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Karma : Indian point of view to western questions
 Surender Negi  
 18 March 2018  

Karma: Myth and Philosophical TheoryFew days ago, I read an article on Karma. I have enjoyed that Article. It is very rare when you get chance to read an article which force you to bend your mind for thinking beyond the boundaries of your bubble of thoughts. I would like to request with reader that if they want they can visit my friend website. He writes about various topics and ideas which are energetic and great.His Article raised many question about the concept of karma. I replied him in his comment box but that was short and unorganized reply. So, I thought that it should be create as blog where I would be able to explain my point more efficiently. There is five major question raised in that article. These questions are related to law of karma, implication and evidence of existence.The first question is about if there is some kind of karma (good and bad), than who will decide that what is good karma? According to whom it will indicate that Karma is good or bad?Before exploring this answer, we must understand that in western dictionary, karma is considered as Consequence of our action. But in Indian philosophy, the definition of karma is slightly different. Karma is not confined to mere consequence of an individual action or action of a society. The word "Karma" is defined as consequence of an individual action within fold of adharma and dharma. Here, Dharma is the natural properties define by Nature to an object and adharma is resistive nature towards someone natural properties. For example, Water has properties to cool material object and Fire can burn objects. These properties of fire and water have predetermine consequence by nature. This is how nature has been constructed and natural consequence is mechanically knot with infinite causality with others. So, human natural properties has been define into three nature- Good (Sattav), Bad (Tamas) and Gray (Rajas). No human can be extreme good or bad.In various ratios, our natural properties have been construct which is direct or indirect result of our location and the era we born.So, Karma is consequence of our action which is result of what we do against or in favour of our swadharma (A term defined for individual dharma because people have various properties). It is not plain consequence of our action.[caption id="attachment_8979" align="aligncenter" width="321"] Endless Knot of karma[/caption]Now, Question arise what is good karma and what is bad karma?As a man himself sows, so he himself reaps; no man inherits the good or evil act of another man. The fruit is of the same quality as the action.— Mahabharata, xii.291.2This verse of mahabharata explain an outline of Good and bad karma. Human life is mirror of his own action. Definition of Good karma is comes from your own perception about world. If a person want to be wealthy, he must do action which not hurt someone else financially. If a person want to be love by everyone, he must be kind to others. There is no God words and holy direction to achieve good karma. There is only one dharmic rule."Do the same action which you expect from others."So,good and bad karma according to whom? This can be answer with this dharmic rule that "according to you". According to our understanding of good and bad karma.Irrespective of this dharmic rule for karma, Human is social animal. In this world we are so strongly interlinked that sometime it is hard for us to even understand that what went wrong within our society. In that situation, Hindu philosophy introduces the concept of Guru or swami. a person who studied the society and spread word against any action or karma which is not in line with current need of society. They are like ancient social reformer. Because eastern religion, especially Hinduism has decentralised religious structure, so it is very hard to challenge any change proposed by Guru and swami.But the negative side of this decentralise religious structure is that it take long time for social reform.The second question raised by article is that the idea of karma concerns free will. The dividing line between what is free action and what is not free action is unclear. Accusation has that Indian school of thought says there is moral consequence to freely undertaken actions. This idea is really thought provoking that weather karma conflict with free will of human. But the bigger question is that do we have really a free will? Let's understand with an example.I was habitual drinker of Coca cola in my young age. Whenever I got chance to drink a cold drink, I always ordered to shopkeeper for coca cola. That was spontaneous to me because my brain was habitual for that. This thing happens with many people for various habits. Some people prefer orange juice over other fruit juice. Some people always prefer apple over other fruits. So, our action or we can say, our choice is construction and pattern of our habits, our patterns. Our will (which is spontaneous) has been drive through such repeated information in our sub conscious mind. Do we have free will? or it's just mechanical outcome of our sub consciousness[/caption] Sure!! We are conscious human being and when it comes to choose different action from our habits we chose with a will we think are free. But the question is that really an action depends on our free will.I think partially its depend on our free will but mostly it is depend on how we look that action or will. Our conscious brain always calculates the risk and tracks all information about that action before executing. Any bitter experience and memory can put that action on hold. But at final stage, it is required other natural properties like ratio of taking risk, our passion for that action (if it attach to a passion) or our current physical and financial condition.We simply do not wish and start implementing. It is complex.Well, now there is concern that some ideas are result of outside moral force which has power of judgement and of inflicting repercussions. As we understand that free will is almost result of our understanding about world and the natural properties which we inherit. So, any action which we do within social framework has social implication. Every society has primitive understanding of world. This infinite net of primitive understanding of world and our collective experience from past is reflect in our current culture, social norms, social ideologies and rituals. Primitive understanding of natural phenomenon has created social ideas.it has no direct relationship to do with original philosophy.These social ideas are rigid and the power of judgement to any different idea comes from these social rigid ideologies and experience. The moral implication has no direct link with original philosophy but social peer pressure which follows the law of social majoritarianism.Yes, there is moral consequence of free will. But this consequence is not result of conflict with karmic theory but these moral consequences are result of contradiction with social framework which based on rigid idea. This rigid idea is result of collective social experience and understanding. These ideas have been promote and protect by religious institute in western religion while in Hinduism there is no protection for such rigid ideas. But as stated, due to decentralize system of religious knowledge such idea still exist in various shape and form in Indian society. I do not think that there is any contradiction and parallel fight with karma and free will here. I often observed that western scholars approach to Indian philosophy with western social theories and analytical tools. For understanding of Indian core belief and philosophy. They should understand that Indian society, Indian point of view and Indian philosophy cannot be analyse with the social theories which is developed for western societies.There was another concern that whether in Indian philosophy there any clear distinction between free will and what is not free?I have to agree with this question that there is no clear distinction because we have failed to defined free will. Whether or not humans have free will is a question that philosophers have debated for centuries, and they will likely continue to do so. Psychology can provide some insights into how free will—or at least a belief in its existence—might work, but beyond that, we likely cannot verify or invalidate its existence.There is third problem was with theory of karma which said "if you do good karma, the consequence will be good. A bad karma result bad consequence".I think this the toughest question to answer. writer says in that article"It is hard to see how some kind of natural karmic law could understand good and bad which are subjective to moral ideas that depend on the perspective of a personal agent, whether that person be a human being or God."First mistake which I found that this is utterly misunderstood concept that the karmic laws is idea based on a perspective of a person or God. The theory of karma is result of long time observation by many sages and their early understanding about people various condition. Second thing which is being conveyed by Indian philosophy that Nature itself an automatic mechanism, Humans are just part of this large mechanism. Universe is materialistic result of this natural mechanism.[caption id="attachment_media-66" align="alignnone" width="3840"] Dalai Lama on Theory of kamra[/caption]Human lives within universe, so any small human action result effect on nature.  The question is that whether law of karma has any empirical evidence or not? I am doubtful that these evidence is like mystical experience. I have few experiencing evidence and many millions people have few but it is not as applicable for all others who haven't experience it. All natural laws like karma (Dharmic action), Dharma (Righteous way of life) , Gyana  (self-Enlightenment) & Maya (Materialistic illusion) is very personal in nature. In physical world, a scientist spend his all life and invent something which can be used by every other being which is not involve into the studies of that invention. While In Laws of nature, Only a person can experience the natural power, self-enlightenment , materialistic illusion when he do his part of tapas (natural enlightenment).The question rises how we can achieve that enlightenment. Many suggest Yoga, wondering within nature, social works, spending time with Gurus and Swami. But I find it partial practices. The real enlightenment can be attend by Four methods explain in Bhagwat Gita.Karma yoga (a life with righteous action)Gyan yoga (A life which spend to studies nature and natural activities)Bhakti yoga (a life which involve deep devotion for anyone, your life partner, kids, any kind of God, communities)Raja Yoga (A life which is indulged into your profession which you do)Hinduism makes sure that everyone attends Moksha at last. We can have very different blog about this topic.Well, Karma is myth or not is very different question. I think, I am unable to answer that question in this blog. But I would like to have a short note over this. Writer wrote that"If God decides for that to happen on any particular occasion. There are no absolute laws of cause and effect outside the will of god".I would disagree with this statement for two reasons.First reason is that in all Hinduism scripture it stated that god and avatar (incarnation of god on earth) can have consequence (bad) of their moral actions (which was suitable for that different era). Let's take example from the Indian epics of India "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata"In Ramayana, Ram had friendship with sugreev ( a exiled monkey king). His brother bali (another powerful monkey king) had stolen the kingdom and sugreev wife from him. So he decided to take help of Lord Rama. But Bali had a boon that anyone who comes in front of him loose his half power to him. So Rama decided to kill him by hidden passage of trees. But when Lord ram, reincarnated as lord Krishana than Bali killed Krishana. Bali had taken rebirth as archer on era of Mahabharat. Lord Ram had been to face consequence of his action in another birth.Second reason thatO son of Prtha, there is no Karma prescribed for me within all the three planetary systems. Nor am I in want of anything, nor have I need to obtain anything—and yet I am engaged in karma. Chapter 3, Verse 22 .Here Lord Krishana describes how he is also bounded with laws of karma. These two example clearly describe that even god is bounded to these laws of nature. Natural laws are most powerful and govern universe.#smblogcontest

Sanatana Dharma :Raise and Reason of Atheism
 Surender Negi  
 18 March 2018  

“Atheist” means rejecting the faith of God creation and its existence. There is thousand logic has been put before theist like “If God exist why we can not see it?”, “If God is exist then why can not we prove his existence by scientific evidence?” “If god exist, why can not god control and help during natural disaster?” “If God exist, why this whole world is suffer from disease, poverty, torture?” Many consider that God is reason for fight and war. Some says, following path of Dharma and God is addiction. Some say be dharmic is primitive act.But what is reality? what is reality about existence of God?  what atheist think is right?The Reason for Being AtheistThe concluded point by me that why people chose to be atheist:People ignorance towards the concept of God, Character, Concept of Karma and Natural law.In Name of religion, a narrow mindset which has been developed in last 2000 yrs with superstitious.Being egoistic and ignorant after having 700- 500 years progress of material or objective science.After seeing riots and fights in name of religion.War and Riots due to ReligionIn name of God atrocities, promoting illogical customs, forcing people to miracle, fixing god in places like temple, mosque, church etc., telling people that he lives in seven floors of sky, being Godmen and calling himself manifestation of God, adoption of multi-god, framing god to infinity to finite idols can force a neutral person that whether God really exists or not. or God is just an imagination of human being. for example, in Hindu society, stopping shudras to enter into the temple, if someone enters then punish them and acting to a pure temple. this all dangerous drama in name of God actually comes from human greed to power and position. the real reason behind this human desired to control things in society it has no relation to the existence of God. God itself many places declare that God is justice, charity, and humiliation, he doesn’t discriminate humans in any form. God by nature is omnipresent and without shape then why need to search them in temple, kailash, above seven sky etc. This is evidence that humanity has constructed a frame for God because they were ignorant towards the infinite concept of God. Then some human added to this with prophet, avatar, religious Guru etc. if a human can understand that God is within him as a manifestation of the divine. he does not need to do anything else except having dharma.Is religion increase superstitious?  In Name of God, people have spread more and more social evil for being in power, for highlighting themselves. No matter which religion it is, whether it is temple priest who forced to shudra out of temple or religious leader who instigate mugals to do everything inhuman to other faiths in name of religion. or may it's the pope who orders to burn people in name of the church in early centuries. Suppose, if this middleman would vanish all these atrocities wouldn’t happen. But the truth was that this problem of middlemen was not solved by early social reformer but they started to gang up against the religion not priest who dictated these authorities in name of God. These people increase volume against a philosophy not for the people who manipulate this philosophy. a common person who has used this philosophy to distinguish himself from social evil, now this gap between good and bad or right and wrong being narrowed by liberals in name of social reform. This leads to the throwing of moral values and the world almost getting agitated in even good point of theist.The biggest reason also superstition for atheism. The general public is fully blind by superstition in name of religion while atheist blame God for this behavior. Reality is that God gives enlighten of knowledge while superstitious religious customs are originated by Humans. Religious Godmen used this tricks for their living, position, and fame. Many Hindu saints who are not even aware of Sanskrit is now being the controller of dharma. Some give Guru Mantra, some said mugged my name every day, some give tabeez and few said be nonmaterialistic to be enlightened. Some become such blind and inhuman that kill another child for their own child wish. The irony is that intellectuals used this chance to spread atheism while the real reason for human lust and control in name of religion. they give reference to scientific evidence for that but forget that most superstition is men made. hence, can not be proven scientifically.Believing in Miracle is the root cause of superstition. Theist believes in prophet miracles, Jesus miracles of resurrection and water turned into wine. while Hindu Godmen running their shop by showing using miracle describe in Puranas that God can do everything. (Puranas are stories which were used for delivering Veda’s knowledge in form of stories, but with time its become part of truth in Indian consciousness- Ramayana and Mahabharata is the only History mentioned in Hindu scripture).Swami Dayanand has given a great example for this if God can do everything, then can he kill himself or can he create the god like him. The answer is NO. Then its clear God cannot do everything. The answer to this question is that: Some work has been done by God like creation, destruction, human death and life and controlling the wheel of karma. God doesn’t need anyone for these works. Theist should ask atheist whether you believe that universe is regular or irregular? The miracle is disrespect of natural law under regular condition. In real miracle is human imagination which he used in name of god for blackmailing innocent people to stay in power and higher post.Another reason for rising of theism in ego on scientific studies. Propagator of atheism has been egoistic on scientific development and they started to think that they are the highest power in this universe. Example before Newton, there was the Gravitational force, but the human was unaware of that fact. But human developed their capabilities to understand it by developing calculus this process known as discovery. The reality is that al discoveries were there before human origin only human framed it his own measurement for understanding purpose. while knowledge of the universe is infinite and the real known to that knowledge is nature itself. Newton itself written his thought about that.“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”Relationship of Dharma and ScienceThe question is that what is the relation between science and dharma. cause atheist thinks that they are born enemy to each other.  This ideology of atheism is transported and grown when European church was forcing humans to believe in biblical believe and anyone who confronts the challenge of biblical belief was killed by the church. Ex. Galileo killed because he challenges the church idea about the center of the universe. church punish him and many scientists. These atrocities turn into resistance and people of early Europe and now whole west considers that church is enemy of scientific knowledge. The crime had been done by officials of the church but blame moved to God and this is going on from last many decades that people who embrace atheism follow the blindly European idea of atheism without understanding that biblical and dharma were fundamentally different in nature.Now the question is remain same what is the difference between Science and dharma.Dharma and Science are not against each other but they are allies to each other.Science answer how this world is formed, dharma say why the world has been made. Science as saying how human born but dharma says why human born.Answering the philosophical question and religious thrust is not possible by science but that can be answered by Dharma. Hence Science and Dharma is the partner which can be described by words of Albert Einstein.“Science without religion is a lame and religion without science is blind.”This also asked by many atheists that if God exists then it should be proven by scientific methods. But the answer is that Mind, Intellect, Happiness, sadness, sorrow, summer, coldness, space all are without the size and can not be traced to human sense. Nationalism, Love, Lust is also similar in categories. But atheist believes in such things but reject God, This really questions their character of being neutral to things they believed. reality is that, cannot prove God is not mistaken of God but the inability of science. while in an ancient age which we called “Rishi” those were the ancient scientist has been discovered the truth of God by mediation and Yoga.Considering Riots and war is an act of god and responsible by God is foolishness. This is already clear that riots or war is the result of Human misunderstanding and race of supremacy within religions.  Example, the riots reason between Hindus and Muslims in 1947 was when Muslim objects Hindus that they can not do their festival in front of the mosque.  But the question is that if someone really doing worship of God how can a single noise disturbed him. That time Muslims made this is a reason of fight because of tension over Pakistan and Hindustan. All middlemen have given religious air to instigate the fire of riots that time.All the violence in name of religion is not related to God but human understanding of God, their thrust for power, gain , position. All the war is done under a narrow minded ideology while God has nothing to that ideology.For Original Blog Visit  Sanatana Dharma: Raise and Reason of Atheism (Series # 04)#smblogcontest

Book Review: For A Girl In A Star By Ratna Chandu
 Ayushi A Nair  
 13 June 2018  

For A Girl In A Star is written by Ratna Chandu.Book Title: For A Girl In A StarAuthor: Ratna ChanduFormat: Paper BackTotal Number of Pages: 224Language: EnglishPublisher: Srishti Publishers & DistributorsPublishing Date: 10 February 2018ISBN-10: 9387022153ISBN-13: 978-9387022157What do you do when your best friend – the one person who has stood byyou through thick and thin, knows you better than you know yourself, andliterally saved your life – falls in love with the same girl as you?Avinash and Sahas, two village boys, arrive in Bangalore in search of art andin pursuit of ambition. Sahas, hardworking and nervous, antonym to hisfriend, has emerged from a troubled past only to find that his future doesn’tcome without encumbrances. Their friendship is the one constant in thetwo boys’ lives, but that is tested when they each meet Aarti – a mysterious,compassionate, beautiful girl who captures both their imaginations andsets their hearts aflame.Will their passion for the same girl, and an untimely tragedy, sunder the twofriends forever?A compelling tale with twists and turns reminiscent of India’s melodramaticfilms, For a Girl in a Star deals with the age–old staples of young love, heartbreak, and what it means to be a true friend.Starting from the cover is eye catching. It’s not only the design work but also the substance of the Story as well. Just look at the design, there is a couple and a guy which is going away from the couple. The view is simply amazing. The title of the novel is thoughtful, and completely justifying the story. They complement each other well and also is according to the story, so it’s a perfect combination.The story revolves on love triangle with the lives main protagonist Avinash (Avi), Sahas and Aarti. Avi & Sahas, both belonged to the same village Agumbe. Since their early childhood, they were the best buddies of each other and the depth of their friendship was beyond of any imagination. Since the time Avi saved Sahas’s life from drowning in his childhood, Sahas devoted his unconditional friendship to him and soon with time, their bond became inseparable. Aarti was a girl, full of life, with a caring and sensible heart, mature thoughts and kind nature. Her beauty of heart got reflected in her outer appearance also.Aarti and Sahas are in the same college. With continuous interactions, and close encounters, even a shy personality like Sahas also had fallen head over hills for Aarti, but due to lack of courage, he could not get the chance to express his true feelings in front of Aarti. Aarti considered Sahas as a very good & genuine close friend, but she was unaware completely about the feelings of Sahas for her.Sleep felt like a faraway dream since he meet her…Destiny made Avi too crossed his path with Aarti suddenly in an awkward situation, and soon after the first sight, Avi noticed the actually inner beauty of that Aarti possessed and curiosity stuck him. Not one time, but frequently, and after a point, Avi got the chance to interact with Aarti directly. Though their initial interactions was one sided, but soon, after realizing the talent of Avi, and seeing the mesmerizing art of Avi, and his inner simplicity of heart, she started to admire him. With time, they got very close to each other and love blossomed inside the heart of both of them. Even their love for each other made them to take a step further.It is the destiny which turns out to be so cruel that it brings so much misunderstanding in the life of two childhood friends who fall in love with the same girl. It happens in movies that two boys of different worlds find one girl and fall in love with. Talk about coincidence but it happens with these childhood friends. And of course, this love-triangle drives a wedge between them. The story revolves around their struggles and the way they cope up with grief and situations.The story makes you smile in the first half and leaves you sobbing in the second half, the story is narrated in such a manner that everything you read can be visualized.Life sometimes throws you encounters only to leave you indelible memoriesLanguage is simple and lucid to read and connect with the story and being engaged throughout the story.  Characters are also clearly justified to their respective roles and all of the characters mentioned in the book have been portrayed in such a way, that any reader will be able to connect with the characters effortlessly and live the journey with them. It’s a combination of emotions, revenge, friendship, realization, redemption, love, true love, pain, joy, happiness, laughter, family, fate & many other elements infused together. However, the editing errors including spelling and grammatical errors are numerous.  I had learned the true meaning of friendship from the book.Recommended to all bibliophiles.Overall 5/5 StarsAbout the AuthorRatna Chandu was born and brought up in Hyderabad and did her engineering in mechanical. Having worked as a Personality Development Trainer for four years, she gave up her job to be a full-time writer. She’s a voracious reader, an artist and a yoga freak. When she isn’t reading or writing, she tries her hand at varied culinary, the activity that helps her unwind and works as a therapy. Currently, she’s residing in Pune with her husband and son.

Interview With Revathi Raj Iyer
 Ayushi A Nair  
 21 June 2018  

Revathi Raj Iyer is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. Bombay is her hometown and Baroda her abode after marriage. When she moved to Fiji Islands, she bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions, yoga and writing. She worked as lecturer of Laws at the University of Fiji. Living between NZ and Fiji, she pursued writing and yoga training and continues her passion after moving to India. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Her dream is to write books for children.A couple of easy questions to begin with…First off,  What inspired you to write “My Friendship with Yoga”?Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age, as a trained classical dancer, which continued until my late twenties. Thereafter it took a back seat, when I became engrossed with my career together with being hands-on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. However, things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands, and I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and I embraced it with heartfelt love. I started writing my yoga journal. One fine day, I decided to give a formal structure to my jottings to reach out to a wider audience. As I wrote the book I had no idea of the publishing process, but I was focussed on my goal. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to Lifi Publications for making this happen!How do you see writing, as a hobby or a passion?I find writing very therapeutic and it also makes me happy. It is passion that drives me to enter that lonely space, which I beautify with words, plot and characters to create a story.Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise and meditateYoga and meditation are a way of life for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. It is not instant therapy or about perfecting the postures. It is much more than that.  One has to go through a process of learning – patiently and persistently; and observe the changes it brings about in oneself.Please tell us some more about your debut novel?“My Friendship with Yoga” is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels. The book is divided into three parts:Narrative which combines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of yoga, wherein a selection of topics along with interesting anecdotes have been coveredThe 2nd Part has more than 80 postures with steps to attain these, guidelines, tips, techniques and benefits; keeping in mind yoga enthusiasts, beginners as well as those who have been practising yoga.The 3rd Part consists of the much desired weekly practice schedule written sequentially with clear instructions to enhance one’s practice.What has yoga done for you as a person?Yoga has helped me to deal with a given situation in a pragmatic and dispassionate manner. It has enabled me to let go of the past and negative emotions, be more positive and result-oriented and direct my energies towards my creative pursuit and other commitments. Yoga has certainly helped in making me acknowledge and appreciate the choices I have made so far, and offered me a healthier and more content lifestyle.What sort of research did you do to write this book?I have been reading books on yoga, but “My Friendship with Yoga,” is the outcome of my entire learning process, from the disciple of BKS Iyengar and instructors from the West. My effort was to present the complicated aspects of yoga in simple language that would appeal to readers of all age groups and skill levels. Yoga is not about perfection as different bodies react in a certain way to a certain posture. To that end, my thought process kept evolving during the entire course of my writing. I made several drafts until I was fully satisfied that I had done justice to my work. For each and every asana which has been illustrated in the book, I consciously performed them and wrote down the steps. Every single breath, every movement, position, the sequence had to be accurate.How did you come up with the title of the book “My Friendship with yoga”?It came straight from the heart; in fact I did not falter or ponder over the title. I began writing this book with its title in place. The title was a reminder to simplify yoga and it guided me in writing a user and reader friendly book, which has been appreciated by the reviewers and readers. Fortunately, my publishers were also happy with the title and did not suggest any changes.Besides writing, what else do you do in your free time?Besides writing and reading books; I practice yoga, support my publisher in the promotion of my book, review books for Muse India, handle professional commitment as Director of a company, travel and spend time with my family. I love to bake and cook, and feel delighted when the outcome exceeds my expectations Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?I don’t recall the title of the first book, but I started off with the Enid Blyton series, followed by Agatha Christie.Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?My mum read a lot and I would accompany her to the local lending library. She was not pushy but I gradually picked up the habit and enjoyed those evening walks to the library after school, with my best friend. She will get nostalgic when she reads this!What are your top three favorite books of all time?It is hard to pick just 3, as I have so many favorites. Hmmm….. The Little Prince, Kite Runner, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Namesake…As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/ publishing process? Least favorite.My favorite part is the writing itself and working hand-in-glove with the publishers; the book launch being the icing on the cake. My least favorite part is to face rejections without knowing the reason for it, after waiting for months to hear from publishers.What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?To understand the pure essence and simplicity of yoga, without feeling intimidated or inadequateAs mentioned in the book, “Yoga is not about perfection. It is a very enjoyable bonding with our body and mind that teaches us to be resilient and patient.”I would like you to share something about yourself with the readers. Something that does not go in the about the author section something that is the real you?I dream a lot and wish that all my dreams came true, hahaha…And finally, A message for aspiring writers?“Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.”Thank you. It was really a privilege interviewing you. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Links to buy the book- Amazon.in Amazon.com FlipkartWrite to her at chirminey@gmail.com

Interview With Revathi Raj Iyer
 Ayushi A Nair  
 21 June 2018  

Revathi Raj Iyer is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. Bombay is her hometown and Baroda her abode after marriage. When she moved to Fiji Islands, she bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions, yoga and writing. She worked as lecturer of Laws at the University of Fiji. Living between NZ and Fiji, she pursued writing and yoga training and continues her passion after moving to India. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Her dream is to write books for children.A couple of easy questions to begin with…First off,  What inspired you to write “My Friendship with Yoga”?Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age, as a trained classical dancer, which continued until my late twenties. Thereafter it took a back seat, when I became engrossed with my career together with being hands-on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. However, things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands, and I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and I embraced it with heartfelt love. I started writing my yoga journal. One fine day, I decided to give a formal structure to my jottings to reach out to a wider audience. As I wrote the book I had no idea of the publishing process, but I was focussed on my goal. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to Lifi Publications for making this happen!How do you see writing, as a hobby or a passion?I find writing very therapeutic and it also makes me happy. It is passion that drives me to enter that lonely space, which I beautify with words, plot and characters to create a story.Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise and meditateYoga and meditation are a way of life for a holistic and healthy lifestyle. It is not instant therapy or about perfecting the postures. It is much more than that.  One has to go through a process of learning – patiently and persistently; and observe the changes it brings about in oneself.Please tell us some more about your debut novel?“My Friendship with Yoga” is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels. The book is divided into three parts:Narrative which combines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of yoga, wherein a selection of topics along with interesting anecdotes have been coveredThe 2nd Part has more than 80 postures with steps to attain these, guidelines, tips, techniques and benefits; keeping in mind yoga enthusiasts, beginners as well as those who have been practising yoga.The 3rd Part consists of the much desired weekly practice schedule written sequentially with clear instructions to enhance one’s practice.What has yoga done for you as a person?Yoga has helped me to deal with a given situation in a pragmatic and dispassionate manner. It has enabled me to let go of the past and negative emotions, be more positive and result-oriented and direct my energies towards my creative pursuit and other commitments. Yoga has certainly helped in making me acknowledge and appreciate the choices I have made so far, and offered me a healthier and more content lifestyle.What sort of research did you do to write this book?I have been reading books on yoga, but “My Friendship with Yoga,” is the outcome of my entire learning process, from the disciple of BKS Iyengar and instructors from the West. My effort was to present the complicated aspects of yoga in simple language that would appeal to readers of all age groups and skill levels. Yoga is not about perfection as different bodies react in a certain way to a certain posture. To that end, my thought process kept evolving during the entire course of my writing. I made several drafts until I was fully satisfied that I had done justice to my work. For each and every asana which has been illustrated in the book, I consciously performed them and wrote down the steps. Every single breath, every movement, position, the sequence had to be accurate.How did you come up with the title of the book “My Friendship with yoga”?It came straight from the heart; in fact I did not falter or ponder over the title. I began writing this book with its title in place. The title was a reminder to simplify yoga and it guided me in writing a user and reader friendly book, which has been appreciated by the reviewers and readers. Fortunately, my publishers were also happy with the title and did not suggest any changes.Besides writing, what else do you do in your free time?Besides writing and reading books; I practice yoga, support my publisher in the promotion of my book, review books for Muse India, handle professional commitment as Director of a company, travel and spend time with my family. I love to bake and cook, and feel delighted when the outcome exceeds my expectations Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?I don’t recall the title of the first book, but I started off with the Enid Blyton series, followed by Agatha Christie.Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?My mum read a lot and I would accompany her to the local lending library. She was not pushy but I gradually picked up the habit and enjoyed those evening walks to the library after school, with my best friend. She will get nostalgic when she reads this!What are your top three favorite books of all time?It is hard to pick just 3, as I have so many favorites. Hmmm….. The Little Prince, Kite Runner, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Namesake…As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/ publishing process? Least favorite.My favorite part is the writing itself and working hand-in-glove with the publishers; the book launch being the icing on the cake. My least favorite part is to face rejections without knowing the reason for it, after waiting for months to hear from publishers.What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?To understand the pure essence and simplicity of yoga, without feeling intimidated or inadequateAs mentioned in the book, “Yoga is not about perfection. It is a very enjoyable bonding with our body and mind that teaches us to be resilient and patient.”I would like you to share something about yourself with the readers. Something that does not go in the about the author section something that is the real you?I dream a lot and wish that all my dreams came true, hahaha…And finally, A message for aspiring writers?“Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.”Thank you. It was really a privilege interviewing you. Hope you enjoyed the interview. Links to buy the book- Amazon.in Amazon.com FlipkartWrite to her at chirminey@gmail.com

YOGA INSTRUCTOR
 Preeti Tal  
 30 July 2018  

Yoga instructor

Book Review: A Turbulent Tale of Love by Shalu Thakur Dhillon
 Ayushi A Nair  
 1 September 2018  

Book Title:A Turbulent Tale of LoveAuthor: Shalu Thakur DhilonFormat: Paper BackTotal Number of Pages: 236Language: English Publisher: Invincible PublishersPublishing Date:  22 June 2018ISBN-10: 9387328775ISBN-13: 978-9387328778Life is a journey full of storms and turbulences. Love is the boat that two people can share and sail through the storm together. Preview Nihal, a pilot by profession, is used to turbulences in his day to day life. One incident.. And his personal life was sturm und drang. Rabani, an independent yet simple girl, whom he meets by a twist of fate, brings peace and harmony to Nihal’s tempestuous life. But what about the unrest that engulfs Rabani’s life? Does Nihal figure out what he actually wants from life? For Prof Nirmal, the heart has no wrinkles and love is all about accepting your loved ones the way they are. How does he manage to pull Neena, his wife, out of her pain and sorrow? Neil and Nihal are two friends who can understand even the unspoken things between them. What happens when the unrest in Nihal and Rabani’s life storms their friendship too? Does the turbulence settle finally? Does their journey have a happy landing?My TakeStarting from the cover is beautiful and apt according to the plot. The title A Turbulent Tale Of Love is captivating and intelligible that the book is a love story. The book is a bag of emotion, love, friendship, mystery, laugh, heartbreak, father and son bonding, faith, fear, nightmares, hate and family values.The story revolves around main protagonist Nihal, Rabani, Mannat, Neel ,Prof. Nirmal  and peoples around them. Nihal is a pilot by profession, who was having sleepless nights of his sister taking away his parents far away from him, falls in love with Rabani at first sight. Nihal’s best friend Neil gets engaged to Mannat who was none other than Rabani’s Sister but woefully Mannat has had a bad image about Nihal since she studied with him.The book have been portrayed in such a way, that any reader will be able to connect with the story and live the journey with them. The every scene is so well written than you can actually get images of them in your mind. Language is simple and lucid to read and connect with the story and being engaged throughout the story. The story flows like a movie and takes the reader on a journey of true love. The story is fast paced and predictable.The author has clearly crafted the Punjabi family and family bonding which are rare to find nowadays. The friendship between Neil and Nishal is also strong. The author has portrayed each and every character with utmost significance of their own and every one of them has done justice to their respective roles throughout the story. The characters are well developed and one can easily relate them.I recommend this book to the readers who are seeking for a quick read or a light-hearted romantic novel.Overall Ratings 4/5 StarsGrab the copy here- Amazon.in |Amazon.com|Amazon.co.ukAbout the AuthorShalu Thakur Dhillon was born in Patiala, India. She holds post graduation degrees in Mathematics and Education. Before taking up writing as a serious business she had been into teaching for many years.Wedded to an olive green got her the opportunity to live in various parts of India. Currently she lives in Goa with her husband and two sons.She loves reading, music, travelling and yoga.To know more about her visit her Facebook PageYou can mail her at thestoryteller918@gmail.com