Friday, April 12, 2013

What happened to 12 disciples of Jesus after his death and resurrection?

 New Testament Apostolic Lists

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 12 Apostles after Jesus died on the cross? We all know that the Romans and the powerful Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were all looking for them for being guilty “by involvement” with Jesus.

They were not the kind of group you might have expected Jesus to discharge on his mission to reach the world. There was nothing special or spectacular about them. They were just simple working men. But Jesus formed them into the backbone of the church and gave them the most incredible task possible calling the entire world, including the mightiest empire ever known, to repentance and faith in the risen Christ. You can be sure that any skilled, first-century Roman citizen would have mocked at any prophecy that within three centuries Christianity will be the official faith of the empire. We came to know that the Apostles (except, of course, Judas Iscariot) “… locate a ship and sailed away” to another city, leaving Jerusalem for fear of being arrested. They only returned to Jerusalem– after all the anguish and controversy quieted down– during Pentecost (originally a Jewish festival celebrating grain harvest and commemorating Moses receiving the Ten Commandments). But, according to Acts 2:1:4, while the Apostles gathered for the feast:

“…Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind. It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.”

The martyrdom of some of the Apostles is more certain than others. Historians will have different degrees of certainty concerning the circumstances of their deaths. For instance, unbiased historians will not take issue with the historical credibility of the martyrdom of Peter, Paul, and James the Apostle. Many of the other accounts have decent historic validity as well. Some accounts, however, raise the eyebrow and cause us to remain agnostic.
However, when boiled down to their least common denominator, it is very feasible to believe that all but one of the Apostles suffered and died a martyr’s death, even if we can’t be sure of the exact details.
Amidst some vagueness, one thing is clear—the reason given for their death was the same in all accounts. They were killed because they stated publicly to have seen Christ die and then to have seen Him alive. They all died because of an dogged, unremitting claim that Christ rose from the dead.
That’s how they received the Holy Spirit—and soon after, they daringly left their hiding place and started preaching and performing miracles, in the name of Jesus Christ, right in the streets of Jerusalem and in different languages!

Try to imagine the simplest, most quiet and easily panic-stricken man you know (most of the Apostles were fishermen, remember) suddenly speaking out like the smartest Nobel laureate you think highly of or a diplomatic statesman—and you’ll get the idea on how miraculous this was.
The effective preaching the Apostle Peter attracted a huge crowd and he preached a sermon to the crowd with great competence that ”On that day about three thousand believed his message and were baptised…” (Acts 2:41) establishing a solid and unstoppable Christian group in Jerusalem.

And as Jesus asked of them in Mark 16:14:
“Go yea into all the world and preach the good news to every creature.”

But where did they go?
What did they do?

And what happened to them?

Personally, what I think is, the dreadful death of the Apostles as recorded below was one of the greatest gifts that God ever gave to the Church. It contributes much to Christian apologetics by answering the “how do you know?” question concerning the resurrection of Christ.
The following is my effort to take the best of all the sources and share the most likely scenario for each Apostle’s death.  Read through the accounts of their martyrdom. Tell your children and friends. This may sound weird, but in a very real sense, I thank God for bringing about the Apostles’ deaths, for in their deaths they sealed their testimony in blood making our faith in the risen Christ built upon a solid foundation.

1) The Apostle James
James, the Apostle of the Lord, was the second recorded martyr after Christ’s death (Stephen was the first). His death is recorded in Acts12:2 where it is told that Herod Agrippa killed him with a sword. Clemens Alexandrinus and Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History II.2) both tell how the executioner witnessed the courage and un-recanting spirit of James and was then convinced of Christ resurrection and was executed along with James.
Date of Martyrdom: 44-45 A.D.

 (2) The Apostle Peter
Recognized as the head of the original Christian community in Jerusalem (Israel), he left the city when  King Herod Agrippa started to persecute all Christians in Jerusalem and ordered the beheading of the Apostle James (the Great) . After escaping from Jerusalem, Peter preached in Judea (originally Palestine) and in Antioch (Syria) where he is historically considered as the first patriarch (bishop) of the Orthodox Church. After staying in Antioch for some time, Peter went to Rome and converted thousands into Christianity. The emperor at the time, Nero, did not like the idea of Romans becoming Christians and used the new members of the group for his amusement (e.g. feeding them to lions or wild dogs, and then burning them at stake in Rome’s coliseum—yes, the tourist spot– if they do not renounce their faith). Peter was one of the most prominent victims of this persecution. He was captured and crucified upside-down at his own request, because he said he was not worthy to be crucified the same way as our Lord. St. Peter’s body lies below the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican City, in Rome.

Date of Martyrdom: ca. 64 A.D.

 (3) The Apostle Andrew
Preached in Georgia (Russia), Istanbul (Turkey), Macedonia and finally Greece. There in Patros, Greece, the Governor Aegiatis was angered by the apostle’s preaching and the conversion of his own family to Christianity. He ordered Andrew to renounce his faith in front of a tribunal. When Andrew resisted, the governor ordered that Andrew be crucified. He was tied upside down to an X-shaped cross with thick, tight ropes but Andrew kept preaching to spectators. He was able to convince many to accept Christianity just before he died after suffering for three days. Parts of his remains are in Constantinople (Turkey), Scotland (England), but his skull is kept in Patras to this day.

Date of Martyrdom: 70 A.D.

 (4) The Apostle Thomas
Called by most Christians as the “Doubting Thomas” for disbelieving the Lord’s Resurrection. But after his doubts were erased by touching Jesus’ wounds, he became a fearless preacher of the Gospel and builder of churches. He was the only Apostle who witnessed the Assumpton of Mary and the one of the first Apostles who preached outside the boundaries of the vast Roman Empire (out of Europe). He preached in Babylon (present day Iraq) and established its first Christian church. Then he went to Persia (Iran) and travelled as far as China and India. He was martyred in Mylapore, India when a local king named Masdai condemned Thomas to death. The Apostle angered the Brahmins (high ranked priests/scholars who served as the king’s advisers) . He is believed to be buried around the suburb of Madras, in India.

Date of Martyrdom: 70 A.D.

 (5) The Apostle Philip
Preached in Greece, Syria and in Turkey (in the cities of Galatia, Phrygia and Hierapolis). Philip partnered with Bartholomew in his missions. Like all Apostles, Philip became an exceptional speaker. According to sources “Through his miraculous healing and preaching, Philip converted the wife of the Preconsul of the city” of Hierapolis. Of course, this event angered the Preconsul and ordered that both Philip and Bartholomew be tortured and crucified upside down. While on the cross, Philip continued to preach and he was able to convince the crowd and the Preconsul to release Bartholomew, while insisting that he (Philip) remained crucified. Bartholomew was released but Philip died on the cross and was later buried somewhere within the city.

Date of Martyrdom: 54 A.D.

 (6) The Apostle Matthew
Matthew, the tax collector, so desperately wanted the Jews to accept Christ. Was the most educated among the Apostles, Christian tradition says he preached in Ethiopia (in Africa), Judea (Israel today), Macedonia, Syria and Parthia (northeast Iran). Bible scholars have different versions on how he died. Some say he was either killed with a sword in Parthia or he died a natural death in Ethiopia.  Another vewrsion stted that Matthew came to a city (unnamed) and was able to convert the family of the local king to Christianity. This angered the king and ordered his soldiers to capture Matthew. In front of a huge crowd, they nailed him unto a bed, covered his whole body with paper, oil, brimstone, asphalt and brushwood and then they set him ablaze. Matthew was able to endure the torture while praising and preaching, but eventually died “a happy death”. Everyone who touched the burnt bed after was miraculously healed and converted into Christianity, including the king who asked for forgiveness and became a staunch Christian believer.

Date of Martyrdom: 60-70 A.D.

 (7) The Apostle Bartholomew (Nathanael)
Preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia (Iraq), India, Persia (Iran), Turkey and Armenia. He was skinned alive and beheaded at Derbent (Azerbaijan, near Russia) on the Caspian Sea by order of a local king after a majority of the people of Derbent converted to Christianity. Some of Bartholomew’s skin and bones are still kept in The Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome, a part of his skull is in Frankfurt, Germany and an arm is venerated at the Canterbury Cathedral in England.

Date of Martyrdom: 70 A.D.

(8) The Apostle James the Lesser
Believed to have preached in Damascus (Syria) and acknowledged as the first bishop of the Christians in Jerusalem (Israel). Historians say he was sentenced to be stoned-to-death by the Jews for challenging Jewish Laws and for convincing some of members of the Jewish community to convert to Christianity. James died when during the stoning, one person from the crowd approached him and bashed his head with a fullers club (a piece of wood used for bashing-washing clothes). He was buried on the spot where he died, somewhere in Jerusalem.

Date of Martyrdom: 63 A.D.

 (9) The Apostle Simon the Zealot
Before becoming an apostle, Simon was a member of the “Zealots”, a political movement rebelling against the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. Identified by some as the second Bishop of Jerusalem after James the Lesser (who was beheaded). He’s also believed to have preached in the Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Mauritania and even Britain. His martyrdom is being debated by scholars and historians who claim Simon might have been crucified by the Romans in Lincolnshire, Britain, crucified in Samaria (Israel) after a failed revolt or sawed-to-death in Suanir, Persia with Jude Thaddeus.

Date of Martyrdom: 74 A.D.

 (10) The Apostle Judas Thaddeus
The Patron Saint of Desperate Cases and Lost Causes was a farmer before becoming an Apostle. He was a partner of Simon the Zealot and together they preached and converted non-believers in Judea (Israel), Persia (Iran), Samaria (Israel), Idumaea (near Jordan), Syria, Mesopotamia (Iran) and Libya. It is also widely believed that Jude travelled and preached in Beirut, Lebanon. He also helped Bartholomew in bringing Christianity to Armenia. The cause of his death in unclear because of the existence of two versions: (1) He was crucified in Edessa, Turkey; (2) He was clubbed-to-death and his body was either sawed or axed in pieces after (together with Simon the Zealot). Some sources say he was buried either in Northern Persia or the most accepted version that his remains are buried in a crypt at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Date of Martyrdom: 72 A.D.

(11) The Apostle John
John is the only one of the twelve Apostles to have died a natural death. For most of his labours, John was with Peter in Jerusalem up until the persecution of Herod Agrippa I. During this period, scholars agree that Johh escaped and preached for sometime in Asia Minor (an area around Turkey). Years later, scholars have traced that he went to Rome where it was believed he was persecuted with other Christians and was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil—he miraculously survived. The Roman emperor at the time, Dominitian, decided after the incident to banish John to the island of Patmos (in Greece). When Dominitian died, John went back to Ephesus (in Turkey) where he spent the rest of his days. He died a very old man, the only Apostle to do so.

Date of Martyrdom: 95 A.D.

(12)  Judas Iscariot - Best known as the apostle who betrayed the Lord by divulging His location, leading to His arrest and persecution. He received 30 pieces of silver from Jewish priests for the information he gave. Prior to this, Judas served as the treasurer of the 12 Apostles; in charge of keeping the group’s budget/money. Sources could not agree on how he died. There are three accepted versions:
(1) he committed suicide by hanging himself to a tree
(2) he accidentally fell on a field– head first
 (3) he was crushed by a passing chariot
(4) he was stoned-to-death by the other 11 Apostles.
But all four agree that “his bowels gushed out” on all four accounts. Authors and scholars also agree that his guilt was a major part of the cause of his death.

(13) The Apostle Matthias
Matthias replaced Judas Iscariot as the twelfth Apostle of Christ (Acts1:26)  It is believed by most that Matthias was one of the seventy that Christ sent out during his earthly ministry  (luke10.1) This qualifies him to be an apostle. Matthias, of which the least is known, is said by Eusebius to have preached in Ethiopia. He was later stoned while hanging upon a cross.

Date of Martyrdom: 70 A.D.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Saint Who Carried His Own Head


Saint Denis was a third century Bishop of Paris and martyr. Born in Italy, nothing is definitely known of the time or place, or of his early life. His feast day is kept on 9 October. He is the patron saint of the French monarchy. Rusticus and Eleutherius were his companions. He is usually represented with his head in his hands because the prefect, Sissinius, condemned Saint Denis.  After Denis' head was chopped off at Montmartre, Denis bent down, picked up his head, carried it   and walked ten kilometres (six miles), preaching a sermon the entire way, That, however, while still very young he was distinguished for his righteous life, Awareness of sacred things, and steady faith is  proved by the fact that Pope Fabian (236-250) sent him with some other missionary bishops to Gaul on a difficult mission. Under the persecution of the  Emperor Decius, The Church of Gaul had suffered terribly and the new messengers of Faith were to endeavor to restore it to its former flourishing state.  Denis with his intimate companions, the priest Rusticus and the Deacon Eleutherius, arrived in the neighborhood of the present city of Paris and settled on the island in the Seine.  

On the island in the Seine, Saint Denis built a church and provided for a regular solemnization of the Divine service. His fearless and indefatigable preaching of the Gospel led to countless conversions. This aroused the hatred of the city nobles and they incited the populace against the strangers and importuned the governor Fescenninus Sisinnius to put a stop by force to the new teaching. Denis with his two companions was seized and as they were scourged, racked, thrown to wild beasts, burnt at the stake, and finally beheaded.
Saint Gregory of Tours stated: "Beatus Dionysius Parisiorum episcopus diversis pro Christi nomine adfectus poenis praesentem vitam gladio immente finivit" (Hist. Franc. I, 30). The bodies of the threeholy martyrs received an honorable burial through the efforts of a devout matron named Catulla and a small shrine was erected over their graves. This was later on replaced by a beautiful basilica (egregium templum) which Venantius celebrated in verse (Carm. I, ii).

The earliest account of this Saint-Denis is found in The Life of Saint Genevieve, written in 502. Abbot Hilduin also wrote about the story of Saint Denis:
"The hour of judgment had come; the thugs (bourreaux) threw themselves on them [the evangelists] beating them cruelly with sticks and dragging them through the roads to the Hill of Mercury [Montmartre], where, after the most horrible abuse, the missionaries [athletes] had their heads chopped off with an ax blow. ... In an astonishing miracle the body of Saint Denis was seen to rise up and to gather up his head in his own hands as if he was still alive, raising it up triumphantly and carrying it for a distance of about two Gallic miles to the place where it presently reposes where the abbey of Saint-Denis is located. At the sight of this miracle the heathen, terrified, took flight. But the Christians, in awe, blessed this manifestation of divine power. There resulted the conversion of a host of the unfaithful."

Anne-Marie Romero, in her book, Saint-Denis: Emerging Powers, discusses the theories of Lombard-Jourdain. Lombard-Jourdain proposes that Saint Denis was martyred and buried in Lendit plain North of Paris, which was then part of "Montmartre."   St. Genevieve built the first basilica at the tomb where an oratory had previously been built.  This later became Saint-Denis de la Chapelle. In 627 the bodies were transferred to the site of the present Saint Denis. The pit found by Formige was used for the bodies before they were placed in the reliquary. The remains of the early church at Saint Denis are instead the remains of a church dedicated to Saint Peter and established there to offset the pagan influence of the nearby pagan shrine and Druid meeting place.



Denis' headless walk has led to his being depicted in art decapitated and dressed as a bishop holding his own chopped head in his hands.   Veneration of Saint Denis began soon after his death. The bodies of Saints Denis, Eleutherius, and Rusticus were buried on the spot of their martyrdom.
In time, the "Saint Denis", often combined as "Montjoie! Saint Denis!" became the war-cry of the French armies.  The feast of Saint Denis was added to the  Roman calender in the year 1568 and in traditional Catholic practice, Saint Denis is honored as one of the He is one of the fourteen holy helpers. (The Fourteen "Auxiliary Saints" or "Holy Helpers" are a group of saints invoked because they have been efficacious in assisting in trials and sufferings. Each saint has a separate feast or memorial day, and the group was collectively venerated on August 8, until the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, when the feast was dropped. These saints were often represented together. Popular devotion to these saints often began in some monastery that held their relics.) Specifically, Saint Denis is invoked against  diabolical possession and headaches  and with Sainte Geneviève is one of the patron saints of Paris.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Understanding the suffering of Jesus Christ

2 Corinthians 11:24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. (NKJ)
 On five occasions Paul was beaten by Jews with 39 stripes, and although it was harsh, it was survivable. The Jewish leadership set out to Kill Jesus!
 Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men; (NKJ)

Do you have any idea what’s this means?
The fact is that Jesus was beaten beyond all reason.  He was beaten beyond recognition.

Isaiah 53:6b and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (NKJ)

The LORD laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL!

1 Peter 2:24 [Christ Jesus] who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-- by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJ)

What was it like for a prisoner to be scourged in New Testament times?
From what materials was a scourge made?
How did it feel when the straps of a scourge whipped across a person’s back and body?
What effects did a scourging have on the human body

Scourging ….


Scourging, called verberatio by the Romans was possibly the worst kind of flogging administered by ancient courts. The offeders shivered when heard this word because of the terrible images   came to mind. Let me tell you a little about the process of scourging and what it did to the human body. I believe this explanation is important so you can understand more completely what Jesus endured before He was crucified.
The Jews whippings for the offenders in the synagogues for certain offenses were mild in comparison to scourging by Romans. Scourging was not normally a form of execution, but it certainly was brutal enough to be fatal in many cases. A person certainly could be beaten to death by the scourge if that was desired. Its purpose was not only to cause great pain, but to humiliate as well. To scourge a man was to beat him worse than one would beat a stupid animal. It was denigration, debasing, and demeaning. According to the Porcian (248 B.C.) and Sempronian (123 B.C.) laws, it was considered such a degrading form of punishment and Roman citizens were exempt from it. It was, therefore, the punishment appropriate only for non-Romans,   slaves and for those who were viewed as the lesser elements in Roman society. Scourging was carried out in public to make it as humiliating as possible.
Romans were experts at scourging; they took special amusement in the fact that they were the “best” at punishing a victim with this brutal act. The victim was first stripped completely naked and would be open to the beating action of the torturer’s whip. Then the victim was bound to a two-foot- high scourging post. His hands were tied over his head to a metal ring, and his wrists were securely shackled to the metal ring to restrain his body from movement. When in this locked position, the victim couldn’t waggle or move, trying to avoid or move away the lashes that were being laid across his back. Once the victim was harnessed to the post and stretched over it, the Roman soldier began to put him through unimaginable torture.
One historian notes that the mere expectancy of the first blow caused the victim’s body to grow inflexible, the muscles to knot in his stomach, the color to drain from his cheeks, and his lips to draw tight against his teeth as he waited for the first sadistic blow that would begin the tearing open of his body.

 The Roman Scourge

Roman scourge

The scourge itself consisted of a short, wooden handle with several 18- to 24-inch- leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle as in the sketch above. The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. Sometimes the Roman scourge contained a hook at the end and was given the terrifying name "scorpion." The criminal was made to stoop which would make deeper lashes from the shoulders to the waist. This was considered to be one of the most feared and deadly weapons of the Roman world. It was so ghastly that the mere threat of scourging could calm a crowd or bend the will of the strongest rebel. Not even the most hardened criminal wanted to be submitted to the vicious beating of a Roman scourge.
Most often, two torturers were employed to perform this penalty, simultaneously lashing the victim from both sides. As these dual whips struck the victim, the leather straps with their pointy, sharp, cutting objects descended and extended over his entire back. Each piece of metal, wire, bone, or glass cut deeply through the victim’s skin and into his flesh, shredding his muscles and sinews. Every time the whip pounded across the victim, those straps of leather curled tortuously around his torso, biting agonizingly and deeply into the skin of his abdomen and upper chest. As each stroke lacerated the sufferer, he tried to thrash about but was unable to move because his wrists were held so firmly to the metal ring above his head. Helpless to escape the whip, he would scream for mercy that this anguish might come to an end. The victim’s back, buttocks, back of the legs, stomach, upper chest, and face would soon be disfigured by the slashing blows of the whip.
Historical records describe a victim’s back as being so mutilated after a Roman scourging that his spine would actually be exposed. Others recorded how the bowels of a victim would actually run over through the open wounds created by the whip. The Early Church historian Eusebius wrote: “The veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.”
The Roman torturer would so aggressively strike his victim that he wouldn’t even take the time to untangle the bloody, flesh-filled straps as he lashed the whip across the victim’s mangled body over and over again. If the scourging wasn’t stopped, the slicing of the whip would eventually flay the victim’s flesh off his body.
With so many blood vessels sliced open by the whip, the victim would begin to experience a profuse loss of blood and bodily fluids. The heart would pump harder and harder, struggling to get blood to the parts of the body that were profusely bleeding. But it was like pumping water through an open water hydrant; there was nothing left to stop the blood from pouring through the victim’s open wounds.
This loss of blood caused the victim’s blood pressure to drop drastically. Because of the massive loss of bodily fluids, he would experience excruciating thirst, often fainting from the pain and eventually going into shock. Frequently the victim’s heartbeat would become so irregular that he would go into cardiac arrest.
This was a Roman scourging.

(To be continued............... )

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mudra therapy- A christian perspective- 1

According to Yogic practices and Eastern philosophies, Mudras or hand gestures are used extensively to communicate in dance and other art forms. Literally, Mudra in Sanskrit means a posture/seal.  More deeply, "closed electrical circuits" of the subtle channels in physical and etheric bodies are also known as 'Mudras'.  Some Western writers have defined 'Mudra' as mystic hand gestures used to focus subtle energy, transmit teachings through symbols and confer psychic protection.

Chogyam Trungpa says Mudra is "a symbol in the wider sense of gesture or action………Also it is a symbol expressed with the hands to state for oneself and others the quality of different moments of meditation……." The Vajrayana Tantra and Gherand Sanhita recommend that the Mudras are used to bestow great powers and psychic abilities called "Siddhies" on their practitioners, hence, their awareness should not be conveyed to those steeped in sin, to those that are not true to their word, to the skeptics and non believers, to heretics and insincere persons and those who do not observe the precepts.
Forget the complex definitions offered by various people and sects; we can summarize to say that:
The science of Mudras is also based on the retention and maintenance of the natural balance in our lives. Mudras retain the value of the spoken word as they express inner feelings and inner psychological states. It is an external expression of inner resolve, suggesting that such non verbal communications are more powerful than the spoken word. They also generate various qualities such as fearlessness, power, charity and peace in the practitioner and to on-lookers.

Mudras have therefore always been considered an esoteric science and even as of date there are thousands of Mudras that are not available to the uninitiated (like in the Chen Yen Buddhism or True Buddha Schools). However, besides the mudras providing spiritual gains, there are mudras which are likewise of tremendous value in therapy. Constant researches by the dedicated have brought a large number of these to the fore although we still seem to be scratching the surface only of this sea of knowledge.

Dealing with nerves, Mudra Vigyan is a neural science.

Icons of Christ in Prana Mudra

According to the science of Mudra,   the physical level is associated with material energy and the distortion or impairment of the 5 elements creates outer disturbance and inner sickness in the body. 

The 5 fingers of the hands represent these 5 elements: 

The Thumb
symbolises the Fire
The Forefinger
symbolises the Wind
The Middle finger
symbolises the Ether
The Ring finger
symbolises the Earth
The Little or small finger
symbolises the Water


The finger tips of every living being have many concentrated nerve root endings, which are free energy discharge points. By touching together of the tips of the fingers or the finger tips to other parts of the palms, the fingers form what is called a psycho-neural lock. This free energy (Prana) is redirected back into the body along specified channels, back up to the brain. The redirected energy traveling through the nerves stimulates the various chakras. Keeping the hands on the knees stimulates the Gupta Nari and makes the energy start from the Mooladhara Chakra. 

The nerves can be compared with elastic lines that can be stretched or made taut. When the elastic is kept stretched for long, it loses its elastic properties and becomes lose. On the other hand if it is used indiscriminately it may shrink and dry up; once again making it useless. A default setting is a value that is specified for optimum efficiency of this property of the elastic – the nerve in our case.
The default setting of the nerves is thus the natural value of the tension that each specified nerve, should be required to maintain at all times. If the nerve is in this tension, it will be healthy and stress free for smooth and clear communication of the messages.  

The default settings of the extremities have been depicted as Mudras or finger postures. When the fingers are folded in the manner specified a certain tension comes on them. If this position of the fingers and hands is held and the tension maintained for a specified period of time repeatedly, the nerves gradually start getting used to the new tension and ultimately reach it. Thus, the tension applied to the nerve/s and/or the neural or psycho-neural circuits formed by the mudras help in balancing the five basic elements and tones up of the nervous system.   This balancing of the tension and redirection of the internal energy effects the changes in glands, sensory organs, veins and tendons, to bring the body back to a healthy state.

The fingers of each and every human being are different in their shapes and sizes. These are determined and provided by nature as a tool to bring the nerves into prime condition when affected adversely. Thus, they provide a different 'end tension' on the nerves when different individuals fold their fingers or the same individual folds the fingers by different methods in different Mudras. This is exactly the tension required by that individual for that particular application. Nature has already bestowed us with the tools to be used to keep us healthy. 

When compared to Acupressure where the nerves are influenced by the application of pressure on certain points or Acupuncture, where slight electrical impulses are conveyed through needles inserted in the body. The advantage in Mudras is that the pressure to be applied on the nerves is automatic and controlled by the shape and size of the fingers and not by external agencies.
(To be continued)