Ankita Shah

He swerved the car to the extreme right and slammed on the brakes. Straining against my seat belt, I frowned at him and then at the bike driver facing us. After a bit of angry exchange with the bike driver, we moved on.

I looked at him then and said disapprovingly, “Dad why do you purposely get into their way? Why not just let them be?”

Vehemently, he said, “He was going in the wrong direction! Just for convenience these people break rules and put lives in danger. If we would have got into an accident, he would have held us responsible. No one has any civic sense. We need to put some sense into them.”

But they never change, I argued. In fact, the man on the bike thought he was right and we were wrong. How could one improve if they weren’t even aware of their mistakes? “Everyone in Mumbai is like this. Why get our blood pressure high in trying to improve them unnecessarily? Might as well be cautious, peacefully accept the situation and move on. You will start getting heart problems if you keep this up,” I preached.

Dad became silent and thoughtful. I was happy that I made a difference in the way he looked at the situation.

To my chagrin, the next day, he had a heated exchange with a pedestrian trying to cross while our signal was green. He was fuming and I was upset. I realized that the previous day he was silent because he disagreed with me. He truly believed in his cause and felt he was right.

But wait a minute, what was I doing? I was telling him to accept people as they are, when I myself was not accepting him the way he was. He had his own set of beliefs based on his experience and learning and I had mine. I was trying to force my perspective on him too, getting upset in the process.

Come to think of it, how many times had my parents, friends and relatives asked me to change some things about me but I was adamant that I was right? I refused to change too.

So in the end, whose perspective would you say was right? The bike driver’s, Dad’s, mine, my friends’? Is it someone who sees from his point of view, or someone who steps into another’s shoes? Which perspective would it be?

The answer came smilingly to me. THE HIGHER PERSPECTIVE. One that sees neither right nor wrong. One that is non-judgmental and detached. It just sees.

The next day, I sat quietly in the car and just smiled at the drama unfolding all around me.

Published in the June 2011 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine


Sarita Modi

In the days of Buddha the city of Shravasti faced a great famine. Rich people not only hid themselves, but also hid all the clothes and food available.
At that time a girl named Supriya came forward and went house to house to collect food and clothes for the needy. Impressed by her effort and belief other people also joined her and a big movement to fight the famine was created.

However difficult the situation is, if some strong person stands up to the situation, the situation could improve.

In our personal life too we face many difficult situations. We do not have to get upset but rather keep patience and face things with faith and strength. The problems are temporary clouds; the sun will be shining soon.

To give an example, Lucy had a drunkard husband who quarrelled, did not do much work and was negative and demanding. Lucy quietly continued with her duties, keeping herself busy, tackling the problems which could be tackled and leaving the rest to God; strongly and happily living her life. In course of time Lucy became a model for the neighbourhood and the husband improved.

Published in the June 2011 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine


A little blind boy was thrown out of his house when he was only a child. He was asked to sit on the steps of the temple and take God’s name seriously. He did exactly as he was told and became a saint. When there is sincerity and devotion, one can reach great heights.

There are few like Surdas who follow the path of Yoga sincerely. For them, Abhyasa and Vairagya are two things like a straight road, taking them to the highest They put in continuous efforts till the mind is fully controlled. These are the best students.

Other second class students are also very sincere. They follow Kriya –Yoga. The first three Niyamas are taken separately. The Niyamas are practiced in a determined way. Tapa is done sincerely, but not in an extreme way. It increases one’s bearing capacity. Swadhyaya includes thinking, perception and reading. It increases knowledge. Ishwarara  Pranidhana is Bhakti, it takes care of emotions. Emotions should be for God. In material world nobody is anybody’s and nobody satisfies emotions. Emotions get disturbed, happiness is followed by pain. So these students have emotions for God and they surrender to Him totally.        

Through Kriya-Yoga one can reach Samadhi. All these constituents are equally important. Bhakta may not be strong, so Tapa has to be done. One who does Tapa well, may lean towards Ahankara. One surrenders success or failure to God in Ishwra Pranidhana and does not become egoistic or depressed. He remains balanced always.

For the third class of students, eight steps are recommended.

The question is how sincerely committed are we ? If really sincere, we can reach the highest. Otherwise, is our efforts are half- hearted, we can play around and tell everybody that we are practicing Yoga.   

Published in the Sept 2010 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine.