By Dr. Francis Xavier

Sardar Partap Singh is no more. He fought valiantly, in the Second World War, against poverty, against government apathy, but the final war with pain was too much for the aged lion. He surrendered.

Sardar Partap Singh came to me about 2002 when I was OSD to LG. He had a bunch of papers but he was not aware what they were, being illiterate. He told the story of joining the British Indian army as a machine gunner/driver and fighting the Germans in Sudan during WW II. He was taken captive in Benghazi and taken to Germany. There he joined the INA along with many Indian POWs. When Netaji came to meet the Fuhrer it was he who drove the vehicle. He spoke a bit of German to prove he was there. After the war he was again arrested, brought to India for the Red Fort Trials and discharged from the Army.  He wandered about looking for a living. Finally he came to Andamans in the 80s and worked in ATI. He was living in a ramshackle house in D’Oyly Gunj and finding it hard to pay even the rent. He wanted to know if he could get Freedom Fighter status and pension.

I took up the matter with the INA veterans office in Delhi. One Capt. S.S. Yadava was very helpful. He cross checked Partap Singh’s details and confirmed that he was eligible for freedom fighter pension. It was taken up with the concerned ministry and soon Partap Singh started getting a good pension. When he got the arrears he came to me and innocently said, “There’s so much money, I don’t know what to do with it.” It was, of course, just a small amount.

After that he became a celebrity. He was being invited for all state functions. He went to Delhi and met the Prime Minister and the President.  He would always come to my office after each trip and describe to me what had happened there. He was still having problems with getting all the benefits of a freedom fighter. I read in the papers that the Tamil Nadu government had given a rent free flat to a woman INA veteran. I took up the matter with Hon’ble LG and immediately he was allotted a flat in Chakkergaon. He was ecstatic. But he fell for the first time and fracture his leg.  He recovered slowly. His son in law would phone me and tell me if anything was needed.

After I returned to the college we regularly met at state functions. He would fondly embrace me and tell about the family. When I called him for the Netaji Memorial Lecture in JNRM he happily obliged in spite of his feeble health. He was introduced to the gathering who gave him a standing ovation.

When I heard he again fell down I was abroad. I was worried if he could pull through this time. I was about to go to the hospital today when I got Dr Rashida Iqbal’s phone. “The Lion is no more.”

I consider it a great privilege that I got to meet and share the memories of this freedom fighter, who was not even aware of what his rights were. There are many like him, unsung and unrecognised. But in the Islands we were able to take care of him and treat him with respect. 

I will miss Sardar Partap Sing very badly. But his memories will live with me as long as I live. Farewell Sardar Partap Singji, till we meet again.

By Yogi Ashwini

Our body is the vehicle to our soul. It is also not permanent and will age eventually. Therefore, it becomes essential that we understand it and strengthen it, so that we may live a longer, balanced and healthy life.

Fast paced modern lifestyles, while having its perks, also brings with it a long chain of health implications, some of which can be life-long. Stress, ruptured joints, weak & bent spines, loss of glow and stamina, are just some of its natural by-products.  It is said that gymming continuously for years can ruin your knees, dry up your vital fluids, and damage your spine.

Yog, as shared earlier is not about rapid breathing exercises, or tying yourself in knots, it is a beautiful journey of the self.

In this issue, we will start by understanding who we are on the physical level, with the very basic rotation of our joints. The basic joint rotations ensure health and longevity of the body by removing the spent prana (the ‘life force’ the runs the entire Creation and our bodies) that gets accumulated at your joints and ensuring free flow of energy in the body.

Sanatan Kriya details six joint rotations starting from the neck, moving downwards to the shoulders, wrists, hip joint, knees and finally ankles. All the rotations are performed with internal awareness, keeping the eyes closed and synchronising the movement with Ujjai breath.

Slowly stand up without leaving the Ujjai Pranayam, start with the first rotation:

1. Neck Rotation

Close your eyes and be aware of your neck.

Now slowly start rotating your neck from right to left. Synchronise every rotation with one cycle of the breath, i.e. inhale in the first half of the rotation and then exhale in the second half of the rotation. But be very careful to move very slowly with complete awareness of every muscle and bone that is being used. Seven clockwise and seven anti-clockwise rotations are enough at this stage.

2. Shoulder Rotation

Keep the first three fingers on your shoulders and once again synchronising with your breath, bring your elbows to join in front of your nose, then up towards the sky, and then stretching backwards, back to the starting position. Seven cycles in this manner and seven cycles in the reverse, i.e., taking your elbows backwards, then up and then joining them in front of your nose. Your awareness should be on the movement of your shoulder.

3. Wrist Rotation

Closing your fist with the thumb inside, stretch your arms in front, at the level of the shoulders and rotate your wrists only, not the fore- arms. Do seven cycles each of clockwise and anticlockwise motion.

4. Hip Rotation

Keeping your hands on your hips, making sure that your head does not move, rotate your hips only, seven times left to right in circular motion and seven times in reverse direction.

5. Knee Rotation

Place your palms on your thighs, dip down slightly at the knees, bring your feet together, keeping your spine erect. Now move the knees together seven times left to right in circular motion and seven times in reverse direction.

6. Foot Rotation

Stretch out your right leg and rotate the foot seven times clockwise and seven times anticlockwise. Then repeat with your left leg.

7. Taad Asana

Stand straight, going on your toes, making sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on both your feet. Be very careful to maintain an even distribution. Once you are evenly balanced then raise both your palms skywards above your head. Maintain this posture for at least five minutes.

Most of you will find these basic rotations very difficult if you are doing them properly. You might also having a feeling of unsteadiness and a strong urge to open your eyes. This is your first experience of state of disturbance within your own self. It also shows how uncoordinated are you with your own physical bodies.

Till our physical bodies are not in a state of balance we cannot think of bringing our mental and emotional states into balance. Of the thousands of people who have been introduced to these basic practices we found that those who have been practicing these basics regularly have experienced a certain level of calmness and balance in their physical bodies. There also has been a definite lowered blood pressure and pulse rate with an increased efficiency.

Those of you who would like to take help to understand the process of each of the practices discussed so far can get in touch with Dhyan Foundation. 

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing.

By Yogi Ashwini

Last week, we discussed how a simple breathing technique can optimise the metabolism of the body thereby increasing the life span of the cell and thus slowing down the ageing process. This is the first immediate benefit that basic yogic kriyas have on the metabolism of the physical body. We hope that some of the readers of the last week’s article have practiced the abdominal breathing technique. Yog becomes relevant to an individual only when it is practiced regularly. Yog is all about experiences and these have to be the practitioner’s experiences.

Let us now make a minor alteration to this abdominal breathing technique.

1.       Sit with a straight spine. Close your eyes and take your awareness to the navel and start abdominal breathing. Make your breath slower, deeper and gentler.

2.      Take a long breath and as you exhale open your mouth and with the abdominal exhalation let out a sigh of relief. If you have done this exhalation with awareness you will realize that the air went out touching the interiors of your throat with a gentle hiss.

3.      Follow the same process now with your mouth closed. Feel the air travelling through your throat with a gentle hissing sound without apparently touching your nostrils.

4.      Slowly practice the abdominal inhalation as well with awareness of your abdomen but with the air flowing through your throat gently making a rustling sound through it.

5.      Continue with abdominal breathing with this modification with the mouth closed.

The above mentioned practice is called the Ujjai Pranayama and it will be used in all our future practices.

Breathing in the right way has a direct effect on our health and state of being.

Look around yourself in nature and observe the breathing rates of different animals or insects around you. You will find that animals that breathe the fastest have the shortest life span while animals that breathe the slowest have the longest. A dog which takes 70-80 breaths a minute lives up to 12-13 years maximum, while a tortoise lives for over 150 years taking just one-two breaths a minute.

During the respiration process, a lot of energy is produced, but as an equal and opposite reaction, a lot of toxicity is also generated in the form of ‘ama’. These toxins corrode the cell and lead to ageing. The faster one breathes, the more are the toxins produced and the faster is the rate of deterioration of cell.

Ujjai Pranayama, is a complete balancing and purification technique, that rids the body off toxins (released during the respiration process), by heating it to a temperature where toxins are removed and simultaneously cooling it making for a complete balance.

This pranayama, has an instant calming effect on the entire body. Whenever you are angry, nervous, anxious, scared or emotional – the first symptom is – the breath shoots up! In such circumstances, you may attempt ujjai and notice the difference yourself.

Having this basic understanding of the style of breathing and its affect on the physical we will start next week with the practice of understanding who we are on the physical level with joint rotations as detailed in Sanatan Kriya.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. 

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By Zubair Ahmed

Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated today with the culmination of Ramadan, a spiritually inclined month filled with fasting and prayers. Today is the day of feast after a month-long fast, which also demand us to contemplate and reflect over the larger purpose behind such an endeavor.

Human being is the most beautiful and intelligent creation of God on earth endowed with enormous power to maneuver, utilize and exploit the world around it, with the capability to subjugate other creatures and creations far stronger and mightier than it. The only creation with the ability to reach the abyss of the ocean or the farthest celestial body. Undoubtedly, he holds a special and unique place in the universe, which other creations don't. If he acts sensibly and responsibly, he may enhance and improve the world around him or if he acts irresponsibly and recklessly, he can make the world worst for everyone and everything.

He is the only creation capable of horizontal and vertical growth. He is made up of body and soul. When he focuses on his body, animality takes over him. When he nurtures his soul, humanity dominates. His actions depend on how he strikes a balance between his body and soul. He needs to find harmony with both God and Universe.

If he has been gifted with such immense powers, he needs to be responsible for the position he enjoys in the universe, and accountable to God, Who created him as well as the universe.

He has been ordained to fast in the month of Ramadan to attain the attributes of responsibility and accountability. His fasting during daytime makes him realize the frailty of his body, and empathise with the creations around him and his prayers during nights enriches his soul with the remembrance of his Creator. Thus, Ramadan enables him to purify his body as well as his soul and helps him to realize the real purpose behind his creation - Servitude to God and Service to Mankind.

Every year, Ramadan provides him with an opportunity to find that balance between his body and soul. And also his commitment towards his Creator and other Creations around him. Its a month of review and reorientation. And when he goes through the process and comes out fully recharged to take up his larger responsibility, he needs to show gratitude to his Creator, who keeps giving him the golden opportunity. 

And he shows that gratitude by celebrating Eid. By praising his Creator. By giving out to the poor a portion from the bounty, he received from his Creator and Cherisher. By preparing delicious feast and sharing the joy and happiness with everyone. By coming closer to the Creator and reinforcing his commitment towards mankind.

By Yogi Ashwini

Yog is a perfect and precise science practiced by the vedic seers for thousands of years and given to us in its pristine form, through the ancient practice of Guru-shishya parampara. The rules of yog stay the same even today despite the lifestyles of individuals undergoing a sea change.

Yog is not about rapid breathing exercises, or tying yourself in knots, it is a beautiful journey of the self.  The benefits of yog have been experienced by the practitioner when they have taken up the practice in its entirety. Just as a patient would benefit from the Doctor’s prescription if and only if the patient takes the medication in its entirety, similarly yog has to be seen as a divine prescription, which cannot be altered as per individual’s comfort for acceptance. Further to reap the benefits of these practices you have to practice them regularly because you cannot cure yourself of the disease just by reading the prescription, you need to take the medicine as well.

Yog simply put is union in, and union with, all spheres of life. One does not have to renounce this world and go to the mountains. A practitioner of yog can lead a life of a householder, executing all his or her responsibilities towards the family and the society.

We are starting a series on specific practices from Sanatan Kriya, which is Ashtang Yog in its unadulterated form, which sadhaks at Dhyan Foundation have  been practicing for years now and benefited on the physical, emotional, mental and the financial planes. These very practices have also been shared with hundreds of people across the country and those who are regular with their practice have also reported positive changes in them. It is important to note here that all these people are at responsible positions in the society with jobs or businesses and families to look after.

Let us start with the first step, abdominal breathing.

1.       Sit down with your spine absolutely straight on a firm but soft surface. Sit in a clean, well-ventilated but not windy or cold environment. Ensure that you’re sitting without any support to your back.

2.      Close your eyes and start breathing from your nose. Throughout the entire asan do not breathe from your mouth.

3.      Now take your awareness to your abdomen. Exhale very slowly and as you exhale pull your abdomen in without bending the back. Without holding your breath, start inhaling slowly and start expanding your abdomen as if the air was filling your abdominal cavity. Once you have inhaled to your abdomen’s full capacity, start exhaling again.

4.      Repeat this process of abdominal inhalation and exhalation for as long as possible with a straight spine and without straining yourself. Slowly reduce the speed of breathing and increase the depth of your breath.

In this stressed out life of today all of us are breathing at a fast pace. Physical, mental or emotional stress increases the metabolism of our body. Metabolism, simply put is the rate at which energy is being consumed by the cells of our body. This stress leads to a faster cell burnout. This simple breathing technique reduces the metabolism of the body thereby increasing the life span of the cell but most importantly without reducing the efficiency of the individual.

Next issue we will cover some basic asans which when done in conjunction with this abdominal breathing will help bring your metabolic rate to its optimal level.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. 

Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more