Monday, May 11, 2015

Found my mangalsutra at a trip to Joyalukkas, Masjid India

Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement post.

My search for a gold mangalsutra which has Maharashtrian style has come to an end.  Thanks to Joyalukkas, I am now very happy and satisfied.  And so I would like to dedicate this post to Joyalukkas and thank them for the beautiful mangalsutra.  Joyalukkas did not pay me anything for this post.  I am doing it willingly and gratefully.

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been looking for a new mangalsutra to replace the old one.  Usually, Indians who are married will get the one and only mangalsutra during the wedding ceremony, presented by the bridegroom to the bride.  As per the Maharashtrian ceremony and custom, the design of the vati is as per the family tradition.  It will usually be in gold but nowadays richer families will make it in diamond as well.

Yoginis who are married in Sahaj will get a mangalsutra during the Sahaj wedding ceremony.  This mangalsutra is usually gold colored and made of metal.  It is not gold plated.  

I have sentimental values with the original mangalsutra.  When my husband tied it around me, I felt cool vibrations circling me from Mooladhara to Sahasrara.  It was very memorable.

Overtime, the gold color disappeared and it looked like a dull metal.  Yoginis who are married to Indian yogis will get a new mangalsutra presented by their husbands.  Overseas yoginis will be gifted with a new mangalsutra by their husbands who either asked someone to buy for them on a trip to India or to go India themselves to source it out.  

Since 2 years of marriage, my mangalsutra was falling apart, in terms of the stones.  Some yoginis get mangalsutras without stones and was still in very good condition after years.  I was reluctant to change to a new one but the original was getting duller by the day until others asked me why is it in this color.  You see, to Indian yogis, mangalsutra is very sacred.  And it should be in gold and part of  it was because it represents the Lakshmi and mangalsutra should not look worn out.

So my search for a new gold mangalsutra began.  I asked all the yoginis in Malaysia where they get their gold mangalsutra.  One told me she has it customized by one of a goldsmith who were once a yogi, but left.  Others told me that they got it in India.  Some said they don't know where but their husbands got it for them from India.  One just bought the gold black beads chain and put Shri Mataji's pendant as replacement for the vatis.

I started my search and research on a new gold mangalsutra as both my husband and I have no clue of how it should be.

Research

I found from this blog on the significance of the mangalsutra and thought it was very meaningful.  Please read with discretion and vibrations.

From there I found what the black beads meant, what the double vati meant, why there are 4 flower petals above each cup, why the length is such and such and so on.

I am a very traditional person.  I would prefer the old ways and not new, no matter how nicer or better the ways are.  I always think that there is a reason for the old to be in that way and it's always better to revert back to traditional methods.

As yogis, we do have to understand everything with discretion and not blind knowledge.  But if the knowledge is meaningful and vibrations are cool, then I will accept it.

End of my research, I have decided to get a very traditional looking gold mangalsutra.  

Black beads: All the way and no gold beads in between.  The reason why I opted for this design was because Shri Mataji's mangalsutra is also the same type.  According to the blog, you should have some gold beads in between the black to counter off the negative energy emitted.  Not sure what it meant but just follow how Shri Adi Shakti wears Hers.

Double vati: As per the blog, the 2 cups should have no design on it.  I wanted a plain one too, but it's not fashionable and so no demand.  Since I saw Shri Mataji's mangalsutra is also with design and decorated with diamonds, I thought I will go with design.

Shri Mataji's mangalsutra
Four flower petals: As per the blog, above each cup should have 4 flower petals.  It supposed to associate with Action energy.  Don't really know what that means.  The original mangalsutra one has 6 petals.  I will just go with the flow.

Length:  According to the blog, the length should cover your anahat.  Original one is also long and Shri Mataji's one is also long.  I would go with the longer length.  Saw some sisters wearing a shorter one though.

Search

Now that I have completed the research, I have come down with 4 options:

Option 1: Buy in India (Pros: Lots of choices, Cons: Pricey due to air ticket and other costs)
Option 2: Re-make my original one by converting the metal into gold and customize the pendant (Pros: Can retain the original black beads and get my own design, Cons: Pricey)
Option 3: Buy in Malaysia (Pros: Cheaper, Cons: Difficult to find)
Option 4: Buy online (Pros: At a mouse click, Cons: Can it be trusted?)

My pursuit for a new gold mangalsutra began 2 years ago.  From the visits to many to the local Indian goldsmiths and jewellery shops in Brickfields, found that the black beads chain can be easily obtainable at reasonable prices but they don't carry the Maharashtrian pendant.

So I asked some yogis who were going to India to get for me, by telling them how exactly I wanted it.  I was reluctant to do this at first, thinking how much I am troubling the others.  Eventually, one yogi sister came back with a quotation, RM4k+.  I guess the design is very good and top-notch and thick gold and so on.  I didn't pursue further as I feel the price was very steep and the design may not be what I like.

Then dropped the search for a year until recently I re-ignited the fire and the search continues.  This time I am serious in getting one and prayed hard to Shri Mataji.

A yogi aunty told me to get it customize at her goldsmith.  First visit, they were closed.  Second visit, found that they can't do it.  This is a chinese goldsmith and they said the gold in between the black beads is very difficult to make and Indian goldsmiths are better in that.  Besides that when they looked at the pendant, they said they didn't have the mold to do it.  They recommended me to go Little India Klang and Little India KL.  

On the day before the visit to Little India KL, coincidentally a yogi sister told me that she just came back from there and there were lots of mangalsutra found.  I was excited.  But she did warned me that the pendant may not be found.

The day came and I was supposed to go back early but was delayed.  So, the whole journey was delayed by 1.5 hours.  But we managed to get to Little India KL by LRT and found lots of goldsmiths and jewelry shops.  And we visited each and every goldsmiths there.  Again, found the black beads but not the pendant.  Disappointed.

Then it was getting late and we decided to have dinner before continuing our search.  During dinner I did a bandhan and prayed.  I was desperate and also don't want to walk any further.

Walking distance from the food stalls were Joyalukkas.  It is a huge shop but not many shoppers compared to the other jewelry shops which were packed.  I figured probably the prices here are not ideal.  

We walked in, enquired and immediately got a response.  Imagine the look on my face when Mr Sajeesh told me that they have the pendant that I wanted and showed me few designs.  I immediately fell in love with the gold one.  Enquire the price and ok, reasonably priced.

But we have one more shop to go which is also another huge jewelry shop and decided to check it out before I decide.  They too have the pendant, but it's a set with the chain and the design is not exactly what I am looking for.  And it's the one and only set.  So, we turned back to Joyalukkas.

Negotiated and all that and found that it was already 8.15pm and they were about to close.  Asked if they can combine the chain and the pendant for me and said they can't do it today as they were closing.  Told me to come back the next day.  Disappointed that I didn't get my hands on it but figured there must be a reason behind it as it was getting dark and late.  Not safe to be out in the streets of KL at that time with gold in hand.

We went back the next day at 10am when they opened.  While waiting for Mr Sajeesh, found more choices of the pendant.  In fact, they have like 5-6 choices in gold.  Was excited and told him to show me all of them.  In the end, I settled for the one I saw the day before and that's when the search for mangalsutra ends.

The prices were reasonable.  I didn't check how much was gold prices, whether it's low or high.  I didn't bargain much.  

And ta da:



Happy and satisfied and feels so complete.  We did a simple puja and ceremony to re-tie the mangalsutra and vibrations are very good now.

The new mangalsutra is much smaller and cuter than the original one.  Suits my personality.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Mangalsutra

The one that I am currently wearing was gifted to me by Shri Mataji during our Sahaj weddings in Cabella.  


It's made of some kind of metal and was gold in color when I first got it but now it has turned bronze.  The original had red stones on it but eventually one after another fell and I replaced it with crystals, which also fell and now it's blank.

No matter how, I am in love with my mangalsutra.  I feel so protected when wearing and feels the shakti power active in me.  

But I need to have a replacement soon because the current one is looking very sad.  The color has become dull and the holes where the stones were once placed has remain as holes.

I have been looking all over the place in Malaysia to get a new one.  I know in India we can find it easily.  But I need to go to India for that.

Here are some I have in mind:




As you can see, I prefer the traditional design.  My mangalsutra is a Marathi design with 2 vatis as pendant.

Unfortunately, the Indian jewelers in Malaysia are mostly from Tamil Nadu and so the design they have are basically more for the Tamilians, i.e Thali.

There are actually few options:

1. Use back the original black beads and convert to gold chain.  But a Chinese goldsmith told me the task is not easy as the gold used to join the beads has to be very thin and intricate.  Only Indian goldsmiths has the technique.  But he said better to buy the whole thing as new.

2. Buy the necklace only and make a new pendant.  The black beads necklaces can be found here in Malaysia.  But not the pendant.  I have asked an Indian goldsmith if he can customize one for me and he said it can be done.  Well, the cost may be too pricey.

3. Fly to India.  This will probably be the best option as I will get abundant of choices.  But right now we don't have the luxury of time to go.

4. Try to look in Singapore.  We are flying to Singapore soon.  Hopefully we can find one nice traditional mangalsutra.

What I am looking for is:

  • double strand black beads chain in gold
  • double vati with no design in front
That's it!  I don't need diamonds on it or designs which are so intricate and expensive.  Just a simple one made in gold will do.

Here's Shri Mataji's mangalsutra which is now exhibited in Pratisthan (if not mistaken):



Many Sahaj sisters have theirs bought in India by their husband.  Some are so dainty and beautiful.  

I really desire to get a new one soon before this one breaks.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The miracles of herbs - Ajwain Leaf

Have you heard of Ajwain Leaf?  

A yogi sister gave me a small stalk for me to plant.  She said it's very easy to grow.  Just put it in the ground.  And sure enough, from one small stalk, it has become a big plant.

In Tamil, this plant is called 'Karpuravalli'.  It has a nice smell, which I won't say it's pungent but it's not sweet fragrance either.  It's leaves are very good for cough and cold and yesterday, I prepared a concoction using this leaf.

Hubby and I have been down with cold and cough.  It started with him with a dry cough and sore throat which was under control with Septilin.  Then a week later, I started with sore throat which went on into a head cold.  Eventually my sinuses were blocked and there was lots of phlegm in my throat.  I had a wet cough.

I took some cough mixture with guaifenisin to eliminate the excess mucous but it didn't really help much.

Then yesterday, hubby's dry cough came back and he was having lots of discomfort.  

Suddenly I thought of this plant and googled and found a recipe at this blog.  Here's my version of it as I did not have tulsi leaves.

Homemade remedy for cough and cold

Ingredients:
Ajwain leaf - 1 big leaf
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove
Tulsi leaf - 2 leaves (I omitted this as I don't have tulsi plant at home)
Asafoetida - a tiny pinch (don't use too much as the smell can be overpowering)
Rock salt - 1/8 tsp (Substituted with normal salt)
Whole black pepper - 2 nos (Substituted with a dash or two of black pepper powder)
Honey - optional
Water - 1/4 cup

Methods:
1. Wash the ajwain leaf nicely.
2. Crush the leaf and garlic.
3. Heat water with all the ingredients together.
4. Boil till water reduce to half.  Let it cool down.
5. Original instructions is to grind it but since the quantity is too small for grinding, I just used a garlic presser and squeeze the leaf and garlic through the into water.  Sieve it.
6. You will end up with a tablespoon (I used the soup spoon) of concoction.
7. Add a little bit of honey to sweeten the taste.  But if you can take it as it is, then can leave out the honey.

I can tell you that this is a miracle concoction.  Hubby and I took half spoonfuls each.  The taste can be a little bit off-putting, but the honey was able to mask it.  Immediately after taking, all my phlegm came out.  Easily.  My sinus clears off.  My nose became unblocked.  

As for hubby, his cough became controllable.  He wasn't coughing as much and slept through the night.

I won't say that this concoction healed us immediately.  But it has helped immensely.  I read that you can also prepare the same concoction for toddlers but bear in mind, only children above 1 year old can take honey.


Disclaimer : If you have been sick for more than a week, it's wiser to consult a doctor to prevent any complications.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Break would be Great!

Each time I want a break, I ended up in the hospital.  When I was at the peak of my work back in 2007, I desired to have a nice, long break.  I was hospitalized to have my appendix removed and was given 3 weeks medical leave.

Back in 2012, I was again feeling very tired from working and was in physical pain and again hospitalized to have hemorrhoids removed.  I was again on medical leave for 3 weeks.

In between, in 2009, when I resigned from my job and before entering the new, I took 1 month's break to go India and got cleared out.

Now, it's 2015 and again I feel a break is very much welcome.  Every 2 years, I need a break from my daily mundane routine.  To get recharge.  To forget about work and responsibilities.  But I don't want to be hospitalize again for that.

I need a break
From the daily mundane weekday routine
From fussing about getting up in the mornings
To get stuck in traffic jams
Thank you to Waze
For bringing me to a new adventure every morning
Sometimes you don't behave like you should
And I ended up late for work
But you were there to make my mornings a little bit exciting

I need a break
From the egos and rudeness of lousy leaders at work
From the inefficiency, lack of communication and toxic environment
To the culture that is difficult to break
That encourages the finger pointing blame game
I do appreciate the piano in the lounge
Where good players show off their skills
And create music that is pleasing to the ears
And the ensemble that practices every Wednesday
From The Phantom of the Opera
To the Sound of Music

I need a break
Away from the usual cycle
Of eating, working, eating, sleeping
Away from the daily dramas and stress
I would love to lie on the green grass
And stare at the clear blue sky
Feeling the warmth of the sun
Watching birds flying freely
With no one around me
The peace of mind
Of no pressure and responsibilities
Just me and nature would be great

I need a break
To go to India if possible
Not for touring or shopping 
But to enjoy the great vibrations
To have wonderful meditations
To be near to our Divine Mother
To get clear out at the Noida hospital
To get a new mangalsutra
To enjoy India with husband
To have our first India trip together
To visit the Ganges River
To walk on the clear sandy banks

I need a break
From all the rules and red tapes
From visa to driving license
To all the inconveniences of having a foreign spouse
Giving self-realisation would be better
Instead of complaining of the lack of life
Watching seekers blossoming face
Accepting in the heart the Mother's love
Understanding the beauty of the power
The power that created us
The power that binds us

I truly need a break from working.  In the current work place, annual leave is very difficult to accumulate, at least for me.  Workaholics would easily accumulate 20-30 days and sometimes get them forfeited.  But I can't.  You see, our work place requires us to accumulate leave as we work.  If we have no leave in January, but intend to take leave for the new year, then it's unpaid leave.  Unfair as it is.

Every now and then I need to take leave to settle some red tapes.  Especially after marriage.  Foreign spouse are not very much welcome here, especially when we are not rich.  But we will deal with it.  So since marriage, I haven't been able to accumulate my leave.

Also because he is only off on Thursdays and to suit his off-day, I usually take Thursday's off to do things together.  So there goes my leave.

Since marriage, I haven't gone for a long overseas trip.  I used to be able to do that when single.  But not now.  But I do wish to travel with husband on a nice overseas Sahaj trip.  It will be our first together if we don't count the time we went to Cabella for our Sahaj wedding.

Yes, a break would be great!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ravi Shankar - Vandanna


When I first started Sahaja Yoga, a Sahaja Yogini suggested we learn this song because it's very meaningful.  We tried to get the lyrics but unable to do so.

Over the years, I tried to google for this but unable to do so, until now.

Finally!

Friday, April 03, 2015

Review : No Poo Shampoo Method

Have you heard of this 'No Poo' Shampoo method?  Many celebrities swore by it.  And some people do not wash their hair with shampoo for months and years but just using this method.

Basically, it's the way you wash you hair, without any shampoo but only with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

I have very bad dandruff problems on my scalp.  Tried every single thing in the market but not successful to eradicate.  These are the things I tried and tested:

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo, from famous brands to cheapest
  • Scalp care treatment at hair salon which cost me RM200++ per treatment
  • Herbal shampoos from ayurvedic to organic
  • Tried washing everyday
First this is what happened when I use the above methods:

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo - It stopped the dandruff for few months but eventually my scalp got immune to it and the flaky stuff came back.  Also, the chemicals in the shampoo doesn't go very well with my sensitive skin on my face and caused itchiness and burning sensation.
  • Scalp care treatment - Very expensive and will only make my scalp feel drier but better for few months.  Then it was back.  I was told I needed monthly scalp care treatment but that was costing a bomb.
  • Herbal shampoos - I tried from organic to ayurvedic and the effects were only good for few months.  Once my scalp got immune to it, it was back to square one.  The good thing was these shampoos doesn't make my face itch.
  • Washing everyday - I was told to wash everyday in order to rid the oil and hence better for my scalp.  Washing everyday was very tedious and not only it didn't help the dandruff issues, it was making my hair very dry.
So every few months, once my scalp got the hang of the shampoos that I used, the flakiness will start.  Sometimes it's so embarrassed to wear black tops as it feels like snowflakes on my shoulders.  Once, my boss was walking behind me and noticed the white stuff all over my black blouse and was shocked and told me to go and see a doctor.  Yup, it was that bad.

Not only was the flakiness present but the itch was unbearable.  The more I scratched, the more the dandruff falls.  

Also, some of the products mentioned above gave me hair fall, like shedding.  I can't even remember which one does that.

Anyway, I was searching online for a natural remedy and I found the 'No Poo Method'.  So I experimented a few times and these were the results:

The method is to mix a tablespoon of baking soda to water to make it into a thick solution.  Then apply it on the hair, massaged it into the scalp.  Leave it for few minutes and then rinse.  Use warm water for that.  Then add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of cold water.  Rinse your hair with that solution and then wash with cold water.

Experiment 1 - Baking soda only
Baking soda was great to stop the flakiness.  In fact, immediately after I washed my hair, I found that there was no more flakiness.  The thing was my hair became very dry and unmanageable.  Looks as if I have just woken up from my sleep.

Experiment 2 - Apple cider vinegar only
At first, I thought the vinegar smell will be too strong.  But when my hair is dried completely, the smell vanishes.  This solution acts as a conditioner to the hair.  It feels great and gave volume to my hair and also the flakiness stopped.  It doesn't take away the oil completely though.  However, many uses of this will lighten the hair color as it is acidic.  

Experiment 3 - Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
This is the recommended method.  Baking soda acts as the shampoo and removes all the oil and apple cider vinegar acts as the conditioner.  The combination is actually to neutralise hair's pH.  Baking soda is very alkaline while apple cider vinegar is acidic.  And the result was, no dandruff, hair's feel clean and not oily, gave volume and not dry.  

But now I have problem with smelly hair.  No, the apple cider vinegar doesn't makes my hair smell.  It's just that living in a hot and humid country makes everything smells.

If I don't wash it for a day, the smell is there.  So I tried this:

Experiment 4 - Baking soda and essential oil
The effect was same as Experiment 1 but gave my hair a nice smell.  I think I put in too many drops of essential oil and the smell was too strong.  In fact, the next day, I was feeling quite sick with the smell and couldn't wait to wash my hair to rid it.

Experiment 5 - Baking soda and essential oil in the apple cider vinegar
The effect was same as Experiment 3 and my hair smell great after that.  It wasn't too strong too.  But probably the smell is still too strong compared to shampoos.  Still can't get use to it.  May try to reduce the amount of essential oil.  Just 1 drop will do.

Experiment 6 - Coconut oil massage and baking soda wash
First massage the coconut oil into the scalp and leave it for few minutes.  Then wash with the baking soda.  The only thing was baking soda is not as strong as shampoo, so not all the oil can be washed off.  If you are ok with looking wet all the time, then this is the best combo.  The coconut oil smell is great too.  

However, I couldn't stand looking wet all the time as my hair would looked limp and oily.  So, after leaving the coconut oil for 1 whole day, then I washed it with shampoo as I couldn't stand the oiliness.  After that the hair feels so great.  More volume, smooth and smells great.  

I think this method works best with curly hair.

Conclusion:
The problem I had with this method was time.  This method needs more time to wash and rinse compared to shampoo.  But that can be resolved by waking up a little earlier.  No big deal.

The next issue I had was smell.  I still can't find the balance in getting my hair smells great without too overpowering.

Another issue I had was finding the right combination.  So, during weekdays as I couldn't get the right combo, I went back to shampoo.

Also, you can't do this method every single day as the vinegar can really lighten your hair colour and in my case, I dyed my grey hairs, so this is not so good for me.

What I am going to try next is this combo:

First, during the weekends, massage the scalp with coconut oil.  Then wash with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  Then during weekdays to wash only with plain water.  And on weekends, back to the routine.  Let's see if this is the best combo for me.

You may not get used to the no bubbles, no foams method that shampoo has.  You may feel as if your hair is not cleanse properly.  Trust me, it is clean.  But you just need to get over the conditioning that foams and bubbles cleanse and vice versa.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birthday Felicitation 20 March 2001



Wow, I said so much in the other post and Shri Mataji said it all in this one speech.  Please listen and fulfill Shri Mataji's desire for Her coming birthday.

Jai Shri Mataji!

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