About Art of Living, Art of Living Courses, Art of Living Experiences, Yoga and Meditation.

Our Team from Art of Living Blogs, recently had an opportunity to interact with the Chinese contingent who had come to Bangalore Ashram for their Yoga Teachers training program from Sri Sri School of Yoga.

Yoga has become quite the rage in China, with yoga studios opening up in every nook and cranny. “It has generated quite a buzz in our media, and has become a part of mainstream urban lives from the last 10 years. But Yoga is popularly understood merely to be a form of exercise to make your body flexible, and this is the perception I’m going to change,” says Ping He, a fashion designer with her own brand of clothes in China, who has just graduated from the Advanced Yoga Teachers Training Programme at Sri Sri School of Yoga. She chants Patanjali Yog Sutras with ease and can quote from several ancient Indian scriptures including the Bhagavad-Gita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

 

 

 

Ping He is just one of the 27 participants from China in the first batch of 121, with students from 25 countries around the world, who are going to go back home and share the wealth of yogic knowledge with their people. The teacher training programme introduced its participants to the Vedas and Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, apart from human anatomy and physiology, postures, pranayam (breathing exercises), meditation and teaching skills. They will also receive certification as qualified Yoga instructors from the Quality Council of India.

 

 

 

Kenneth, speaking about the reason he started yoga, said, “Everyone keeps talking about living in the present moment. I wanted to know what it was all about! I want to know what life is all about. I want to understand why we live so differently. That’s why I started on the path of Yoga, looking for answers. I have many scattered experiences, but I was looking for something to tie it all together. This course did it for me. The quality of the teachers was the most significant part of the program for me. Even if some of them had come to speak to us for five minutes, what they said changed my life!”

 

 

 

Tong has been associated with the Art of Living for two years now, and says there’s a dramatic difference in her temperament. “I run my own firm, and it is a very stressful job. I have three naughty teenagers at home too! I tried many self-help books to get them to change their behaviour but nothing worked. It was when I started doing Yoga, and they saw the drastic difference in my temperament that they also wanted to start practising Yoga. They’ve come with me to the ashram and participated in several programs. They’re so different now. In fact, looking at the change in them, other parents in China want to bring their kids here! This is why I decided to become a teacher. I will be able to transform many lives,” she says.

 

“This course has made me realise that Yoga is not about difficult postures. It’s about ease, effortlessness and awareness. Asanas combined with pranayam, meditation and knowledge from the Gita and other Indian scriptures have given me a holistic understanding and experience of Yoga,” says Shuping Tong who has been running a Landscape Design firm for the last 20 years, and wants to spread the knowledge of Yoga to all her clients!

 

 

Ming Liao who was already a Yoga teacher, and saw that his students were charged up with energy and had better sleep patterns within just a few sessions of Yoga, says he came to the course to experience the vastness of the knowledge in the Indian Yogic Tradition. “I have studied several commentaries on Yoga by myself, but learning from teachers who really know this, has given me a proper understanding.” He can lucidly talk about the different paths of Yoga, and wants to explore further.

Yingjian Wang however says, she has learnt to be content, and finds happiness in the little things of life.  “Despite the course being very demanding, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process. I received lots of love from my teachers and peers. Time flew so quickly! I don’t want to leave,” she exclaims, echoing the sentiments of everyone present there.

 

-Samhita Gomatham

 

Art of Living Experiences, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Clad in a humble black cotton pant and a Nehru coat, Mr. Pullela Gopichand walked down the Art of Living Ashram corridors with the aura of a philosopher dipping his toes into the world of spirituality. With a saint Kabir- like aura, he walked in and gently took a chair. He lifted the burden of glamour that probably sportsmen have to wear.

The statements of “I was meant for this or this is my purpose of life”, that leave many youngsters eternally waiting for that moment of finding their reason to being on this planet, were tossed aside the moment he decided to address the gathering. “I didn’t get admission in Cricket academies. Badminton happened by chance and I never thought that I will win a national tournament (forget international),” he began with a knowing smile. Gently slipping in the theory of Karma, Pullela said, “Dreams are finite and the potential is infinite.” Pursual of  dreams could have limited this Badmintion champion from becoming the face of Badminton in India but pursuit of his potential brought success not only as a player but also as a guru to champions like PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. His statements brought in smiles of relief and a burst of motivation at the same time. “Be the best you can be and in the process if you win medals-fantastic,” he said putting the debate of effort versus result, destiny and dos and don’ts to rest.

 

 

Sportsmen play to win. That is their challenge and motivation. However, that can also bring the burden of constant emotional turmoil in the bargain. Pressure to constantly be in the form, perform and excel can deter a person from leading a satisfying personal life. The philosopher in him knocked doors and questioned the very basis on which sports works across the world. He shared that the competitions were merely designed for countries to showcase their talent; ranks, numbers and winning came much later. P V Sindhu’s win, he says, confused him even more. It again brought attention to the fact that excelling is important as well. Urging for the gathering to ponder on these questions and look for answers, he concluded, “Be the best you can be today. Story is here and not on the other side.” Captain’s energy spoke of the honesty that he lives with.

 

 

 

In a world that speaks the language of merit and medals, how does he keep it so simple? He says that his association with Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar ji has been an important influence in his life. With gratitude and quintessential Pullela Gopichand smile, he said that he is grateful to finding his faith in Gurudeva very early in life. Dedicating his success to Sri Sri, he said that he has been coming to the ashram for over 20 years now. A quick moment of recap and one can feel Gurudeva Sri Sri’s presence in captain’s life for he had been reinforcing Art of Living foundation’s mantra of, “Live in the present moment and be the best you can be.”

When the audience urged him for at least two gold medals, he laughed and said, “Why two? It can be more, “hinting on his belief that dreams are finite but the potential is infinite. The audience couldn’t stop cheering for Pullela Gopichand. He had his fans who adore him seated in the audience. Unlike celebrities who soak in the attention, wave and say ‘I love you’ in a celebrity –like demeanour, Pullela’s stance was of gratitude. He signed off leaving the gathering in awe of his success, his thought process and the person he is.

 

-Shubham Shukla

 

Uncategorized.

This is the story of how a stinking, neglected water body was changed into a beautiful lake due the initial efforts of a single man who inspired and helped others to help themselves and were able to rejuvenate the Hulimavu Lake.

Mr. Saurabh S Nair, a resident of Bannerghatta Road passed the Hulimavu lake often over the past 7 years and never paid any attention to it! He says, “On 15th April  I attended a Rudra Puja performed by Swami Saranu at the Maruthi Dental College and took a sankalpa to protect nature. I strongly believe that this was my inspiration. On 16th April 2016, I was again passing by the lake and was taken in by a strong urge to do something for the lake and felt that.

The lake needed my help. Having seen Binay ji’s video, The Art of Living Faculty, ,his words kept reverberating in my mind. That social lethargy that we urban dwellers possess had to be shirked off. I had some knowledge about cleaning a lake. I immediately bought the required equipment – a long bamboo stick, a rope, a set of iron panjas (similar to a claw to help draw out the garbage) and a pair of long hand gloves. And I started on my mission.”

 

 

 

Cleaning a 120 acre lake is a mammoth task and many groups of well-meaning citizens had been debating about how to go about it but it never led to any action. Saurabh decided to take the plunge. The lake was almost completely green, covered with water hyacinth. This plant grows very fast. The foliage covers the surface of the water and prevents sunlight from entering the water which results in the death of every living organism in the water body. Once while pulling out garbage from the lake,they even found a dead turtle smothered by plastic. Saurabh says, “On the west side of the lake, I could not see any water, which is very dangerous.”

 

 

Did he not have a single doubt – would this project ever succeed or would it fail? Saurabh, an Art of Living faculty, says, “I don’t know how but there was not a single negative thought in my mind. Passersby would tell me that at this rate,it would take me five years to clean the lake.I knew I could do it, even if it took 10 years, I was prepared to invest the time and effort in making sure the lake was rejuvenated. It was a single minded focus. I think it was Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s grace that did not allow any negative thoughts to arise!”

 

 

He started a Facebook page and shared his first video on cleaning the lake. Saurabh reached out the Art of Living’s River Rejuvenation director Sri Lingaraju for guidance and support.

After the first few weeks, suddenly there was water visible on the western part of the lake – the first breakthrough! Saurabh was elated. More fishermen were sighted and fishes could be seen prancing about in the waters, pelicans became regular visitors. Soon more people joined his efforts in reviving the lake and it was common to see dozens of volunteers at the Hulimavu lake on weekends cleaning the other side of the lake.

Politicians, government authorities, residents of the area also joined the movement. Reporters covered the project in the Times of India as well. The lake has not yet shaped up to his expectations, but Saurabh is a happy man, for he sees life in the lake as well as in the people who are now coming forward to take care of it.

Mr Saurabh S Nair, inspired by Sri Sri Ravishankar, showed the way to many people about how a single man’s effort and inspiration can make a difference. The proof is that the Hulimavu lake is now a beautiful vibrant water body,maybe not picture perfect but definitely more alive and breathing than it was ever before.

Saurabh Nair was also felicitated on the dias as the chief guest of the Independence day celebration at the Nandi retreat apartments Gottigere.

 

– Bina Mahuvakar

Art of Living Recipes.

Kunukku is a crunchy snack that we used to enjoy as children. It is comfort food for the cold, rainy wintery days. Athough it is fried, it does not soak up oil, like most fritters. Give it a try, and enjoy this savoury delight!
Name
South Indian Kunukku ( Bhajia in Hindi, Fritters in English)
Ingredients:
Channa dal          : 1/2 cup
Toor  dal              : 1/2 cup
Rice                     : 1/4 cup
Urid dal               : 1/4 cup
Red chilly             : 2- 3 nos
Curry leaves         : 1 sprig, tear the leaves into pieces, by hand
Turmeric powder  : 1/4 tsp
Salt.                      : To taste
Grated coconut     : 2 table spoons
Oil to fry
Method:
1. Wash and soak the dals,rice, and chillies in water for an hour.
2. Drain the water, and grind the soaked ingredients coarsely into a thick batter.
3. Add salt, turmeric powder, grated coconut, and curry leaves.
4. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium high.
5. Drop coin sized portions of the batter into the oil with a tea spoon.
6. When the kunukku turns golden brown, remove from fire onto a kitchen towel.
7. Serve as a snack by itself or with tomato ketchup.
Vasudha Ashok

About Art of Living, Art of Living Projects, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sudarshan Kriya, Yoga and Meditation.

Situated amidst the interiors of the Vaderahalli village, the Art of Living’s De-addiction centre in Bengaluru is creating uproars since its inception in November 2015. Having patients from pan India especially Northern regions, the centre has treated over 140 patients with a success rate of more than 70%. The centre houses over 14 dedicated employees including doctors, yoga trainers and counsellors among others. “We have a tight schedule for the inmates. The day usually starts at 6 in the morning until 10 pm. Proper recreation activities are also conducted to enhance the energy levels and keep them busy.” claims Mr Vedamurtha Char who heads the centre. The centre has a 3(minimum)-months residential programme.

 

 

 

 

The centre runs on an ashram lifestyle and the inmates are not allowed to go out of the campus during their tenure. A typical day at the centre follows Morning yoga and Chantings, followed by Meditation and Pranayama including Sudarshan Kriya, Padma Sadhana, Yoga Nidra among others. Post breakfast, the inmates are required to do some mandatory service activity such as Cleaning, Gardening, moping among others. After lunch, regular medical check ups are performed including individual counselings and knowledge talks etc. The centre also boasts of a dedicated recreational unit for the inmates to cheer up the mundane routine.

 

 

 

On being asked about the challenges involved, the yoga instructor, Mr Nagabhushanam told us that, “Patients comes in very poor condition. They have multiple addictions including drugs, alcohol, weed, smack among others. Violence, anger, frustration comes ingrained into them. Initial days are tough here, but gradually it all settles for well.”   “It takes courage and persistence to train them. Special type of Yoga including Suryanamaskar, Padmasadhana, Sitting and Standing asanas, Animal Poses yoga among others. Furthermore, i counsel them on a daily basis to help them overcome their worries,”  he added.

 

“I hail from Bellary, Karnataka. In my early childhood, I took to drugs and alcohol. My life whole was a mess, until last month when I joined the centre. I couldn’t even walk properly when I came but now am much better. I have improved a lot and the whole credits goes the faculties. They cooperated a lot and now I feel much energised and confident.” claims Mahesh, who had been in the centre for a month now.

 

Another such inmate whose mother brought him to the centre around 45 days ago is a happy person now. “My son took to drugs and narcotics. With someone’s advice, i brought him here and he is much better now. He do all his work on his own. Doctors cooperate a lot. All the employees are very good, kept my son very happy. I would suggest all mothers who is suffering from the same trouble to bring their child to the centre.” she exclaimed.

 

When talked about the major reasons behind these addictions, several came to light. “Sexual insecurities, ego issues, relationship troubles, lack of respect and belongingness topped our list” said the centre incharge.

 

“To maintain their emotional balance, we make them do various mental and psychological exercise regularly. 3-4 long Sudarshan Kriya is been conducted weekly. Medicines are rarely used and even if needed only ayurvedic medications are used.” he added.

 

To further purify the environment, regular chantings and Poojas such as Rudra Abhishek, Guru Pooja and other such spiritual activities are conducted inside the centre. “Pooja and chantings have been scientifically proved to provide an improved healing process.” encapsulated Mr Char.

 

The centre has a tie up with Sri Sri Ayurveda Hospital and the centre has plans for upgradation which shall soon be implemented. The new centre will have a capacity of over 60 patients with separate unit for female.

 

For more information, contact undersigned:

 

Address:

Art of Living De-Addiction Centre

Sy No 135, Vaderahalli,

Kanakapura Road,

Bengaluru, Karnataka 560082

Contact: +91- 97390 94453

 

– Jeetendra Ajmera

Art of Living Projects, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Ecosystem, described as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment, is unfortunately now getting limited to books. Ice bergs melting in Antartica is too far off to touch hearts. Floods in Uttrakhand might touch a nerve but then “life moves on.” Unless, we experience the loss, we don’t understand the magnitude of damage being caused. Ironically, we are waiting for a natural calamity to wake us up because we have now become immune to the “news” we hear on a day-to-day basis. The Art of Living Foundation has been trying to connect the dots.

The organisation, under the guidance of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, has been living by Vasudeva Kutumbakam- one world family. We all (and not just humans) are a part of this one world family.

Heart warming stories of localities and the local administration coming together to protect the aquatic life need to be told. Art of Living was heartened to see localities of Neelankarai approach the organisation to save fish in Sengeniamman Temple Tank. Hundreds of fish dying every day was a cause of concern for the people and the health officials of Chennai Corporation. The Executive Engineer and Zonal Health Officer of Zone 15 reached out to the The Art of Living for a solution.  As part of its Namma Ooru! Namma Kulam! Initiative to holistically and scientifically revive 423 water bodies in Chennai, the Art of Living Foundation took up the task.

Based on the request, the Zonal Health Officer arranged to collect water samples from 4 different areas of the Pond using sampling guidelines and handed them over to an NABL certified Lab within 2 hours.  Pond Water was tested for 3 quality parameters including BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand), COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) and DO (Dissolved Oxygen) to identify reasons for the death of fish and benchmark the values before commencing the Eco Enzyme treatment. The reports found that dissolved oxygen was way less than the threshold of 2.0 mg/L and served as an indicator of the extent of oxygen depletion in water that resulted in death of fish.  BOD and COD showed the high amount of organic pollution in the water.

In consultation with their team of water management experts, The Art of Living determined the quantum of Eco Enzyme required, dilution ratio in fresh water and duration of dilution. A fire engine was arranged with a capacity to hold 9000 litres of water.  45 litres of Eco Enzyme was diluted in this water for a period of 24 hours.

Within a week of Eco Enzyme treatment, the pond water was once again tested. The Dissolved Oxygen got back to normal levels at 2.8 and was reflected by the stoppage of fish death and a number of small fish thriving. BOD fell under the permissible level. COD was reduced by more than 60% and will fall below the permissible level of 50 mg/L within 30 days.

Taking a note of the success of this initiative, the Regional Deputy Commissioner (South) has requested The Art of Living to orient the Corporation officials in pond water management methods, prepare Standard Operating Procedures for handling such situations and make available a panel of experts for consultation.

Today, it is wonderful to see several thousands of small fish thriving in the pond since the Eco Enzyme treatment.  The locals are happy to see that the fish life has been revived. Right from the eye that notices to the voice that reaches out, the brain that thinks and the hands and feet that get together to put the plan in action, it takes a whole world to establish harmony. The hope is to take baby steps to revive the ponds, the river and the living beings! The idea is to understand that ‘we belong to each other!

 

Box-

 

Namma Ooru! Namma Kulam! is a unique Pond Revival program with the goal to produce a sustained impact.  It includes –

  • Enzyme Treatment of Water to break down organic content and bring water quality within permissible limits
  • Desilting and Deepening the Pond and Strengthening its Bund to increase water storage capacity and recharge ground water
  • Remove Solid Waste and Weeds from the Pond
  • Securing the Pond with fence and compound walls with gates to prevent encroachments
  • Plant Trees to provide green cover and improve bio diversity
  • Awareness Campaigns to involve local community for sustenance

 

As Namma Ooru! Namma Kulam! The Art of Living volunteers in Chennai will be reviving 423 Water Bodies, including 145 Corporation Water Bodies, 39 Temple Tanks and PWD and other remaining Water Bodies

 

 

–  Shubham Shukla

About Art of Living, Art of Living Projects, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

While the success of the Art Of Living’s River Rejuvenation project has already been demonstrated, most notably for the Galhati and Kasura rivers, the Marathwada region has remained untouched. Known as a drought affected area, its residents suffer from water shortages and livelihood problems. With the mass exodus to urban areas, it has left the remaining people desolate and hopeless. Moreover the existing solution was short term and problematic in nature. Truckloads of water would be delivered to the villages and residents had to invest a whole day just to meet this basic need. A better solution was needed, one that would nip the problem at the bud.

 

 

 

It was then that residents of the area decided to adopt the Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan or River Rejuvenation model of the Art of Living. Two villages in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra were selected to implement the program, they are the villages of Manta and Partur. In carrying out the project teams of volunteers, donors and residents pooled their resources in clearing the years of accumulated sediment and trash on the river. As per the instructions, digging was done until they reached hard rock. This is important in the rejuvenation process and ensures that the river will function as nature created it. With the work done and everything in its place, it was now time to put their efforts to the test. Only the rains would tell if the project would be a success.

 

 

Come the monsoon season the rivers swelled, watering its surrounding plains with rich minerals and bringing life to the once dry and hopeless land. It not only provided sustenance but abundance! Water in the millions of litters were stored, the farmers’ income ballooned from thousands to lakhs! People were returning home seeing the renewed vitality in agriculture as a viable livelihood. The enthusiasm was apparent when the residents of Manta and Partur began spreading the knowledge and information to surrounding villages. In a span of two months alone, the techniques spread to forty eight surrounding villages and a total of 151 embankments were created spanning a total of 127 kilometers! While the material benefits were great, it was the renewed spirit of the people that served as the icing on the cake. It kept them away from vices like alcohol and tobacco and turned their frowns to smiles.

 

 

 

Moreover it is important to note that the project became self-sustaining. With the river swelling into the floodplains, the surrounding areas became incredibly fertile. This mineral rich soil not only provided suitable grounds for planting crops, but also turned into a marketable product. People were eager to buy this soil, the proceeds of which would be reinvested back into the project. Another ingenious and practical use of the mud was to build roads, increasing the convenience and connectivity in the area. Truly this inspiring story of Marathwada has brought new meaning to the phrase “water is life”.

 

Art of Living has been reviving 33 Rivers in India and 1000+ water bodies which will benefit more than 50,00,000 people in 3000+ villages

25 Rivers itself are being rejuvenated in Maharashtra

 

– Bea Chua

Uncategorized.

Art of Living International Center situated in Bengaluru on Kanakapura Road celebrates Karnataka Rajyotsava in the divine presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 11th of Nov 2017. An array of cultural extravaganza depicting the rich culture and heritage of Karnataka is planned by the volunteers. The invitees include the luminaries of the state.  November 2017,  also celebrated as ‘Health Month’ in the Art of Living, Karnataka AOL teachers  will conduct the life changing Happiness Program exclusively in Kannada to pay tribute to our mother tongue.
Kannada Rajyotsava is celebrated on 1 November of every year. This was the day in 1956 when all the Kannada language-speaking regions of South India were merged to form the state of Karnataka.
This post is an invitation to all our kannadigas spread out in the world to come together and celebrate as one big global family of Karnataka.
I am a proud KANNADIGA. I am proud of my nadu, nudi, nela and jala (state, language, land and water). I am blessed to be born in this land and further blessed to be serving in this land walking the path shown by our Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who is a KANNADIGA!
The invitation letter and the list of luminaries who will be adorning the stage is attached.
Confirmed list of Chief Guests:
1. Mysuru Maharajaru
2. Vijay Sankeshwar
3. Vishweshwar Bhatt
4. Anant Kumar Hegde
5. UT Khader
6. YSV Datta
7. Nanda Cariappa
8. Hamsalekha
9. Chandrashekar Kambara
10.Mantapa Prabhakara Updadhya
11. Dr Sukanya Prabhakar
12. BR Chaya
13. SV Sunil
14. Prof M Chidananda Murthy
15. Ravi D Chennannanavar
All roads lead to Bengaluru Ashram on Saturday the 11th November  5pm onwards.
Let’s mark our calendar to be there, our home.
Leela Ramesh

About Art of Living, Art of Living Projects, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Conflict resolution is a sublime skill. It cannot be achieved by mere discussions, compromises and dialogue. Of course, they are integral to such measures, but the art of resolving conflicts lies in the very sanctity of the intentions of the mediator. It needs heart to heart communication, expression of sincerity for peace and love for all the stakeholders of the problem.

North East India presents a problem because of a lack of all this. Through decades, due to faulty outlooks and policies of our mainstream leadership and exaggerated by the geographical isolation of the region, slowly and steady it has drifted in mind and heart from the heartland of India. And this void has been exploited by people of vested interest, from insurgents, terrorists to illegal immigrants. Now we have reached a point, where our neighbors are using this isolation, to create internal and external conflicts and logjams. Even the Doklam issue, if studied in its entirety and complexity, stems from this.

At this crucial juncture, something historic happened in the North East India recently. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar hosted a daylong conference of all stakeholders of the region. The conference titledStrength In Diversity: A Journey Towards Collective Peace In The North Easton 7th Sept, 2017 aimed to build a platform of dialogue, reconciliation and ultimately peace between them. ULFA’s general secretary Anup Chetia was the coordinator in this forum.

 

 

 

Leaders from 67 insurgent organizations were present in the meet. The Conference concluded with the historic signing of the Guwahati Declaration where all the groups present pledged to work together to achieve peace and prosperity in the region.

In case we are thinking these are feel-good, well intended measures without far reaching consequences, we can think again. And that is primarily because this time, this initiative came from none other than one of the most astute and successful conflict resolution gurus globally, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 

 

 

Just a year back, he had brokered the historic peace deal between the insurgent FARC group and the Colombian Govt, considered a landmark resolution in terms of the difficulty and complications of the issue. In line with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s message to rebels to drop the bullet and go to the ballot, FARC has now completely given up arms and has become a political party.

In the North East, The Art of Living, through numerous mediators and faculties, have transformed more than 1200 hardcore militants in the region over the years, the latest being the surrender of 68 insurgents on 14th august, this year in Manipur. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has had a  colossal role in dialogue and mediation in the LTTE, Kashmir, Bosnia and the Middle East conflicts and is considered unparalleled in his ability to make people see reason and love, where hatred and violence is the order of the day.

 

It’s time we stand up, take note and join in the peace efforts. The media, just as it has a responsibility to highlight wrongs of people and society, it has a role in constructive nation building as well.

For long we have been voices of dissent and conflict. Let’s all become voices for peace.

 

-Dr. Devarshi Nandi

 

About Author : Dr Devarshi Nandi is a keen observer of political affairs nationally and globally. He is an independent columnist, and regularly chairs sessions and youth forums on current socio political affairs as well.

 

Others.

Navaratri is the autumn festival of India. This colorful festival is celebrated across the length and breath of  the Indian sub-continent  with each region having it’s own flavor and style. Its a time of feasting and fasting, caring and sharing.
Here are some of the recipes from the southernmost part of India, where each day a new dish is prepared as prasad for the Divine Mother. The prasad is mostly made from Dals and sprouted lentils.
Karaamani (lobia ) Sundal ( Sweet and Spicy Versions)
Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups lobia or karaamani ,washed and soaked overnight in water
Spicy Sundal : 
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeers
1 red chiili( add more if you like it spicy)
1 sprig curry leaf
1 pinch hing
1tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp turmericpowder
2 tb spoon grated coconut
Salt to taste
Sweet Sundal
2 tsp ghee
1/2 cup powdered jaggery
1/4 tsp elaichi powder
2 tb spoon grated coconut
4 tb spoon water
Method:
 
Common:
Drain the water. rinse the lobia (karaamani) again and pressure cook with water. Lobia should be soaked completely
while cooking. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Lobia gets cooked fast, if more pressure is used, it will become mushy.
Drain excess water and divide into 2 portions, one for spicy Sundal and other for sweet Sundal.
 
Method for Spicy Sundal
-Add required salt to lobia and mix well.
-In a Kadai, add oil, once it is hot add mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
-Next add urad dal, fry tIll it turns golden brown.
-Next add jeera, hing, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and red chili. Fry all for 2 minutes.
-Add 1 portion of the lobia, mix well, lower the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Switch off the flame.
-Add the grated coconut. Mix well.
-Transfer to a bowl.
Method for Sweet Sundal 
-In a thick bottomed vessel or kadai, add water and jaggery powder.
-Heat it till the jaggery is completely dissolved. Now strain the water to remove any dirt from jaggery.
-Place the kadai on stove till jaggery water gets a little thicker consistency.
-Add the other portion of lobia, and mix well. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
-Make sure lobia is not too watery. It should be free from water.
-Add ghee, and elaichi powder.
-Turn off the fire.
-Add grated coconut. Mix well.
-Transfer to a bowl.
Your Spicy, and Sweet Sundal versions are ready !
Vasudha Ashok