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Annual Issue-November 2011

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Vol : XVII

SPIRITUAL LOUNGE E-MAGAZINE


Annual-Nov 2011

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers, As promised, we present you the first annual issue of Spiritual Lounge E-Magazine. Every year once we shall be releasing the annual issue that would be special for the readers! What's so special about this issue? Plenty! Along with this annual issue we gift all our readers a special, valuable three spiritual e-books absolutely FREE! These are: 1. As good as new by Gayatri Pagdi, an established author. 2. Spiritual tools for material success by Dr. Amit Nagpal, a life coach, author, professor and lots more. 3. Best of inspirational quotes by Dr. Amit Nagpal. These three gifts are unique and in our own small way we wish to thank all our readers for being there, without whom, we would not be here. Each of our writers of Spiritual Lounge E-Magazine has been wonderful and we all silently but truly appreciate your efforts in spreading the spiritual message to all. Each writer, each reader, each advertiser, each distributor, and all those involved directly and indirectly with this e-magazine and Spiritual Lounge have been mighty super and we all graciously thank you all for helping one and all to spread the true spiritual wisdom. Every issue carries very valuable information, something that cannot be priced but held deeply into our inner midst, our consciousness and that which opens the doors to self-awareness and self-realization. Be it spirituality, divinity, wellness, creativity and more. This issue carries articles by good writers and great souls, in fact every issue has great souls writing, sharing and being part of this universe to help each other, support and urge others to join in. Our readers are also great souls; they have been receptive to their own inner voice. Our few but important advertisers are also great souls to help support knowledge and wisdom. We thank one all for being YOU! From the entire team of Spiritual Lounge, Moksa Publishers, we respect and deeply show our gratitude in celebration of life and a soul. THANK YOU! Connect with us anytime at: spirituallounge@live.com or +91-9619629092 Thank you, Spiritual Lounge E-Magazine Team

Cover page Photo : TajMahal - Agra Copyrights: All rights reserved SPIRITUAL LOUNGE EMAGAZINE Š 2010-2011

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Annual-Nov 2011 Editorial Page 2

Now that's what I call success Page 5

NOCTURNAL VISITOR BY Marian Dunn Page 25

Love like a raging raindrop… Master Chrism Page 6

The Importance of Consciousness Myra Godfrey Page 26 -27

Health Benefits of Indian Spices Dhara Kothari Page 7 - 13

Stressing upon the Stress… - A Demon Within Mohit Soni Page 28 - 29

The Visitors Gayatri Pagdi Page 14 - 15

Why people work? Dr Jayanti Rusat - Author Page 30 - 31

Deathbed of an Indian Politician - Conclusion UMA KRISHNAN Page 16 - 17

Wrestling the Inner Terrorist Christian de la Huerta Page 32

Knowledge, knowledge everywhere and not a drop of wisdom Dr. Amit Nagpal Page 18 - 19

CHOICE POINT 2012 Our Date with the Window of Emergence By Gregg Braden An Excerpt from The Mystery of 2012 Page 33 - 40

Abundance, a Personal reflection and experience By Linzi Martin, writer & health consultant Page 20 - 21

Legend of the Nomad Alex Mero Page 41 - 60 Music Jukebox – BIREN Page 62 - 63

Free Yourself Erik Cornish Financial Healer Page 22

INDIA Complied by Dhara Kothari Page 64-86

SYNCHRONICITY Marian Dunn Page 23

Mahirwan Mamtani Interviewed by Claus Schweer Page 87 - 89

Principle of Freedom of Substance Rahul Zota Page 24 - 25

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Join our Community as we contribute to the Shift in Consciousnessfrom fear to a lovebased society.

Take the next step in your Total Evolution Awakening brings: Strength Creativity Clairvoyance Clairaudience Divine Union Bliss Serenity Well- Being Power Healing Divine communication with Spirit www.KundaliniAwakeningS ystems1.com Kundalini as it expresses throug his the teacher. What writes comes from his experience with this divine interaction and whatable to perceive via the Kundalini. over 20 years of Kundalini experience with a guidance to teach for those who are guided to receive. `Nice to meet everyone! - blessings - chrism

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Annual-Nov 2011

Now that's what I call success In today's generation a student has a peculiar new kind of problem that is having or not having a girlfriend or a boyfriend becoming a prestige issue. I remember during my school days there used to be competition like how many girls would tie a friendship band.

Amlandeep Bhattacharya s a young student I used to feel jealous of celebrities like Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova and Sachin Tendulkar. I used to feel uncomfortable by the fact that how these people earned so much name, fame and of course money being in the same age category as mine. People aged less than twenty or early twenties used to be so successful. For me as if they were people from another planet who got everything they wanted and the world of pleasure. They were in the terms of Classical Marxism the 'haves' and we the common people were the 'have-nots'. At a time when we people had to prepare our so called boring lessons they were promoting big brands and earning millions from endorsements.

After finishing school a person goes to college and there is a new kind of freedom. No longer do they have observing parents but it is the celebration of youth. The new freedom that these people experience often lead to various problems. Success during this stage of life is the exhibition of pleasure. After college life comes the true test of character as one enters the competitive world. In the competitive field the friend circle becomes very limited as there is a devastating competition to get victorious. A person achieves some success but may never achieve what he envisages in the beginning of his career. May be it is luck, or family problems or simply he becomes the victim of unscrupulous measures of some evil person.

Today at a more mature age I realize that behind all the success and glamour there are hard work and numerous sacrifices. At a time when we, the so called common people are enjoying a movie with friends these celebrities are busy sweating in the field. They have to isolate themselves from the numerous pleasures of life and emerge in practicing. It is always easy to feel jealous about these stars but if one gives a thorough look at the numerous sacrifices these celebrities make, one will feel empathetic towards them.

True success means to minimize ones pains and maximize ones pleasures. Many of us think that Mukesh Ambani or Bill Gates is perhaps the happiest lot of people as they have so much success. But they to have their own frustrations as well. After earning so much money Mukesh Ambani may feel bad as he can not go for a stroll with his wife after dinner without security.

Success to me and numerous common people like me is a relative concept. The concept of success changes at different periods of life. As a small child success means to happily interact with parents and other elders. A child, according to some champions of human behaviors is very manipulative. He knows when to cry for different demands as in getting mother's attention or having food. Slowly the child grows up and goes to the school. In school he comes under the influence of friends.

We come to this world for 70-80 years and need to live a productive life. Unfortunately this does not happen always. However, success in true sense is not material but to live a meaningful life with some close affectionate people. If we live life that is productive enough, then we can call it success, real success. By Amlandeep Bhattacharya 389 Jodhpur Park Ashiana Gardens 1st Floor Flat No. 3 Kolkata- 700068 Resi- 033 24187185 Mobile- 0 9830701664 E-Mail:abirth.bhattacharya@gmail.com

Friends are an integral part of ones life. There is a saying that we do not choose our relatives but we can choose our friends. Friends are like a double edged knife. Good friends are like pearls as they guide us; whereas, friends who are a bit rugged can ruin a person's life. Friends often determine the kind of grooming we have as a bad company can really spoil the life of an innocent person.

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Annual-Nov 2011

Love like a raging raindrop‌ the thirty yards to the vehicle. I was being drenched in love and I was in no hurry!

MASTER CHRISM

People stared. I didn't care.

stood in the crowded cafe and saw the storm approach. I had come to this place as a quick stop before continuing into the morning and as I stood in front of the glass door the first part of the cloudburst began to slant into the earth carried by a strong wind. It flew into the world sideways piercing everything in its path.

I felt the sting and the splat and the ardor of each individual drop as it slammed itself into and upon me. I looked into them to receive their raging kisses upon my face and I thanked the divine for such an awesome gift. This gift of love, this gift of transformation from the body of the individual drop into the stream, creek, river, and the sea. The powerful journey of the raindrop as it is transformed and enlarged and expanded exponentially as it becomes the sea and the sea becomes it.

Everyone stared. "Whoa look at it go!" p e o p l e murmured amongst themselves a s t h e heavenly floodgates opened wide.

Similar to my journey. I too am expanded a n d transforme d by the love of the divine Kundalini. I h a v e become the drop of Kundalini Photo by Danielle Teftt a n d t h e Kundalini has become the drop of me. Together we radiate the divine love upon all within its reach. I realize that I am guided to give and to love and open and give of myself and to do it with strength and passion and power of the love of a raging raindrop!

I stared out at the rain p e l t i n g everything in its path with relentless fervor. As if each drop had its own individual desire and need to land the gift of itself upon the earth. The gift of itself. I was given the parallel of the Kundalini and its way of working through and from and within an individual as a "gift of its self." As the cascade of cloud born love reached its seeming peak of fury, I stepped out into that rage of raindrops.

This is the natural way. Chrism Chrism is a native of California residing in the city of Santa Rosa. He travels the country awakening the Kundalini in groups of people safely and with continued support throughout the many years of the Kundalini awakening experience. Kundalini as it expresses through Chrism is the teacher. For further information visit: www.KundaliniAwakeningSystem1.com www.KundaliniAwakeningSeminars.com

I was almost blown over by the wind and water as the drops stretched out wide inside of it like clear needles. They gave of their love with a passion unmatched! They pounded me with gale force drive as I with gratitude slowly turned into their embrace. It was extremely dense and I was soaked before I even got half of

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Annual-Nov 2011

Health Benefits of Indian Spices pan with ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil before being added to a dish. Lighter spices are added last, and spices with strong flavor should be added first. But we are not here talking about cooking methods or what goes where, but the other side of the Indian spices.

DHARA KOTHARI rchaeologists estimate that as far back as 50,000 B.C., humans had used the special qualities of aromatic plants to help flavor their food. The primitive man would have utilized the sweet-smelling spices in order to make their food taste better. The fame of Indian spices is older than the recorded history. The story of Indian spices is more than 7000 years old. Centuries before Greece and Rome had been discovered, sailing ships were carrying Indian spices, perfumes and textiles to Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt. It was the lure of these spices that brought many seafarers to the shores of India. Long before Christian era, the Greek merchants thronged the markets of South India, buying many expensive items amongst which spices were one of them. Epicurean Rome was spending a fortune on Indian spices, silks, brocades, muslin and cloth of gold, etc. It is believed that the Parthian wars were being fought by the Romans largely to keep open the trade route to India. It is also said that Indian spices and her famed products were the main lure for crusades and expeditions to the East. Just to complete the picture we can mention some numbers; just two of the four ships of Vasco da Gama reached their homeport but these two brought back a cargo which was valued at 60 times the cost of the entire voyage.

Spices are not used or consumed purely for its flavor or seasoning but it has a far deeper reason to it. Indian spices have been used for health reasons as well. Let us look into some of the health or medicinal benefits of the Indian spices. Asafoetida or Hing: Asafoetida has a p u n g e n t , unpleasant smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor. It is a resin taken from a plant from the parsley family. It is a distinctive and pungent spice. It is most commonly found in powdered form. This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles. When uncooked, its odor is so strong the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby if it is not stored in an airtight container. Asafoetida produces natural antiviral drug compounds that kill the flu virus. Asafoetida has a broad range of uses in traditional medicine as an antimicrobial, with well documented uses for treating chronic bronchitis and whooping cough, as well as reducing flatulence. In Ayurved, asafoetida is considered to be one of the best spices for balancing the vata dosha. Bay Leaf or Tej Patta:

With different climates in different parts of the country, India produces a variety of spices, many of which are native to the Subcontinent, while others were imported from similar climates and have since been cultivated locally for centuries. Spices are typically heated in a

Bay leaves contain compounds called parthenolides which have been helpful for the treatment of migraines, which could explain its traditional use as a natural remedy for headaches. They also contain eugenol, a

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Annual-Nov 2011 flavor and aroma through evaporation, so airtight storage helps preserve pepper's original spiciness longer. Pepper can also lose flavor when exposed to light.

compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, explaining their long-use in herbal cold remedies. Black Pepper or Kali Mirch or Mari:

Black pepper, along with other spices from India, changed the course of the world history.

Pepper has been used as a spice in India since prehistoric times. Pepper is native to India and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE. These come in different varieties. Black pepper is produced from the still-green unripe drupes of the pepper plant. Once dried, the spice is called black peppercorn. White pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant alone, with the darker colored skin of the pepper fruit removed. Green pepper, like black, is made from the unripe drupes. Dried green peppercorns are treated in a way that retains the green color. Black Pepper is believed to cure illness such as constipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches. Pepper is known to cause sneezing. It has been shown that piperine can dramatically increase absorption of selenium, vitamin B, beta-carotene and curcumin as well as other nutrients. Also, it is eliminated from the diet of patients having abdominal surgery and ulcers because of its irritating effect upon the intestines. However, extracts from black pepper have been found to have antioxidant properties and anticarcinogenic effects, especially when compared to chili. Piperine enhances the thermogenesis of lipid and accelerates energy metabolism in the body and also increases the serotonin and betaendorphin production in the brain. Pepper loses

Caraway Seed or Shahi Jeera: Another spice considered having antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects; caraway has been used for cold relief, toothaches and to boost immune function. It also aids in digestion, settling the stomach and relieves bloating. Cardamom or Elaichi: This versatile spice is included in a wide range of dishes, from Indian curries to desserts and teas. It's believed to counteract stomach acidity, stimulate appetite, ease nausea, cure bad breath, help in digestion and relieve gas and bloating. Referred to as the Queen of all spices, it contains potent antioxidants and is often included in liver detox. Cardamom has also been used as an aphrodisiac and to fight obesity. There are number of varieties found in cardamom, including green (used mainly for desserts) and black cardamom (strong flavored). Charoli or Charori: Charoli are tiny almond-flavored dried seeds of a bush called Buchanania lanzan. After the hard shell is cracked, the stubby seed within is as soft as a pine nut. They are commonly used in sweets in India. However, they are also ground into powders for thickening savory sauces and flavoring batters, etc. Cinnamon or Dalchini: This spice is obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savory foods. This spice is a rich source of antioxidants, has antiinflammatory properties, eases digestion and even reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also helps stimulate blood flow and is an herbal remedy for poor circulation. An oil known as eugenol that comes from the leaves of the cinnamon bush has been shown to have antiviral properties. A new study has also shown to treat Alzheimer's disease in mice.

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Annual-Nov 2011 short shelf life, and they don't keep well in the refrigerator. They are also available dried, though the aroma is largely missing. The leaves of Murraya koenigii are also used as herb in Ayurvedic medicine. They are much valued as an anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti- inflammatory, hepato-protective, antihypercholesterolemic etc. They also contain iron. Although most commonly used in curries, leaves from the curry tree can be used in many other dishes to add flavor.

Cloves or Lavang: Cloves are not an everyday ingredient for home cuisine, nor is it used in summer very often. In Ayurvedic medicine it is considered to have the effect of increasing heat in system, hence the difference of usage by region and season. The active compounds in clove lend it anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is also has antiinflammatory effects and has been studied for use in aiding detoxification from environmental pollutants. The essential oil is used as an anodyne (painkiller) for dental emergencies. Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache. It also helps to decrease infection in the teeth due to its antiseptic properties. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming are needed, especially for digestive problems. Topical application over the stomach or abdomen are said to warm the digestive tract. Studies to determine its effectiveness for fever reduction, as a mosquito repellent are being tested. Clove may also reduce blood sugar levels.

Dill or Suva: Dill seed is used as a spice. It is anti-bacterial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, galactogogue, stomachic, and emmenagogue, sedative, anti-bacterial, calmative, and carminative. Contains flavonoids, polyacetylenes, with potential anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. Dill seed is naturally high in mineral salts. A tea of dill seed will treat flatulence, hiccups, indigestion, insomnia, stomach or menstrual cramps, colds, flu, colic, and will increase lactation. Used after eating to aid digestion and as a breath freshener. The seeds are diuretic. Stimulates appetite, aids digestion, calms and tones the digestive system. Dill is safe for use in colic and certain digestive complaints in children. Several uses are applicable to veterinary medicine as well.

Coriander or Dhania: The seeds of the cilantro plant, coriander contain antioxidants and other compounds with antibacterial qualities which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. It also helps soothe the stomach and relieve bloating. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and coriander oil is a natural remedy for arthritis relief. Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid. It is also used as powder form in cooking.

Fennel Seed or Saunf or Variyari: It is not only used as spice but as mukhwas or an after-meal digestive and breath freshener. Fennel seeds are an important ingredient in cooking and as flavor. Not only loaded with powerful antioxidants fennel also contains fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. It is believed to boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and aid in detoxification of the body. It contains compounds that help relieve smooth muscle spasms, which in effect, helps ease abdominal cramping, bloating, digestive disorders and spasms. Fennel is also a mild appetite suppressant. Syrup prepared from fennel juice was formerly given for chronic coughs. It is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.

Cumin or Jheera: Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma and have a high nutritional value. As a traditional herbal remedy its uses include: diuretic (helps the body shed water), relieve diarrhea and bowel spasms, relieve morning sickness and ease carpal tunnel syndrome. It has anti-fungal properties as well. Curry Leaves or Kadi Patta or Meetho Limdo: The leaves are highly valued as seasoning in Indian cooking. In their fresh form, they have a

Fenugreek or Methi: Fenugreek is used both as herb (the leaves) and

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Annual-Nov 2011 Ginger is packed with many active compounds, including gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, zingiberole, just to list a few. Its many proven uses; reduces fatigue, reduces wind, suppress coughing, treats cold, naturally treats nausea from morning sickness, also treats nausea related to motion sickness (found to be more effective than Dramamine, without the side-effects), anti-inflammatory properties help ease muscle and joint pain and arthritis. It also has a diaphoretic property (causes sweating) and so is used to cleanse and detoxify the body, stimulate circulation, and ease bronchitis and congestion. It has blood thinning properties. Ginger can also help control cholesterol. Ginger works directly on the stomach and liver to reduce nausea because it reduces the level of acidity in the stomach, lowering the rate of gastric secretions. Fresh or dried ginger boosts calorie-burning by causing tissues to use more energy.

as a spice (the seed). Like many of the other herbs and spices used in Indian cooking, the ground seeds of fenugreek have antiinflammatory properties and aid digestion. Fenugreekine, a chemical found in these seeds, are also believed to reduce blood sugar levels and have been used as natural supplement for use with insulin. Fenugreek is also a potent expectorant, and is used for natural remedies to ease congestion, allergies and bronchitis. Arthritis has a low incidence rate where a lot of fenugreek is consumed. Fenugreek seed is widely used as a galactagogue (milk producing agent) by nursing mothers to increase breast milk. Fenugreek contains high dietary fiber that aids in constipation and flatulence. Garcinia Indica or Kokam: It is a fruit tree that has culinary, pharmaceutical, and industrial uses. Kokum oil is used to treat dysentery and diarrhea. It is useful in phthisis and skin diseases. External application of oil accelerates healing of ulcers, urticaria and fissures of lips. Kokum also has a cooling property and is used to make refreshing drinks known as Kokam Sherbets during the dry, sultry summers. A drink made of sugar syrup and kokum fruit is used to treat sunstroke.

Holy Basil or Tulsi:

The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (pro-vitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Capsaicin is a safe and effective topical analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zosterrelated pain, diabetic neuropathy, post mastectomy pain, and headaches.

Tulsi is cultivated for religious, culinary and medicinal purposes and for its essential oil. Recent studies suggest that tulsi may be a COX2 inhibitor, like many modern painkillers, due to its high concentration of eugenol. Tulsi is an effective treatment for diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels and reduction in total cholesterol levels. Tulsi also shows some promise for protection from radiation poisoning and cataracts. It may also have anticancer properties. Tulsi is considered to be balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurved as a kind of elixir of life and believed to promote longevity. Tulsi's extracts are used in Ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its anti-bacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves of tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.

Ginger or Adrak or Aadu:

Indian Gooseberry or Amla or Amra:

Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice. The flavors of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring in cuisines.

In traditional Indian medicine, dried and fresh fruits of the plant are used. All parts of the plant are used in various Ayurvedic / Unani medicines, herbal preparations, including the

Green Chili or Hari Mirch:

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Annual-Nov 2011 fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. According to Ayurved, aamla balances all three doshas. While aamla is unusual in that it contains five out of the six tastes recognized by Ayurved. Considered in this light, aamla is particularly helpful in reducing pitta due to its cooling energy. It may be used as a rasayana (rejuvenative) to promote longevity, and traditionally to enhance digestion, treat constipation, reduce fever, purify the blood, reduce cough, alleviate asthma, strengthen the heart, benefit the eyes, stimulate hair growth, enliven the body, and enhance intellect. Amla shampoos and hair oil are traditionally believed to nourish the hair and scalp and prevent premature grey hair.

covering of the nutmeg (hard nut), which is golden brown in color. Mace is also used in sauces for pickle chutneys. Mint or Pudina: The leaf, fresh or dried, is the culinary source of mint. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a pleasant warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache, gas, and chest pains, and it is commonly used in the form of tea as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain. Powdered mint leaves were used to whiten teeth. Mint tea is a strong diuretic. A common use is as an antipruritic, especially in insect bite treatments.

Jaggery or Gur or Gor: It is a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal whole cane sugar. Jaggery is used as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes across Indian sub-continent. Some consider jaggery a particularly wholesome sugar, since it retains more mineral salts than refined sugar and it is made without chemical agents. Indian Ayurvedic medicine considers jaggery beneficial in treating throat and lung infections. Jaggery is also effective in easing stomach acidity.

Mustard Seed or Rai: Unrefrigerated mustard will lose pungency more quickly, and should be stored in a tightly sealed, sterilized container in a cool, dark place. Mustard seed is a rich source of oil and protein. The seed has oil as high as 46-48 percent; whole seed meal has 43.6 percent protein. Some of the many vitamins and nutrients that mustard seeds have are selenium and omega 3, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, dietary fiber. Mustard is used as remedy for Bronchitis, fever and cold, muscular and skeletal pains. Mustard products have been used to speed up metabolism and this way to improve the function of digestive system and reducing the frequency of migraines. It helps lowering high blood pressure and preventing atherosclerosis.

Licorice or Jethimadh: Liquorice flavor is found in a wide variety of liquorice candies. Liquorice flavoring is also used in soft drinks and in some herbal teas where it provides a sweet aftertaste. The flavor is common in medicines to disguise unpleasant flavors. The compound glycyrrhizic acid, found in liquorice, is used for the treatment and control of chronic viral hepatitis. It is used as an aid for healing stomach and duodenal ulcers, and in moderate amounts may soothe an upset stomach. Liquorice can be used to treat ileitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease as it is antispasmodic in the bowels. It can also be used for auto-immune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and animal dander allergies. However a moderate intake of this spice is advisable.

Nigella or Kalonji: The dry roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste like a combination of onions, black pepper and oregano, and have a bitterness to them like mustard seeds. In India, the seeds are used as a carminative and stimulant to ease bowel and indigestion problems, and are given to treat intestinal worms and nerve defects to reduce flatulence, and induce sweating. Dried pods are sniffed to restore a lost sense of smell. It is also used to repel some insects, much like mothballs.

Mace or Javitri: Mace is outer covering to nutmeg nut and has similar aroma. Mace is the fleshy lattice,

Nutmeg or Jaiphal or Jaiphar:

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Annual-Nov 2011 graded via laboratory measurement of crocin (color), picrocrocin (taste), and safranal (fragrance) content. It is used for religious purposes in India, and is widely used in cooking in many ethnic cuisines. Saffron was found to be effective in relieving symptoms of PMS or PMT. Animal studies has shown that the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of saffron and its constituents, crocin and safranal, have antidepressant activities as revealed during forced swimming tests. It may also help with weight loss. A study found saffron helped mild to moderate the progression of symptoms in Alzheimer's patients. A human trial found use of 100 mg of saffron daily has temporary immunomodulatory activities. It has a potential use against allergic disorders. Saffron has a protective effect on the heart. Saffron has shown significant potential as an anti-tumor agent in animal models and cell culture systems. It can also help in treatments with skin and breast cancer.

Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, as in, toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil are used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems. Nutmeg has been used in medicine since at least the seventh century. In local tradition, nutmeg is known to induce sleep. In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response, but in large doses, raw nutmeg has psychoactive effects. It should also be noted that the effects of nutmeg can take several hours to take effect, and can last for several days. Large enough doses have been reported to cause severe t i r e d n e s s , uncontrollable and prolonged sleep coupled with dehydration. Poppy Seeds or Khas Khas: It is the source of two food ingredients; poppy seed and poppy seed oil. Poppy seeds are commonly used in cuisine from many different cultures. Poppy seeds can be d ry roas t e d and grounded. The seeds are used as a spice, a condiment, a decorative garnish, a thickener, and a main ingredient. They are used in many baked goods, main course dishes, and desserts. In Indian Ayurved, soaked poppy seeds are ground into a fine paste with milk and applied on the skin as a moisturizer. Poppy seeds have long been used as a folk remedy to aid sleeping, promote fertility and wealth. Poppy seeds are highly nutritious and are a potential source of anti-cancer drugs.

Sesame Seed or Til or Tal: Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds, which come in a variety of colors, from cream-white to charcoal-black. The seeds are exceptionally rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, and calcium, and contain vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin E. Sesame seeds contain a high amount of the anti-nutrient phytic acid. The black variety yields the best quality of oil and is also best suited for medicinal purposes. The white seeds are extremely rich in calcium and are useful in all cases of calcium deficiency. The red variety is exceptionally rich in iron. The seeds are emollient that softens the skin, nourishing tonic, emmenagogue that stimulates menstruation, demulcent or soothing, laxative, diuretic and fattening. Sesame is supposed to tonify kidney, liver and relax the bowel. It is used for the treatment of constipation due to hard stools, tinnitus, anemia, dizziness and poor vision. Sesame oil is used for massage and health treatments of the body and teeth in the ancient Indian Ayurvedic system.

Saffron or Kesar: Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus Sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Saffron contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds. It also has many nonvolatile active components. Saffron is

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Annual-Nov 2011 and regulates colon function. However, there are contraindications to Harad that needs to be careful about.

Tamarind or Imli or Amli: The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in acid, sugar, vitamins B and calcium. Tamarind is used as treatment of stomach disorders, general body pain, jaundice, yellow fever and as blood tonic and skin cleanser. The leaves are used as herbal infusion for malarial fever, the fruit juice as an antiseptic, and for scurvy and even cough cure. Tamarind is used as in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for gastric and/or digestion problems and in cardioprotective activity. In animal studies, tamarind has been found to lower serum cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Thyme seeds or Ajwain or Ajmo: The plant has a similarity to parsley. Raw ajwain smells almost exactly like thyme because it also contains thymol, which is a strong germicide, anti-spasmodic and fungicide. But is more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as slightly bitter and pungent. Even a small amount of raw ajwain will completely dominate the flavor of a dish. It is also traditionally known as a digestive aid, a relief for abdominal discomfort due to indigestion and an antiseptic. The seeds are used as a household remedy for indigestion, gas and colic, and used in poultices to relieve asthma and arthritis.

Other medicinal uses include: Anthelminthic (expels worms), antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, asthma, astringent, bacterial skin infections (erysipelas), boils, chest pain, cholesterol metabolism disorders, colds, colic, conjunctivitis (pink eye), constipation (chronic or acute), diabetes, diarrhea (chronic), dry eyes, dysentery (severe diarrhea), eye inflammation, fever, food preservative, food uses (coloring), gallbladder disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, indigestion, insecticide, jaundice, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), leprosy, liver disorders, nausea and vomiting (pregnancy-related), paralysis, poisoning (Datura plant), rash, rheumatism, saliva production, skin disinfectant / sterilization, sore throat, sores, sprains, sunscreen, sunstroke, swelling (joints), urinary stones, wound healing (corneal epithelium).

Turmeric or Haldi or Hardar: Often called the King of Spices turmeric is an essential ingredient to the mix of spices or the most important part of Indian cuisine. It has the vital medicinal ingredient. In India, it is used as first aid to instantly prevent blood loss during minor wounds because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Its primary antioxidant, curcumin, is an essential ingredient for liver detox, and is also a natural arthritis treatment for its anti-inflammatory effects. The latest scientific studies are showing that turmeric may also be a promising diet aid that fights belly fat by inhibiting the growth of fat cells. It has benefits to fight Alzheimer's disease, cancer and pancreatitis.

Terminalia Chebula or Harad: The dry nut's peel is used to cure cold-related nagging coughs. Its fruit has digestive, antiinflammatory, anthelmintic, cardiotonic, aphrodisiac and restorative properties and is additionally beneficial in flatulence, constipation, piles, cough and colds. Haritaki is a rejuvenative, laxative (unripe), astringent (ripe), anthelmintic, nervine, expectorant, tonic, carminative, and appetite stimulant. It is used in people who have leprosy (including skin disorders), anemia, narcosis, chronic, intermittent fever, heart disease, diarrhea, anorexia, cough and excessive secretion of mucus, and a range of other complaints and symptoms. Haritaki is an effective purgative when taken as a powder. Haritaki improves digestion, promotes the absorption of nutrients,

Turmeric paste is traditionally used by Indian women to keep them free of superfluous hair and as an antimicrobial. Turmeric paste, as part of both home remedies and Ayurved, is also said to improve the skin and is touted as an antiaging agent. Turmeric figures prominently in the bridal beautification ceremonies of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Staining oneself with turmeric is believed to improve the skin tone and tan. Turmeric is currently used in the formulation of some sunscreens. Turmeric can also be used to deter ants. Besides medicinal uses, turmeric is also used as natural food color and dye. Dhara Kothari

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Annual-Nov 2011

The Visitors - Gayatri Pagdi pirit communication is not a game. The energies from other realms are not our friends, servants, advisors or mentors. And Ouija boards are best left untouched.

not have been while dealing with the tool of communication with those in another realm. And yet we did it.

I won't claim that it was the smartest thing that I had done in my life. But a little over 12 years ago, circumstances, which seemed out of control then and which could not be helped by human endeavor and skills, pushed me into a direction where I thought I would get some help and answers. My family was equally guilty of participation. All of us together decided that if God wasn't listening to us, if astrologers, soothsayers, palmists, face readers and their ilk did not seem to be offering us reliable answers, we would seek them from the spirits!

This time it did not take long. We had spirits coming in, asking us for favors, urging us to help them, getting angry with us, threatening us and refusing to leave. We were not capable of helping them in any way. We had no knowledge of dealing with them. We had no protection. We had opened the doors for them ourselves. We were stupid and suffered for our stupidity. We also learnt some valuable lessons. Those who have crossed over are not necessarily brighter and knowledgeable than what they were when they were in a physical body. Being physically dead doesn't automatically make you enlightened in any way. The spirits cheated, lied, pretended to be someone else, and could not see the future. Yes, most of them were aware of what was happening in the present, they also knew of the past but there was no way that they could give us answers more definitely than what astrologers here did.

In the past, in high school, we sisters, along with assorted cousins, had found the 'game' of Ouija board to be great fun. We had spent summer after summer vacations in my grandmother's sprawling house toying with the homemade board and had tried to invite all kinds of people who had crossed over. The elders at home looked at us with benign fondness and ignored what we were doing. It was all supposed to be a game. We played it. No one came visiting and most of the times, all we did was collapse helplessly into peels of laughter, mouth ridiculous questions and accuse each other of lying and cheating while pushing the pointer and did not concentrate even once. No one ever came to talk to us, no one gave any responses, and after some time we found something else to while away our time.

And some of them lingered. The house became extremely noisy. There was a tremendous heaviness and soon innumerable voices spoke in the quiet of the night. Guests who stayed overnight woke up perplexed, asking us what all the noise was about, why we chose to discuss issues throughout the night so loudly, who were the child-like voices that were crying, women wailing, arguing, men speaking over each other. At times it was a cacophony. I made rounds of the rooms in the middle of the night and the moment I stepped into a room, the noises stopped. When I stepped out, they began again.

This time it was different. We were older, desperate, and dead serious about seeking answers. We were also under tremendous stress, vulnerable, and our emotions ran high most of the times. We were all that we should

And then the stench started. The entire

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Annual-Nov 2011 that were human once can be as benign or malevolent as the stranger you meet on an empty street in the middle of the night. You're just taking your chances. They are not worth it. Ouija boards are not entertainment. They are also not to be dismissed lightly. They are best kept away.

house, however clean, was filled with putrid stench, the source of which we could not identify. We undertook extensive cleaning sessions again and again, every spot of the house sparkled, we ensured that the plumbing did not have a problem and yet the stench remained overpowering. In fact, very often, it followed me around. I felt as if some invisible eyes watched me every moment of the day and even as I slept at night. Strangely, not everyone at home got the smell. I felt it along with my husband. We got the smell. My mother got touched.

This was just a small chapter in my connection with the otherworldly beings. A lot of things happened and have continued to happen even after that. But then that's another story.

Soon my mother started living in fear of the nights. She could not sleep a wink. There was someone who constantly stood at her bedside; she received what were like small electric shocks while in her sleep as a voice whispered in her ears. The meanings of the words were not clear, the voice was neither male nor female, but it was definitely there. She also felt a light touch from time to time. Every time she looked into the mirror, she felt that someone or something had stood next to her whom she could sense but could not see. At times, out of terror and confusion, she asked me if I was playing pranks on her. I wasn't.

Thoughts Jiten Soni

Some things should always remain unalterable, all it needs is a bit of care, value and respect for the same.

The house got more and more active. We had things, which seemed to move and find another place to be at when no one was in the room. Glassware at home started displaying cracks and then one early night, I saw, from the corner of my eye, something emerge out of the closed door of my mother's room, felt a distinct pressure, on my spine and by the time I could see what it really was, it simply blended into the floor of the next room.

What we live now and what we had lived earlier, differs with a small thing called existence, remember past never repeats unless you make it repeat, and your presence is your absence if you do not value it with total care of it. Never put assumptions to anything in life, just live your life as you are best aware of what you have to achieve in your life.

To cut the long story short, we requested an elderly professional to come and take a look. We confessed to our stupidity of using a tool to open the gates to another world. She helped us but had to make a lot of effort. And she had to be brought in more than once. Inviting the entities is not difficult. Getting rid of them is. The beings from other realms also have amongst them energies which were never human. They are extremely difficult to remove. And they are never benign. They can be a source of unimaginable terror and darkness. And I'm putting this mildly. Those

A right friend at a right time makes you feel so special.

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Annual-Nov 2011

Deathbed of an Indian Politician - Conclusion think how cleaver he was in swindling the gas victims of Bhopal gas tragedy, but ultimately as you famously say on the judgement day one has to face the results of one's doings. Would Anderson behave in the same way as he did if he comes to know that his next birth is going to be in the family of a gas victim in the poor colony of Bhopal? If he knows about the repayment of sins, he would be more human in his approach towards the victims.

UMA KRISHNAN olitician: Mrs. Ryan let me tell you one thing; this world has survived till date because of forgiveness and not because of revenge. Forgiveness has a quality of life and revenge brings about death.

Well, Mrs Ryan let us rest the case for the time being and let us focus on other things.

Our saints too have upheld the act of forgiveness as highest virtue of a man and more so in Christianity. In the life of lord Buddha there was a crude man by the name of Angulimal, who had killed 999 persons and made a garland of fingers of his victims. Lord Buddha was his last victim to take the garland count to 1000 fingers. But when he went to kill Lord Buddha, he found that the lord was always ahead of him and thus escaped his attack. Angulimal got exhausted from chasing Lord Buddha and asks Lord Buddha to stop. Lord Buddha stops immediately and asks Angulimal 'I have stopped, when you are going to stop?'

Mrs. Ryan: As you mentioned Guruji; it is difficult to be inclusive in life when the world prefers exclusivity. Mr. Ryan: I agree with you totally on this issue. If we all had an inclusive world we could have avoided many wars, both at national level and in our families. Politician: I think it's time to say goodnight and catch some sleep. Dayal please see that everything is in place. Dayal: Yes Guruji, I will take care of the guest. You take some rest.

In the presence of lord Buddha Angulimal loses his anguish and got the position equal to that of Lord Buddha. This story reflects the power of forgiveness. Angulimal represented the power of revenge.

Guruji slowly walks to his quarters. He enters his chamber and slowly sits in his chair thinking about his life, from where he started and where he stood now. There is now a sense of peace in his inner self. He asks himself what if life had not given him another chance to correct his mistakes. What if he had remained a corrupt politician and died as such? With all these thoughts he goes to bed for one last time in this life time. He smiles looking at the sky and closes his eyes.

So Mrs. Ryan whatever your country decides to do or not, do with respect to Bhopal gas victims as in for their own selves, to enhance the power of humanity in the this world, to stand for goodness in this world to earn the forgiveness of the victims of the gas tragedy. We become humans only if we preach humanity, we become peaceful only when we do things to maintain peace in this world and not by distributing Nobel peace prize.

It was a very important question that he asked what if life does not give a second opportunity to correct one's mistake.

As a shrewd businessman in America can

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Annual-Nov 2011 kindness, trust and love? Would you like to live in such a world which may have all the luxuries but none of these things?

It is not his question alone. It's the question which bothers each one of us in some way or the other. It is like the Nazis at one stage were very worried that if they eliminate all the Jews from their land then what would be the purpose of their life. They had nothing else to live for but for their hatred towards the Jews.

A world of plastic mothers, capsule milk, tablet food. Can you imagine if Lord Jesus had to come now for the atonement of human sins, how much he would have to take for the sins of the current generation? We the modern human race have spent so much of natural resources to collect weapons of mass destruction, but have done so little to remove the hunger of the human race. We all have satellites to see everything around the world at a click of a button but have no time to see the pains of the people with whom we spend each day of our lives. We have devised the most modern methods of celebrating festivals with all kinds of lights and lamps but no time to understand the real spirit behind these celebrations?

Likewise in our lives too many relationships sometimes gets sour and we land up developing hatred for a person. We make it our lives' purpose to see to that our enemy suffers. Come to think of it; it is such a waste of our time, which we could have used for bringing peace in one's world. From our own history we can say one thing for sure that we always remember with fondness people who showed great amount of love, peace and mercy towards things of this world. There is not an instance where hatred or violence was loved by anyone for long. Love, compassion and humanity never goes out of fashion, these virtues are always loved by people eternally. Then why not strive to become one who will be eternally loved by all at all point of time.

Everything is fast and quick in this modern world; fast food, fast tracks, fast phones, quick education, quick deaths. We spend so much time accumulating things and so less time in living those things. In the end it is only one thing that can give us one true happiness and that is humanity in whatever role we may see it in. One who has understood oneself correctly will attain happiness and for the rest the road to happiness is never ending.

In the world today so much importance is given to external eye-catching things, so much so that human life has become very cheap, so cheap that people kill for all sorts of reasons; money, jealousy, hatred, ego and the list is long. We fail to understand if there is something valuable in this world it is human life itself. Every individual has a potential to become a Buddha. We talk of energy wastage, fuel wastage, environmental pollution, and so many other wastages, but there is a bigger wastage than all these and that is having taken human birth falling short of becoming a true human being. That is the biggest wastage which we ignore all the time thinking humans are in abundance. Humans may be in abundance but humanity is becoming scarce day by day. Inhumanity can be seen right from the UN office, American senate to British parliament and you name it and it is there.

All the best for a new beginning!

Thoughts

Jiten Soni

A right friend at a right time makes you feel so special. Simple meaning to word 'FORGIVENESS' is 'SORRY’ Don't walk with a shadow that makes you follow, make the shadow that follow you always in all walks of life.

If the world starts becoming greedy for money, power and bodily pleasures then where are we going? Where will there be a room for selfless service, humanity,

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Annual-Nov 2011

Knowledge, knowledge everywhere and not a drop of wisdom Dr. Amit Nagpal rather than solving them? What is Wisdom after all? There are many perspectives on wisdom and how it is different from knowledge. One can gain knowledge but one does not seek wisdom. Knowledge puts us in the way of wisdom but wisdom is something experiential. One cannot learn wisdom, one must awaken it. Knowledge is a mere understanding of a subject with the potentiality to use it for a specific purpose while wisdom is the ability to make correct judgments and decisions. Sandra Carey says, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.” Japanese also have a nice proverb differentiating knowledge and wisdom, “Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books, on the back of an ass.” Nithya Shanti, Happiness Guru has an interesting perspective. He says, “Most of the time we don't really need to learn anything new, just apply what we already know a little more deeply, a little more creatively, a little more sincerely. Sometimes a new perspective, a little support, a balancing of faith and effort goes a long way. Wise friends can help us with this. And all your friends are wise, if you see them as such.” Wikipedia describes, “Wisdom is a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought. It is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action. Wisdom often requires control of one's emotional reactions (the passions) so that one's principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one's actions.” Sri Chinmoy points out beautifully, “Yesterday I was clever. That is why I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise. That is why I am changing myself.” A well-known corporate trainer Mr. Anil Bhatnagar shared this recently, "Human beings are like dust covered

e live in an increasingly global world where we have obesity of data, information and knowledge yet the contradiction is that society is still starved of wisdom. No wonder we keep digging our graves with our anger, foolishness and greed. We keep behaving like the 'Kalidasa' who cuts the same tree, on which he is sitting. All educational institutes are imparting knowledge and forgetting to remind us that if we do not have the wisdom to apply the information at the right place, the right time and with the right approach, the knowledge may be of no use. The knowledge may not give us true happiness if we do not have enough wisdom to utilize it. Once I posted on Facebook, “Knowledge is easy to gain, wisdom is difficult. Teacher is easy to get, guru is difficult. Learning is easy to do, unlearning is difficult. Job is easy to find, mission is difficult. Existence is easier, living is difficult.” Since most of us are refusing to look at root causes of problems and deeper meanings of events and circumstances, we are failing to solve the problems of humanity. On one hand we have economic turmoil in most of the western part of the world, on the other hand eastern part is still grappling with overpopulation, poverty and sub-human living conditions. Either the world is not becoming a better place to live or if it is, the rate of improvement is very slow. The simple reason behind the strife and the turmoil of human society is our focus on knowledge and our ignorance of wisdom. On one hand we are focusing on our external relationships (family, friends and society) and on the other hand we are not connected and related with our own selves. We are not even attempting to understand what we truly desire in life and we prefer to run the rat race because everyone else is doing it. Is it not simply the sheep and herd mentality? Are we still animals, a bit more social animals? Are we realizing the human potential except in science and technology, which without wisdom is creating more problems and materialism in the society

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Annual-Nov 2011 bulbs. Our true nature is divine like filaments, full of light and dust has gathered on the surface. We can communicate with people at a filament to filament level or at the dusted cover to dusted cover level. The choice is ours." How Can we Develop Wisdom? If only we had the wisdom to take the right action, half of the problems we have, would not have been created in the first place and the rest we would be able to resolve rather than aggravate. The question arises, how can we develop wisdom? According to Confucius, we can develop wisdom by reflection (which is the noblest and hence the best), by imitation (which is easiest) and by experience (which is most difficult and makes us bitter). The spiritual tools which we can use to tap the inner wisdom include meditation, chanting, positive affirmations, and deep introspection and so on. Spiritual tools.net defines spiritual tools as, “A nonmaterial, situation specific action to change attitude or awareness proven over time and across cultures to promote quality of life.” Our thoughts only bring the people, things, situations and circumstances into our lives and to attract the right people and situations, thought control is very critical. James Allen says, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Meditation helps us in thought/mind control and controlling negative thoughts (and inviting positive thoughts) also results in more wisdom. Alden Nowlan has given a nice description of human evolution and how we evolve into wise human beings. He points out, “The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect he becomes an adolescent. The day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” Locke says, “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.” How Wisdom Changes Our Life? Meditation and spiritual tools provide us with wisdom to respond (and not react). Deepak Shinde in his article, “Choose your response”, highlights the importance of contemplation in differentiating between response and reaction and says, “Reactions are instinctive while responses are intellectual. Between the stimuli (what happens to me) and the response (what happens through me), if there is no gap it creates reaction. But between the stimuli and response if I use the gap to think and contemplate, then I can respond thoughtfully.

An intelligent person responds, a fool reacts.” Meditation helps in developing the clearheadedness to understand subtle differences between · Teaching a lesson and taking revenge • Angry for wrong reasons and having righteous anger • Being sensitive and being oversensitive • Living a genuinely happy life and happiness by neglecting our duties • Loving unconditionally and possessive love • Finding fine balance between asserting for our rights and joyfully doing our duties • Having Mindlessness (during meditation) and Mindfulness (in our day to day living) at different times • Understand that each negative thought and emotion is a slow poison which will leave a permanent impact on our mind, body and soul Kabir, the ancient Indian poet rightly says, “Those who took deep dive in the water, got the precious pearls (of Wisdom), Poor me, was afraid of drowning, so kept sitting at the bank (of the river)” Conclusion As somebody has rightly said that at the beginning of wisdom one starts questioning everything and at the peak of wisdom one starts accepting everything. There is no scientific evidence to prove the law of karma but it can provide perfect peace to a person, essential for tapping our wisdom. The Law of Karma may help us feel that whatever wrong happened in the past had a justification and whatever will happen in the future, will also be based on a justification. Rainer Rilke says, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.” The answers will surely come in a matter of time. Dr Amit Nagpal amitknagpal@gmail.com

Thoughts Jiten Soni There is one thing very important born in each and every soul, and that is the expressions done by the soul, that's happiness, smile and humanity, we should always live with all the three to live to the best.

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Annual-Nov 2011

Abundance, a Personal reflection and experience By Linzi Martin, writer & health consultant

was chatting with a work colleague and we were discussing Abundance. It stirred up a number of responses, tweaked the brain cells and I felt an inner squirming. That meant I'd dug up some inner truth that perhaps was a little uncomfortable to accept, or realise or turn and face.

least it looks like it unless their lifestyle is being fuelled by a variety of credit cards and loans. You may think from my tone of writing that I disagree with this. Not so. Each to their own, why not show your 'wealth', yet I request that you/society do not judge me by these same displays of wealth.

Abundance. For most this means purely in monetary terms. Yet if you imagined $10,000,000 in money, hard cash, $ Y ÂŁ notes in bundles, piles of it, on the ground right now where ever you are, it looks like a big pile of small bits of coloured paper, right? And truly what good is that? You cannot even carry that amount around on your person, perhaps a large suitcase as has been the case in past years for various countries when their currency was devalued, eg Italian Lira. It took a whole suitcase of cash to buy a loaf of bread. Would you padlock your case full of notes with a sturdy chain to your arm or body?

Yet I believe that the monetary satisfaction of these ÂŁ$Y millions is not the be all and end all of Abundance. Rarely had I thought of myself as having abundance or being abundant, until the conversation with my colleague. At the time we were in a field (orchard) of apples, the sun shining, the temperature pleasant, the air clean, birds were flying freely including the rare Bald Eagle. In that moment I thought of myself as having Abundance, and more importantly feeling Abundant.

Yes I, like most of you readers, would 'feel' more abundant if I knew that in my possession to spend was this pile of dosh (a British term for money). Yet it is obvious that most people do not conceive having the millions actually there in front of them, rather that the Abundance of money will be able to provide something in addition to their life. This may be to pay off a mortgage, maybe that of their parents too, and other large debts, and they start making a list of material items that will enhance their life. When someone is asked if they had millions what would they spend it on, the popular answers are - holidays, cars, property, jewellery and other adult gadgets or toys. Certainly in the (so called) developed world value our home technology comforts and brand labels. It establishes the illusion of credence and having 'made-it' in our modern society. A bench mark to see what else others have achieved, because they can afford it. Well, at

My colleague had mentioned the inspirational speaker and writer David Neagle. I listened to his presentation, The Art of Success, and was reminded of the strong connection between the spiritual and our physical self, the choice of words used in speech both to oneself and spoken openly and how we allow ourselves to feel for the majority of our waking hours. David Neagle says "Success is not and never has been about "getting" or "achieving" anything. True success is about what you must BE in order to attract everything you require to live the life you have always dreamed of living." He speaks about Abundance. That got me thinking, what was Abundance like? How could I turn my thinking around of a specific situation that I originally thought was not one connected to how I thought of Abundance. This came in

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Annual-Nov 2011 person turned up. I ran an excellent workshop and we ate a whole apple pie between us (this being the snack!). I was out of pocket financially and I wonder why it turned out this way. Well, perhaps time will tell the answer to that.

the form of a one day workshop that I had been promoting and with only one week to go had only two people reserve their place. Hardly a viable number of participants financially or as a 'group' to work with. However I decided to go ahead, booked the hall and gather the various support items eg refreshments for the day.

So, I am reminded that no matter what we say to ourselves, think, visualise, and write down in our consciousness in the here and now, perhaps there is some sabotage going on from our sub conscious mind. That distressed, needy inner child, the habits born from our earlier life, our fears of success and/or failure and of course much more, that take charge of our new born infant 'Abundance' thinking/feeling.

I then took a moment, allowing myself to day dreaming as a way to re-adjust my attitude and let go of my self judgement that this day dreaming was not being a frivolous waste of time. I considered the situation that was presented to me, that of having 2 people verbally reserve their place. By changing the scene, not how it was right now but how differently it may be if I was in an Abundance thinking and most importantly, an Abundance feeling mode.

Now how shall I remind myself to feel and think with Abundance? I shall spend some time Abundantly day dreaming. I shall devote some Abundance meditation practice time. I have written the word Abundance where I see it when I awake from sleep. I am listening to inspirational speakers.

My feeling Abundant felt like this. Like a warm and lush summer's day with a gentle breeze to sooth. Walking at ease, nothing to carry, no weight on my shoulders or mind. Smiling naturally with my eyes, my mouth lips corners upturned, a glint in my eyes. My chest wore a smile, emanating from my heart. The physical and emotional inner me at such peace and welcoming all that passed by. A lightness of body. A lightness of brain too yet completely focused, awake with left and right hemispheres in a comfortable balance. All was well, right now. An inner knowingness that all was well. I felt happy. I felt at ease. I felt this was SO RIGHT TO BE IN THIS STATE. I felt complete. I felt there was NO SPACE for (self) criticism, (self) judgement, rushing, (self) confusion, stress(ful self), (self) tightening, restriction I felt young in body, in fact ageless. I felt honoured and special. What a relief all this was, albeit for those brief moments I granted myself access to Abundant feeling and thought.

And on a practical note, when I next organise a workshop I will take participants reservations backed up with a deposit or full payment. wishing you all an Abundant happy season Resources: David Neagle, the Art of Success www.davidneagle.com/artofsuccess.html Linzi Martin - Bach Flower Remedies, Decluttering, Meditation, Natural Sleep Solutions, Living a Simpler Life For offers of consultancy and writing please check out my site or contact me via Twitter/LinkedIn or email : linzimartin1988@gmail.com www.feelgoodzone.com Twitter www.twitter.com/FeelGoodZone LinkedIn:http://uk.linkedin.com/in/linzimartin

So you may wonder if my workshop did attract Abundant participants after all my abundant practise? Well in truth not 2 but 1

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Annual-Nov 2011

Free Yourself Erik Cornish Financial Healer have been spending the last year working with EFT and Matrix Re-imprinting with people with financial problems. I very quickly became aware that the financial issues were just the tip of the ice-berg, and invariably the stress that ends with financial stress in the mid-life years leads back to events in early life, or even the womb or beyond. I was recently working with a lady who had panicked when she realised that she had not been making sufficient contributions into her pension plan, and would not be due to receive a full pension on retirement at 60, only about 4 years away. I worked on the practical aspects of the problem, then started a healing journey around 'lack' and quickly went back to an unhappy marriage where she was never given enough housekeeping. Then back to a childhood where she was the youngest of four sisters, always living on hand-medowns and last in line when the goodies were handed out. We had just re-imprinted a scene when she was four years old, and her four year old self recalled a time when she was breast-feeding, only a few months old. The health visitor had come into the room and said “there is not enough for the baby�. When we re-imprinted the scene to give her all she wanted the 'lacks' of her life all fell like a row of dominoes, and a week later we heard that her pension rights had been back-dated, she is now a very happy lady! The work on Epigenetics by Bruce Lipton and others shows we are not bound by our genes, they can be re-programmed, and I am beginning to sense that the whole experience of 2012 will not be about the end of the Earth or the re-appearance of past religious figures or alien domination, but the freedom for each and every human to be free from their past conditioning. Anyone working in the field of energy medicine has the opportunity to help people out of their past and align them with their soul purpose. Thus attuning them with the divine within. Much praise; gratitude; and love to everyone working in this field at this time! Erik Cornish Financial Healer erik@financialhealer.org.uk www.financialhealer.org.uk +44 7932 654519

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Annual-Nov 2011

SYNCHRONICITY Marian Dunn can't say I am fond of domestic cats. My neighbours' two create havoc in my garden, using it as a toilet and harming the plants and small animals that live there. I tolerate them only because I so much love the family that 'own' them. I noticed a few weeks ago that there were many more cats in my garden than usual, around six or seven were appearing regularly. I eventually cottoned on that this was a message. But, what was the message? While I was pondering this, I realised that facebook, also was full of cats, cute kitten photos, cat jokes, all manner of posts related to cats. This reinforced my feelings but still didn't answer the question. I asked advice on a spiritual site I subscribe to 'I'm getting Ancient Egypt' said a medium friend. I googled this and nothing resonated. Someone else thought it was related to big cats. I felt doubtful as although I would be more than startled to see a tiger prowling round my back garden, there would be no difficulty getting lions and cheetahs on facebook. Finally, another friend suggested searching on a shamanic site. This offered a little more scope, if not enlightenment. Seeing the unseen was the most relevant symbolism I found here. Well, the cats were seen, but the message still eluded me. I decided to stop thinking about it and empty my mind to see what came. I made a cup of tea, filled a plate with chocolate digestives and sat down to watch Sunday afternoon television. If anything should empty the mind, it was Sunday afternoon television! I switched on the set and there was a movie playing. What else but 'Catwoman' OK, so I'm supposed to think about this until I get an answer. It was to be almost another week before realisation dawned.

old. There followed a visualisation meditation where I found myself in my back garden and was aware of a faerie on my knee. I realised that there were a family of them under my favourite tree, a miniature willow by a small pond. On Friday, I went into the garden at dusk, lit a candle and connected to my faeries. I sat in silence in the clear moonlight and had the strong sensation that they were there. On Saturday, I went out to my tree again and my neighbour's cat was under the tree, apparently stalking something that I could not see. He was watching and leaping and I felt for the poor creature that was his target. I had to speak to him, in spite of the fact that he had never before taken heed of me. “PUCK!” I yelled, “Be kind or go home!” Puck threw me one of his withering looks and went home. The penny dropped with a resounding clang. Puck, Shakespeare's mischievous fairy, was under my tree, hassling my faeries. The cats were trying to tell me about my faeries. I now talk to them regularly and ask for their help. I feel that they belong with me rather than the garden and that if I ever move house, they will come with me. Some may find it strange, but I keep them informed about what is happening in my life and sit by the tree just enjoying their company. Since then, I have only seen the usual two cats in the garden and facebook has also seemed much less feline.

I have found recently that when I am drifting off to sleep, I see faces in my mind's eye. I haven't recognised any of them and many of them don't appear more than once. One of them, however appeared quite regularly, almost every night. I was rather puzzled about this, the faces all seemed friendly and the experience was not at all frightening. It was suggested that, as I am a healer, they may be souls asking for healing. I sent this to all the faces that I saw, just in case but again, enlightenment was not forthcoming. Then, one Thursday evening, during a visualisation meditation, it was suggested that we meet our gatekeepers. We were guided to visualise them standing behind us and then ask them to show themselves. I was amazed to see the recurring face of my nighttimes. I have yet to learn his name, but I became aware that he was Aboriginal. He has now stopped appearing to my sleepy self. I am guessing that now he has made himself known, he doesn't need to keep telling me that he is there.

On Thursday evening, as usual, I attended a local psychic and development circle. It was poorly attended this week and the session was rather shorter, but we discussed elementals. The group leader gave a brief talk about the various elementals that share our universe, asking us to listen to all the different kinds and then say which one, if any we were drawn to. My answer required no thought. 'Faeries' I said, without hesitation. I have always been drawn to winged creatures, dragonflies, butterflies, angels, faeries, dragons and so on. When my son was small, we told him a tale of Pegasus carrying souls to Heaven as a non-threatening way to explain death to a two year

One thing I have learned is that if I am looking for the meaning of any future synchronicities, I will probably find the answer in meditation. mariantdunn@gmail.com

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Annual-Nov 2011

Principle of Freedom of Substance modifications can be achieved only through the progress of Time.

Rahul Zota

Only souls living and has consciousness, the rest of five has no consciousness. The five substances other than matter are formless and cannot be perceived by the senses.

ccording to Jainism (not religion), the Universe is made of six eternal substances which are; soul, matter, medium of motion, medium of rest, space and time. All these six substances are eternal. Nobody (God) has created them and nobody can destroy them. Here is short detail on each substance:

Now there is an important principle in Jainism called the Principle of Freedom of Substance taught by the enlightened masters. This principle states that each of the six substances is independent. None depends on another. None can harm, alter, affect or influence the other substance. Each soul is independent and cannot harm, alter, affect or influence the other soul. Every soul is the doer and enjoyer of its own attributes. Each atomic particle being substance is also independent. Each substance remains in boundary of its own attributes and modifications. All matters absorbed in own substance, touches their own circle of infinite virtues, yet they do not mutually touch each other. Even one soul cannot interfere in the activity of other soul. Activity of two substances is different only. Consciousness is not doing activity of inanimate; an inanimate is not doing activity of consciousness. Man who believes doing two activities of one substance is of illusory sight.

There are infinite souls in this universe. The basic attributes of a soul are infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite power and infinite bliss. These attributes are not separate from a soul. Each soul is quite independent being and is eternal. Like soul there are infinite atomic particles exists in this universe. The atomic particles integrate and disintegrate with each other and create a particular state of matter like liquid, solid, gas or plasma. The state cannot remain forever but the ultimate particles (energy) are eternal. Souls and particles have ability to move. The medium of motion helps them to move. Without the medium of motion, no movement is possible. Though the ability of motion is in each atom and each soul but they need the medium of motion as a practical cause for movement. The medium of rest helps atoms and souls in resting. These two substances (Motion and Rest) are like water. A fish can move and rest but it will need water to do so, same way these two substances help souls and atoms to move and to rest. These two substances are invisible and they pervade the entire universe and are eternal.

In this world, many have great illusion that by karma (karma atoms), soul's pure state is spoiled. In other words, inanimate karma atoms is doer of soul's spoiled state, but it is not so, because it is against the Principle of Freedom of Substance. Here we can take an example to understand this. A soul resides in a body but from the absolute view point both are different substances. The soul is consciousness and the body is inanimate (made of innumerable particles). Now as we walk, run or stop the body also walks, runs and stops. So anyone can say that in this case the animate (soul) is doing the work of inanimate (the body) but it is not so. Because the ability (the energy

The fifth substance is space. Space accommodates the rest of five substances (Souls, Matter, Motion, Rest and Time). It is all pervading, infinite and made of infinite spacepoints. The last substance is time which is the practical cause behind change. Changes and

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Annual-Nov 2011 for movement) is an attribute of matter also, so in real case it is not us who causes this body to move. We are the practical cause (Nimitta) but the real cause (Upadaan) is within each atoms of this body. Suppose, an atomic particle (an electron etc) is in space, here again a particle and space are two different substances. So a particle, despite being in space never touches any attribute of space. Space is absorbed in its own attributes and a particle is absorbed in its own. Same thing can be considered for soul. People who are in illusory state believe that, * this world cannot be made without a doer (God or something like that). * One soul can do other soul's life, death, happiness, misery. * By inspiration of soul body can move here, there and can speak. * Karma (Matter) can trouble the soul. * Somebody's blessings become welfare of others. * A potter makes a pot or a goldsmith shapes ornaments. Ignorant believes that God will rescue him/her. If we think that way then it does mean that there is no spirit and power in us. Thus we become dependent on someone else, something fantasy. To get rid of such ideas one has to develop faith that one's freedom is in one's own hands. When a soul destroys the bondage of karma then it attains the state of perfection and that state is called God or Siddha. Every soul has its own feeling and suffering, they cannot become doer or sufferer of other things. In the time of intense disease, soul does not feel suffering of inanimate disease but experiences hatred feeling because of its wrong belief and ignorance. In the experience of pure soul with spiritual knowledge and faith, a soul is not doer or sufferer of attachment and resentment but is doer of pure state of modification and enjoys its bliss. This is stage of self-realization. From this we conclude the independence of each substance, its attributes and its modification. This is the most important principle of Jain philosophy. One can attain state of self-realization by complete understanding and faith of this great principle of Jains.

NOCTURNAL VISITOR

BY Marian Dunn

There's a fairy at the bottom of my garden I haven't seen her but I know she's there 'Cause sometimes there's a rustle in the bushes And I'm sure I catch a glimpse of nut brown hair And if a morsel ever is left lying, She eats it up and leaves there not a trace So sometimes I will leave her something tasty And picture joy light up her tiny face There are some people who think I'm quite barmy And fairies only live inside my head But I know that she's out there in the night time When I am sleeping safely in my bed There really is no other explanation Though some have said that I may have a mouse But I am sticking with my lovely fairy 'Cause she won't want to come inside the house Photos by Hazel Pritchard

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Annual-Nov 2011

The Importance of Consciousness Myra Godfrey knowledge, everyone will have their own unique approach to applying this knowledge in day to day life. We all learn to listen to the inner voice a little bit differently and everyone hears something a little bit different. Trust yourself because you are unique, and your own perfectly beautiful heart knows what is best for you!

alking on a path of consciousness is the combined goal of all religions and all spiritual paths. It's not easy to do; it is simple, yes, but not easy! For most people, it requires balance and it requires living a conscious lifestyle. What does this mean? On the most understandable level, it means making all actions in life a conscious pursuit, as opposed to a subconscious or unconscious reaction to life. Turning all actions into conscious endeavors can take lifetimes of work, but it does not have to. Let's look at a few techniques when combined help one to be aware, alert and attentive in all endeavors!

When a person becomes out of balance, the inner signals also get off of balance. We as people have a tendency of telling ourselves things that are not beneficial to growth, especially when it rationalizes or justifies a deeply held habit, desire or ideal. When we grow up with ideals, desires and habits, we rather make an assumption it is the right or best way of doing something, without having the neutrality or perspective to evaluate the ideal from a place of consciousness. Our defenses get on the rise, and as opposed to being conscious and responsive, we become defensive and reactive. The best way to avoid this pattern of reactiveness and know you are as on track as you can possibly be is to manifest the positive attributes of the heart space; humility, compassion, purity and sincerity. Being responsive means having enough clarity and introspection to look at all situations in life neutrally to the best of out ability.

Consciousness relates to clarity on all levels of the being within; clarity in the three gunas that were discussed previously, sattwa, rajas and tamas. If all three of these gunas are acting in harmony with one another, manifesting their positive attributes, one can be assured they are living a conscious life! The first key is to have a depth of inner knowledge, what in Sanskrit is known as jnana. Inner knowledge does not mean perfection, nor does it mean knowing many great esoteric truths. Inner knowledge means having the clarity to listen always and listen clearly to the knowledge the heart reveals to you in any given moment! You are always given exactly what you need in order to move the next step forward on your path, if you have the capacity to listen deeply and have enough faith to follow what is being revealed. Eastern philosophy states that you are God and that God resides in the core of your being: the heart center in mankind. Clear vision and happiness come from tapping into this inner light and inner knowledge. While having a spiritual path is a very good road map for finding this inner

Being responsive enables a person to better set a clear intention for action, which is the second element necessary for consciousness. Intention is also known as sankalpa; it's our will and what we want to see accomplished. If a person does not have clarity, their intentions and affirmation cannot be clear either, nor can one easily muster the necessary willpower required to make an intention come to fruition. People set intentions all the time, but lack of clarity and lack of willpower keep them from

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Annual-Nov 2011 manifesting. Worse yet is when an intention is manifested, but when not coming from a clear heart place, it is not what is best for the person to have in life and thus perpetuates the karmic cycle of life. Clarity in intention and in action prevents people from creating karma, and also helps to rapidly burn away existing karmas that are stored within the system. Clear intention also leads to clear action. When an intention is vague or too broad, it becomes difficult if not impossible to implement it. The clearer the consciousness, the clearer and more concise a person's sankalpa or intentions will be.

function in both rajas and tamas guna, leaving out the higher insights or heart centered connection. This is how karma is formed. Rajas guna can be seen as the link to both sattwa and tamas. The intention and sankalpa we carry along with the force of will can lead us on either trajectory; either in towards the divine consciousness and an expansion of sattwa or down into the world of action and matter. In order to accomplish anything, this rajas guna must be active. It's a fine balance and one that even fully realized individuals can spend a lifetime balancing it. It's also the joy of life and shows the perfect perfection of all of creation, existence and the perfect love of the Divine Mother. Who else could create such beauty, wonder and absolute perfection?

Sattwa is great when it is manifesting properly in the human system because it lends light, clarity and heart-centered dharmic presence to all thoughts, all intentions and all actions in life. The last piece to the puzzle relates to action. When a person has clear heart centered listening and has the ability to set a firm intention, the next step is moving that into action. Action is always the key for manifestation in the world of matter. What makes action work? Consistency, discipline and an iron will. When a person is able to be consistent in their actions, which only comes as a result of a clear intention and clarity of consciousness, anything in life can be accomplished. This is the beauty of the three gunas working together in harmony; it is possible to accomplish anything in life! The hearts joy will give you tireless energy in the world of action to accomplish your goals. The hearts joy is nothing other than one's own true dharma.

Myra has founded Gita for the Masses (a nonprofit organization) and Hridaya Healing to help people see the inherent unity in all spiritual traditions and to help people overcome obstacles to their growth and fulfillment in life. She teaches workshops publically and works with individuals directly offering healing services, dharmic counseling, sadhana development, homam and a variety of other services based on the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita and the tantric Sri Vidya lineage. You can learn more about her work at http://www.gitaforthemasses.org or by contacting her directly at jayajayamyra@gmail.com . Copyright Myra Godfrey 2011. All Rights Reserved.

If any one of these three pieces (the gunas) is out of alignment, everything else will resultantly become out of balance. One can realize what they are supposed to do and not be able to do it if tamas guna is out of line. Many spiritual seekers get stuck at this point. They have a level of clarity or even realization, but because the realization is not integral to the whole system balancing all three gunas, it leads one to know something in theory alone, without being able to apply that theory in day to day life. The other extreme is a person having no clarity in life, which unfortunately is the state of much of the world currently. People constantly

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Annual-Nov 2011

Stressing upon the Stress‌ - A Demon Within One, Stress is an internal condition. That means it's created by our own mind. I agree, an individual may be forced to react in a pressurized manner by the external forces; but still stress is an internal feature. It's a mind construct. It's a cognitively taxing response to a situation we are not comfortable in. What I want to say is that the way our thinking responds to a situation makes it stressful, not the situation itself. Because what is stressful for one person may be an easy task for other person. Given this fact, is it all correct to blame others for our stress? Aren't we at the helm of the affairs? Isn't it a pity that we are so easily giving in to the demands of a situation? We lose our rational instincts, our true conscience and let our own good judgments take a back seat. How good is it so far? I know and I understand that we human beings are actually programmed to be prone to stressors. But the point I want to make is that sometimes and somewhere, it's only us who are responsible for it. It may be the pressure to achieve the goal that is producing stress on the individual, may be because the goal you have chosen is seemingly illusive and pressure surmounting. Though this pressure may also lead individual to intensify his effort but also true is that excessive pressure will only result in decomposition. Then there is sometimes a conflict where in you have to make a choice in favor of one when there are two or more choices available. Obviously, pondering a lot on what to choose is always a stressful task. Next important point is that no matter how much we try, stress is inevitable. If situations lead to stress, we have no choice but to act upon it. But then be ready for the proven fact that this stress is going to impact both your physiological and psychological systems. Ultimately it will take its toll on you. After this much discussion, I find it

Mohit Soni et's start with an interesting question. You have to tell me one common emotion that's most prevalent in today's time, in a child, a grown up, an elderly person, a person who is employed, a person who is unemployed, a rich, a poor, a farmer in a distant remote village with no electricity and a CEO of a multi-national company? Other than all being humans, one character that everyone will nod positively to be facing, is that at any given point of time, they are under STRESS. We all are stressed no matter what we are and what we do. That's the irony. There can be so many emotions to describe the present being of a large group of people but what aptly seems to describe them all, is a fiercer demon, STRESS. Why I am emphasizing its universal presence is because of the simple fact that every person we meet is likely to be under stress, either because he has less resources then he needs or because he has more resources than he needs. One is struggling to how to arrange more that he hasn't got and the other one, struggling on how to manage more that he has got. The point is that we all are under stress. We all are struggling. And the strange thing is that irrespective of it being so common, we can't help but to fall in its trap. In the words of famous psychologist Folkman, “Stress is an internal condition which is caused by physical demands on the body and or environmental and social situation which is perceived or evaluated by individual as potentially harmful and exceeding ones resources for coping.� Sounds bit tough in meaning but actually this definition carries a lot of insight into the topic.

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Annual-Nov 2011 appropriate to say that it's our perception about the situation that needs to be taken care of. Whenever we are face to face with a stressful situation our minds immediately starts calculating the potential harms, threats and challenges as well as the perceived ability to cope up with them. And this readies our mind for either Fight or Flight. Let's take a case. Suppose today you are jobless, penniless, hardly have any facility. And to make it worse, you are also fighting a deadly disease. What would you do then? Won't you give up? That was the case with Steve Jobs. And mind you, he didn't give up. He chose to fight. A famous quotation goes like, “Adversity causes some men to break and some to break records.� That's the idea. We should always fight. We have to understand that at some point of time every individual faces tough situations and the way we react to situations, decides our destiny. Life has never promised to be smooth but the one who is ready for frictions along its path, is the one who will ultimately come out with flying colors. Researchers have proven that stress has an impact on our physical health. Once faced with it, initially we may seem to be quite ok as we feel that we happen to deal with it nicely but once it starts growing in amplitude and comes from various directions, the way generally it happens, we keep on losing faith in ourselves and gradually we feel tired, short of ideas and finally, exhausted. That stage is deadly. Because when a person loses money, it should not be the concern as he can gain it again. Till now it's easy. If he loses health, he can still manage to regain it. But things may become further difficult. Now if one loses confidence in himself and the spirit to fight, it then becomes very difficult to regain it. So better take to this cause right now and don't wait for the stage when it becomes unmanageable. Tell yourself again and again that if you remain stressed, the chances get thinner to arrive to a solution. Because if stress itself is a part of a problem then how it can lead to a solution? If needed, release your emotions by speaking them out. If will help you desensitize towards the stress. I would add one thing more that we should

also understand it's not always good to swim against the tide. Though people always say, that to emerge victorious one has to face the tide and keep on fighting. But what I would suggest is, sometimes it's better to give in. Because the problem will consume your mental resources and you will be left with lesser resources to deploy for solution finding. So wear a brave face. If needed, give in to the situations instead of keep on fighting. Because what's important is to save resources to deploy them to meaningful solution finding rather than letting them consumed in the worry itself. Don't consume yourself every bit into stress. Step aside and judge yourself on what you are doing and what's actually needed. Assess yourself on how would you react to any particular situation if you were not stressed and forced. And then no matter what, only follow what seems to be right. Whatever be the result you will know that you have followed your heart and that will itself lessen the burden. And away from all these functionalities lies the ultimate solution to every stress: Meditation. Seek help! Your soul somehow knows what you really want. Mohit Soni Mail id: mohit.soni97@rediffmail.com Mobile: +91 8130824151

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Annual-Nov 2011

Why people work? Dr Jayanti Rusat Author in which people live induces the feeling of various requirements. The producers of various products do marketing and raise people's emotions to make them want and feel the need of their products. Once the requirement is felt, people do very hard work to earn their required things. In modern times, environment has created a flow of requirements so people over work to achieve them.

eople do work if they get pleasure by doing it. They avoid the work which creates pain to them. People like to work only at their will. They don't like to work if it is demanded by others. This is the fundamental formula people unknowingly follow for working. But the fact is that people work whether they get pleasure or not. They do the work in spite of they get pain. They work as per other's advice or demand even by suppressing their disliking.

Moreover, all human beings have fundamental natural instincts of the mind. They expect respects, appreciations, importance, love, approvals, helps and cooperations from others. These instincts are the psychological requirements of human beings. The satisfactions of these mental requirements are necessary for healthy and happy living otherwise they create pain. But an individual cannot satisfy his or her psychological needs on his or her own because that depends on others. Unless one gives to others he or she cannot get from them. Therefore, in order to satisfy their own psychological needs people work for others.

Why this paradox? Let us understand people's psychology for working. Our intelligence thinks, make a choice and decides whether to work or not. But the emotions generate and provide energy to work. Emotion is a force, an underlying current, which makes people work. That is why some highly qualified and trained individuals don't work unless they are motivated emotionally to work. Intelligence is activated by imparting knowledge and training, where as emotions are accelerated by motivation.

Therefore, successful organizations establish systems for their employees like inviting suggestions, giving appreciation, promotions and awards, protecting their rights and keep them working.

There are three fundamental factors that make people work. These are requirements, responsibilities and ambitions, which accelerate people's emotional level and motivate them to work. But after the requirements are met, responsibilities are fulfilled and ambitions are accomplished still people work due to 4th spiritual factor that is desire of 'Self Elevation'.

Responsibility: Human minds are conditioned by social culture to realize a responsibility and try to fulfill it. Responsibility accelerates emotions. Emotions excite a person to work. They do the work whether they like it or not but try to fulfill their responsibilities. They try to do very hard work, some time beyond their capacity to fulfill their responsibility. Responsibility makes people work for sake of

Requirement: Unless people have requirements they don't like to work. Though some basic physical requirements are always be present but most requirements are to be felt. The environment

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Annual-Nov 2011 their satisfactions without expectation of any consideration in return.

takes birth, grows, degenerates and dies. Soul never dies or takes birth; it just exists, and changes bodies like we change clothes.

Delegating higher authority along with more responsibility make people work is a known fact in any organization. Increasing responsibility and making people feel their responsibility motivate them to work without demand.

Self elevation is a process of lifting up our consciousness or soul towards the supreme consciousness. It enriches our present life as well as qualifies our soul for evolving life after life. Each of our physical life is a stepping stone for elevation of our soul. Most people strongly believe that good work and spirituality or sacred actions elevate their soul towards higher level. Therefore, people do good works only for their self elevation.

Ambition: The third factor, an ambition of an individual is a tremendous driving force for working. A continuous feeling of an ambition keeps a person in high emotional level, provides uninterrupted energy force to work. Ambition is a self motivating factor. Ambitious people are innovative and proactive. They make initiatives and also walk an extra mile in order to accomplish their ambitions. People work due to ambitions does not require directives from others and those who lose their ambitions have no motive to work. Universal consciousness or self consciousness inspires an ambition in an individual to fulfill his or her purpose of life. History of highly successful individuals also fuels ambition into people to reach or even go beyond them. But ambition can also be inspired by creating the environment. The careers prospectus and future growth plan in the organization create the ambitions of the people working in. And their ambitions can be kept alive by maintaining their expectations, hopes and letting them realized their goals time to time. In such environment people keep on working their own.

One more philosophy about human nature is that no one likes to die. People have a natural desire to be immortal. People know that physical death is an absolute and inevitable truth. Therefore this desire to be immortal has been transformed into a desire to keep their name alive even after their death. This wish is a virtue and not the greed because the wish for living in people's hearts after their death motivates them to perform good work or achieve karmas during their life. Dr. Jayanti Rusat The author of book Self Elevation: creating wealth, wisdom and peace. Blog: http://dr-rusat.blogspot.com On FB: http://www.facebook.com/jayanti.rusat Tweeter name: http://twitter.com/DrRusat In Linkedin: http://in.linkedin.com/pub/dr-jayantirusat/20/44b/b31

Self Elevation: The concept of Self Elevation is based on our belief of existence of soul and its immortality. We believe that we are in the form of a soul, expressing our lives in this physical plane of the universe for millions of years, passing through bodies of different species of living beings in series of reincarnations. Body is mortal but the soul is immortal. Body follows the laws of material world and the soul follows the laws of the spiritual world. Body

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Wrestling the Inner Terrorist Christian de la Huerta heroism. How do we begin to heal that sense of separation and soften the harsh judgments that keep us apart? Again, not easy to do. It is so much easier to blame the other, make them wrong and splatter them against the wall. Yet, if we want peace in the world, it must begin within. Spiritual teachings tell us that we are all one, that we are all in this together, and that whatever we see so clearly “over there” is “in here” as well. That is the essence of projection. One practice that helps when we find ourselves judging or making another wrong is telling ourselves “I too have been that way,” or “given a different set of circumstances over which I had no control, perhaps I too could have turned out that way.” This is particularly hard to do when it comes to violent criminals or “those terrorists.” Does that really mean that “I, too, am that?” Well, here is one area to explore how we might be being “like that:” What acts of emotional or spiritual violence has my inner terrorist committed, if not on others, on myself? What havoc has s/he wreaked on my life or the lives of others? Whoops. Time to face the shadow... We've gotten the big terrorist, but it's the little inner terrorists that are harder to flush out from their caves. That, too, is the stuff of heroes. Releasing judgments and the need to be right, developing the ability to forgive and keep our hearts open are key steps on the path to inner peace and liberation. In these stressful, challenging and perilous times, may all beings experience peace. May we all be free. Christian de la Huerta has been a writer, speaker, retreat and group facilitator for the past 20 years. Author of the award-winning and criticallyacclaimed “Coming out Spiritually,” he is currently working on a new book, “The Soul of Power.” More about his work may be found at www.SoulfulPower.us

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CHOICE POINT 2012 Our Date with the Window of Emergence By Gregg Braden An Excerpt from The Mystery of 2012 s they hear 2012 predictions, many wonder if there is any scientific evidence. Gregg Braden explores the possibility that 2012 will bring a reversal of the Earth's magnetic poles and what such a reversal may mean for the largest population the world has ever seen. In the following essay, using the Maya's incredible accomplishments and predictions as a starting point, he probes what we know today, looking for scientific evidence that the planet's magnetism will reverse and that sunspots or sun storms signify a coming change. Braden draws from physical evidence, quantum theory, and historic trends to gauge the likelihood of massive destruction or the emergence of an empowering new reality in 2012. After weighing the evidence, the choice, he says, is ours.

then disappear? Why does their calendar, which coincides with the 5,000 years of recorded human history, end on such a precise date-a date within our own lifetime? What is the significance of the winter solstice on December 21, 2012? To answer these questions, we must cross the traditional boundaries that have separated science, religion, spirituality, and history and marry these many sources of knowledge into a single new wisdom. When we do, something remarkable begins to happen. THE MAYAN MYSTERY The Mayan civilization is an anomaly in the traditional view of history and culture. Archaeological records show that the first Maya "suddenly" appeared over a millennium and a half ago, in the remote areas of what is today Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras and Belize. What sets the Mayan civilization apart from other cultures during the same period is that the Maya appear to have arrived with an advanced technology already in place, rather than evolving their technology over a long period of time, as we would expect. Although there are many theories, no one has solved definitively what is called the "Mayan riddle."

Does the ancient Mayan calendar hold the secret to an epic event that will occur within our lifetimes? If so, does that event hold the key to our future, and perhaps even our very survival? A growing body of evidence suggests that the answer to these questions is, Yes! Now we must ask ourselves, Why? Why did an advanced civilization suddenly appear over 1,500 years ago with the most sophisticated galactic clock known until modern times, build a massive civilization focused on expansive galactic cycles, and

In his exploration of this ancient mystery, author Charles Gallenkamp summarizes the irony of the Mayan presence: "No one has

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Annual-Nov 2011 satisfactorily explained where or when Mayan civilization originated or how it evolved in an environment so hostile to human habitation." He elaborates on how little we actually know about our ancient ancestors, observing that whatever it was that led to "the sudden abandonment of their greatest cities during the ninth century AD one of the most baffling archaeological mysteries ever uncovered is still deeply shrouded in conjecture."

the year 2012 CE. Specifically, the cycle ends on December 21, 2012, when our sun will move into direct alignment with the equator of the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists acknowledge that this galactic alignment will occur and that the Mayan calendar marks the event. The question most often asked is simply, What does it mean? There are those who discount the phenomenon as little more than an interesting oddity that we will be lucky to see during our lifetime. Others suggest that the close of the Great Cycle marks the convergence of rare cosmic processes, with implications that range from joyous to frightening.

While experts may not agree on precisely why such a powerful civilization seems to have disappeared, they can't argue over the marvel of what it left behind. And any discussion of Mayan accomplishments must acknowledge what is arguably the single most sophisticated artifact of all: their unsurpassed calculation of cosmic cycles and time. Before the twentieth century, the Mayan calendar appears to have been the most sophisticated method of tracking galactic time. Even today, modern Maya keep track of galactic time, as well as local time, using the system that experts such as Michael D. Coe tell us has "not slipped one day in over 25 centuries." In addition to tracking familiar solar and lunar cycles, the 5,000-year-old Mayan calendar appears to track something even more surprising: the rare celestial alignment of our solar system, our sun, and our planet with the center of our galaxy-an event that will not happen again for another 26,000 years.

Dr. Jose Arg端elles, an expert in Mayan cosmology, suggests that the first years of the new millennium are part of a subcycle that began in 1992, marking the emergence of what he calls "nonmaterialistic, ecologically harmonic technologies ... to compliment the new decentralized mediarchy information society." Using the same information, others warn that the end of the Mayan calendar coincides with celestial events that may hold profound, and even dangerous, consequences for life on Earth as we know it. An electronic magazine based in India, for example, carried an article in the March 1, 2005, edition, describing the results of the Hyderabad Computer Model for a polar shift to coincide with the calendar's enddate. The frightening headlines stated, "Computer models predict magnetic pole reversal in Earth and sun can bring end to human civilization in 2012." The article also described a worse-case scenario of what a world without a magnetic field could mean.

The key to the Maya's "galactic timer" was a 260-day count called the tzolkin, or "Sacred Calendar," which was intermeshed with another 365-day calendar called the "Vague Year." The Maya viewed these two cycles of time progressing like the cogs of two wheels, turning until the rare moment when one day on the Sacred Calendar matched the same day on the Vague Year. That rare and powerful day marked the end of a 52-year cycle and was part of an even greater expanse of time called the "Great Cycle." According to this explanation and the tradition of the Mayan priests themselves, records indicate that the last Great Cycle began in August of 3114 BCE the approximate time of the first Egyptian hieroglyphics and ends in the near future, in

While there are many ideas of what we may expect as the end-date of the Mayan calendar draws near, most people feel that something is going to happen-the question is, What? What were the Mayan timekeepers trying to tell us about a date that none of them would even live to see? Because 2012 is only a few short years away, and happens to coincide with unprecedented changes happening in our solar system, a

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Annual-Nov 2011 growing number of scientists suggest that it is in our best interest to understand what the Mayan timekeepers were trying to tell us. Perhaps the best way to discover what we don't know is to take a look at what we do know.

possible implications of one taking place. The article stated "The collapse of the Earth's magnetic field, which guards the planet and guides many of its creatures, appears to have started in earnest about 150 years ago." There is little doubt, at least in the minds of some scientists that the reversal has already begun.

EARTH'S MAGNETISM: A SURE THING? When we think of things that are certain in life, we tend to count the magnetic fields of our planet among those certainties. For as long as anyone living today can remember, every time we have looked at the needle of a compass, the tip of the needle has pointed in the same direction "up there," toward the magnetic north pole of the Earth. And while we tend to think of Earth's north and south poles as a sure thing, the reality is that our planet's magnetism is anything but certain.

Geologic measurements do, in fact, show that Earth is declining from a peak of magnetic intensity 2,000 years ago and that the values have steadily dropped to a point 38 percent lower now than then. Measurements taken since the mid-1800s further support the fact of the magnetic decline, showing that planetary magnetism has lost 7 percent of its strength in the last 100 years alone. Even though the symptoms of a polar reversal are present, they may not be easily recognized for a number of reasons, including the assumption that the reversal of Earth's magnetic fields happens as a long, slow process occurring at a constant rate.

We know, for example, that every once in a while something truly mind-boggling, almost unthinkable, happens. For reasons that are still not fully understood, our familiar north and south poles trade placesthe magnetic field of the Earth does a complete flip-flop. Although polar reversals are rare in the history of civilizations, the geologic record shows that they happen routinely in terms of Earth's history. Magnetic reversals have already happened 171 times in the last 76 million years, with at least 14 of those reversals occurring in the last 4.5 million years alone.

New interpretations of the evidence present a strong case that something else may be happening. It may be that the more the field weakens, the faster it weakens. And if this is the case, past reversals may have occurred much faster than we currently believe. In the remote northern latitudes of Siberia, for example, wooly mammoths, believed to have been caught in a polar reversal during the last ice age, have been found frozen in midstride, with their last meal still in their mouths-proof that the abrupt climate change accompanying such a shift can happen really fast!

And while they are definitely cyclic, the reversals appear to vary in time, making the time of the next one an uncertainty. There are symptoms, however, that precede the flip-flops, such as abrupt changes in weather patterns and a rapid weakening of the planet's magnetic field-both of which are happening right now. It is the appearance of these symptoms today, and the fact that we are "overdue" for a polar shift, that has led a growing number of mainstream scientists to suggest that we are in the early stages of just such a reversal

In 1993, Science News published a study describing how "the task of finding an accurate reversal record seems to be all the more difficult because the magnetic field weakens considerably when it switches direction," just as we are witnessing today. The question remains, just how weak does the field become before a reversal? While the answer to this question is not certain, what we do know is that such monumental events don't just happen by themselves on Earth. They appear to be linked to events happening to our celestial neighbors, and

In July 2004, the New York Times took the possibility of Earth's magnetic reversal seriously enough to dedicate an entire portion of its Science section to describing just what a magnetic reversal is and the

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Annual-Nov 2011 possibly even the entire galaxy.

projected date for the most intense portion of the storm-the solar maximum. Based on the 1986-1996 cycle, NCAR's Dikpati places the projected date for the solar maximum at 2012, coinciding with the Mayan calculations of our sun's galactic alignment. Because this phenomenon has never happened with the population and technology that we have today, no one knows for certain what effects these solar storms may have on our future.

OUR SUN: THE QUIET BEFORE THE GREAT STORM Galileo's first telescopes allowed astronomers to observe the heavens, European astronomers have known that our sun experiences regular cycles of intense magnetic storms, sunspots, followed by predictable periods of quiet. These cycles have been observed on a regular basis since 1610. Since the measurements began, 23 cycles of sunspots, averaging 11 years each, have occurred, with the last beginning in May of 1996. Precisely when the most recent cycle would end was a mystery that is, until the spring of 2006, when NASA reported the event that astronomers had been waiting for. On March 10 of that year, the sunspots and solar flares suddenly stopped, and the sun became "quiet," signaling the end of the current sunspot cycle. The quiet, however, is misleading.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? We know that the sun is going through a magnetic shift, and the Earth appears to be in the early stages of a polar reversal as well. What do these celestial events have to do with the Mayan calendar? What does it all mean? These are very good questions, and they are important because the one thing we know for certain is that all life is strongly influenced by magnetic changes. There are countless studies in scientific literature that describe how many species of-animals, from whales and dolphins to hummingbirds and wildebeests, rely on Earth's magnetic "superhighways" to navigate their way to feeding and mating grounds. While we may not use these "superhighways" quite the same way, it appears that humans are no exception.

The end of one cycle is the indication that a new cycle and new storms is beginning. What makes the coming cycle so different is that the strength of the sunspots observed from 1986 to 1996 suggests that the next cycle will be one of the most intense ever recorded. "The next sunspot cycle will be 3050 percent stronger than the previous one," says Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

In 1993, an international team studying magnetoreception, the ability of our brains to detect magnetic changes in the Earth, announced a discovery that makes 2012, the Mayan cycles, and Earth's magnetic fields even more significant than previously thought. The team published the remarkable findings that the human brain contains "millions of tiny magnetic particles." These particles connect us, just as they do other animals, to Earth's magnetic field in a powerful, direct, and intimate way. And this connection carries powerful implications. If Earth's magnetic fields are changing in the 2012 time frame, then we too are affected.

David Hathaway, of the National Space Science and Technology Center, agrees and suggests that the sunspots created in the previous cycle are expected to amplify themselves and "reappear as big sunspots" in the new cycle. If so, the solar magnetic storms will be second in intensity only to those of 1958, when the aurora borealis illuminated the night sky as far south as Mexico. At that time, however, we didn't have our current communications technology, such as satellites, that can be disrupted by such storms. While the predicted intensity of the new solar cycle would normally be of concern, it becomes even more significant when we consider the

We know, for example, that magnetic fields have a profound influence on our nervous systems, our immune systems, and our perceptions of space, time, dreams, and even

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Annual-Nov 2011 directly beneath the Suez Canal and into Israel, are precisely the places where we see the greatest opportunities for change. Sometimes the change comes as a smooth transition from one idea to the next. Sometimes it comes as a struggle. In our Middle East example, we see the struggle that can result from the attempt to preserve ancient tradition in a place that compels change. The low magnetic field does not mean that the change must be expressed as conflict; it simply provides the conditions for new ways of looking at things. Once again, it is up to those living in these zones of opportunity how they express the change that the low fields invite.

reality itself. And while the strength of our planet's magnetic field may be measured as a general reading, it varies locally from place to place. Early in the twentieth century, magnetic, ribbon like patterns were charted and published by scientists as a contour map of the world. The map displays the strength of the magnetic lines overlaying the continents and shows the places on Earth where the people of the world experience the strongest-and the weakest-effects of the planet's magnetic fields. To understand why this is important for the 2012 cycle, we need look no further than consciousness itself. While there is a lot that we don't know about consciousness, there is one thing that we are certain of: the stuff that consciousness is made of is energy, and that energy includes electricity and magnetism. While the electromagnetic nature of consciousness is still being explored, it does appear that Earth's magnetics play a key role in how we accept new ideas and change in our lives. If we think of magnetic fields as a form of energetic "glue," we can use this metaphor as a possible explanation for why some parts of the world, and our own country, are slower to accept change, while other places seem to jump at the opportunity to try something new.

A similar zero magnetic contour line exists parallel to America's West Coast. Not surprisingly, this is a part of the world that is also known as a hotbed for change, although it is expressed in a different way than in the Middle East. Stretching from southern California to northern Washington, this zone of low magnetic strength is often seen as a realm of new thought and innovationand with that innovation, we find leading ideas in science, technology, fashion, music, and art. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are zones of extremely high magnetism where, historically, change comes about slowly over time, and often as the result of a struggle. In central Russia, for example, contour values are some of the highest in the world, with readings at over 150 gauss units. Russia's recent experience with the political reorganization that coincided with the end of the Cold War is a beautiful example of how areas with high magnetic fields tend to cling to tradition and embrace change slowly, over a long period of time. However, it also shows that once change begins in these areas, it carries a momentum that makes itself known in a way that cannot be missed.

Our "magnetic glue" model suggests that places with stronger magnetic fields (more glue) are more deeply entrenched in tradition, beliefs, and existing ideas. In places where the fields are weaker, just the opposite is true. In these places, people seem compelled to create change. Although areas of low magnetic intensity may be ripe for something new, how that change is expressed is up to those living there. With this in mind, a look at our global magnetic map may help us make sense of places that seem continuously locked in conflict, as well as understand why innovation and change seem to spark in one area before spreading to others. Immediately, one link is so clear that it almost jumps off of the page.

Even without such evidence, we know intuitively that we are affected by planetary magnetic forces. Any law enforcement officer or health-care practitioner will attest to the intense, and sometimes bizarre, behavior that is seen during a full moon.

The places in our world with the lowest magnetic intensity, such as the zero contour line (zero magnetic gauss), which runs

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Annual-Nov 2011 When the magnetic strength changes suddenly, it changes the way we feel, and that change can be disorienting if we don't understand why it happens. To those who do understand, however, such moments can be a powerful gift-the opportunity to release the patterns of belief that have caused pain in their lives, hurt in their families, and disease in their bodies, and to embrace new and life-affirming beliefs. Artists and musicians know this and often anticipate full-moon cycles as periods of great creativity. These existing examples of the connection between consciousness and magnetism offer important insights into how future changes in magnetic strength may affect us, as some expect them to, during the 2012 cycle.

physics and the Mayan calendar may really be saying to us about our power in the universe. Our world, our lives, and our bodies are the result of the quantum language of our beliefs, judgments, love, and fear regarding those things. The same theories that describe our reality as being influenced by our beliefs suggest that if we want to change our reality, we must change the way we see ourselves. In 1957, Princeton University physicist Hugh Everett III carried these ideas one step further, creating the theory that describes how the focus of our awareness creates reality. In a landmark paper that included his Many Worlds Theory, Everett described simple moments in time when it becomes possible to "jump" from one reality to another by creating a quantum bridge between the two already-existing possibilities. He called these windows of opportunity "choice points" and described them as the times when conditions make it possible to begin one path of experience and then to change the outcome of that experience by changing the focus of our awareness-our beliefs.

REWRITING THE REALITY CODE Is it possible that by altering the way we feel about change in our lives, we can actually transform the way we experience things, like the frightening predictions of 2012? While there are a number of new discoveries that show us how consciousness directly affects our world, they are generally variations of the nearly century-old experiment designed to determine how much our beliefs really affect our reality.

From this perspective, the 2012 end-date appears to represent a great cosmic choice point-the time in the galactic machinery when all of the parameters fall into place to make it easier for us to choose a new way of seeing ourselves in the universe and a new way of being.

In 1909, Geoffrey Ingram Taylor, a British physicist, devised the famous Double Slit Experiment and began a revolution in the way we view ourselves in the universe. The bottom line of his experiment was that the mere presence of consciousness in a room, people affected the way the quantum particles (the stuff our world is made of) behaved.

CHOICE POINT 2012: BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER Now we have the information, and the language, that may answer our question as to the significance of December 21, 2012. From the 8,000-year-old Hindu Vedas and the 5,000-year-old Hebrew calendar to the indigenous prophecies of Asia and the Americas, ancient traditions suggest that something really big will happen during our time in history. It is important to note that there is nothing in any of the prophecies that tells us unconditionally that the world itself will end on this date. What they do say is that the world as we have known it will enter a

On February 26, 1998, Taylor's experiment was repeated by scientists at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science. Not only did they confirm that our world is affected just by observation, but they also discovered that “the greater the amount of' watching,' the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.�11 In other words, the more those present focused on the experiment, the greater the influence their focus had on the outcome. And herein lies the key to understanding what quantum

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Annual-Nov 2011 experiences, (2) the loss of Earth's magnetic shield allows the direct influence of highenergy fields that are normally deflected to bring change, and (3) both are happening in the -general time of the 26,000-year galactic alignment, then it is as if the cosmos has conspired to shower us with the power of what Jose Arg端elles called the galactic "synchronization beam." What a rare and bizarre opportunity. How we receive this opportunity is the choice that we are making today.

time of change on this date. How we respond to that change will define how we experience it and our lives in the next age of our existence. What sets the Mayan prophecy apart from the general predictions of other cultures is that it has an expiration date that occurs in our lifetime. The last cycle of the intangible Mayan calendar corresponds to a series of tangible events, some of which are already happening today. Here is what we know for certain: The end of the Mayan Great Cycle marks a rare alignment of our planet, our solar system, and the center of our galaxyone that will not occur again for another 26,000 years. On March 10, 2006, a cycle of solar storms ended and a new cycle began. It is predicted to peak in 2012, with an intensity 30-50 percent greater than previous cycles. Scientists agree that Earth's magnetic fields are weakening quickly, and some suspect that we are in the early stage of a polar reversal. Correlations between the magnetic fields of the Earth and human experience suggest that it is easier for us to accept change and adapt to new ideas in weaker fields of magnetism. Recent validation of quantum principles proves that the way we perceive our world-our beliefs about our experiencestrongly influences our physical reality.

In 2005, Scientific American published a special edition titled Crossroads for Planet Earth, which identified a number of scenarios that, left unchecked, hold the potential to end life on Earth as we know it today. The point of the issue was that while anyone of the scenarios is catastrophic, they are all happening today. Clearly the choices of war, depletion of resources, genocide, technology abuse, and fossil fuel technology are not sustainable for another millennium. To change the way we live, we must change the way we believe. Such a change can only come from a powerful and holistic view of who we are in the universe. Of the many things that 2012 represents, it may offer an unprecedented window of precisely such an opportunity. Are we heading toward a time of unprecedented catastrophe, 1,000 years of peace, or both? No one knows for sure. While the solar cycles and magnetic reversals are very real and have definitely happened in our ancient past, they have never happened while 6.5 billion people lived on the planet and certainly not with the majority of those people dependent upon the technology of power grids, communications, computers, and global positioning satellites. Just as uncertainty accompanies any birth, we simply don't know what our birth into such a monumental experience may mean to life, technology, our emotions, and our bodies.

With these facts in mind, the December 21 solstice of 2012 appears to be a great cosmic window of opportunity. The opportunity is for us to benefit from our individual and collective experiences of the past 5,000 years of history, while releasing the destructive beliefs that have created disease in our bodies and limited our life span, led to the differences that have separated us, justified the great wars of history, and destroyed portions of our world. Such a possibility exists only when all of the parameters needed for such a change converge into a single window of time. The 2012 end-date appears to be just such a time.

We do know, however, that ancient humans may have experienced similar, though lessintense cycles, some that may have even occurred as recently as 10,000 years ago. While biblical and oral traditions suggest that such a time is certainly not "business as

If (1) the presence of low magnetic fields primes us to adapt to change and accept new

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Annual-Nov 2011 usual," the fact that people lived to record those cycles tells us that such events are survivable. The new discoveries linking the physics of belief with reality also tell us that how we feel about our experience has a direct effect upon what we actually experience. For our date with 2012, this suggests that if we live life focused upon all of the bad things that may happen, we will miss the joyous experiences that may actually keep those bad things from happening.

Notes: 1. Gallenkamp, Charles. Maya: The Riddle and Rediscovery of a Lost Civilization. New York: Penguin, 1999. 2. Coe, Michael D. Breaking the Maya Code. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1999. 3. Argüelles, Jose. The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology. Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co., 1987. 145. 4. India Daily. "Computer models predict magnetic pole reversal in Earth and sun can bring end to human civilization in 20l2evidence of extra-terrestrial help in our survival.” www.indiadaily.comleditorial/1753.asp. 5. Science. Vol. 168, 1969, Fig. 4. 6. New York Times. July 2004. 7. ESSA Technical Report lER 46-1ES 1. July1967. 8. Science News. Vol. 14, June 12, 1993. 9. Science. Vol: 260, June 11, 1993. 9. Science. Vol. 260, June 11, 1993. 10. Royal Society of London, 243:6792,1950. 11. Nature. February 26, 1998. 12. Reviews of Modern Physics. Vol. 29, 1957. 13. Sitchin, Zecharia. The Lost Realms: Book IV of the Earth Chronicles. New York: Avon Books, 1990.

Today, when you ask the Mayan descendants what happened to their ancestors, they will tell the story of the generation of timekeepers who, one day, left their temples, observatories, and pyramids, walked into the jungles, and simply "vanished," returning to the place from where they had come. Regardless of what their story means to us, it is clear that whoever those original Maya were, they knew something in their time that we are just beginning to understand in ours. The key to their message is that their secret was more than the precise representation of time on a stone slab. The one piece of their wisdom that they could not inscribe into their hieroglyphic message is precisely the piece that gives meaning to the end of their cycle. The piece of their wisdom is us and whether we can embrace the fact that we are a family in this world, very possibly part of a greater family in the cosmos, and that the "gestation" that Jose Argüelles describes as our experience in history is complete.

An Excerpt from The Mystery of 2012 ISBN: 978-81-88569-09-0 Paperback; pp. 281; Rs. 299 Indus Source Books www.indussource.com Available online at www.flipkart.com

From these perspectives, the solstice of December 21, 2012, becomes a powerful window for our collective emergence into our greatest potential. Such a moment is so rare that we have been preparing for it for over 5,000 years, and it will be another 26,000 years before the same opportunity cycles around again. As the source of our light-our sun-moves into perfect alignment with the center of our galaxy, are we ready to receive the greatest gift of all-the gift of our true selves? The stage is set, the choice is ours, and the cosmos is waiting. Do we have the wisdom to marry science, history, tradition, and belief into the miracle that awaits us on December 21, 2012?

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Annual-Nov 2011

Legend of the Nomad Alex Mero

Chapter 8 Unlimited Trust Conviction - Awakening - Beauty - Message returned to the swimming pool terrace. It had become very warm, but it was cool in the shade of the great trees. João ordered some coconut milk. Melvin thanked his guests for coming to visit him and, addressing Vadim, said. “Finally we see each other again. This time we will have more time to exchange our ideas.” “Thanks to you, since you invited us.” “Thanks to you also, since you accepted!” “You have a lot in common,” Nathan said. “Both of you are trying to realize the same objective. I find it fascinating that you are meeting up with each other again.” Vadim reacted first, by telling Melvin: “I know that you are famous for presenting and sharing wisdom as a way of living directed towards spiritual rest and inner happiness.” “The spirit does not shine only for itself,” Melvin stated. “Anyway, it is mostly because of the reflection of this light in other spirits that one becomes conscious.” “In this way, you can free people from their illusions,” Vadim added, “and show them the pure reality exterior to the limitations of usual observation.” “You do that too,” Melvin said. “Thanks to your work, people are better able to understand that the world is not a random collection of coincidental circumstances, but a curiously ordered system.” Nathan listened to these special men as they exchanged compliments with each other. “What you have in common for sure,” he told them, “is that you are both able to influence the fixed beliefs of people.” “And therefore of all humanity,” Vadim added. “Indeed,” Melvin agreed, “because in the end, humanity consists of the sum of all convictions united. They form the source from which all feelings and actions originate.” “Another thing you have in common,” Nathan noted, “is that both of you are sensitive towards the world's essence and want to specifically clarify this aspect.” “Communication with others is an important factor,” Melvin said. “That's right,” Vadim agreed. “When we are in a

Conviction After several stopovers Nathan and Vadim finally arrived in Salvador do Bahia. Melvin was waiting for them. The first words Vadim and Melvin exchanged immediately set the tone for exciting conversations. “Welcome to the country of the future!” Melvin said. “Why is that so?” Vadim said. “Because of what is being said about this country,” Melvin answered, “namely that Brazil is the country of never-ending hope.” As Nathan had expected, Vadim and Melvin showed a great interest and appreciation of each other. When they were driving from the airport to the pousada, Melvin explained why he was so in love with his country. He spoke poetically about the wonderful people and the extraordinary landscapes. Melvin said that in Brazil there had been a meeting of indigenous, African and European cultures. “All these cultures are still being experienced here!” He said. While they were driving along the coast to the north, Nathan could see that he had arrived in a special country. The first impressions enthralled him and gave him an unreal feeling, as if he was admiring a painting. The landscape before him was surrounded by tropical forests with the Atlantic Ocean in the background and a magnificent blue sky overhead. They arrived at a place called Sitio do Conde. On the beach they found wooden huts, designed using palm leaves and surrounded by coconut palms. Once at the pousada, Nathan and Vadim were introduced to the very friendly João, Melvin's good friend and a man with a true love of life. He had designed the pousada himself and spoke proudly of how he had created it, down to the smallest of details. Both the huge villa and the exotic garden with swimming pool were attractively designed. Nathan said that it was clear this had been done with enthusiasm. After João had given a tour, he took his guests to their rooms. Fifteen minutes later everyone

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Annual-Nov 2011 closed world of thought, our productivity comes to a standstill. It is in confronting others that dialogue becomes possible.” “It is only in an open exchange of thoughts that knowledge can grow and that appreciation, understanding and enchantment can thrive organically,” Melvin continued. “When people pay attention to each other, their spirits meet,” Vadim said. “Their thoughts then intertwine and disperse themselves, which gives meaning to their existence.” “Do you also see differences between us?” Melvin wanted to know. “Not fundamental ones anyway. Maybe, from his particular experience, Vadim has more of an eye for provable evidence and Melvin assumes that it is more important that we don't judge one another.” “Our common target is that the three of us strive for more happiness in the world,” Vadim concluded.

a friendly manner by almost everyone they met. Melvin told them that the inhabitants of Salvador were very happy people who took every opportunity to have a party. After a long walk through the city they arrived at a place where athletic boys and girls were dancing Capoeira, which is the graceful martial art. The art is to make strong movements while dancing as close to your opponent as possible without touching them. The men sat down on an attractive restaurant terrace. Melvin ordered a meal from the region, chicken with shrimp pasta cooked in palm oil and tomato sauce. While they were waiting they drank three cool Caipirinhas, the national drink of Brazil. Then they took the time to admire the wonderful artistry of the Capoeira dancers. All the appropriate elements were present for good conversation, which was this group's favorite pastime. Nathan set the tone here as well. While he spoke, he pointed at the dancers. “Does passion have to be one of the conditions of happiness?” “Happiness is mainly experienced when one can express one's creativity and joy,” Melvin answered. “If you look at them, you can see that they have carefully studied their movements. Now they express their creativity and their joy by sharing it with us.” “I share the same opinion,” Vadim said. “In my opinion, there is no one defined path that everyone should follow to find happiness. A happy life can only be enforced while looking for the path that is the true one for us and then by following it.” “Yes, it arises as a result of discovering who we really are,” Melvin continued, “from the development of our specific talents and from sharing those talents with others.” “As you have illustrated so beautifully,” Nathan said. “Indeed, I think that both of us have learned to develop our happiness by sharing our knowledge,” Melvin revealed. “We know that the more we share our knowledge, the more will be added to it. That's probably why we are always searching for new people.” “I experience this process with my students,” Vadim said. “When I'm teaching, this means that what is in my head is transferred in as many parts as there are listeners and, since each one has a different past, each one has a different context.” “Definitely, I have noticed how each one of your students has received your messages taking them from different points of view,” Nathan

Melvin suggested that Nathan and Vadim rest for the remainder of the day since they had just completed a long journey. He would wait for them the next day in Salvador and show them the city. After lunch, Nathan and Vadim went to explore the coast. They rented a car and drove to a captivating place called Mangue Seco. When they arrived, the sun was shining fully on the uninterrupted beach. The water was an astonishing turquoise green. Vadim lay himself down in the shade of the neighboring trees while Nathan dove into the clear water. When it became cooler, they visited the village. Then they returned to their pousada in Sitio do Conde where they enjoyed a pleasurable meal. The next day they drove to Salvador and there, as agreed, Melvin was waiting at his home to take them on a tour of the city. Melvin lived in Santo Antonio, an older district with attractive houses. Melvin's house had a view of the city beach. From his roof terrace Melvin could see his guests arriving. He let them in and offered them cool water. Then they began their tour of the city. First they visited the heart of the city, the district of Pelourinho. A welcoming district with many colorful houses. Here they also found many restaurants, terraces and small bars, from which lively music reverberated. Melvin told them that African culture was so deeply rooted there, that Salvador was called the African memory of Brazil. Everywhere, you could see black women who were wearing beautiful white dresses and intricately designed head wraps. The men were greeted in

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Annual-Nov 2011 remarked. The information was filtered by their personal beliefs and their own feelings. “Because of this our listeners can discover things that we may not have noticed,” Melvin emphasized. “That's what is so brilliant about knowledge,” Vadim said. “The more knowledge we share, the greater our knowledge becomes!” “There is little that gives us more satisfaction than finding fellow creatures that want to approach us, from their own inner experience! The philosopher declared.” Nathan was elated by the conversation and used it to plunge deeper into topics. “You are part of those who strive daily to use insight for good. Is striving for good something that can be taught?” “I believe so,” Vadim answered, “even though good is something experienced rather than thought. However, it is true that we become similar to the person around us, that's a tendency that we find in all humans.” “Certainly, we are all inclined to revert or to elevate ourselves to the level of the people around us,” Melvin agreed. “All of us teach what we demonstrate with our own behavior.” “This confirms what I have always thought,” Nathan said. “So, good can also be taught and can be conveyed.” “Sure, the scientist confirmed, though it should be noted that to achieve sincere goodness, the listener will have to take the necessary actions.”

“It is a special country with a unique mentality. The candidness and the positive attitude of the American people have repeatedly impressed me.” “Exactly, and that is because Americans are pioneers, their ancestors come from all possible corners of the world. I myself have brought my Russian intellectual and cultural background with me.” “That is probably what I experienced. Maybe the country does not have a long history, but it does have the timeless history of its inhabitants.” “Given that it embodies the history of all cultures, it is probably able to experience and express the inner evolution of humanity in a way that no other can.” With this, Vadim had answered Nathan's question perfectly. Since childhood, Vadim wanted to contribute to the inner evolution of humanity and for him the States provided the ideal place to continue his work. “Your part in this is of great value,” Nathan continued, “and I wish you every success.” The next day, Nathan accompanied Vadim to the airport where they said goodbye. Both men had become friends. “Thanks to you,” Nathan said, “I have learned to appreciate how the smallest details in this world acquire infinite meaning considering the universal order.” “Personally, thanks to you, I now have obtained an unlimited confidence in knowing that everything in the universe goes according to a plan,” Vadim said. “This confidence was already developing before I met you, but it has become infinitely strengthened.” “Those are almost the same words Deborah said to me when we said goodbye,” Nathan remarked. “You are by far the most exceptional person both she and I have ever met. Melvin told me the same thing.” Nathan listened to Vadim while he gazed into the distance. “I know that you have high expectations,” he said quietly. “But especially trust, Nathan. All of us trust that you will restore the balance between the rational and the spiritually irrational.” After these words, they said goodbye to each other. While Nathan was driving back to the pousada, he kept thinking about Vadim's last words. He would spend the rest of the day by the sea and leave the pousada the next day. Nathan rented a car and informed Melvin that

During the next few days the men discussed many things. These conversations always took place at some spectacular coastal town in the Bahia State, each one more captivating than the other. The first week in Brazil flew by and Vadim had to return to San Francisco. As expected, Nathan did not return, he knew he still had to see and learn many things in Brazil. Vadim said his goodbyes to Melvin the day before and together with Melvin's neighbors a small party was organized. The evening before Vadim flew back to the United States, he spent some time alone with Nathan. They talked about the country Vadim had chosen as his new homeland. “Why did you move to the United States and not to another country?” Nathan wanted to know. “Even as a child the country attracted me, I have always known that I would relocate there. But let me answer your question with a new question. What were your impressions while you were traveling through the States?”

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Annual-Nov 2011 he would explore the northeast coast between Salvador and Recife. This coastal road was surrounded by coconut palms interspersed with the rain forest; there were sheltered fishing villages and magnificent white beaches. Nathan learned to speak quite a lot of Portuguese and experienced a variety of experiences. He found the areas he visited were friendly in every way. In the larger cities Nathan took his time to gather as many impressions as possible. Thus he stayed several days in Aracaju, Maceió and Recife, where he met wonderful people. He stayed the longest in the beautiful Recife, before returning his rental car and flying back to Salvador.

improve health, such as turtle shells, snake skins and other exotic items, each one with its so called supernatural powers. “Many of these impostors spread darkness over the lives of others,” Melvin said. “They preach a false wisdom that is contagious because people look up to them since they are seen to be in a powerful position.” “How do you distinguish between sincere people and impostors?” “People with evil intentions often hide their true personalities in relationships. You can discover this in various ways, there are always signs, and their eyes are usually the first thing that gives them away.”

Awakening

After a while, Nathan and Melvin arrived at a place where a group of people were sitting on the ground attending a ceremony. Melvin suggested that they stay to watch. Nathan agreed, and they sat down on the ground. It was a very theatrical performance, which formed part of a ritual, a man made a dense cloud of smoke and shouted loudly. Nathan found the performance dull, but what intrigued him most was how most spectators were earnestly looking up at this man. He had a similar feeling to the one he had when he had gone to the spiritual meeting with Songo. Here many also believed in the strange powers of the man. After a couple of minutes, Nathan told Melvin that they were spectators of an ordinary show and that he wanted to leave. Melvin saw how irritated Nathan had become because of the deceit being displayed. When they both got up to leave, all the people present were surprised. They had just arrived and they were already leaving. The man, who was performing, had also noticed them. Then something much unexpected happened. The man, who saw his credibility being questioned, interrupted his ritual and ordered Nathan to remain seated. Although Nathan was startled, he thanked the man and made it clear to him he would be leaving. In spite of this, the man still insisted. “Stay, because you also need to be cleansed!” Now everybody was looking in Nathan's direction. Melvin stayed very calm. Now Nathan understood that he had not got into this situation by chance and answered the man in a strong tone of voice. “No, thank you, I have seen enough!” The man was frightened by Nathan's shouting. “Do you have to shout?” He said. “Pardon me; I thought you could not hear well, as you were shouting the entire time.”

When Nathan again met Melvin he told him about the marvelous time he had and described his experiences. He spoke of the impressive green woods he had seen and told Melvin how he had driven along white beaches that seemed to him to be completely unreal. Nathan said how he had noticed that despite some people having little to their name they still radiated a joy in living, with their vivacious music and dancing. These amazing people had left their impression on him along with the magnificence of natural environment that he had discovered. Nathan discussed how he had experienced small setbacks and unexpected events. He had noticed that, as a result, he had experienced each meeting as though it had a special meaning, both for him and for those he had met. “When you travel through Brazil, Melvin said, you must not plan too much, because it must be experienced.” “Thanks to my encounters I have discovered the existence of new things. For instance, what I have noticed most in this country is that many people are superstitious.” “You don't have to travel far too fully grasp how great is the influence of superstition in Brazil. Here in Salvador there are more than enough examples.” That night, thanks to Melvin, Nathan would discover a multitude of spiritual beliefs and magical rituals. There were small shops and stands where a large variety of lucky charms, magical herbs and magical drinks were being sold in various places in the city. Several articles were to put a curse on someone or compel them to confess their love. In addition, Nathan found a wide variety of powders sold to

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Annual-Nov 2011 Now some of the people present had difficulty in containing their laughter. The man was clearly not happy about this. That did not stop Nathan, he continued speaking to him. “But tell me, why should I be cleansed?” “From your sins,” the man answered. “Did I hear you right?” Nathan replied. Now Nathan looked at the spectators and spoke in his best Portuguese. “Is this man stating that he is able to cleanse me of my sins?” Then he turned again towards the man. “Is this what you want these people to believe?” Nathan asked. “Don't you know that we are on earth to suffer and in this way to cleanse ourselves of our sins?” The man responded. Again Nathan looked silently at all the spectators and then said the following words to them. “Mark my words well and this applies to everyone present here. Nobody is on this earth to suffer! And nobody is able to cleanse us, except ourselves! Each one of us has this life to improve ourselves and if we choose this path, then we are able to experience true joy!” The man wanted to react, but could not think of anything to say. None of his ideas were strong enough to extricate him from this situation. He was clearly out of his element and decided to challenge Nathan. “Shall I prove my powers to you?” He shouted. Nathan addressed him personally and spoke calmly. “Your powers have no secrets for me. What you do is use fear to fill the future of those who believe in you with unpleasant experiences. And you know that you are the greatest victim, because their fear will not easily leave you.” The man was without words. It was as if he had lost his voice. Nathan had turned the fear against him. Now the man became very restless. Nathan continued speaking in a calm voice. “Now that you have learned this through me, you no longer have an excuse. So, remember in all your actions and the intentions preceding them, that each moment can make the difference between life and death!” After he had said these words, Nathan turned and walked away. He walked home with Melvin through the dark streets of Salvador. All the people at the meeting had been impressed by his words; some even followed Nathan and Melvin for a distance. Some teenagers walked up to them to say that the man had packed up

and left. Nathan was quiet, and Melvin let him choose the moment to break the silence, which only happened after several minutes when they were alone. “This event has angered me,” Nathan said. “I could not control my feelings any longer.” “Our power is closely related to our weaknesses. Together they ensure the balance that makes us who we truly are. Your anger shows the person you are, Nathan.” “The person I am?” “You have an inborn dislike of injustice. This is why you feel for all those people who allow themselves to be misguided and it angers you. But it is also this anger that prompts you to do what you did. This anger made you stand up defiantly and, in this way, make that man take action.” This was new to Nathan and it also made everything a lot clearer. Negative feelings could confront us and make us do the right thing. “My anger did make me act that way.” “Here too, and maybe to a greater extent, insight is of great importance. We must be careful of negative feelings and make sure that they do not surprise us. We can do this by taking the time to choose how we will deal with them.” Nathan was deep in thought and said nothing more until they were standing in front of the door at Melvin's house. “Thanks, Melvin. I have learned an important lesson today.” “I also want to thank you, on behalf of all those present; we have witnessed a strong example of courage and inspiration.” Nathan and Melvin now spent most of the following days together in each other's company. Both enjoyed each other's presence and talked for hours. One day Melvin and Nathan were invited to visit by Adriana, the mother of two-year old Claudio who was Melvin's son. Melvin and Adriana had never lived together, but had a good understanding. Melvin did not want to commit himself and Adriana accepted this. Adriana and Claudio lived in Puerto Seguro, a city in the south of Bahia State. When they arrived at Adriana's house, Nathan immediately saw that she and Melvin had a good friendship. Nathan and Melvin were to stay there for a week. The incident with the man in Salvador had made a deep impression on Nathan. Along with Melvin he tried to understand how people were diverted from their true spirituality by false

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Annual-Nov 2011 beliefs. Thus they had an interesting discussion regarding this subject while they were strolling through the city of Arraial d'Ajuda. “It's a pity that spirituality is no more than expressing acquired expressions,” Nathan said. “That's why the deeper meaning of spirituality is lost and there is little understanding of higher meaning.” “As you know, there are different gradations of consciousness. Many must first become aware of their deepest feelings before they can make any deeper spiritual exploration.” “Because of their beliefs, they lack insight into true spirituality. True spirituality is experienced without rational arguments, because it is inspired by our intuition.” “We have to accept that many are diverted during a phase when they believe what they want to and ignore what they prefer not to know, regardless of the facts.” “So they ignore what they intrinsically are able to know.” “For many intrinsic knowledge has been replaced by their beliefs.” “And their beliefs have been replaced with their own opinions.” “It is much clearer for me now,” Nathan said, “why so many are convinced of imaginary truths told them by others.” “It usually happens to them during their childhood, when they have not yet acquired enough knowledge or when they are in a weak position as an adult during their spiritual search.” Nathan thought again about the large so-called congregation he had witnessed in South Africa. “The power of indoctrination is no longer a mystery,” Nathan said. “Now I understand that the human being is able to imagine a distant future and that this imagination is usually guided by fear.” “And those feelings of fear that are not mastered, keep creating new feelings of fear,” Melvin told him. “This applies to fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of losing and all other facets of fear.” “Fear is truly the agent through which people can lose their power,” Nathan said. “In order to outrun this fear many chose to listen to those who present them with an ideal scenario in which powerful higher beings hold onto everything.” “With such thoughts, people are encouraged to make great sacrifices,” Melvin continued. “When their expectations are realized, they thank their imagined upper beings and when

their expectations are not realized, they keep insisting that the way of their higher beings is unfathomable.” “For these people all events confirm the authenticity of their belief,” Nathan concluded. “I sometimes ask myself if these people are not happier because of these imaginary higher beings. What do you think, Nathan?” Nathan took some time before speaking. “They have learned to give satisfaction to their higher beings by showing perfect behavior. That is something impossible to do and so they develop feelings of guilt. To be happy they must first get rid of these self-imposed feelings of guilt.” “That's right, they cannot be happy because they have been taught that they live in sin. The ceaseless thought that they are sinners has made many of them fatalistic. What could free them of this?” “On their own, it is not the sins that make them unhappy, but their vision of these sins. So knowledge is the only thing that can set them free so that they can experience true happiness.” “You are right, only knowledge can sober them up and set them free.” “Knowledge is realizing the essence of our existence,” Nathan continued. “The realization that we have come onto this planet to develop ourselves step-by-step and not to stop before we have understood the universe.” Melvin listened attentively to Nathan and became increasingly impressed by his insight. “What is your understanding of the universe, Nathan?” “When I think about the universe, I experience a feeling of unity. It is as if I am in touch with the universe in me. I experience an even intense way of looking at how everything forms part of one whole and a realization that the earth and every living being are also part of me.” Melvin looked at Nathan with admiration. He remembered their first meeting. What he had seen in him then was now being fully expressed. Melvin had realized for himself that Nathan was an exceptional man. “Besides your natural gifts,” Melvin said, “you also have the attributes of a master.” Nathan was intrigued by this statement. “You are able to immediately understand what someone needs. It is not difficult for you to expel any sense of rivalry and you can keep fanning the flame of interest like no one else I know can. As a result, you are someone who can bring others to broader insights with your

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Annual-Nov 2011 words and can enable them to develop their abilities.” Nathan thanked Melvin for the compliment. “I have been lucky to spend time with excellent masters who were my examples,” responded Nathan.

arrived in Salvador. Just like the sun, she also shone when she saw Nathan. They fell into each other's arms and hugged each other long and with great tenderness. Nathan introduced Sophie to Melvin. On the way to the city, Sophie told them how successful her visit to the United States had been. Her works were greatly admired and there were many exhibits on the program. She also said how helpful and interesting Jennifer and all her friends had been. Jennifer had sent her greetings and had added that Nathan had made an unforgettable impression on them. Finally, Sophie told them something that made Nathan very happy. Zack and Deborah were together again, and they were planning to live together quite soon. They had not yet decided between New York and San Francisco.

Before returning to Salvador, Nathan, Melvin, Adriana and Claudio sailed on a catamaran yacht from Caravelas to the islands of Abrolhos. They admired the whales near these islands. When Nathan returned with Melvin to Salvador, Sophie informed them that she would be flying to San Francisco the following month. Nathan had told her, while he was staying in the United States, that there were many possibilities for artists in both New York and California. He sent her Jennifer's address and phone number and said that it might be of interest to fly there.

The first few days Nathan and Sophie spent much time together on idyllic coastline to the south of Salvador along the beautiful beaches stretching to Itacaré. First, they visited the natural baths of Morro de São Paulo. The natural beauty of the area and the friendliness of its inhabitants immediately charmed Sophie. After Morro de São Paulo they traveled further and discovered the paradise beaches of Maraú. There Nathan and Sophie had time to discuss their latest experiences. It appeared that Sophie had frequently received signs. From their conversations, Nathan understood that Sophie had strongly developed her spirituality, which appeared mainly in her attitude towards others and from the questions she asked.

Sophie had followed Nathan's advice and had contacted Jennifer. It was instantaneously a good match and Jennifer invited Sophie to the United States. Sophie would first go to New York, where she had made a number of appointments with gallery managers. She told Nathan that she missed him and wanted to see him. He assured her that he felt the same way and suggested they travel together through Brazil afterwards. Sophie thought it was a wonderful idea and enthusiastically told him that she had met Uiara a year ago, a Brazilian artist living in Belo Horizonte. Uiara had asked her several times to visit her. Nathan thought about this and then answered that, when they were traveling through Brazil, they could definitely visit Belo Horizonte. Nathan told Melvin he would be staying in Brazil for some time and that Sophie would be arriving. Melvin was happy to hear Nathan would be extending his stay.

While there were only the two of them at the beach, Sophie asked Nathan an important question. She wanted to know how she could convince other people that each one of us has a unique purpose in life and that all of us form part of a universal order. “I have had many conversations throughout the past year about the universal order we live in,” Sophie said. “I have noticed how difficult this subject is for people who do not believe in the existence of a higher power.” “For those who have lost their faith, in whatever they form a part, the renewed discovery of a higher power is the most important purpose in this life!” “How can we help them to become aware of this?” Nathan looked at Sophie. The sun was shining in her green eyes. Her skin had become a

During the following weeks Nathan accompanied Melvin when he travelled to give his lectures in the northeast states of Brazil. Just as Vadim had done, Melvin also asked if Nathan would help him prepare the texts of the lectures. The weeks flew by and Nathan learned a lot. His fascination with Brazil had increased and he was looking forward to exploring the rest of the country with Sophie. Beauty It was a beautiful, sunny day when Sophie

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Annual-Nov 2011 beautiful red brown color. Nathan realized how much he loved her, in a way he did not love anyone else. He rolled onto his side in the sand and nestled so that her head was on his chest. “It's a question that I have been asking myself since I was young,” Nathan said, “a question that keeps me busy every day.” “What are the answers you have found?” Nathan thought about this and sought for the right words. “The discovery of the existence of a higher power is a process that can only take place through personal experience.” “Can we stimulate that process in others?” Sophie asked. “Only when a person is ready for it and not any earlier.” “But how then?” Nathan understood that Sophie needed a concrete example. “When you notice that a person is sincerely looking for infallible evidence of the existence of a higher power, and then asks the person to go alone to the water on a clear night and to look at the sky.” “By a lake? On the sea?” “This is not important. When people gaze for a long time at the depth and the vastness of the sky they are suddenly surprised by a strange feeling and they come to experience the wondrous universe.” “Does it always happen like this?” “There are many ways to open up fully to this experience. The only requirement is to be ready for it.” “What if they are afraid?” “Conquering their fear forms part of that process. Tell them that they should fear nothing. On the contrary, it is a wonderful feeling, a feeling that they will never forget.”

during my lecture in Los Angeles?” Melvin asked. “I still remember exactly what you said,” Nathan answered. “You spoke about the dimensions into which reality can be divided: the physical, the intellectual and the spiritual.” “This time I want to deepen that theme and to show that, along with the knowledge hidden in these dimensions, there is another inner knowledge that is just as important for getting us in touch with the universe within us.” “I'm very interested. Why didn't you say anything about this in Los Angeles?” “Because I have only just realized that the source of this knowledge is not in our observable reality. It may sound strange, but it only became clear to me on board the catamaran yacht near the islands of Abrolhos, while I was looking at the whales with Claudio in my arms.” “What were you thinking about then?” “I was reminded of the conversation we had in Arraial d'Ajuda when you were talking about your experience of the universe we live in.” “What was your insight?” “What became clear to me was that to understand the essence of life, and observable knowledge, there is just as much need of something else…” “Need of what, Melvin?” Nathan asked full of curiosity. “… of beauty, Nathan! We have to learn to recognize and experience beauty everywhere. Nathan said nothing for a while and remained deep in thought.” “I realized that knowledge alone cannot make the essence of the higher recognizable to us. Knowledge does help us to better understand the things we already know deep inside ourselves, but we have just as much need of experiencing beauty, beauty in all its forms.” Nathan was listening very attentively. To be able to experience beauty we have to develop a special attribute, which is deep receptiveness. The more receptive we become, the more beauty we recognize. Melvin now waited for Nathan's reaction, since he was looking out of the window. It was only after a few moments that Nathan reacted. “You are completely right, Melvin. By learning to recognize beauty, we discover the essence of the person, of nature and of the higher power!” Melvin was happy that Nathan also shared his opinion and insight. “The world is wondrous,” Nathan continued. “Why do you say that?” Melvin asked.

Upon their return to Salvador, Melvin told them he had been invited to a convention in Fortaleza and that Adriana and Claudio would go with him. Melvin asked if Nathan and Sophie would like to join them. Melvin suggested staying about five days in this city in the north of the country. Nathan and Sophie accepted and when it was time, everybody gathered at the airport. During the flight little Claudio slept. Thus Sophie and Adriana could get to know each other without interruption. Melvin discussed the lecture he would be giving in Fortaleza with Nathan. “Do you still remember how I divided observable reality into three dimensions

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Annual-Nov 2011 “Adnan, a friend of mine who lives in Morocco, once told me that large fish are always in a state of deep awareness, a kind of meditative state. He said that if we could find enough sensitivity for this silence, we could receive insights, which came from areas still unknown to us.” Now Melvin was thinking. “You think, he then asked Nathan, that I came to this insight while I was watching the whales?” “You know, Melvin,” Nathan answered, “I am convinced that we still have a lot to learn from nature.” “Once I met a very remarkable old indigenous man,” Melvin said. “It was in Lençois, a small city in the interior of Bahia. His name was Thiago; he worked as a guide in the natural area of Chapada Diamantina.” “How did you meet him?” “He had come to one of my lectures, and was remarkable amidst the people present. After my lecture he came to introduce himself. He told me that his ancestors were of the Pataxó tribe, the original inhabitants of the region. I remember that he thanked me for who I was. I asked him how he saw me. As someone who helps others to understand what they feel and why they feel it,” he answered. “Did you ever see that man again?” “No, but he did say that we would see each other again. I answered that it was possible as I traveled quite a bit. What he then said was strange. He said there would come a day when I would look him up in Chapada Diamantina.” Melvin tried to remember the exact words of the conversation. “I asked him why he thought I would be looking him up. He gave a rather strange answer. He said that if I wanted to understand the true reason for our existence, first I would have to be able to recognize the beauty of life.” “Did he say anything else?” “He said that whoever was able to do this experienced an inner peace that leads to essential completion.” Both Nathan and Melvin did not speak for a while. Nathan looked at the blue sky through the window: “Maybe now is the time to look for this man, he said. Do you know where to find him?” Melvin thought. “He spoke about a camp on the road of the magical spring.” The plane landed at Fortaleza Airport. It was midday and the conference would begin on the following day. The group went to their hotel

and then went to explore the city. The first place they walked to was the district Irecemar. Fortaleza was a city full of atmosphere with a welcoming center, beautiful sandy beaches and enjoyable restaurants and bars. Party music was being played and the people were friendly, and they explained that this was because they lived in the sun's state. The next day Melvin held his lecture. At the end he mentioned what he had discussed with Nathan about the importance of the search to experience beauty. The lecture was well received. Nathan could see that Melvin was on the way to becoming famous. Nathan heard from a woman in the crowd that Melvin's books, besides their success in the United States, were being sold throughout Brazil and were very popular. The day after the lecture the group went to explore part of the coast of the state Ceara. The breathtaking dunes reminded Nathan of the Sahara. Here, nature also radiated serenity and gave a sensational feeling of freedom. On the paradise of a beach at Jericoacoara, or Jeri as it is called locally, Melvin told them he had decided to look for Thiago in the Chapada Diamantina. He also said he would like it if Nathan and Sophie would accompany them. On the return flight to Salvador, Nathan and Sophie discussed Melvin's proposal. Sophie spoke of all they had read about this area and that they had a feeling they would be going there. A couple of days later they left for Lençois. Adriana could not go with them because of her commitments at the hospital, where she worked. Once they arrived in Lençois, they spent the night in a hotel and left the following morning on a bus traveling to the pristine natural area of the Chapada Diamantina. At the start of their journey Melvin, Nathan and Sophie became enthralled by the imposing mountain landscapes and the amazing variety of flora and fauna they found there. They walked along deep valleys, beside rivers and lakes of wondrous beauty. After walking for some hours through a tropical forest, Nathan heard a noise that became increasingly louder. Somewhat later Sophie heard it and then also Melvin. Nathan walked faster than the others and was the first to get out of the forest. Suddenly he stopped and looked up. Sophie and Melvin rushed to his side. All three of them

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Annual-Nov 2011 were impressed by the amazing view... a splendid waterfall. At the bottom of the waterfall there was a wonderful lagoon. Nathan and Sophie rushed towards it, stripped off their clothes and jumped into the water. Melvin let them go and sat down on a rock to quietly enjoy the scene. Only after the insistence of Nathan and Sophie did Melvin put on shorts and jumped into the water. “This must be one of the few places on earth that has remained untouched,” Nathan said. “Do you know what I'm thinking about now, Melvin?” Sophie asked. “About your words on beauty. I found that to be the best part of your lecture and many others thought the same.” “Almost everyone was talking about this after the lecture,” Nathan continued. “A man even told me something very beautiful, he said: Happiness is always reflected in beauty!” “Very beautiful indeed,” Melvin said. After their swim they continued. They met a group of young people on an excursion and asked the guide if they knew where the magical spring was. The guide said that they were probably talking about the enchanted spring. He said the easiest way to get there was through the water. They had to follow the small streams until they came to the big river. Once there they could take a gaiola, those were small riverboats used by the local inhabitants. They followed his advice and arrived half an hour later at the shore of the São Francisco, a broad river flowing through the Chapada Diamantina. From there they could see some local people sitting in their gaiola's on the other side of the river. They waved, and one of the men came towards them. Melvin asked if he could take them to the enchanted spring. The man signaled that they could get in.

them to step off, the man answered they had come to Thiago. Sophie suggested scheduling a time for the boatman to pick them up again. When Melvin started to discuss this topic, the boatman let him know that now they were with Thiago and that they should not worry, after which they watched the man in the boat disappear up the river. They had just started walking, when suddenly an old man appeared, walking towards them. He had dark skin and naked torso. His long black hair was gathered into a ponytail. He looked very fit, despite his age. “Hi Melvin, marvelous that you have brought your friends along.” Melvin looked up. He recognized Thiago, but was surprised that Thiago had come to pick them up here. It seemed as if the old man had known Melvin would visit him on that day. “Hi Thiago,” Melvin said… “and I thought I would be surprising you.” “You don't surprise an old warrior like me so easily,” Thiago laughed. Melvin introduced Thiago to Nathan and Sophie. Thiago greeted Sophie first. When Thiago shook Nathan's hand, he held onto it for a long time, while he looked at him silently. Quite a few moments later he let Nathan's hand go and then addressed everyone. “I'm honored by your arrival and welcome you.” Immediately after, Thiago turned and gestured for them to follow him. They walked through a tropical forest where wild orchids were growing. The thought intriguing Melvin, Nathan and Sophie was how it was possible that Thiago had appeared at the moment of their arrival. Thiago had said he was expecting them, but how was that possible? Melvin had not told him of their arrival, he did not even know where he lived. Melvin heard that Nathan and Sophie were talking about it and signed that he did not understand it either. They decided not to discuss it further. Nathan only said he was curious to know what he would be learning from this journey.

On board all three enjoyed the magnificent landscapes and the serenity of the place. Nathan said this was one of the most inspiring places he had ever been to. Melvin asked the indigenous boatman why the spring they were going to was called the enchanted spring. The man said that this spring had a magical power. Every person who looked through the crystal clear water to the bottom would forever remember its beauty. Nathan lay down with his head in Sophie's lap and quietly enjoyed the landscape. When he heard the man's words, he sat up; Nathan and Melvin looked at each other, but did not exchange a word. Somewhat later the man moored the boat. Melvin asked him if he knew Thiago. While he calmly helped

After a long walk they arrived at a small camp, which had been created at the entrance of a deep cave. There the group was welcomed by a couple of women and children. “I live here,” Thiago said, “along with our small community. I am the oldest man; the other men are working now. They work as guides and guide visitors in the area. They will be back

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Annual-Nov 2011 Sophie asked. “These are the wisdoms that make us see why we are on earth and what our purpose is here. Thiago calmly took some time before he started speaking.” “The first wisdom understands the natural environment we come from, our parents who created us and the community where we have grown up. To understand our possibilities and limitations and begin to grow, it is important to discover which genes and values we have taken over.” At that moment a brilliantly colored butterfly settled on Thiagos shoulder. Thiago continued calmly. “The second wisdom is to become aware that we have unique abilities. Here nature also helps to remind us that we form the most recent link in the chain of evolution and that we have the amazing ability to experience things such as fantasy, creativity and love.” Having said this, Thiago stood up and returned with a basket of mangos. Everyone thought Thiago would be using the mangos to illustrate the third wisdom. He put the basket in the middle, took one, cut it open and ate it. While he was enjoying his mango, he stared dreamily away. Melvin, Nathan and Sophie looked at each other in wonder. A long time went by without anyone saying anything, until Melvin asked Thiago if there was not a third wisdom to follow. Thiago looked at him and again cut off a piece of mango. After he had eaten this, he answered. “You could guess the third wisdom, being that one day we will no longer be on this earth.” Having said this, he again stared off dreamily. Nathan, as well as Sophie and Melvin, were surprised by Thiagos capacity to teach and his wisdom. “We want to thank you,” Melvin said, “for sharing with us what nature has taught you.” “We also think that many people have lost their contact with nature,” Nathan added. “Many have even lost contact with their fellow human beings,” Sophie ended. “What is not used, wastes away,” Thiago said. “When one can no longer experience the power of nature, one loses the feeling of connection with the earth, the flora, the fauna and finally also with our fellow human beings.” “The question is whether everyone is still able to understand nature,” Melvin asked. “At this moment, many are not even able to understand their own feelings,” Thiago answered. “And yet, it is only through our

soon.” In the meantime, it had become quite late and the sun was setting. Nathan could see that women were preparing the evening meal. It seemed as if they would be spending the night here. Thiago told them that he would give them more information about the magical spring the next day. In the meantime, Melvin had freshened up and Sophie had gone with the group of women. The fact that she did not know the language did not keep her from communicating with them. Sophie had no trouble in adjusting to the situation. Thiago gathered wood to make a fire and Nathan helped him. The scene reminded him of the day he had walked to the top of the Tajumulco together with the wise man and the woman and had built a fire across the border from Mexico in Guatemala. This time the fire would only serve to light the camp at nightfall. When the wood had been gathered, it was Melvin's honor to light it. Meanwhile, the younger men had returned and sat down around the fire. They got to know their visitors then they ate a vegetarian meal. After the meal everyone gathered closer and spoke to each other. “I have already visited several large cities, but none of them could captivate me,” Thiago started. “Even more, I don't understand why so many people choose to live in places where there is so much pollution, poverty and violence.” “Many are only trying to survive,” Nathan answered. “What objectives are these people trying to reach?” “They don't have a great purpose or ideals and usually live withdrawn into themselves,” Nathan continued. “They live in confusion,” Melvin said. “They strive for material riches, something they think is necessary.” Sophie addressed Thiago. “What would you do if you could change the world these people live in?” Thiago thought about this. “I see the world as a spiritual desert. I would let people experience the power of nature again, so that they are reminded that they form part of it too. And, in this way, they could stand still in the three existential wisdoms.” Melvin translated for Nathan and Sophie, who had difficulty understanding Thiago. “What are these three existential wisdoms?”

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Annual-Nov 2011 feelings that we can understand the infinity of nature.” Nathan was impressed by what Thiago had learned without education. He knew from Melvin that Thiago had never gone to school or even read a book. And yet he possessed a level of knowledge that was far above average. Thiago proposed that the all go to sleep early, so that they would be rested for the journey in the morning. The sleeping places for the guests had been prepared while they had been talking.

is the source of all life!” Thiagos tone became sterner. “For this, people will be confronted with the force of nature. What will seem to be great chaos at first; will gradually make us more aware of the order within the universe and of the unique role each one of us has within it!” Thiago drank some water and then continued in the same tone. “To confront us with her power, nature has sent someone to us. Someone who is able, as no other, to understand humanity and to know how he must accomplish this task.” When Melvin translated these words, it became clear to everyone that this person Thiago was now referring to was no other than Nathan. “Are you sure of your prediction?” Melvin asked. Now Thiago continued in a calm tone. “His arrival was announced long ago.” Sophie now spoke up. For her there was no doubt that Thiago was referring to Nathan. Melvin translated her question. “But how can you be so sure he is the one?” “I can recognize the different gradations of consciousness.” Thiago stopped talking and then continued: “I have never met anyone with such a deep homesickness for the higher power as Nathan.” Now that Nathan's name had been spoken, there was a silence until Nathan himself spoke. “What are the important lessons we will learn today at the magical spring?” Again Thiago took time to think before answering. “No matter how great our thinking capacity, eventually our spirit will meet boundaries that limit it. It is a boundary that can only be broken through when we see that the nature of our being is not in ourselves.” “Not in ourselves, but where is it then?” Melvin asked. “In the presence of our higher one,” Thiago answered. “What do you mean by our higher one?” Melvin asked. “I think I know what Thiago is talking about,” Nathan said. “He is referring to our true self, to that which was here before we were born and that which will be here after our death on earth… he is talking about our sensitivity.” Melvin translated what Nathan had said for Thiago and asked him if that was right. Thiago looked at Nathan and nodded affirmatively. “Our spirit sees small, but our sensitivity sees broad,” Thiago said.

The next morning the guests were awakened by the smell of warm beignets, a smell that reminded Nathan of his stay with Adnan in Morocco. After breakfast, Thiago, Nathan, Sophie and Melvin left for the magical spring. On their way, Melvin wanted to say something about the talk they had the previous day. Nathan listened without interrupting. “Thiago, I have thought about our talk from yesterday. Afterwards, I even wrote everything down, because I want to use it in my next lecture.” “That is also the reason for your stay here,” Thiago said. “So that you can teach people to pay more attention to nature.” “Indeed, I want to bring up the wonders of nature. It can help some to better place my words in the bigger picture.” Thiago nodded and said no more. Somewhat later Thiago stopped at an open space. It was probably a place that was usually used to rest or to talk. This could be determined by the tree trunks set in a circle. Thiago sat down and waited until everyone had done the same and he shared the water he had brought with him. It was clear that he had chosen this place to talk about the magical spring. After each sentence, Thiago waited to give Melvin time to translate his words. “All three of you did not come here today by chance, but to learn an important lesson, a lesson that will cast great light upon your destiny.” Thiago continued after a short pause. “The fact that you have met each other in this life is not a coincidence. Melvin, and you of course Sophie, are of vital importance to fulfill the great task.” Melvin limited himself to translating Thiagos words and did not ask any questions. Nathan and Sophie did not do so either. All three were curious about this great task that Thiago was speaking about. “People will again become part of the light that

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Annual-Nov 2011 “How can we be in contact with our sensitivity?” Sophie asked. “By learning to meditate on our most inner deep questions,” Thiago answered. Now, Thiago stood up and indicated that all had been said that should be said. They continued their journey to the magical spring. Everyone walked without talking. Thiago had given them enough to think about. After a while they arrived at the top of a hill. There they went into the hillside through a cave opening. Inside it was dark, but Thiago had brought lanterns along and distributed them. They walked carefully through the narrow tunnels in the cave until they finally found themselves in a large chamber. This space was open at the top so that sunlight could enter. Thiago signaled to them that they could put away the lanterns. Sophie held onto Nathan to see how deep the cave was. When she went so far that she could see the bottom, she encouraged Nathan and Melvin to also take a look. At the bottom there was a beautiful blue lake. This was the magical spring.

“Before diving, one must empty one's head completely,” Thiago said, “so that no thought can influence us.” Sophie could no longer wait and prepared to dive first. She walked to the edge and emptied her head. When it was time, she took in as much air as she could and then dove into the water as deep as she was able. After about two minutes she came back up. Nathan helped her. She sat down and looked at Nathan without saying a word. He took her in his arms and whispered how much he loved her. Thiago now smiled and signaled to Melvin that now it was his turn. Melvin walked to the edge in his shorts. He followed Sophie's example and jumped into the water. After about the same time as Sophie he came up again. Nathan also helped him up. Melvin was clearly impressed and did not say a word. First he stared at Sophie who nodded at him as if she knew what he was thinking. Then he stared at Nathan. Now it was Nathan's turn. He was aware that this would be a very far-reaching experience. He had known that from the moment Thiago had held his hand and had remained looking at him for a long time. Nathan stood up wearing only shorts and went to the edge of the water. Nathan knew that the secret of his gift would be discovered today. Before jumping he asked, that no one respond to whatever might happen today. He asked them to remain calm and to have an "unlimited trust" in a happy ending. When all three had answered affirmatively, he filled his lungs. A complete silence followed; there was really no sound to be heard.

Thiago started the descent to the spring, followed by his guests. It seemed as if they were going to the middle of a mountain. The more they descended along the narrow paths, the more they were thrilled by the beauty of the lake. Once down, they could see the clarity of the water. They tried to estimate its depth, but no matter how clear the water appeared to be, they could not see the bottom. Thiago sat down on a flat rock and invited his guests to sit down near him. Sophie was very excited. “You can sense that this spring is very special,” she said. “What are her magical powers?” Melvin asked. “This spring water cleanses us of falsehoods that we consider to be truths,” Thiago answered. “The deeper one can dive, the more learned falsehoods will disappear.” “If this is possible, it must be magic,” Sophie said. “Does it work for everyone?” “There are three conditions to fulfill,” Thiago told them. “The first is that we must really be searching for the truth. The second one is that, before we dive, we do not take more air in than our lungs can contain.” “Why is that?” Melvin asked. “Thoughts circulate through the air,” Thiago answered, “both the good and the bad, both the true and untrue.” “What is the third condition?” Sophie asked.

Now Nathan also dove into the water. The minutes flew by. Melvin was the first to become worried. He walked to the edge, but no matter how deep he looked into the clear water, Nathan was nowhere to be seen. Sophie knew that Nathan could stay under water for a long time. Even though he had never told her about his secret, she had noticed several times how long he swam under water. A couple of minutes later it became difficult even for her. She stood up and sat down next to Melvin, who was doing his utmost not to show how worried he was. When they could no longer hide their worries, they addressed Thiago. “He is staying under water a long time,” Melvin said. Thiago was still sitting in the same place and calmly said: “Trust this man,” Thiago said, “he knows what

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Annual-Nov 2011 he is doing.” Melvin took Sophie by her shoulders and asked her to sit down again. “Don't forget what Nathan asked us before he dove into the lake. So, let's be strong and follow his advice.” Sophie knew that Melvin was right, but could not stop worrying. She gathered all her courage and tried to gather as much trust and believe in a good ending. She succeeded for a while until she had no more patience and stood up. She walked to the edge of the water, panicked, looked into the deep spring and then called out: “I still don't see him, this is not possible!” Now it became too much for Melvin. With fear in his heart he came to stand by her. He also did not see anything. Both of them looked helplessly at Thiago, who reacted in the same calm way. “As I have said before, no matter how great our thinking capacity can be, sooner or later our spirit will find boundaries. At such moments only trust can help us, let this be a great lesson to you.” Sophie asked Melvin to translate Thiagos words. While he did this, Sophie saw how calm Thiago was and how he even smiled. “Ask him how he can remain so calm,” she asked Melvin. “This forms part of Nathan's preparation for the big task, Thiago said. You are also being prepared today. Sit down, you two, and try to get in touch with your sensitivity and your feelings of fear will be replaced by calmness and trust.” However irrational this seemed, Sophie and Melvin did what Thiago asked. They sat down again and tried to follow his advice. Time appeared to move even slower than before, but both Sophie and Melvin succeeded in retrieving calmness. Suddenly Thiago spoke up. “You can be proud of what you have achieved today. Now Nathan should be coming up soon, otherwise I will start worrying too.” Thiago stood up and went to the edge of the spring. Melvin and Sophie held each other and stood next to Thiago. “I think I see him,” said Thiago suddenly. “Where?” Sophie said. “I don't see anything.” “Wait a moment,” Melvin said, “I think I see him too.” “Yes,” Sophie said relieved. ���Now I see him too, he is coming up fast.” Happiness returned. A few moments later

Nathan came up. He looked exhausted and held on to the edge of the spring. Melvin and Thiago wanted to help him out of the water, but he signaled to them to let him breathe for a while. It was clear Nathan had reached his limit. Thiago now stood in front of him and asked him in simple words. “Did you get to where I think you got to?” “Yes, Thiago,” Nathan said… “I touched the bottom!” Melvin translated the conversation for Sophie, who was waiting with a large towel. Now Nathan got out of the water and kissed Sophie. He excused himself to her and to Melvin for what they had gone through. “You don't have to excuse yourself,” Melvin said. “On the contrary, I suppose for me and for Sophie, this was the most instructive experience of our life.” Now Thiago took Nathan in his arms. “I am happy that I could contribute to this.” “This was just the start of your contribution,” Nathan said. “For that which is waiting for us, your help will be of great value!” After this mysterious announcement, they returned to the camp. Once there they again ate a vegetarian meal. Upon saying goodbye, Melvin could not help asking Thiago the following question. “Do you think we will see each other again?” Thiago hugged Melvin. “This time it is Nathan who will give us the answer, but I have the feeling he will have a common task for all of us.” Nathan said nothing to this. Now Sophie came to stand in front of Thiago. She followed Melvin's example and hugged Thiago before getting into the gaiola that would take them away. As the last one, Nathan said his farewell. When they hugged Thiago had a final message for him. “No matter how impossible your mission might seem to be, never doubt the good outcome that will come of it.” “The only doubt I have is whether people will be willing to listen to me.” “Never underestimate the power that has been given to you,” Thiago answered. “Do not forget that every person is aware that the ultimate knowledge cannot be held by one person alone. No matter how hard and long a person has studied, they know deep within that they will need the input from the higher one.” Nathan did not understand Thiago completely, but memorized his words. Once on the boat he asked Melvin to translate Thiagos words. When

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Annual-Nov 2011 Sophie that it was delicious. Nathan agreed with him. Sophie was happy with the compliments and asked what they were talking about. “We were talking about Melvin, who has found his place on earth,” Nathan said. “How is it that you came to Brazil?” Sophie asked. “I have always been attracted to this country. From my first visit to Brazil I knew that I could realize great things here.” “Please continue,” Sophie asked. Melvin continued earnestly and divulged the true purpose he had in mind. “People here have an inborn optimistic feeling about their future, but…” “Is that wrong?” Sophie asked. “No, on the contrary. For many it is even of essential importance to overcome the hardness of their lives. But I believe that in view of the human evolutionary process, hope is an imperfect force!” “Can you explain?” Sophie asked, while Nathan was also listening attentively. “If people only live for hope, they get into a situation of always waiting for more and something better. In the long run, this situation can never be satisfying.” “What better alternative would you offer them?” Nathan asked. “Well, in this sense the days we have spent together have been very enlightening. Now I know how beauty can be found in unlimited forms and in all possible places. What I want is that all my listeners and readers learn to experience an even deeper sense of beauty each day.” “Isn't it possible to hope for a better life and to experience beauty every day?” Sophie asked. “When one experiences the beauty in life, one knows that we need to expect nothing else to be happy,” Melvin answered. There was a short silence, after which Nathan put his hand on Melvin's shoulder. “When your journey through the land of eternal hope is over,” Nathan said, “it will have to be renamed the land of never-ending beauty!” “What are your plans after your visit to Brazil is over?” Melvin asked Nathan and Sophie. “After Curitiba, Sophie is expected back in France,” Nathan said. “For myself, I don't know yet, but I will let you know.” The next day Melvin accompanied his guests to the airport where they said goodbye. First he kissed Sophie and entrusted her with the following words:

Thiagos encouragement became clear, Nathan shouted out to Thiago while the boat was leaving slowly. “Now I just have to remind everyone of this!” During the return journey everyone was quiet. Nathan, Sophie and Melvin took time to ponder what they had experienced. It was a thought-filled journey back to Salvador. During the next few days Nathan and Sophie travelled around the city, Salvador, and got to know it even better as they discussed their travel plans. Sophie talked about Uiara, the Brazilian writer she had got to know in France, and with whom she had become good friends. She said Uiara had inherited a large country house about a year ago and therefore had returned to the country of her birth. Uiara had grown up in Belo Horizonte, but the country house she had inherited was located in Curitiba in the state Paraná. Now she lived there with her friend and her mother, whom she had taken along. Sophie said that when Uiara had learned she would be coming to Brazil, she had insisted that she should come to Curitiba along with Nathan and to spend some time with her. Sophie repeated several times how special Uiara was, for this reason Nathan understood how much Sophie wanted to visit her. They decided to go to Curitiba the following week and told Melvin about this. The day before their departure from Salvador they sat together with Melvin on the roof terrace. Sophie offered to prepare a couple of cool Caipirinha's in the kitchen. Nathan and Melvin remained on the terrace and looked out over the roofs of Salvador and at the beautiful beach. Nathan calmly said farewell to the city he had enjoyed so much. Both men talked about the future, their plans and the fact their roads would be parting here. For Melvin it was clear he was devoted to this place. He was convinced this was his place and that his mission was here. He said that Brazil was a wonderful country that had everything to make its inhabitants happy, but that it was disrupted by the great difference between poverty and wealth. While Nathan listened to him, Sophie came up with three large Caipirinhas. She put the glasses on the table and everyone sat down in the rattan chairs. “It is the first time that I've made them myself,” she said. “I hope you will like them.” Melvin was the first to taste the drink and told

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Annual-Nov 2011 “Sophie, know that you, because of who you are and your wonderful works of art, are proof to everyone how wonderful the world is.” Sophie thanked Melvin for these beautiful and sincere words. She wished him courage and luck with carrying out his task. After Melvin went to Nathan and hugged him. “Nathan, make sure that your words are communicated throughout the world so that people can see they cannot live a life of only rationalism and that they can be freed of their illusions.” “You will be of great help,” Nathan said. “How so?” Melvin asked. “By finishing your own task.” After these words Nathan took Sophie by the arm and together they walked to their plane. It was a short flight, during which they talked about their adventures over the past few days. “What is the most important thing you learned here?” Sophie asked. “I have learned many important things, but the most important was at the magical spring. There I became aware of subtle energies, which made me more aware than ever, that each one of us can determine our life by using the opportunities offered to us.” “Energies?” “That is the best name I can think of for what I experienced, Sophie. What was the most important lesson for you?” “After you came up out of the water, I became more aware of how happy we must be with everything that presents itself, that we must consider everything in life as a gift, starting with life itself.” Nathan looked at Sophie with love and admiration. It felt good to him that they could share each other's feelings in all sincerity. In that moment, Nathan became aware, more than ever, of how happy they were together. Nathan was deeply convinced he could never have the same intimacy with another person. He took Sophie in his arms and together they fell asleep.

might have been too intimate, she let him go. She did not know whether Nathan would consider her zeal too much and rushed to explain in French that she had heard so much about him that it seemed as if she had known him a long time. Sophie immediately put her at ease by saying that she had told Nathan about her extroverted character. Then Uiara asked what else she had told him about her. Sophie said she had also told him that she was a very beautiful woman of mixed descent. Uiara was very excited about Sophie and Nathan's visit. She told them they could stay with her as long as they wanted and emphasized that she sincerely meant it. Meanwhile, they walked to the parking lot where Amão, Uiara's friend, was waiting in his car. Uiara introduced Amão to Nathan and Sophie. Amão was from Rio de Janeiro, but had met Uiara in France when he was also staying there. From the airport of Curitiba, Amão drove to the east, to the small city of Morretes. Uiara told them they lived in a large country house, which had been inherited from her father. She told them she knew little about him, except that he was of European descent and that he had left her and her mother a couple of years after she was born. He had left Belo Horizonte and had returned to the state Santa Catarina in the south of the country where his family lived. Uiara's mother had brought her up on her own; fortunately the solidarity in the district where they lived was great. Uiara still had many friends in Belo Horizonte. Uiara had to start working when she was still very young and, because of this, she could no longer go to school so spent her free time reading books. Thus she had developed her writing skills. Uiara continued by saying that she had not expected to hear anything from her father until she received a letter in the past year that explained he had died in Florianopolis and that he had left her a country house in a city not far from Curitiba. In itself this was remarkable, because her father had remarried and had three other children. Then Uiara had flown from France to Brazil with the intention of selling the house. When she finally saw the house, she knew she would never leave again.

Message When the plane arrived in Curitiba, a hostess gently woke Nathan and Sophie. They landed at the time Sophie had told Uiara so that when they walked into the arrival hall, Uiara was there to give them an enthusiastic welcome. She walked towards Sophie and gave her a big hug. Then she hugged Nathan with the same enthusiasm. When she became aware she

Strangely enough, Uiara understood from the notary later, that her father had predicted it would turn out this way. He had told the notary that his daughter would suggest selling the

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Annual-Nov 2011 house and added that once she had stepped inside, she would not want to leave again. Sophie asked whether her father's second wife or their children had a problem with the fact that Uiara had inherited the house. Uiara told them exactly what the notary had told her. The will stated that her father's second wife had inherited another house, being the house where they had lived in Florianopolis. The notary said that either the second wife, or the children they had together, knew anything of the existence of another house. He added that they did not even know he had been married before. Sophie hugged Uiara. Nathan had also listened attentively to her story. There was a short silence and then Amão put on some music to help everyone relax. Nathan and Sophie enjoyed the magnificent mountain panorama. This area differed from the northeastern states; for one thing the temperature was lower. When they arrived at the house, Nathan and Sophie saw that it was indeed a beautiful country house. It was situated on a private property surrounded by tall pine trees. Charmene, Uiara's mother, was waiting for them in the lane. She invited Nathan and Sophie to sit down under the shady trees and let Amão and Uiara take away the luggage. Charmene had already prepared drinks and bombarded Nathan and Sophie with questions. She was very curious about their impressions of Brazil. Sophie, who understood a little Portuguese, let Nathan answer.

see her friend. “Your mother is a lovely person,” Sophie told Uiara. “Regardless of the fact she did not have an easy life, I have learned from her to recognize the good and positive things in life.” “This is what you radiate, Uiara,” said Nathan. Uiara looked at Nathan and then at Sophie. These words clearly made her happy. During the next couple of days Uiara and Amão showed them the most beautiful places in the neighborhood. They took a long walk through the picturesque city of Morretes, where they visited an artist who sculpted stone. Another day they took a trip to the closest beach, in Paranagua. They enjoyed themselves splashing and swimming in the sea waves. This beautiful day finished with a barbeque. Some days later they made a spectacular trip in the train that travelled along deep ravines and beside stunning waterfalls. Amão told Nathan and Sophie that if they really wanted to see impressive waterfalls, they should not miss those at Iguaçu. He also told them that a friend of theirs ran a small hostel there together with his wife. Uiara suggested they visit one weekend. Nathan and Sophie liked the idea and that day Amão contacted Eder, his friend in Iguaçu, and reserved two rooms for the next weekend. On their way to the waterfalls, they stayed in Curitiba and toured the city. Nathan and Sophie noticed that this city was imbued with a European influence. Over the past two centuries many European immigrants had established themselves there. The city seemed modern and was laid out with great care and had many different parks. Because of this, despite the great number of inhabitants, it was quiet and pleasant to live there. They spent the night in a hotel in the center and flew to the three-country point of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil the next day. By midday, they found themselves at the hostel belonging to Eder and his wife Beatriz. After a small lunch they visited the waterfalls. They knew, before going, that this was a famous tourist attraction. Still Nathan and Sophie could still enjoy the rough natural beauty of the dramatic waterfalls that were located in a lush park, where the water fell roaring to swirl around many small islands.

Nathan told her they had spent time in Salvador and had also visited many amazing places in the northeastern states. Then Charmene told them proudly that she had also been to Salvador once. They all agreed it was an incredibly interesting city. Charmene wanted to know if they had ever been to Africa. When Nathan answered affirmatively, she asked if Salvador was indeed the most African city outside Africa. She looked clearly satisfied when Nathan told her, that of all the places he had visited, Salvador was by far the one that most deserved this title. At that moment Uiara returned and heard they were talking about Salvador. She suspected her mother would have told them they had attended carnival there once and that it was one of her most beautiful memories. Uiara told her mother that one of her friends had come to visit and was waiting for her in the hall. Charmene got up, wished her guests a pleasant stay and went to

On their return to the hostel, they found that Beatriz had made a large, delicious meal for them. After this, they opened up a couple of bottles of wine and Uiara shared some details of her life.

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Annual-Nov 2011 “I find my balance in writing,” Uiara said. “Whatever happens, when I can take time for myself, I start writing. Then I can put everything into perspective.” “Have you published anything?” Sophie asked. Uiara glanced at Amão. “Only a few of my stories have been published.” “I often tell her she is a great writer,” Amão interrupted, “and that she should publish more of her writing.” “I write mainly for myself,” Uiara said. “It may sound strange; though I find it is a way for me to get closer to others…” Uiara wanted to add something, but was doubtful. Nathan encouraged her. “What are you thinking,” Uiara? “There is another more important reason why I am not publishing my work,” Uiara answered. “I have never told this to anyone except Amão. Only he knows why.” “I think it would be good to talk about it now,” Amão said. “How can I say this,” Uiara said doubtfully… “some of what I write requires a lot from me. When I read the words back sometimes I doubt that I wrote the words myself.” Sophie wanted to say something, but Nathan motioned to her to let Uiara continue. “In fact, I am uncomfortable with the fact that everyone will be able to read my innermost secrets,” Uiara continued. “I know it sounds strange for a writer and mostly for those who know how extroverted I am.” Nathan listened with interest. Uiara said: “I want to know who I am sharing my texts with, and I want to be able to read them aloud and feel that they are understood correctly.” A couple of days after their return from Iguaçu, Nathan had a strange dream. Without revealing his dream to Sophie, he told her he needed to talk with Uiara. By his tone of voice, Sophie could hear that it was something of great importance and immediately looked for Uiara: “Uiara, Nathan would like to speak to you tomorrow night.” “If it's important,” Uiara said, “I can come now.” “No, he wants to speak to you tomorrow night. Only you, and no one else, can be there.” Uiara looked surprised, said nothing and agreed. “Tomorrow Amão will go out with friends,” she told Sophie. “But what is it about?” “Don't worry,” Sophie answered, “Nathan told

me it is something good. Take it from me that if there is someone you can trust blindly, that someone is Nathan.” “Do you know what it is about?” Uiara asked curious. “No, he wants to talk to you first.” Uiara was intrigued. What mysterious message could Nathan have for her? She could not put it out of her mind for the rest of the day. She wanted to visit Nathan now, but he had gone to the city with Amão and would only return late that night. When they did return, it was indeed late and they went to sleep right away. Uiara did not get to sleep and continued thinking the whole night. The next day she had to control herself to make sure she did not show her excitement. When Amão finally left, she looked for Sophie who told her Nathan was waiting for her on the verandah. Nathan was looking outside, with his back to her. “You wanted to talk to me?” Uiara asked. Nathan turned, and looked her deep in the eyes without saying anything. Uiara's curiosity had now reached its peak. She had tried to imagine all the possible messages that Nathan could tell her. She could feel that it had to be something important. Nathan came to her and asked her to show him where she wrote. Uiara did not understand the reason immediately, but did what Nathan asked. They went up the stairs leading to the attic. Once upstairs, Uiara opened the door of a small room. Within there was a desk next to a small window, built into the roof, through which the soft moonlight fell. Behind the desk there was a generously filled bookcase and next to it an old chair. Nathan looked at the space, walked until he could see out the window and stared outside for a long time. Uiara, who meanwhile had sat down in the chair, asked him what he wanted to talk to her about. Nathan turned and sat down next to her: “Uiara, you have a very special gift!” “Me? What is it?” “The gift of writing.” “Oh, that's what you mean, thank you. You want to tell me I should publish my writing?” Nathan saw that Uiara was making an effort to talk to him lightheartedly, but he knew this was a very difficult subject for her. “Whether your writing is published or not is not that important. I am referring to the underlying feelings that keep you from publishing them.” “Maybe I was not made to be a writer. I usually don't understand what I have written very

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Annual-Nov 2011 well.” Nathan got up and stood by the window to look outside. Uiara watched him as he stared out at the moon. “All of us are much more than we think, we are and even more than what we have learned to be,” Nathan said softly. When Nathan spoke these words, Uiara became emotional. His words brought up very deep feelings in her. Strange feelings she had felt only in her childhood. Nathan turned, stood in front of her and looked her in the eyes. Yes, Uiara, I know your secret! Now Uiara felt very warm and even started to sweat. What she had feared so much now became a fact. She knew this moment was inevitable, the moment in which she would be confronted with the true reason she feared writing for the public. “I know why you have so much difficulty knowing that other people will read your writing.” She remembered that Sophie had told her Nathan could see things others could not. In an inexplicable way he now had found out her deepest secret. Nathan felt her fear and took her hands. “Uiara, do you know each one of us has a destiny in life?” “Yes, I have always felt this to be so.” “Do you know what your personal mission is on earth?” Now Uiara looked at the moon through the small window. “I know this mystery is hidden in my written words,” she answered, as if she had known this all along. “Uiara,” Nathan continued, “we had to meet each other.” Uiara waited in suspense for what Nathan was going to say. “You will write down the great message and publish it at the right time.” “The great message?” Uiara asked. “I'm not sure that I understand you?” “Uiara, you have a gift to convey messages of the hidden world to this world.” Uiara said nothing. She stopped breathing momentarily, and then a tear coursed down her cheek. Now Nathan held both her hands firmly. “I also know you have been approached in your thoughts to transmit other messages. Messages you know were not good.” “I have had many awful moments, Nathan.” “You will now end this.” Uiara's face cleared.

“Really? Are you sure? How can you know that? How can you know this?” Nathan went on calmly. “Your meeting with Sophie was no accident, just as there are no coincidences. We would have met anyhow, so that I could explain the true meaning of your gift. Now that you are aware of this meaning it is up to you to make a choice.” “You've said yourself this is my true mission. Then do I have any other choice?” “Whatever gift we have been given, no one else but us determines what we do with it. That is the basis of our free will.” Uiara took time to think about Nathan's words. She looked down at their hands the fingers still entwined, and then spoke solemnly and with great conviction. “I will make sure that all my hidden writings that are not for the highest good are destroyed. I promise that from now on I will only write to promote the highest good.” “Through the choice you have made today, you will only be touched by loving inspiration and be forever freed of those awful moments. Know that nobody else on earth can fulfill this task better than you. It is your life destination, Uiara!” “I am so glad that I know my higher purpose and now that I know it I consider it a great honor. So much is becoming clearer to me.” “Everything happening in your life has to do with it directly or indirectly. The universe always gives us those experiences that fit perfectly within us. From the moment you are born until the moment of your transition.” “What about our choices?” “Each moment we are choosing how we will handle our experiences.” Uiara looked at Nathan full of admiration and understood the words Sophie's had used when she had described Nathan. “Now that I finally understand this better, I am free of my fear. Thank you, Nathan.” Uiara looked at the moon again and said nothing for some moments until Uiara asked: “What does it feel to have a life mission that will affect all humanity?” “Each one of us has a life mission and each life mission influences all humanity. And more so, each thought and action affects the whole even to the farthest corners of the universe!” Now Nathan got up and told Uiara to sleep well, again she thanked him. When he returned to Sophie in their room, he explained everything to her. Before falling asleep, Nathan

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showcase of a travel agency and his attention was drawn to an image on a poster. It was an image of a dark blue sailing boat on a sea close to a beautiful beach. The image made him think of the poster hanging on the wall in his bedroom in Brussels, the one that had been one of the first signs signaling the journey he had started years before.

A couple of days later, Nathan and Sophie left for São Paulo, from there Sophie would fly back to France. Nathan did not know yet what he would do, but one thing he did know, his journey would not end soon. Nathan and Sophie would spend two days in São Paulo, the economic and cultural center of Brazil and one of the largest cities in the world. After a sumptuous dinner they strolled through the Ibirapuera Park. When returned to the hotel, they lay down and had the following conversation. “Maybe I should not start on this topic,” Sophie said, “but do you have any idea when we will see each other again?” “I cannot to tell you,” Sophie, “I don't even know my next destination.” “Nathan, I want to ask you something… where do I fit in your life?” Nathan kissed Sophie's lips tenderly and told her: “There is no one on earth I feel more love for you, you are my spiritual companion.” “What does a spiritual companion mean exactly?” “Spiritual companions have a relationship that has a higher meaning than that of being solely partners in this life. They are together on earth to strive for perfection and inner security.” Sophie looked at Nathan for a long time without saying a word. These were the most sincere and loving words she had ever heard and it gave her a sense of unlimited trust. She put her head on Nathan's shoulder and they both fell asleep. The next day they said goodbye at the airport, but this time Sophie no longer felt sadness or doubt, only happiness for who she was and what she meant.

The words printed at the top of the poster were: 'Australia, the memory of the world!' These words inspired Nathan to go inside the travel agency and, without further thought; he followed his intuition and opened the door to the agency. When he was inside, the first thing he saw was a folder advertising a promotional flight to Sidney. He asked the travel agent if the fare was still valid. He was told that the man's colleague was just about to raise the fare. Without any doubts Nathan booked the flight. When he was back in his room, he suddenly realized he would be leaving for Australia within three days without having any idea what he would be doing there. http://alexmeroblog.com/

Now Nathan was alone and strolled through the districts of São Paulo. He tried to discover within himself where he should continue his journey. He contacted friends and acquaintances to find out how they were doing. All wanted to know everything about his latest experiences. After Nathan spent much time in the oriental district Liberdade. The scenes he saw there, reminded him of the different outings he had taken with Simon in Asia. He realized how educational these trips had been and became aware that he could learn important things from these cultures. A couple of days later Nathan walked past the

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Music Jukebox – BIREN

The soul responds to music. The soul thrills to the music; it just melts and becomes one. When a musician's spiritual capacity becomes more powerful, he/she doesn't even have to speak. Others will just look at his/her face and see the illumination. Eye of the Wolf Medwyn Goodall Publisher: New Age Music Price:`. 325 The spirit lives on in this soul stirring tribute to the Native American tribes. Authentic native drums, flutes, piano, apache prayers and spiritual expression add depth to a music that is fresh, modern and melodic. Soar with the eagle, dance to the rhythm of the drums, walk upon mother Earth and give thanks to the Great Spirit. There are six melodies, namely: 1. Dances on clouds – 8.27 2. Native soul – 7.56 3. Spirit flute – 9.19 4. Spirits of the mountain – 5.48 5. Delivering the prayers – 5.45

6. Eye of the wolf – 8.30 Some of these melodies have a male or a female voice at the backdrop to give a flippant to the different modern and yet tribal music. A good mix of tunes that is pleasant to the ear.

Land of the Inca Medwyn Goodall Publisher: New Age Music

Price: ` 325

This album brings you an hour of the best tracks from two bestselling classics, namely; Nazca, land of the Incas and ancient Nazca. The vibrant uplifting rhythm and energy in this music sounds as fresh as the day it was recorded. Musical instruments such as, panpipes, authentic Peruvian instruments and percussion, blend with modern instruments to provide an Earthly quality. One of Medwyn's finest panpipe albums. 1. Chimborazo – 5.18 2. Machu Picchu – 7.34 3. Tarula – 4.05 4. Sangay – 3.56 5. Vicuna – 2.56 6. El Misti – 5.08 7. Atacama – 6.51 8. Viscacha – 3.14 9. Machu Picchu II – 6.48 10. Cordillera de Blanca – 7.08

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Hope – Lounge Style Bapu Padmanabha Publisher: New Age Music Price: `. 325 There is only one law in this Universe; it is the ultimate law of love. It is maintaining the whole existence. Just because of love, the Earth is standing on its own axis. It is deeply in love with the Sun. The Sun is in love with the galaxy. On Earth the 'Panch Bhutas' (5 elements) are deeply in love with the living things; they are the cause for survival of them. This universal law is found everywhere. This album describes a feeling of a real lover who is waiting for her beloved. 1. Dream – 8.41 2. The hope – 8.33 3. Honey rain – 10.22 4. Journey to the unknown – 14.54 This album is a contrast of modern and Indian music that does not match melodiously.

Stillness Bapu Padmanabha Publisher: New Age Music Price: `. 325 Look into your mind and there is no mind. Look at appearances have no forms. Gaze at distant objects and objects do not exist. Understand these three modes of cognition and you will see emptiness. Regard the void and its empty. In emptiness there is no emptiness. In emptiness there is nothing. In nothingness, there is nothing. Since there is nothing in nothingness, there is always stillness. In absolute stillness, how can desire arise? When craving does not arise this is true stillness. 1. Calmness – 25.20 2. Joyful – 7.42 3. Peaceful – 7.47 This album does not subscribe to its own subject of music. It denotes anything but that stillness one is truly looking for.

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Compiled by Dhara Kothari

Gateway to the Heavens approximately 30,000 years ago. Near contemporaneous Mesolithic rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Around 7000 BCE, the first known Neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent. These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization. Centered on cities such as MohenjoDaro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied f o r m s o f subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade, along with other civilizations. Many regions of the subcontinent evolved from copper age to Iron Age cultures. Indian history is a vast subject to be learnt and understood separately. One must remember India's peaceful and tolerant level is extremely high due to its spirituality. The world has come and conquered India numerous times but India in all its history has never once stepped outside its borders to conquer. The only reason Indians left its shores were for trade and sharing of knowledge.

ndia is a land that is a mini-universe in itself. India officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. With a history dating back 7000 BCE, it is one of the oldest living civilizations in the world. Four of the world's major religions; J a i n i s m , Hinduism, Buddhism and S i k h i s m originated here, whereas others arrived and settled here. It is probably the only country that h a s representation of most diverse religions of the world. The name India is derived from Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River. The Constitution of India and usage in many Indian languages also recognizes Bharat as an official name of equal status.

India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent and lies atop the minor Indian tectonic plate, which in turn belongs to the

The earliest anatomically modern human remains found in South Asia are from

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Annual-Nov 2011 Indo-Australian Plate. India's defining geological processes commenced seventy five million years ago when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began northeastwards drift across the thenunformed Indian Ocean that lasted fifty million years. The subcontinent's subsequent collision with, and subduction under, the Eurasian Plate bore aloft the planet's highest mountains, the Himalayas. The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India. The Deccan Plateau contains the nation's oldest rock formations, some over one billion years old. India lies within the Indomalaya Eco zone and contains three biodiversity hotspots. One of 17 mega diverse countries, it hosts 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of all avian, 6.2% of all reptilian, 4.4% of all amphibian, 11.7% of all piscine, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species. Despite every conceivable geology existing in India from seas to rivers, from snow mountains to deserts and plains, there is one thing missing, which is volcano.

visitor is bound to be culturally shocked at seeing poverty and wealth at the same time, including the climate and the diversity. Every state has its own goodness and the opposites. Despite such assortment of culture and living, the most miraculous thing that binds all is the Indianess amongst the people. And majority of its visitors and travellers have experience of their lifetime by visiting this mini-universe. India is the first land of spirituality, the gateway to heavens and the world has learnt a lot from it since centuries, be it language, mathematics, sciences, trade, spices, religions, mythology, health and so on. It is the first and the last stop to the journey of salvation, moksh and the end of all evolution. There is always something to learn; experiences, good and bad to comprehend and to live a life never imagined before. India is no more a land of snake charmers and jungles as the world has known through its tales. India has both the ultimate luxury along with extreme poverty surviving together.

India is a secular federation composed of 28 states and 7 union territories. In 1956, under the States Reorganization Act, states were reorganized on a linguistic basis. Everything in India is diverse, be it climate, traditions, language, culture, art, architecture, music, cuisine, literature, clothes, sports and so on. Travel through India and you will not only see a change in the geography but also the diversity of everything. There is a vast difference in everything, be it the rural villages or the metropolitan, you get a taste and feel of everything. For a first timer, a

“If you are attached to your Western ways or particular standards of comfort and are not willing to adjust, then, quite honestly, you have no business going to India, not at least if you are looking for its spiritual aspects. Attaining this spiritual serenity is a matter of evolving in your consciousness. And how can your consciousness evolve if you don't decondition yourself from the habitual materialistic thought patterns in which you have grown accustomed? You must set aside your normal (or is it unnormal?) everyday

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Annual-Nov 2011 ways of thinking in order to look at things from an entirely new perspective, a different state of mind. This is what consciousness expansion and becoming aware of higher realms of existence is all about. And this is the real spiritual heritage of India. Like any place else, most people will simply be engaged in the struggle to survive. Nonetheless, the people of India, generally speaking, are the most spiritually oriented people in the world. In one's attempt to see the spiritual side of India, it's very important to know where to go and what to see in order to maximize whatever spiritual experiences you're looking for. Naturally some places have more to offer than others, and certain towns are more sacred to specific religions or spiritual paths.� Writes Stephen Knapp.

the Chinar found throughout the valley. It grows to giant size and girth. The tree presents itself in various enchanting colors through the cycle of the seasons among which its autumnal look is breath-taking. Mountain ranges in the Valley have dense deodar, pine and fir. Walnut, willow, almond and cider also add to the rich flora of Kashmir. The dense forests of Kashmir are a delight to the sport-lovers and adventures for whom there are Ibex, Snow Leopard, Musk deer, wolf, Markhor, Red bear, Black bear and Leopard. The birds include ducks, goose, partridge, chakor, pheasant, wagtails, herons, water pigeons, warblers, and doves. In the otherwise arid desert of Ladakh some 240 species of local and migratory birds have been identified including black-necked crane. The Ladakh fauna includes yak, Himalayan Ibex, Tibetan antelope, snow leopard, wild ass, red bear and gazelle. A major portion of the state consists of the western Himalayas, is also abound in rivers, lakes, passes, glaciers, plateaus and plains. The number of streams, brooks, hill torrents and rivers is also fairly large. The most important rivers are the Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Ravi.

India is so vast that a single visit is not sufficient enough to absorb its diversity, heritage, colors and spiritual knowledge. Nevertheless, we take you on the tour of India briefly. India is more or less divided into four broad zones: North, East, South and the West. We shall look into each zone, state and major places of interests. North - The Himalayan

Jammu is justly famous for its temples. In fact it is known as the city of temples and every frame of it, tends to overshadow its palaces, forts, forests and powerful ziarats. In Ladakh, one can have a look at the famous Thiksey Monastery. The Stok Palace and Museum also houses the royal relics of the last ruling family of Ladakh. Other important places to visit are: Srinagar- capital; Gulmarg; Sonmarg; Pahalgam; Patnitop and Amarnath, famous pilgrimage center; Ladakh- Leh.

Jammu and Kashmir

Himachal Pradesh It means Mountain State. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas this state in India is among the most popular tourist destinations mainly because of its vast topographical diversities. Be it the snowcapped mountain peaks, the lush green deodar forests, the thick red and green apple orchards or simply the fresh misty airs, the state offers it all in abundance. There are twelve districts in this state with Shimla as the capital. Some other

The head of India is the most beautiful of all states in the country. It is divided into three sections namely; Jammu, Kashmir and Leh. Kashmir abounds in rich flora. The Valley, which has been described as the Paradise on Earth, is full of many hues of flora and fauna. The most magnificent of the Kashmir trees is

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Annual-Nov 2011 come true. A pious destination for the religious with the four most sacred and revered Hindu sites Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri (collectively known as the Char Dham Yatra) nestled in the mighty mountains; a challenging destination for the adventure seekers with sports that are offered like river rafting, mountaineering, skiing and trekking; and a picturesque destination for the nature lovers with breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas, and the lovely valley of flowers. Most of the famous hill stations other than the capital of the state Dehradun, like Mussorie and Nainital are situated in Uttaranchal. The Corbett National Park and the Rajaji wildlife park famous for its Tigers and wildlife is another reason to visit the state. No part of the state lacks in the natural splendor that Mother Nature has bestowed on the state and travel to Uttaranchal certainly leaves behind the most beautiful memories.

important places to visit are: Manali- An epitome of breathtaking landscapes. Dharamshala- One of the chilliest hill stations in the country. Dharamshala is characterized by large snow covered regions, flourishing flora and fauna and the home of the Dalai Lama and India's largest Tibetan community. Manali- Popular tourist destination offering water falls, monasteries, hot water springs, temples and lots more. Dalhousie- Dalhousie exudes an old-world charm and it seems like it hasn't quite caught up with the rest of the world yet. Kullu- Good for adventure sports and great holiday destination. Other places are; Kinnaur; Lahul and Spiti Valley; Kangra.

Important places: Dehradun- the capital, called Oxford of India known for its boarding schools. Almora; Haridwar- one of the sites of Kumbh Mela; Mussorie – Queen of the hills; Nainital – lake district; Rishikesh- Yoga capital of the world, the biggest agglomeration of ashrams, meditation centers and temples; Ranikhet- is a place, which has preserved its virginity and pristine charm. Yamunotri- The source of the Yamuna River. Gangotri- The source of the holy Ganges River.

Uttaranchal

North – The Plains Punjab The five rivers Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum gave it its name Punjab or the land of five waters. Punjab is primarily an agricultural state and enjoys the natural benefits of fertile soils and abundant waters. A land of ethnic and religious diversity, it is the birthplace of Sikhism. Chandigarh is the capital, which is also a union territory in its own right. It was one of the first planned cities by the British. Other important cities are: Amritsar- The holy city; Patiala; Ludhiana- industrial city. Jalandhar; Kapurthala; Hoshiarpur; Bathinda; Ferozpur; Faridkot; Muktsar; Mohali;

Uttaranchal is a small newly formed state of India, and is the true experience to the first meeting with the Himalayas. Blessed with magnificent glaciers, majestic snow-clad mountains, gigantic and majestic peaks, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests; traveling to Uttaranchal is a dream

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Annual-Nov 2011 Janpath for buying a variety of cheap and good items. If you are looking for spiritual peace, visit Lotus temple, which is also famous for its marvelous architecture and heavenly beauty. Take a stroll at Rajpath. Or pay a visit to India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan for viewing monuments made during British era. Delhi is a canvas that reflects the complexities, contradictions, beauty and dynamism of a city where the past co-exist with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the

Pathankot. Punjab is a prosperous state, having its own language, cuisine, dance, music, culture and traditions. Haryana A Hindu-dominated state. Haryana surrounds Delhi on three sides and is dominated by its suburban and commercial sprawl. The remainder of the state is largely agrarian, and there are few attractions to slow down the passing tourist. The important places of Haryana are Ambala; Bhiwani; Fatehabad; Hissar; Jhajjar; Jind; Karnal; Kurukshetra- place of the famous Mahabharat war; Panchkula; Panipatanother famous ancient battleground; Rohtak; Sirsa; Sonipat; Chandigarh; Faridabad and Gurgaon.

architecture of its monuments. Diverse cultural elements absorbed into the daily life of city have enriched its character. The city also has a high crime graph and travelers need to be aware of frauds and late night traveling alone. Uttar Pradesh

Delhi

Uttar Pradesh has the largest population in the country. It is also one of the top five largest states in terms of land area. The western plain is the most urban region. Agriculture is the most important section of the UP's economy, employing about threefourths of the work force. The history of the State of Uttar Pradesh is very ancient and interesting. It has seen the growth of two major religions Jainism and Buddhism. Several centers in Uttar Pradesh like Ayodhya, Prayag, Varanasi and Mathura became reputed Centre's of learning. The administrative and legislative capital is Lucknow and the judicial capital is Allahabad. The cuisine of this state is rather famous. Major cities are: Agra- the tourist capital of India, home to three World Heritage Sites, including the Taj Mahal. Allahabad- holy place where the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and ancient Saraswati meet.

Delhi is the capital city of the Federal Republic of India. It is one of India's fastest growing cities. A union territory, it is sprawled over the West Bank of the river Yamuna, straddling the river. The city has two distinct parts, Old Delhi and New Delhi. Delhi blends an historic past and a vibrant present. Delhi has some of the finest museums in the country. Legend has it that the Pandavas, the august heroes of the epic Mahabharat, originally founded Delhi, then called Indraprasth, around 1200 B.C. Present day Delhi is built around the ruins of seven ancient cities. Delhi is also a commercial hub having many tourist attractions to offer. Visit vibrant shopping complex of Connaught Place, Delhi Haat for handicraft goods and delicious food bonanza. Pay a visit to Red Fort and Qutub Minar to view the excellence of Mughal architecture. Or just drop in at

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Annual-Nov 2011 the last few decades. Bihar is one of India's poorest states, with stark social inequality. Travelers may find the hassles common to traveling everywhere in India is more pronounced here. The best and safest mode of travel in the crime infested Bihar is private cabs or tourist vehicles hired from reliable transport and tourist companies. Avoid traveling at night and be vary of strangers. Madhya Pradesh

Ayodhya- birth place of Lord Ram (Hindu) and Rishabhdev (Jains). Kanpur; Bithoor; Chitrakoot; Jhansi; Fatehpur Sikri; Kushinagar; Kapilvastu- ancient capital of the Sakya clan whose ruler was the father of the Buddha; Sarnath; Sravasti- was an active center of Buddhism and the place of a large Jain mela; Varanasi- is one of the oldest living cities in the world and a spiritual center; Mathura- birthplace of Lord Krishna. Unfortunately today this state is famous for its backwardness, crimes and political instability.

This state is actually more in the center of India and thus the state is called Madhya Pradesh, meaning Central State. Madhya Pradesh or MP has a rich feast for those who seek prehistoric paintings, historic forts, religious erotica, or tribal culture. On the flip side, the tourist infrastructure is not very well-developed. The capital of MP is Bhopal. It has five major cities, Indore, Bhopal the capital, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Ujjain and is divided into many divisions. Innumerable monuments, exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces are dotted all over the state. The natural beauty of MP is equally varied. Consisting largely of a plateau, the state has everything. Spectacular mountain ranges, meandering rivers and miles and miles of dense forests offering a unique and exciting panorama of wildlife in sylvan surroundings. Important tourist spots are: Mandu- renowned as much for its fine architecture as for the love of poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his beautiful wife Rani Roopmati. Ujjain- one of the greatest cities of ancient India, Ujjain's links with its glorious past have endured into the present day, making it a city still renowned for its traditions of spirituality, learning and culture. Bhimbetka- pre-historic and other cave paintings. Sanchi- history of Sanchi goes back as early as 3rd century B.C and is dotted with stupas, monasteries, temples, etc. Orchha; Jabalpur; Shivpuri; Rewa; Panchmarhi- it is a popular place for nature lovers and sportsmen. The landscape is characterized by rugged hills, forests and ravines. Khajuraho- famous for Hindu and Jain temples that have become world famous for its erotic Kama Sutra related carvings and sculptures on some temples that are related to tantric mysticism. MP also has a number of national parks protecting the lost bio-

Bihar Bihar is a place that gave birth to Buddhism and rise to Jainism and has a past that is unmatched anywhere in the world. Vaishali in northern Bihar, the center of the Lichchavi kingdom is rated as the most ancient and credited as the world's first republic. It got its aura of sanctity with the birth of Lord Mahavir, last Tirthankar of the Jains here. The city of Patliputra was largest and grandest in the world at the height of its glory, today the modern capital city Patna rests on it. Even today, the state is amongst the largest mineral producing regions in India and contributes immensely in national wealth creation. Vaishali; Anga; Rajgriha; Patliputra; Nalanda, and Mithila are just a few of the places in Bihar that knit the history of ancient spiritual India. Some of the other known cities are: Bodhgaya- where prince Siddharth became the Buddha. Pawapuri or Apapuri- where Mahavir attained his moksh or salvation. Vikramshila- remains of the ancient Vikramshila University have been excavated at village Antichak; Munger. Bihar is the original and ancient gateway to the spiritual heavens. But it has seen a drastic downfall in

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course, it is possible to be caught in the violence due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and hence vigilance is required while visiting the state.

East Chhattisgarh

Orissa Chhattisgarh was formed on November 1, 2000, carved out of Madhya Pradesh. Around 44% of the State's land is under forests. Identified as one of the richest biodiversity habitats, the Green State of Chhattisgarh has the densest forests in India, rich wildlife, and above all, over 200 nontimber forest products and the 3 National Parks and 11 Wildlife Sanctuaries provide a real treat for nature lovers. All major minerals are in abundance, it is the richest state in mineral resources. One third of Chhattisgarh's population is of tribes and the capital is Raipur. There are ancient caves (closed during monsoon), palaces to visit, besides, temples, tribal culture, waterfalls and wildlife to see. Other places are: Bilaspur; Durg; Jagdalpur; Bastar; Chitrakot, etc. Be aware this state is also known for naxalism and can prove dangerous while traveling.

Since prehistoric days the land of Orissa has been inhabited by various people. Later Orissa descended from the historical kingdom of Kalinga. The script for the Oriya language derives from the Kalinga script which is one of the descendants of the Brahmi script. Orissa is an attractive treasure house of cultures and customs, religions and traditions, languages and literature, art and architecture, scenic beauties and wildlife. Orissa is also known for exquisite handicrafts. Silver filigree work of Cuttack, horn work of Cuttack and Parlakhemundi and the famous appliquĂŠ work of Pipili deserve special mention. Pattachitra, a form of folk painting of Orissa, is a unique craft. Brass and bell metal ware, particularly vases and candle stands, are beautiful and long lasting. The black stone bowls and plates of Nilagiri and Khiching and multi-colored stone statues are other attractions. Silk and cotton handloom products, especially saris

Jharkhand Jharkhand, formerly a part of United Bihar became a State of India on 15th November 2000. The capital is Ranchi. Jharkhand is a mineral rich state and is full of evergreen forests, wild life sanctuaries, lakes, waterfalls, health and holiday resorts and a wide range of scenic beauty for tourists. The State's Chota Nagpur plateau presents a rolling hills area, dense forests, several waterfalls and many springs with mineral waters. To complete the attraction of the Jharkhand, the adivasis or tribes who predominate on the plateau are a lovable and cheerful race. Cities- Bokaro; Jamshedpur; Dhanbad; Hazaribagh and Ranchi. Other places include; Parasnath hills- or Sammet Shikhar, second most important pilgrimage center for Jains (Twenty of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankars attained salvation on this hill). Deogarh- Hindu temples; Sitagarha hill- Buddhist stupas. Visitors should be aware that Maoists are very active in Jharkhand. Foreigners have not been targeted in the campaign, though, of

are simply bewitching. The Sambalpuri saris and Maniabandhi patas are matchless in their texture and designs. Bhubaneshwar is the state capital and a transport hub. Berhampur is known as the silk city. Puri-famous for Jagganath temple and vibrant beach, and the most popular tourist destination in the state. Other places are: Paradip- port city; Cuttack; Rourkela-

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Annual-Nov 2011 industrial city; Sambalpur; Chilika; Phulbani; Jeypore; Konark- world famous Sun temple. Temples, sea beaches, geographical specialties like Chilka Lake, and wild life, visit Shimilipal National Forest which is a paradise for nature lovers. The people, especially in the tribal western belt, remain extremely simple in their way of living, and are mostly unaware of the mannerisms of the urban world. It's also not advisable to venture out late in the night in deserted places and sea beaches. It's better to have a local tourist guide with you for company and carry mosquito repellent creams, mosquito repellent coils and take the doctor's advice, in advance, about antimalarial medicines.

beaches. Do not forget to visit sweets shops in Kolkata; some of the sweets you will find here are specialty that is not available anyplace else. Kolkata- state's capital city, a center of Bengali culture and the largest city in the state. Also the former capital of the country, known as the City of Joy. Darjeeling- is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir, all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the Queen of hill stations. Drink elixir or the Darjeeling Tea! HowrahKolkata's twin city; Shantiniketan- town of Rabindranath Tagore's university. Siliguri- a major business and shopping center. Cooch Behar- Once a kingdom now a historical place.

West Bengal West Bengal is rich in flora and fauna and has a diverse ecosystem because of its varying

terrain from the high altitudes to the sea level plains. Protected forests cover 4% of the state area. There are 15 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 5 National Parks and 2 Tiger Reserves. The Sunderban, in south Bengal, is home to the famous Tiger Project - a conservatory effort to save the Bengal tigers from extinction. Wildlife includes the Indian one horned rhinoceros, Indian elephants, deer, bison, leopards, gaur, crocodiles and others. The state is also rich in bird life. Rich in culture and literature, immensely proud of a colorful heritage, anyone visiting the state should be aware of Bengalis preoccupation with strikes. The northern side has beautiful hills and forests, while the south has some nice

Sikkim The snow covered mountains and lush green valley's not only invigorates one's soul, it also leaves the spectators bewildered by the extravaganza of its natural beauty. Nearly 40% of the total area is forested. Mt. Kanchendzonga, the third highest peak in the world dominates the landscape of the state and is revered as Sikkim's guardian deity. The state has a good number of glaciers and some of the very important ones are Zemu, Rathong, and Lona in North Sikkim. The river Tista is the lifeline of Sikkim and it originates from Lake Cholamu. Sikkim offers

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Annual-Nov 2011 best buys for hand woven carpets, thankas and other paintings. Other items typical of the state and are large cardamoms, Lepcha weave bags, purses, jewelry, etc. Foreign tourists require a special permit that can be obtained from all Indian Missions abroad who are authorized to issue a 15- day permit. Sikkim is endowed with a rich species of flowering plant, including 600 species of orchids. There are magnificent magnolias and over 40 varieties of rhododendrons. The red panda, the Himalayan black bear, several species of deer, leopard cat, flying squirrels, the blue sheep, the Tibetan wild ass, the bearded vulture and around 600 species of butterflies are found in the state. There are six wildlife sanctuaries. The only National Park in the state is the Khangchendzonga National Park known as the highest National Park in India. Gangtok is the capital city; while others are districts.

Permits. These permits can be obtained from Indian Missions abroad, Foreigners Regional Registration Offices. Itanagar is the state capital and other places are: Parsighat; Deomali; Bomdilla; Rupa; Tawang, etc. There are no direct flights to Itanagar and the nearest airport is Tezpur. Arunachal Pradesh is the safest state in north east India. The people are very religious and stay away from any kind of vices. They are very friendly and ready to help. Assam Assam is also rich in history and archaeology. The ancient name of Assam was

North East Arunachal Pradesh There are 26 major tribes and a number of sub tribes living in the state. Most of these communities are ethnically similar but their geographical isolation from each other has brought amongst them certain distinctive characteristics in language, dress and customs. Broadly, the people may be divided into three cultural groups on the basis of their socio religious affinities. Arunachal finds mention in the literature of Kalika Purana and Mahabharata. The people of Arunachal Pradesh have a tradition of artistic craftsmanship and sense of aesthetics manifested through a variety of crafts like weaving, painting, basket making, woodcarving etc. Festivals are an essential part of the socio-cultural life of the people. Out of about a thousand species of orchids in India, over 500 are found in Arunachal alone. These are colorful, spectacular and some bear exotic names. The wildlife is equally rich and varied. Elephants and Tigers abound, especially in the grassy foothills and leopard and jungle cats are quite common and the white gibbon.

Pragjyotishpur. No western powers including the great Mughals could invade and occupy the region till the British had come. Assamese are one of the most hospitable people. Assam and surrounding regions are a paradise for the nature lovers and researchers. The region's unique natural settings, hydro-geomorphic environment and biodiversity have no parallel in Asia. Assam is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world and consists of tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, riverine grasslands, bamboo orchards and numerous wetland ecosystems; many are now protected as national parks and reserved forests. The region is the last refuge for numerous other endangered species. Guwahati with its more than two thousand years of history is the largest urban center and a million plus capital city in Assam. Other places are: Dibrugarh- is famous for tea. It has the

All foreign tourists intending to visit Arunachal Pradesh require Restricted Area

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Annual-Nov 2011 world's largest area covered by tea gardens. Silchar; Jorhat; Tezpur- archaeological region; Charaideo - the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Assam; there are around 125 total urban centers in the state.

local populace has been are the main reasons for establishing some of the most attractive tourism features in this beautiful state. Aizawl is a religious and cultural capital center of the Mizos. It lies just north of Tropic of cancer. Foreign tourists require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP), which can be obtained from Indian embassies in their respective countries. Mizoram has only one airport, Lengpui Airport, which is near Aizawl.

Manipur Manipur is a mosaic of traditions and cultural patterns. The wet forests, the temperate forest and the pine forests occur between 900-2700 m above sea level and they together sustain a host of rare and endemic plant and animal life. All foreign tourists visiting Manipur require Restricted Area permit (RAP) issued by Ministry of Home Affairs. Imphal is the capital and pretty safe place but other areas should only be visited with good local information, and the word disturbed means no-go.

Nagaland Nagaland also known as the Switzerland of Asia is a breath-taking beautiful place. The people are very friendly and warm hearted. Each of the sixteen odd tribes and sub-tribes have their own languages, customs and traditions and they can easily be distinguished by their colorful dresses, ornaments and beads that they wear. The traditional ceremonial attire of each tribe is very colorful and attractive. Nagaland is blessed with a salubrious climate throughout the year. The land, flora, fauna, the people and their warm hospitality all combine to make Nagaland and ideal destinations for the tourists. Kohima is the capital and walking is the best way to feel the pulse of the capital. You can always go for a picnic/trekking in the forest. There are rivers and the forests are really beautiful. You can find different varieties of orchids which you will never find anywhere else in the world. Whether it is during winter or spring the sight of the forest is always breathtaking. The state of Nagaland still supports a tribal culture and here at the Hornbill Festival, in Kohima, is celebrated with a series of performances and demonstrations. All foreign nationals need to get a Restricted Area Permit before arriving in Nagaland.

Meghalaya It means 'Abode of Clouds' in Sanskrit. Most of the terrain is hilly and experiences heavy rainfall during monsoons. Meghalaya is home to three major tribal populations. English is the official language of the State. Meghalaya is endowed with a rich variety of flora and fauna. It boasts of the longest and deepest caves in India. Shillong is the capital city. Shillong is home to several waterfalls, it is also known as the Scotland of East. Traditional bamboo handicrafts and woolen handmade shawls are most popular buys. Mizoram The land of the Blue Mountains. Mizoram is full of beautiful and pristine places. Mizoram does not have very famous places/spots which you can talk about after your visit. One should rather enjoy the weather, the raw nature around, the thick and unending forests, winding roads and overall scenic beauty which cannot always be described in catchy phrases and photographs. Just chill in the lovely, nature fresh, naturally air conditioned weather, understand the local culture and way of living, soak in the peace and tranquility and unwind for a while. The Mizos are very friendly and hospitable. English is commonly spoken. The joyful enthusiasm and the gregarious spirit of the

Tripura Tripura formerly known as Hill Tippera was a former princely state. Tripura is the second most populous state in the region. Tripuri people form the biggest tribe comprising 60% of the total tribal population. Each tribe has their own festivals and a number of dances, which are performed during festival times. Agartala is the capital of the state. A

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Annual-Nov 2011 number of lakes and monuments can be seen in different parts of the town. Among the many building and temples that dot the landscape of Agartala. West Rajasthan Rajasthan literally means the land of the Kings. It is the ultimate confluence of history, chivalry, romance, rugged natural beauty, art and crafts and vivid colors. Rajasthan stretches out in to the Thar Desert. Rajasthan is one of the most popular tourist destinations to observe Indian heritage and royalty closely. Against the backdrop of the dull desert landscape and the once impregnable sand colored forts. It is the land of colorful people and attire, who narrate amazing legends of heroism and romance. Legends, which still resound from its equally

The State of Rajasthan apart from its heritage status is famous for its Wildlife Reserves and Religious pilgrimages. Some of the rare species of animals like Chinkara, Blackbuck, Great Indian Bustard and several migratory birds are found exclusively in Rajasthan. Sariska, Bharatpur Sanctuary, Desert National Park, Tal Chappar Sanctuary are one of the few places in Rajasthan where the rich and diverse Flora and fauna of Rajasthan can be viewed. Rajasthan also is a favorite destination for pilgrims belonging to Hindu, Jain and Muslim Religion. Jaipur known as the pink city is the state capital and was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh. There is plenty to see and do in this city. Ajmer is more popular as a gateway to Pushkar and an important city. Bikaner is famous for its sweets and savories. Chittorgarh- historically, the Chittorgarh fort was built by the Maurayans in 7th century A.D. It has a long history and many tales to share. Jaisalmer, the Golden City, the city is known for its proximity to the Thar Desert. Desert Safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an unforgettable experience. Plus the living forts, Jain temples and a lot more can be enjoyed. Jodhpur is called the Gateway to Thar. It is also called the Sun City as the sun shines almost every day of the year. Jodhpur is a historic city and the origin dates

amazing architecture standing erect, a witness to a glorious bygone era. It is actionpacked with outdoors too; take a safari on horses, camels, elephants or even jeeps at the Aravalis - India's oldest mountain range in the backdrop, or caress your eyes on the sloppy sand dunes, or trail a tiger or just watch birds on wetland. Take a breath taking experience of hot air ballooning over the heritage sites. Or you can choose to pamper yourself in the lavish heritage properties. Take part in the vibrant dances with swords and swirling skirts, with lamps and horses. Buy exclusive craft of mirror work embroidery and metal craft. Exalt the beautiful miniature and pichwai paintings. Taste the distinct cuisine. Rajasthan has something for everyone, just choose your activity. Live like a prince in the land of kings.

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Annual-Nov 2011 to the year 1459 AD when it was founded by Rao Jodha. It is also known as the Blue City, an apt name as most houses in the old city are shades of blue. It has the forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, color and texture, and a booming handicrafts industry. Udaipur is the capital of the former princely state of Mewar and is referred to as the Venice of the East. Kota is known for impressive forts, opulent palaces and splendid temples dating back over several centuries retain the past glory with an exciting contrast to the modern edifices and industries. Mount Abu is the only hill station of Rajasthan and the biggest draw is the Dilwara Jain Temple known for its carvings. The hill boasts of a rich vegetation and thick forest. It stands out like an oasis in arid environs. This 'Hill of Wisdom' and a true Olympus of Rajasthan stands on an independent hillock, which is separated from the main Aravali ranges by a deep gorge. Other places worth visiting are: Alwar; Barmer; Bharatpur; Bundi; Kumbhalgarh; Pushkar; Ranthambore; Sariska; etc. This state is not known to be safe especially for female single travelers and hence a guide or a driver should be engaged.

Although Gandhinagar is the state capital, however, Ahmedabad or Amdavad is the commercial hub and the biggest city in the state. It is the sixth largest city in India. Ahmedabad is a gastronomic paradise. You will find at least one restaurant in every nook and corner. There is plenty to see and buy in this city. It is from here that you can easily travel to any other part in the state. Rajkot is in the center of the region Saurashtra and a financial hub of the state. The city is also f a m o u s f o r t ra d i t i o n a l s w e e t s a n d dandiya/garba raas dances. Bhavnagar is one of the first cities in Gujarat to have an airport. Palitana, the major Jain pilgrimage center can be visited through this city. Palitana has over 850 temples atop sacred Mount Satrunjaya (the hill that conquers enemies of oneself), which makes it highest number of temple city in the world with a mention in the Guinness book of records. The top is reached by climbing (or by being carried up) 3,572 steps a stiff two-hour ascent. No one is allowed to sleep overnight at the top including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Omniscient Tirthankars. You can buy very good quality Indian handicrafts in Palitana and it is also

Gujarat Gujarat offers a wide range of the most spectacular attractions, which includes breathtaking locations and scenic landscapes. Gujarat is also a melting pot of several civilizations resulting in a vibrant culture and a rich heritage. Lothal, near Ahmedabad and Dholavira, near Kutch are sites of a Harappan (Indus) civilization, which were older than 4000 years. Gujarat is home to several architectural marvels, witnesses of its glorious history and pilgrim centers for many faiths. It is also the land of several mythological and historical figures like the legendary Krishna and Mahatma Gandhi the apostle of non-violence. Gujarat is known for the Step Wells, Jain Temples, Asiatic Lion and business oriented people. Gujaratis are famous for their entrepreneurship, both India and abroad. Most of the Gujarati people are strict vegetarians and their cuisine is amongst the best in the world including the sweets.

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Annual-Nov 2011 famous for its Bhel with Pomegranate seeds. Jamnagar has unspoilt Islands and beaches, hills, temples, palaces, forest, fantastic bird sanctuary and marine sanctuaries and corals and marine life in the Marine National Park. Junagadh is a historical city and is also a market for gold and silver embroidery, perfume, and copper and brass vessels. It is the only place where wild Asiatic lions are still found at Gir Sanctuary. Vadodara, a town also known as Baroda, it is named from the Vad (banyan) trees that flourish in the area. It is known for its palaces, universities, dances, etc. Surat is a port and an industrial city, known for its diamond and textile industries internationally. It has plenty to see, is the safest city in India and is also known for its food and cuisine across the world. Bhuj is kind of an historical city. It has a long history of kings and empires. It is mostly famous for its handicrafts and sweets. Other important places to visit are: Gir forests; Dholavira; Lothal; Somnath; Dwarka; Modhera; Patan- known to have ancient libraries. Gujarat is one of the safest states to travel to by anyone, anytime, though precautions should be taken on the safe side.

kind, unselfish native tribal have their own customs, dances and rituals which are quite fascinating. Maharashtra Maharashtra literally means a great state. Maharashtra contains India's most industrialized region, the Mumbai-Pune belt. Agriculturally too, the state is one of India's more advanced and well-irrigated. Coastal Maharashtra (Konkan) has some of very beautiful beaches. With a 720 km coast line, there are beautiful beach destinations almost every 50-100 km, starting from Dahanu in the Northern part of the State to Sindhudurg, at the Southern tip. Maharashtra is not only an industrial state but an agricultural as well with large quantities of fruits, vegetables and flowers grown. This is the only state well connected with the rest of the country and having highest number of international connections as well. Mumbai (earlier called Bombay and was part

Daman and Diu They are Union territories situated in Gujarat state. It was under the control of Portugal from 1539 to 1961 and as a result has a lot of Portuguese architecture and culture. Diu has fine but not so spectacular beaches, Diu town, some villages and all in all very relaxed atmosphere compared to most of India. Dadra and Nagar Haveli

of the Bombay presidency) is not only the capital city of Maharashtra but is also a cosmopolitan metropolis city and financial capital of India. Mumbai is a bustling, diverse metropolis with a flare all its own. The entrepreneurial spirit and pulsing pace of life provide a sharp contrast to much of the rest of India. The city is built by merging seven Islands and the discovery of its long natural port led to the city being developed by the British and was settled by Gujaratis and Parsis who made this city into the biggest trading hub in the country. The city merged with Maharashtra in 1960. For a brief period this city was the capital of India under the

The Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli are wedged between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The two regions Dadra and Nagar Haveli are separated from each other by a few kilometers. From 1779 to 1954, the land was administered by the Portuguese colonialists and later, after its liberation, by a local administration until 1961 when it merged with the Indian Union. Silvassa is the capital of the Union Territory. 'Silva' in Portuguese means 'woods' and this can be seen when you visit Silvassa, the tiny, sleepy capital township, with tall trees lining the roads, lush green forests. The hospitable,

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Annual-Nov 2011 British Rule. It houses the country's biggest stock market, diamond market, financial institutions, the movie and TV business, media houses, besides other industries.

has a lot to offer. Panaji, also known in English as Panjim, is the capital city of the tiny state of Goa. Other places are Margao the commercial and cultural capital of Goa. Vasco da Gama is Goa's port city and a place where ship builders and Navy are established. Old Goa is the former colonial capital of Goa. Full of history, it today is home to some scenic churches and convents, that are well maintained and worth a visit. The site is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, and is a UNESCO listed World Heritage site. Mapusa has a very colorful weekly Friday Market, that goes on from early morning to late evening, and which increasingly attracts a number of tourists. Ponda is made up of a crowded, dusted town and a number of clean, scenic, rustic villages interspersed with scenic temples. Ponda is also known for its proximity to Goa's wildlife, and is the cultural capital for Indian-style music in Goa.

Other cities and places are: Pune- the cultural capital of the state and second largest industrialized city in the state. Ahmednagar has more than 500 years of history. Aurangabad- the city of 52 doors and famous for its monuments. Nashik- city of pilgrimage center and also known as grape city. Nagpurcity of oranges and an agriculture hub. Amravati; Kolhapur; Sholapur; Nanded; Ratnagiri- famous for its mangoes; Lonavala; Khandala; Matheran; Mahabaleshwarknown for strawberries and jams. AjantaBuddhist caves, a complex of caves representing some of the best of early Buddhist art. Ellora- world famous for its caves of three religions, a total of 30 caves are divided into Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves and it is a World heritage site. Lonar- this place has Earth's only meteor crater in basaltic rock.

South Karnataka

Goa Karnataka is an enchanting land abounding in scenic beauty, rich is flora and fauna. It has pomp and pageantry of glorious traditions and marvels of modern engineering. There are many places of historic and religious importance. The temples have great significance for all lovers of art. The profusion of artistic skill is bewildering in its range and exquisiteness. Its language is Kannada and its people are known as kannadigas. Karnataka is popularly known for Carnatic Music throughout the world. Karnataka with all its richness in culture and traditional grandeur is also one of the fastest growing states in terms of industries and facilities. Karnataka is also known as the capital of Agarbathi (Incense Sticks), Arecanut, Silk, Coffee and Sandal Wood.

Former Portuguese colony is now India's tourist hub. Goa is a land of swaying palms, miles of golden sands, lush greenery, an incredible cultural heritage, magnificent churches, temples and monuments and a unique cultural synthesis of the east and west. From wines to cashew-nuts, enchanting local music to alternative books and handicrafts, from spas and resorts and plenty of beaches, from water sports to lakes, from casinos to international cuisines, Goa

Bengaluru or Bangalore is the capital of the state. Bengaluru is the major center of India's IT industry, popularly known as the Silicon Valley of India. Mysore was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyar dynasty and is considered the cultural capital of the state. The Mysore palace is one of the best in India that gets decked up like a bride during

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Annual-Nov 2011 with accurate sense proportion and expression. There are ancient monuments in and around Shravanabelagola. Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh is known as the Rice Granary of India. It uniquely combines history, beaches and mountains into a great travel destination. The medieval city of Hyderabad is its capital. The main language that is spoken in Andhra is Telugu. Hyderabad's many epithets include the City of Pearls, the City of Nawabs, and the Biryani City and, because of its high-tech draw, Cyberabad. Vijayawada literally translates to The Place of Victory is another main city of Andhra Pradesh. Visakhapatnam (also known locally as Vizag) is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh. It is primarily an industrial port city, but also attracts tourists due to its un-spoilt sandy beaches, well built and maintained parks and nearby scenic areas. Guntur is another large city that has a lot of religious and spiritual places to visit. Tirupati has a world famous temple located on top of Tirumala hills. This temple is the richest in India. Household industry, especially artistic handicrafts, is important to Kurnool's economy. Manufactures include specialized cotton textiles and hydrogenated oil made from groundnuts (peanuts) grown in the region. The city is also an important regional trade center.

Dassera festival. It is known for its Yog, Ayurved centers and research and houses many important museums. Mysore is known for its silks, sandalwood and unique cuisine. Mangalore was and is a port city and now a developing major city. Belgaum is a picture of contrasts. On one side is the old town area where the cotton and silk weavers still create magic with their fingers, and on the other the modern, bustling, tree-lined Cantonment built by the British. The twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad are actually two cities, unified by single Municipal Corporation. The city is a bustling trading center of little scenic beauty. On the other hand Dharwad is a charming quaint town spread across seven little hills. Chikmagalur is known for its coffee plantations and it is carved against a mountainous canvas it is full of surprises, lofty peaks, delightful dales, racing rivers, sparkling streams, captivating cascades, and the bracing mountain air, a balm to the workweary. Climb high above the world where the mountains seem to touch the sky. Coorg has incomparable scenic beauty, lush green valleys, coffee plantations, teak wood forests and majestic mountain ranges. Belur is famous for its exquisite temples. Hampi has the ruins of Vijayanagara Empire and Halebid has the ruins of temples and other structures. Udipi is a coastal town famous for its cuisines across India. Jog falls are the highest water falls in India and among the top ten in the world. Shravanabelagola is a village famous for its impressive Jain temple. The 17.38 meter (58 ft.) high monolithic stone statue of Bahubali is considered to be the world's largest monolithic stone statue. It is carved beautifully from a single block of rock

Pondicherry Pondicherry also known as Pondi, and now officially called Puducherry is a city and capital of the Pondicherry union territory in India. Pondicherry was the largest French colony in India. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. There is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. French is still understood, and the whole city makes for rather pleasant mix of East and West. It is also known as The French Riviera of the East. Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts to the north and south balance the town's bustling, yet easy going life. Sri Aurobindo Ashram at

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Annual-Nov 2011 Auroville, Pondicherry is an international town. There are a lot of activities in Auroville like Meditation, Yoga, Tai-Chi, etc., or different kinds of alternative healing and courses. [Refer to our Spiritual Lounge EMagazine, December 2010 issue]

One could meditate there. People also wet their feet on the shores of the ocean before entering the temple as the waters are considered sacred. Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India and was ruled by Pandya kings over most of its history. It is also known as the Temple City of India. You can find temples in almost every street in Madurai. The city is called Thoongaa Nagaram, which means Sleepless City. Madurai is also an important transit point for travelers bound south and also a local commercial hub. Mamallapuram dates back to the Tamil Pallava dynasty in the 7th-9th century. Also known as Mahabalipuram is a tourist town 60 km south of Chennai famous for its stone carvings, ancient temples, an outstanding example of Dravidian art and architecture. Thanjavur thrived as the ancient capital of the Chola kingdom. Thanjavur is considered as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, it also has fine old architecture and exquisite handicrafts. Tiruchirappalli (Trichy or Tiruchy) is an ancient city of South India and it was capital of Chola and Naicka kings for many centuries, having historical background. It is famous for many ancient and popular temples and religious institutions. Many other interesting places to visit are: Famous hill stations such as; Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud. Poompuhar; Rameshwaram; Chidambaram; Kumbakonam and Kanchipuram are known for its temples and handicrafts.

Tamil Nadu The land of Tamils is a state known for its temples and architecture, food, movies and classical Indian dance and Carnatic music. The languages spoken here are predominantly Tamil and English in the larger cities and metro capital Chennai. It is the historical home of the famous Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava kingdoms which thrived in ancient and medieval India. Do not forget to taste its local cuisine and the famous filter coffee special to Tamil Nadu is carefully made from chosen coffee beans, and roasted to preserve the original aroma of the beans. Chennai formerly known as Madras is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India and is the country's fourth-largest city. It is on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has the 2nd longest seashore in the world. Chennai is gateway to the South, and its culture is distinctly different from that of any other city in India. Tamil tradition and culture is essentially the celebration of the beauty, which is exemplified through dance, clothing, and sculptures. There is plenty to see and visit nearby places from Chennai. Coimbatore is famous for the manufacture of varied engineering goods. It is an orthodox city and people are content here. Erode is likely to be called by various names such as Textile City, Turmeric City or Loom City of India. It is also a center of an agricultural area, with the largest market in India, and important as a university town. Kanniyakumari or Kanyakumari is a town on the southernmost tip of the main land of India. It is also known as Cape Comorin. The confluence of three seas namely; The Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean can be witnessed at Kanyakumari. This unique geographical phenomenon has made this little one of the significant destinations in any religious or pleasure trips that one seeks to undertake in this country. Vivekananda Rock memorial has a special meditation room which is absolutely quiet.

Kerala Welcome to Kerala, God's Own Country. With the Arabian Sea on the west, the Western Ghats towering 500 - 2700m on the east and Kerala networked by forty-four rivers. Kerala is a very easy place to simply sit

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Annual-Nov 2011 back and enjoy. The name means land of coconuts and the palms shade nearly the entire state from the tropical sun; many call the beach at Kovalam the best in India, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations and exotic wildlife, Ayurvedic health resorts, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, an exotic cuisine, all of which offers a unique experience. It is a land much acclaimed for the contemporary nature of its cultural ethos, and much appreciated for the

followed by the Dutch and English. Kannur is mentioned as great emporia of spice trade by explorer Marco Polo. It is also a historical town famous for its strong heritage, martial arts Kalaripayattu, temple art Theyyam, political movements, forts, beaches and spices/coffee growing hills. Kollam (Quilon) is a commercial town famous for its cashew and coir industries, surrounded by backwaters and lakes. Kottayam, known for its latex, literacy and letters and as major educational center. Munnar hill station is nearby. Kozhikode (Calicut) - most prominent city of Malabar area, where Vasco da Gamma landed for the first time in India, and one of the world's oldest thriving trade centers. Palakkad, a gateway to Kerala by land through the Palghat Pass in Western Ghats; known for its paddy (rice) fields, hills, traditional homes, cuisines and composite culture. Tipu Fort, Malampuzha Gardens, Silent Valley National Park are nearby. Thrissur (Trichur) is the cultural capital of Kerala and also famous for jewelry shops and silk sarees. Temple festivals with caparisoned elephants like Thrissur Pooram. Thekkady- Periyar Tiger Reserve and elephant forests.

soothing, rejuvenating paradise that it is. It is the most literate state in India. Thiruvananthapuram formerly and often still known as Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is one of the oldest cities in India, with periodic references in many Greek and Roman literatures. With a tradition dating back to 1000BC, lies on a small strip of land with plenty of coconut and palm trees, and it name means City of Lord Anantha in Sanskrit and Malayalam, It was a trading post for spices, sandalwood and ivory. Today it has many educational and research centers. Alappuzha also known as Alleppey is often called the Venice of the East due to the canals that connect it to Kerala's famous snaking backwaters. Alleppey is known for its snake-boat race and houseboat cruises. Kochi or Cochin is the financial capital and a commercial port of Kerala. Kochi merchants began trading in spices such as black pepper and cardamom with the Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese, and Chinese more than 600 years ago. This helped Kochi to prosper and to become the gateway to old India. It was from Kochi that the colonization of India started. Portugal was first to establish its base in Kochi,

Lakshadweep Lakshadweep, formerly the Laccadives, is a group of islands situated some 400 km off India's west coast in the Arabian Sea. They are India's only coral atolls. Lakshadweep is India's smallest union territory. The name literally means a hundred thousand islands in Sanskrit. It has ten inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands attached islets, four newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs. Lakshadweep is one of the most beautiful destinations in India. Everybody, Indian or otherwise, requires a special permit to visit Lakshadweep. There are basic leisure tours and Sea/Lagoon based tours. There are plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, yachting, pedal boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. One may also visit local houses, the Marine museum, Lighthouse and a few local industries. Picking up corals is a punishable crime. Be safe. Agatti is the only airport in Lakshadweep.

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Annual-Nov 2011 Andaman and Nicobar

employment, research or missionary visa, you need to register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office where you will be staying. If the place you are staying at doesn't have one, you need to register at the local police station. All visitors who intend to stay more than 180 days also need to be registered.

An Archipelago of 572 islands adrift in the Bay of Bengal, the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands stretches over an area of more than 700 sq. kms. Port Blair (Capital) and its surroundings offer sightseeing possibilities that interest all. There is history, nature and beauty that will fascinate you. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are one of the most remote spots on the planet. The original inhabitants are various aboriginal tribes who exist more-or-less out of the mainstream. There are some tribes who have had no contact whatsoever with the rest of the world. Of nearly 600 islands, only 9 are open to foreign tourists, and all of these are in the Andamans. The islands exist in India's popular consciousness mainly because they were used as a penal colony by the British rulers to imprison rebels and freedom fighters, in addition to hardened criminals. Most of the inhabitants of these islands are in fact migrants from the mainland, some of them descended from the prisoners. Non-Indians need a Restricted Area Permit to visit the islands, but these are now issued on arrival at the Port Blair airport. Most people come here for the beaches and the scuba diving, especially on Havelock Island and Neil Island. If you love the sight of wispy coconut palms swaying in the breeze, the feel of soft white sand under your bare feet, the flash of birds vivid against the blue sky, the games of the green shadows in the forest, the infinite variety of underwater marine life, you enjoy it all when you are in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, also known as Emerald Islands for the breath taking color of the sea.

2. Clearing customs can be a bit of a hassle, though it has improved vastly. In general, avoid the touts who will offer to ease your baggage through customs. There are various rules regarding duty-free allowances. 3. India is big and there are lots of interesting ways to travel around it, most of which could not very well be described as efficient or punctual. Allow considerable buffer time for any journey with a fixed deadline. India's large size and uncertain roads make flying a viable option. Even India's offshore islands and remote mountain states are served by flights. Many airlines have higher fares for foreigners than for Indians. Checking in at Indian airports tends to be slow and bureaucratic, involving lots of queuing and security checks. Don't hesitate to ask someone if you are unsure. Most staff in airports is very helpful to foreigners and will take pains to ensure you catch your flight. Most train passengers will be curious about you and happy to pass the time with a chat. Tickets are available from counters at most railway stations as well as directly from Indian Railways' online reservation service. Rail passes are also available, and are called Indrail passes. At most larger stations hawkers selling tea, peanuts, and snack food and even complete meals will go up and down the train. Most important stations will have vendors selling all kinds of edible stuff, but the usual caveats about eating in India apply. Note that in the most luxurious Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, meals are included in your ticket price and served at your seat during travel. There are no dining cars in Indian Railways. While you can't take a crosscountry bus-ride across India, buses are the second most popular way of travelling across states and the only cheap way of reaching many places not on the rail network. In addition to ordinary public buses, there are

Tips and Guidance 1. Depending on your purpose of visit, you can get a tourist visa (six months), a business visa (six months, one year or more, multiple entries) or a student visa (up to 5 years). A special 10-year visa (business and tourist) is available to US citizens only. An Indian visa is valid from the day it is issued, not the date of entry. It's wise to ask for a multiple entry visa even if you aren't planning to use it they cost the same, are handed out pretty liberally and come in handy. If you are on a student,

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Annual-Nov 2011 luxury or express buses available, and most have air-conditioning.

track. Within the city or a town, when getting an auto-rickshaw, you can either negotiate the fare or go by the meter. Make sure that the driver knows where he is going. Many auto rickshaw drivers will claim to know the destination without really having any clue as to where it is. This is because after they get lost and drive all over the place, they will often demand extra payment for their own mistake. Ideally, you should talk with a local to find out what the fare for any estimated route will be. Higher rates may apply at night, and for special destinations such as airports.

In India driving is on the left of the road at least most of the time. You can drive in India if you have a local license or an International Driving Permit, but unless you are used to driving on extremely chaotic streets, you probably will not want to. National Highways are better, but they are still narrow, and Indian driving discipline is non-existent. Instead, if you desire going by a car, opt for driver while renting the car. Rates are quoted in rupees per kilometer and you will have to pay for both ways even if you are going only one way. The driver's salary is low that it adds little to the cost of renting the car. The driver will find his own accommodation and food wherever you are traveling, although it is customary to give him some money to buy some food when you stop somewhere to eat. A good local driver is the safest means of car travel. The driver will often have some knowledge of local tourist destinations. You can stop anywhere you like, and change plans at the last minute. Make sure you can trust your driver before you leave your goods with him. If he shows any suspicious motives or behavior make sure you keep your bags with you. Conversely, if your driver is very friendly and helpful, it is a nice gesture to buy him a little something to eat or drink when stopping for food. They will really appreciate this. Many times these drivers' doubles up as touts, taking you to places where they earn a commission and sometimes these places may not be the right ones, just use your judgment. If you rent a car for a trip to a remote destination, make sure before getting on and out that you will recognize the driver and write down the license plate number and his phone number (nearly all drivers have mobile phones). Touts at tourist areas may try to mislead you into getting into the wrong car when you leave. Also double check with the company about the rules of changing your car and the driver in any event of break-down or otherwise. Indian highways can be extremely dangerous at places. Make sure that your driver also gets enough time to rest and eat. Avoid travel at night. Indian roads are dimly lit if at all, and there are even more hazards on the road after dark even highway bandits if you get far enough off the beaten

4. If you need to get anywhere, call in advance and ask for detailed directions. Postal addresses are often stated in terms of general landmarks. Finding a place will usually involve some searching, but you will always find someone out on the streets to guide you. Unlike many other countries, Indians usually do ask passers-by, nearby shopkeepers or cops for guidance on street addresses. It is usually safe to ask a cop or traffic-policeman for guidance and double check on directions received. 5. India has 22 official languages and many dialects. Code-switching between English and the native language is common. While fluency in English varies vastly depending on education levels, occupation, age and region; it is generally not a problem getting by with English in urban areas. English is compulsory in all schools, and is widely spoken in major cities and around most tourist places, as well as in most government offices, and acts as the lingua franca among educated Indians. However, if possible, you are better off picking up as many words of the local language of the place you are going to. English has been spoken by Indians long enough that it has begun evolving its own rhythm, vocabulary, accents and inflection. Generally speaking, most official signs are bilingual in the state language and English. Most Indian languages lack a word for please, there is no such distinction in English, Indians may also seem commanding to a westerner but they are not. Non-verbal communication is also important, especially when meaning a yes or a no. Those who come from countries, who do not know English well, can higher translators who double up as

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Annual-Nov 2011 guides in urban areas.

(MRP) right on the package. This includes taxes. Retailers are not supposed to charge more than this. Though this rule is adhered to at most places, at tourist destinations or remote places, you may be charged more. This is especially true for cold drinks. Do check for the authenticity of the MRP, as shopkeepers may put up a sticker of his own to charge more from you.

6. The currency in India is the Indian rupee. It is always good to have a number of small bills on hand, as merchants and drivers sometimes have no change. A useful technique is to keep small bills in your wallet or in a pocket, and to keep larger bills separate. Hence, it will not be obvious how much money you have. Coins are useful for buying tea, coffee, knick-knacks, bus and auto fare. Indians commonly use lakh and crore for 100,000 and 10,000,000 respectively. Though these terms come from Sanskrit, they have been adopted so deeply into Indian English that most people are not aware that it is not standard in other English dialects. It is always worthwhile to have bank cards or credit cards from at least two different providers to ensure that you have a backup available in case one card is suspended by your bank or simply does not work at a particular ATM. In many cities and towns, credit cards are accepted at retail chain stores and other restaurants and big stores. Small businesses and family-run stores almost never accept credit cards, so it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand. In short, India is not very expensive, except traveling luxuriously.

8. Indian cuisine is superb and takes its place among the great cuisines of the world. Indian food has well-deserved reputation for being hot, owing to the Indian penchant for the liberal use of a variety of spices, and potent fresh green chili's or red chili powder that will bring tears to the eyes of the uninitiated, and found in unexpected places like sweet cornflakes (a snack, not breakfast) or even candies. The degree of spiciness varies widely throughout the country. If you wish for your food to be bland or less spicy, please indicate this specifically at the time of placing an order. Visiting vegetarians will discover a culinary treasure that is found nowhere else in the world. Owing to a large number of strictly vegetarian Hindus and Jains, Indian cuisine has evolved an astonishingly rich menu that uses no meat or eggs. The Jains in particular practice a strict form of vegetarianism based on the principles of non-violence and peaceful cooperative co-existence: Jains usually do not even consume root vegetables such as potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots, radishes, cassava, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc. At least half the menus of most restaurants are devoted to vegetarian dishes, and by law all packaged food products in India are tagged with a green dot (vegetarian) or red dot (nonveg). Veganism however is not a wellunderstood concept in India, and vegans may face a tougher time. Milk in India is generally not pasteurized, and must be boiled before consumption except if it is available as flavored milk.

7. In India, you are expected to negotiate the price with street hawkers or small shops but not in department stores or malls. The harder you bargain, the more you save money. A few tries later, you will realize that it is fun. Often, the more time you spend in a store, the better deals you will get. It is worth spending time getting to know the owner, asking questions, and getting him to show you other products (if interested). You will get better prices and service by buying many items in one store than by bargaining in multiple stores individually. If you see local people buying in a store, probably, you can get the real Indian prices. Ask someone around you quietly, “How much would you pay for this?� Do not necessarily get invited by friendly shopkeepers inviting you in, you may land up paying more. Baksheesh or small bribes are a very common phenomenon. While it is a big problem in India, doing it can ease certain problems and clear some hurdles. Packaged goods show the Maximum Retail Price

9. In India eating with your hand (instead of utensils like forks and spoons) is very common. Needless to say, it's wise to wash your hands well before and after eating. Most of the restaurants do provide cutlery and it's pretty safe to use them instead of your hand. Eating by hand is frowned on in some classier

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Annual-Nov 2011 pay as you like is a sure warning sign. Don't give more than agreed, no matter what explanation is offered at the time of payment. Just take your belongings, pay what was originally agreed and walk away. When travelling by auto rickshaw or a taxi never ever get into the vehicle if there is another person accompanying the driver. This always spells trouble for unwary travellers. Unless the taxi is a share-a-taxi which can be found in metros.

places. If you are provided with cutlery and nobody else around you seems to be doing it, then take the hint. Although you may be handed an extensive menu, most dishes are served only during specific hours, if at all. Tipping is unusual outside of fancier restaurants where 10% is appropriate. 10. One of the sweetest and safest beverages you can get is tender coconut water. As for bottled water, make sure that the cap's seal has not been broken; otherwise, it is a telltale sign of tampering or that unscrupulous vendors reuse old bottles and fill them with tap water, which is generally unsafe for foreign tourists to drink without prior boiling. Bottled water brands international and Indian are widely available. Drinking alcohol can either be frowned upon or openly accepted, depending on the region and religion of the area within which you are drinking.

13. Overseas visitors, particularly women, attract the attention of beggars, frauds and touts. Beggars will often go as far as touching you, and following you tugging on your sleeve. It does little good to get angry or to say No loudly. The best response is to look unconcerned and ignore the behavior. The more attention you pay to a beggar or a tout positive or negative the longer they will follow you hoping for a payback. Giving money to beggars in public is not safe as it will result in a stampede of beggars from all directions. As always in India, patience is required. Wearing local clothes will decrease the amount of attention you receive. Travellers should not trust strangers offering assistance or services. If a priest or guide offers to treat you to a religious ceremony, find out what it will cost you first, and do not allow yourself to be pressured into making donations of thousands; simply walk away if you feel uncomfortable. However, don't get too paranoid: fellow travelers on the train or Indian families who want to take your picture on their own camera, for example, are often just genuinely curious. Travellers should be cautious when visiting villages and rural areas in the night. Bandits occasionally abduct and rob tourists, as it is assumed they possess large amounts of wealth. But this is rare and happens most often in remote areas. Ask at your hotel to see if this is an issue in your area. Also, think twice about taking night buses or driving at night in these areas. While travelling in public transport (trains, buses) do not accept any food or drink from any local co-passenger even though they are very friendly or polite.

11. Don't count on having a reliable electricity supply if you aren't staying in an upmarket hotel. Brownouts are frequent. Do carry torches and spare batteries with you. Make sure to carry your passport wherever you go, as most hotels will not rent out rooms without you producing a valid passport. This is especially true in Delhi. 12. As a rule India is quite safe for foreigners, apart from instances of petty crime and theft common to any developing country, as long as certain basic precautions are observed (that is women travellers avoiding travelling alone at night, etc.). However, you can check with your embassy and ask for local advice. Be extra careful while traveling in certain states, notorious even for local travelers. Unfortunately theft is quite common in places visited by tourists and crowded markets, but violent thefts hardly ever occur. More likely a thief will pick your pocket or break into your room. There is little risk of street robbery in India. Some people handling your cash will try to shortchange you or rip you off. In Delhi particularly. Count your cash before handing it over, and be insistent on receiving the correct change. Agree on all fares and payments for services clearly in advance; some people go as far as to write them on paper! Being told that you can

14. Whereas Indian men can be really eager to talk to travellers, women in India often refrain from contact with men (except in

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Annual-Nov 2011 large cities or metros). It is an unfortunate fact that if you are a man and you approach a woman in India for even an innocuous purpose like asking for directions, you are putting her on the defensive usually, especially the one who is dressed traditionally. It is better to ask a man if one is available (there usually will be), or be extra respectful if you are asking a woman. And if you are a female traveler, you can freely communicate with another woman.

inefficiency are present in all Indian police forces, and the quality of the police force varies by officer. For emergencies, throughout most of India, you can dial 100 for police assistance. For non-emergencies, go down to the police station to report a crime. 17. Carry a standard first-aid kit, plus extra over-the-counter medicine for diarrhea and stomach upset. A rehydration kit can also be helpful. Malaria is endemic throughout India. Use a mosquito repellent when going outside (particularly during the evenings) and also when sleeping in trains and hotels without air-conditioning. If you need to visit a hospital in India, avoid small government hospitals. The quality of treatment cannot be to your expectation. Private hospitals provide better service.

15. India is a conservative country and some Western habits are perceived as dishonorable for a woman. Outside of the larger cities, it is unusual for people of the opposite sex to touch each other in public. Therefore, it is advised that you do not shake hands with a person of the opposite sex unless the other person extends his/her hand first. The safest bet is to fold hands and say Namaste. People are fully-clothed even at the beach. So, be sure to find out what the appropriate attire is for the beach you are visiting. In some rare places like Goa, where the visitors to beach are predominantly foreigners, it is permissible to wear bikinis on the beach but it is still offensive to go about dressed in western swim wear away from the beach. Never walk on the street or take a taxi or auto rickshaw with provocative clothes which expose much skin. This holds especially true if you are travelling at night. Tourists are easily distinguishable and hence targeted during night time. If at all possible, refrain from areas that other tourists avoid. In most buses (private and public) a few seats at the front of the bus are reserved for women, usually these seats will be occupied by men and, very often, they vacate the place when a female stands near gesturing her intention to sit there. In many parts of the country, women will not share a seat with a man other than her spouse or a male family member. If you sit near a man, he may stand up from the seat and give the place to you; this is a sign of respect, not rudeness. Befriending Indian women, however, can be a wonderful experience for female travelers, though you might have to initiate conversation. An easy topic to get aid on is clothes.

18. In all religious places it is obligatory to take off your shoes. It may also be customary to take off your footwear while entering into homes, follow other people's lead. It is disrespectful to touch or point at people with your feet. If done accidentally, you will find that Indians will make a quick gesture of apology. Books and written material are treated with respect, as they are considered as being concrete/physical forms of the Hindu Goddess of Learning, Saraswati. A book should not be touched with the feet and if it has accidentally touched, the same gesture of apology will follow. The same goes with currency, or anything associated with wealth (especially gold). The Swastika is commonly seen in India, as it is considered a religious symbol for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is not widely regarded as a symbol for Nazism in India, and in fact, had its origins in Hinduism long before the birth of Nazism, so visitors should not feel offended if they see a Swastika in a temple or in the home of a local. Also if you observe carefully, the Indian swastika points are drawn opposite to the Nazi swastika. Religious places do welcome others unless specified but do be aware that a female must avoid visiting a religious place or ceremony if she is menstruating on that day. One should also not smoke, drink or eat inside the sanctum.

16. Unfortunately, corruption and

19. Any give or take of anything important

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Annual-Nov 2011 should be done with the right hand only. This includes giving and taking of presents, and any transfer of a large amount of money. Keep in mind that Indians will consider themselves obliged to go out of the way to fulfill a guest's request and will insist very strongly that it is no inconvenience to do so, even if it is not true. It is customary to put up a token friendly argument with your host or any other member of the group when paying bills at restaurant or while making purchases. The etiquette for this is somewhat complicated. In a business lunch or dinner, it is usually clear upfront who is supposed to pay, and there is no need to fight. 20. Certain topics related to deeply religious or mention of Pakistan, China and Kashmir is highly sensitive. Be careful! 21. India is a very communicative country so to find a phone; a mobile is very easy and accessible. However, Internet connections could be problematic, especially in rural, interiors or remote areas. 22. One should also be aware that finding restrooms, washrooms and toilets is very difficult while traveling long distance and even within a city, except for malls, large stores and hotels. One should be prepared for such an eventuality.

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Annual-Nov 2011

Mahirwan Mamtani

Interviewed by Claus Schweer

Mahirwan Mamtani, born in India in 1935, has been exploring the interplay of luminous, glowing colors with variations of mandala forms for over 30 years. The extraordinary richness of more than 3,000 artworks produced in this period offer an astonishing testimony to his creative inventiveness. Mamtani has been living in Germany since a DAAD scholarship in the 1960s to study at the Munich Art Academy. An interview with Mamtani offers helpful insight into his artform. CS In your most recent works, why do your figures have these unusual four petal faces? They seem to resemble beings from another world. MM These beings are within us. As you know, for the last 30 years I have been painting only one form, namely the four petal geometrical Mandala. In Munich, in the sixties, I was influenced by Constructivism and, with my Indian background, by Tantra art. Out of these origins arose my Centrovision series of more than 3,000 acrylic paintings. CS And the faces? MM They started appearing spontaneously about 20 years ago, initially on canvas. I continued painting on wood, cutting away the outer circles, freeing them out from the rectangular frame. CS So then they looked like masks? MM Exactly, but they had no connection with traditional meanings. One day, I made holes in the wood, adjusting them to my eyes, put it onm my face and looked into the mirror. I found that I was the observer and at the same time I was being observed – by me. I was inspired and started dancing with these masks. I installed photo and video cameras in my studio to capture these movements. CS May I ask what these Mandala faces represent? MM They represent “Wholeness”. In my Centrovision paintings, four circles meet at the zero point in the center, our true Self. We have to be reminded of this, because normally we are wearing masks of different emotions and are stuck in our limitations. If we are aware of such limitations, we are ready to open to new horizons. CS Are you implying that if we remove the masks, we come to our true self? MM Yes, I am trying to make the viewer realise that if we continue playing roles on a stage, we shall not be able to experience the highest state of mind – our true Godly nature. CS Is your four petal mandala typically Indian? MM No, this form is universal and is found in almost every culture, as pointed out by C.J. Jung and others. CS Dont´t you think as an Indian artist living in the West you have a particular vantage point? MM That is true, e.g., I am aware of the cosmic dimension in Tantra art and I had a connection with a group of socalled Neo Tantra Indian artists with whom I was exhibited in the USA and Germany. I also have contact with European artists of similar cosmic leanings and my works have been exhibited with them in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. CS Is the cosmic dimension of your art something typically Indian? MM No. You see when I came to Europe I was already aware that, for example, Kandinsky, one of the groundbreakers of modernism, had been searching for spiritual dimensions in art. This spiritual affinity is not limited to historical periods. For me, it can go as far back as William Blake in the 18th century or extend to a German contemporary like Joseph Beuys, who was influenced by the anthroposophic teachings of Rudolf Steiner. CS Is it possible for everyone to understand the spiritual message in your later figurative work as in your earlier abstract Centrovision ? MM It depends on the observer. Some receive the message through the figurative forms, others through the abstract geometric forms. And some viewers see only aesthetic compositions, without

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Annual-Nov 2011 any socalled message. CS I am struck by the luminous quality and intensity of your colours. Do they have personal meaning for you? MM For me, for example, black represents the void – all potential colours are contained in it. Blue is the colour of a higher frequency, and spiritual. Remember that Krishna is blue. Yellow is the colour of light, with potential for a positive and negative charge. CS Do you see a relationship of your creativity to other creative forms? MM Yes, for example some works have a musical quality – with various strokes being fine, or quiet, or bold and loud – all united in an orchestration of colour. I actually play the drums in a band of German friends. While I play, I see colors of different frequencies: the sounds of the drums for me are red and brown. Or my daughter play the cello – it is for me the colour, blue. CS And a relationship to science? MM Yes. I am motivated, as are the scientists, to make visible the invisible; to make known the unknown. There is the microand macrocosmos; the universe of atomic and subatomic particles – quantum physics. All beings are energy, yet look and behave differently: There is the human aspect, and the divine within.It is fascinating.

Centrovision 394 1980 on calico/plexiglass 120x120 cm

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Centrovision 1144 1999 canvas 145x145 cm

Mask Goddess 1999 on wood 150x150cm

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Spiritual Lounge Annual November 2011