And as the country celebrated with her Republic Day parade on Friday, as Guests of Honour; leaders from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Myanmar walked the red carpet and watched the impressive military might and cultural floats displayed for them, it was the President of Thailand it is believed who pointed to a movement beneath the red carpet.

“Oh, it’s nothing!” said the Indian leader with the white beard hastily, trying to hide the bulge on the carpet.

“Yes, I can see it!” agreed the Malaysian head, “I can see little children in a school bus being threatened by hooligans!”

“Just look at that beautiful float of Unity in the midst of Diversity!” said white beard trying to get the other leaders from looking too closely at the carpet.

“What’s that?” asked the President of Laos.

“That’s our Rajput soldiers!” said the pleased Indian boss.

“No that!” shouted the same leader from Laos, not interested in the Rajput soldiers but looking closely below at the carpet, “It looks like state governments encouraging rioters to break laws to stop a film being screened!”

“And that!” whispered the leader from Vietnam. “There’s blood from underneath seeping onto the carpet. “It’s the blood of a woman journalist I see dead!”

“Let’s concentrate on the pageants and parade!” said the Indian Prime Minister a tad sharply, “I’ve spent millions putting all this together.

“I can hear the motorbike killers fleeing! Where they caught?” asked the President of Vietnam.

“I don’t know and I don’t care!” said the leader with the white beard, “My parade is more important than all that’s happening beneath the red carpet!”

“Oh my god, there’s a mob lynching a man for eating beef!” screamed the President of the Philippines, stopping and peering hard at the carpet, “Why don’t you stop him sir!”

The Indian leader with the white beard cursed the decorators who had not laid a thicker carpet. The tanks rumbled, the soldiers marched, the fighter planes flew impressively in formation above but the Guests of Honour and slowly the rest of the world only saw communal killings, mob attacks, journalist murders, fake news circulated, all beneath the red carpet.

The man with the white beard growled, turned to the world and pointed to the impressive display he was putting up, “Look!” he screamed, “Look at our might! Look at what I have done!”

“We are looking!” shouted the world, “We are looking and we are shocked! What use your guns, missiles, soldiers and military might when you can’t protect your own people? What use of pretty cultural floats when you can’t protect the women once they step off?”

The tanks rumbled, the military boots echoed, the planes broke the sound barrier, but the world stared with horrified silence at what was happening beneath the red carpet..!

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By Dr Deepti Kathpalia

The simple act of penning down thoughts connected, disconnected, immediately begins to alleviate one’s feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness or gloom and starts creating a space in an overcrowded mind.

I presently work as a therapist, coach and a counsellor and I have personally practised, experienced and seen the effect journaling has had on me.

For the last seven years, since my mother passed on painfully due to cancer, a time where I struggled with depression, anxiety, profound worry and fatigue, where I found myself alone not because I didn’t have any family but because I became inadept at expressing and talking to people around, I struggled with so much anger at the way things were shaping up, the apathy of the doctors and the struggle with money for my mother’s treatment and so much more. I didn’t have the courage or the strength for a dialogue, I feared judgement, I feared conflict, I was prejudiced and felt that no one really cared so they wouldn’t understand. I quite accidently began to scribble on a torn piece of paper while waiting outside the ICU and then forgot about it but that very night I felt the urge to do it again and again and again. Much to my surprise I began to feel an undefined comfort and solace every time I wrote down what was going on in my head. I did not realise but my pen and notepad became my friends and remain till date.

This one habit has held me in good stead since then and in more ways than one has been instrumental in my growth as a person. Journaling has empowered me with courage I never knew I had, I slowly began to open my world to people around me, many I knew and quite a few that I didn’t. I had always been a guarded individual till then and never allowed any person a peep into my world. I myself was surprised that my guards had come crashing down, I began to surface as a calmer, happier and more authentic person. There is an innocence and honesty that reaches across people and in turn has continued to heal me from within.

I am, today, more forthcoming, more confident and fearless. It no longer bothers me as to how I am being perceived by people around me, my internal connects and conversations with self are productive and have grown, they are more honest as well as intense. Journaling gave me the power to not succumb to fear and negativity.

It would be incorrect to suggest that I do not have my low days or that I do not feel sad, angry or hurt, I do but I now have the most effective tool to help myself heal and bounce back soon, sometimes in a matter of minutes too.

As a counsellor and a therapist, I have sensed this unique ability of empathy which I have further developed when I interact with clients and family and friends.

Journaling had given me a wider vision and has made me more rational and a more peaceful person.

These last few years have been transformative and reformative both. I was so caught up in a warp of my own messy thoughts and limiting stories as would be the case with quite a few of us.

It has been an instrumental tool in my interactions with my clients and to my surprise I have found our therapeutic connect getting deeper and more meaningful.

As was the case with a young woman client who I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing. Sangeeta and I met five years ago, a beautiful young woman of about 40 suffering from anxiety and low grade depression, she spoke about not being able to sleep well for the last many years.

In our first two three meetings I noticed that whatever was asked she would reply to that softly and seemed edgy and nervous almost the entire time we were in session. She was obviously unable to verbalise her thoughts and concerns for many reasons I believed but didn’t goad.

I decided to give her a small journaling assignment for our next session in which she was encouraged to time it to only 15 minutes everyday and write her thoughts and feelings that prevailed at that point in time.

In our next meeting, even without my asking she handed over a folder of her assignment to me. I quickly ran through the content and was surprised at the way she had articulated her thoughts and feelings. They conveyed way moe than words did or could and I was happy.

The sessions continued for a while and each time I found Sangeeta surfacing more relaxed and calm. The journaling assignments were a regular in my interventions along with some other techniques, she was told to track her thoughts and feelings from our first meeting and see for herself how the healing was happening.

As a therapist and a change maker,I recommend this form of therapy across all sections of people. It comes with brilliant results. It gives me so much joy when I see clients, friends and family re-examine their stories as well as limiting beliefs that have held them back from experiencing happiness and peace, it is absolutely thrilling to see these lovely people getting ready to explore new ways of being.

To each one of you, start with just five to ten minutes each day thereby discovering the real you, it is cathartic and magical…!!!!

 “Words are but pictures of our thoughts”

Dr Deepti Kathpalia is a Therapist, Counsellor, NLP Master Practitioner. She can be reached by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Aahaarastvapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyah | Yagyastapastathaa daanam teshaam shrinu ||Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 17, Verse 7||

Food also, is dear to beings of different prakriti in three different kinds. Yagya (sacrifice), tapa (penance) and daan (charity) too are of these kinds. Hear them from me, says Krishna.

In a previous article, we had discussed the three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas and how satva leads to higher lokas, rajas ties one to cycle of painful births on earth and tamas is the road to lowers lokas and hells.    

Gita categorises food, yagya, tapa and charity too into three kinds, corresponding to the three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas.

Foods that promote health, vigour, intelligence and longevity and are naturally agreeable are satvik. Those which cause sickness, grief and suffering, are dear to rajasik. Foods which are impure, stale, polluted, ill-cooked are eaten by tamasik people. What we eat goes a long way in determining what we are. If one takes the example of red meats, especially from cows that feed on plastic, garbage and hospital wastes, as well as the milk derived from them, it is high in acidic and toxic content and hence tamsik. Consuming highly acidic foods corrodes the cell and takes the body towards destruction and disease. The nature of cell is prakriti and prakriti is balance. An experiment was conducted by Alexis Carell in 1912 where chicken cells, which normally perish in 6-7 years, were preserved for over 20 years by in an alkaline solution. Only when assistant failed to change solution one day, cells died indicating cells can go on forever in a healthy state provided it stays in an alkaline environment and it gets balanced diet corresponding to prakriti such that toxic wastes are minimal. So an alkaline body can go on healthily for a lot of years keeping disease at bay. Hence one should change to an alkaline diet and gradually convert the body from acidic to alkaline, from tamsik to satvik.

Yagyas which are performed as ordained by the vedas, without the expectation of anything in return, with the purest of ingredients - samidha (wood), ghrit (cow ghee obtained from a cow whose calf has not been weaned), samagri and mantra as given by the guru and the correct bhaav (thought) is satvik. such a havan or yagya results in manifestation of dev purush, is smokeless and purifies and nourishes the body and environment and fuels spiritual growth. Yagyas which are performed as mere show or for their fruit, are known to be rajasik. Yagyas which do not conform to scriptures, use polluted ingredients and incorrect uchharan and are performed devoid of guru and faith are tamsik, says gita. And those yagyas that are directed towards lower beings and lower dimensions like bhoot, pret and pisachs (karan pisachini is one such supposed deity) are a direct route to hell.

So the pure composition of yagyas and keeping the body alkaline, results in good health and ensures you do not die in pain but leave the body in happiness, with satisfaction in what you've done, at will, and going to higher dimensions. We will discuss the three kinds of tapa and daana in the next article.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Ashram. He can be reached at www. d


Aahaarastvapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyah | Yagyastapastathaa daanam teshaam shrinu ||Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 17, Verse 7||

In the previous article we discussed the three kinds of food and yagya and their effects on the body. Gita categorises tapa (penance) and charity (daanam) too into three kinds, corresponding to the three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas.

Devotion to Guru, gods, elders and evolved beings, cleanliness, straightforwardness, celibacy and non-violence are the penance of body. Kind words, truthfulness, study of scriptures and chanting of Divine name are the penance of speech. Cheerfulness, placidity, contemplation on Divine, control over senses and purity of intent are the penance of mind.

When the threefold penance of mind, body and speech is performed with utmost devotion without the expectation of anything in return, it is called satvik. The penance that is performed for name, fame, popularity or any material gains, yields an uncertain and temporary fruit and is called rajasik. The penance performed out of foolishness and obstinacy, which harms self and others, is called tamasik. Black magic and dark arts fall in the last category and are a sure shot route to hell.

Interestingly, in the present times, there is only a handful minority that practices the tapa of satva. In such ashrams no fee is charged, the intent of sadhna is purely evolution, the guru shows the sadhaks their shortcomings and puts them on the path to grow out of them. The darshans of devs and devis and experiences of subtler lokas are limited to such schools. Majority of the schools, lure masses with promise of momentary material gains and shower them with compliments with a view of extracting money and favors from them. A temporary happiness is the experienced by the practitioner but the experience of reality evades despite emptying out pockets, tying on to the cycle of progressively painful births.

Just like penance, charity too is of three kinds and has matching effects. The charity performed as a duty, without the expectation of anything in return, at an appropriate time and place to the deserving is called satvik. Charity which is performed with a view of extracting a favour, service or rewards is rajasik and that which is performed with ill-spirit and without regard, out of time and out of place to undeserving persons, is called tamsik.

Charity should be such that the left hand doesn’t know what the right gave. Service to stray and wild animals, teaching the underprivileged and feeding the poor, with detachment, as per guru vakya, are some examples of charity that accelerate ones spiritual journey. Effects of charity within ones kith and kin, or community to earn name, fame, appreciation, good will or services are limited and short-lived.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Ashram. He can be reached at

There’s two young men, twins, who’ve come into my life, and as I hold either one or the other of my daughter’s newborns in my hands, I hear voices, “He’s got your nose Bob!” or “He’s got his daughter’s cheeks!” There are some who swear they look exactly like their father, and others sigh and whisper, “Aren’t they so cute!”

In fact, I must admit I joined the vanity brigade when I suddenly left the room, stood in front of a bathroom mirror and came back and announced to my wife and all in the room, “I think one of them has my smile!” Never mind that nobody gushed or exclaimed, “Yes Bob, you’re right!” Its just that as I held them this morning, helping in their feed, I suddenly understood, and told the two, “What’s inside dear boysis what matters!”

I’m not sure they understood, poor mites, hearing me growl such truths to them, but someday I’m going to tell them this, you guys, you might have the smoothest smile, the cutest chin, the most fancied face, but it doesn’t matter, it’s the inside, that does.

And maybe they’ll turn to me puzzled and ask, “But how would anybody see what’s inside?”

“By the way it comes outside!” I’ll tell them.

Your calm inside can bring peace to those around you. Your sense of justice in your heart will make your friends know how fair you are. Your strong feelings of love will make you loyal to those you’re close to. It’s the inside my little fellows that matters.

I walk to the mirror again, and stare at it, but this time I don’t look to see whether the smile is the same as that of the two little chaps. I stare at the mirror and wonder what those around me see, and suddenly I’m not too happy with the man in the mirror.

I walk back to the two little fellows who look back at me. “I pray,” I tell them, “That you face challenges as you grow up, and as you face and surmount each obstacle, determination and resolve will form your features!”

“I pray,” I tell them, “That you will learn to taste both defeat and victory, and that in defeat you will learn to bounce back and fight again, in victory, you’ll both learn to be gracious to those you have won over!”

I look at them and continue, “And may your jaw and cheekbone show proudly those episodes of winning and losing, and that your mouths smile in the face of adversity!”

I hear voices, I hear them say, “He’s got Bob’s cheeks!” “No, it’s his father’s chin!” I smile and turn my face to the One above and whisper, “Build them oh Lord, that what’s inside will be beautiful to you..!”

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