Author: Gunadharma

Jamu, the Indonesian Herbal Medicine

Jamu is the ancient Indonesian system of herbal medicine. Jamu was built on the same foundations as Ayurveda, but adapted to the herbs and plants of the Indonesian archipelago. Indonesia is home to over 30,000 different types of medicinal herbs, most of which were known in ancient times but many have been forgotten. Also, Jamu was always more of a local thing, so the system has not been standardized to the same extent as Ayurveda. The best ancient books on Jamu herbal medicine are however kept in the royal libraries of the Javanese royal courts of Yogyakarta and Surakarta....

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Agnihotra: The Primordial Fire Ritual for Energy Healing

“O Healing Fire, we reach out to you daily at Sunrise and Sunset” – Rig Veda Agnihotra is a very ancient fire ritual that done every day at exactly at the time of sunrise and sunset, by burning dried cow dung using a copper kund (pyramid). An offering of rice and ghee is given, along with a special mantra. It has for main result the purification of the atmosphere through this special ritual. Its effects have been scientifically confirmed, including on waters. Agnihotra is the most primordial of all the homa (healing fires) from the ancient science of Vedas....

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Indonesian Rudraksha for Protection and Success

Rudraksha is a natural seed of the blue fruit of the Rudraksha tree (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) and mostly found in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Timor and parts of Nepal. “Rudraksha” is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the name Rudra (“Shiva”) and akṣha (“eyes”). Rudraksha are therefore “the tears of Shiva”. Different qualities are attributed to the rudraksha based on the number of clefts, or “faces” that it has. These ‘faces’ are called “mukhis”. Each ‘face’ or ‘mukhi’ is known to have a specific powers and influence on the soul. The greater the number of faces of a bead, the more...

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Primordial Technology: Ayurvedic Copper Vessels

In ancient times, water was as much a possible stored in copper vessels. Indeed, water kept in this way remain fresh much longer. Drinking our morning glass of water from a copper cup, as per the tradition, has many benefits over the long term. Water stored in copper vessels becomes a real “elixir of life”. Purified, this water helps to regulate digestion and the cardiac rhythm. It is the basis of a personal harmony such as practiced since Vedic times. Keeping your water of the day in a copper jar or bottle overnight, or at least for 4 hours, makes...

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The Adityas: 12 Forms of the Sun-God

The 12 Adityas are simply different forms of the Sun-God, Surya. In different Puranas their names are given differently. Brahma once recounted to the sages the 108 sacred names of Surya. The Brahma Purana lists these names in 9 groups of 12 names each: • Surya, Archana, Bhagavana, Tvashta, Pusha, Arka, Savita, Ravi, Gabhastimana, Aja, Kala, Mrityu. • Dhata, Prabhakara, Prithivi, Jala, Teja, Akasha, Vayu, Parayana, Soma, Brihaspati, Shukra, Budha. • Angaraka, Indra, Vivasvana, Diptamshu, Shuchi, Shouri,Shanaishvara, Brahma, Vishu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaishravana. • Yama, Vaidyuta, Jathara, Agni, Aindhana, Tejohapti, Dharmadhvaja, Vedakarta, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta. • Dvapara, Kali, Sarvasurashraya,...

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Devas, Spirits and Demons: The Classes of Spiritual Beings

Statue of a Bhuta, Java Mystics, sages and seers knew from experience that all verbal descriptions of the Supreme Reality are incomplete and hence resorted to a complex mythology to describe the hierarchy of beings guarding all natural and supernatural phenomena and called them devas (from the Sanskrit root div, meaning ‘shining one’). Deities are many, but in  the end all combine in the universal Shiva (or Brahman), who manifests Himself as many in order to Create, Preserve and ultimately Annihilate the Universe. The deities are only aspects, the many facets of the Supreme Reality. We address and worship...

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The Dvārapāla: Guardians of Sacred Places

The Dvārapāla (dvāra = gate, pāla = protector) are the gate-keepers in Hindu and Buddhist temples and sanctuaries. They are always placed in pairs, at the entrance of temples and at the doorway to the garbha-griha (sanctum). Each god or goddess has his or her own set of Dvārapālas. They frighten away the evil spirits and are connected with the Nagas. Sculptures in Java and Bali are usually carved from andesite stone and portray the Dvārapāla as fearsome danava with a bulky physique in semi-kneeling position and holding a club. The largest stone statue is in Java, a Dvarapala...

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The Goa Trance Movement: Dharma in Motion

Goa Trance is a form of electronic music that originated during the late 1980s in Goa, India. Goa in the late 1960s and early 1970s was a hippie mecca. Although musical developments were incorporating elements of industrial music and EBM with the spiritual culture in India throughout the 1980s, the actual Goa Trance style did not officially appear until the early 1990s. Goa Trance did not evolve from one single genre, but was inspired mainly by EBM and psychedelic rock. In addition to those, oriental tribal/ethnic music also became a source of inspiration. The introduction of Trance and its...

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The Great Tantric Stupa of Borobudur

During the 8th century, the spiritual tradition called Vajrāyana came rather suddenly into prominence in the Buddhist world; it spread into many countries, including Java, and there is strong evidence that Borobudur was built under its influence. This splendid edifice immediately became a place of pilgrimage and of instruction to the Buddhist nations of the world. The architect of Borobudur was Gunadharma, a Hindu-Buddhist from the borders of Nepal. But in the year 915 A.D. there occurred a terrible volcanic outburst. The great volcano of Krakatau (then called the Rahata or Cancer-volcano) broke out into an eruption so tremendous that...

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Bali Rasayana Organic Herbal Extracts

“In Hinduism, art is religion, religion is art. To inform and transform us – what we might truly be. No figure in all art is better loved that this dancing Shiva – lord of dances – the cosmos is his theatre – he dances ceaselessly in twirling stars, circling seasons – the rhythm of the human heart timelessly, effortlessly – his rhythms gather time and timeless.”

— Huston Smith, The Mystic’s Journey – India and the Infinite: The Soul of a People


Binaural Beats Meditation

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