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Published by Aman, 2021-04-22 01:33:03

MAY 2021 LP MAGAZINE

MAY 2021 LP MAGAZINE

www.lifepositive.com
` 100
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
FORGIVENESS: The path to Freedom
PAGE 26
Love vs Respect:
Which is more important?
PAGE 36
MAY 2021
A healing retreat
in Ramgarh
PAGE 46
Guruspeak:
Sri Aurobindo
PAGE 24




www.lifepositive.com
` 100
Y O U R P E R S O N A L A N D S P I R I T U A L G R O W T H C O M P A N I O N
THE
POWER OF
HUMILITY
PAGE 26
Non-violent Defence:
Is it possible? PAGE 54
www.lifepositive.com
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
July 2019
Are you a
victim of
Narcissistic
Abuse?
PAGE 62
Guru gyan by
DADASHREEJI
PAGE 40
` 100
September 2019
Winning hearts across the country since 1996
CONSISTENCY:
THE SECRET TO
SUCCESS
How not to give up
PAGE 26
MELODIES
THAT HEAL
Ragas have a
therapeutic effect
PAGE 64
Make your
child a
meditator
PAGE 48
alone trauma
SPECIAL
www.lifepositive.com
Y O U R P E R S O N A L A N D S P I R I T U A L G R O W T H
MEET
ELITOM:
The man who lives on breath
C O M P A N I O N
` 100
May 2019
How to
overcome
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Y O U R P E R S O N A L A N D S P I R I T U A L G R O W T H C O M P A N I O N
SELF-REALISATION
` 100
April 2019
12 Masters share their enlightenment experiences
Roshani Shenazz decodes the cosmic process of Self-realisation PAGE 100
a
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v
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PAGE 42
PAGE 70
` 100
January 2019
Meet
GORJI The Guru of love PAGE 18
PAGE 66
PSYCHO NEUROBIC PROGRAMMING (PNP) - SERIES 6
PAGE 77
Disclaimer - All e orts have been made to make the map accurate. However, company Life Positive Pvt Ltd and its directors do not hold any responsibility for the correctness or authencity of the same. Our main motto is to show the presence of Life Positive magazine in India.
www.lifepositive.com
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
THE
POWER OF
POSSIBILITY
THINKING
PAGE 26
Guru Gyan by
Mohanji Minimalism
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
PAGE 26
Chant and be happy
DECODING
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GURUSPEAK: Swami Chidanand Saraswati
PAGE 40
rd 1996-2019
PUDUCHERRY
PAGE 18
Surrender
to your
inner guide
PAGE 26
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YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
PAGE 74
Guru gyan by
DADASHREEJI
PAGE 64
PSYCHO NEUROBIC PROGRAMMING (PNP) - SERIES X
PAGE 82
` 100
February 2019
Say ‘Yes’ to life
PAGE 80
Guru gyan by
MOHANJI
PAGE 42
PSYCHO NEUROBIC PROGRAMMING (PNP) - SERIES VII PAGE 79
23
Enlightening Souls across the globe


The wheels are turning
Dear Reader,
What are your feelings as you observe the rapid changes happening all around you? Life seems to have gathered a speed and momentum of its own, and we feel powerless before its unstoppable flow.
However, this flow also seems to carry a strong and potent message. That it’s the time to reap the consequences of all that we have sown in the past. If we have sown positivity, hope, kindness, love, and courage, we are about to be rewarded handsomely for our deeds. But if it has been the opposite, then no longer can we run, hide, stay in denial, or manipulate the situation in our favour.
Fortunately, all is still not lost. Even today, if we ask for sincere forgiveness for our mistakes, our future can still be redeemed. The feeling that something good is about to happen is filling me with an inexplicable exuberance that does not have any evidential basis, yet it’s something which cannot be denied. This is the time to stay in gratitude and continue to persevere on the path of truth and righteousness.
As I look back, I realise that it takes a hero’s heart to go on doing and being good at a time when you are being mocked, ridiculed, and betrayed for your selfless deeds because the times are not favourable. However, it remains an undisputed fact that noble souls do good because they see the beauty and greatness of good deeds and how they exalt their own souls, instead of the rewards that lie in wait. Yet, positive outcomes of positive actions assuage our hearts and minds indeed, and restore our faith in divine justice.
The steering of the worldly vessel has been wrested by the Divine from the hands of humans and is being turned in a direction which will re-establish justice, peace, and universal harmony.
Have a safe May.
- Editor
LP mascot: Laughing Buddha
MAY 2021 Vol. 25  Issue 02
Chairman: Aditya Ahluwalia President: D R Kaarthikeyan Director: V Venkat
Editor: Shivi Verma
EDITORIAL
Assistant Editor: Nikita Mukherjee Correspondent: Navni Chawla
Chief Correspondent: Rishi Rathod (Mumbai) Graphic Designer: Sandeep Kumar
MARKETING
Assistant Manager, Ad Sales: Santosh Pandey
PRODUCT MARKETING
Assistant Vice President, Circulation & Subscription:
Dharamveer Singh
SUBSCRIPTION
Executive: Swati, Vikash Prasad FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Deputy General Manager: Ambika Sharma
Advisors
Parveen Chopra, Suma Varughese, Mark Tully,
Kiran Bedi, M Madhavan Nambiar, SD Saxena, Ameeta Mehra, Manisha Verma, Shruti Nada Poddar, Hamid Ahmed, Shovana Narayan, Ritika Goyal
Editorial & Advertising Office
Delhi: F1/9, First floor, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase - I, New Delhi-110 020
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Readers are requested to make appropriate enquiries before sending money, incurring expenses or entering into commitments in relation to any advertisement in this publication.
Life Positive or Life Positive Pvt Ltd do not vouch for any claims made by the advertisers of products and services. The printer, publisher or editor
of Life Positive or any employee of Life Positive Pvt Ltd shall not be held liable for any consequences in the event of such claims not being honoured by the advertisers.
All rights reserved. © Life Positive Pvt. Ltd.
losZ HkoUrq lqf[ku~%] losZlUrq fujke;k%
losZ Hknzkf.k i’;Urq] ekdf’pn~nq%[kHkkd~Hkosr!
May all beings be happy, May all be healthy, May people have the well-being of all in mind, May nobody suffer in any way. — Vedic prayer
Edited by Shivi Verma. Printed and published by
Aditya Ahluwalia on behalf of Life Positive Pvt. Ltd. from F1/9, First floor, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase - I,
New Delhi-110020
Printed at M.P. Printers, B-220, Phase 2 Noida, 201305 Member, Indian Newspaper Society
4 LifePositive | MAY 2021


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26
LEAD STORY
Freedom from pain
Jamuna Rangachari explains how deciding to forgive, is a defining step in our spiritual growth
18
CLOSE ENCOUNTER
As within, so without
Keeping the legacy of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother alive, Roy Ponser explains the concept of changing our inner life to manifest a beautiful outer life
15
HEARTSPEAK
Knowing your true colour
Anouchka Blessed asserts that she is much more than the colour of her skin or a citizen of her country
36
RELATIONSHIPS
Love and Respect
Ajay Kalra explains why love cannot last without respect
06 LifePositive | MAY 2021
COVER STORY


42
HEALTH
Sip your way through summer
Digestive concoctions that will help navigate these sultry months
46
RAMGARH FESTIVAL
Healing in the hills
Tired of being confined, stressed, and confused? Travel with Life Positive for a week-long festival of healing in the Kumaon Valley
52
LEARNING
A Dog’s Tale
Man’s best friend can teach a man a thing or two about living and loving, feels Nikita Mukherjee
REGULAR COLUMNS
Response 08 Mandala 10 Yoga 14
Aha-moments 40 Mudras 58 Spirit 63
Banyan Tree 64
Cover photo: Adobe Stock, Photo credit: Adobe Stock, Cover design: Sandeep Kumar
Total pages 68, including the cover page and the back cover
Contents 07


RESPONSE
www.lifepositive.com
` 100
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUA
40
LG
ROWTH COMPANION
April 2021
THE SILVER ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
12
outstanding cover stories from the archives of Life Positive
www.lifepositive.com
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
WHAT IS DHARMA? Kprninowcipthleesstphiartitual gPAoGvEe26rn human life Go on a Vegan
V
PAGE
` 100
February 2020
Change yoiunrfliivfe
s
PAGE
second
o
yage
www.lifepositive.com
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
THE JOY OF BEING IN BALI
` 100
June 2018
UNLOCK PRANA TYHORGOAUDGAHYYSPOECGIAL PAGE 56 OPEN YOUR MIND yoWuhdaetchiydaoeputporehbnorsorwiazhdoenns PAGE30
` 100
September 2019
76
50
Guruspeak by
The essence
of the Gi
P
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PAGE
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HOME MADE VEGAN DELIGHTS Afolrtegronoadtivheareltchipes PAGE 50
GURU GYAN bPAyGEM48 OHANJI
www.lifepositive.com
YOUR PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMPANION
GURUSPEAK: Swami Chidanand SPAaGEr40aswati
CONSISTENCY: THE SECRET TO SUCCESS H o w n o t t o g i v PeA GuE 2p6 MELODIES THAT HEAL Ragas have a therapeutic efPAfGeEc64t
Make your child a meditatPAoGEr48
25 glorious years of Life Positive
Here’s my morning nutrition from the article A Serene Success by Suma Varughese in the April 2021 issue of Life Positive. It says:
“We are meant to be successful in the process of living, and every other success has to emerge from that. In the Bible, Jesus put forth a simple but succinct formula for success: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ If enlightenment seems too drastic a remedy, at least get your ethical base clear. Righteousness should be the foundation upon which to build your success edifice.”
This is the 25th anniversary issue of the magazine. Do care to read it.
Dr Kiran Bedi, former LG, Pudducherry
A great issue
The April issue is really a great one and worth preserving, as it is representative of LP’s journey from 1996 to 2021.
Since its inception, LP has been in safe hands and has, over the years, steadily contributed to strengthening our deep spiritual roots as well as spiritual journalism. The day will come when we will fly on golden (50 years), platinum (75 years) and diamond (100 years) wings. We may
not be there at that time but LP will be there— not only till 2096 but beyond that too. It is like a divine spring which will never dry up. I am a regular reader of LP for the last couple of years.
The mashaal (torch) of Life Positive will continue to be passed on to the safest hands and the wisest minds and souls, as till now. People go but the values and the systems nurtured remain. Till now, the journey of LP has been well taken care of by Parveen Chopra (1996-2004), Suma Varughese (2005-2017), and presently, Shivi Verma (since 2017). All the three are enlightened souls and minds. I salute the founder of LP, Chairman Aditya Ahluwalia, a great divine and philanthropic soul.
The great masters too have continuously blessed LP and its team on their journey and continue to do so. Every issue of LP is unique and special, and focusses on some worthy subject. I specially convey my thanks to the present editor of LP, Shivi Verma, and her team.
Ashok Aggarwal, via email
Hearty congratulations to LP for completing 25 years of a holistic and inspirational journey with the readers.
It’s indeed a noteworthy achievement in the present times. My journey with LP began in 2012 at our college library, and, over the years, LP has become a true friend, giving me guidance and positivity through its various insightful and enriching articles. I have felt many a times that every home must subscribe to LP. It’s a treasure trove of articles that both the young and old would enjoy and benefit from.
The messages from Sister Shivani and Swami Mukunanada in particular are beautiful and convey what LP has been doing over the years. I am sure that with such warm support
08 LifePositive | MAY 2021
Mail from our readers, online fans and subscribers


and guidance from the masters, LP will climb greater heights and continue to spread positivity and sunshine in the lives of many seekers around the globe.
Wishing the entire team great success in the coming years.
Roopa Rani, Coimbatore
It was a pleasure to read the silver anniversary issue of Life Positive. Each of the 12 articles were rare gems and especially relevant to the present difficult times. The article by the former editor-in-chief, Suma Varughese, Music of the Night, dealing with depression, was timely and thought-provoking as all of us deal with the mental and physical challenges caused by the pandemic.
My congratulations to you and your team for bringing out such wonderful articles on different topics. I am sure that under Shivi Verma’s leadership, Life Positive will grow from strength to strength in the years ahead.
Madhavan Nambiar, via email
Suma’s words are ‘enough’
The article The Culture of Enough in your March 2021 issue has given me the much-needed insight into life and where and when I need to say “no.” I’m now clear that saying “enough” symbolises our determination towards pursuing our dreams with passion and
achieving the purpose of our life instead of focussing on material things.
I retired from service recently and was not sure how I would spend my time purposefully and happily. Suma’s words have provided me with the answers.
Thanks to Shivi Verma and Suma for the same. Looking forward to more such articles.
Gayathri Venkat, Coimbatore
Learning to listen
I am a regular reader of Life Positive. For me it is a priceless intellectual property. LP does not stand for Life Positive only, rather it is a “Life Partner” of people. It is a very good source of awareness, spirituality, morality, and etiquette.
Apropos of the article Listen (March 2021), it is an informative and interesting analysis of the listening process. No doubt listening is not a one-way traffic. In this regard, our great Guru Nanak Devji has said in his Gurubani,
(As long as we are in the world, we are bound to listen something and say something).
Many congratulations to you and the author Annesha Banerjee.
Dr. Daqshan Singh Principal (Retd.)
Response 09


MANDALA
Unnati: Giving wings to women
10
LifePositive | MAY 2021
Kavita Malhotra is a woman of extraordinary resilience and commitment. A spiritual healer and a counsellor,
she started her journey
of self-healing and inner
work 22 years ago. Kavita
is devoted to the mission
of creating healthy,
balanced, and happy homes
by improving the physical,
psychological, and emotional
well-being of women. Kavita’s
baby enterprise, Unatti, came into
being when she realised the need to contribute to making the world a better place. It started with her conducting personal growth sessions for the staff at her husband’s office. Most of them were women, working for their survival and struggling in their relationships. This led to her dream to help women enjoy a quality life.
Unatti conducts one-on-one online personalised sessions that are specially cut out to suit the exact circumstance of a person and which help them resolve their inner conflicts. She likes to keep her work simple and easy by eschewing the sense of doership and believing that God is working through her. This helps her stay true to the work—humble and in surrender—and also works best in the interest of her clients who seek value for money when they invest in the workshops conducted by Unatti.
Kavita Malhotra is no less than a wonder woman who empowers others to realise their true worth
Her core work lies in strengthening the relationship of women with their own selves so that they can feel empowered, happy, free, and fulfilled within first, before they attend to the needs of other people. Women, inherently being huge multitaskers, juggle different roles. From managing heavily loaded household duties and their careers to taking care of their families, they do it all. Giving credence to the saying “You cannot pour from an empty cup,” Kavita teaches these women how to keep their cups full by intuitively leading them on. She employs healing tools like journaling, EFT, switch words, meditation, etc., which help them drop the negative and unwanted layers of their personality and crystallise their higher
purpose and meaning in life.
She has helped many women realise their heart’s calling. A butterfly effect has resulted in most of her inspired students contributing in many different ways to uplift society as a whole. Calling herself a learner first and then a teacher, she is still acquiring new skills every day. She is also pursuing writing a book on self-growth.
Contact: [email protected]


Sole searching
Calling herself a foot reader by karma, Preeti Chadha is a holistic wellness expert, a motivational speaker, and a spiritual healer. Foot reading is studying the texture and structure of both sides of the feet: the toes (each toe has a significant meaning), nails, lines, arch, colour, mounts, and also certain imbalances or symbols which can tell about one’s emotions and personality. It is an age-old science that can be traced back to 5000 years. Preeti believes to have received the gift of being able to read people’s feet as a blessing from Maa Kali. She says that the feet are the storehouse of one’s karmas.
Preeti stresses the need for taking care of one’s feet by keeping them clean, beautiful, and covered to attract good luck and energise oneself. She explains, “Since our body has a magnetic field of its own and feet are its energy centre, they can pick 3000 times more negative energy
than our thoughts; so they must be protected well. The feet can be the most neglected part of
the body. Any kind of pain, discomfort, discolouration,
cracks, infections, or wounds should be
taken as seriously as a headache. Often ignored,
these may be signs of a disease slowly settling inside the body. Even an injury suffered by a toe or the ankle can be an important message to take cognizance of.”
She was pained to see the negligence of people towards their feet, which turned her into an entrepreneur. She runs her company called Iremia Oils, under which she makes organic foot balms and oils with healing properties. These products are energised by mantra chanting played while making them.
Always intrigued by people’s feet, Preeti has walked most of her life with her eyes glued to the ground. Since foot reading is a very rare subject, Preeti has learned everything about it on the job, by the practice of analysing many feet. When her readings turned out to be accurate, it encouraged her further on this path.
Containing reserved spots for deities and planets, feet are holy and significant. They carry 12-14 energies that are not even present on the
palms and forehead, which makes foot reading a rather exclusive method to make predictions. Foot reading, when combined with astrology, is very efficient in revealing with certainty and clarity many things in life. Preeti, who emphasises the importance of mindful living, is also coming up with a book
on foot reading soon.
Contact: 9818276411 [email protected]
Preeti Chadha believes that one should equally take care of their feet to invite luck and prosperity in their life
Mandala 11


Ramakrishna Sarada Mission turns 50
In the late 1960s, the members of Sarada Mahila Samity of New Delhi conceived a noble idea of establishing an educational and cultural centre in the name of Sister Nivedita (Margaret Elizabeth Noble, a disciple of Swami Vivekananda) as a centenary memorial to her. They decided to establish this centre under the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, Dakshineswar, and subsequently, invited the mission to start a centre in New Delhi. In response to this, the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission started a branch on April 14, 1970, at Hauz Khas, a posh colony in south Delhi, with the aim of spreading cultural and spiritual ideals among women and children, irrespective of caste, creed, or financial status.
Starting with a single educational project named Nivedita Vidya Mandir (pre-primary and primary school), the centre in New Delhi has now developed into a hive of activities. It runs several projects, including Vivekananda Balmandir (acquainting the children with an elementary knowledge of the scriptures and the history, traditions, culture, and way of life in our country), Sarada Mandir (for the financially needy girls of Shahpur Jat village near Hauz Khas), and Chandramadi
Balwani (basic education for children from economically weaker sections of our society, staying in close vicinity). Community service activities such
as giving food, clothes,
and medicines to the
needy on a regular basis
and conducting study
circles and cultural meets,
which include devotional music classes and the study
of scriptures for women, are also included.
Nestled among a belt of lush green trees and vibrant flower beds, Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, New Delhi, held its Golden Jubilee celebrations (50 years) on February 21, 2021. The spiritual rendezvous commenced with a prayer by the sadhvis, sanyasinis (monks), and Mataji, Ms Pravrajika Jnanaprarna (the principal and head of the centre), which was followed by a welcome address by the secretary of the centre. Mr Pinaki Chandra Ghose, who is the current chairperson of Lokpal, was the chief guest at the event. He talked about the foundation of Ramakrishna Sarada Mission and how it came to be established by Swami Vivekananda and Ma Sarada. “Ramakrishna Sarada Mission provides a sound base of Indian values, culture, and tradition. The main vision of this spiritual set-up is to provide the right input to students from all walks and areas of life for holistic development and education, so that they can contribute to a powerful nation’s growth,” remarked Mr Ghose. The chief guest’s address was followed by a ceremony felicitating the teachers, workers, and staff for their selfless service to the organisation and the community
for years.
Ms Pravrajika Divyanandaprana
(the ex-principal and head) of Ramakrishna Sarada Mission said, “Ramakrishna harmonised all the four faculties of yoga—bhakti, gyan, raja, and karma—to attain the ultimate goal of life: God Realisation.” She also enlightened the audience about Vedanta Philosophy and how it serves as the basis of our sole
and soul purpose in life.
The Sanyasinis of Ramakrishna Sarada Mission commenced the celebration with a soulful prayer
12 LifePositive | MAY 2021


TALES FROM THE VEDAS
Friends, I am Sage Madhuchandha, son of Sage Vishwamitra. I have composed 102 richas (hymns) and have had the honour to begin the Rig Veda. How many of you would like to know what I have to say, even if it were out of curiosity? Many of you, I suppose. Well then, listen to my tale.
I realised that mortals in my day needed light, energy, food, wealth, knowledge, and, especially, a guardian for their welfare. (Today, after thousands of years, man still needs the same.) We turned to whoever was then available to provide the above, and so, I especially turned to Agni.
For me, He emerged as God, for he was truthful, honest, powerful, and swayambhu (self-manifesting). He was seen in his own light, and I realised he could lead mortals to wealth and a comfortable life. I chose him as my guardian. My needs began to grow, and simultaneously, Agni came forth as a friend of mortals, and so did his friends Vayu and Varun. Between the earth and the sky, these three emerged as gods for man, not because they were powerful but because they wanted the welfare of mankind. Man needed such well- wishers, and soon we bonded.
As our needs began to grow, their godly powers to fulfil our desires also grew. We were so wonderstruck at their generosity that we began to compose hymns in praise of them. They loved these hymns and responded to them. The more we praised, the more they were pleased, and all our needs began to be fulfilled. Soon, the firm belief ‘Pray and praise gods and have your needs fulfilled’ took root in the mortal mind.
“Pray and Praise Gods and have your needs fulfilled” Gradually, our needs took the form of desires, and we aspired for more. We noticed the sun, the moon, the stars, the night, and the dawn, and our minds soared high to discover the pleasures which hid behind these.
We met new gods: Indra, Sun, Moon, and so on. Indra was the god of the planet and seemed to have liked our hymns of praise. They strengthened the gods’ power of oration and composition, and thus man tapped the powers of the gods.
Slowly, man’s desires became ambitious. He wanted to be as powerful as the gods. He wanted the lustre of Agni, the wealth of Indra, the power of Vayu, and Varun’s lands for dwellings. And every mortal’s wish first manifested a
Agni Richa from Veda :
new god to provide for their desires. The world we live in started taking shape. Our beliefs were taking the shape of organised prayers, gods were manifesting as mortals, and soon, man learned to bond with them. Gods became the guests of the mortal world, to whom man offered prayers, praise, sacrificial oblations, somras (nectar of the gods), and his loyalties.
Address: 8A/2, Laxminarayan Nagar, Erandawane, Pune 411004
Whatsapp only: 9511602400 Website: www.maakundalini.com Email: [email protected] Youtube: swami radhikanand
TALE 1 BY SAGE MADHUCHANDHA as told by Maa Radhikaa
AGNIM ILE PUROHITAM YADNASYA DEVAM RUTVIJAM HOTARAM RATNA DHATAMAM . AGNI DEV NAMO NAMAH


YOGA
Uplift yourself with the Upward Plank
Kamala Venkat shows us how to perform Poorvottanasana to benefit our body in various ways
The literal meaning of Poorvottanasana is ‘to stretch towards the east.’ However, this has nothing to do with stretching in the east direction. This asana specifically refers to the flow of pranic subtle energies in the ‘eastern’ frontal side. It is also called Upward Plank Pose. Practising Poorvottanasana can be invigorating and uplifting for your mind and body when practised correctly.
Method
Tips
• Keep your neck long. If you feel any compression in your neck, tuck your chin slightly and do not let your head drop all the way back.
• Keep your upper back strongly engaged to help lift your body.
Benefits
• Strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders, back, and spine.
• Stretches the legs and hips.
• Improves respiratory function.
• Stretches the intestines and abdominal organs.
• Stimulates the thyroid gland.
Contraindications
Since the whole weight of the body is to be supported mainly by the hands and wrists, people with wrist injuries should avoid this asana. Also, those suffering from any neck injury should either completely avoid doing this posture or use the support of a chair while practising this pose.
• Sit with the legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
• Place the palms on the floor around the waist or at shoulder level, fingertips pointing away from you. Do not bend the arms.
• Lean back and support the weight of your body on your hands.
• Breathing in, raise the pelvis, keeping the whole body straight.
• Keep your knees straight and your feet flat on the floor. Place the toes on the ground, and the soles will then tend to stay on the ground. Let the head fall back towards the floor.
• Hold the pose and continue breathing.
• As you exhale, come back to a sitting position and relax.
• Slowly bend forward and hold both your toes with your fingers.
• Slowly release your fingers and come back to a normal position and relax.
Mrs. Kamala Venkat is a home maker with a great passion for yoga. Inspired by Shri Swami Ramdev of Patanjali, she has been practising it with complete dedication for the last 20 years.
14 LifePositive | MAY 2021


HEARTSPEAK
Knowing your true colour
In this eye-opening article, Anouchka Blessed asserts her conviction that she is much more than the colour of her skin or a citizen of her country
am Black, and I have suffered enough. My skin colour and sense of belonging to a minority will determine my destiny. I know
; this is what I have been told. My skin colour is the perfect guarantee that I will have to struggle in life and fight against racism and xenophobia. The glass ceiling awaits me, no matter what studies I undertake or how much energy I put into advancing to leadership
positions.
“You are Black. You are petite. You are a woman. You will have to fight.”
These were my mother’s words when I was about to fly the nest from Togo to France at the age of eighteen, after graduating from the French baccalaureate. By expressing herself in that way, my mother unknowingly sealed my fate for a gloomy destiny of battles and the constant need to prove myself in a world of brutes. And that’s what I tried very hard to do for a large part of my life: prove that I was as capable as the others, prove that I had “balls,” prove that I could make it despite the unappreciated
combination of my skin colour and gender.
itI
Heartspeak 15


Imprisoned by identity
This iron seal affixed to me had coloured my destiny, until I discovered that I was much more than my skin colour. A statement heard in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal called me out: “Beware of anything you put after the words ‘I am.’ Because saying ‘I am’ can lock you into an identity. And this identity can cause a lot of suffering.” This teaching changed my whole existence. It shattered everything I had been taught, everything I believed in. I understood that using these words ‘I am’ had confined me to a very limited view of my being. This profound and wise suggestion enlightened and set me free because those who walk and are aware of their chains are definitely freer than those who are not aware of them.
We all constantly identify ourselves: “I am a lawyer,” “I am a Black woman,” “I am a Christian,” or “I am the partner/wife/husband of so-and-so.” We think this ‘I’ we describe is what we really are. Then, when we fail to keep up with that identification, it’s a tragedy. I experienced it first-hand. I had already lost a lot of things in my life, including my lawyer’s title and prestige, my belongings, my social status as a spouse, and my virginity too.
But that’s not the point here. We believe that in order to survive, we must identify with what we do and everything we have, whether it is the objects we own or people. We are attached to our homes, cars, friends, ideas, opinions, the way we look at the world, and how the world looks at us. We are attached to what we identify with. However, this attachment imprisons us. Take the example of nationality. When asked where we come from, it is with pride that we answer: “I am Senegalese,” “I’m Nigerian,” or “I am South African.” Saying this is ignoring the fact that the partition of Africa and the definition of borders were arbitrary acts imposed by the
Europeans. Exclusively identifying with a territory means creating mental and physical borders with other populations. It means placing ourselves in a small, cramped box with the label of a geographical origin. Similarly, when I say “I’m Black,” I’m putting a racial etiquette on myself. Then, I’m carrying the distress of my ancestors on my shoulders, the weight of a heavy historical narrative, and the shame of an inferiority complex. Plus, I’m creating a separation from other people based on the colour of my skin. Lastly, and above all, I’m denying myself the right to grasp the full measure of who I truly am. The reality is, it’s time to get out of this mental process that prevents us from keeping open minds and obstructs our right to be free. Slavery no longer exists, but oppression is still here in our heads. We create our own chains and strings, and we perpetuate our victimhood from generation to generation.
Breaking mental fetters
A bright prophet and philosopher once said, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” You guessed it right. It was Bob Marley. These transcendent lines were the instruction manual for sustainable redemption. Nowadays, mental slavery is a plague, an infectious disease. Like all mental defects or diseases, mental slavery is hard to define. It is where one becomes trapped by misinformation about the self and the world. It is far more sinister than physical slavery because the chains are invisible and transmitted across generations. It is where one is content to be history’s permanent victim, forever looking to the outside world for justice. Everything is about how someone did something to us, how someone hates us, how someone belittled us, how someone stole from us, etc. It is where our worldviews, horizons of action, sense of what is possible, and largely,
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our self-perception, serve as our bindings. The nature of mental slavery is to promote ways of thinking that impede growth and development. That can take the form of cultivating dependence and reactive behaviour. So the root of mental slavery is ignorance, resulting in the entire Black community being kept in a vicious cycle.
‘Wakanda forever,’ my ass! It’s time to break the cycle. For the people yet to come. We have the right to feel pain. We have the right to feel sadness. We have the right to be angry. But we cannot feel upset enough to make anyone’s life better, especially our own. We don’t owe it to anyone to carry the baggage of our ancestors, the pain they have suffered, because the present moment is all there is. I cannot deny hurtful and saddening acts of racism that some people may have personally endured: “When white people see me they cross the road,” when you are told “Go back to your country, Negro,” or other colourful words. I also cannot do anything against the fact that almost every Black face in the news these days seems to be only relevant as victims of racism. Do we exist outside of this narrow-minded narrative? Who are we beyond the colour of our skin?
We are masters of our destiny
I just remember this story I have been told by a monk in Thailand. The story of a person who thought he was a cat. This person went to see a psychiatrist to describe his problem. “I’m a cat, and I’m in pain,” he complained. After multiple sessions, the psychiatrist finally
managed to convince him that he was indeed a man. He left the last consultation convinced he was a man but returned a few hours later, totally distraught. The psychiatrist asked him the reason for his agitation. He replied: “I know very well that I am a man but the dogs that are outside barking don’t know that I am no longer a cat.” I consider this a funny story on how we falsely identify ourselves and how it’s actually not important what other people think of us once we recover from our illusions. None but we ourselves can free our minds. None but we ourselves can stop the identification. While we label ourselves, we lose sight of who we really are. We are human beings. Our hearts have no colour. Our minds have no colour. We are human beings and have always been so. Our humanity is not defined by the colour of our skin.
One with all
I have set myself free, thanks to all the teachings I have received in the East. And today, I know I am engaging in a perilous exercise when I use the words ‘I am.’ I am proud of my culture, which is of an incomparable richness. I am ‘Chaka Zulu’, with the strength and determination to lead my life where I want to. I am the ‘baobab tree’, resistant to all bad weather. I am ‘la joie de vivre’ that is typical of those who know how to rejoice from being alive. I am the reassuring warmth of the community who cares about the other. But I am still much more. I am a citizen of the world, whose heart remains open to my brothers, whether they are yellow, green, or grey. But I am still much more. I. Am.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Heartspeak 17


CLOSE ENCOUNTER
As within, so without
Keeping the legacy of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother alive, Roy Posner explains to Pradeep Krishnan the concept of changing our inner life to manifest a beautiful outer life
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LifePositive | MAY 2021
Spiritual masters often proclaim that our inner and outer worlds are not two separate entities; one reflects the other. We often blame our failures and misfortunes on bad luck, fate, or karma. Instead, if we are courageous enough to introspect a little, we would discover that negativity, doubt, wrong attitudes, fear of failure, etc., are the causes of our predicament. Conversely, when we act out of an inner certitude, we manifest unqualified success in the outer world, bringing joy and abundance in its wake. If we are ready to change our attitude, Life shines in its full glory.
California-based Roy Posner, inspired by the life and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, devoted more than three decades unravelling the complex milieu of the inner and outer worlds and how it permeates every aspect of one’s
existence. His experiments with Life, his own and others, resulted in discovering that Life responds in seemingly miraculous ways to positive human effort or initiative, which he calls ‘life response.’
This understanding made him evolve as an author, writer, software developer, corporate instructor, business consultant, human development researcher, musician, personal mentor, spiritual guide, and philosopher. His trials in ‘miraculous’ outcomes in hundreds of instances all over the world resulted in several books, including the internationally acclaimed The Miraculous Phenomenon of Life Response. In his books, Roy offers startling insights into the human condition and the emergence of a new consciousness and way of living based on the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He has been an instructor and consultant in


and around Silicon Valley for over 25 years and has worked closely with the Mother’s Service Society (MSS), Pondicherry, India, in developing his ideas on human evolution and transformation. Roy says: “Though our senses tell us that there is a world outside that is separate from our own selves, from a deeper view, there is no such division. Because we share this continuous stream of existence. When I change the inner me, the outer— which is really inseparable from me—instantly responds. In other words, the inner and the outer are one.”
Strangely, this online interview itself happened in a unique way, validating ‘life response.’ Though Roy had initially agreed to do the interview, to my utter dismay, he suddenly announced backing out of the project due to personal reasons. However, having read some of Karmayogi’s books by then, instead of becoming restless or desperate, I immediately consecrated the project to the Mother, mentally praying, “Mother, let your will prevail,” and sent an email to Roy requesting him to reconsider his decision. After two days, to my utter delight, Roy agreed, substantiating the power of life response.
Below are excerpts from the exclusive online interview Pradeep Krishnan had with Roy Posner:
Q. Could you please tell us about your early life?
I was born on January 17, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York City. Strangely, many of the people who were born on that day became famous black athletes or entertainers, like Muhammed Ali. As a young boy of five, I saw African- Americans gathered in dozens in another building on ‘the other side of the tracks,’ perhaps the first instance of duality and
division I noticed. Later, we moved into a big house in the region of Queens in NYC. After attending Syracuse University, I headed out to California and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area for the next 35 years. It had the vibration of a higher consciousness I did not experience elsewhere. In Silicon Valley, the birthplace of advanced electronics, personal computers, smartphones, etc., I taught at many renowned companies for many years.
Q. How did you come to the spiritual path? Led by M, my college mate, many mornings, we read together lines from Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri before beginning our work. One day, seeing my friend growing a beard and carrying a book of Sri Aurobindo’s, I asked him the reason for it and he said that The Mother had attained Mahasamadhi (leaving the material world). At that moment, I felt Their consciousness entering my being. It was reported that many people around the world had similar experiences when She left. Twenty years later, one of my friends told me that on the day of Her departure, he saw a vast light emanate from Pondicherry and spread around the world. Several others had similar experiences, and it is believed that She entered the hearts of each devotee worldwide.
Q. How did you come in contact with late Sri Karmayogi (a spiritual master who lived in Pondicherry and was the founder of MSS)? That was the next stage of my journey. In 1974, my intention to start a house-painting business in San Francisco, California, did not bear fruit. After a series of events, including a journey across Europe, I returned to California, in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. There I met Dr Judith Tyberg, an eminent Sanskrit author and a disciple and friend of The Mother at the East West Center and came to know of Mere Cie Imports and MSS. This meeting, as well
Close Encounter 19


as encountering Garry Jacobs, an American devotee of Karmayogi, who had just returned from Pondicherry, brought together my life’s purpose. I not only entered a deeper stage of my journey but was able to apply the spiritual wisdom to the work I was involved in. Thus, it was the single great turning point of my life. Soon, I formed my own sales company and started applying the principles of Karmayogi to my work through the method of ‘consecration,’ i.e., opening up to The Mother, the Supramental Power. In fact, I applied many of his principles to my business training and consulting activities, including in Silicon Valley, beginning my life of ‘instantaneous miraculousness’ in earnest.
After several years of deep study with Garry Jacobs at his home in Napa, California, I began direct email conversations with Karmayogi in the late 1990s that continued till 2003. We discussed many topics, including his vast array of spiritual insights, my personal journey and progress, and conditions in the world. We also took up studies in literature, particularly Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, where Karmayogi revealed the subtle workings of life and the ways to evoke sudden good fortune. I applied many of these principles to my daily work and experienced miraculous results!
Q. How is following a spiritual life connected with growth, accomplishment, prosperity, etc.?
A spiritual life simply means rising to a consciousness beyond our normal status. The more one grows, the more one can expand in consciousness by moving away from the surface of life, going deeper within, connecting with the inner being, and culminating in experiencing the Evolving Soul, one’s Psychic Being. Thus, one climbs ‘up’ beyond the ordinary mind to the spiritualised mind, enabling one to have
experiences of illumination, intuition, and the revelation of knowledge, culminating in what Sri Aurobindo referred to as ‘Supramental Perception’ (i.e., Truth Consciousness).
Following a spiritual life requires true dedication and sincerity to go beyond one’s current status and existence to something deeper and higher. It helps to develop spiritual capacities: silence, peace, harmony, goodness, self-givingness, wisdom, empathy, creativity, compassion, and the ability to live beyond ordinary conceptions of space and time. Ultimately, it is to experience bliss, joy in life, and to feel deep love for others and the world. As one comes in touch with the Spirit within and the spiritual Force around, one’s nature changes leading to their growth in consciousness. When this expanded consciousness is applied to Life and work, it certainly elevates one’s efforts and thus attracts all manner of positive outcomes, from enormous accomplishments to infinite- like abundance and prosperity. There are so many startling examples of these dynamics!
Q. Did you not record these on the website Growth Online?
All the knowledge and experiences others and I had as a result of living a spirit-oriented life were chronicled to show how reversing a negative attitude or opening to the spiritual Force, which we call ‘consecration,’ opens the door to enormous possibilities; even attracting sudden good fortune. There were so many true-life response experiences that I wanted to record and publish so that viewers could see articles on personal organisation (like how to raise one’s level of cleanliness and orderliness) and see how it would take them to a higher degree that evokes sudden good fortune, what we call a response from life—a ‘life response’.
Later, realising the importance of social
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media, to have a more robust platform with interactive possibilities, we launched 20 Facebook groups on various subjects, from Supramental Life, and the Spiritual Future of Science and Money, to the Inner Keys to Work and Business Success.
Q. What are the key factors that enable people to grow and evolve? Please describe the processes and principles for accomplishment and growth?
Anything that helps to elevate one’s consciousness as well as the physical, vital, and mental capacities enables one to grow. Personally, overcoming negative attitudes, subscribing to high personal values, and opening to the Spiritual Force, to The Mother, have been central to my own personal and spiritual growth. Each time one takes these to a higher degree, one grows in consciousness and experiences a corresponding positive response from the world around them. That ‘instantaneous miraculousness,’ helps one develop a new-born faith, as well as a new level of inner strength and determination to seek even greater, personal and spiritual growth in life. And as this process intensifies and deepens, one not only grows but also evolves. If one takes this endeavour to the very centre of life, one can even transform into a new type of person, even a new species—the vision Sri Aurobindo offered the world.
To truly accomplish this, one has to consciously apply these spiritual qualities to the field one is engaged in; work, business, or any creative endeavour. As one engages in activities and experiences, one receives spiritual feedback from the Universe, pointing to those factors that lead to great success. In addition to the normal qualities we attribute to success, having the necessary skill and knowledge, practising punctuality and reliability, being organised,
applying spiritual methods like consecration, not reacting to others, taking another’s point of view, and remaining still and silent from within will surely lead to great levels of success and accomplishment in life.
Q. How does one bring about change in one’s consciousness to attract success and accomplishment in Life?
Life response is to evoke instantaneous miraculousness from out of thin air. You do something of a higher order, higher consciousness, and life suddenly brings forth good fortune, seemingly from out of nowhere. And yet, it is our reversal of consciousness that precipitated it. If I shift from reluctance to do a job to willingness to do it, then quite often, good fortune suddenly lands on my doorstep in the form of a huge sale or vast opportunity or the sudden dissipation of a serious problem.
In essence, life on the ‘outside’ will respond in kind to one’s shifts in consciousness ‘inside.’ This dynamic ‘inner-outer correspondence’ is the basis of all life response events. So, if one continually raises the level of orderliness and cleanliness, shifts a negative attitude to the positive, and opens to the Spiritual Force before undertaking an activity, Life will constantly respond on the outside with corresponding miraculous-like outcomes.
Q. Please elucidate the principle of inner- outer correspondence which states that ‘if I change the inner me, the outer instantly responds in kind’.
Along with the power of the Mother’s Force, this was the great understanding of my life. Years ago, Sri Karmayogi had asked me to collect 100 life response incidents so that I could truly begin to understand this inner- outer correspondence principle. The more I collected such experiences, my own and others,
Close Encounter 21


A spiritual life simply means rising to a consciousness beyond our normal status. The more one grows, the more one can expand in consciousness by moving away from the surface of life, going deeper within, connecting with the inner being, and culminating in experiencing the Evolving Soul, one’s Psychic Being.
the more such new instances started happening to us. After a while, these incidents became so compelling that people were attracting work, jobs, money and wealth in quick response to their shifts of consciousness, often without them doing ‘anything’ on the outside. On every occasion, the outer result was initiated, created, and enabled by very specific shifts in one’s consciousness from within. These incidents have been recorded in my book The Miraculous Phenomenon of Life Response.
Q. Could you please tell us about your in-depth analysis of The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo’s magnum opus?
As devotees of MSS, the collected works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother are our primary sources of wisdom. The theme of His work is that man aspires for light, love, and joy but fails to attain it because his nature is divided. He inherits the unconsciousness of his lower nature, which is the physical, the material legacy of the inconscient, the stone. However, when man discovers his higher nature, he breaks the bonds of his old lower, physical consciousness and comes into the light, thereby fulfilling the human aspiration for light, love, and joy.
Sri Aurobindo does not stop there. He tells us that we can evolve our nature to the spiritual peaks, culminating in our attainment of an
ultimate gnostic, Supramental Consciousness. And if enough individuals reach this lofty peak of awareness and power, they can become the forerunners of a divine life on Earth. While reading each page of the book, I highlighted some points and noted down specific ideas. In the late 1990s, I brought out the book An Analysis of Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, exploring each chapter in depth.
Q. What are the spiritual principles advocated by the website Romance Eternal?
The central principle of The Life Divine and the Romance Eternal is that evolution takes place by moving to higher levels of harmony. He Himself emphasised that “all problems of Life are problems of harmony.” Thus, if romance is to sustain itself, the partners need to grow in harmony. The greater the giving up of the ego, the more the self-givingness; the less the ego dominates, the deeper the bond and association between the partners. In that sense, romance has endless scope for love and mutual affection; hence the title of the site, ‘Romance Eternal.’
Q. You once said that the power of living in the depths enables one to live life from a deeper consciousness within so that one can function more effectively in daily life, which opens the portals of the spiritual domain. Please explain.
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At any moment, one can ask, “Where is the centre of my consciousness? Is it on the surface, caught up in the whirlwind of the day, or is it stationed deeper within, in a stillness and silence, in blissful openness to what is unfolding?” A serene status helps one to meet the challenges of the day easily. The deeper one goes within, connecting to the evolving soul (the psychic being), by being open to possibilities, to the higher life, to right decision-making and action, and to doing things that bring harmony with others and life gets easier.
One can reach that stage by quieting the mind, continuously opening to the Spiritual Force of the Mother, not reacting to others’ tantrums, considering others’ point of view, etc. That acts as a bridge from ‘within’ to the highest consciousness and harmonious relationship with Life.
Q. How has the study of different dimensions of Life helped you in evolving your own consciousness?
Every day, I practise several methods of Karmayogi that I just mentioned. Whenever I look within and change my attitude, immediately, something wonderful happens: a huge sale or a golden opportunity presents itself. The same happens with opening to the Mother and Her Force. As conditions present themselves, I evaluate the situation and try to make choices in the right direction, thereby attracting positive conditions in kind. Moreover, the response may not just be for my own benefit but for the wider groups
and collectives of people I interact with. And that fits in with Sri Aurobindo’s notion that we are not just individual beings, but Universal ones as well.
Q. How can we experience that ‘All Life is yoga,’ as proclaimed by Sri Aurobindo? Immediately start practising consecration. Offer each important activity in your daily life to the Higher Power, to the Mother, to the Supramental Force—they are all the same thing—and watch how magically life unfolds in the minutes, hours, and days thereafter. Also, aspire to live the inner life, that spiritual existence, daily. Go deeper within, away from the surface, to gain inner powers of consciousness. Finally, learn about the subtle patterns of life, how life truly works, which Sri Aurobindo, The Mother, and Karmayogi have revealed to the world. After a while, you will begin to feel a continuous richness within, and a joy in all you come in contact with in your life.
Q. Your message to the readers?
There is a Divine Reality behind this material existence that is filled with powers which we can gain access to and practise in our lives. If we regularly apply them to the activities and challenges we encounter, we will be amazed by the way life quickly responds in our favour. That, in turn, builds greater faith in the Higher Power and increases our aspiration, the flame within to go further on the Path. As a result, Life becomes a never-ending unfolding of light, love, and joy!
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Close Encounter 23


GURUSPEAK
Where is the Time for Spirituality?
Sri Aurobindo was unique among spiritual masters in being a perfect synthesis of the East and the West. That gave his teachings a refreshing and contemporary touch, free from any dogma and prejudice. While he was rooted in ancient Indian wisdom, his teachings have a global scope in today’s world. This article by Ramesh Bijlani is part of a series that celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of
Sri Aurobindo, which falls in 2022.
Life has to be lived in the present but can be one’s work with the feeling of being an instrument of
understood only in light of the past. Indians
lived a meaningful life for thousands of years without calling it religious or spiritual. For them, right living was a habit. There were scriptures galore, but the tyranny of the world was superfluous for a society that valued simple living and high thinking. But with time, things changed. India suffered a slow decline. There grew a dichotomy between worldly life and spiritual life. Spiritual life came to be seen as hard and demanding. Ascetic life meant for a select few who tore themselves away from all worldly responsibilities. For the rest, it was worldly life with all its problems and pitfalls. The result was neglect of material life on one hand, and moral degradation on the other, for both of which the country paid a heavy price. Sri Aurobindo was among the pioneers who saw through this tragedy, and made a powerful case for a life-affirming version of spirituality.
The basic thesis underlying life-affirmation is the Vedantic assertion that the world is a manifestation of the Divine. In other words, the world is a form of the Divine. If the Divine is real, the world cannot be unreal. However, although the Divine is perfect, the world is imperfect. The world is imperfect because it does not express fully its divinity. Man, however, is unique in having the capacity to express more of his divinity. He not only has this capacity, he also has the urge to do so. Using human life to address this urge is to live a spiritual life.
Spiritual life has three basic elements. First, doing
the Divine. Further, there should be no attachment to the outcome of the work, and yet the work should be done to the best of one’s ability. Work so done becomes a source of joy. Second, making choices in life that are driven by universal and unconditional love, not by considerations of material gain and loss. Such choices bring immense joy and lasting mental peace. Third, seeing the ups and downs of life as opportunities for manifesting more of one’s divinity. This dispassionate attitude to fortune and misfortune gives unshakable equanimity.
What do these three elements of spiritual life tell? First, spiritual life does not require seclusion in a secret sanctuary. Second, worldly life itself provides opportunities for practicing spirituality. Third, there is no aspect of worldly life that is outside the scope of spiritual life. Therefore, when people complain that there is no time for spirituality, they misinterpret spirituality. To them, practicing spirituality means setting time aside for rituals or meditation. Finally, spiritual life is not a dull and monotonous life. Spiritual life is a vibrant life driven by love. Timeless wisdom has confirmed repeatedly that the formula for filling life with joy, peace and fulfillment is to love more. But human resistance to the formula makes it necessary for seers like Sri Aurobindo to repeat it in every age and epoch. Sri Aurobindo does it in one line in Savitri: “...to feel love and oneness is to live.”
Ramesh Bijlani, once a professor at AIIMS, New Delhi, is now a spiritual seeker at Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch.
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LEAD STORY
Freedom
from
PAIN
Many of us fail to move on in life as we do not know how to forget the past. However, deciding to forgive, whether ourselves or others, is a defining step in our spiritual growth, heralding the beginning of a new life, unfettered by the chains of the past, says Jamuna Rangachaari
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Lead Story 27


To err is human, to forgive, divine.
- Alexander Pope
the terror attacks of Mumbai. She lost both her daughter and husband in the firing by terrorists. She shares, “When the 26/11 terrorist attack took place, I was in a state of shock. My heart cracked open and my mind was in an altered state. As my family and I sat on the sofa watching the news and the photo of the lone surviving terrorist came onto the TV screen, I heard the words ‘Forgive them, they know not what they do’ inside my head. These were the words of Christ as he was being crucified. I was brought up in the Catholic faith, so forgiveness was part of my religious education.
“It has taken years to discover the true meaning of forgiveness. It begins with a choice and a willingness to forgive. But it has nothing to do with the terrorist. It has to do with me. What’s done is done. Forgiveness will not change any of that. It will not bring my husband and daughter back. I am the one I have to live with, and I am still here. How do I want to live and what can I bring forth that will be of benefit to myself and others? Love is the greatest contribution we can make. Forgiveness is an act of love. I chose love. Love is what has helped to heal my broken heart. Forgiveness is a necessary ingredient to restore wholeness to myself.”
Now she helps others walk the path of forgiveness and is leading a life of peace.
Forgiving ourselves
Choosing to forgive can take a moment or it can take years. Forgiveness is not only about
n the Bible, the Greek word that’s translated as ‘forgiveness’ is ‘aphesis.’ Its literal meaning is ‘to let go,’ as
Iwhen we let go of a rope or something else we are holding on to. With forgiveness, the grip we are releasing is a mental one. We are letting go of the judgments and grievances that we are holding against a person or a community, and our beliefs about how they should have behaved.
Unforgiveness is like an unhealed raw wound that keeps hurting and smarting, long after the painful episode is over. Unlike a physical wound which heals after some time, unforgiveness is an emotional wound which festers and grows with time, often coming in the way of our normal living. It haunts our mind, dominates our thoughts, and vitiates our emotions. We become a prisoner of our past, unable to break free from the cage of painful memories. This often results in an inability to move forward to create a new life for ourselves. Furthermore, unforgiveness can also create a host of diseases, including cancer. We become bitter, angry, resentful, and even vengeful, either pitying ourselves for our misfortunes or wishing ill upon our perpetrators. Only when our sense of victimhood becomes overwhelming and we understand that unforgiveness is obstructing us from living fully and is keeping us perpetually unhappy do we realise that we need to do something about it.
Kia Scherr had a horrendous experience in
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drastic events like the ones above. It needs to be done even for small slights which we may be nursing in our hearts.
Mahalakshmi Anand, a holistic healer and psychotherapist from Delhi, says, “Forgiveness is an essential part of healing and growth. Forgiveness helps you heal, helps you let go, helps you move on. You forgive because you don’t wish to carry the baggage of resentment, hurt, and pain any longer, and it has nothing to do with the other person. You may or may not want to continue the relationship and it has nothing to do with your forgiving act. Asking for forgiveness also helps you clear your guilt and remorse; it helps you to reform, change, and grow. So, both the acts are important in healing.”
However, forgiving does not stop at forgiving others for their transgressions. We need to learn to forgive ourselves too for our errors and wrongdoings. Often, the biggest cross that we carry is of our own mistakes which have caused suffering to others as well as ourselves. It is not easy to take cognisance of them as they deal a blow to the picture-perfect image of ourselves that we have created in our eyes.
Mahalakshmi elaborates, “We may be able to forgive others, ask for forgiveness from others, but it gets extremely difficult to forgive ourselves. This is because we cannot ‘accept’ ourselves as having committed the ‘act.’ ”
She shares, “A client of mine was working on her emotional distress which was related to her divorce. Sessions progressed and many of her traumas were worked upon, yet she was unable to experience inner peace. As a response to her query, I helped her recognise that she had not forgiven herself for her actions. This came as a shock to her. As expected, these sessions moved
at a snail’s pace. But after many sessions, she finally succeeded in forgiving and accepting herself as a beautiful person with a negative past action that she had forgiven.”
Sometimes, the magnitude of our guilt makes it difficult for us to forgive ourselves. We go on punishing ourselves for our mistakes as we believe that we do not deserve forgiveness. Gazal Raina, a CSR professional from Chennai, went through an acrimonious divorce which led to an estrangement from her son. Her efforts to heal the wounds of her bitter past taught her many aspects of forgiveness. She says, “The most difficult person to forgive was me and myself. For a long time, I held myself responsible for all the events that happened to me, believing they were my mistakes. I punished myself and believed that I had been responsible for the family’s breakdown. We can be so stuck in a web of self-judgement, that being kind towards ourselves eludes us. How can we expect to be forgiven when we aren’t ready to forgive ourselves? There began a discovery of exploring all ways in which I
Sometimes, the magnitude of our guilt makes it difficult for us to forgive ourselves. We go on punishing ourselves for our mistakes as we believe that we do not deserve forgiveness.
Lead Story 29


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True Forgiveness is letting the past go and starting a new chapter of our lives
was holding on to hurt, towards myself as well as others.”
Having taken many learnings from her experience, she says, “The first and most powerful lesson is that we can become more powerful than our circumstances and pain when we find a purpose in our life.” She has started two support groups which help people rise above personal pain. One of them is Bodhi, a support group in Bangalore for separated and divorced people, and another is Milaap, a support group for non-custodial families that champions co-parenting.
Essentially, she has stopped analysing the whys and wherefores, and focusses on just BEING.
Forgiving sexual abuse
Another area of Mahalakshmi’s work involves adults who have not healed from the trauma of child sexual abuse. They find it very difficult to forgive the perpetrator, which is
understandable. But this part of the therapy is essential for their healing.
“A young client working on such an issue had difficulty forgiving her mother. Somewhere, she had begun to believe that her mother, being her caregiver, had failed to protect her from the abuse. This belief caused her to hold resentment against her mother, and she required therapeutic sessions to clear this belief and finally forgive her mother.” After immense counselling, she could understand that the abuse had happened in her mother’s absence.
Forgiveness helps people bring in a shift in their beliefs, which also helps in healing the strain in different aspects of their relationships.
Choosing to forgive
When we feel attacked or hurt, we feel that the only way to relieve our pain is to attack back in


some way. We want others to know how much we are hurting. In such times, the thought of forgiving them may be far from our minds.
However, we realise the significance of forgiveness when we come to the understanding that our wrongdoer may never admit that they have hurt us, let alone seek forgiveness from us. When we understand that even if our perpetrator gets some divine retribution, it is not going to erase the pain lodged in our hearts, only then does the importance of forgiveness dawn upon us.
Choosing to forgive can take a moment or it can take years. Self-forgiveness can take a lifetime. Forgiveness is a tender, private process that is unique for each of us. True forgiveness is not a mental decision, but we can begin with a willingness to explore what forgiveness means and how we can transform our experience when we put it into practice in our lives.
Forgiving someone can also feel like we are backing down or letting them off, implying, “I know you did wrong, but I’m not going to punish you this time.” But true spiritual forgiveness is far from just saying “I’m letting you off.” It can actually be a profound healing, especially for the person who is feeling hurt.
Understanding our aggressor
When someone doesn’t behave as per our expectations, we tend to feel angry. In such situations, it’s easy to think that the other person has made us angry. We hold them responsible for our feelings. But when we look closely, we usually find that our discomfort is coming not from their behaviour but from how we have interpreted it—the story we are telling ourselves about what they’ve done, what we are accusing them of, and how they could have behaved better.
Lead Story 31


Forgiveness is a bridge to peace and love. We bring peace to the world by being at peace with ourselves. The more we forgive, the closer we move towards love.
One technique which can help is putting ourselves in the other person’s position. If we could truly understand their motives—what they were thinking and feeling, their fears and pains, their background and conditioning, all the influences in their life that led them to this point—then we might begin to understand why they did what they did. We can begin to see them through the eyes of compassion rather than judgment. We can begin to recognise that although they may not have behaved as we expected them to, they were in a sense behaving exactly as they should have, given all the past situations and influences they have been under.
True forgiveness comes when we recognise that deep down, the other person wanted the same things which we want. In their own way, they were seeking to be more at peace to ease their own suffering. But the way they set about doing this was in conflict with our own idea of how to be at peace. This is not to imply that we should accept their behaviour or even condone it. There is of course a legal system through
which rapists and murderers will be brought to justice, but as far as spiritual laws are concerned, we are responsible only for our own actions, so our moral compass must remain that of love and forgiveness. We must always remember that we all are mere mortals, and each one of us has the power to make the right choice regardless of the other’s actions. We all have a story to live and a story to create. Let us accept our circumstances and do the best we can, given the cards we have been dealt with and learn to love others as well as ourselves.
Forgiveness is a bridge to peace and love. We bring peace to the world by being at peace with ourselves. We cannot be at peace if we are holding onto anger, hatred, desire for revenge, or violence. We create a possibility for peace, mutual understanding, and respect for differences when we choose forgiveness. We don’t pardon or condone a violent despicable act. We forgive the one who lost their connection to love, who forgot their own light, who chose fear and hatred over love and respect for others. This is true for forgiving others as well as our own selves. The more we forgive, the closer we move towards love.
Box – Tools for forgiveness
We could apply these simple tips to make forgiveness a part of our lives.
Forgiveness is not a panacea. It won’t make things the way they were, but it can make the days ahead better. The points below will help us forgive:
• Forgiveness is a healthy choice. Holding on to hate is toxic, and the distress it causes can make you physically and emotionally ill. Letting it go can free you to enjoy your relationship and your life.
32 LifePositive | MAY 2021


• Forgiving and forgetting are different. We won’t create amnesia by forgiving, but just because we can’t rewrite history doesn’t mean we can’t create a wonderful future. There will be flashbacks, but once we have forgiven, we will realise that memories do not carry the same emotional charge as they used to in the past and do not obstruct the happy flow of our lives.
• To err is human. We all make mistakes, sometimes really big ones. Understanding this will help us keep our balance when someone unintentionally hurts us.
• We must forgive ourselves first. Some people cannot forgive themselves for their transgressions. If one is truly on the path of becoming a better person and understands that their pain is part of the journey, forgiving oneself does take place.
• Let bygones be bygones. Don’t continue to bring up the past when we think we
need an advantage in a disagreement. This behaviour will not allow us to really forgive, and it will also make the foundation of our relationship unstable. This again is equally true for our relationship with others as well as our own selves.
Teaching Story: Releasing anger to forgive
Once Sri Krishna and the five Pandava brothers went hunting in the forest. By the time they had finished the hunt, the sun had gone down and night was about to fall. They realised that they couldn’t return to the kingdom that day and decided to spend the night in the forest. A cave was found, and it was agreed that each person would stand guard for two hours while the others slept.
The youngest brother, Sahadeva, was given the first watch. He sat down vigilantly at the entrance of the cave with all his weapons, and the others went to sleep inside. After an hour and a half, Sahadeva suddenly noticed a dwarf coming towards him from the forest. “Stop!”
Holding on to past grudges and pain blocks your path to freedom and happiness. Forgiving yourself sets you free
Lead Story 33


For not forgiving
gnaws at our own soul; however, true forgiveness heals us in all dimensions.
said Sahadeva. “Who are you? Where are you going?” The dwarf replied, “You can see that I am a tiny dwarf. I want to fight you.” Sahadeva thought, “Here is a foot-and-a-half tall dwarf, and here I am, a six-footer. I will win with no difficulty at all.” Therefore, for the sake of entertainment, he agreed to fight the dwarf. However, this was no ordinary dwarf. He defeated Sahadeva, tied him up with a rope, left him on the ground, and went away.
A little later, Nakula woke up. He went out and found Sahadeva missing. He called out to him and a faint voice replied, “I am here.” Nakula found him in the state in which the dwarf had left him. “Who did this to you?” he asked. Sahadeva could not bring himself to say that he had lost to a small dwarf, so he replied, “I just felt like tying myself up and resting on the ground.” Nakula said, “Okay, go and sleep inside now, I will keep watch.” Towards the end of Nakula’s two hours, again the dwarf appeared and the same sequence was repeated. Next was Arjuna’s turn. He also found Nakula lying on the ground tied up with a rope. All the brothers faced the same situation, including Bhima and Yudhishthira.
Finally, Krishna came out and found Yudhishthira on the ground. Now, Yudhishthira was one who always spoke the truth. He told Krishna the whole story.
“I don’t understand what happened,” he said. “When my watch was just about to finish, this tiny dwarf appeared from nowhere and said ‘I want to wrestle you.’ When we started wrestling, something strange happened. The more I fought, the bigger the dwarf became until he was a huge giant and I was like a child before him. He easily caught hold of me, threw me on the ground, and tied me up. I am unable to understand what kind of a dwarf he was.’’ Krishna smiled and said, “Never mind. Go and rest. Now that I am awake, I will see to him.”
Just as dawn was about to break, Krishna saw the dwarf walking towards him. When the fellow was right before him, Krishna asked, “What brings you here?” The dwarf replied, “The same desire with which I came to your five friends and defeated them. I want to wrestle and fight you.”
Krishna prepared himself and the two started wrestling. Soon, the dwarf began to increase in size. Krishna understood the matter. He threw down his weapons, sat down quietly on the ground, and said to the dwarf, “You can hit me.” At this, the dwarf began to reduce in size. Krishna simply watched him. Finally, when he became tiny, Krishna tied him up in his peetambari (Krishna’s customary yellow wrap) and sat down.
Soon after, all the brothers woke up and came out of the cave. Seeing Krishna, they asked him, “Did someone come to see you while you stood guard?” Krishna replied, “Ah yes, a tiny dwarf came.” The brothers asked, “So what did you do with him?” Krishna replied, “I did
34 LifePositive | MAY 2021


True forgiveness is moving forward and not looking back at what is lost
nothing. Here he is, tied up in my peetambari.” Surprised, the Pandavas asked, “What is the meaning of this? When we fought him, he continued to become bigger and you have him tied up in your wrap!” Krishna now told them who the dwarf was. It was anger. He said, “Anger assumed the form of a dwarf and fought you. The more you fought the anger before you, the anger within you also rose. This made the anger confronting you bigger and bigger until it became so huge that it completely overpowered you and tied you to the ground.” Yudhishthira said, “The matter has become clear now. You were the only one who recognised him. When you did not express anger in turn, he became so small that he became insignificant.”
The above story is usually told in the context of anger. However, it is equally, if not more relevant, in the context of forgiveness as well. For not forgiving gnaws at our own soul; however, true forgiveness heals us in all dimensions.
This story signifies that negative qualities will always exist. If you try to remove them from your life, you will end up in a fight which you are bound to lose, as the more you struggle with negativities, the stronger they become. Therefore, simply ignore them and focus on adopting positive qualities, tendencies, actions, and behaviours in your life. The negativities will then go away on their own; they will become mute.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Lead Story 35


RELATIONSHIPS
Love and Respect
Why love cannot last without respect says, Ajay Kalra
We all long for love. But there is another need which is equally strong. Respect. What if someone loved you but did not respect you. Would that be acceptable? Most people would ask why would someone who loves me not respect me? And isn’t love and respect part of each other? Let’s explore.
When we fall in love with a person, it is not the person that we are falling in love with. It is how that person makes us feel. When someone is able to understand us, appreciate us and love us for who we are, the thirst in us to be understood, appreciated and loved is quenched. No matter how evolved we are, every human has the quest for love.
The initial phase of any relationship is always beautiful. There is a magnetic pull. There is attraction, both physical and emotional. There is projection, not just what we think about each other but also of a possible shared future together. Basically there is excitement and aliveness! WhatsApp messages are filled with all kinds of colorful emoticons!
The first difference
Then comes the first difference of opinion. Or rather hurt. Your feelings are invalidated by the other person. Now two things can happen at this stage. You smile and let go of it. After all there is so much more beauty in
the relationship. And finding true love is a rare commodity in today’s world. Or you confront and call the other person out on what was hurtful to you. It is the first risk you have taken in the relationship.
If the other person acknowledges their mistake and apologises, the relationship can move forward. You have also created a culture of authentic communication in the relationship. Every time there is a difference and the two people can communicate their feelings to each other, understand each other and move on, the relationship develops roots of trust and intimacy.
A relationship is like a psychological mirror. It triggers unhealed parts of us that are deeply embedded in our psyche. It is also like medicine, we can willingly offer wounded parts of us to the other for their acceptance. In the loving gaze of another human being our wounds begin to heal and fragmented parts of us come together.
But all of the above is only possible if there is respect. In my view there are two key factors that nurture or undermine respect. They are communication and equality.
Communication
How two people communicate when they are
36 LifePositive | MAY 2021


triggered is the key to the longevity of the relationship. The trigger may be an unmet expectation or something important that is not acknowledged. Whatever be the nature of the trigger, words once spoken or typed will leave their imprint. No matter what the intention, if there is lack of awareness in how our words will affect the other person, it is unlikely to nurture a healthy relationship. There is a thin line that separates spontaneity from impulsiveness.
Even if we do not agree with a point of view, there is a way to say it. With care, with love, with great degree of patience. Confronting need not be a violent process. Sometimes what we say is not as painful, as the manner we say it. If we lack awareness of how our words can land on another person, either we must learn it through experience or be prepared to remain alone. And one can be alone even within a relationship.
When two people fall in love, it is effortless. There is a chemistry. But the chemistry cannot sustain a relationship. The ability to communicate authentically with respect is far more important in the long run.
Equality
A relationship is between two human beings, each having their emotional needs. If a person has attained enlightenment, there is no need for a relationship. Human beings are vulnerable, get hurt and try to make amends. We realise that no matter how self-sufficient we become, we want that gentle touch, loving gaze and soft warmth of another human being. It is easier to
spend a life together, than all alone, at least for most of us.
In other words, in a relationship, both partners are emotionally equal. What do I mean by that? I mean one partner does not take on the role of being a counsellor for the other person, by assuming what is good for the other person. Often in the name of good intentions, one partner figures out what are the problems of the other, what the other person needs to do. Giving unsolicited advice is one of the highest forms of disrespect. Where one becomes an authority on another’s life without invitation.
Respecting another person means being tentative in our communication, asking questions, remaining silent and apologising when needed. Our actions speak louder than our words. Quite often, the likely pattern of a relationship is visible at the outset. We can either overlook the dysfunctionality and continue for the sake of companionship. Or take note of the disrespect, bring it up and make choices based on the outcome of the communication.
If we bury our head in the sand, it is unlikely the storm will pass. It will come again with a greater intensity. Hence each time you have a conflict, ask yourself, are your needs being met at the cost of your respect. The more you disregard it, the more toxic the relationship will become, until it becomes unbearable.
Love is an equal partnership. It also needs respect in equal measure.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Relationships 37


38
LifePositive | MAY 2021
Why And What If
I had two friends in the past One was Why
And the other was What If Whenever I experienced pain I would ask Why
He would always give me a reasonable reason And sometimes when he couldn’t
It was more painful
Whenever I was at the beginning
Of a risky venture
I would ask What If
She would warn me
Of the consequences and risk involved Scared I would proceed slowly
Or simply call it off
Over time...
So much pain and uncertainty
Came my way
That I forgot to ask
Why and What If
Or perhaps
They ran out of answers
Then I discovered a new friend Acceptance
It told me
Life is inherently uncertain
On the other hand
It is certainly certain
What is meant to be will be
Live wisely
And don’t waste your energy
On Why and What If
I no longer ask Why and What If I wonder
Where are my old friends now Why and What If
- Ajay Kalra


YOUTH YOGA & MEDITATION PROGRAM
Youth to become the builders of a better future - Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch Trust
-Develop Mental Clarity -Enhance Ability to focus -Better decision making -Enhanced Harmony -Relieve Stress and Anxiety -Improve Self Awareness -Improved Health and Sleep -Improved Relationships
Practise Yoga Asanas, Breathing techniques, Body Awareness, Meditation and Self -Reflection
Specially for our youth between the age of 18-25
Online sessions 45-60 min. Twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday). 8 sessions per month only @Rs 1,200 pm.
First batch starting from 4th May
For registration fill the google form at- https://forms.gle/W5SHGmGuckqgA7TGA For queries email- [email protected]
Contact no: 09650012565


AHA-MOMENTS
The most important relationship
Improving your relationship with yourself will enhance your relationships with others, finds Megha Bajaj
T here are moments in my which I call God. I realised when to be shaped, moment by moment.
life when I get particularly
insightful, and I get so excited! My entire consciousness expands. In those moments, I wish I had a way to announce this life- transforming insight to the whole world. (For now, at least let me
begin with you.)
I was speaking to a few people this week, and each conversation somehow had something to do with relationships. Someone wasn’t peaceful because she felt her father loved her sister more. Another wasn’t happy because there was distrust between his son and him. Yet another young one was dealing with her very first break-up. I listened a lot and empathised even more.
I thought and wondered what would help these people. I slept with this question, and in the wee hours of the morning, it all clicked into place.
I realised that while some minor ego tussles and disagreements are natural in every relationship (in fact, in any situation where two people come together), the bigger ones happen when we don’t know with whom our most important relationship is.
I asked myself, and I realised that the most important relationship of my life is with my Source of Life,
one is deeply rooted in their sense of Self—which comes from their purpose, their ideas, their vision, their spiritual Source—they start seeing relationships as a beautiful addition, a beautiful journey where people come together to help them serve their destiny.
You stop seeing that nagging in- law, for instance, as a cause of stress and, instead, see her as an ally to help you grow in love and patience. You stop seeing the perfectionist boss as a troublemaker and see him as an opportunity to grow as a professional. You stop seeing the various so-called challenging relationships around you as stressful; rather, they become a cause for excitement, fun, and growth.
When the most important person in your life is someone else, you are asking for a lifetime of disturbance because the only person you can change is you. The moment your happiness, your sadness, your peace, your everything is in the other’s hand, you declare yourself powerless because you are indirectly saying, “If he acted favourably, I will be happy,” or “If she weren’t rude, I know I will find my peace.” The world is what the world is. You have little or no control over it. But you and your life (the God of your life) are completely in your hands, waiting
The more and more we find a firm anchor in ourselves, the less and less we get overly disturbed by the people around us— no matter how close they are.
And I want to conclude with this paradox: The only way to get all the relationships of your life right is by first getting your relationship with yourself right. When you feel peaceful, powerful, purposeful within yourself (with no external props) you emit this into every relationship and come from a space of giving rather than needing. You become a solution- seeker and not a problem-finder. You find yourself enjoying a much greater flow with people around— because you are in a flow with yourself!
It’s a journey, this relationship with yourself. I know I am on it and loving every minute of it.
Whenever you get too disturbed by people around you, ask yourself this simple question: “Who is the most important person in your life?” In the answer, I hope you will find many answers.
Megha Bajaj is a bestselling author, film script writer and poet.
An ardent seeker at heart, she also runs her online writing and healing workshops called WoW. You can read more about her on www.MeghaBajajWoW.com.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
40 LifePositive | MAY 2021




FOOD
Sip your way through summer
Make Naini Setalvad’s digestive concoctions your go-to, these sultry months
42 LifePositive | MAY 2021


Oh, how I just love the summers! I thoroughly enjoy this golden-hued season which takes me back to my childhood days. It was the time when my one true love—mango—arrived. I would gobble up bowls of aamras (mango pulp) with hot puris (deep-fried bread). If that wasn’t enough, I and my friends would satisfy our cravings for salt and spice at the local chaat (Indian savouries) vendor. The day would end with a stomach that was full of my favourite foods but slightly queasy. If you too face this issue, do try out my summer digestive coolers that will help maintain your digestive health.
Mint: Refreshing and rejuvenating, a few mint leaves can solve pretty much anything. The active ingredient in mint—menthol—not only is a well- known mouth freshener but also soothes an upset stomach. This reliever of indigestion is antibacterial and can help fight stomach bugs. Take a bunch of fresh leaves and add them to your water. Sip on it throughout the day and you will breeze through summer.
Fennel: One summer drink that is reminiscent of my childhood is fennel- infused water. Soak fennel seeds in water through the night, boil the water, strain it, and devour the concoction. This sweet-tasting drink helps relieve constipation and indigestion. The high potassium can help reduce bloating due to excessive salt consumption.
Lemonade: Is it even summer without a daily glass of cold lemonade? Not only is it refreshing, but lemon is great for relieving acidity. Lemon water also helps reduce nausea. Lemonade is a great way to get back electrolytes that are lost when you have loose motions. Do bear in mind to sweeten your lemonade with natural sweeteners like stevia that won’t upset your stomach further.
Jal-jeera (Cumin water): This zingy drink is a great pick-me-up. With crushed cumin seeds, lemon juice, and rock salt, not only is it a refreshing cooler but a good digestive aid. Cumin seeds are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce flatulence. This comes in handy when you have had a heavy meal.
Food 43


Gondh water: I recommend gondh water to all my clients who are suffering from constipation. Gondh is the sap that comes out of trees. It is an edible gum that is effective in achieving squeaky clean
bowels. Take a teaspoon of gondh, dissolve it in lukewarm water, and enjoy.
Buttermilk: Made from
homemade yoghurt,
this drink gives you
the much-needed
probiotic dose.
These probiotics help
maintain gut health,
prevent seasonal stomach
infections, and aid recovery from loose motions. I like to add a tempering of cumin seeds and curry leaves to my buttermilk. These too aid in improving digestion.
Aloe vera: My aloe
vera plant is in full
bloom during this
season. I pick out the
fresh leaves to extract
the pulp and take a shot
of its juice every morning.
The electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals rejuvenate me. This juice also aids in relieving constipation. Take a shot in the morning, and you will thank me.
fresh seasonal foods, and my gut-friendly digestive
Coriander-mint: My favourite chaat to eat during this season is the mouth-watering pani puri. Though I don’t recommend you indulge in fried puris, the coriander-mint water is a must-have. This tonic is enriched with antioxidants, lemon juice, green chilli, and rock salt. Coriander may
help relieve indigestion, constipation, and stomach spasms.
Enjoy your summer with plenty of sunshine, coolers that will ensure you are fighting fit.
44 LifePositive | MAY 2021


Recipe
Pani Puri water
Ingredients
1 cup mint leaves
1⁄2 cup coriander
1 tsp jeera
1-2 green chilli
1⁄2 lemon juice
Black salt (sanchal) to taste Salt to taste
Jal-jeera
Ingredients
1⁄2 cup mint leaves, loosely packed 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon whole black pepper
1 pinch asafoetida (hing), optional
1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)
1 teaspoon chaat masala powder, optional Black salt or rock salt, as required
1⁄2 cups water
Few mint leaves for garnish, optional
1⁄4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind
Method
• Wash the mint and coriander leaves properly. • Put all the above ingredients in a blender. • Blend into a smooth watery pulp. • Add half a litre of water to the watery pulp. • Serve cold.
Method
• S oak 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind in 1⁄4 cup hot water for about 20 minutes.
• R inse 1⁄2 cup fresh mint leaves well with water. Drain all the water. Put the mint leaves in a blender.
• A dd the soaked tamarind along with its water. Make sure there are no seeds in the tamarind.
• A dd 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon fennel, and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper.
• N ext, add 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur), 1 teaspoon chaat masala, 1 pinch asafoetida (hing), and black salt as required.
• G rind to a smooth paste.
• T ake the jal jeera paste in a bowl and add 1⁄2 cups
of water.
• M ix very well. • G arnish with lemon juice and mint leaves. • S erve cold.
We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article. Mail us at [email protected]
Food 45


FESTIVAL OF HEALING
Healing
in the hills
Tired of being confined, stressed, and confused? Shivi Verma invites you to take a break and travel with Life Positive to Ramgarh for a week-long festival of healing in the Kumaon valley
46 LifePositive | MAY 2021


N ature has the power to spread balm on our aching minds and hurting souls. In the lap of Mother Nature, we feel restored, healed, and rejuvenated. Knowing this, Life Positive has organised a week-long residential retreat for its readers in Ramgarh, a verdant hill station full of natural
bounty, near Nainital in Uttarakhand.
The beauty of Ramgarh lies in its serenity, exquisiteness, and the unobstructed view of the snow-capped Himalayas. Also known as the fruit bowl of Kumaon for its dense orchards of apples, apricots, peaches, and pears, Ramgarh was one of the favourite places of poet Rabindranath Tagore, who penned some of his compositions in this hill town.
We have two, two-day workshops and one, one-day workshop to help our readers heal, learn, and grow while being soothed by the tender touch of loving nature in this beautiful hill station. The three workshops are Emotional Freedom Technique by Dr Mahalakshmi Rajgopal, Tarot Reading by Ma Gyan Suveera, and Family Constellation and Transgenerational Healing by Hitesh Vashishtha and Shubhangi Vashishtha.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) with Dr Mahalakshami Rajgopal (June 10, 2021)
The human body is a mini-miracle in itself. It carries within itself, codes and points which have the power to restore wellness and health within the body. Emotional Freedom Technique is about tapping those points for achieving faster therapeutic results. EFT is a set of tapping exercises aimed to release stress and blockages from a person’s mind and body. The tappings are done on the body’s energy
Dr Mahalakshami Rajgopal
meridian points, mainly on the head and face, to restore the flow of energy in them. The technique is helpful for people suffering from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, stress, and weight loss issues. The results are quick, and the therapy, easy to learn.
Developed by Gary Craig, this is an easily mastered technique that can be performed virtually anywhere. This treatment sprang from the idea that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Healing in the hills 47


I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
- John Burroughs
The ‘healee’ focusses on the issue being confronted by him and says a few positive affirmations while tapping on the main energy meridians of the body. The results are often spectacular and lead to the restoration of positive feelings and a sense of well-being. EFT has been found effective in treating war veterans and active military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 2013, researchers studied the impact of EFT tapping on veterans with PTSD against those receiving standard care. Within a month, participants receiving EFT coaching sessions had significantly reduced their psychological stress. In addition, more than half of the EFT test group no longer fit the criteria for PTSD.
About the facilitator
Facilitator Mahalakshmi Rajagopal, a holistic wellness professional, energy healer, and trainer with more than 25 years of experience in the mental health space, works intensely in the wellness spectrum. She has published papers in the field of counselling, interventions for children, adolescents, and caregivers in national and international journals. Her book I Am My Own Sunshine is based on her varied experiences with her clients. She has been
passionately working to sensitise caregivers to curb child sexual abuse. She was awarded the Social Worker Award in 2017 by the Ambedkar Sports Foundation for her remarkable work in the field of social service. In 2018, she was ranked amongst the top ten counsellors in Delhi by SO Delhi, an online survey.
Mahalakshmi practices EFT extensively. She blends EFT in her counselling sessions, which gives beautiful results while treating trauma and difficult-to-express emotional turmoil. However, she doesn’t stick to any rigid healing forms and blends them according to the need. Her meditation practice has enabled her to develop clairvoyance which helps her guide her clients from a spiritual perspective.
Tarot Reading with Ma Gyan Suveera (June 11 to June 12, 2021)
Tarot card readings are all a rage in modern times. People are drawn to them to find a deeper meaning to their challenges and life situations, and to seek possible solutions. But mostly, they are consulted to get a glimpse of one’s future. Different kinds of tarot decks fascinate people, and they want to learn the methods through which they are interpreted and analysed. Divination cards have the ability to heighten one’s intuitive powers,
48 LifePositive | MAY 2021


Nothing in nature is at absolute rest. Everything in the world is moving, and in all movement, we find rhythm. As the rhythm of life exists in the universe, so does it in the human body. The grace of universal rhythms is expressed in the phases of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the earth's rotation, and the changing of the seasons. The human body has rhythms like the beating of the heart thousands of times throughout the day, the pulsing of blood, and the very act of breathing.
Our internal body clock governs our daily circadian rhythm. It’s the master timekeeper of when things should happen. Years ago, it was thought that there was one timekeeper—the brain—which controlled the body’s many functions. We now know that the brain is the conductor of a large time-keeping orchestra of peripheral clocks that are widespread throughout the body, one of which is located
in each ovary, governing the cycle of women throughout the ages.
The most life-affirming rhythm that we take part in is breathing. Our breath is our life force. Mindful breathing fosters a relaxed and focussed state of mind. Its rhythm calms the emotions and slows the heart rate, allowing the body to make peace with the tension harboured within.
Just as a pebble thrown into a pond creates ripples that travel outward, so does our personal rhythm. The vibration of everything we do and think affects the people in our lives. Their reaction, in turn, affects others. Our personal rhythm is powerful. With it, we can change the world in a variety of ways for better or worse.
The three-day spiritual and rhythmic retreat—Rhythm of Life— focusses on finding and tuning in to your own rhythm and the Universal Law of Rhythm.
What’s rhythm? It’s being in the flow. When we flow, everything happens with ease in our lives. What happens when you are out of rhythm? It's like being off-beat, and you move directionless. You struggle and suffer. Even the ocean waves go up and down, the highs and the lows. When we breathe and flow with the waves, we enjoy and exist with joy and peace.
What to do to be in rhythm? To let go of all the heavyweight emotional baggage? Breathe. Pause. Surrender. Let go. Trust the process and trust yourself. Align with the rhythm of the cosmos within and outside. Through our well-thought and well- designed program, we help you be in rhythm and become one with the Universal Law of Rhythm. So, are you ready to FLOW?
RHYTHM OF LIFE
Shveta Sharma
Mobile:- 9031045900, Email:[email protected]
Healing in the hills 49


Tarot Card Reading
clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and spiritual quotient.
To give a basic understanding of tarot cards and the meaning behind their symbols, Ma Gyan Suveera will be holding a two-day workshop for the readers of Life Positive. The following topics are being covered by her: The tarot tradition and the fundamental circuits of the cards; destiny vs free will; intuition, and psychic powers; the art of framing questions; elemental projections; tapping into the wisdom of each and every card; practical reading sessions; random-pick-verses spread; traditional spreads; creating spreads; kundali
Ma Gyan Suveera
spread; karma spread; chakra spread; top-up readings; daily sadhana and energy work for effective and proficient readings.
About the facilitator
Maa Gyaan Suveera, a mystic Himalayan master, is a healer, a gifted yogini, a Vedic astrologer, a psychic reader, and a specialist in life force energy. With more than three and a half decades into her spiritual journey, she has transformed as a beacon of hope to countless people.
She lives in Gular, on the outskirts of Rishikesh. Kirti Hermitage, her ashram, is on the banks of the holy Ganga. People from all parts of the world come to learn different forms of healing, divination, and a string of Indian, Western, and Zen practices at her centre.
Family Constellation and Transgenerational Healing with Hitesh and Shubhangi Vashishtha (June 13 to June 14, 2021)
As humans, there are patterns and traumas that we unconsciously inherit from our ancestors. Family Constellation is an insightful way to become aware of all the family patterns that act as a barrier in our evolution. If there is a pattern of one or more dysfunctions in your family—such as painful relationships between spouses (yours, parents’, or grandparents’), early death of one or both the parents, curses running in the family, repetitive miscarriages and abortions, suicides or murders, severe illnesses, financial problems, adoption, addictions, traumatic deaths or fate of your loved ones, separation from close relations, feeling blocked and unable to move—it could be coming from blocked energy in your family tree. Through family constellation work, the hidden entanglements are corrected in a family
50 LifePositive | MAY 2021


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