).
This is why the texts conveying Lord Śiva (the destruction operator) sitting on Deer skin or holding a Deer in his hands represent the mastery a yogi can have over his mind.
Even in Buddhism, deer or antelope skins serve as meditation seats (asanas) for Buddhist yogis.
Lord Shiva holding a deer in his hand, sitting on a cow next to his wife Parvati
Lord Shiva holding a deer in one of his hands & Uma/Parvati sitting next to him
The Bhagavad Gita (a spiritual story and the most commentated text in the world) especially mentions deer skin for the purpose of a asana (seat) inverse (6.11):
In a clean place, having established a firm seat of his own, neither very high nor very low, covered with cloth, deer skin and kusa grass…

Deer Skin Absorbs Shakti (Divine Energy)

The skin absorbs some of the extra shakti generated during practice and becomes a valuable and nourishing aid each time you sit on it.
This is why people value the seats or cloths that gurus sit on, or the malas (necklaces) that they wear, because it absorbs their potent shakti.

TANNING DEER HIND: THE PROCESS

1. Acquire a Dead Animal or Animal Skin

This can be done in many ways such as:
  • Scavenging skins that hunters usually dispose of (we did this)
  • Harvesting roadkill (has to be warm/a fresh kill)
  • And of course hunting (if you choose this, we recommend to do sustainably with reverence)
Freshly harvested deer skin

2. Skin the deer

While the dead animal is still “warm”, skin it and preserve the skin in a freezer or salt or start the tanning process. This prevents “hair slip” - which is when the fur falls out, and from going rotten.
Unfortunately, I missed this as I had to travel for Eis workshop.
This would have been (emotionally) hard for me to see, and definitely harder to do myself, but I believe it is crucial to be able to handle whatever substance you are utilising in all its forms and stages, including its raw and gruesome forms.
For tanning leather when keeping the fur, the whole time you are working on the “inside” of the skin.

3. Scrape Off Excess Fat and Flesh

Following these steps:
  1. Once you have the skin, prop it up on a smooth log (Ei made this little apparatus).
  2. Keep some towels below the skin as padding so the skin doesn’t cut against the wood.
  3. Keep some plastic against you for cleanliness.
  4. Using a specific scraper, scrape off the remaining flesh, fat and bone-marrow. This can be kept for your pet dog to eat.
Dylan Smith scraping remains off the dear skin
This was the most confronting part for me: receiving the fleshy skin from the hunter. I wasn’t expected to be confronted or grossed out. But being a vegetarian for nearly a decade and having aversion to meat, it was like being a butcher. I soon got over it and was less previous about my hands getting dirty.
Here was a profound and beautiful connection with the individual soul of this deer. Although only the skin and some flesh remained, a unique Prana (life-force) of that soul still emanated out of the skin.
I could further understand why burning bodies assists in liberating the soul from earth into the other realms (lokas).

4. Tie Up the Skin on a Rack/Frame

Ei made these wooden frames to fit the skin.
Following these steps:
  1. Hammer in nails that stick out a couple of inches apart.
  2. Cut a hole around the edges of the skin. Use a sharp knife. It would be good to have something like a hole puncher.
  3. Using a strong steel cable or wire rope, thread through the holes and tie up to the nails to stretch the skin.
  4. Don’t tie tight as it will be adjusting as you go around the skin and frame.
  5. It’s really good to use the “Rolling Hitch Knot” as you can adjust the tightness or loosens.
Deer skin and wooden rack laying on the floor
Dylan Smith tying up deer skin to a wooden rack

5. Rack and Dry

Leave in a warm and dry place to dry.
Deer skin left to dry in the sun

6. Scrape Remaining Flesh & Membrane

  • With a specific scraper, scrape the remaining flesh and membrane.
  • This will kind of be like shaving off dried meat.
  • Don’t go too hard to rip the skin, but it is pretty sturdy.

7. Dress the Skin in Brains

  • We use the brains of that animal as an emulsifying agent.
  • Basically painting fats of the brain into the skin to replace mucous.
  • The fats of the brains are dissolved and cooked in water to make the emulsifying agent.
  • It is basically a primal and the most suitable leather conditioner.
  • It is said every animal has enough brains to dress their own skin.
  • We could not get the brain of the deer, so we got the brain of goats from a local butcher.

8. Sow Up Any Holes

  • Any holes or tears to sow up can be done now (or basically anytime in the process).
  • This is important before softening as the softening may stretch tears that are present.
  • The fibre for sowing can be sinew harvested from a kangaroo tail or similar fibre threads.

9. Softening

  • This is the most laborious and trickiest part.
  • While the skin is tied up to the rack and wet with the brains, it becomes soft and moist.
  • With a thick wooden stick or (traditionally) the elbow bone of the animal, push the stick into the skin, softening and loosening it. You are basically opening up the fibres of the skin to allow the brains to penetrate into the fibres.
Dylan Smith softening deer hind
  • You are doing this while the skin is drying. So basically, you are “fighting” against the drying process - as the skin is drying, the fibres close, tighten up and become rough. The constant “digging” or pushing into the skin is down the opposite - it is loosening and softening the skin. You basically have to do this for a whole day until the skin is dry. This way, it didn’t dry by itself and became shrivelled up and hard. It dried while you were working against that process so it didn’t shrink to much and get hard.
  • Doing this in a warm environment will make the process quicker and less laborious. You don’t want it to be too warm or you won’t “keep up” the drying/tightening process. When I did it, it was raining and cold, so I softened in a small shed with a heater on.

10. Smoking

  • The hard part is done.
  • The hind now needs to be smoked to get rid of all bacteria. This will help preserve the hind and prevent hair slip.
  • For smoking we used a homemade denim smoker made by genius Ei. Literally recycled denim jeans with some racks inside.
  • We clipped the hind inside the denim. For smaller hinds/skins, you can make a mini clothes line inside the smoker.
  • We burnt Pandanus wood from the local palm-like native shrub because the wood burns really well and long. We the burning wood in a large tin in the smoker for the whole day and re-lit the wood only 1-2x.

11. Wash and Dry

  • Only wash when the weather is warm enough to dry the skin.
  • Hand wash the hind with a wool softener or baby shampoo in a bathtub or big bucket.
  • Wash till the water is pretty clean.
  • Washing is to remove the strong smoky smell.
  • Dry in the sun or warm environment.
  • I made the mistake of washing on a rainy day and hence dried it in front of a gas heater that was too hot. This made it way too dry and hard, and I had to later do another softening!!
Deer skin laying in the sun

12. Trim and Finish

  • Cut off with quality scissors the holes, tears, off-pieces to shape the edges well.
  • Cut the offshoots in a shape where you can reuse them - sowing together for handbag handles or glue.
  • It’s ready!
There are heaps of different ways to tan animal skins.
There is vegetable tanning (tanning with plants like the decoction of certain barks. In Australia, wattle bark is traditionally used).
If you want to learn more or even attend a workshop, contact Ei on Instagram (@backyardbuckskin).
I loved getting an insight into this primal bushcraft, and can’t wait to explore it further to more deeply honor the animal kingdom.
Have you ever tanned animal hind or own any? Comment below 👇

Pushya Nakshatra Dates & Times for Sydney 2022

In Pushya Nakshatra the soul flourishes like this lotus flower

Pusya / Pushyami / Pushya Nakshatra (Nakṣatra in Sanskrit) is one of the most auspicious constellations according to Vedic Astrology (jyotish).

Pusya Nakshatra occurs during specific dates & times of the year and it presents an auspicious opportunity to start taking any new Ayurvedic herb, particularly certain Ayurvedic herbal immunisations for babies, such as Pusya Drops.

Suggested Use of Pusya Drops:

For babies up to 1 year old - 2 drops 2x/day anytime, once a month on Pushya Nakshatra.
For children over 1 years old - 10 drops once a day . For 7 consecutive days starting on Pushya Nakshatra.

Another powerful Ayurvedic formula that is particularly taken during Pusya Nakshatra is Jyotishmati. This concoction promotes spiritual evolution, kundalini energy, mental and overall health.

The dates & times below are for Sydney, Australia. We recommend searching the time for your city using the Drik Panchang website. 

We recommended leaving a good gap before/after the time given to be well in the muhurta (time period).

January 18 & 19: begins at 10:07am (18th) | ends at 12:12pm (19th)
February 14 & 15: begins at 5:23pm (14th) | ends at 7:19pm (15th)
March 14 & 15: begins at 01:36am (14th) | ends at 03:38am (15th)
April 10 & 11: begins at 09:01am (10th) | ends at 11:21am (11th)
May 7 & 8: begins at 04:48pm (7th) | ends at 07:28pm (8th)
June 3, 4 & 5:  begins at 11:35pm (3rd) | ends at 2:25am (5th)
July 1 & 2: begins at 5:37am (1st) | ends at 8:26am (2nd)
August 24 & 25: begins at 06:09pm (24th) | ends at 08:46pm (25th)
September 21 & 22: begins at 01:37am (21st) | ends at 04:17am (22nd)
October 18 & 19: begins at 10:43am (18th) | ends at 01:32am (19th)
November 14 & 15: begins at 6:45pm (14th) | ends at 09:43pm (15th)
December 12 & 13:  begins 2:06am (12th) | ends at 5:06am (13th)
 

Related Listening


Vedic Astrology Forecast 2022 + Great Truths of Light (Jyotish) | Laura Plumb #076

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Laura Plumb
An experienced Vedic Astrologer like our guest Laura Plumb can clearly see the planetary influence that manifested a chain of pandemic events in 2020 and 2021, specific to each country.

What is in store for 2022?

Understanding the influence that planetary bodies have on us not only allows us to embrace and utilise our full potential and highest Self, but also guides us on what the future inevitably holds for us.
Vedic Astrology, also known as Jyotish or “The Eye of the Veda”, is the science that allows us to perceive and interpret messages of the cosmos.

Why is it that things unraveled in this or that way?
What are the lessons that nature wanted us to learn?
What is coming up in the horizon for us?
For all of these are questions, Jyotish suggests answers, and in this episode, acclaimed Jyotishi and Ayurvedic practitioner Laura, gracefully breaks down the power of what is coming up.

About our guest: Laura Plumb

Laura Plumb is the Founder and Director of VedaWise, and lead faculty for the Ayurvedic Integrated Nutrition 200 hour Professional Training, author of the best-selling book Ayurveda Cooking For Beginners, creator/presenter of the online video course The Medicine In Your Kitchen: Introduction to Ayurvedic Cooking hosted by Spirituality & Health, host of the 53-part television show CleanseVeda, and the 12-part series called Divine Yoga.

Formerly the General Manager of The Discovery Channel Europe, Laura offers clinical services in natural medicine for whole person wellness, and health practitioner trainings in the Vedic sciences. She leads many online courses, and gives classes and consultations in Ayurveda, Jyotish, Yoga Therapy, Whole Food Cooking and Nutrition. Additonally Laura has served as a contributing Ayurvedic educator at the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine, is an Ambassador for Banyan Botanicals and runs The Sophia Camp for Girls  – a week every summer dedicated to cultivating self-esteem, self-care and self-regulation through Yoga, Ayurveda, mentoring and creative play.

Laura Plumb

As a graduate of the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, the American Institute of Vedic Studies, and decades of study into Yoga, Meditation, Vedanta, Jyotish, herbal medicine, nutrition, health and healing, Laura is an international educator on the power of the Vedic sciences to promote radical health and sacred, sumptuous living.


In this Episode we Discuss:

The Planetary Arrangements That We’ve Experienced On The Last Few Months of 2021

The lunar eclipse on the 26th of May 2021 in Scorpio & solar eclipse on the 10th of June in Taurus.  
Mars and Ketu are in tight conjunction in the sign of Scorpio. 
We started the Rahu-Ketu Antardasha and will be inside “the serpent” for a few months. 

Sri Yukteswar, Paramahamsa Yogananda & The Wisdom of the Vedas


The lineage of Paramahamsa Yogananda, and a story from "Autobiography of a Yogi"
The concept of “Truth” and our capacity to move towards it or away from it. 
Jyotish as “The Eye of The Veda”. 
The divine siddhis of the ancient Vedic rishis & how they cognized this all-embracing wisdom. 

The Astrological Blessings of the Pandemic

In December 2019 there was a major Solar Eclipse that also involved Mercury, Jupiter & Saturn.
Jupiter has been for a long time trapped by the grip of Saturn, so both teacher planets were together in the sign of Capricorn until November 2021. 
  • The lessons of Saturn usually come in the form of constriction, of letting go of certain things, of turning within. Saturn is the Yogi, the ascetic. He teaches the lessons of Shiva. 
When COVID First came we had Rahu in Gemini and Khetu in Sagittarius. 
  • We had an air Sun and an Air lunar node, causing a lot of vata. 
  • The Khetu in a fire sign was causing a lot of fire (literally wildfires), flu, infection, anger and general chaos. 
Rahu and Khetu moved around September 20th 2020 into Taurus and Scorpio respectively. 
  • These shadow planets are exalted in these signs, so they stoped being as damaging as they were on the year prior.  

Jyotish Forecast for 2022

In November 2021, Jupiter moved into the sign of Aquarius and it will stay there until April 13th.
  • Jupiter becomes here much more hopeful, optimistic & expansive in terms of scientific & technological breakthroughs, cutting-edge science. 
  • Jupiter in Aquarius fosters a great capacity for spiritual growth. There is great room for spiritual & humanitarian advancements. 
After April 13th 2022, Jupiter moves into Pisces, its own ruling sign. 
  • It brings the invitation for those who did not find a meditation practice yet, to embark on that journey.
  • Since Pisces is a feminine sign, it’ll bring out the most feminine qualities of Jupiter. It’ll be more embodied, touching & heart-centered.
  • Jupiter stands for wisdom, growth, expansion, connection, union amongst humans, hope, faith, and compassion.
  • Pisces is very related to the medical sciences because it brings in the compassion to help others heal and restore wholeness. 
In May 1st 2022, Saturn will leave Capricorn, after two and a half years there, and will move into Aquarius. 
  • Saturn loves structure. Shanni will help lay the foundations to all of that which Jupiter in Aquarius helped envision. 
  • This is a time for us to have a clear understanding of what we want to build or materialize in our lives. This time holds the promise of fulfillment of said plans if the proper intention is there. 
  • Saturn when in Aquarius and Capricorn is empowered. And Saturn represents the people, the common folk. This placement of Saturn allows for the light to shine over the will of the people. It turns the tables and gives them the power to choose for themselves, where to live, how to live, what job to do, etc. 
In March 2022, Rahu and Khetu are moving into Aires and Libra respectively. 
  • This is very relevant, especially for those who have their lagna (ascendant/rising sign) or chandra (moon) in these signs. 
  • During this time there might be some restlessness, some shadows may start to appear, or already existing ones may be revealed to us. 
  • We may be feeling more hunger and desire for material gain. 
  • It is important that we don’t let these influences eat our minds. Remember Ganesh, remember the light of consciousness. Unbind yourself from these influences. 
    • It is important to do the upāyas, the remedies. 
      • For more information on what upāyas are good for you and the afflicted planets in your chart, reach out to a quality Jyotish practitioner. You can find one close to you here.
  • The lunar nodes determine the signs in which the eclipse happens. The next lunar and solar eclipses will happen in these two signs. 

Resources

Laura's Website HERE

Laura’s Instagram (@lauraplumb) HERE 

-

Hanuman Chalisa by Maxiji HERE

Hanuman Chalisa by Govindas and Radha HERE


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The Super-Nectar Ayurvedic Beverage that is Beyond Divine & Simple to Make: Takra | Dylan Smith #075

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Takra / Thin Lassi
There is a certain beverage in Ayurveda which supersedes “superfood status” and offers an impressive spectrum of therapeutic benefits. This simple beverage is even categorised with “divine status.”
And the awesome part? This beverage is ridiculously simple to stir up.
The beverage is called “Takra” in Ayurveda, which refers to buttermilk or “thin lassi.”

In this Episode we Discuss:

What is Takra?

Takra is the liquid that is left over from churning the butter out of fermented or cultured cream or yogurt.  If cream is left out for a while the naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria will lower the pH, making it more acidic, which then allows the fat/butter to separate.
Butter-milk is of 3 types:
  1. From which fat is completely removed; - kapha, mandagni, low strength.
  2. From which half of the fat is removed; - good for pitta, moderate power of agni, and if the patient has moderate strength.
  3. From which fat is not at all removed. – vayu, strong agni, patient has enough strength.
Takra’s Tri-Doshic Effect
Thin lassi is known as one of the only foods that pacifies all doshic combinations (various body constitutions).

The Vedic Mythology of Takra / Thin Lassi

The Story of Lord Indra, Ahalyā and Maharishi Gautama:
  • Lord Indra impersonating the rishi to be able to lay with his wife, Ahalyā.
  • The vile curse of Maharishi Gautama, and how the Ashwini brothers declared takra to be the cure for it. 
Takram śakra Durlabham | Lord Indra can’t even get Takra.
Other Devatas missing out on Takra:
Painting of Indra and Ahalyā
Indra, impersonating Gautama, and Ahalyā
  • Lassi is the antidote to the poison in Shiva's throat (Nīla Kantha)
  • Ganesh wouldn’t have a belly if he drank lassi (it would help him digest, lose weight and be less bloated).

The Recipe for Thin Lassi

Mix one tablespoon of yoghurt with a cup of water, mix it with a fork, and drink.
The exact ideal ratio of yoghurt to water should be 1:14.
  • Those looking to make the takra a bit more thick can do a ratio of 1:6 or even 1:4.
    • Thick Lassi is great for those suffering from loose bowel motion/loose stools or diarrhoea.
Yoghurt used:
  • Homemade yoghurt - to learn how to make your own yoghurt check out the reel we posted on our Instagram page (@vitalveda).  
Different ingredients to add:
  • Dried mango + cumin seeds roasted in ghee + buttermilk - best drink.
  • Milk and Lassi are always better to have with spices.
  • Anything but sour or fruit. Cocoa or carob.
  • Amla (Indian goose berry) or honey added to the yoghurt will counter the channel-blocking qualities in yoghurt.
      • Amla pickle - wait a year till they turn black
      • Rice + blended yoghurt + Amla pickle.

Thin Lassi for Dairy Intolerant People

Food intolerances are the product of an imbalanced digestive fire, also known as Agni 🔥. 
  • To decide that one is going to stop eating a certain type of food merely because it cannot be digested properly is not a solution to the root problem. 
  • The Agni needs to be enlivened in such a way that allows for the proper digestion of that food and then one can gradually re-introduce said food. 
    • To read more about the Ayurvedic view on how to overcome food intolerances click here.
    • To learn more about how to use Ayurvedic principles to bring your Agni back to balance, check out our online course: “The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition”.
Takra, or Thin Lassi, is actually an excellent way to reintroduce dairy once the Agni has been brought back to balance. 
  • You can prepare the lassi very thin and even add a pinch of salt. 
  • Another option is to make the lassi, let the yogurt simmer to the bottom of the glass, and then drink only the water. 

How Often Should One Drink Takra / Lassi

Lassi is described as Nitya Ahara | Nitya Sevaniya Ahara Dravya 
  • Lassi is one of the foods that can be had every day. 
Some Vaidyas even say it is mandatory to be had daily.
Contra-indications: Perhaps not for those with aggravated kapha, suffering of sinus congestion, or with strong dairy intolerance.
When to Drink it:
Especially during the summer, avoid during dinner, with lunch or as a snack.

The Difference Between Yoghurt and Thin Lassi

Yoghurt:
  • Atyanda (more) Abhishyandi (blocking).
  • One can eat it until 16-20 years old, past that point it is not advised.
  • Amla (Indian goose berry) or honey added to the yoghurt will counter the channel-blocking qualities in yoghurt.
      • Amla pickle - wait a year till they turn black
      • Rice + blended yoghurt + Amla pickle.

Benefits of Takra / Thin Lassi

“Those who daily take takra do get sick not have diseases, and any disease cured from takra will not return. Have no doubt that what Amrita is the Nectar of the Devata, so Takra is the Nectar to Humans.”
~ BhavaPrakash Nigantu

“Pharmacy in a glass”
~ Vaidya JR Raju.
Eyes:
Good for itchy eyes, sore eyes, tired eyes; even for those suffering from degenerative eye diseases. 
Skin:
Good for eczema, psoriasis, general inflammation, dermatitis, acne and several other skin diseases.
It brings a moist glow to the skin.
Pitta Shamaka:
  • Very hydrating & cooling. 
  • Protects against heat strokes, hot flashes & other heat-related ailments. 
Digestion:
Lactic acid bacteria:
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) help ‘pre-digest’ your food and also add the bacteria’s digestive metabolites to the food. Pre-digestion makes the foods digestion much easier and brings far more nutrients into the body.
And the bacteria metabolites, which is basically bacteria poop has incredible health benefits since it includes enzymes, antibodies, vitamins, exopolysaccharides, and more!
  • Detoxifies the GIT.
  • Alkaline drink.
  • Increases absorption of nutrients.
  • Good post surgery / pancakarma / rehabilitating gut 
  • Adoption of this procedure will promote and maintain his energy, maintain the kāyāgni and promote his strength, plumpness and complexion.
Helps regulate optimal weight.
  • To loose weight - drink takra
  • To put on weight - add sugar, rose water, cardamom and make it sweet.
    • Spoon off the foamy stuff (part that clogs peoples body, like the foam of ghee).
            • Leave the foam in for weak/debilitated or emaciated people.
Buttermilk cleanses the srotas as a result of which rasa reaches appropriately. 
More benefits:
  • Hair health - good for thinning hair, greying of hair and baldness.
    • In this cases, pitta (fire element) is burning the hair follicles. 
  • Keeping veins and arteries clear
  • Kill viruses
  • Hemorrhoids / piles
    • “There is no medicine, better than butter-milk, for the cure of piles caused by the predominance of aggravated vayu and kapha" - Caraka, Cikitsa Sthana
  • Asthma: add to the Takra mostly fenugreek (also mustard seeds + cumin seeds) cooked in ghee or mustard oil in an iron pot.

Takradhara Treatment

To read all about this treatment click here.

Resources

Book a consultation with Dylan HERE

The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition Course HERE

Article: How to Overcome Food Intolerances HERE

Recipe for Sweet Lassi HERE

Recipe for Digestive Lassi HERE

Recipe for Cooling Lassi HERE


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Health Benefit of Having a Pet Dog (and kissing it) – Microbial Diversity

House dog licking a baby's face
Not only are your* reproductive organs becoming sterile, but your whole physiology as well.
You* are becoming a hyper-sensitive organism that lacks basic resiliency to the ever-changing and developing dynamics of life, which include bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and fungi.
You eat, work, sleep, defecate, and perhaps even exercise in these sterile cubicles, while artificial blue light (screens & lights) aggravates your hormones and mental state.
The only things your bare-feet touch are socks + rubber shoes, chemical floor cleaners and carpets, toxic tap water on your shower tiles cleaned with chlorine or bleach, and your dioxin rich 100% (non-organic) cotton bed sheets.

*By You/Your I exaggeratedly refer to the average of today’s collective. While this is an extreme end of the spectrum, sadly it is the truth for too many people, particularly those living in concrete jungle over-sanitised cities. 

Our microbiome, which makes up most of the human physiology and performs all the vital biological functions, is frailer than ever before.
There are a bunch of ways to enhance microbial diversity and performance, but one way is getting a pet dog!
  • A dog goes outside, gets dirty, and licks everyone.
  • They dump the dirt everywhere in the house.
  • The kids lick the dog.
  • The kid slobbers all over the parents and siblings.
This is a terrific way to get the microbes from outside into you.
Studies overseen by Dr. Brett Finlay were able to identify which families had a dog in the house by detecting (dog) microbes in the children’s feces.
While the contrary may occur (pets bring in infections), we need to drop the “good/bad” microbe/bacteria mentality and enhance our microbial diversity and resilience.
Golden Retriever Dog

How do you enhance the health of your microbiome? Comment 👇


How to Be Vital & Healthy In The Second Half of Your Life | Dr John Douillard #074

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Dr. John Douillard
The lifespan for today’s era according to Ayurveda should be around 120 years old.
This doesn’t mean living into old age feeling frail and in a state of cognitive decline, it means feeling vital and able to share your wisdom and joy with full cognitive function for all to enjoy.
At 65, Dr. John Douillard is an exemplar of what it means to be healthy in the second half of life.
Dr. John is a globally recognised leader in the field of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine and practices what he preaches.
He has personally been a significant inspiration to me (Dylan) and has taught me a lot in my years, along with thousands of other practitioners of Ayurveda.
Dr. John’s specialty is integrating ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with modern science, which he shares generously through Lifespa.com - the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web.

About our guest: Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 9 million views on YouTube and over 130 thousand newsletter subscribers. LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with thousands of articles and videos joining ancient wisdom with modern science.

Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 7 health books including his newest Amazon bestseller Eat Wheat, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and newly released Yoga Journal video course Ayurveda 201 on Ayurvedic Psychology. 

He directs LifeSpa Ayurvedic Clinic, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the Year in Boulder, CO.

Dr. John Douillard

In this Episode we Discuss:

Dr. John’s Journey of Adopting Ayurveda in the Early Days

Studying with the Raju Vaidyas
His own personal journey as a practitioner & how his relationship with Ayurveda evolved to what it is today.

Blending Ancient Wisdom With Modern Science

The fine balance between surrendering to a higher intelligence that appears to be less tangible and more unknown, while striving to intelligibly cognize the How’s and Why’s behind the ancient principles of Ayurveda. 

The Promise of The Second Half of One’s Life

“The Wisdom Years” or the Vata stage of life. It’s a time to apply the wisdom attained during one’s lifetime. 
Approaching life with a more mature and self-aware perspective. Knowing what our purpose is, what serves that purpose and what doesn’t; and acting accordingly. 
Having more time to be fully immersed and devoted to one’s own sadhana, dinacharya and ritucharya.

The True Purpose of Ayurveda

Allowing not only for the physiology to be in optimum condition, but to also achieve a still & fulfilled state of mind that empowers one to engage with life wholeheartedly.
Aligning one’s actions not only with mother nature, but with the essential nature of the Self (atma), so that the inner light that each of us hold comes to the surface for all to enjoy and thrive upon.

Ancient Techniques That Refine Our Capacity to Live Life to The Fullest

Using pranayama, mantra, asana, meditation, nasya and other techniques to cleanse & purify the mind of the different samskaras or impressions that have been imprinted on us during our life, especially our childhood.

The Often Overlooked Benefits of Nasya Therapy & Panchakarma

The Nasya technique was not only intended to heal the sinuses on a physiological level, but rather to cleanse the mind and heal it on a higher vibrational and spiritual level.  
Panchakarma cleanses the body of gross impurities and samskaras, so that it can have more clarity on the subtlest levels of perception - allowing for the letting go of patterns of deep-rooted emotional behaviour.

The Science Behind Pranayama

The relationship between oxygen assimilation and carbon dioxide levels. 
Why it is essential for us to practice intermittent hypoxia. 
To learn more about the science of breath & its therapeutic applications, listen to "Just Breath: Science of Breathing for Optimal Health | The Breathing Diabetic (Nick Heath) #072"
Recommended breathwork techniques:
  • Kumbhaka
  • Pratiloma (a.k.a. Inspiratory Muscle Training). 

Seasonally Drinking Cow's Milk

In Spring cows are having their calves, so during the spring & summer their milk should be for them. 
During the fall & winter there is a window for the dairy farmer to step in and take some of that milk to drink, make ghee, etc. 

Food Intolerances & The "Gluten Free" Concept

It is not advised to stop eating gluten. 
The hard-to-digest foods (wheat, dairy, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, nightshades, etc.) are irritants to the intestinal lining, and one of their many benefits is that they significantly stimulate gut immunity, which in turn represents 70% of your immune response. 
If intolerant to some type of food, there’s work to be done so that you can overcome the intolerance and allow your body to properly digest said food. 
  • To stop eating certain foods is never the solution; the underlying imbalance that prevents you from eating them is still going to be there. 
  • To read more about how the Ayurvedic view on food intolerances & how to overcome them click HERE

Resources

Dr. John's Website HERE

Dr. John’s Instagram (@lifespa) HERE 


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


Ayurveda Is Not Indian, It’s Universal | Dylan Smith #073

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Ayurveda Is Not Indian, It's Universal
Ayurveda is has been dubbed “Indian medicine” or “traditional Indian medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine certainly has a pronounced presence throughout India and has so for the past millennia, but Ayurveda is not only Indian, it is universal.
But why does Ayurveda seem to be so active in India?
This is true and an interesting point.
Although Ayurveda has been in the past and has the potential today to express itself fully in any country in the world, Ayurvedic wisdom and practices are well rooted and expressed throughout India.
India and its culture exceptionally have and continue to uphold and nourish this precious knowledge, as well as act as a safe source for those who want to contact it.
Even throughout various invasions where Moguls and British have targeted Vaidyas (Ayurvedic physicians) in an attempt to delete the healing wisdom, we can be thankful that the body of knowledge was safely hidden from those with dire intentions & passed down in sacred lineages of teachers and students. Indian culture and traditions have therefore assured the safekeeping and cultivation of this ancient science.
In this podcast episode we will dive deep into why Ayurveda lasted and continues to flourish in India, compared to other countries. We also explore how at the primordial root and heart of Ayurveda we can find universal laws of nature that can be expressed through any country, culture, or tradition.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Ayurveda Appearing in Other Parts of the World

Ayurveda was strongly utilised in Greek medicine and the time of Hippocrates.
Buddhist and Jain religions utilised it.
Tibet, Persia and Mongolia. 
Even through to modern science, where a few of Nobel Prizes in Medicine were awarded to modern scientists in the past 25 years for discoveries that are basically Ayurveda 101!
Ayurvedic principles permeate throughout ancient Greek medicine and the time of Hippocrates – which follows a similar model of the biological humours.
Indian culture became diversified and spread into different areas, particularly Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Ayurveda was adapted by different religions, like the Buddhist and Jain, who added their own insights to the system.
The Buddhists also followed Ayurveda, except for its surgical portion. The great sage and siddha Nagarjuna (c. 100 CE), who is probably the most important Buddhist teacher after the Buddha was also an Ayurvedic doctor. He wrote a commentary on Sushruta Samhita and developed many Ayurvedic alchemical preparations used to the present day. 
Tibetan Ayurveda developed after Buddhism manifested in Tibet in the 8th C.
Persian times of Ayurveda were a source of traditional Chinese medicine as well as corresponding with homeopathy.
Caraka Samhita Spreading Across the World
Caraka Samhita was so popular that it spread beyond religion, race and philosophical views:

Illustrator of a doctor working on a patient over a Greek vase
Tibetan Illustration showcasing the chakras and the channels of the energy body
  1. Translated into Arabic at the beginning of 8th Century A.D.
  2. As “Sharaka Indianus,Carakas name appears in the Latin translations of Avicena (significant physician, astronomer, thinker and writers of the Islamic Golden Age), Razes (genius physician from Iran) and Serapion. 
  3. Translated from Sanskrit to Persian and from Persian into Arabic in (980 A.D.).
  4. Used by the Barmakids (an Iranian influential family who were originally hereditary Buddhist leaders and subsequently came to great political power in Baghdad.
  5. Alberuni’s (Iranian scholar and polymath- a person of wide knowledge) chief source of medicine was the Arabic edition of Caraka.
  6. Translated into Tibetan language and subsequently into Mongolian and other related languages.

Why is Ayurveda so Strong in India?

1. The Cultural Alignment to Kala (Time) and Charyas (Routines):
    • Dincarya
    • RtuCharya
    • Pakshacharya
    • Jyotish Maintenance (through festivals and rituals).
2. Festivals and ritual
3. India is the land of the Ved. 
4. The food and diet principles of Ayurveda are maintained in India (to some degree at least).
  • “Ayu” without the Ved is being taught today in many Ayurveda degrees in Indian universities.

It's important to honor South Asia - as the Vedas are strong there: India, Burma, Nepal.

Resources

Book a consultation with Dylan HERE

Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition Course HERE

Introductory Self Pulse w/ The Raju Family Course HERE

Learn Self Pulse Level 2 w/ The Raju Family Course HERE


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.