-Prisha Poddar We’ve all been there. On the brink of an emotional breakdown, negative emotions fuelling up, feeling like you’ll immediately burst . You can’t focus on school, lash out at loved ones, and maybe even disconnect yourselves from them completely. Trust me when I say this, you are not alone. As teens we’ve all sprained an ankle or broken a bone before right? We’ve even gone to the doctor to get ourselves fixed. Why is it that we don’t see our mental health in that same light? Why do we believe that mental illnesses are something to be ashamed of? Having a mental illness doesn’t make you inferior, or less than. It doesn’t indicate emotional weakness and most often such illnesses are flaws of biology, not of character. The stigmatization of mental illness has veiled the overarching presence of mental health struggles amongst our age demographic. We’ve romanticized and ridiculed the topic to such an extent that mental illnesses are only used as derogatory insults. How many of us have heard,or even said, something like – “She looks anorexic” , or “I’m like really OCD.” The first step towards solving a problem is recognizing it in the first place. So, let’s get this conversation going. Start talking about these issues more. Let’s not ignore our mental health. Our struggles are valid and should be treated as such. We can be the force that changes society’s perception of mental health.
Congratulations on the huge victory, Prime Minister!
Respected Prime Minister,
In 2014 we helped the election commission to enroll five lakh new voters in the country. We worked 24 hours a day for over a Year because we were working for our countrymen to rise and understand the power of their vote. Our nation was looking for a U turn towards path of prosperity ..
Thanks to your leadership a lot has changed in last five years. But it only feels like a good beginning for the long journey ahead all of us. The flight needs to take off now!!! The beneficiaries, the citizens of our country are expecting miracles to happen in their lives under your leadership. For they have been deprived too long for hundreds of years. India deserves to be a Golden bird again, isn’t it!
Here is a wish list of voters who look forward to the next five years of your term for the making India a JUST, Peaceful & Prosperous Country.
A very strong and effective Judicial system for fast tracking cases which remain pending for long. Justice delayed is justice denied. Stringent action against culprits who break laws. The administrative body to be made more effective and corruption free.
Every year thousands of intelligent youth are compelled to move out of our country for higher education. Many never return back home. We need multiple world-class universities over next five years to reverse this trend. Atleast five world class universities to be established over next five years.
At regular time intervals there must be third party audits of government spending on different welfare schemes. Very often the funds sanctioned on paper do not reach the actual beneficiaries. Making them unsuccessful.
Empowering the local citizens and taking their help for effectively implementing government schemes is good example for making governance effective. An example that should be followed. Give back powers to people and they will do wonders.
Bringing back the lost pride to Farming sector. We need educated youth to look at farming as a respectable & lucrative career.
Promoting Organic & Natural Farming practices for betterment of environment & health. Making India self sufficient in food production. Indian Farmers are intelligent, they have over the years with their best practices, learned to yield three crops in an Year. They do not need freebies or sympathy. Empower them with water and electricity throughout the year for farming & they will generate wealth themselves.
Rita Kuhad ji’s (teacher by profession, runs a free school for underprivileged women) wishes
“I’m for improving the education system by providing quality training to teachers. We don’t have efficient , knowledgeable, dedicated teachers in Govt schools. That’s what sets apart the govt schools from the elite schools.”
Shashank Poddar(CEO of a company which employees 2000 people)
A more effective Finance minister.
Lowering burdens of taxes on tax payers.
Making the administrative body more effective and disciplined.
Being more inclusive about public participation while formulating policies
Ten or more times more spending on Judicial reforms
Overhauling law implementing agencies
Upgrading Infrastructure in cities
Shubham Choudhary (Software Engineer)
Continuing development in the field of science, establishing happiness centers, skill development centers adding benefits for our soldiers, including spirituality in the education, leading make in India movement to new heights, Overall reviving India to the Superpower that it has been
Swami Pranvanand (Social worker)
Strategical elimination of Poverty by creating opportunities,but not by cash rewards from taxpayers pockets.
Authentic intention to prosper Holistically.
Streamlining the economic hochpoch even at d cost of tough decision.
Elimination of anti-nationalism.
Rima Engineer (CST Therapist)
Increasing the happiness quotient of this country
Environmental policy reforms where punishment of cutting a tree should be intense
Corruption free society
Shreyans Mehta (IIM graduate & a teacher)
Institutions taking pride in their Indic roots
Introduction of yoga + meditation in all schools
Higher education in all national languages
Focus on Ayurveda + Indian knowledge systems
Freeing temples from government control
Jainil Khandelwal (Travel Agent)
Computerizing every Government office process to eliminate corruption
Making not just highways, but good internal city roads as well, in 21st century today our roads are horrible
Reservations strictly for economically poor only
Reforming Education by 3 points:-
Bringing in learning from stories of Indian heroes like Maharana Pratap, Chanakya etc
Making it holistic to allow kids to pursue offbeat fields which encourages their natural skill set
1-2 yrs military service mandatory for school kids
Nita Gala (Mathematics Teacher)
Rules and regulations which are made on paper needs to be actually implemented.
Creating good Employment opportunities in rural areas too , so that cities are not crowded.
Jai Masrani (Entrepreneur)
KPI implementation across all departments.
Equal and fair judiciary system.
Make in India implemented from the core component level.
Strict quality monitoring by ISI and other quality standard bodies.
Making all of the above environmentally sustainable.
Removal of caste based reservation and solely based on economic status.
Prohibition on tacit or forceful conversion.
Spiritual practice to be imbibed in primary education.
Compulsory military service before employment eligibility.
Removal of article 370
Uniform civil code
Ease of doing business
Elimination of black money
Clean governance clean cities
Better farm income
Happy healthy and wealthy India
Akhil Patel (Filmmaker)
Stabilizing J&K and saving resources by removal of Art. 35A & 370
Support the growth of spirituality in the country.
Active govt participation with NGOs in revival of rivers & developing waterways.
Welfare of farmers & promoting Natural farming
The list may seem long, but we are with you for bringing these reforms. With the support and blessings of our Countrymen – Hum honge kamyaab. And in 2024 we shall again have you, Dear Prime minister, our leader once again 🙂
(Citizen of India)
PS: We would love to know your wishlist from the government in the comments section below! 🙂
Pained at the sight of mounds of garbage, construction material and abandoned vehicles flanking Dindoshi traffic chowky, decided to undertake a spruce-up job.
I wanted to initiate the Aarey flyover project since long , and give it a makeover. The face lift kicked off on October 2.
Like everybody else, I used to look at the mess below the flyover during my daily commute and wonder how traffic cops spend time in such filthy surrounds. I felt the urge to do something. So I began meeting traffic cops to discuss possible solutions a month back.
Senior Inspector Vijay Salunke of Dindoshi traffic chowky, who assumed charge in September, was also keen to improve the state of affairs below the flyover, which helped expedite the project.
The project hopes to beautify the 700-metre stretch of the traffic chowky below the flyover. It aims to stop littering, remove abandoned vehicles and debris, level the ground, plant vertical gardens, create sitting areas and paint the section under the bridge.
On 2nd October, volunteers from Art of Living, local elected representatives, civic staffers, students of Dairy Science Institute at Aarey Colony and citizen activists held the first clean-up drive. In a matter of four hours, around three tonnes of trash was cleared. Seeing the citizens’ response, traffic cops on 3rd Octobe cleared another section near the chowky which they plan to develop as a garden. “This is a busy, noisy junction. We are sure the plants will help cut noise and dust pollution. Our staff is very happy at the difference just two days of work has made,” said Senior Inspector Vijay Salunke.
Attending the recent discourse on Vigyan Bhairav with Gurudev in Mumbai was like unveiling infinity. Vigyan Bhairav is the science of Consciousness or Shiva. The fact that there is so much to discover in existence got reiterated. So much so that we can never say ‘we know it all’ or ever get bored of learning this remarkable science.
Vigyan Bhairav started with Intellect or “Devi” asking “Shiva” or the eternal space a question – “What are the ways that I can be in a state like yours?” But why is the intellect wishing to be in a state like that of Shiva/space? And what is the state of space after all?
Let’s reflect upon what is space first. Space is and space is not. We cannot explain what space is in words and it’s presence cannot be denied also. The absence of material is space but inside material is also space. Everything emerges from space and everything dissolves in space. Space is nothing/zero and space is everything/infinite. The fifth element space is most mystical and has baffled scientists for time immemorial. Shiva is the space, it is the consciousness.
While Devi or Shakti is the Intellect. Intellect thrives on manifest which is – measurable. It relies on the organs of perception. All that is logical, expressible, understandable is in the domain of the intellect. Is it that the intellect has become tired of being busy and it’s now seeking to be in rest like Shiva? After all, a matured intellect does look for something permanent. Gurudev said that it’s then that higher questions arise in us like- ‘Who am I’, ‘What is the purpose of life’ …etc. I assume, Devi is stressed of overworking and she may be quite jealous of her husband being in an eternal state of siesta and so she finally asks Shiva this question, just Kidding! 🙂 It would surely be worth knowing the secret of Shiva’s blissful state, so let’s read along….
Gurudev revealed the secret- like a small eye can hold the vast sky and a small mirror can capture a huge elephant, the human intellect can also withhold infinity. And then impossible start happening…In the scripture 112 techniques are mentioned those were given by Shiva to Devi for being in a blissful state like his. Here are a few techniques Gurudev shared with us-
1) Gurudev said – “Waiting can lead to Meditation”
Waiting can either lead to frustration or it can lead to meditation. Often when we are waiting we get restless or frustrated. But the space around us waits forever and waits for nothing really. Waiting for nothing is meditation. Meditation is enlivening and rejuvenating. So wait but for nothing to be in a state like Shiva.
2) Akshar (a letter) can be used to settle the mind.
A letter example “ka” if spoken mentally can be spoken forever. But it must be disconnected with breath and must be spoken internally for it to be continuous. Do it and see.Continue long enough…. Did you observe that after a while the mind becomes blank? Akshar spoken mentally can calm the agitated mind and carry us to space like nothingness.
3) The way to overcome worries-
Let’s see what a worry is? Worry is a continuous flow of connected thoughts. Like a whirlpool, it can drown us in it. Gurudev shared a way in which we can move out of worry. The thought which is a worry should be expanded. Like if the thought is -I hate him, elongate it to -I……….H…..A……..T…….E…..H…..I…..M. You will start laughing at the same thought. It works, you must try!
4) An effort for the impossible and 100% action.
Gurudev asked us, can we speak letter “Ka” without “aa”. We all tried and failed. Because it is impossible to say ka without aa. But what’s amazing is in the effort to say “ka” without “aa” flow of thoughts cease, what remains is effort alone. Being 100% in action can also keep us free like space is.
5) Gurudev made us do the chakit (Wonderment) mundra. He said that the diversity in the creation is so that we can be in constant amazement. Like kids are. In amazement questions disappear, wonderment takes over. I felt an upward movement of energy while doing this mundra. In wonderment heart is full and head is empty space like.
6) Remembering that everything is a lie.
When obstacles in life come they seem to be permanent. This makes us miserable. We forget the many challenges of our life in the past. Where are those events now? Like a dream they are all over, isn’t it? Everything is a lie Including this body as it’s temporary. Bringing into awareness that everything is a lie there is nothing that the mind can hold on to. Remembering this all burdens from the mind drop, even space holds on to nothing.
7) Ego for achieving impossible can lead us there.
Wanting to achieve the impossible is like wishing to achieve the highest. Like climbing the Mount Everest. But once the ego achieves the impossible, beyond the achievement it has nothing more to do. Then it ultimately rests. Gurudev says achievers are rested, but those still in the run may be aggressive. Space is rested, always.
8) Filling positivity with the power of thought.
Thoughts have great power. So much so that a single thought can even lift a body of 100 kilos and reach it to a place of that thought. Gurudev said, then why not use the same power of thought to know that the outer and inner spaces are filled with positivity and bliss.
Over the three days, Gurudev shared with us many simple and complex techniques. My synopsis of them all is that – when we forget our true nature, which is space like unbounded and internal, we become miserable. A reminder can get us out of this misery of life. That we are much bigger than all fleeting events, remembering this gives us strength and make us peaceful again. Using the methods shared by Gurudev in Vigyan Bhairav is like using the refresh button on the laptop. Instantly we can become blank and new like the space. Or be like Nandi, the bull, who keeps his gaze fixed on Shiva.
Actually by habit we do quite the opposite. Negativity catches our attention first. Let’s make a new habit and paste a board in the Heart- “Shiva resting, trespassing punishable.” 🙂
Gurudev narrated the story of Samudra Manthan. When Devas and Danavas performed Samundra manthan first poison came out. Shiva drank the poison and kept it in his throat and his throat became blue. That’s why Shiva is also called Neelkanth. Shiva did not let the poison seep deeper in his heart. This is symbolic for us to learn to save our heart at any cost. We cannot be goodie-goodie and may need to criticize sometimes, but let it be from the throat region, from the surface, and not from the depth of the heart.
Vigyan is Vishesh Gyan, special knowledge. Gurudev decoded this precious knowledge and downloaded it for us to experience. Making Vigyan Bhairav discourse an unforgettable experience. People from all walks of life came for this discourse, there were doctors, lawyers, scientists, students, homemakers, CEOs, politician, film stars, five thousand five hundred of them but all went back with common feelings – expanded, elevated and more peaceful than before. Which proves Vigyan Bhairav is universal and an absolute science.
Prostrations at the feet of Gurudev for this invaluable gift.
Like Holi is a festival of colors, Life is a festival of emotions. Minus the emotions from life and life will be colorless, isn’t it!
The vibrant play of emotions- Happiness, Sadness, Gratefulness, Jealousy, Longing, Lust, Greed, Love, Hate, Fear…. continues all our lives, making life a festival like Holi.
Life sometimes spills colors of negative emotions on us and we feel dirtied. Based on the pronounced patterns of emotions in our lives we sometimes start labeling ourselves, “I am an angry person’ or “I am a lazy person” or “I am an anxious person” .. And we may forget who we really are. Just like on the day of Holi, we spill so much color on each other that we can barely recognize who we are. All that we see of each other are the white teeth and the black eyes.
But later, after that yearly bath, super washing happens. And the one who emerges after this powerful cleansing is a new vibrant person in us. Spick and span, making the contrast very evident. This contrast is a reminder to us that we are eternally clean and cannot be dirtied by any fleeting negative emotions of life. All that is required is some power cleaning, soap of knowledge and water of meditation, and the job get’s done. Like In white light all other colors are embedded similarly in our consciousness different hues of emotions are embedded. But I am not the emotions, I am the white light, Holi brings this cooling reminder.
What we can also learn from Holi festival is that messing up is a part of the play and to not get bogged down when life looks all messed up. Like playing Holi is not possible without messing up, life is not possible without messing up sometimes. Everything is really Ok. Being messy is also ok. Our intellect gets stuck to the concept of right and wrong and in doing so we may forget, life is a play. Whether Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow or Mixed black, life is but a play.
We also put Holi colors on our favorite God’s Idol on this day, as if expressing to him that you have put all these colors into our lives, today we offer them back to you.
Gurudev says – “Life is enthusiasm, life is love, life is joy”. Let’s make life a celebration like Holi every moment. We know the art of taking bath so Meditate and celebrate a new hue in you every moment.
Imagine wearing undersized garments or living in a tiny compartment, all your life, how would it feel?
And imagine removing those clothes or stepping out of that tiny compartment one day, how would that feel? A sigh of relief, a feeling of freedom, comfort, naturalness, isn’t it.. Similar is an experience one gets in meditation.
All the identifications of the spirit with the body, like our gender, caste, creed, color, religion, rank in society, roles we play etc are all like wearing undersized clothes. Because however big the identity/role may be it is only an iota of what the spirit is. The Spirit or Energy from which this whole creation is made. Yet all our lives are directed towards strengthening these limited identities. The identity we hold on feels like our most precious jewel isn’t it.
But for those who have meditated have experienced how it feels to break through those shackles and experience being infinity, even if it is for a fraction of second, it brings great relief to the tired soul, which has been stuck in those limited identities for life times. The relief is similar to that child’s, who once parted with his parents at birth and reunited with them again. Can you imagine how he would feel? Comfort, love and freedom.
No matter how precious the King’s crown is, he too has to remove it while going to bed. Only then can he sleep and get rest. But how about the crown we wear even to bed! The crown of identification which we carry 24/7, which makes us so tired one day, so very tired that life itself feels like a big burden. Only if we learned to let go of this dearest crown of ours, for few moments every day, the quality of life could be different.
Gurudev once explained the symbolism of the peacock feather in Krishna’s crown. He said it symbolizes lightness of feather he carried with his role. Though he was a king, his identity as a king did not weigh heavy on his head, it was light as a feather. Even in the posture that he stood, with one foot on the ground and the other tilted above, it represents lightness of dance.
When we meditate daily, life becomes like a dance. We can carry our identities with us, just like a play, like we did when we were kids, remember playing chor police!
But knowing for sure this is not who I am, I am infinite, unbounded, scintillating energy and I am indestructible.
How long do you propose to live in those undersized clothes, we have a choice, resolve and meditate daily.
Time froze, so did all the mental activities… name melted.. what remained was nothingness… and absolute rest.
Shri DeoKaran Jhunjhunwala ((1910-1968), Bade Babaji our beloved Great grandfather in his short span of life laid down such a strong foundation for our family that even after four generations the fruits of his hard work are being enjoyed by his family members. The more I learn about him the more in awe I find myself.
At a tender age of 12 Bade Babaji lost his father. At such a young age he had the great responsibility of supporting his younger siblings and mother on his shoulders. So he started working. He helped in buying and selling and earned profits out of it. He did very well for himself. So much so that he ordered eight shiploads of goods from Bangladesh. Unfortunately the ships sank and he lost all that he had earned for last so many years. They say when gold is heated it shines even brighter. This was true for bade Babaji as his resolve for succeeding was unshakable. The challenges in his life made his resolve stronger.
Bade Babaji did not give up. In 1936 he came to Barang (around 30km from Bhubaneshwar). Barang was a jungle then. Other than a railway station there was no infrastructure in this area. With help of his cousins he bought a half built glass factory in Barang. The factory was named Durga glass (after Badi dadiji’s name Durga Devi Jhunjhunwala) The Glass factory made huge losses for about seven years until around 1942. After which the fortune turned for this young Industrialist. On 15th August 1947 the foundation of Orissa Industries was laid by bade Babaji. Over the years he set up many manufacturing units that of Pipes, Sanitary ware, refractories etc. To be known as one of the leading Industrialists of India at that time.
Bade Babaji was a man of great ethics and principles. He treated his workers as his extended family. For the benefit of all he made a charitable school, a hospital and also a temple. He drew great strength from his mother, Basanti Devi ji, who actively helped him in all these charitable activities. She would visit the hospital, school and homes of the workers everyday and make sure everything was functioning properly.
Bade Babaji actively participated in the freedom movement of India. Many prominent leaders would visit bade Babaji. In 1948 during his visit to Orissa Shri Sardar Patel also met with bade Babaji and used his car during his visit.
HareKrushna Mahatab the first chief minister of Orissa would often consult bade Babaji for affairs relating to governance of Orissa. On the day of his demise bade Babaji conceived the plan of constructing Ram Mandir (One of the most popular temples in Bhubaneshwar today). Even in his last breaths he made himself useful for the world.
In a short span of only 57 years bade Babaji achieved a lot. Even today when we visit Barang memories of his hard work come alive. Most valuable of his contributions are his ethics and human values which continue to inspire us.
Even though the branch of a tree sheds all its leaves but until there is life in its roots there is potential life in it. In nature this phenomenon is commonly witnessed by all of us, with change of seasons the tree sheds its leaves only to become green again the next season. I feel, a family tree also goes through similar life cycles. Some generations do better than others and the family tree bears more fruits at those times and vice versa. But like the tree until there is strength in its foundation or roots the family tree will also survive and blossom once again. Because there is potential life in it.
It’s a privilege to inherit bade Babaji’s name. As a part of his family, we his Great grand children are committed to taking his name forward. With hard work, inspiration from him and his blessings from heaven we once again pray to witness the spring. When flowers of good deeds and hard work will blossom for the benefit of this world, witnessing which his spirit will smile again in heaven.
In loving memories of Bade Babaji
(P.S- Special thanks to Kashi Babaji for sharing the inspiring stories of Bade Baba ji with me.)