Scientifically Speaking, Women Like Their BFFs More Than Their Husband

Countless movies have told us our significant other is our best friend. The movie ends when you find ‘the one’ & all is right with the world.

by Aishwarya Dharni

But guess what? for women IRL, nobody can replace their BFFs, not even their one true love.
According to a study, women like their best friends more than their spouses.


1517 women were a part of the study and more than 50 per cent claimed that their girlfriends were their first priority and not their husbands.

There a lot of reasons why women would prefer their BFFs over their BAEs but the ones listed in the study were:
Women feel they can tell their best friend anything and everything as compared to their husbands.

And that led to them saying that their best friends are better listeners.

They also added that they feel more at ease with their personality in front of their besties rather than their hubbies.

Some of them went as far as saying that their gal-pal got on their nerves less than their romantic pal, and that they have a better sense of humour.

And lastly, since women are born-therapists, most of them feel that their best friend offered way better advice than their husbands.

Guys, more for you to be jealous of.

Virat Kohli Has Switched To A Vegan Lifestyle, Should You Be Too?

From being a chubby-faced cricketer who loves his homemade delicious Punjabi food, especially his personal favourite, biryani, Virat Kholi has been on a remarkable transformational fitness journey. Kohli’s current diet includes protein shakes, vegetables and soya, as he’s given up eggs and diary for good.

“Kohli started this diet four months ago and is feeling stronger as his digestive power has increased. He isn’t missing meat, eggs or diary. Two years ago, when he was on a normal diet he had said that he would go vegan if given a choice. He is now feeling stronger than before,” claims sources.

The news of captain Kohli turning vegan has stirred the age-old debate over whether the vegan diet is healthy or not. While the Indian skipper’s decision to go vegan might be a part of his fitness journey, it is important to note that many celebrated sports personalities like Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton and Carl Lewis are already a part of the vegan club and are seen promoting the vegan lifestyle.

So, whether you are planning to turn vegan or are just curious about the health benefits that this plant-based diet has to offer, here is all that you need to know.

What is the vegan diet?

A vegan diet is a completely plant-based diet consisting of vegetables, beans, grains, nuts etc.

Being vegan is different from being a vegetarian, as they still consume dairy and eggs, and it is NOT an abbreviated way to say ‘vegetarian’.

What all can you eat if you’re going vegan?

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive.

1. Vegetables and fruits

2. Grains

3. Beans and legumes

4. Nuts and seeds

5. Tofu

6. Plant-based oils

What are the health benefits of going vegan?

While researches have shown several health benefits of a vegan diet including high vitamin C levels and fibre levels when compared to a non-vegan diet, it is how you follow the diet that decides its health benefits. Ultimately, it all depends on what you eat as even if you are living on fries and chips (yes, they are vegan) while being on a vegan diet, it is not good for your health.

1. Risk of cardiovascular disease drops

It is an established fact that diets containing meat are rich in saturated fat and cholesterol. On the other hand, by going vegan you significantly reduce the saturated fat intake, which in turn, lowers your risk for heart diseases.

2. You lose weight

As you switch to a plant-based diet which is rich in fibres, you may start to feel full sooner than usual, thanks to the fibre-rich diet that is easier on the digestion.

3. You might become happier

No, we are not kidding. A research has found out that those who follow vegan diets might be happier than those who eat fish and meat.

4. Fewer migraines

Foods like chocolates and cheese are one of the most common triggers for a migraine as it is linked to our diets and eating habits. Hence, if you are on a vegan diet you are automatically more mindful of what you are putting inside your mouth, leading to fewer migraine triggers.

5. Healthier skin

Being rich in Vitamin C, a plant-based diet could do wonders to your skin. This happens because a vegan diet tends to be rich in antioxidants, which helps fighting acne and other skin issues. It also provides a healthy glow to your skin and helps with collagen synthesis, which in turn keeps your skin looking younger and healthier.

Vegan for the environment?

Interestingly, this plant-based diet is exceptionally good for the environment as according to the researchers at the University of Oxford, shunning dairy and meat products could reduce a person’s carbon’ footprint (from food) by up to 73 per cent.


It could also result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions as the findings of the research point out that meat and dairy productions are responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions while using 83 per cent of the farmland.

The takeaway

However, one must remember that when you are eliminating animal and animal products from your diet, you are also putting yourself at the risk of missing some important nutrients including vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are following a strictly vegan diet, make sure that you take additional supplements to balance your diet, as some vitamins like vitamin B12 occur naturally only in animal foods like eggs and milk. In fact, plant-based calcium and iron are not as easily absorbed when compared to the kind in meat.

Keep in mind that balance is the key as following a vegan-diet does have health benefits if it is well-planned.

With inputs from TNN

15 reasons to visit Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

15 reasons to visit Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

 

1. Ganga Aarti

The Varanasi Ganga Aarti takes place every sunset at the holy Dasaswamedh Ghat, near Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The aarti is performed on a stage by a group of pandits, all draped in saffron colored robes with their puja plates spread out before them. It commences with the blowing of a conch shell, and continues with the waving of incense sticks in elaborate patterns and circling of large flaming lamps that create a bright hue against the darkened sky. The movement of the lamps, held in the pandits’ hands, is tightly synchronized to the rhythmic chants of hymns and clang of cymbals.

 

2. Dip in holy Ganges

There are plenty of ghats in Varanasi, from where devotees can take a holy dip in the Ganges and it is considered to be the most auspicious moment by all Hindu religion believers. You do not want to miss the chance to fulfil the millennia old tradition while you are at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

3. Boat ride

Some say the majesty of the Ganges River is best appreciated as the sun is rising and setting. In the morning you can experience the red sun rising in the east, shining on pilgrims as they start their bathing rituals. In the evening you can experience Ganga Aarti too.

 

4. Seek blessings at temples

The Vishwanath Temple of Kasi (Varanasi) is one of the oldest and most sacred Hindu temples in India. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas – important centres of Shiva worship. The Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple of Varanasi is said to have been established by the renowned saint Goswami Tulsidas and reconstructed by Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya in the early 20th century. Located quite close to the Vishwanath Temple, is the Annapurna Devi temple where the Goddess Parvati is worshipped as the giver of food and nourishment.

5. Enjoy the street food

Street food is an essential part of Indian culture and cuisine. There are a number of street foods from across the country that are famous, but nothing that beats the hot and crispy kachoris and samosas from Benaras. Vegetarian delicacies are majorly prepared in desi ghee and mustard oil, be it spicy, sweet or sour. Most Varanasi sweets have a milk and ghee base like the Magdal, Sankat Mochan ke Laddoo, Parval Mithai, Kheer Mohan and Launglata among others.

6. Soak in music and dance of banarasi gharana

Varanasi also developed as a great center of Dhrupad style of singing. In the 16th century, Govind Chandra ruled Varanasi and during his regime Dhrupad became the count music. With the development of Dhrupad, other styles like Dhamar, Hori and Chaturang also grew. The famous Assarwari, “Ghunghat ke pat Khol” was made famous by the Nirgun singers of Kashi while Meer Rustam (the Nawab of Awadh) patronised music festivals like Jhoola, Jhoomar, Kajri, Birha, Dangal, Gulab Bari as well as music on boats. Varanasi is also associated with many great instrumentalists. Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan is famous worldwide while Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar has earned wide acclaim throughout the world.

7. Weavers of Varanasi

In the city as old as time, with a weaving tradition that is equally historic, Benarasi saris have kept abreast with changing tastes. The sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. The sarees are made of finely all had said this should be about Banarasi weaving including carpets etc and not just saris. Woven silk and are decorated with intricate design, and, because of these engravings, are relatively heavy.

 

8. Take a holy dip in triveni sangam

The Triveni Sangam, where the Kumbh Mela takes place, is the meeting place of three rivers: the Saraswati, Yamuna, and Ganga. The Triveni Sangam is considered to be a very sacred place in India to Hindus, who believe that taking a dip there will wash away sins and free them from the cycle of rebirth, thereby achieving Moksha.

 

9. Visit the Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of humanity at any one. 100 millon people attended the Kumbh at Prayag in 2013! That is 1/10 of India’s population! All other congregations pale in comparison with the Kumbh. The ocean of humanity, the sea of tents, the colourful flags, countless pilgrims taking a dip in the water, the smell of smoke from holy fires, the beautiful sunrise it is a breathtaking panorama.

 

10. Discover the grandeur of UNESCO heritage sites

Unesco World heritage sites have always been a big attractions for traveler from all over the world and people like to visit these places very much. Specially travelers who love history and architecture love to visit world heritage sites all over the world. Delhi also have three Unesco world heritage sites – Red Fort, Humayun’s tomb and Qutub Minar and these are must visit when you are in Delhi.

 

11. Visit Chandni chowk – An ideal symbol of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava’

Chandni Chowk has emerged as an ideal symbol of Sarva Dharma Sambhava. It was initially shaped as a square at the centre of which was a pool that shimmered in the moonlight which is what the market is named after. The shops around the bazaar were arranged in a half moon pattern around the square. Delhi’s most famous mosque, Jama Masjid, was built in 1650 in the vicinity. The Gauri Shankar temple, the Central Baptist Church and the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib are also located nearby.

 

12. Shopping in Delhi

The vibrant atmosphere of Delhi markets can make shopping lots of fun. In fact, Delhi has the best markets in India, selling a huge array of items including handicrafts from all over the country. These top markets in Delhi are a treasure trove of goods waiting to be discovered. The Delhi Haat, Tibetan Market on Janpath, Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Market, Khan market are some of them.

 

 

13. Visit Akshardham and Lotus Bahai Temple

Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in New Delhi epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind. The Lotus temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. Completed in 1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens. The structure is made up of pure white marble. The architect Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus as the symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Adherents of any faith are free to visit the temple and pray or meditate.

14. Relish local delicacies

The best way to know a city intimately, is to romance its food. A lot has been written about Delhi and its food, and justifiably so. Delhi loves it food. And more than that, it loves sharing its food with those who love all things delicious. If you wish to enjoy it, shed your high-brow attitude to soak in the flavours and delicacies. The streets are lined with halwais (sweet-sellers), namkeen wallahs (sellers of savouries) and paranthe wallahs.

15. Celebrate Republic Day including the parade at Rajpath

Republic Day honors the date of 26th January 1949 when the Constitution of India came into force as the governing document of the country. It marks India’s identity as a republic nation. The Republic Day Parade refers to the ceremonious parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, held every year on the same date. The parade showcases India’s Defence Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage. The Republic Day Parade takes places along Rajpath, in Delhi. Its route is more than five kilometers long. The parade sets out from Raisina Hill near Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Palace) and follows Rajpath past India Gate to the Red Fort.

 

Source: http://www.pbdindia.gov.in/en/15-reasons

15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2019

Day #1 21 January, Monday

Youth PBD & Uttar Pradesh
State PBD

Joint inauguration of Youth PBD by External Affairs Minister and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports. The event will bring limitless opportunities for the young Diaspora to engage with New India. Uttar Pradesh PBD is a unique opportunity for Pravasis from Uttar Pradesh to reconnect with the roots.

TimeSession/Programme
09:30 hrs-11:00hrs
  • Inauguration of Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
  • Special Guest His Excellency Mr. Himanshu Gulati, Member of Parliament, Norway
  • Guest of Honour His Excellency Mr. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Member of Parliament, New Zealand
11:30-13:00 hrsPlenary Session: Engagement with Younger Members of Indian Diaspora
13:00-14:30 hrsLunch hosted by Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports
14:30-21:00 hrs
  • Interaction with Banaras Hindu University Students (Banaras Hindu University Campus Campus)
  • Dinner hosted by Shri Chetan Chouhan, Minister of State for Sports & Youth Welfare for youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas participants
11:30-Onwards
  • Inauguration of Uttar Pradesh State Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Simultaneous event)
  • Cultural programme (Showcasing dance and music of Uttar Pradesh) in the Evening
  • Dinner hosted by Shri Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for State Pravasi Bharatiya Divas participants

 

Day #2 22 January, Tuesday

Inauguration of PBD Convention
by Prime Minister

Inauguration of 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2019 by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India in the presence of Prime Minister of Mauritius, H.E. Pravind Jugnauth.

TimeSession/Programme
10:00 hrs-12:30 hrs
  • Plenary I: Inauguration of 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention 2019
  • Chief Guest His Excellency Shri Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius
  • Address by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
  • Joint Unveiling of Plaque of Mauritius Diaspora Centre by both Prime Ministers
  • Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz Award Ceremony & Group Photo
13:00-14:30 hrsLunch for delegates
14:00-15:30 hrsPlenary Session II: Developing Cyber Capacity of India
16:00-17:30 hrsPlenary Session III: Giving Back to India: Opportunities and Challenges
18:00-19:30 hrsCultural Programme (Organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations)
20:00 hrs onwardsDinner hosted by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs

Day #3 23 January, Wednesday

Valedictory Session & PBS
Awards by President

Conferment of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards and Valedictory Address by President of India.

TimeSession/Programme
09:00-10:20 hrsPlenary Session IV : Indian Community Organizations Working for Indian Nationals in Distressed Situation
10:20-11:40 hrsPlenary Session V : Indian Diaspora’s Role in Capacity Building of Artificial Intelligence in India
11:40-12:00 hrsTea Break
12:00-13:30 hrsPlenary Session VI : Role of Indian Diaspora in Capacity Building for Affordable Waste Management
13:30-15:00 hrsLunch hosted by Shri Ram Naik, Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh
15:00-16:30 hrsPlenary Session VII : Role of India Diaspora in Capacity Building for Affordable Solar Power
17:00-18:30 hrsValedictory Session and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards Ceremony by Hon’ble President
20:00 hrsDinner hosted by Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, Indian Council of Cultural Relations

Day #4 24 January, Thursday

In Prayagraj (Visit to Kumbh Mela)

Participants would arrive in Prayagraj by bus (Volvo AC Bus). Arrangements for holy bathing at Sangam

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth, during which participants bathe or take a dip in a sacred river. The founding myth of the Kumbh Mela—attributed to the Puranas (collections of myth and legend)—recounts how the gods and demons fought over the pot (kumbha) of amrita, the elixir of immortality produced by their joint churning of the milky ocean. During the struggle, drops of the elixir fell on the Kumbh Mela’s four earthly sites, and the rivers are believed to turn back into that primordial nectar at the climactic moment of each, giving pilgrims the chance to bathe in the essence of purity, auspiciousness, and immortality.

The festival is held at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik every four years by rotation and is attended by millions of people irrespective of caste, creed or gender. Its primary bearers, however, belong to akhadas and ashrams, religious organizations, or are individuals living on alms. Kumbh Mela plays a central spiritual role in the country, exerting a mesmeric influence on ordinary Indians. The event encapsulates the science of astronomy, astrology, spirituality, ritualistic traditions, and social and cultural customs and practices, making it extremely rich in knowledge. Knowledge and skills related to the tradition are transmitted through ancient religious manuscripts, oral traditions, historical travelogues and texts produced by eminent historians. However, the teacher-student relationship of the sadhus in the ashrams and akhadas remains the most important method of imparting and safeguarding knowledge and skills relating to

Day #5 25 January, Friday

In Delhi

After Kumbh Mela, participants would travel from Prayagraj to Delhi by train (two-tier AC coaches).

 

Day #6 26 January, Saturday

Witnessing the

Witnessing the 70th Republic Day Event Republic Day Event

Special passes for foreign delegates of PBD 2019 have  been arranged for the Republic Day Parade.

Source: https://www.pbdindia.gov.in/en/program-schedule

Herb and Food fair to take place at the end of the month

Three Thai government ministries are to hold a herb and food fair, titled “Eat to a New Age… Eat Confidently with Sustainable Farming”.

The Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Ministry of the Interior have announced that this, their third Herb and Food Fair, will take place at the end of the month.

The event will feature safely prepared food and rare varieties of herbs, with highlights including fusion cuisine and dishes resulting from research. All ingredients used will be from sustainable farming and will feature herbs long used in Thailand for health purposes. One workshop will be on the use of herbs for anti-aging, and participants can also take part in over 50 short courses on herbal treatments.

Up to 300 herb plants will be handed out each day along with 200 books on herbs. The aim of the fair is to have citizens use safe food and herbs to improve their health. It will run from August 29 to September 2 at Impact Muang Thong Thani.

Information and Source
Reporter : Itiporn Lakarnchua Rewriter : Itiporn Lakarnchua National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

Nonthaburi Long Boat Races Begin Today

Nonthaburi Long Boat Races is organized annually on the third weekend of August when the Chao Phraya River is high. Oarsmen from Nonthaburi and other nearby provinces would gather to join the boat racing which is held at Nonthaburi Pier. Each year, there are about 60-70 boats joining the 3 days competition. There is also a parade of fancy decorated boats during the event.

Movie Review: Satyameva Jayate

We all have seen corruption and apathy in the government and police force etc. from close quarters at some point in our lives. Most of the times, we have not protested and merely given up since the thought of taking on the system is just too much. But imagine if you could teach these corrupt officials a lesson. Milap Milan Zaveri’s SATYAMEVA JAYATE promises you to get into that space and give you a kick in seeing baddies facing a crushing defeat from an aam aadmi, as evident from the trailers. So does SATYAMEVA JAYATE turn out to be as action-packed, massy and satisfying as expected? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE is the story of a vigilante on a killing spree for a personal reason. Veer (John Abraham) is an acclaimed artist who has taken up a mission to kill corrupt cops. His first target is Sadashiv Patil (Abhishek Khandekar). He sets him on fire alive and then sends his ashes to his police station in Santacruz, Mumbai. In no time, he bumps off Inspector Irrfan Qadri (Shaikh Sami Usman) from Andheri Police Station in the same manner. DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj Bajpayee) is given the charge of this case by the Commissioner (Manish Chaudhary). Veer meanwhile meets Shikha (Aisha Sharma) at a beach clean-up drive and both fall for each other. Meanwhile, Veer challenges Shivansh to stop him from killing his next target. Shivansh fails and Veer manages to eliminate Inspector Damle (Ganesh Yadav) of Thane Police Station. Shivansh is shaken by Veer’s audacity and his fearlessness and he goes on an overdrive in trying to know who his next target would be. Finally, Shivansh cracks the modus operandi of Veer. Shivansh realizes that Inspector Bhonsle (Rajesh Khera) from Yari Road police station is the next one in line. Shivansh lays a trap and is all set to catch Veer. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Milap Milan Zaveri’s story is simplistic, massy and something that the masses would applaud. Milap Milan Zaveri’s screenplay is also on the same lines but it gets repetitive. There’s no novelty value left after a point with regards to the killing of the cops. Also it’s a bit flawed. For instance, Veer giving all the clues through his painting was a bit too convenient. The climax is a bit confusing especially actions of Shikha. Milap Milan Zaveri’s dialogues however are completely paisa vasool and would be greeted with seetis and taalis!
Milap Milan Zaveri’s direction reminds one of the 90s action dramas. Although it works in most parts, at some places the film begins to give a dated feel. In the second half, he could have executed the killing sequences differently as that would have enhanced interest. Moreover, the film gets a bit stretched towards the finale and perhaps, he could have avoided this aspect too.
SATYAMEVA JAYATE begins with a dhamaka and the excitement keeps going. The entry of DCP Shivansh in the narrative adds to the fun. Veer’s first ever call to Shivansh is quite a dramatic sequence. The manner in which the three cops are eliminated are also quite interesting and viewers would surely root for these sequences. But the best sequence of the first half is the ‘namaaz’ sequence. Single screen audiences would go crazy at this point. The intermission point comes as a bolt from the blue. Post-intermission, the hospital sequence stands out. But then the film drops as it becomes too overdramatic and repetitive. Even the finale would be received with mixed reactions.

John Abraham delivers a fabulous, nuanced performance. John is known for his action avatar majorly and his role in SATYAMEVA JAYATE is definitely the best as compared to other such flicks of recent times like FORCE 2, ROCKY HANDSOME and DISHOOM. Watch out for the way he dons a cunning act in the hospital sequence. Manoj Bajpayee provides able support and enhances impact in some scenes. His confrontation with Veer at various points is too good. Aisha Sharma makes a confident debut but sadly doesn’t have much to do in the film. Amruta Khanvilkar (Sarita) is completely wasted and that’s unfortunate considering that she just gave a memorable performance in RAAZI. Manish Chaudhary is fine but hams a lot in the climax. Rajesh Khera leaves the maximum impact out of the police officers. Ganesh Yadav comes next. Abhishek Khandekar, Shaikh Sami Usman and Ankur Sharma (Inspector Mohan Shrivastav) are okay. Chetan Pandit (Inspector Shiv Rathod) leaves a mark. Archita Agarwal (Muslim girl harassed by cop) has a good screen presence. Nora Fatehi looks and dances like a dream and is quite sizzling.
The songs don’t have much purpose in the film. ‘Dilbar’ is the best of the lot and this chartbuster is very well picturised. ‘Paniyon Sa’ doesn’t register an impact while ‘Tajdar-E-Haram’ is relegated to the background. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background score is dramatic and exhilarating.
Nigam Bomzan’s cinematography is decent while Priya Suhas’ production design is a bit poor but works well for this film as it’s based in a realistic setting. Amin Khatib and Ravi Verma’s action is the highpoint of the film. It’s not too gory but at the same time feels quite raw and real. Maahir Zaveri’s editing should have been crisper.
On the whole, SATYAMEVA JAYATE is a powerful and gripping drama that leaves an impact as it resonates with the problems of the common man. It is sure to work big time in the single screens where the various scenes are bound to induce claps and whistles. This one is for the masses!

4th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA 2018

Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, presents Yoga for developing inner awareness and potential

On the occasion of the fourth International Day of Yoga we offer our good wishes to all sincere seekers and aspirants of yoga. It is a day to honour the ancient yoga vidya, a science of spiritual evolution perfected and handed down by the seers and sages of humanity through all times.

The science of mantra is an important component of yoga, which according to Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, “is an incomparable gift by the Indian seers to the world, for in no other culture will you find such an elaborate system of mantras. They are the medium through which, by understanding the connection of one’s life with Nature and the Supreme Reality, one can act in accordance with Nature and make the effort towards selfevolution and self-realization.”

“Mantra is defined as mananat trayate iti mantrah – as the power, force or energy through which one is able to liberate the mind from its obsessions. Many people see mantras as religious words or try to understand their literal meaning, but in essence the mantra is a sound vibration, and in mantra yoga one needs to identify with the vibration as much as possible. It is for this reason that mantras are always repeated, not just chanted once. When the mantra is sustained for a period of time, and you merge your consciousness in the feeling, chanting and articulation of the mantra, and begin to identify with the vibrations that you are creating while chanting the mantra, then you begin to experience what is called mantra meditative awareness, and attaining this awareness should be the aim of sincere yoga aspirants.” This year’s program has been designed keeping this theme in mind. A conscious and sincere effort to integrate mantras into one’s yoga sadhana and lifestyle will transform the state of one’s own mind and unlock its dormant potential.

Your Program for the International Day of Yoga 2018

From 6 am to 7.30 am, people will gather on the rooftops, verandahs, courtyards and other open spaces of their homes and community centres and do the following practices:

1.Kaya sthairyam with a focus on experiencing balance and harmony in body and mind

Mantra

2.Shanti mantras:
Aum saha nau vavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha viiryam kara vaavahai tejasvi nau adhiitam astu maa vidvis saavahai Aum shanti shanti shanti

3.Mahamrityunjaya mantra with sankalpa for healing, energy, power, immunity and strength (11 rounds):
Aum tryam bhakam yajamahe
sugandhim pushti vardhanam
urva rukamiva bandhanat
mrityor mukshiya maamritat

4. Gayatri mantra with sankalpa for wisdom, inner clarity, intuitive knowledge and learning (11 rounds):
Aum bhur bhuvah swaha
tat satitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayath

 

5. 32 names of Durga with sankalpa for vercoming distress in life; experiencing peace and harmony (3 rounds):

Om Durgaa Durgaartishamanii Durgaapadvinivaarinii l
Durgamchchhedinii Durgsaadhinii Durgnaashinii ll

Durgtoddhaarinii Durgnihantri Durgmaapahaa l
Durgamgyaanadaa Durgdaityalokdavaanalaa ll

Durgmaa Durgmaaloka Durgmaatmsvaruupinii l
Durgmaargpradaa Durgamvidya Durgmaashritaa ll

Durgmgyaansansthaanaa Durgamdhyaanbhaasinii l
Durgmohaa Durgmagaa Durgmaarthsvaruupinii ll

Durgmaasursamhantrii Durgmaayudhdhaarinii l
Durgmaangii Durgmataa Durgmyaa Durgmeshvarii ll

Durgbhiimaa Durgbhaamaa Durgbhaa Durgdaarinii l

Asana

6. Tadasana (9 rounds)*
7. Tiryak tadasana (9 rounds)
8. Kati chakrasana (9 rounds)
9. Shavasana**
10. Pada sanchalanasana, stage 2 (9 rounds)
11. Naukasana (9 rounds)
12. Chakki chalanasana (9 rounds)
13. Vayu nishkasanasana (9 rounds)
14. Vajrasana (with abdominal breath awareness, 1–2 minutes)
15. Marjari asana (9 rounds)

These asanas comprise a short and easy-to-practise capsule for toning the entire digestive system.

Pranayama

16. Sheetali/sheetkari pranayama (10 rounds)
17. Nadi shodhana pranayama 1:1 (10 rounds)
18. Bhramari pranayama (10 rounds)

Yama-niyama

For a few minutes each, contemplate on and develop the yama of manahprasad, or happiness, and the niyama of japa.

19. Manahprasad: This yama was introduced on IYD 2016. To what extent have you been able to practise this and what have been the effects? Observe your mental states over the last few days and identify moments when you were truly happy. Connect with the energy and positivity of those moments and try to bring yourself into that state now. Strive to increase the duration of this state each day. If you are still in a state of unhappiness, try to find its underlying cause. Identify the negative, limiting quality in yourself that it reflects. Next, focus on the opposite positive and uplifting quality and try to strengthen it to become happy.

 

20. Japa: We are connected with the senses and sense objects all the time. Japa becomes a method to disconnect the mind for a little while and connect with something different. The connection between your mind and the senses and sense objects is broken. In that break you direct your attention and awareness towards discovering your inner nature, and that is where you find peace. With this aim in mind, practise Om chanting for 5 minutes remaining fully focused on the sound of the mantra. Also make a resolve to practise mental japa of Om or your guru mantra whenever possible during the day.

Pratyahara

21. Ajapa japa (So Ham awareness in frontal passage, 5 minutes)
22. Yoga nap (basic yoga nidra with stages 3 & 4, 10 minutes)
23. Chanting of the yogic prayer:

Asato maa sad gamaya
Tamaso maa jyotir gamaya
Mrityor maa amritam gamaya
Sarveshaam svastirbhavatu
Sarveshaam shantirbhavatu
Sarveshaam poornam bhavatu
Sarveshaam mangalam bhavatu
Loka samastaa sukhino bhavantu
Om shantih, shantih, shantih

This final prayer is a resolution and contains the essence of yogic teachings. It represents the personal aim of attaining harmony, equilibrium and balance in one’s own life and the social aim to reach out to everyone with a wish for their wellbeing

* In the dynamic practices, awareness should be directed to the physical movement in the first 3 rounds, breath and pranic awareness in the next 3 rounds and mental visualization in the last 3 rounds.

** Shavasana may be practised as per the need of the group

All sincere yoga aspirants are advised to follow the above practices for one year, and then reflect on their success and the changes experienced in the quality of life. We hope and pray that the inspiration of yoga remains with you and in turn, you are able to assist others on the path of yoga and yogic living

Hari Om Tat Sat
Swami Sivadhyanam
Coordinator

Thailand’s Amazing Durian and Fruit Fest now underway at CentralWorld

The Ministry of commerce is hosting a fruit festival to boost the sales of tropical fruit and geographical indication (GI) products.
Presiding over the opening of “Thailand Amazing Durian and Fruit Fest” at CentralWorld, Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said the current administration has a policy to turn Thailand into the world’s leading tropical fruit provider.
It’s hoped the event will trigger the increased sale of Thai fruit domestically and internationally.
This year, prices of durian have risen by 20-30 baht, partly due to the ministry’s quality control policy.
Thai durians have been selling well on thaitrade.com and tmall.com operated by the Alibaba Group.
Minister Sonthirat said Thailand is expected to produce no less than 765,000 tons of durians, which should be enough to meet the demand in the global market.
Thailand’s Amazing Durian and Fruit Fest will come to a close on Wednesday, May 23rd. Visitors can expect to find a wide array of fruit, processed fruit products, and GI products.
The highlight of the event is the 459-baht durian buffet, indulging visitors who love the world’s smelliest fruit.

Karan Johar & Riteish Deshmukh to Host IIFA Awards 2018 in Bangkok!

BY ANUJ RADIA

The celebrities and razzmatazz return this Summer as the International Indian Film and Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards will return next month to Bangkok after a decade for its 19th edition.

IIFA 2018 awards promise not just Bollywood’s glitz and glamour but support to environmental causes and cinema memorabilia too.

The gala will be held June 22-24 at the Siam Niramit Theatre, which is adorned by Thailand’s heritage, art and culture and hosts the country’s most-popular theatre production.

Wizcraft International, the producers and creators of the IIFA, are gearing up to put up a Bollywood entertainment show interspersed with cultural elements from Thailand.

Andre Timmins, one of the three forces behind Wizcraft International, told IANS: “We’re excited to go back to Bangkok. There are a lot of interesting things we are doing and we hope this edition becomes exciting for people to come and have fun.”

Lisbon and Paris were the other places they were considering for this year. “But we chose Bangkok because we felt it’s close by and this year we thought we will go somewhere close. And Bangkok is a place that has changed tremendously. There are more flights, hotels, restaurants and our industry loves Bangkok,” Timmins said.

The main awards gala on the last day will be hosted by the inimitable Riteish Deshmukh and Karan Johar, both known for their quick wit. Among the performers will be stars like Ranbir Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor.

For Ranbir, returning to the IIFA stage would be special as he had won the Best Debutant Award at the 2008 Bangkok edition of the gala.”

The IIFA Rocks, a musical night which precedes the IIFA Awards ceremony night, will be co-hosted by Ayushmann Khurrana and Kartik Aaryan. Adding a unique charm to the event will be composer Pritam.

“Pritam is doing a very interesting piece using a lot of local Thailand musicians and instruments. He is putting together something very different,” Timmins said.

Apart from the visual spectacle they intend to offer, they IIFA has tied up UN Environment for the campaign “Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment Day 2018. Dia Mirza, the UN Environment goodwill ambassador for India, will front this.

There will also be an IIFA-Ficci forum focusing on business-related elements.

Last year, Karan Johar’s “nepotism rocks” stunt on the stage sparked a controversy in Bollywood. Are they going to be more careful about the show’s script this time?

“We definitely are going to look at that. Every year is different, every year we use different scriptwriters and we will keep this in mind,” Timmins said with a laugh.

Stay tuned for further updates!

The Style Souk