The Candid Eye

January 27, 2010

India inmates take yoga to reduce their jail sentences

Filed under: India,Yoga — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Prisoners in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are being freed early if they complete yoga courses.For every three months spent practising posture, balance and breathing the inmates can cut their jail time by 15 days.The authorities say the lessons help to improve the prisoners’ self-control and reduce aggression.

Early Release for Indian Prisoners who do Yoga : Image Courtesy - http://www.independent.co.uk/

Some 4,000 inmates across the state are benefiting from the scheme, and many go on to become yoga instructors.

‘Angry thoughts’

The state’s inspector general of prisons, Sanjay Mane, said: “Yoga is good for maintaining fitness, calming the behaviour, controlling anger and reducing stress.”When a prisoner attends yoga sessions and fulfils some other conditions, he will be considered for a remission if his jail superintendent recommends his case.”

Prisoners can also gain credit for attending adult literacy courses or studying for degrees.An inmate at Gwalior central jail, Narayan Sharma – who has now moved on to become an instructor – says it helps to banish the “angry thoughts” in his mind.

“It was these thoughts that made me commit crimes,” he said.”I hope that after we are released, we can use what we have learned and promote yoga in society so that people no longer commit crime.”

Source: BBC

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January 22, 2010

Yoga ‘cuts inflammation’

Incorporating yoga sessions in your daily routine could lower a number of compounds in the blood and reduce the level of inflammation that normally rises because of both normal aging and stress, revealed a new study.

Conducted by Ohio State University researchers, the study showed that women who routinely practiced yoga had lower amounts of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood.

Yoga reduces Stress!!

The women also showed smaller increases in IL-6 after stressful experiences than did women who were the same age and weight but who were not yoga practitioners.

IL-6 is an important part of the body’s inflammatory response and has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, arthritis and a host of other age-related debilitating diseases.Reducing inflammation may provide substantial short- and long-term health benefits, the researchers suggest.

“In addition to having lower levels of inflammation before they were stressed, we also saw lower inflammatory responses to stress among the expert yoga practitioners in the study,” explained Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology and lead author of the study.

“Hopefully, this means that people can eventually learn to respond less strongly to stressors in their everyday lives by using yoga and other stress-reducing modalities,” she added.

For the study, researchers assembled a group of 50 women, age 41 on average. Ron Glaser, a co-author and a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, said that the study has some fairly clear implications for health.

“We know that inflammation plays a major role in many diseases. Yoga appears to be a simple and enjoyable way to add an intervention that might reduce risks for developing heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases. This is an easy thing people can do to help reduce their risks of illness,” he said.The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Source: TOI

November 20, 2009

iPranayama!!!

A new iPhone app called myMeditation aims to enhance and deepen your daily practice by providing a framework with which to practice pranayama. Under the instruction of H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, who provides the focus and mantras, the program provides gentle alarm sounds to bring you out from contemplation, inspiring Hindu imagery, and even breathing instructions for your yoga.

myMeditation is a modern way to engage in an age-old practice.Fully customizable,this app is designed to demystify meditation and help you with every step of your practice.With just a few minuutes of guided deep breathing, you can quiet your mind,bring clarity to your thoughts,and put yourself on the road to good health.

 

Water bubble

What is Pranayama?

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning “lengthening of the prana or breath.”The word is composed of two Sanskrit words – “Prana”, life force, or vital energy,particularly,the breath,and “ayama”, to lengthen or extend.When used in yoga,it is often translated more specifically as “breath control”.

Slow,full breaths are the foundation of a focussed meditation practice.Most of the time,we breathe very shallowly,and our breath sits at the top of our lungs.Pranayama deepens the breath,allowing the lungs to deliver more oxygen to the whole system,thus relaxing the body.This type of oxygenating breath is involuntarily taken while in deep sleep – your body’s natural restorative time.

The iPhone application is completely charitable; BLT Helps, the software maker, will use 100% of their proceeds toward funding design projects and providing design training that will benefit other non-profits and charitable organizations in need of these resources.

Sources:

HPI

BLT Helps

August 26, 2009

It is a special privilege to be born a Hindu: Francois Gautier

image

NEW YORK: Noted French journalist and writer Francois Gautier who has made India his home and propagation of Hinduism his cause and mission for over three decades, is currently traveling across the US to raise funds through his foundation, FACT-India, for the setting up of an Indian history museum in Pune, India.

Gautier, perhaps one of the very few Westerners to have unconditionally adopted a Hindu way of life, feels the widely prevalent distorted image of Indian history as propagated by the British, Christian missionaries, communists and the western world in general for over two centuries, has necessitated the museum to portray Hindu civilization in the right light.
In an interview with India Post during his visit to New York last week, Gautier spoke about his ambitious museum project, the many threats to Hinduism in today’s world and how Hindus can gain the respect of the world.

IP: Can you tell us about the Museum of Indian History?
Gautier:
I have been donated some land in Pune by a private trust where I want to build the museum to be called the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History.
I see in India there are no museums of Indian history worth the name. So the idea is to start from the Vedas, go on to talk about the greatness of the whole of India and the entire drama of the invasions through history, the Hindu holocaust, and then portray India of today and tomorrow.

IP: What kind of funds do you need and how long will it take to complete the museum?
Gautier:
It’s a huge project but definitely it will happen. It’s about $40m dollars, and I don’t know how long it will take — perhaps 10-20 years, because I don’t have the money right away. But I am ready to start, once I start, the donations will come and people will understand the importance of this museum.

IP: Why is it important to have such a museum?
Gautier:
As a journalist and writer, when I started documenting for my book, I realized that most history books on India are based upon very old theories considered defunct or debatable such as the Aryan invasion theory, which evidence shows has never taken place.

Both British historians and later Nehruvian historians have toned down the considerable impact on Indian culture of the invasions starting from Alexander the Great to the Arabs, the Muslim invaders and the British — that entire part of the history has been swept under the carpet. And even later, the history of India’s Independence is very unfairly portrayed.
The need of the museum is very important so we can look at India’s history in a very scientific manner, which is what my organization FACT India is doing.

IP: Will the museum focus only on the Hindu history of India?
Gautier:
The museum will also broach upon many of India’s dark periods in its history like the inquisition in Goa by the Portuguese, the Sufi persecution, the Ahmedi Muslim persecution in Bangladesh, how the Buddhist history was wiped out and how some of the early Syrian Christians of Kerala were persecuted. And of course the Hindu holocaust right from Hindu Kush (massacre of Hindus) to the current terrorist activities against them.
I want school children to come to the museum and learn of their own culture and be proud. Kids in Indian schools are learning about Shakespeare and Milton, not about their Hindu or Indian culture. In my country we are taught about great French people like our poets, social reformers, artists etc… so I grew up proud of my culture, but Indian kids do not grow up learning about or feeling proud of their culture.

IP: Do you see any kind of opposition to your project from either the government or any section of the Indian society?
Gautier:
Of course there’s bound to be some opposition, you can’t make everybody happy. But one has to go by the truth. Whatever one’s limitations, if backed by truth, even if it is opposed, there will be some kind of direction and protection.

In fact, there are three reasons for setting up the museum in Pune: One– of course the land donated is in Pune; second– since I work in Pune, I found that people of Pune, irrespective of their political affiliations, are quite nationalistic in nature. I feel my museum will be more protected in Pune than anywhere else in India; thirdly– Pune is Shivaji’s birth place. There is no museum of Shivaji anywhere in Maharashtra though he is a true hero. So naming it after Shivaji will be a protection for this museum.

IP: Over the many years of your career, how successful have you been in changing western perceptions of Hinduism?
Gautier:
It’s a very difficult task, because unfortunately the image of Hinduism is not that good. But, there is more ignorance than hostility. Westerners do not know that it is a monotheistic religion. Secondly, Hindus, especially Brahmins have been at the receiving end of many like the British, the missionaries, the Islamic invaders all of who created a very negative image of Hinduism — particularly the missionaries emphasized only the negative sides of Hinduism and amplified them a thousand times. Today we still find that even after 200 years, these negative images have survived even in the minds of Hindus in India.

Unfortunately it is a great handicap for journalists like me who like Hinduism and want to defend it. I can’t say I have been very successful, but at least now westerners are open to going to India and understanding Hindus.

There are so many good things to be said for Hinduism, but unfortunately there is no will among Hindus to try to explain to westerners. Hindus are just content to come to the West and melt into local cultures or at best keep their spirituality and religion to themselves.

IP: What do you think of the role of the Indian intellectual elite and media in projecting the image of Hindus?
Gautier:
The British have left such a mark on the minds of much of Indian intelligentsia and elite, right from the erstwhile Maharajas who have copied the British way of life that it has left a deep impression on generations after that. Today Indians think that everything that comes from the West is good. It’s very stupid, because many things in the West have failed like family values etc.

This generation of Indian intelligentsia is aping Marxism so brilliantly, which is dead even in Russia, and is probably only left in Cuba, but I don’t see why Indians should copy Cuba (laughs).

Look at the Chinese, they are so proud of their culture; nobody dares to fiddle with them, even America will not dare to interfere with their affairs.

IP: Many Hindus fear the very survival of Hinduism in the face of Islamic fundamentalism. How real are their fears?
Gautier:
The fear is very real. I see there are five or six enemies that may be covertly or overtly attacking Hinduism. In the past there was any one threat at a time like the Greek, British or Muslim invasions. But today, there are the threats of Muslim fundamentalism, Christian conversions, Marxist onslaught, Westernization and so on which are eroding the Indian culture all at the same time. However, there are many great gurus today like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and others who are repackaging the Hindu tenets like spirituality. pranayama, yoga, ayurveda etc for everyone’s easy consumption while not associating them with Hinduism. Though I do not agree with that, it’s an important movement today and helping to preserve that culture.

It’s true that Hinduism is under attack and it looks frightening at times. That’s why the museum is so important.

IP: Have you ever felt conflicted about the culture you were born into and the one you adopted?
Gautier:
Personally I have never felt conflicted, but people of my country often do not understand why I defend the Hindus– that has been a bit of a problem. Though my country is sympathetic to India, when you touch the intellectual layer – people who are fed on the Nehruvian history and the downgrading of Hindu culture, I have come into conflict sometimes with these people. But for me living in India is a protection; people often appreciate the work I do. Some of my friends do not understand why I poke the dangerous Islamic fundamentalism by defending Hindus. I started speaking about it (Islamic fundamentalism) 20-25 years ago when it was not at all politically correct to speak about it. Even those friends who like me sometimes do not really understand me. I have faced a lot of hostility also.

IP: What can Hindus living in America do to preserve their culture?
Gautier:
For Hindus living in the US, whether fist or second generation, it is important that they carry their Hinduness. It is a special privilege to be born a Hindu, because you inherit the knowledge which is very ancient and very practical. Also the many Hindu groups which are scattered should unite to become a lobby like the Jews. They should teach their children to be proud of being Hindu while being faithful to their Americanness. They should create a lobby in the US to be able to influence South Asia policy at the administration level and see that it does not cap India’s nuclear policy.

IP: Is there something that really frustrates you?
Gautier:
Hindus don’t think big. Most Hindu movements in the US have mostly people without a vision, they don’t unite; it’s very frustrating. When I last visited the US in 2002, the Hindu community was more vibrant, today I find many of the Hindu leaders of that time burnt out or taken a back seat or gone back into mainstream life; that is saddening. If only Hindus knew their own power — there are one billion in the world — Islam is conscious of its might and its numbers; Christianity though on the decline, is conscious of its greatness in terms of technology and power. Hindus, who are not all that small in number, have to use more muscle. Meekness and submissiveness will not take them far, they have to show muscle power. That’s the way to get respect in the world.

SRIREKHA  N. CHAKRAVARTY
India Post News Service

Original Article.

August 17, 2009

From war-zone to Art of Living’s tranquility

‘I feel so safe and beautiful from within’

A group of 35-odd people from various Islamic nations are seeking a different kind of IT in India’s information technology capital Bengaluru. They have come all the way to write a programme of ‘Inner Transformation’ — for themselves and for the people back home.

11living1

The members of the motley group, including nationals from Morocco, Palestine, Iraq and Pakistan, are currently undergoing training at the Art of Living International Centre in the city, to become AOL instructors.

“The war and the ongoing violence took me to a point where I felt that I will collapse any minute. I often had suicidal thoughts. I had become heartless; no relation mattered to me. Then I was introduced to the Art of Living by a friend in 2000. Thanks to it, now I feel more optimistic, balanced and ready for anything in life. It has made me go deep within my faith and now I feel so safe and beautiful from within,” says Yusuf Majid, a 50-year-old from Lebanon.

“Now I want to take this skill of managing life to my people; make them experience what I did and give them a chance to make this beautiful change — in their own lives and that of others,” he adds.

Image: The group at the Art of Living training session
Photographs: Vicky Nanjappa

From Rediff.

July 26, 2009

Triple Eclipse and its repercussions

A part of rare astronomical phenomenon has already started happening and this triple eclipse has triggered an interesting and intense discussions among people in India. DK Hari has already written a book on this triple eclipse phenomenon, He says, there always destructive things happened in the past, when a triple eclipse series associated with it. Hence, he says this triple eclipse might bring up something destructive. The total solar eclipse, that happened this year is of the longest duration in this century.

Check out here,what BBC  says about eclipses?

Annular Eclipse

Annular Eclipse

Triple eclipse phenomenon is not new to Indian Astrologers who have such an accurate knowledge of astronomy and planetary positions for centuries, and can predict these with precision. VEDIK-INDIA SOCIETY, a non-profit organisation, dedicated to the well-being of mankind through the preservation of Vedic traditions, scriptures and practices is performing a Prapancha Shanti Yajna , which will continue till 2012. More details can be found here:

Prapanja Shanti Yajnam on Triple Eclipse

Eclipses occur in patters depending upon the duration of the eclipse, how much of the sun or moon is covered during the eclipse and so on. These patterns are called Saros Cycle. More about these can be found from:-

NASA’s website on Eclipses

You can even download and play the specific chanting ringtones specific to your birth Zodiac sign and other details, from this website, for peace to your life during time of eclipses:-

Birth Chant & Ringtone for protection from the Eclipse

June 10, 2009

Super Brain Yoga!!

Filed under: Hinduism,Yoga — thecandideye @ 3:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that issues patents to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification.USPTO issues 150,000 patents every year to companies and individuals according to wikipedia.Earlier there were attempts to misappropriate and patent our traditional knowledge in systematic way.This Biopiracy was not taken seriously and was neither given much attention by our goverment earlier.As a result there are already 150 yoga-related copyrights,134 patents on yoga devices and 2,315 yoga related trademarks issued.This trend of patenting our indigenous knowledge atlast made our goverment to counteract, and Traditional Knowledge Digital Library was setup in 2001.

In spite of all these efforts,the researchers are still able to find ways to patent their biopirated products or knowledge.Paul Nogier, a neurologist has spent 20 years and finally rediscovered what is known as Super Brain Yoga. This Super Brain Yoga superbly increases one’s intelligence.For the people,who are eager to know and practise the techinique – Here is the video. 

I had done so many Thoppukaranams (Tamil) in my school days .Almost everyday sometimes.I didn’t realise the importance and scientific reason behind “Thoppukaranams”.Our Rishis had the sheer genious to impose such punishements that would enhance our ability and sharpen our intellect.It was no wonder that India ruled the world in the past.The eternal knowledge and wisdom interwoven, with practices of Hinduism are the ones, that connect us together. Thoppukaranams are indeed the meaningful, and scientific way to pray, for wisdom and intelligence from Lord Ganesha.

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