The substance of consciousness
Composer Yashwant Deo gets Lata Mangeshkar Award
The chef’s wife’s tale
Deva Premal and Miten discuss their healing music, Sanskrit chanting and more
Meet the tinseltown’s spiritual advisers
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The substance of consciousness
The Times of India I Spirituality
Osho Sep 26, 2011, 01.10pm IST
Lao Tzu says: "In the body is the anima. The anima is feminine (yin), it is the substance of consciousness." In each being, there is anima.
Anima means the feminine principle, the passive principle, the inactive principle, the woman, yin... it is the substance of consciousness. It is not consciousness itself but the substance. Without it, consciousness cannot exist. It is the very matter, it is the house in which consciousness lives. Without it, consciousness cannot live....
She creates civilisation
Women remain attached to their bodies because of the feminine principle. Men, on the other hand, are really careless about the body. If there is no woman around, the man becomes dirty, dusty. The room becomes unclean, as if he is not aware of all this....
The woman is immensely tethered to the body, to the substance, to the house. If man had been left alone, at the most there would have been tents but not houses. It is woman who has created civilisation, because without houses, there would be no civilisation....
The woman is the substance of consciousness. Without a woman, the spirit cannot soar high. You don't come across as many great women poets; that's because woman inspires poetry with her presence, her love, her caring. Woman is equal to man, but she is not the SAME as man, and she should not be. She should follow her own nature, she should listen to her own soul. She has a different vibe, she has a different function to fulfil in the world, a different destiny.
If she follows man and imitates, she is lost. And the more she is lost, the more she will become uprooted from her being. Meditate over the words 'substance of consciousness': the very foundation of consciousness. It is not consciousness itself but the house where consciousness lives....
The man lives in the eyes and the woman lives in the ears, hence the desire in women to listen.... The ears are the passive, receptive part of your being. Something can enter through the ears. The eyes are the aggressive part. You cannot be aggressive with the ears. But with the eyes, you can look in such a way at a person as if your eyes were daggers. You can offend people with your eyes or you can love people with your eyes. You can reach people with your eyes or you can become unreachable. Somebody can look into your eyes so vacantly that he becomes unreachable or look into you so absently that he is unreachable.
Or somebody can look with such desire, passion, longing, such caring, that his eyes almost start caressing your body. The eyes are the aggressive parts. They can project, they can reach.
The disciple becomes feminine. That's why women are the best disciples in the world. Man finds a little difficulty in becoming a disciple. Even if he becomes, he becomes a disciple reluctantly. He resists, he fights, he doubts, he creates many ways to somehow escape. If he cannot, then helplessly he relaxes, but helplessly. The woman jumps joyously....
Why so mysterious?
Hence, the mystery of the woman. No man has ever been able to unravel the mystery. Only if one has gone beyond both, only if one has become a Buddha, one knows the mystery of both man and woman. The woman remains mysterious, dark.... You cannot see clearly, you can, at the most, grope. You can never be logically clear about the woman. She never follows logic, her path is very zig-zag.... The woman is a poet without creating any poetry. Her life is her poetry. And it is as dark as poetry: mysterious, vague, ambiguous. She remains always a question mark. Man is clear like light. Hence, man looks shallow, woman looks deep. Hence, man seems to be completely on the surface.
Dark and light sides
Woman is death. By 'death' there is no condemnation meant or supposed, just that the quality of death is security. You are secure only when you are dead...then nothing can happen to you any longer....
The male principle is basically polygamous, and the feminine is monogamous.... The alchemy consists in understanding these two principles in each of you, man or woman; and in transforming the anima, the dark part in you, into the light part; in helping the dark part to move, in helping the dark part help the light part and not to fight with it.
If your anima can help your animus, then that is real marriage, the inner marriage. Then you start becoming integrated; then your light is no more shallow, it has the depth of darkness. And your darkness is no more dark, it has the light of lightness. Then, anima and animus melt into each other. The Secret of Secrets, Osho International Foundation.
Composer Yashwant Deo gets Lata Mangeshkar Award
Mumbai, September 26, 2011
Yashwant Deo, 85, watches the city’s hectic pace from the balcony of his first-floor flat on Dadar’s Veer Savarkar Road with a peaceful acceptance of changing times. It is with the same calm that the Marathi composer accepted the Lata Mangeshkar Award. He will receive the award from the state cultural department on September 28.
“Of course I am happy, but I don’t worry about debates like it should have come earlier,” said Deo. “Existence has a timetable and things happen only according to it,” he said, adding that his wife’s death in June, just before the award was announced, was predestined.
Deo learned music from his father, spending his early years in Pen and Nagpur before settling in Dadar. A physics graduate, he joined All India Radio as a sitar player where his job also involved checking if poems or songs were music worthy.
“That is where I started to learn (music) seriously, as I had to give reasons for rejecting songs and poems. Often, I would present a better alternative and silence the complainant,” he chuckled.
Deo got married again in 1983 to Karuna, a noted radio announcer, and took sanyas a year later. “People criticised and ridiculed me but my wife stood by me,” said the Osho Rajnish follower.
Deo is known for his compositions in Bhav Geet, a semi-classical form where poems are composed to music. He has composed music for more than 40 Marathi plays and films, including Saaz, which was loosely based on the lives of sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale.
When asked to compare the sisters, he said that each was unique.
“Ashabai has handled a wider range of songs than Latabai. But they never tried to do what the other is doing.”
“Today, you see everyone rushing with a cell phone glued to their ears. Each one has so many tasks that everything is completed almost breathlessly. That same dhad dhad (chaos) is reflected in music and liked by the people as they identify with it. That is neither good for music nor the psychological health of a person.”
Deo is currently working on a song for a Marathi film. “When the producers approached me, I said, instead of me approving the film, you decide if your people will still accept me.” The film will be released next year.
The chef’s wife’s tale
Published: Sunday, Sep 25, 2011, 8:00 IST
By Pia Arora | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Wine, the saviour
Uday Deb | DNA
From Osho, the great master of spirituality and meditation, I learned the concept of duality. He said in life there is happiness and sadness. Wherever there is happiness, the ungodly head of sadness would be lurking close by.
“You are the luckiest girl in the world,” everyone told me, when I pronounced that I was finally getting married, and not just to any man, but a full seasoned, five star hotel chef.
“He will make you dal bukhara and chicken gosht everyday.” You will have the best parties; you won’t have to work in the kitchen! You couldn’t have asked for more!”
My kitchen, which earlier had one pot and no pans and a stove that I used as a side table, now has a pan of every shape and size, along with a chef’s big knife and hundreds of ingredients and spices that I had never heard of. Who would have thought that ‘Jaivitri’ is not just the name of a woman being harassed on Saas bhi kabhi bahu? And how about ‘Atar’? All I could think of was an iron to press clothes. ‘Khada masala, ghost burrani, lobia’, the list of vulgar words that I now use with nonchalant charm is endless.
It goes without saying that the chef, my husband makes food that makes you want to give up all ambitions in life, nail yourself down to a dining table chair, and never get up. All I need would be someone to pass me a book, every once in a while. How many of you have Hyderabadi biryani with lal salan for a Monday night dinner? Or Galoti kebabs instead of popcorn with a movie? How many of you can call your friends over and tell them your husband is going to cook, and then have him deliver a four course meal?
I was revelling in my grand fortune of being married to a chef when I felt something lurking around the corner.
Soon enough, my in-laws called to say that they would be joining us for dinner. I was thinking of what my husband could make that would floor them, and listing the ingredients he would need, when the chef called me from office. “Urgent work, I am going to Delhi tonight.” “But your parents are visiting us tomorrow. Surely you can postpone for a few days. They must be dying to have your food!”
“Oh that’s ok, they just want to spend time with us. You can fix them a nice dinner.” Click.
What! Did he just say he was leaving me in the lurch without a drop of Javitri or Atar? How could I tell him that the only cooking I knew was putting pre-cooked frozen meals in the microwave? My husband had inadvertently made me dependent on him and I had happily rusted all my cooking skills.
My mind was racing to find excuses I can use to cancel this dinner. Me being a new bride and all that, if my in-laws discovered what a non-cook I was, they’ll judge me forever. I finally decided I was not going to be a loser, I will make this work, I don’t need the chef for every meal, there is a little chef after all in all women, isn’t there? Or was that just a myth? I put on some Gloria Gaynor, “Oh, I will survive, I will surviiiiiiive”, and opened a new bottle of my favourite South African dry red wine.
After two glasses, I entered the kitchen like a gladiator ready to take on his enemies, with all the pots and pans staring at me like the audience in an amphitheatre. I had a knife in my hand, which I was swinging around like a club. “No one will bring me down, I can make amazing food.” Positive affirmations. “I will surviiiiiiiiive”
After five hours of slaving in the kitchen, and two bottles of wine to soothe my nerves, I realised I had made a full 3-course meal along with a dessert. The only problem was that the alcohol had got the best of me.
I tried out the food, and to my shock, everything tasted of wine, probably because that was all I could taste in my mouth. Horrified, I realised that the olive oil bottle I presumably emptied while cooking was lying quietly, full to the top, and on the other counter, lay a bottle of dry red wine. Empty.
My jaw dropped to the floor. Every dish from chicken korma, matar paneer to dal bukhara was now a heady cocktail, ready to punch anyone out of their senses. I checked the time, my in-laws would be here any minute. I was scrambling to find menus of food delivery places when the bell rang. I shoved half a tube of toothpaste in my mouth, had a perfume shower, and opened the door.
My in-laws stood there grinning. And holding a big bottle of Two Oceans dry red wine. “Your favourite, isn’t it?”
I decided the only way I could survive this, was if my in-laws were in the same state of mind as I. And so it started. The night of three bottles of wine and three drunken adults. Taking advantage of the revelry and the wine, I quickly served them food before the effects of the wine could fade away. “We love the food. The best meal I have ever had. Our son is so lucky to have you.”
South African wine saved the day, and the night. My in-laws left, intoxicated, happy, exuberant. I had passed the test. The chef called me the next day and told me how glad his parents were and how they loved the food and the wine. My face was red but I accepted his compliments. “I did it for you honey.”
Happiness, Osho, happiness! I might not be a chef but I knew how to improvise.
As I was chatting with my friends later in the day, and parading the joyous relationship I shared with my in-laws and husband, my cell phone rang. Mother-in-law calling. Did she realise what I had done? Did she have a massive hangover? I answered the phone with a meek hello but she shrieked about the roaring time they’d had and how they would love to do this again. I was more than happy to do it, now that I had my secret ingredient. “But beta, this time we will do lunch as the Navratras have started, and we won’t drink alcohol or eat meat for the next two weeks.”
Here we are Osho, back at the sadness end of the duality. No alcohol.
Deva Premal and Miten discuss their healing music, Sanskrit chanting and more
By Amber Taufen Fri., Sep. 23 2011 at 9:00 AM
Deva and Miten.
Followers of world music in general and healing Sanskrit sounds in particular should be familiar with Deva Premal and Miten, but just in case: The duo has been performing together since they met in India in 1990 -- at an ashram, fittingly -- traveling the world and using their chanting mantras to heal all kinds of ills. They'll be stopping in Denver for an intimate concert at Colorado Heights University Theater at 7 p.m. on Sunday; we caught up with them to talk about the healing powers of chanting, how a concert usually unfolds and more.
Westword: How would you describe your performance to those who might not be familiar?
Miten: Well, the first thing is that we don't look on it as a performance. That's one of the key things to our music, is that it's not seen by us as a situation of performer/audience. Because we all sing together, we like to see it more as a spiritual gathering, that we facilitate as musicians. So that kind of takes the performance thing away. When I was a kid, I was playing rock music, and when I discovered meditation and Osho in India, I stopped playing music, because I wanted to just get rid of the baggage that being a "musician" carries. And when that weight left me, the music that came back, which came back as a really just a way to say thank you to my guru, somebody who had changed my life. So that's how the music reappeared in my life, and it came through meditation, it came out of meditation, and it disappears back into meditation. So it's a totally different thing to what I was doing before, which was much more centered on ambition and performance and "please notice me" and ego-based, excitable kind of attitude that you have in that music business. It's not a music business with Deva and I.
How was your concert in Salt Lake City?
Deva: It was great, it was such a beautiful evening, and the people sang so beautifully. It's a spiritual practice of using the voice, the sacred sounds, the Sanskrit sounds to come to a place of silence and oneness and unity, and it's beautiful when it's done together, because everyone is breathing together. It's uplifting. It's always like that when we do things communally, that it can be carried on the energy of the whole group. We feel very blessed that we can travel around and invite a few hundred to a thousand people to practice with us. It's not serious, you know, it's not stern, it's not austere, it's very much from the heart, very human and very open. So it's not like a serious evening.
Miten: The songs and the mantras, they can go on during the concert for ten minutes, fifteen minutes, and it takes on a life of its own. It depends on the audience how peace unwinds and unfolds. Every audience is different, and every concert is fresh, because we have a different audience, and thus a different choir. Every audience brings its own flavor, which is beautiful for us. Although we've been chanting these mantras for seventeen years, we never ever reach a point where we're fed up with them and they're boring. They're fresh and absolutely beautiful.
Can you explain how these chants are used to heal physical and mental or emotional problems?
Deva: It's the power of the Sanskrit sounds. It's an ancient science of the benefit of certain sounds on certain energy centers, and also on a physical body. So it's very scientific, which mantra is for what situation. There are mantras for physical healing -- and it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't do anything else,that you just chant the mantra and you heal. It just opens your own perception and your lives to the right healing modality, it can open you to meeting the right person who can help you with the healing. It's an energetic transformation that happens through the chanting of the sacred sounds. We always find out again and again, we don't even have to know it's a mantra for it to work. People say, "I heard this and I had tears running down my face, what was it?" It seems to be really ... what it is, which is ancient, the mother language, which is thousands of years old, and we all somehow connect to on a deep and powerful level.
How did you first get turned on to these mantras?
Deva: I actually grew up with it, my parents went deep into Eastern spirituality, into mantra, into yoga. And so as a child, that was my daily life, was the mantras -- we would chant mantras walking around, so it was really part of my life.
What has been the feedback you've gotten from people who have attended your concerts?
Miten: Mostly they just want to say thank you. It's an amazing experience, because we just hang out there and meet a wave of love coming from all these smiling eyes and open hearts that come and just want to say thank you. Usually we just have a hug with everybody, and we feel like we're meeting old friends. It's a strange thing, even though we've never met people, because we meet in a very sacred space, they feel like they know us and we feel like we know them, although it's way beyond the personality, it's on another dimension. We can meet as knowing each other, not as if, but actually from the heart, knowing each other.
Deva: Also we've had quite a few messages where people have said the evening changed their lives, and it's humbling to hear it, because it's amazing to contribute something like that. New ideas were born that actually took root and started to flower, and it can be deeply transforming.
Miten: You step into an energy field, and maybe you do that unconsciously -- you think you're coming to a concert, but in fact you're stepping into something deeper. Subconsciously, when a bunch of people seem together, they just naturally breathe together. That is a parallel to what is visible, because it's just a special thing when people breathe together. And we're chanting these sound formulas that are not nothing -- they're actually something very powerful. So you put all that together, and music that is beautifully played and beautifully seized. And it just creates a moment when you're, as a listener, you're out of the loop of your daily life. You walk into some kind of magical dimension, that's how it feels to me, and it happens to me every time.
Deva Premal and Miten will be performing with Manose; visit www.commonspirit.org for tickets.
Meet the tinseltown’s spiritual advisers
Published: Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011, 10:22 IST
By Ashish Virmani | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Showbiz has always had its share of spiritual seekers and practitioners. Even among the current generation there are those who perhaps because of the insecurity built into the business or even because of the uncertainties of life in general seek something that heals and soothes feathers ruffled in the rough and tumble of life.
Dilshad Pastakia, personal hairstylist to actor Shah Rukh Khan and to a couple of other Bollywood actors, says, “I have worked with ill people and I realise that disease is something that we create for ourselves with our thoughts. When the mind, body and soul are in harmony there should be no disease. Yet people have various issues in their lives starting from their childhood and I help them to re-look at their basic beliefs even if they are subconscious. The journey is always an inward one and though some people feel that’s a tough path to take, it’s easier than the outward journey into the real world. What’s more is that it’s also much more rewarding. It can rid people of their hidden fears and anxieties and help them achieve happiness.”
Shiamak Davar, choreographer and dance educator, trained for spirituality under his mentor the late Khorshed Bhavnagri, the author of ‘Laws of the Spirit World’. He carries on Khorshed’s legacy of helping people contact the spirit worlds through the medium of automatic writing bedsides bringing them into contact with universal spiritual principles.
Says Shiamak, “One has to really work for what one wants and then have the trust (in a Higher Force) that it will happen if it’s good for your life. You have to know your natural gifts and talents, work within your limitations and work out who you are basically.” He adds, “When I look around me and see so many people and how they’re suffering I’m truly grateful to God for all that I’ve been given.”
Pushtii Shakti, actor and sanyasin, like Dilshad, believes in the force of thoughts to create our realities. An Osho believer, she incorporates spiritual techniques from various spiritual schools to relieve people of their anxieties and traumas.
While she herself follows Osho’s concept of ‘dynamic meditation’ she uses everything from tarot and angel card readings to being a spiritual channel to advise people on their life questions. She tells about a new technique she’s learnt — rebirthing and breath work — that’s proving immensely valuable in her quest. “It involves teaching people to breathe right according to a particular pattern which they then adapt according to their own capabilities.”
It also helps her decipher the subconscious of the seeker and to help expiate them of their painful life experiences. It has helped produce real life results in the wondrous improvement in eyesight of her uncle who was nearly sight-impaired.
Actor and tarot reader Munisha Khatwani, discovered her gift soon after recovering from a near fatal car accident when she was drawn to the spiritual world, reveals, “For me spirituality is anything that brings me peace of mind and a sense of my own life. It could be meditation, exercise, doing a tarot reading, anything that brings me inner calm.” While advising others she is however careful to let them sort out their issues on their own.
Actress Tisca Chopra was one of the television world’s early converts to New Age Buddhism 13 years ago and has since then helped many other television stars enter the world of Buddhist philosophy. She says, “Self mastery is the goal of all spiritual activity. As a Buddhist I believe in the ultimate law of the Universe — that of the simultaneity of Cause and Effect. One becomes mindful of one’s causes in thought, word and deed.
And by changing these one can get completely different results in the world we live in.” She adds, “I used to be an introverted and confused person who had ambitions but no way of achieving them. Strong Buddhist practice made me sure of myself and the ability to write my own destiny. I see that I have deeper relationships than before..”
Art of Living (AOL) instructor Rhea Pillai has been propagating Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s philosophy for over a decade now. Teaching others in her environment, whether in showbiz or outside about the values of the spiritual life, Rhea says, “In our present age, while materialistic pursuits are important, the gentler aspects of life are being overlooked. I’d say we need a balance between commercialism and the humanitarian aspects of life. And we need to start by being grateful for what we have received in our lives.
There’s a procedure in our AOL courses called Bowing Down where we also thank our parents, our ancestors and even the sun for its life-sustaining light. It links up to really looking around you and seeing that one has so much more than what others around one have — no matter how well or badly off you are. The fact is that more gratitude one shows, the greater are the blessings one receives from life’s natural forces,” she says.
Positive IRS trends buoy magazine industry; cover prices hiked
September 20, 11
It’s been quite a while since the magazine industry saw some positive trends. But it seems that year 2011 is turning out to be a year of revival for the industry. With the Indian Readership Survey (Q1 results) reporting positive trends in the average issue readership for certain periodicities, now most publishing groups have increased the cover prices of their magazines, after quite a while. This trend is, however, being seen more in English language magazines than in any other language.
In a strategic move, mainline periodicals have hiked their cover prices by Rs 5 to Rs 10. Prominent English general interest magazines, including India Today, Outlook and The Week, have hiked their cover prices by Rs 5 per copy. It may be noted here that the price of India Today magazine has been revised after a period of three years.
Business periodicals Business Today and Outlook Business have also seen a hike of Rs 5 in their respective cover prices. The cover price of Golf Digest from the India Today Group will soon shoot up to Rs 150 from the current Rs 100.
Malcolm Mistry, Publishing Director, India Today, explained, “Input cost for magazine publishing has gone up over the years. And, as we deal with an intellectual product, I don’t think that this marginal increase is going to impact the reading habit of readers in any way.”
Along similar lines, Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Outlook, said, “Increase in the cover price was a decision to cover up the ‘cost’. I don’t think Indian readers will shy away from paying Rs 5 more to read their favourite magazine.”
Meanwhile, magazines targeted at students preparing for various competitive exams have seen a sharp increase in cover prices as compared to other general interest magazines. It is pertinent to note here that most of the magazines in this category have also performed well in the recent IRS results, registering growth in their average issue readership (AIR).
Pratiyogita Darpan had recently increased its cover price from Rs 60 to Rs 65. Now, with special issues of the magazines, the recent editions of Pratiyogita Darpan and Competition Success Review have been priced at Rs 75. Mahendra Jain, Editor, Pratiyogita Darpan, said, “We have come up with special issues of the magazine at higher prices than the regular edition.”
The cover prices of Junior Science Refresher and Competition Refresher too have gone up from Rs 45 to Rs 50. Meanwhile, readers of GK Today magazine will now have to shell out Rs 30, a steep increase from the earlier Rs 18.
Magazines targeted at students preparing for banking service examinations, too, have also raised their cover prices. Now Banking Service Chronicle (English) is available for Rs 40, an increase of Rs 5 per copy.
Readers of Time Out Delhi will have to pay Rs 10 more as the magazine is now available for Rs 50. This apart, the cover price of Osho World has also gone up by more than 50 per cent and the magazine is now available on the stands for Rs 50.
Janardhan Pandey, Associate VP, Mudra Max - Media, sounded a caution bell as he stated, “This sharp increase in the price can have a direct impact on the buying decision of the readers and subsequent decline of readership of the magazines. However, going forward, if they (publishers) will give better content, it is not going to hit them.”
He also noted that buying decision of the readers also depended on the subscription offers, which were often highly discounted.
(Details on the cover price of various magazines mentioned in the story are also based on conversations with various magazine suppliers, which include Mahesh Gupta, magazine supplier, City News Agency, Connaught Place, Delhi and Manoj, magazine supplier at Saket’s PVR complex.)