Mass Meditation Thursday, Nov 30 2006 

It’s amazing that Transcendental Meditation Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is 89 years old and still commands a large following with his quirky ideas and claims.

He’s built up a Vedic City in Iowa, U.S.A., where the famed Guru is organizing a mass meditation of 2000 adept practitioners of meditation (called as ‘yogic fliers’) for sending “a wave of positivity across the globe” for world peace and prosperity.

The preliminary effect of this transformation has already been felt in the U.S. where the assembly (christened Invincible America Assembly) has 1500 adepts meditating. It “is quietly transforming the nation and raising the country to a permanent state of peace, prosperity, and invincibility.”

“And when the number of Yogic Flyers reaches the square root of one percent of the U.S. population (about 2000), there will be an even more dramatic improvement…”

The Maharishi has a knack for linking all his fanciful ideas to some cryptic Vedic hymns and cloaking his gibberish in the language of modern science with the help of some of his well educated followers.

“The ‘non-linear partial differential equations’ governing the weather obey the characteristics of chaos theory. As a consequence, weather patterns are sensitive to infinitesimal changes in initial conditions—a phenomenon popularly known as the ‘Butterfly Effect.’ Even minute changes in people’s behavior can precipitate—or prevent—a hurricane. The Invincible America Assembly is raising the quality of collective consciousness—and of behavior throughout society—to be more harmonious, more life supporting. And Nature is responding more positively,” Dr. Hagelin said. (Link)

Dr. John Hagelin, it’s said, is a world-renowned quantum physicist and director of the Invincible America Assembly.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi claims that-

“simultaneous mass meditation creates a wave effect that calms the world, influences stock markets, decreases crime rates and prompts other positive societal behavior.” (Link)

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Kashmir: The Basics Tuesday, Nov 21 2006 

The basics of Kashmir row are that simple unless you give a spin to them.

It’s on these basics that India and Pakistan have fought three wars and came so close to another all out war during “Kargil War” in 1999.

It’s on these basics that unending bloodshed continues in Kashmir and the terrorists have taken the fight to almost all corners of India targeting innocent people.

It’s on these basics that the two adversaries have been readying for a final showdown in a nuclear battle field.

These basics had been summarized 55 years ago by a lesser known wise Indian, A.D. Gorwala.

Says the Pakistani Government: The bulk of the inhabitants of Kashmir are Muslims. It is a Muslim province. Pakistan is a Muslim State. Kashmir is contiguous to Pakistan. Its people wish to belong to Pakistan. It must belong to Pakistan.

Says the Indian Government: The fact that the majority of Kashmiris are Muslims has nothing to do with the country which Kashmir joins. The ruler of Kashmir acceded to India and the real leaders of the people of Kashmir, Muslims themselves, have clearly stated their desire to remain with India. Kashmir, therefore, must come to India. It is, in fact, a part of India. The part held by Pakistan is wrongly seized by aggression and must be vacated in favour of the real government. Then, we shall have a plebiscite to let the people of Kashmir decide their future.

Says the Pakistan Government: What is the use of such a plebiscite? The result will be a foregone conclusion. For a proper plebiscite, take away your soldiers, remove the government, have a neutral authority in power.

Says the Indian Government: Don’t be silly. Who are you to talk anyway? You let raiders into the land to loot and rape and helped them with your own troops. You are the worst type of aggressor. Get out of Kashmir and stay out. We are not going to let you interfere.

Says the Pakistan Government: But this is absurd. You plotted with the Maharaja. The people you call leaders are really your stooges. There must be a proper plebiscite. Our people are getting very impatient. We clench our fists at you. If you don’t listen and the United Nations don’t make you, we shall seek the arbitrament of war.

Says the Indian Government: Your allegations are false. If you restart fighting in Kashmir, prepare for an attack on Pakistan. In order to show that we are in earnest, we are moving troops very near your borders.

Says the Pakistan Government: This is fantastic. You are preparing for aggression. This is really terrible. Withdraw your troops.

Says the Indian Government: We won’t. It is time you learnt to behave.

Should these arguments be allowed to continue? Haven’t both sides paid dearly for sticking to their respective unrelenting stand? In what terms can we count the cost?

What a tragedy!

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A Smoldering Fire Tuesday, Nov 14 2006 

The man selling fish in the picture is no ordinary fishmonger.

He is a 32 year old award winning poet selling fish in the market for making a living! He is from Kerala, my home state, and writes in Malayalam.

Although he has published eight volumes of poetry so far and won the highest literary award of the state government for his works, he remains very poor and lives in a shanty with his wife and two children. He took to selling fish for a living after trying out many odd jobs across Kerala. It earns him over Rs. 150 ($ 3.3) a day.

He even attempted suicide along with his family to escape the squalor of poverty but failed. Finally, it seems, he has accepted life with all its callousness and decided to live on by writing poetry and selling fish.

His poems are highly appreciated by critics. They note that his “poetic sensibilities come from his livid experiences…His mind is full of fire – but they do not yell out, just smolder”.

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Death In The Car Thursday, Nov 2 2006 

A car can be a deadly place to be in an automobile accident. And then, you can die while simply sitting in a parked car, its engine running, the windows up and the air-con running. The freak accident that recently involved three Chennai-based young software engineers in a Santro is an illustration of how death can strike viciously and silently while doing nothing less innocuous than sitting in a car. Now, though knowledge of the circumstances in the incident is still forthcoming, a post mortem report of the three people points a probable finger at the cause of death — a heavy amount of carbon monoxide in the lungs.