China, has warned world leaders and politicians against meeting the Dalai Lama, saying it would be perceived as a ‘major offence’!

I smiled as I read this headline; I’d seen the Dalai Lama many years ago; a man who’s very personality exuded such peace and tranquility, one came away feeling blessed and sanctified. I’d not seen any Tibetan army around him, no soldiers with machine guns, not seen any sign of bullet proof vest on him; everything around him was about calm and quiet, and then I had watched videos of the Chinese army; marching in brutal formation to scare the living daylights of the viewer. Faces impassive, trying to feign harshness, cruelty and glazed warlike look, jaws jutting in defiance, mouths curled in surly grimace. Ready to take down any foe who stood in their way.

Yet, scared of the strong arm of peace.

The world has seen such muscle in many: Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Jesus, and others who changed the world not with guns but with a smile. Not killing bullets, but tender words. Not temper and angry rhetoric but gentle, soothing utterance.

And always, yes always, it’s the strong arm of peace that’s won in the end!

The men of war, do come back victorious, but are soon sent packing home. Churchill won the war, but four months later, lost an election. So, with others across the world.

We all, I’m sure know Aesop’s fable about the wind and the sun:

The wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.”

So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on and took it off!

“You see my friend,” said the sun to the angry wind, “Gentleness works!”

Today I see Mr Windy Trump berating the rest of the world with his missile and machine gun, rousing a rabid Korean pup from his idle barking and building rifts and walls with the Islamic world. The same with China, as its soldiers glare and blow hate on countries that don’t follow its thinking.

Somewhere behind a cloud the sun shines, patient and waiting, hoping to envelop an edgy,oppressed world with peace and harmony!

I remember the Dalai Lama, and will watch as China crumbles finally, under the strong arm of peace..!

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Subramanian G, a resident of Bangalore who had recently visited the islands as a tourist wrote a letter to the LG volunteering to serve in any capacity he can. Subramanian also suggested improvements that can be made for the benefit of tourists visiting the islands. A copy of the letter was shared with Andaman Chronicle.

Subramanian noticed a general lack of co-ordination in the four activities that happen in North Bay - snorkeling, scuba diving, speed boating and sea walk. To begin with the time allotted by boat owners for a visit to North Bay is just two hours. Upon landing at North Bay, Subramanian discovered that the four activities he had already paid for at Rajiv Gandhi jetty were being handled by four different private companies.  The shacks being managed by these private companies were not well marked and it took Subramanian 15 minutes to figure out where he was supposed to go. There was no one to facilitate coordination or respond to tourist queries.

After 15 minutes had lapsed, Subramanian realized that there would not be sufficient time to do the four activities that he paid close to Rs.10,000 for. Furthermore Subramanian found that the four activities were overbooked and there was some confusion about securing slots. Since the tickets for these activities are not sold at North Bay but are sold at Rajiv Gandhi jetty, it was only in Port Blair that Subramanian managed to get a refund on the activities he had missed out on. Subramanian mentioned that he had to plead his case for a refund because the tour operators were skeptical that he had skipped an activity due to lack of interest rather than lack of time.

A few small adjustments could improve the tourist experience at North Bay vastly. To begin with tour operators should sell activities only at the venue i.e. North bay rather than at Port Blair. It seems unfair to charge tourists for an activity in advance, when they have no criteria to evaluate whether they would like to participate in an activity in the manner in which it is being offered. Moreover tourists would then only pay for those activities they actually participate in rather than those activities they hope to participate in, avoiding the rigmarole of cancellations and reservations. Furthermore better sign boards, markers, informational pamphlets and if possible a coordinator or an information booth of some sort will help tourists navigate North Bay much better and make the most of the two hours they spend there.

Subramanian contracted food poisoning on 2nd October and was rushed to the CHS at Rangat at 9 p.m. Despite the fact that it was Gandhi Jayanti and a public holiday, the nurses at the CHS called two doctors who were on leave who promptly showed up. The doctors even agreed to discharge Subramanian at 3 a.m. in the morning on the 4th of October so that he could catch the early morning bust at 9 am at Middle Strait. Subramanian said that the care he had received was far better than any hospital in main land. He concluded his letter by declaring that he can never forget the love and affection he received and that though this was his first hospital admission, it was something "truly worth remembering".

Love transcends religion, caste and other manmade barriers! Much prose and an equal number of lines of poetry have sprung from the hearts of writers and lovers expressing this emotion called love! But, the greatest symbol of love is the Taj Mahal in Agra! Millions fly across the ocean, to gaze in awe at the magnificent structure a grief-stricken ruler built for his beloved dead wife. The moonlight glaze, the marble sheen, the minarets all speak of an eternal love, that lives on through this spectacular structure, But,

In the state where the Taj stands, a bachelor Chief Minister finds a sentiment, which in his mind is greater than love, “The Taj,” he says, “should remind us of thousands of laborers who built it!”

He sees not love. He feels not grief, but hears the sound of pickaxes on stone, craftsmen on marble, and the monument in his mind is dedicated to those workers.

Not to love.

“Sir,” says a local as a foreign couple get their picture shot with the Taj in the background, “What do you feel as you stand over here?”

“Love!” says the tourist, “A love I would strive night and day to ignite into our relationship!”

“Sir, but this is about Kishorebhai the mason!”

“Who’s that?” asks the tourist, as his eyes and those of his wife gleam with love for each other.

“Kishorebhai, was the one who worked under Prakashbhai!Kishorebhai carried the stones to Prakashbhai, and Prakashbhai cut them into blocks, which Kishorebhai carried back and laid as the foundation!”

“Very good!” says the foreigner as he asks someone to take another picture of his wife and him, hugging.

“And sir, those tombs you saw inside..”

“Ah, we cried to see those graves of Shah Jahan and his wife, together even in death!”

“Was made by Kishorebhai’s brother!” continued the local, “In fact Prakashbhai it is rumoured also had his brother-in-law working with Kishorebhai’s brother on the tombs!”

“Oh really!” said the foreigner as he disengaged himself from the loving embrace of his wife and they both looked adoringly at the Taj. “Beautiful!” whispered his wife, “Will your love for me be like this!”

“I wish I could pluck a flower from these gardens and give you my beloved!”

“Ah sir, meet Harishbhai, the gardener!” says the local, “It is his gardening labour, you have come to see isn’t it?”

The tourist and his wife walk arm in arm towards the edifice of love. They do not see masons, nor hear artisans, but only what true love is. A love which they feel is available for every couple, and who’s expression in its majestic awesomeness is found in the Taj.

“Did you tell them about Kishorebhai and Prakashbhai?” asksthe local’s wife to him that night.

“But they were only interested in love!” he sighed wearily. “Somebody should tell the chief minister that..!”

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By Yogi Ashwini

In this series we have been discussing the asans and beej mantras for the various chakras and how one can activate them and strengthen the corresponding body parts. Last time we discussed the mooladhar chakra that is present at the base of the spine. Now we move to the Swadhishthan  chakra.

Swadhishthan (Sacral Chakra): This chakra is located two inches over the Mooladhar at the pubic area. It controls the sexual and urinary system. It is primarily the seat of lower creativity, i.e. a duplication of the self or the body at the pranic level. Its base element is water. The beej mantra for this chakra is VAM 

Take your awareness to your breath at the tip of the nostrils. Watch the rhythmic pattern of breath at this point and with every subsequent inhalation, make your breath longer and deeper. Maintaining the awareness of Swadhishthan chakra, start with the chant of VAM. Keep the chant deep and slow. Continue with the chant as we graduate into the asans for Swadhishthan.

Chakki Chalana: Sit with your legs stretched out in front. The soles of the feet meet such that the legs make a diamond shape. Keep the arms straight out in front of the chest with your fingers interlocked. Now swivel from the waist, bending forward and reclining back as much comfortably in a circular fashion, so as to replicate the movement of the traditional grinding mill made of stone. Maintain ujjai breath, awareness of Swadhishthan chakra and the chant of VAM. Make seven circles clockwise and seven anti-clockwise, inhaling in half circle and exhaling in the other half. This asan massages the pelvic and abdominal region and helps regulate menstrual cycle.

Parivritti Janu Sirshasan: ‘Janu’ means ‘knee’ and ‘sirsha’ means ‘head’. Sit on the floor with your spine straight and your legs stretched wide. Maintain ujjai breath. Gently, bend the left knee, pressing the heel into the perineum/vagina, while your right leg is stretched sideways, adjacent to the torso and not in front of it such that it forms a perpendicular with the other leg. Maintaining the awareness of Swadhishthan chakra and the chant of VAM, inhaling gently raise your left arm straight up pointing towards the ceiling, and then exhaling bring it down to the right side of your body such that your left arm is right above your left ear, keeping spine straight. Take hold of the right toe. Simultaneously stretch your right hand and clasp the middle of the right foot. Touch your head to the knee laterally and hold. Then gently inhale and come back to an upright position. Repeat these steps with the other side holding for the same duration.The asan must not be practiced in case of recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips, arms or shoulders.

Gaumukh Asan: Relax your body and fold your left leg diagonally in such a way that your left heel touches your right buttock. Now place your right leg over the left leg and touch the left buttock on the side with the right heel. After that, lift the right hand and bend it back and take the left hand to the back and hold the right hand. Your back and neck should be straight. Maintain ujjai breath. If practiced for ten minutes or more it will release tension and anxiety. This asan straightens your spine and improves posture. It stimulates kidneys and alleviates diabetes. It relieves backache, sciatica and rheumatism. Makes leg muscles supple and burns the fat off your thighs.

In the next article we will discuss the asans for activating the Manipoorak chakra. It is advised that you visit your nearest Dhyan Foundation center to learn the correct way to practice asans. The effect of all these asans becomes manifold when practiced under the guidance of your Guru who channelises energy into each asan.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and can be reached at

“Terrible! Terrible!” shouted a senior official of the government, “We can’t implement any projects without people complaining!The bullet trainis in a controversy because commuters want to first make the existing railways safe!We can’t build metros in the cities, because people say buildings are shaking!”

“And sir, in Mumbai, they don’t want the metro to run under a Fire temple because it will upset the magnetic waves!Another line has activists fighting against trees being cut!””

“Trees, people, temples! All are conspiring against us! Even roads can’t be widened because there are crosses or temples which can’t be shifted! People are coming up with all sorts of reasons and at this rate we will not have anything ready by 2019!”

“Is that an auspicious year sir?” asked his junior.

“That’s election year dammit, and if we can’t show bullet trains and metros, we are doomed!”

“Maybe we should think different sir!” said his junior.

“How different?” asked the senior government official, “People want to travel, we have nothing to offer them! Not even river transport!”

“Let them stay at home sir!” said his junior.

“Stay at home?” asked his senior, “You want the whole country to stay at home?”

“Yes sir, if they stay at home they will not want new means of going from place to place!”

“But why should they stay at home dammit?”

“Because it’s unsafe outside!” exclaimed his junior with a smile, “It is so unsafe, people will be afraid to come out!”

The senior government official looked at his junior closely, and wondered whether he had misjudged the young man till now, there was something clever in his argument. “So what you are saying,” he said slowly, “Is to create such tension outside that people won’t venture out and won’t see we’ve not made any progress?”

His junior nodded brightly, “We encourage murders, rapes, stone throwing and all sorts of violence outside. We make it unsafe for women, have gangs threaten them, strip them for love jihaad and some flimsy reason like that, kill journalists, and sir soon doors will be locked and boarded with everybody safe and immobile inside!”

The senior officialnodded smugly, “You know something, that’s exactly the situation in the country now, there’s anger, rage, communal tension and fear! Give me the phone please!”

The junior officer handed the phone to his senior obediently, then heard him telling all departments to stop work. “And to win the elections,” continued the junior, “We could have hourly‘mannkibaats’by the PM to keep people glued to new promises, which anyway they will never venture out to see if implemented or not!”

His senior shook his head in wonder, patted his junior on the shoulder and decided to transfer the young fellow to a remote area, as is done in our country, before the junior had aspirations of taking his place..!

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