Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Girija Devi - Thumri Queen - Classical Indian Music

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Girija Devi is a revered icon in Indian music. She belongs to the Benaras gharana and is known as the Thumri Queen. Her repertoire includes, Khayal, Thumri, Chaiti, Kajari, Jhoola, and Hori among others.

Malini Awasthi, a disciple of Girijia Devi in conversation with AnandWay…

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Mainu teri diwani ve Ranjhna...

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Sufi Qawwali is a genre of music developed trans cultures. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sings a song from the famous folk collection of Heer-Ranjha songs, originally written by Sufi saint Waris Shah. Here are the lyrics to 'Mainu teri diwaani ve, Raanjhanaa, duniyaa kehndi e...' It is difficult to draw lines in love, be it sensual or spiritual. Waris Shah eulogises a sensual love story from rural Punjab, dedicating it to his love - God. More...

Creativity as therapy

Creativity as therapy

"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than a cruelly delicate organism with the overpowering neccessity to create, create, create - so that without the creating music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out a creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.": Pearl Buck More...

Gliding into Assam - Delhi-Rajdhani Express

Sunset over river Brahmaputra, Guwahati, Assam

The sun sets early here, I was told, before I boarded the train to 'beautiful Assam'. It did. I looked hard for signs of Shariagathi bridge over the tame looking vast spread of water -- the Brahmaputra. Light bulbs reflected off the water to let me know of its presence there. And that is my first meeting with Brahmaputra. Meeting? not really. Not yet.

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Mantra for life

Mantras have long been used for multifarious purposes. They work on the subtle energies and create a positive consciousness. Like all good things, there is potential for abuse here as well. If used in tantra, especially the kind practiced in Bengal, there are also mantras to remove an enemy or attract a person, etc. Scary, but reports of efficacy are as varied as there are people who have been given these so called 'powerful mantras' to direct their lives as per their will. Understandably, it is the easiest way to exhort money or following from desparate people, who don't know any better.

Used in the positive sense, Mantras help us immensely. This is experiential wisdom :-) 

Mantras are like seeds. A seed holds the entire tree within it in potential form. If you sow the seed, it sprouts and matures into a full-grown tree on its own accord in due course. The seed and the tree are one and the same -- they exist as one packet of energy. 
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Self Healthcare for Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes is on the rise, especially in developed countries. Ayurveda terms diabetes mellitus a 'rich man's diseae', since it is more a case of excess of food that the body finds difficult to digest.

Ayurveda suggests Pashchimutan yoga asana for regulating the pancreas' functioning. Ancient Indian wisdom suggests chewing 5 neem leaves and 5 bel (bilva or wood apple) leaves to control diabetes. These are insulin free remedies for diabetes, handed down through generations of Vaidyas.

Q. What is the biggest challenge facing people with Type 2 diabetes?

A. Fear. This can be a scary and complex disease. People often feel overwhelmed. Suddenly they have to worry about blood sugar levels and probably other risk factors, like high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. They’re usually told to lose weight and exercise more. They may be prescribed new medications. It’s a lot to handle. And it’s hard to make lifestyle changes if you’re afraid and overwhelmed. I try to reassure people that they can make a real difference in the outcome, and then I emphasize short-term, achievable goals.

Weight loss is recommended, as is a diet scarce in carbohydrates. Losing weight and a slightly reduced food intake is a big help. The saying in India is that starving never killed anyone but excess of food poisons the body. By the way, yogis do live on very little or no food! More...

Mindfulness Meditation - Buddha within

Meditation has answers for all mental troubles. But not just that. Meditation has been essential to Indian spirituality, and has many variations too. For instance, Raman Maharishi, the sage of Arunachala advocated meditating on the simple question 'who am I'. Mantra meditation is most widely practiced in India. Especially by members of Gayatri Parivar, headquarterd in Shanti kunj, Haridwar, India. The Gayatri Parivar has popularised meditataion on Gayatri mantra for not only spiritual gains, but health benefits too.

Lotus therapy: Mindful Meditation - Buddha's legacy

There is also a Mindless meditation, where the idea is to empty the mind of all impressions, and connect with the true self within.  Patnjali's suggested ideal: Yogashcha Chitta-vrutti nirodhashcha.

The latest to catch on is Mindfulness meditation. Not a new concept though, to those already familiar with Indian spirituality... More...

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