Wednesday November 22, 2017

“Who does not want joy? It is, after all, the basic fabric of life,” says spiritual master Sadhguru

spiritual master Sadhguru decodes joy, happiness and all things in between

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Child smiling (representational image), Pixabay

New Delhi,  Jan 15, 2017: Who does not want joy? It is, after all, the “basic fabric” of life, the “natural choice” of every human being. And yet, it is only an “occasional visitor” in most of our lives. This is because, says world-renowned spiritual master Sadhguru, our bodies and minds are not taking instructions from us. But there’s a way out — and the way out is in.

“Essentially, happiness or joy is just a certain state of pleasantness which every human being is seeking within himself or herself. Do not look at joy as some kind of an attainment or an achievement. It is the basic, fundamental fabric of life,” Sadhguru told IANS in an interview.

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“Joy is the natural choice for every human being. If there was a choice between being pleasant and unpleasant within yourself, I’m sure everyone will choose pleasantness. You don’t need any guru or teaching or scripture to tell you — please choose joy; don’t choose misery.

“But still, for most people, joy is only an occasional visitor in their lives. This is simply because their interiority is not happening the way they want it — their bodies and minds are not taking instructions from them. Inner Engineering is about taking charge of this. If your mind is doing what you want it to do, you will definitely make sure you are joyful,” he explained.

A yogi and mystic, Sadhguru has been a lead speaker at the UN General Assembly, a regular at the World Economic Forum and a special invitee at the Australian Leadership Retreat, Indian Economic Summit and TED.

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“Your joy, your misery, your love, your agony, your bliss, lies in your hands. There is a way out. And the way out is in. It is only by turning inward that we can truly create a world of love, light, and laughter,” he contended.

His latest book “Inner Engineering” is dubbed a yogi’s guide to joy.

“The inner dimension is uncharted terrain; it’s sensible to take directions. A guru is a live roadmap. GPS: Guru Pathfinding System! That’s what a guru is. Is he a must? Not necessarily. If you have to find your own way, you can do it, but it may take forever. What is so simple and within yourself, may take forever because you may go around the world trying to find it,” he said.

In the new book, Sadhguru distills his own experiences with spirituality and yoga and introduces the “transformational” concept of Inner Engineering. Developed by him over several years, this powerful practice claims to “align the mind and the body with energies around and within”, creating a world of limitless power and possibilities.

So what is the role of a guru in one’s life?

“A guru is concerned with life — the mechanism of your life. He does not propound philosophies, but offers methods or technologies. A technology is about learning how to make something work. If it works, it’s contemporary. So a guru is always relevant,” he said.

In recent times, however, spirituality and yoga have also become some sort of a fashion as well as an entrepreneurial venture for many. When asked to comment on this aspect, he said: “Something that starts as a fashion can be transformed into life’s passion. It does not matter through which door you enter as long as you find your way to your inner temple.

“What may start as a fad can be turned into a dimension-profound; it all depends upon from what source it is being transmitted. If there is purity and power at the source, there is no fear of consequences as what is transmitted is beyond distortion,” he argued.

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Sadhguru’s grasp of world affairs, as well as his unerringly scientific approach to human well-being have had a transformative influence at establishments such as the World Bank, the House of Lords, the World Presidents’ Organisation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the London Business School, Google and Microsoft, to name just a few.

Elaborating, he said that “there will always be enterprises around whatever becomes reasonably popular. We shouldn’t be distracted or disturbed by these. Are they teaching it properly? There are question marks about it. Some of them are teaching it properly, some are not. These manifestations are a result of the commercial process. But it is only on the surface that these distortions are happening here and there. The core of yoga is not disturbed in any way.”

With a celebratory engagement with life on all levels, Sadhguru’s areas of active involvement encompasses fields as diverse as architecture and visual design, poetry and painting, ecology and horticulture, sports and music.

On his expectations from the readers of the book, he said that his life has been dedicated to empowering human beings to take charge of their own destinies and bringing them to a state of joyful inclusiveness so that the possibility that we are does not pass us by as a generation.

“This book could be a doorway to that world. Let us make it happen,” he said. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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“Rally for Rivers” Campaign: To Restore the Depleting River Flow in India

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Rally for Rivers Campaign
Rally for Rivers Campaign is organised by Isha Foundation. Wikimedia
  • The Rally for Rivers Campaign is an initiative of Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru
  • It is a campaign about the rivers of the country and the need for water protection and security
  • The Isha Foundation has laid out a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to reform the state of rivers in India

July 28, 2017: The Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru, is organizing the Rally for Rivers Campaign. The initiative is formulated as an effort to raise awareness.

As Sadhguru had said about the campaign, “This is not a protest. This is not an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must Rally For Rivers.”

Unlike other movements, the Rally for Rivers is not to question or complain. Rather, it offers solutions. The Isha Foundation has designed a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to restore the depleting rivers.

The Indian Rivers are going into depletion. The perineal rivers have become seasonal. The River Ganga has been named as one of the world’s most endangered river. Important rivers like Krishna, Kaveri, Narmada have stopped making it till the sea for four months. Every major river in India has undergone reduced water levels.

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According to the estimations by researchers at Isha Foundation; by 2030, only 50% water will be available for our survival. Further, 25% of India is becoming desert. As compared to 1947, we have about 75% lesser water per person available today.

Thus arises a need for awareness and solutions. Isha Foundation has formulated a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan for river restorations. One of the solutions offered; planting tree covers. Tree covers should be created for a stretch of one kilometer on either side of the full river. For a tributary, the stretch is for half a kilometer.

To revitalize rivers, government owned land along the river banks will create and maintain native forest trees. On a private farm land, however, organic fruit cultivation shall take place.

ALSO READ: Swaraj India launches a unique campaign asking people to blow Whistle whenever they see anything Wrong happening around them

As the campaign explains, the need for a state as well as central government to be on the same page is vital to the success of the campaign. Rivers fall under the concurrent list, that is, the jurisdiction of both state as well as centre. Thus, any policy designed must be acknowledged equally by the both for effectiveness.

Additionally, for creating awareness, Sadhguru has himself planned a travel from Kanyakumari to Delhi. He aims to create as much awareness so that grass-root level support is provided to the campaign and its associated policies.

The campaign will begin from Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore on 3rd September and after more than ten stops end at Delhi on 2nd October. A total of 13 states are to be covered, in which 21 major cities are part of the campaign. Sadhguru has taken upon himself to cover the entire stretch of a total 6560 kms.

The organizers have made sure that the event is fun and entertaining for a maximum number of people to show up. Along the way and all the major stops, celebrations will be seen. Events like cultural fests, musical concerts, nukad natak, paintings and handicrafts, and public sessions have been organized by the Isha Foundation. Also, all the stakeholders of policies as well as rivers are cordially invited to learn and discuss more. Journalists, Corporate people, politicians, villagers, farmers and many more are expected to turn up at the event and contribute in whatever way they can.

The success of the Rally for Rivers campaign depends mostly on people’s support and encouragement to the cause. The campaign can be joined online.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393