Oshodham & Osho World Galleria : Online Magazine - August 15 to September 15, 2012
The science in meditation

By Swami Chaitanya Keerti
Deccan Chronicle, September 7, 2012

Meditation has caught on like wild fire from Pune to Pennsylvania, from Mumbai to Manhattan. For physical ailments, too, meditation is now often a part of the treatment in many countries. If you have a heart problem, definitely go to your doctor. But also consult some meditation teacher, as that can unburden your heart. Throughout our life, our heart has to go through so many shocks and emotionally charged situations that it is really amazing how it copes.

For example, if you have a headache, go out and breathe for a few moments. Inhale from the left nostril seven times and exhale from the left, and repeat it in the reverse order. There will be an automatic balance of yin and yang energy and you will get relief from the headache. There will be no need for painkillers.

Close your eyes. Breathe. Watch your breath going in. Go as deep with it as possible and see where it takes a turn and come back with it. Breathing will energise your whole system and closing your eyes for a few moments will refresh them. The East has known the magic of meditation all along and has been practising it. But somewhere along the line, it seems to have forgotten it. In ancient times, the guru was called a vaidya, a physician. Both Gautama Buddha and Sri Guru Nanak called themselves vaidyas.

In one of his discourses, the Buddha said: “I am a Brahman, responsive to requests, open-handed, bearing my last body, an unsurpassed doctor and surgeon.” In the foreword to his book From Medication to Meditation, Osho says, “Every hospital will have a department of meditation. It should happen. Then we will be able to treat man as a whole. The body will be taken care of by the doctors, the mind by the psychologists, and the soul by meditation. The day the hospitals accept man as a whole, as a totality, and then treat him as such, will be a day of rejoicing for mankind.” Osho adds: “The word ‘meditation’ and the word ‘medicine’ come from the same root. Medicine means that which heals the physical, and meditation means that which heals the spiritual. Both are healing powers. Similarly, the word ‘healing’ and the word ‘whole’ also come from the same root.”

Swami Chaitanya Keerti, editor of Osho World, is the author of Osho Fragrance


Youth seeks spirituality in books

Deccan Herald, New Delhi, 7 September 2012

A reflection of our society’s changing relationship with spirituality and religion is being seen at this year’s Delhi Book Fair as well. Stalls selling books on world religi­o­ns, their history, teachings and spiritual leaders are dotting the fair. What’s more, publishers say that young readers are buying them more.

Lucknow-based Darul-Uloom-Deoband is participating in the Fair for the first time. A regular at DBF –She­i­kh Mubarak Ali from Pakistan is here with books on Islam. Other exhibitors of religious and spiritual literature incl­u­de: Urdu Academy, Madhur Sandesh, Geetapress Gorakhpur, International Goudiya Vedanta Trust, Vivekanand Yog­a­s­h­r­am, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Buddha Light Art and Living, Sai Baba Educational Trust, Kabir Gyan Prakashan, Osho Darshan and even Religious Foundation of Scientology.

These are, of course, only some of the publishers selling religious literature exclusively. Almost all other stalls have devoted a section to religious literature too.
Shakti Malik, director Delhi Book Fair, explains, “There has been a notable rise in the number of such exhibitors in the past few years. What is exciting is that readers in the under-35 age group are also taking interest. While 70 per cent browse through, at least 30 per cent are purchasing them.”

“I feel it is a result of our fast-paced, cosmopolitan lives today that the youth is forced to look inwards to search for values, guidelines and solace in religion. Worldwide too, the struggle between religions has resulted in people wanting to know about faiths other than their own.”

Exhibitors couldn’t agree more. Mohd. Faizan of Darul-Uloom-Deoband says, “Our copies of Quran, biographies of Prophet Muhammad, books on Islamic history, fatwas, the place of women in Islam etc. are selling very well. Other than Muslims, a lot of non-Muslims are also buying them. As a result we had to order in translations in English and Hindi, though, initially, we had books only in Urdu, Arabic and Persian only.”
At Geetapress Gorakhpur Prakashan, the exhibitors are surprised at the surge in demand for Shiv Puran. Ram Murat Singh, manager here, says,

“We have had to bring in more copies from Gorakhpur. We also ordered more copies of Bhagwad Gita, the Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayan and Mahabharat are also selling. The youth is more into pocket-size copies of Geeta, Hanuman Chalisa and Durga

At Osho Darshan, books on meditation are flying off the shelves. CDs are doing even better. Stall manager Durgesh Kumar says, “There is no subject that Osho has not touched upon – religions, spiritual leaders, emergent socio-political topics etc. Books concerning youth like Bharat ke jalte prashn; Shiksha mein kranti; Nari aur kranti and Sambhog se Samadhi on meditation are being especially favoured by the young.”

Evidently, young readers are taking to these books to evade certain problems and finding answers to the rest. A young man at the Osho stall, who didn’t wish to be named, says, “I lost my job during recession. That is when I took to reading spiritual books and it helped me cope with the situation. Today, I am in a good job but whenever I am stressed, I come back to these books. They are a lifeline now.”

Spiritual Small Screen

Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times, September 2, 2012

Uma Arora, 63, an ex-government employee, spends most of her day watching spiritual channels. “If my television is on, any one of five religious channels is running. They bring some very exclusive content from renowned religious places that I can rarely visit,” she said. Watching 

television, you may had have caught the ‘Third eye of Nirmal Baba’, or learnt yoga from Baba Ramdev. Osho on TV has an altogether different audience.

Slowly but surely, spiritual or devotional channels have caught on. TAM Media Research data shows that their genre share has grown by over 25% since 2009. 

Channels such as Aastha, Sanskar, Sadhna and others have sustained for eight-12 years and are going strong. In the past three-four years, the genre has grown. “There are over 40 channels across all languages, with seven-eight channels being launched in the last six months. The reason for the rush is a huge demand for programme slots from spiritual gurus and local production houses,” said Gaurav Gupta, director, Sadhna Group.

“It is our eighth year and I can say that it is a profitable business proposition,” Anil Anand, business head, Zee Jagran, said.

Channel distributors are happy too. “There is a huge demand for devotional channels, so we have included the category into our base packages. Their stickiness is increasing because of which they are emerging into the ‘mainstream’ channels list,” said Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV, which runs 11 national and five regional devotional channels.

Two years ago, news or general entertainment channels had five-seven spiritual shows. In the last six months, many national channels including Aaj Tak, Star TV, IBN-7 and Zee have removed ‘babas’ from their prime-time slots and also don’t feature them on religious occasions.

“This has given a boost to our business. In the last six months, the traffic and demand for slots has gone up by over 60%,” said Arvind Joshi, director marketing and programming, Aastha TV.

Many spiritual gurus and trusts are turning entrepreneurs by launching their own channels. Followers and trusts associated with Mata Amritanandamayi Devi have formed a company, Amrita Enterprises, to launch two religious channels. Based in Thiruvananthapuram, the 'Amma' Network beams a mix of devotional, socio-economic programmes and five hours of news. Last year, Adhyatma TV was launched by Bhagwat Mission Trust.

The genre is not dependent on advertising. Revenues primarily depend on slot sales – 20 minutes of daily live telecast slots earn a channel Rs. 2-10 lakh per month, per slot. 

“The total GRPs of the genre is not more than 30 for 21 channels, but GRP is not a dominance factor to base your revenue model on,” said Anand. “The genre is not a very ad-friendly, since the primary target group is in the age group of 50-plus.”

The popularity of a spiritual channel is dependent on the quality and popularity of the godmen it can rope in. “Growth depends on the channel’s discovery of spiritual practitioners and its efficiency to bring them to the notice of the viewers,” said Savita Jhingan , head of operations, MH One Group, which runs the channel, Shraddha.

Though advertising does not drive revenues, enquiries for ads are gradually going up. “For products targeted at an older audience, such channels are relevant. And to include the genre in media planning strategy is pocket-friendly, since they do not charge more than Rs. 900 for a 30-second ad slot,” said Navin Khemka, managing partner of media agency ZenithOptimedia.