On the day of Makar-sankranti, the chariot of the Sun-god enters the Makar-rashi (one of the zodiacs). The process of entering a new sign of zodiac occurs every month, but since the Sun enters the makar-rashi in this month, thus a distinguishing meritorious period is generated. During this span, the sattvaguna (quality of goodness) is specially enhanced and the elements increasing the resistance towards diseases are acquired.
This whole month is considered a festival month.
On the other days, the merit of bathing in the Ganges is obtained only when we actually take a dip in it, but during the Magh month, the effect of Sun-rays is such that the waters of all the water-reservoirs on earth are considered as pure and beneficial as Gangajal. Nowadays, many medical scientists after studying the glory of the compassion and benedictions of Sun-god, are bringing forth stunning results by employing it in the medical field.
Dr. Hej Heuki says, “The rays of the Sun are more beneficial than medicines. The medicines destroy the useful bacteria along with the harmful ones.”
Dr. Hej Handrik found out through experiments that the rays of the Sun quickly penetrate into the body and increase the resistance towards diseases and make good the deficiency if any of any particular color.
The color doctors put it this way, “The deficiency of yellow color causes this disease, and deficiency of violet color causes that…” Ayurvedic doctors say that the vata, pita and kapha (the three humours) contain such-such color and that all the seven colors are granted by the Sun.
A scientist called Gardener Roni incurred wonderful benefits from Sun-therapy. He writes, “The body becomes so strong by Sun therapy that it ejects the harmful bacteria and becomes capable of protecting itself on its own.” Gardener Roni cured many patients by using the Sun-therapy.
I give you a nice technique of maintaining an excellent health. Do tribandha (the three bandhas – Jalandharbandha, Uddiyanbandha and Mulbandha) pranayama in the Sunlight – five pranayamas facing towards the Sun and other five turning your back towards the Sun. This will bathe the whole body in the Sun-rays or also you can perform Surya-Namaskara (Sun-salutation) in the presence of Sun-rays. Don’t ever look directly towards the Sun. The Sun-rays should certainly be made to fall on the navel. For 5 to 8 minutes, one should sit such as to make the rays fall on navel and for 8-10 minutes, sit turning the back towards Sun. Everyone should practice Sun-bath for a robust health and long-life.
The son of Lord Sri Krishna, Saamb was suffering from various disorders of skin and digestion. Finding that he was not reviving, Sri Krishna said to him, “I obtained a good health and various other benefits by worshipping the Sun-God. I meditated on Sun-god and performed Sun-bath after doing pranayama etc. in its rays. Saamb! You should also worship the Sun.”
Lord Sri Krishna advised his ill son, Saamb to do Sun-bath, to offer libation to Him (the Sun) and perform Surya-Namaskara and ultimately to meditate on him in the space between both the eyebrows (bhrikuti). Saamb was restored to health by following this.
The scientists are saying now but five thousand years back, the father of all scientists, Lord Sri Krishna, and even before Him, our rishis had already told about the health-restoring qualities of the Sun. But we don’t worship the Sun just for this that we may be rendered health, that the rays would provide Vitamin-D on entering through the skin and thereby cure skin diseases. The Sun-bath will undoubtedly bring about material benefits, but our outlook is not restrained only to the mortal body by gaining material benefits. The rishis of India have their eyes set on realizing the Self, the Lord, and these additional benefits shall come along without restraint.
Just as on performing Surya-Namaskara, naturally the pranayamas are themselves performed. Pranayamas open the pores of the lungs, and asanas activate the stiffened organs. Surya-Namaskara is essentially performed after Sun-rise so that the body gets the benefit of Sun-rays and also worship of Sun during sunrise brings purity in the intellect. Only a sattvik (purified) intellect can experience the Supreme-Being. Thus, Sun-worship is especially important on the day of Uttarayana. Apart from this, it is also a custom/rule to offer til (sesame seeds) and rice to Lord Shiva and to offer libation of water (with til and rice mixed in it).
Til (sesame seed) is considered to be of special importance on this festival. To rub on the body the paste of til while bathing; to bathe with til-mixed water; to drink til-mixed water; to perform Havana (sacrificial ladle) withtil; to consume til and to give away (as alms) til – all these activities are destroyers of sin and granters of merits. Performing virtuous deeds and giving donation hold special importance on this day. Some people donate money while others give away til-gur (raw sugar). On the contrary, I would want you to consign ‘yourself’ to the feet of the Lord. Pray to Him, “O Lord! Take my individuality, my ego and all that which belongs to me along with taking me.”
That which you considered ‘me’ and ‘mine’ – if you bestow all that to God, then what shall be left behind? Only the Lord…!
Health Care After Uttarayan
Health Care After Uttarayana: The Sun starts moving northwards after the day of Makar Sankranti. The sunrays become more intense. This causes the Kapha accumulated in the body to melt. The aggravated Kapha slowly weakens the strong appetite experienced during the winter months. Therefore, it becomes necessary to modify your diet according to the seasonal changes.
One should discontinue the heavy nourishing diet recommended for the winter months and start taking simple and easily digestible food. According to Ayurveda, consumption of heavy, oily, sweet and sour foods, and sleeping during daytime should be avoided in this season. Now the diet should comprise of easily digestible foods -sharp, bitter or astringent in taste like Lai, grams, ginger, dried ginger, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, barley, old wheat, moong, horse grams, sahjan (saragva), papaya and sesame or mustard oil.
It is advisable to fast once a week or fortnight. This pacifies the Kapha and helps increase the appetite. Abstain from Kapha-aggravating foods like yogurt, sweet and sour fruits (especially banana, guava and custard-apple) and sweets. A regular dose of Madhvarishta, Draksharishta, or Dashmoolarishta, etc. after meals is considered beneficial for people with low appetite. Breathe out (bahya kumbhak) and contract your stomach inwards then move it to and fro in quick succession in the same kumbhak state while chanting rum , the Beeja Mantra of the Element of fire. This has a wonderful stimulating effect on the digestive fire. His Divine Holiness Bapuji makes the participants of Dhyana Yoga Shibirs practise this technique very often.
People with a Kapha-dominated constitution, are especially prone to Kapha-disorders during this period. Even if you do happen to suffer an attack of cough, cold, fever, tonsillitis or such illnesses, there is no need to consume allopathic medicines which dry up the Kapha. The toxic chemical contents of these medicines and the dried Kapha later give rise to terminal diseases like cancer. Fast for a day or so when suffering from such disorders. Drink only water boiled with dried ginger while fasting. The next day, take water boiled with moong or horse gram. Gradually, return to your regular diet. Follow the health rules meticulously and the afflictions will disappear.
Things to be remembered during the change of season:
* Take 3 gms of harad powder mixed with honey in the morning
* Drink fresh cow urine or Gojharan Ark prepared by the ashram.
* Rather than using commercial cough syrups, use Tulsi Ark prepared by the ashram to combat cough- related disorders. Make it a routine to chew 5 to 7 Tulsi leaves every morning. This will improve your immunity. (One should not pluck Tulsi-leaves on Sunday, Full Moon Day, New Moon day or the 12th lunar day.)
* Do Suryabhedi pranayam. Procedure : Take a deep breath through the right nostril. Hold it within as long as you can, preferably for 45 to 60 seconds. Release the breath slowly through the left nostril. This activates the Suryanaadi that helps pacify the kapha.
* Perform Gajakarani, an ayurvedic method of body purification. Procedure: It is practised early in the morning on an empty stomach. Add 20gms of salt (rock salt is preferable) to two litres of lukewarm water. Then sit on your heels and take as much of this drink as possible. When you cannot drink any more and the water inside your body seems would come out any moment, put the two big fingers of your right hand into the cavity of the throat and vomit the water out completely. When the stomach feels empty and relaxed, take rest for about five minutes.
Take semiliquid khichri after an hour of doing Gajakarani. Do not drink water, sleep or take a bath with cold water upto three hours of taking your meal. At first take some luke warm water after three hours of your meal. Gajakarani protects one from many afflictions.
If the Kapha related problems still persist, one may take recourse to the following specific remedies.
For Cough and Cold
*Take Sant Kripa Churna with honey twice daily.
*Take 5 gms each of camphor, nutmeg and mace, 10 gms cloves, 15 gms Cobra’s Saffron, 20 gms black pepper, 25 gms peeper and 30 gms dried ginger. Grind all these into a powder. Take one or two gms of this mixture along with honey in the morning and evening.
*Take 15 to 20 Aldusa leaves with an equal number of tulsi leaves and half a tablespoon of ajwain and boil them into a concoction. Take 30 to 40 ml of this mixture with honey in the morning and evening. Even inhaling the steam of this concoction provides relief from Kapha.
Cough Problems in Small Children.
* Boil a ladies finger in one glass of water till half the water evaporates. Add a pinch each of clove and ajwain powder to this and administer it to the child. The Kapha will be cleared out either through vomiting or stool.
*Take dried ginger, black pepper, peeper one part each along with 8 parts of turmeric and grind them into a mixture. Take 1 to 2 gms of this mixture 2 to 3 times a day with honey.
*Take Triphala Guggal tablets (500mgs) three times with lukewarm water.
*Take Yashtimadhu, ghanavati or khadiradivati by letting them dissolve in the mouth.
*Tie a scarf around your neck.
*People suffering from asthma should consult an expert vaid and go through a special Ayurvedic vomiting course under his guidance during vasant ritu. This keeps one free from asthma-related problems throughout the year.
* Alternatively, pick up the fallen leaves of the holy fig tree and let them dry well. Then incinerate them and filter the resultant ash. Take 6 gms of this filtered ash with honey twice daily. This annihilates asthma in due course of time. People, who are unable to get any lasting relief even after spending lakhs of rupees on medicines, have attained tremendous benefits from this technique which takes only a months time to cure asthma completely… Forever.
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