Here is an easy way to make a wonderful, nutritious, and delicious Ayurvedic meal in under 10 minutes start to finish at about 50 cents per serving. It can serve as a breakfast, snack, or light lunch or dinner.
Soak poha in a pot or bowl of hot water for five or so minutes. Transfer to colander to drain.
Start tarka. (Tarka is a term for spices in hot ghee. It is believed that the hot ghee emancipates the higher properties of the spices.)
Put ghee in skillet. Put on medium heat until melted. Add mustard seeds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Listen for popping sounds of the seeds. A delightful flowery fragrance should be released. Reduce heat to low. Only now, add curry leaves and stir. Add chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Stir.
Add peanuts and stir. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir again.
Add drained poha and stir, evenly distributing the color. Optionally, pomegranate seeds can be added. Serve.
Add squeezed lime to plated poha.
Ayurvedic Six Tastes:
Below is the classical ancient empty chart of Jyotisha. Its diamonds and squares rightly can be said to describe all of space-time.
Here it is with the houses labeled in order according to the schema of kaala purusha, the grand personage of time.
The sectors are numbered one through twelve and can represent anything including the daily travel of the Sun (which is also the soul, Atman). The four notable sandhis of that solar soular travel can be depicted in the following way according to the Sun's placement at those times.
The unlabeled sectors here can just be considered the in-between times between those sandhis.
Since there are 24 hours in the day and 12 sectors, in this schema each sector can be said to represent 2 hours.
In Ayurveda, the doshas occur in the following daily time frames:
More specifically, the organs of the body follow a daily rhythm of activation as well (image below is from svasthaayurveda.com).
A very brief analysis on the theory of fire from an Ayurvedic and Jyotish perspective:
Fire element has lately been on my mind. Mars has been strong in Scorpio, its own sign, the last couple of months, and even now, in Sagittarius, it continues to be strong.
My own inward pitta has been quite high, befitting the transits, a surge in thinking about fire has flowed forth, and my appreciation of the special place of fire has increased. I hope to show you why.
The five elements in the theory of yoga, Ayurveda, and Jyotish are
I have written before of how the knowing of them is at least equal in beauty, power, and insight as knowing the periodic table.
There are three pitta planets in Jyotish:
The chemistry of combustion is relevant here.
According to the linked material, combustion can happen in only two ways:
1. the relatively unusual method without carbon, used with rocket fuel, e.g.
Here, vata is completely transformed to pitta (the combination of water and fire). Since space element is on both sides of the equation, in effect, air is transformed to pitta.
2. the more common method with carbon, used with charcoal, e.g.
where z = x + y/4.
Here earth and air are completely transformed to air and pitta. Since air is on both sides of the equation, in effect, earth is transmuted to pitta.
Thus, only pitta represents transformation itself.
Kapha can not be transformed into Vata, nor vice versa.
Earth and air can become pitta through methods 1 and 2 above, but again, not vice versa.
Pitta truly is at the apex of the equilateral triangle representing the three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha.
It is appropriate then that the tantric symbol for fire is the triangle.
which even looks like a flame.
We see this everywhere.
To be sure, fire is needed for any transformation, and transformation is
The heat is tamas, Mars. That is why Mars is a tamasic graha.
The light is Sun. Sattva. That is why the Sun is a sattvic graha.
The flame itself is highly movement-oriented, and rajasic, movement for movement's sake, and may be represented by Ketu.
Thus, pitta represent all three of the mahagunas of sattva, rajas, and tamas.
Finally, to increase your own pitta, including sadhaka pitta of brilliance of the brain, know that fire requires the twin fuels of carbon and oxygen, of earth and air. (Space as well, but that is assumed and everywhere in the equations, unchanging, unmoving, perfect, and everywhere.)
Increase your pitta by eating well (the fuel of carbon) and breathing well (the fuel of oxygen).
Everything else will surely take care of itself, the flames moving to a dance of their own accord, transforming you in a way you can trust, in a way that is uniquely complete.
Thus, only pitta involves the totality of life, the totality of the material universe, of all five of the five elements, as well as all three of the mahagunas.
Fire is life.
Perhaps this is why the all-important first word of the Rig Veda is agni, flame, and perhaps this is why Dr. Lad says that agni, our own inner flame, is our life, its measure, its potential, and its meaning.
This is why one must attend to one's own inner pilot light, one's cellular agni, so that the flames of perception, transformation, and power are lit appropriately. Do you feel your agni may be low? No need for worry. There are herbs for that.
I spoke with the great Sonia Masocco in January of 2017. I recommend Sonia’s herbal services at the highest level.
The audio to the interview was initially lost and then found 2.5 years later but in somewhat of a corrupted state. I am so glad to finally release the partial transcript of this interview about plants and planets. I hope you will enjoy reading the conversation as much as I had in having it!
Renay Oshop (RO): So here we are. AyurAstro is with Sonia Masocco. I thought of Sonia directly and exclusively with the theme of plants and planets. She has developed quite a wonderful teaching program and Ayurvedic phyto-products down there in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am really happy to have Sonia Masocco join me for today. Hi Sonia!
Sonia Masocco (SM): Hello and thank you for having me! I am very excited actually to share my phytotherapy knowledge with all of you, and I am very excited about this topic, about the plants and the planets, because it is something that has given passion to me for quite a long time.
RO: Wonderful, I can’t wait to hear more. I have a few prepared questions for you. I wanted to ask you first how did you begin your work with plants?
SM: Well, now I am aging myself, but it was around twenty years ago. I was in Hong Kong, and I was basically in a work environment that was not conducive to my basic dreams and soulwork, and I actually found someone who worked with essences. My first approach to working with clients was actually working with the Bach flower remedies, and they did work on a very subtle, mental, emotional level. And that was just the start, the tipping point to make me dive deeper into the plant world.
So, it started with the essences, making very, very subtle medicine, and it worked more on the mental, emotional, negative aspects of the psyche and turning that into positive gifts, into basically being fascinated by the fact that you can have one plant that can, on the subtle level, yield these effects on emotions, but on a deeper level also work on bruises or contusions. So, I said I have to learn about this as well.
So, from essences I went to very deep – I call it the most strong of the plant medicines which is actually aromatherapy – and basically I find it to be a little bit more of a jackhammer of plant medicines, and then basically from there, I found another medium which was in both Western and Indian herbs as herbs themselves.
So, it has been quite a journey, and I am still very passionate about using plant matter, but I do see them as helpers and not something that we should rely on day in and day out.
RO: Forgive me, but I would like to interject a subquestion, because that stimulates so many great, wonderful ideas in me. Thank you for that. My first, biggest question really is that, when you speak of the Bach remedies dealing with the manas and the psyche, would you say that plants have a special affinity to say the manomayokosha? Do they start with the annamayokosha with the bruises and such and then lift up and out, or is it from the outside, from the astral body in, would you say?
[Edit: this study was subsequently repeated with NFL player data, and the same negative results held and in the same way.]
It was a topic of conversation: does body mass index (BMI) or even height or weight vary among the sun signs?
Ayurveda would say that they may vary by Ascendant, not particularly the sun sign, but getting good data on the Ascendant is a notable difficulty, because the Ascendant depends on the birth time of day.
Getting tens of thousands of charts with that level of precision is nearly unheard of.
A psychology prof from France named Michel Gauquelin compiled thousands of charts in the 1950's and 1960's that included birth time and hence Ascendant information. I am a little skeptical of the quality of these charts, as many are from the 1800's and more worringly, many use Local Mean Time, which if you back-engineer, describe the birth time as being at 10 am or 11 am on the dot.
So, I feel I can not use Gauquelin's data. I am always on the lookout, then, for credible birth or event data, scouring data science competition sites like Kaggle for the elusive ideal data set.
I came across SoFIFA.com in that way. It gives very good data on the various thousands of professional male soccer players associated with FIFA, including their birth date and height and weight. Birth time and place are not given.
However, if I could just "scrape" that data, that would give me a way to test the conjecture that BMI or even height or weight may vary by sun sign. So, that is what I did.
I recently had some serious dental pain. It was a must lie down, tears in my eyes, think I am going to die kind of pain.
The only problem was that it was the weekend, and my dentist would not be open for two more days. So, what do I do?
Inspired by some principles of Ayurveda, I made the following. It worked for me.
Each day I made a fresh batch of the following:
2 tsp turmeric (classically said to reduce inflammation)
1 tsp neem (classically said to reduce infection)
1 tsp salt (as a kind of anupaan, to make the solution absorb better)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (classically said to reduce pain)
1/2 tsp fresh garlic (classically said to reduce vata and pain)
I added the mix to 2 cups of water and simmered for 2 to 5 minutes. I let it cool to room temperature and strained the solution. I added a teaspoon of sesame oil to improve coverage.
Then I swished for a minute about an ounce of the tea every twenty minutes until the pain abated. It did not take long.
By reading the book Cymatics, many of us thrilled to the idea of vibration made visible in that gem of a book from the late 1960's.
With a few lines of code I have decided to plot the equations which go to heart of, and could be said to generate, these beautiful forms.
More motivated me than just the chance to look directly at and witness the imagery. I have seen some claims that the Shri Chakra could be seen from these "tonoscopes".
I did this quick project for a friend who wanted to know the best place to put her dollars to get the most protein.
The raw USDA source data can be found here.
Some immediate surprises:
Download the spreadsheet here:
A student just asked a great question:
"If an astrologer sees something about the past, but that didn't materialize, does it give a clue about the kind of karma that the native built up? Meaning, can retrodiction [a prediction about the past] be used to live more intelligently in the future?"
Here is my answer: If the retrodiction failed, then the astrologer failed. Sorry if that seems harsh, but that is my first answer. Building on it, that simply means that the astrologer is still learning, and very few astrologers are not still learning. What it can do is teach you something new, or at least stimulate you to learn more, some new technique, some new meaning.
So, at the very least, it can cause the astrologer to live more intelligently into the future. The client is just fine, always has been and always will be (and so is the astrologer).
Now, I feel like latently embedded in that answer is another question about free will. That is, some may say that the person is "just" exercising free will, and that is not in the chart. The concept of free will is held in such high esteem in American culture, and so, if your astrology can not line up with a past event, it is not helpful or even honorable, the thinking might go. I would like to address that thinking.
Remember that astrology is fundamentally about maya, and in maya is great cause and effect, such a dense web of it in fact that almost everything is fixed in potential in the chart. This is the field of experience, and the astrologer excels here.
There is in fact only one thing not in the chart: Purusha consciousness, "one-pointed awareness", also the only thing which gives us real freedom and hence real free will. It is true; that is beyond the chart, always has been and always will be. (In one-pointedness is no movement, no change, nothing to move into or change into, so the melodramas of the stars are of no use.) Hence, It is beyond the laws of karma and is the pure essence of everything, including Itself. This is the seed of awareness, and personal consciousness excels here. This is reality.
However, what does Purusha consciousness want to fulfill? Prakriti (Mahamaya), just as Shiva wants to fulfill Parvati, leading us in a delightful mobius strip back to the astrology chart.
This is why Dr. Lad draws an infinity symbol between Purusha and Prakriti at the top of the Sankhya tree.
To know this diagram is to know astrology, to know Ayurveda, to know both the manifest world and where it came, to know the child of Purusha and Prakriti. Ganesha.
Note: above Purusha and Prakriti is the unary oneness of Atman. Atman is not shown in this particular version, but in school, when presenting this topic, Dr. Lad does certainly draw It.
Aum Shreem Hreem Kleem Glaum Gam Ganapataye Swaha!
I remember before I learned Jyotish that I was often bewildered as to why things were.
I would wonder "why is this person acting that way" and "why was that thing that way" and so on. And then I learned Jyotish and honestly, I never again had to leave those questions unanswered. Better yet, after a few years, I no longer had to ask them.
For example, at a meeting the other night, there was to me a rather sharp and shrill quality to the discussions, discussions that were actually coming out a generous emotional place but that ultimately detracted from the ability to relate. The relating instead demonstrated fairly universally a very strong ill-placed and displaced pitta.
I think this not because I know more or even that I feel more than any other, but rather because the chart of the meeting says so, and so, as seen after the fact, it was.
I am just writing this to remind myself and invite others to consider what, to me, is a deep Vedic truth: don't take things personally.