Saturday, September 15, 2012

Identify and Establish Your Oneness with the Rest of the World

“Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.”
– Mencius

I have often wondered why the feeling of love among human beings is not as strong as that among other species. We never find a large group of animals fight against another large group with the sole aim of killing, unlike we humans do. The animals nearest to humans on the ladder of evolution are apes; but you never find an army of apes fighting to kill another army of apes. Occasionally you may see a group of street dogs attacking a stray dog which accidentally trespasses into their ‘protected’ area. But they too will not kill the trespasser.

Every day we hear of fights between individuals, families, criminal gangs, political parties, ethnic groups and nations. It won’t be correct to think that the reason for fights among human beings is nature’s dictum of ‘survival of the fittest’. One may be inclined to think that the tendency to fight should have been reduced considerably when humans practiced community living. On the contrary, the feeling of division as ‘we’ and ‘they’ has emerged and grown within all groups and has contributed much against the concept of universal love.

The feeling of division, I think, is not an attribute of nature. Every thing in this universe is made of basic building blocks which we name as fundamental particles like protons and electrons and still ‘more fundamental’ particles like quarks and the god particles. You cannot differentiate between the fundamental particles constituting you and the rest of the things in the whole universe. Mother Nature has therefore built into you (and in everything else in this universe) the basic quality of oneness. 

Think of the particles making your own body. Many of the particles in your eyes, nose, skin, heart, brain and in every thing making your body, which you like more than any thing else, were somewhere else on this planet some time back. To cite just one example, many of these particles were in the ocean, before getting converted into clouds responsible for the rain water which you consumed to sustain your life. Go back through time of the order of billions of years. The particles presently constituting your body were in a star in our galaxy. The star exploded giving birth to the sun and the planets.

Now go further back in time and think of the beginning of every thing. The particles in your body and for that matter, of every thing in the entire universe were concentrated, in an altogether different form, at a point just before the big bang. What else do you require to establish your feeling of oneness with every thing in this universe?

One well known way of trying to unify mankind divided into various ethnic and religious groups has been by citing the invariably red colour of their blood. A much more fundamental point for the unification would be the extremely close contact of the entire entities in the universe at the moment of the big bang. How literally close and touching were you and everything other than you at the beginning! Why should you then think of barriers between yourself and the rest of the world?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil

I am posting this from ‘God’s Own Country’, which has been named Kerala for obvious reasons: ‘Kera’ in Malayalam refers to coconut. Pay a visit to this beautiful part of the world and you will find coconut trees in plenty everywhere.
People in this region are generally healthy and good looking and I can tell you that coconuts have contributed quite a lot to their well being. Coconut oil is the most commonly used cooking oil in Kerala even though a small percentage of people here have switched over to other cooking oils probably by hearing about the high saturated fat content in coconut oil.  
If you search the internet for ‘health benefits of coconut oil’ you will get an amazing volume of results, exposing the hollowness of the arguments in certain media about the harmful effects of coconut oil. In fact there have been deliberate attempts to reduce the score of coconut oil with regards to its use as a healthy cooking medium. The term ‘saturated fat’ has been used very liberally by media to disqualify coconut oil. But what really matters is the size or length of the fat molecule. Oils and fats are composed of molecules called fatty acids. Coconut oil is composed mostly of ‘medium-chain fatty acids’ (MCFA) unlike the majority of other oils and fats (whether saturated or unsaturated) which are composed of ‘long-chain fatty acids’ (LCFA). Medium-chain fatty acids are helpful in reducing the risk of heart diseases and this is exactly why coconut oil scores positively in this context.
Coconut oil is very popular in Kerala not only as a cooking medium but as massaging oil and hair oil. Its anti bacterial and anti-fungal properties are well known. When applied topically, it helps to protect the skin by forming a chemical barrier to ward of infection. Majority of the people of Kerala consider coconut oil as the best cooking oil in spite of biased propaganda against it.
The following link will take you to a very useful post on the benefits of coconut oil which appeared in Huffington Post: