It was a scene of joy and revelry! The Christmas tree glistened with glitter, its branches laden with blue and red balls. Snow shown white on its branches and mistletoe and green wreaths hung everywhere. Santa stood near the tree, a look of contentment and satisfaction on his red face as he took another swig from his bottle and stared at Mrs Santa, “It’s been a good season!” he said taking another swig, then waving at the reindeer who peeped in through his window.

The doorbell rang!

“Who can it be?” asked Santa to himself, as he stopped the Jingle Bells tune which had been playing in his home and all the homes throughout the world, “Who could be ringing my bell today?” He took another swig ashis doorbell rang again.

“Who are you?” asked Santa opening the door then staring with surprise at the official notice that was thrust in his face, “You a lawyer?”

“Yes!” said the figure at the door, “And this is a notice from theBirthday Boy!”

Santa asked Mrs Santa for his glasses and sat down to read the official document sent to him on Christmas Day, “I’ve been accused of impersonation and theft!” cried Santa, “Whoever could accuse me of such?”

“The Birthday Childwho’s birthday you stole!” said the lawyer.

“How could I have stolen his birthday?” asked Santa, and then watched with surprise as Mrs Santa nodded her head, “I told you, you’ve been doing so husband, and you never listened to me! You go around in that sleigh of yours, creep down chimneys, kiss young mothers under Christmas trees, and I’ve been warning you you’re stealing someone else’s birthday!”

Santa looked crestfallen and stared at the lawyer, “It’s them people of the world, they started thinking Christmas was all about me!”

The tall lawyer held the door open.

“You want me to leave?” asked Santa and Mrs Santa nodded, “You want me to leave right now?”

“Along with your reindeer, and sleigh and those gifts you carry!” said the lawyer as he continued holding the door open and let Santa, his missus and the reindeer out.

Mrs Santa stood outside a moment, before she got onto her husband’s sleigh, she watched as a young couple with a baby walked into her home. They sat down next to a crib, in a manger full of hay. She saw cattle with gentle eyes looking into the crib, and she got off her sleigh and walked to the manger. The mother looked up and smiled at her and then she along with the shepherds and angelssang to the baby Jesus who’s celebration it actually was…

Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her king

Let every heart prepare him room, and Heaven and Nature sing,

And Heaven and Nature sing, and Heaven, and Heaven and Nature sing!

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It was a Hand!

I’d been told I’d never seenit before. It had arrived at the Indian port late at night, and the captain who I luckily knew had asked me if I was interested in having a look at it, “You mean this Hand travelled all by itself?” I asked, and the captain nodded. I looked at the door of the first-class cabin, “And it’s travelled in style!” I said more to myself, but the captain who heard me above the din and bustle of the ship nodded, “It’s always travelled in a classy way,” he smiled.

“You’ve had it travelling with you before?” I asked, and the captain nodded, “Last year during the US elections, and was received by Clinton!”

“Hilary?” I asked surprised.

“Yes!” she came on board and escorted it to the newspaper offices, and after she lost the elections, she blamed the Hand!”

“Yes,” I remember,” I said, “She said Russia’s hand in her election had made her lose!”  

We knocked, the door opened and the Hand stood all by itself inside.“You’re not Russian!” I said looking with astonishment at the handsome Foreign Hand wearing the traditional attire of Pakistan.

“I can be all things to all people, and some things to some people!” said the Hand, “Today I have been invited here as a Pakistani Hand!”

“Who invited you?” I asked brusquely.

“Your Prime Minister himself!” smiled the handsome Foreign Hand.

“But why would he call you?” I stammered, “He’s not too fond of the country you come from?”

“Well he seemed to need my help in the elections he’s fighting in his home state!” said the Foreign Hand, “Didn’t you read your newspapers?He said Pakistan is working with Rahul Gandhi to fix the elections!”

“The foreign hand!” I mused.

“Usually used in desperate circumstances!” smiled the Hand, “Everybody loves a conspiracyaccusation! World leaders use me all the time, especially when they want to get their people to forget their immediate problems and focus instead on some bogey enemy threat…”

“Foreign interfering Hand!” I said immediately as the Hand smiled.“Will you be staying awhile?”

“I guess till the Gujarat elections are over!” said the Hand.

I put out my hand to shake his, but found there was nothing there, “Whoa! Whoa!” I said, “You are a ghost?”

“I am a fantasy!” said the Hand, “I take the shape of whatever I am supposed to be. Today I am Pakistani, last year I was Russian, very often I become Chinese and world leaders mould me, craft me to whatever fearful shape they want to imposeon their people!”

The cell phone rang in the cabin and the Foreign Hand picked it up, “Yes Theresa, I’ll come to London! Sure, I can come looking like a terrorist!”

I walked away in disgust as the Foreign Hand instructed the captain to take him to Gujarat..! 

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 “Mitron!” said the leader of a nation, stroking his white beard, “here are laws you can break!” Saying so he placed the tablet of stone on which he had engraved the said laws. The crowd roared its approval. It was the first time they’d been given laws they could break without punishment, and hooligans, thugs, ruffians, rapists yelled their approval as the leader showed the laws they could break to them.

Soon vigilant mobs roamed the country, thrashing, assaulting and lynching those who followed another dietary preference to theirs. They stopped trucks, carrying animals who’s taste they did not subscribe to, beat and killed owners and drivers.

They looked into homes where women cooked and if their noses smelt smells their own kitchens ne’er  produced they pulled those women out and had their way with them, even as they confiscated and took away meals meant for the poor and hungry who couldn’t afford what these mobsters ate. 

With the ‘breakable laws’ written and pinned to their sleeves they mobbed what was once a peaceful nation, rushing into places of worship where citizens worshipped in ways different from theirs, broke walls, burnt sacred objects, molested worshippers, thrashed priests, and with jeers and cries of jubilation, went to the next.

They separated couples in the name of love warfare, pulling women away from lawful wedded spouses and murdered those men who dared fall in love with another from their own faith.

The leader of the nation, stroked his beard and watched first with knowing smile, but same smile became frozen, turned to shock, then confusion. “Stop!” he cried, “What are you doing?”

But the mob did not stop.

They had learnt to break the law, and now with the taste of blood, they wanted more:

They marched into hospitals, smashed X ray machines, ransacked operation theatres, threw cancer patients from their wards, injured doctors.

They shot journalists dead, point blank, whose writings they cared not for.

They added these new freedoms to their list of ‘breakable laws’ pinned to their sleeves.

They ran into college campuses, pulled out those who thought different, battered them, whether they wore trousers or skirt.

They stopped cars on highways. Raped women travelling in them. They stopped the screening of films whose plot they did not understand. They followed tourists, and if perchance they did not allow selfie with them, beat them up, groped theirwomen, left them wounded, bloodied.

“Stop!” shouted their white bearded leader,as the world press asked questions. “Stop!” he cried then watched helpless. “Stop!” he feebly whispered as foreign presidents commented how unsafe his country had become. “Stop!”

But today the mobs, ruffians, thugs, rapists,touch the laws sewed to their sleeves. They cannotstop the bloodlust, now embedded in their hearts..!

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During the last and final test between Sri Lanka and India, pollution masks were worn by the Sri Lankan team on the field, with cricketer SurangaLakmal even vomiting on the field.

“I think we are making a mountain of a molehill!” said an Indian political heavy weight who lived in the capital, “Masks have always been worn in the Indian capital, and it is only right that when in Rome do what we Romans do!”

“Whoa! Whoa!” I exclaimed as another Sri Lankan player started coughing and throwing up on the field and their harried doctor was called to assist him in his breathing, “How could you make such a callous statement?”

“Well,” said the politician, “Just look at our PM!”

I looked in the direction of Gujarat where I saw a white-bearded white-haired man campaigning for the elections, “Surely you are wrong?”

“Look closely,” smiled the seasoned politician, “Is this the same man who you see in Delhi? Is this the same man who hugged Trump a few months back, who warmly congratulated the Miss World last week?”

“No!” I said rather reluctantly, “he speaks rough and actsharshly!”

“In Delhi he’s one man, during elections another man? Do you think there are two men? One so pleasant and patient and the other blowing volcanic fire, spewing venom with vengeance on all his opponents while campaigning?”

“It’s strange!” I whispered.

“It’s a mask!” said the seasoned politician. “As soon as he steps into Delhi he starts wearing a mask of humility and meekness!Now forget the Prime Minister, can you see that boy over there?”

“Yes!” I said as I saw a boy with dimpled cheek running towards his mother. “Seems quite a sweet little fellow! I like the way he’s running, just to be hugged!”

“Now watch his front door as he steps out again, wearing his mask!”

A little later I watched the door open and a confident man stepping out, eyes focused and speech ready to be delivered. I watched as he boarded a plane to an election state and watched as he delivered a biting speech against Modi, “Why!” I said with astonishment, “That’s Rahul Gandhi!”

“The same little boy you saw running to be cuddled stepped out a different man, how?” asked the political heavy weight smirking at me, “Tell me how?”

“He’s got a mask on!” I admitted lamely.

“Exactly!” said the politician turning in the direction of Sri Lanka, “When the capital of our country requires you to put on a mask, just put it on and don’t complain!”

“The Sri Lankans had to do it, because everybody in Delhi does it!” I agreed, shrugging my shoulders as the bus with the island’s cricketers, staring with agony through their pollution masks, drove straight to the hospital..!

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By Yogi Ashwini

In this series we have been discussing the asans and beej mantras for the various chakras as entailed in the the Sanatan Kriya and how one can activate them and strengthen the corresponding body parts. After vishuddhi we now we move on to the Agya chakra.

Agya (Crown Chakra): This master chakra controls the brain, eyes, and nose, and pineal and pituitary glands. It also directly controls all other chakras. The beej mantra for this chakra is HAM THAM OM.

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 Agya chakra, start with the chant of HAM THAM OM. Keep the chant deep and slow. Continue with the chant as we graduate into the asans for Agya.

The Yogasutras talk about three very powerful techniques, the Mahabandha, the Mahamudra and the Mahavedha. According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika ‘aetatrayam mahagunghyam jaramrityuvinashanam vahnivriddhikaram chaiv hyanimaadigunapradam’. These are the three secrets which destroy old age and death, increase digestive fire and bestow the siddhis of anima etc.

Mahabandha: Mahabandha unites the three nadis at the agya chakra and helps the mind reach the seat of Lord Shiv, kedara. It helps arrest ageing and is a bestower of great siddhis. Sit down; bend the left knee, pressing the heel into the perineum/vagina. Place the right heel on the left thigh. Inhale from the right nostril and perform the Shambhavi (center yourself and fix your eyes at the center of the forehead between the two eyebrows) and Khechari Mudra (for this, the tongue is turned backwards into the cavity of the cranium). Holding your breath inside, perform Mool Bandha (keeping awareness at the perineum and contract the perineal muscle lifting it up towards the navel and holding the posture) followed by Jalandhar Bandha (retaining the breath, bend the head forward and press the chin tightly against the chest) Come back and release the bandhas, first Jalandhar and then Mool Bandha. Repeat the same on the other side.

Mahamudra: The Mahamudra incor porates the benefits of Kumbhak, Khechari Mudra, Mool Bandha and other practices, and so purifies the entire network of nadis, restores balance in all bodily functions and aids in absorption of rasa. Sit down, bend the left knee, pressing the heel into the perineum/vagina. Stretch the right leg out in front. Inhale from the right nostril and perform the Shambhavi and Khechari Mudra. Holding your breath inside and perform Mool Bandha followed by Jalandhar Bandha. Bend forward, resting your forehead on the knee. Continue as long as you can retain your breath without straining. Come back and release the bandhas, first Jalandhar and then Mool Bandha. Repeat the same on the other side.

Mahavedha: The final practice is Mahavedha which keeps all signs of ageing such as fatigue, wrinkles, grey hair and joint pains at bay. It is also an essential practice to reap the benefits of Mahabandha and Mahamudra, for these two practices generate enormous prana which needs to be channelized in the correct way. Mahavedha is hence done after performing Mahamudra or Mahabandha. Sit down; bend the left knee, pressing the heel into the perineum/vagina. Place the right heel on the left thigh. Inhale from the right nostril and perform the Shambhavi and Khechari Mudra. Holding your breath inside, perform Mool Bandha followed by Jalandhar Bandha. Lift your body, pushing your weight into the floor using your palms and descend such that the heel pierces into the Mooladhar. Repeat this up and down movement seven times. Come back and release the bandhas, first Jalandhar and then Mool Bandha. Repeat the same on the other side.

It is important to have a Guru to practice the above or it can damage the body.

After performing the mentioned asanas and bandhas, it is extremely important to relax the body and various energy points to distribute the energy so generated all through. In the next article we will discuss how to relax and rejuvenate the body with Yog Nidra.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more .