SUNDAY , September 16, 2012

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River Devika
A Cultural symbol of Duggar

Dr. S.P. Shrivatsa

The river Devika is considered to be one of the most sacred rivers in our scriptures. In other words this river is called as Ganga of Duggar. Inspite of the fact that this river flows down in Jammu region of J&K state some scholars express their divergent and controversial opinions regarding its identity and actual location.
According to Dr. Vasudeva Sharan Agrawal, this is a sacred river of Madra Desha (an old name of the land of Dogras) which starts its course from the hills of Jammu region which is called as "Sahasra- dhara" near Suddha Mahadev temple and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the river Ravi in Pakistan.
It is said that during rainy season it irrigates a major part of its vicinity in Pakistan before it merges with Ravi due to which that part of the land has become much fertile for the paddy crop of the best quality called "Vasamati".
This is the peculiarity of this river that except in rainy season it mostly flows underground only.
Dr. P. V. Kane (Bharat Ratna award winner) differing with Dr. Agrawal opines that this river can be identified with Wullar lake in Kashmir valley. But this is not a correct statement of Dr. Kane, as in Wullar lake only the river Jhelum falls which gets out of it from its westernside.
Nandu Lal Day identifies this river in his treatise- 'The geographical dictionary of ancient and medieval India', with river Saryu. But Vana and Anushasana parava of the Mahabharata confirm that Devika and Saryu are two different rivers flowing at different places.
The Vamana Purana refers to it at two places. Confirming it as Devika Tirtha. In Varah Purana this river has been referred to some what more expressively - "Devika nam devanam Prabhate tapasyat niyamartham samudbhava Gandakya militashubha." The river known as Devika has emerged for the sake of Gods who perform their penance earlier in the morning and ultimately merges with river Gandaki. This reference creates a complicated problem as far as its actual identity is concerned. According to the majority of opinions, it is clear that Devika merges with Ravi and not with so called Gandaki.
In his translation of the Martanda Purana. Mr. Pargiter identifies Devika with one small river Degh. Mr Jagannath also supports this view which subsequently has also been supported by Dr. Kane even. 'Prabhasa mahatmya' also has given an information of one Devika river which flows near Mulasthan (modern Multan in Pakistan) which definitely refers to a different river.
The Nilamata purana however, gives a detailed description of this river which according to the same is one of the sacred rivers in Madradesha. This purana says that Uma (the consort of God Shiva) herself had adopted the shape of a river which had become popular as 'Devika' and made its course between the river Chandrabhaga (modem chi nab) and the riverIravati (modem Ravi).
Visnu - Dharmottara purana though gives only passing reference, the vamana purana gives a clear-a statement “Umadeviti Madreshu Devika ya Saridvara.” Uma/paravati had converted herself into a river called Devika in Madradesha. (Now Duggar)
Both Panini and Patanjali (the great sanskrit grammarians of ancient times) refer to this river in Ashtadhyayi and Mahabhasya respectively. (Devika Kulodbhavah shalayah). The paddis growing at the bank of Devika are ofthe good quality.
Visnu Dharma Sutra says that the vratya people will rule over the areas situated at the banks of the rivers namely sindhu, Devika, Chandrabhaga and Vitasta (Jhelum)
In addition to the above, this river has also been referred to in Brahmanda purana, Vayu purana, Narada purana, Visnu purana, Skanda purana, Padma purana, Brihadaranyakopanisad’ and Kathopanised.
In view of the above, it is clear that the river Devika is one of the most pious rivers in our country and only that is the real Devika river which flows down in Jammu region of J & K state known as Duggar (madra desha in ancient time). Therefore, Panini, Patanjali, Visnu Dharmottara purana and Nilamata purana correctly record their references regarding this river. Therefore, the conjectures of other scholars are automatically nullified.
This sacred river starts from the hilly area in the vicinity of Suddha Mahadeva (called Sahasra-dhara) and flows down towards Pakistan covering a distance of about fifty miles. God Shiva himself explains as how Devika emerges from Sahasra dhara.
yatra devi mahagouri Pradurbhuta sahasradha.
yasmat girivarat jata, devika jyoti rupini.
Where Devi Mahagauri (Parvati) emerges in the shape of thousand flor. My consort Devi Parvati who is my energy takes a shape of river Devika for the well being of people. She is energy always flowing in my body. That is why she is called as my Ardhangini (half partner)
ya shaktirmama sharirastha dehardhmashrita..
madagaya madra prithivim sapta sagar mekhalam.
She being my half partner and also as my energy always staying in my body, therefore following my advice she adopted the shape river 'Devika' for the welfare of great Madra country.
The significance of this river is that right from its origin up to Purmandal a pilgrimage at its banks about 27 k.m. north-east of Jammu city, it is visible only at a few places. At Purmandala, however, it takes the shape of a small river but except rainy season there too its water mostly flows under-ground. Whenever people want to take bath they have to dig pits by which water comes out. Probably of this very reason the great commentator of Paninian grammar (Ashtadhyayi) vamana and Javaditya define “Devi-kayam Bhavamudakam Devikamudakam” water which comes out in Devika is called Devika water. In case of other rivers we seldome find such peculiar statement or interpretation as in rivers water only flows and not comes out from their bottom. Thus only Devika possesses this peculiar characteristic. Whenever any body goes to this river, he apparantly sees only the wet sand bed everywhere and to his astonishment water comes when he digs a pit there.
On account of Devika's sacredness, it is respected like sacred Ganga. The people therefore, do not collect ashes of the cremated dead bodies at its banks. Since this river turns its course facing northward at a particular place, it has been named as Uttara vahini by which that village also has become popular as Uttar Vahini. Right from Udhampur to Vijaypur, we find several old temples or pilgrimages at its bank which establish its sacredness and popularity as a pious river. Really, it is a symbol of our culture, especially that of Duggara's culture. We, the Dogra people are proud of this Ganga of our land.
Late Maharaja Ranbir Singh, a protagonist of Indian culture had planned to make a second Kashi in the area stretched from Purmandal to Uttar Vahini by erecting several temples and running a Sanskrit Pathashala at the bank of Devika. But his untimely death deprived the people of Jammu region of his so sacred plan. Had late Maharaja Ranbir Singh's that missionary programme been continued further by his successors even till completion, the entire area from Purmandal to Utter Vahini would really have become a second kashi as dreamt of by that great king of this state.

Dachhan, the unexplored beauty

Sunil Kumar

Dachhan is a picturesque remote area of district Kishtwar. It is 50 km away from district headquarters Kishtwar and 280 km away from Jammu, the winter capital of J&K state. It is dotted with a number of tourist destinations which remain neglected and unexplored due to umpteen reasons-one of them is lack of connectivity via road, air or rail with rest of the State. The populace of this picturesque area is habitated mostly on the left/right banks of river Marwah- Troutrich. It is still a non descript area even in the age of information technology where the entire world has become a small village.
It has several lush green meadows such as Lovmarg, Saterchen, and Nachunbhachun etc. where the nomadic cowherds and shepherds graze their flock. These can be exploited and developed by creating requisite infrastructure i.e., Tourist huts in these meadows. For the promotion of tourism in the area, annual tourism mela on the pattern of Laldraman Doda where Grameen cum Tourism Mela is held every year for promoting tourism in the area, can be organized for luring the tourists. In winter when there is a white cover of snow everywhere, these meadows can be used for skiing and thus world class ski resorts may be developed.
It has some of the highest peaks in the world which offers exciting treks ranging from difficult to the very easy. It has been a favourite with trekkers since the British Raj. A dozen of peaks in the Kiar Nallah include Sickle Moon (6574m), eiger (6001m), Cathedral (5370m) etc. and a dozen of peaks in the Nath nallah include Brammah-i (6416m), Brammah-ii (6425m), Brammah's wife (5297m), Crooked Finger(5630m) etc. which can be used for trekking tourism. It is pertinent to mention here that some of these peaks were tried to scale during the British Raj but many of them are still virgin till date.
Pilgrimage tourism such as annual Hudh Mata Yatra can also be used for attracting pilgrims. The important features of this shrine includes a natural made cave, a temple besides Trisandiya-a stream which flows down thrice a day and becomes dry from downward to upward and leaves not even a single drop of water in the Nallah. Besides, Dachhan is also a hub of several unique places which can be used for spiritual upliftment as they offer a calm, serene and soul invigorating environment for all as these are far away from humdrum city life.
There is an important national park in the region, one of only three in the state. The Kishtwar high altitude national park is situated 33020'-34000'n and 75040'-76010'e. It has an area of 400,500 Ha. It was declared as a national park in February, 1981. Its altitude varies from 1700m to 4800m. It has 13 types of vegetations, 14/15 species of large mammals and 50 species of birds. It receives an annual rainfall of about 760mm.
Dachhan is abundant with hot water springs called as Tatta Panni which are said to help in the treatment of skin diseases and rheumatic pains. Hundreds of local people visit these springs for a cure every year.
To explore the beauty of this unhidden area, the need of the hour is to develop this exquisite place as a tourist spot by connecting the area through road, creating necessary infrastructure apart from making wide publicity of the area both inside and outside the state through print and electronic media so that all sorts of tourists may be attracted to visit the area which will not only economically develop the area but also these tourists will act as ambassadors in their respective areas for dissemination of information and help in cementing the ties between the people. By way of this, Dachhan can become the most popular summer/winter pleasure resorts. It has temperate climate which is conducive for all.
In the end, I would like to make a sincere appeal to all the stakeholders to pay adequate attention for the overall development of Dachhan in whatever form they can contribute. Just as we work hard day and night for shaping our career, in the same way please make a lifelong mission of developing the area which, in true sense, we can do justice to heaven like Dachhan. Japan has become a developed country despite of causing large scale devastation on the two important cites -Nagasaki and Horoshima through two atom bombs on 6th and 9th August, 1945. Do you know what the reason behind this is? The reason behind this is that if the Govt. building collapses, the Japanese dismantle their own house and repair the Govt. building. Due to this single indispensable quality of Japanese, they have again succeeded in scaling the ladder of development. I want to see such sense of feeling among the people of Dachhan so that it may become a developed area which in turn paves way for the prosperity of the people of Dachhan as well as J&K State. Someday, God willing, these pretty places will make Dachhan a major tourist destination.
While summing up the entire write-up, I would like to quote a few beautiful couplets of Marry Petrie for the praise of Dachhan:- each mountain in wintry grandeur towers, and whitens with eternal sleet, while summer in a vale of flowers, is sleeping rosy at its feet.

When Maharaja met KJR

B L Razdan

The two were poles apart. Maharaja Pratap Singh was the king of the state of Jammu & Kashmir hailing from the famous Jamwal Rajput clan. Krishna Joo Razdan was a small landlord in a small village of Kashmir, born and brought up in a Kashmiri Pandit family. The only commonality about them was that both were born in the year 1850, the former at Reasi and the latter at Vanpoh. The other related commonality was that in both the cases, some regard 1948 as the real year of birth. One was a wise ruler with great concern for the people and a keen interest in the development of the state. The other was a village head that had blossomed into a poetic genius and was also prone to saintliness. How the two met and became instant admirers of each other is obviously a matter of chance. Read on to find out…..
Krishna Joo Razdan, the renowned saint-poet of Kashmir, was married into the well-known Kaul family of Vessu, a small village off the National Highway leading to Srinagar, roughly midway between Quazigund and Khannabal, two tiny townships again on the National Highway leading to Srinagar. The well-known Kauls had traditional access to the durbar of Maharaja Pratap Singh. Kauls were prone to flaunt the poetic genius and the astrological prowess of their son-in-law, among the king's courtiers in the durbar.
Once it so happened that a cousin of Maharaja Pratap Singh, himself a ruler of Poonch, fell seriously ill. The Maharaja was, naturally, very worried. A pall of gloom fell upon the durbar in Srinagar. Kauls were summoned from Vessu and dispatched to Krishna Joo Razdan (KJR for short) to give his astrological advice. KJR thought for a while after making some calculations and advised that the king be advised to do "anna daan", (offering of food) indicating that his days were numbered. By the time this message was carried to the Maharaja, he had received a telegram stating that the health of his cousin King had shown signs of improvement. The Kauls went back to KJR for consultation. KJR reiterated his earlier advice of "anna daan" and when they reached Srinagar again, the Maharaja had received another telegram stating that his cousin and King of Poonch was no more.
When this story reached the ears of Maharaja some weeks later, he expressed his desire to see KJR, who, as stated earlier, was also a landlord and doubled up as the village head of Khirmani-Ganesh Raina, the landed jaagir named after his father, Ganesh Raina, in the state revenue records. Since the annual festival of Mata Khir Bhawani was round the corner and KJR was an ardent devotee of Maej Raagnya Bhagwati, as Kashmiri Pandits would call her, a meeting was arranged on the sidelines between His Excellency, Maharaja Pratap Singh and Krishna Joo Razdan. Formalities over, the first question that the Maharaja is said to have asked of KJR was as to whose pooja would the king perform as a morning ritual. Pat came the reply, "Shiver" - a bird whose worship is believed to bring good luck to the rulers. Surprised though, but without looking so, the shrewd Maharaja told KJR that he would accept him as a saint if the colour of the water of the spring holding the statue of Mata Khir Bhawani would change there and then. It is said that KJR instantly won the respect of the Maharaja; because the water changed its colours as His Excellency, the Maharaja had wished.
Having put to test the spiritual prowess of KJR, the Maharaja told him that the former had been writing bhakti poetry in Kashmiri and that he would accept his poetic genius if he would compose a a bhakti bhajan in Dogri, again, there and then. KJR had passed such trials by fire even before his Guru when other disciples had alleged that KJR only fiddled with the poetry written by others and that he could not write on his own. To silence his detractors, there and then, the Guru had asked him in the very presence of his disciples to sing a bhajan on dal lake because the entourage was enjoying the scenic beauty of the lake in a boat. And thus was born the famous Kashmiri bhajan that reads thus:
"Sara kor samsaar nadurui draav,
Dal ma hasha tseta kiya pamposh chhaaw"
This bhajan described the entire Kashmiri advait shaivite philosophy while drawing parallels between the spiritual terminology and the names of the things that abounded in and around the dal lake. The instant use of the sweet metaphors, similes, alliterations and assonances in the musical quatrains devised on the spot had gone a long way in establishing not only his spiritual authority but also in regarding him as a "poet of poets" for the simplicity of language that demystified the Kashmiri shaivism and his style started being copied by his contemporaries and his huniors.
And now it was the Maharaja's turn, in a way, to baptize KJR by the same fire! His honour and prestige were at stake. How could KJR not dispose when the King himself had proposed? And after a brief moment of contemplation, KJR composed the following Dogri bhajan, there and then, to the delight of the Maharaja:
Shiv Shiv kariyo jeeta mariyo
Man mein phiriyo Shiv simran
Shiv Shiv kar ke din raat bhariyo
Man mein phiriyo Shiv simran
Man ke Shiv shivalay mein jayiyo
Us mein paayiyo Shiv Keshav
Us Shivji ko kariyo pratikshan
Man mein phiriyo Shiv simran
It is said that KJR never visited the Maharaja in his durbar. Nor did he ever ask for any favour from the King. This was apparently because KJR was a firm believer in "Prarabdha" or what we, in common parlance, call destiny, about which he has written eloquently in so many of his beautiful poems. Only when the Maharaja would travel from Jammu to Srinagar or vice-versa, would he either visit KJR at his home at Vanpoh, KJR's native village on way to Srinagar; or simply send for him a "Nazrana" as a token of respect, that, as they say, was usually an amount of Rs.11/- accompanying a basket of the seasonal fresh fruit or almonds and cardamom.

Durga temple Kuldabi

Madan Mohan Sharma

Durga Temple at Kuldabi (Sunderbani) is an ancient temple. It is situated at a distance of about 15 Km from Sunderbani town. One has to travel in a Mini Bus via Baja Bain to cover 12 Km and to walk on foot about 2 to 3 Km from Dhok Banyar to reach the temple. However, now a 5 km new road is being constructed under PMGSY from Kalideh to Kuldabi. With the result, the distance from Sunderbani to Kuldabi will be shortened to only 9 Km. On foot journey will hardly be one (1) km.
It is believed that this temple was constructed in the sixteenth century. But there is no evidence about it. It was built with stones and its height was only 12 feet. Now it has been reconstructed and renovated without displacing the original idols of Maa Durga. It has three idols carved on flat stones and have been fixed on the uplifted base. These were built by an expert architect with great care. There three are the idols of Mahakali, Mahaluxmi and Maharaswati. While reconstructing the temple, these idols were not disturbed including the base. These are in the original position, shape and size. The temple has been erected to a significant height with Parikarma attached to it. These carved idols are now painted with different colours making them more attractive. These were painted by a Sadhu with suitable colours, he came here and stayed for few months. He was a good painter as well. He may be a painter turned sadhu. He also painted the pictures of Mahalaxmi and the lion of Maa Durga on the walls of the temple in addition to other paintings.
There is also an idol of Baba Bhairo Nath installed in small temple type housing on the south side of the Temple. The devotees have darshan of Baba Bhairo Nath after worshiping Maa Durga.
It is a holy place of Hindus. The people throng this temple on every Sunday and Tuesday. The devotees are blessed by Maa Durga. The devotees pray for their wishes and these are fulfilled. Many of them are graced with blessings and have turned prosperous. They pray for getting job, for success of their children in various exams and for getting seats in different technical and medical colleges for their wards. Childless couples pray to get issues. Many devotees are get benefitted in one way or the other with the blessings of Maa Durga.
This temple was reconstructed and renovated in 2002-03. It was reopened in 2003 for Darshan on Jyashat Shukla Ashtami (Month of May) after performing Havan and Puja amidst Vedic Mantras followed by Bhandara. Now a Bhandara is being organised every year on Jyashat Shukla Ashtami. This year it was performed on 29th of May 2012. The devotees from Sunderbani, Akhnoor, Nowshera, Rajouri and Jammu attend the function every year.
In Navratras the people of surrounding villages throng this temple and pray for peace, prosperity and satisfaction. Havan is performed and Bhandara is organised on Ram Navmi, the last day of Navratras.
A kitchen has been constructed for this purpose in the premises of the temple. The temple has some kanals of land attached to it. It can be developed as a religious and tourist spot of Tourism Deptt comes to help.
At present the maintenance of the temple is being looked after by a Khajuria (Brahmin) family of Dhok-Banyad whose head of the family performs the puja and acts as Pujari (the Priest). This family is looking after the temple from the ancient times. But family members could not tell the exact year of its construction. Only some elders of this locality narrate the sixteenth century as the period of its construction.
This temple is a symbol of communal-harmony and brotherhood.

Remembering Virendra, the actor

Lalit Gupta

Besides the famed martial character, an inextricable strand of practice and appreciation of aesthetic expressions characterize the personality of Dogras since time immemorial.
The intangible heritage of rich folk music, dance and theatre along with tangible presence of ancient monuments—the sites of pan-Indian classical art and architecture, that dot the landscape of Jammu region—have been a constant source of pride and inspiration for the modern generations as well.
Jammu, the regional metropolis, being capital city and political and socio-cultural center, has always been a model for rest of the region. After 1947, due to dwindling royal patronage, the art and cultural activities increasingly came in public domain and few groups and members from some families of the city made noticeable contribution as patrons and even practitioners of different forms of artistic expressions literary, visual and performing arts.
One such family that made significant contribution in field of literature and theatre was that of Shanti Devi and Amar Chand Dharmat, an Income Inspector, who sired seven children. Out of these the eldest Shishu Pal made name as a leader of low-paid employees while Ved Pal Deep was a genius poet who single handedly created the genre of gazals in Dogri language and contributed towards the development of Dogri as a modern language.
Though Ved Pal Deep also had a short stint with theatre along with wife Padma, today well known as Padma Sachdev—under the influence of his maternal uncle Rattan Sharma, the well known theatre personality who galvanized modern theatre in 1960’s, 70’s and mid 80’s in Jammu—but it was Virendra Kumar, the fourth son of Amar Chand Dharmat, who emerged as a gifted theatre artist. He along with his younger brother Lalit Kundu electrified Jammu theatre scene from mid 1960’s through 1980’s.
Virendra Kumar, who was postgraduate in Geology took to many assignments as adhoc lecturer in different degree colleges of the State before settling down as teacher of social studies in Sainak School Nagrota near Jammu.
Born in 1942, Virendra Kumar popularly known as Billoo was drawn to stage since childhood He initially acted in the plays directed by Rattan Sharma and Triloki Das but it was after his other maternal uncle, Kavi Rattan, more or less same age as Billoo, arrived in Jammu after getting trained from National School of Drama, that Billo’s gift as a natural actor came into spotlight.
He figured as an actor in almost all plays directed by Kavi Rattan on behalf of J&K Cultural Academy or theatre group Bahurangi during 1970’s and 1980’s. Some of his best performances were in plays like Kis Ka Haath, Raja in Shutarmurg, Witch Doctor in Bhagwat Ajjukiyam, Sadhu in Matvilas, and Rangla in Jasma Aoudhan, Dancer in ‘Reed Ki Haddi’ and Mone in Khamosh Adalat Jari Hai.
The perfect timing of dialogues, body movements and the potent pauses made him an affective actor who excelled especially in comedy—a genre that is always a litmus test for any actor.
After becoming the warden of Sainak School hostel, it became difficult for him to commute from Nagrota to Jammu and back for theatre rehearsals etc. But his love, dedication and commitment for theatre found an alternative and he became instrumental in starting cultural club in the Sainak School Nagrota. Thus he not only satiated his own passion but also initiated generations of young students of Sainak School Nagrota to activities, which emerged as an affective tool of self-expression as well as personality development.
Since Virendra Kumar hailed from a family that did not hanker after publicity, he lived a quiet life after retirement from School. The road accident inflicted a neurological condition due to which he slowly lost left his memory and passed away in June 2012.
In the annals of Theatre History of Jammu, he will always be remembered as an accomplished and a dedicated theatre actor.

The disorganised child

Dr. Vivek Sharma

In the telegraph (U.K.), Aug. 2008 Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has revealed that he suffers from dyspraxia, meaning he sometimes still has trouble tying his shoe laces. The star admitted he became an actor partly because his dyspraxia meant he was not successful at school.
There are about 10 percent of people who have some degree of dyspraxia, while approximately 2 percent have it severely. If an average classroom has 30 children, there is probably one child with dyspraxia in almost each classroom.
Dyspraxia is a disorder of motor planning and/or execution with no significant or normal findings on neurological examination. It is a disorder of the higher cortical process and there may be associated problems of perception (how the child interpretates what he sees and hears), use of language and putting thoughts together.
The English medieval word dyspraxia is derived from the Greek word duspraxia. This word comes from the Greek word paraxis which emerged from an older greek word prassein meaning "to pass through, experience practice."
Developmental Dyspraxia is an immaturity of the recognition of movement. The brain does not process information in a way that allows for a full transmission of neuronal messages. A child with dyspraxia finds it hard to plan what to do, and how to do it.
Planning dyspraxia where there are difficulties with planning a sequence or order of coordinated movements, actions that involve manipulations of objects.
Executive dyspraxia where there are difficulties with providing what to do but being unable to do it, moving from one activity to another and copying actions.
How would I recognise a Child with Dyspraxia
In early childhood
* May take longer than other children to sit, crawl (some never go through crawling stage), walk, speak, stand, become potty trained, build up vocabulary.
* Problems performing subtle movements such as tying shoe laces, doing up buttons and zips, using cutlery, handwriting and getting dressed.
* Problems carrying out play ground activities such as jumping, catching a ball, kicking a ball, hopping and skipping.
* Problem with coloring, drawing, using scissors.
* Problem with processing thoughts.
* Difficulty learning new skills.
In later childhood
* Tries to avoid sports and physical activity.
* Learn on one on one basis, but nowhere near as well in class with other kids around.
* Mathematics and writing are difficult.
* Is badly organized.
Key tips to help a disorganized child Teacher in School
* Comparison is disastrous. Never allow a child with dyspraxia to be compared to an able child.
* Praise every effort and every small accomplishment.
* Allow the extra time during teaching.
* Teach on one to one level, with few distractions when possible.
Parents at home
* By early identification
* Practice skills with your child
* Encourage activities to enforce coordination
* Talk through activities
* Help them learn necessary sound skills.
* Taking help of occupational therapist and speech and language therapist.
* By perceptual motor learning.

Dyspraxic children have difficulty learning new skills - while other children may do this automatically a child with dyspraxia takes longer. Encouragement, help consultation with occupational and speech therapist help enormously.
Have fun, remember your child has difficulties, they are not a difficult child, and do be patient, for both your sakes.
(The writer is consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur.)

Secrets of Success

R .K Datta

We all want to succeed in life. We all wish to become physically strong and healthy, mentally able to handle the challenging situations of life, to attain wealth, receive love, to fulfill our dreams, to help others, and to share our happiness. But, the way to carry on our life in order to succeed-"the art of living"-do we possess any understanding about this? Or are we just puppets of our environment and fate, with no zeal to give a fight in this battle of life and win it. Are we ready to take full control of our lives and use it best to the service of our family, and society in general, and to fulfill all our worthwhile and noble aspirations?
The words of Yama to Nachiketa in Kathopanishad have been powerfully pronounced by Swami Vivekananda, "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached." Compilation from talk given by Yogananda ji in California: Very few persons understand the expansion of consciousness that constitutes true success. You have come into the world without knowing what marvelous faculties you possess, and most of you live without trying scientifically to develop their potential. As a result, your life on this planet is more or less uncertain. But instead of living an uncontrolled existence, blown about by the winds of seemingly capricious fate, you can live a controlled existence by which you can schedule your life and make a yield what it should yield: an expansion of consciousness that unfolds in all-round development of the divine potentials with in you.
Success is when you have so expanded your consciousness that your life is a glory and happiness to yourself and to others. Success is not something achieved at the expense of others. You have seen when travelling by car, invariably there are some "road hogs" - those who drive too slowly and won't let anyone pass them. On the highway of life, some people are road hogs. They are stubborn in their selfish ways, they neither progress themselves nor give other a chance to go ahead. Miserly persons are one such example, hoarding their wealth instead of using it to create opportunities and well-being of others. Of all the weaknesses of a man, selfishness is one of the meanest demons. By the magnanimous spirit of one's soul it should be conquered.
Many individuals think great things, but do not act on them. However, it is the activity that creates the greatness. Unless you actually accomplish, you are not successful. It is not enough just to think success or think ideas; they must be demonstrated. All action begins with thought, which is action on plane of consciousness. To be manifested, thoughts must be charged with dynamic will by concentration and perseverance to source the indomitable power of the mind.
It is inevitable in this world of relativity - light and darkness, good and evil, happiness and sorrow - that whenever you try to expand, you will meet enemies. This hold true in all endeavor: The minute you try to accomplish anything, there is resistance. As soon as plant tries to emerge from its seed, first there is resistance from the earth and then bugs go after it, and then it has to struggle against the weeds that compete from its food and water. The plant needs help from the gardener. And the same is true for the human being. If because of the adverse circumstances or inner weaknesses you haven't the strength to put forth branches of success on the tree of your life, you need the assistance of a teacher or guru who can help you cultivate the power of your mind. The guru teaches you the art of meditation, of cauterizing the weeds of limiting habits and bad karmas that are trying to choke your ground.
You must resist these enemies; you must go on trying. Without battle you can't achieve anything. But neither do you willfully hurt anybody with ruthless tactics to get your way. Use the spiritual powers of mind and will to conquer the obstructing forces and circumstances around you and the self -engendered limitations with in you.
Remember, you have the power to be strong. Right behind your consciousness is the omnipotence of God. But instead of utilizing that divine strength, you have built up a solid wall between yourself and His power. Your concentration is always focused outside, dependent on the material body and world, instead of the inside on the Divine Indweller.
But mere resolution means nothing at all. We also need useful as-well-as Divine guidance to walk on the path.
In the present modern times, such guidance is readily available in the Yogoda Satsanga teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. These teachings are simple, practical and scientific, and are available in both Hindi and English languages. The practice of the teachings and the techniques provided in the Lessons can help anyone become more healthy, attain mental peace, tap the Divine source for guidance, and develop such power as to be able to fulfill all duties and noble aspiration in life-keeping a calm self that is joyous, happy and full of love.
The teachings of Yogoda Satsanga Society are the voice of India's masters, the voice of truth, the voice of scientific God realization, through which the new world will find understanding, emancipation and salvation.
Access to these principles is the birthright of each man. Imparted by the rishis of yore, these teachings have stood the test of time and are available to seekers of all religions. (

First French book of J&K

Dr B R Dogra

"Mon Livre" means "My Book" is the first French book of Jammu and Kashmir that makes learning for the basic French learner easy.
Written by Arun Sharma who is a French language instructor in University Of Jammu, the book has all the elements that are required by a learning book.
It took around a year to write "Mon Livre" that has 84 pages with only Rs 99 as its price.
The book written by Sharma makes a French language learner to understand the language in an easy was as he has inducted not only the basic things including alphabets, accents but also translation of daily life things like clothes, body-parts, time, days, months among others, the grammar part of this book has been made very vivid and lucid, in order to understand nuts and bolts of the language in toto. The book has been conceived written and designed in a manner that the lovers of neo-language will certainly appreciate the style of writing and the simplicity of its codification that can suit all the age groups. Children can easily master in-depth as a third language knowledge of French during the academic year along with others subjects.
Mr Sharma has understood the cognitive development of the children in pursuing French language courses at different levels.His 11 years experience in disseminating French language to the Jammuites makes a clear distinction that his endeavour has made him one of the most popular teacher among children and adults as well.
Arun Sharma has himself done the French language course from the Symbiosis Institute of Foreign and International Languages (SIFIL), Pune.
Sharma is also the president of the only French club of the state, 'Club de Francias' and he is trying his level best to reach every strata of our society. He has started besides honouring the young scholars of French language in many schools and it is indeed a good gestue to promote literacy level of French in J&K. More than 80 French knowing people became the members of this exclusive club that was formed last year.
He says "The enthusiasm among the students to learn French language could be easily gauged from the fact that a large number of students joined this French language club and are also working for the propagation of the language" .
However he is clear in explaining that French language and its propagation in the state is not at all a threat to any other language including the local languages in the state.It will help in translating rather Dogri literature into French and vice-versa,thus paving a way for global exposure.Our culture and tradition will be better known to various European nationals.
He says that the French language has a great scope in sectors like education, civil aviation, information technology, consulates and United Nations related jobs as well.
About 40% of all positions in the Public Service of Canada that is nearly 67,000 jobs are bilingual.
Arun further says, "being able to speak French will greatly benefit the students when it comes to getting jobs or when it comes for their career. This capability will heighten their market aspect since, they are perceived as an international asset".He strongly believes that his students are going to be the best ambassadors of French club and pioneers of foreign language who need pragmatic approach as well as appreciation from one and all in their sincere endeavours. Moreover he has ambitious plan to write two sets of books, purely child centered, covering standard 3rd-8th in bilingual form i.e English and French. His objective is to reduce the problematic areas of self-learning and to imbibe great intensity of learning in each child bilingual manner.

What after 10+2

Arun Bangotra

During my career I have seen many of the students confused after 10th and 12th standard about their Career. What to do after 10th and 12th? I have tried to answer few of your questions and offering some advice to students. This article should not only be read by students but should also be read by their parents - because most of the times, parents are the ones who decide what their child is going to do! However, there is one thing - unlike after 12th passing there are 100s of choices, it is not the same for students who have passed 10th standard. But, it is equally important!
What should be done after 10th standard?
When students pass their 10th standard, they are at an age where they really don't know what to do - they are not matured enough and most of the outcome or the admission depends upon the marks they have secured in 10th standard.
More than 3/4ths of the students go for 3 streams Science, Commerce or Arts and I think it is the right way to move forward. Rest of the 1/4th joins vocational courses like Diploma in Engineering and other under-graduate programs that are offered by various institutions like Polytechnics, ITI etc after the 10th standard.
Here is my advice on career options after 10th Standard
v If you are confused about what you should do then play an elimination game and rate your interests on different parameters. Like if you like animals / plants and trees - Go in for science. Do the same with other subjects as well.
v If you are tilted towards numbers, finance and like to crunch numbers - Commerce may be the side for you. Maximum students who have some family business generally opt for Commerce.
v If you are creative person - like drawing, painting, arts, acting, dancing and all other creative stuff - you should opt for Arts stream. Most of the times students go wrong here. Many students have artistic bent of mind, but they are pushed by their parents to join science, which according to me is the worst thing that a parent can do for their child. Don't push them - Empower them to make decisions. However, at the same time tell them the pros and cons of joining a particular stream. Many a time students think that with Arts stream they can crack KAS/IAS exam easily without much effort, which is totally wrong. In the recent time it is seen maximum students who qualify KAS/IAS and other competitive exam are from Engineering and Science background. The reason being the aptitude level and confidence level earned by them after possessing tough qualifications.
v The last option is Engineering Diploma from Polytechnics. This option is the most important one taking into consideration the demand of Engineers in the field of Engineering-Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and other subjects- you can opt for Diploma in Engineering from Polytechnics. Moreover after earning Diploma in Engineering many of the students are joining the engineering colleges for a B.Tech and they have the advantage of getting admission in the second year of the course. After 10th in 6 year the students will attain the engineering graduation. If they do B.Tech after 12th it will take 4 year. so time period is same. I will suggest that is students are interested in B.Tech, its better to start engineering after 10th and attain both Diploma and Degree in Engineering and have a wide scope of option for jobs.
What should I do after my 12th Standard?
This is the most difficult question and there is no easy answer for it. Most of the students who ask this questions are the ones who probably have not passed with flying colors and have very little chance of getting into mainstream high-flying courses like BE, BTech, MBBS, LLB etc. Here is a run down on what you can do after you pass your 12th Standard.
First of all there is no point in discussing this profession is good or that profession is good. As per the current familiarity with regards to possible careers in one's life, 12th passed out students aim for Engineering, Medical, and Arm Forces (NDA) courses, etc. One point worth reminding is that - there are a number of jobs that we don't really think about while we study 10th or 12th Standard or college classes like:-
v People who are working as clerk in most offices.
v People who are working as Directors in many offices like (post office, tourism dept, military, etc).
So, the idea to convey is that even though we have studied physics or chemistry or zoology or botany or English or physiology or history or geography in colleges or universities; an individual has to work as something else at last when the study in universities or colleges are completed. The work of a police officer is something different from what one has learnt in schools or college or universities in various subjects. Thus, every student passing out 12th Standard & even rest of the students in various standards in schools or colleges or universities should be aware of the fact that we need to think of the need to develop one's skill for the requirements of various jobs available along with academic career.
It's time to stop thinking of the jobs provided by the State Govt or Govt. of India as the only option. There are both plus & minus points to think of private jobs or of govt jobs. Things & Time have changed many concepts. There are many industries & institutions coming up creating various challenging jobs for almost all the courses of academic education.
Today's private industries do give same privilege like that of govt jobs, like pension, medical benefits, etc. Even all those who study Engineering or Medical or Legal or Architecture, and many others can't be given job by our government or government of India. We have courses like M.C.A, B.Sc (Computer), and M.B.A, etc whose professionals have no direct suitable jobs and simply, no place in Govt ministries. So, students should not look in the course one is studying from the perspective of government jobs. Lifestyle, self-satisfaction, financial growth, security, and many others are far better in private jobs other than that of government jobs. Government jobs will kill one's patience and self-dignity, as Govt jobs are full of corruptions & malpractices. Government jobs will lower one's skills & eagerness to enhance one's knowledge.
A few of government jobs will be interesting, but the works are not free from interruption from third parties. Instead private jobs or jobs newly created by self will be full of passion and adventurous. In short, most of the academic courses will just not help someone to get a Govt job; rather it is better to study courses that will allow us to earn for living.
Well, there is a personal suggestion for those who are unable to clear entrance exams like JKCET, AIEEE for Engineering or Medical courses (i.e. professional courses which are high in demand after 12th standard). As industries of all spectrums are growing up, there is a huge requirement of managers capable of taking tough decisions that are critical for the successful working of the companies. So, Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a good option to study, and also to make fast & hefty earning after study. We will discuss much on what and how about MBA in other articles. But, the point to make here is that one should study General Courses like B.Sc or B.A or B.Com with the clear perspective of what one is supposed to do after completion; since such courses find nearly impossible to get a decent job for living.
We have seen Engineers, doctors and even IAS/IPS officers going ahead for MBA after working for a long time or after completion of studies. As the basic criteria for studying MBA is just a graduate, one can still think of completing B.Sc or B.A. or B.Com or any comfortable degree course which will be also helpful in carrying on MBA studies in latter course.
Just spending 3 years for general studies like B.Sc, B.Com, etc and doing MBA is still worth, than doing MBA after Engineering (4 years) or Medical (5 & 6 years), etc. There is always plus & minus for choosing MBA course from various undergraduate courses. And there are also reasons for taking up MBA courses after working for long years in various fields or after studying specific specialized professional courses.
But, the idea wished to be conveyed here is that - there are still many courses far better than just BE or MBBS. So, 12th passed out students needn't worry if they are not able to go for such professional courses. The ultimate requirement in one's career is nothing but, ability to earn enough money and status to control the rest. For this simple concept, one needs not to be a doctor or an engineer.
It's too late to think about Engineering or Medical entrances after clearing 12th exam and it is better to think of other options like MBA, KAS, IAS, etc (which is in fact to be done after a graduate course, and hence choose a simple & easy to learn graduate course with the plan of future professional academic study)
So there you have it - If you have not got good marks, do your graduation and then you have 3 years atleast to plan your future !
The author is Principal, Government Polytechnic College, Udhampur.

Relationship- A beautiful aspect of life

Lt Col R K Langar

Relationship with others is a beautiful aspect of life. It is expressed in doing, speaking and most importantly thinking good about others. We all belong to one God and there is one world family and hence we are related to one another. It is also said that no one is a stranger in the world and make the world your own. Good relationship with others can only be formed on the basis of your inner beauty and virtues which should be expressed in your conduct with others. Body may attract a relationship in the beginning but it is one's personality anchored on your inner virtues which really sustains a good relationship. Modesty is the key for a successful relationship. Self management is another factor which not only sustains a relationship but also ensures that the relationship is not spoiled.
Self management in relationship
Your first relationship is with your own self. What does that imply? Accept yourself as you are. Unless you do that you cannot accept others as they are. Accepting yourself means that you understand yourself, know your self with worth, be aware of your moral and spiritual qualities. If you are lacking in virtues like love, loyalty, faithfulness, then you must acquire these by changing yourself for becoming a good human being. Be alive with every moment and enjoy it. Enjoy your company which is only possible if you are virtuous and beautiful from inside. When your company you would get a feeling of completeness and not emptiness. Manage your insecurities if any. Forgive those who may have been unjust to you. Do not nurse your hurt. Do not surrender your values for nourishing a relationship.
Expectations spoil relationship
One who is spiritual, develops a loving and affectionate relationship with all as he considers others as an extension of his own self. Such a person focuses only at the goodness and beauty of others as he himself has developed an eye to see only good of others. But sometimes our relationship gets spoiled since we expect from others for maintaining it. Expectation from others create dependency on when others fail to satisfy our expectations, we feel frustrated. Expectation is the mother of all problems. The worst type of expectation is emotional expectation. Expectations put you on a wanting mode and make you emotionally ill. Therefore never expect from others in maintaining good relationship. Nurture your relationship will others on the basis of your inner beauties or virtues. Accept others as they are. Do not expect people to live up to your expectation, when you accept others as they are, others will be influenced by you.
Giving life to relationship
Bad relationship is the cause of stress. To avoid this always give life to your relationship with others. For maintaining good relationship think that you love to learn from others. Always look at the good qualities of others and you will invariably find them in others. With words appreciate the good qualities which you see in others.
Using your communication skill express sweetness which is inside you, through your words. Always be a giver in relationship. Give love, show concern, sincerity honesty, maturity and respect in your relationship with others. Friendship is the basis of all relationship. Be friendly, fair, frank and flexible in maintaining the relationship. Let there be no secret relationship with others. Keep your life like an open book which others can read and know you comprehensively. Give transparency to your relationship. Have the conviction that you can speak with love with others even if they do not speak with love to you. Relationship should never be taken for granted. A little formality and respect is essential to nurture a relationship.
Man's foremost responsibility is to maintain good relationship with his family members. No matter what you have done for yourself or for humanity, if you cannot give proper attention to your family members then what have you really accomplished. Family is your mini society for relationship. If you fail to give a good life with your family you will also fail to live a good life in society. Our greatest power or asset is our spiritual energy. When you are spiritually elevated you develop a loving and affectionate relationship with all as others are extension of your own self. Relationship based on good feelings is reflected through your eyes, smile and open heart.
Relationship problems and solutions
Your relationship with others do get spoiled sometimes and you get a feeling of hurt and blame others for it. This is your belief which has affected you only and not the other person. Now who will decide that he or she has hurt you or you have hurt him or her. If you have allowed yourself to be hurt by others it is because of your expectation from the other due to your selfish desire. If you are hurt it clearly shows that your protection for yourself is not that strong as it has been pierced by others. May be the other person who has annoyed you has come to increase your tolerance power and acceptance capacity and make you more flexible. Another way to look at your hurt feelings is that your life is not fully under your control and you are at the mercy of external situations and circumstances. That should never happen in the case of a spiritually elevated person. Outer conditions should not affect you. It is your inner growth that should dictate the outer conditions.
The best solution to the relationship problems is to allow people to be what they want to be. Accept others as they are but do not accept any pain which you feel they have caused you. If you still feel you are hurt tell God. In fact surrender all your sufferings to God and you would feel light. Also continue to transmit positive vibrations to those who hurt you and you will get positive vibrations back from them sooner or later. There should be a free flow of energy in relationship. If there is bitterness it shows that's you are not properly connected with others. Secondly when you operate out of love and compassion with others, you may not have to struggle much in maintaining cordial relationship with others. Other problem in spoiled relationship could be the ego, display of bad behaviour and anger. Do not carry forward annoyance in relationship. Learn the technique as to how to forget it. If you are hurt in relationship it shows that some portion of your inside is empty. The golden rule is that you have to make yourself strong from inside. Make your inside more virtuous and beautiful. The Gita says that God loves who are not troubled by the world.
Relationship with God
Your most important relationship is with God almighty. This is the primary relationship. All other relationships are secondary. God is your father, mother, your spiritual guide and most importantly your friend. Talk to God, share your problems with God and you will invariably find a solution. Every act which you perform should be offered to God and you will ever remain protected.
Harmonious relationship is one of the important aspects of a happy life. Healthy mind helps us to form Good relationship with others. Friendship is a trustworthy relation and a tool to cure dislike for other and promote peace. Be a giver in relationship always and every time. Be like a sun in relationship which gives sunshine to all who are good and also who are not good. Nature does not differentiate between one person and another while giving. Be like a tree which gives shade to all irrespective of man inner qualities. Be like a river which gives water to all. Lastly show compassion in relationship which is love for a person more than what he deserves. Change conflict into harmony with patience for a relationship to run smoothly.

Monsoon Foot Care & Pedicure

Shahnaz Husain

The main problem during the hot and humid season is perspiration. The feet are areas where germs accumulate and odour forms. The waste matter secreted with sweat must be removed by daily washing, to eliminate odour and feel fresh and clean.
Pay special attention to your feet, while bathing. After washing, dry them thoroughly and apply talcum powder. Wear slippers and open sandals, as they allow maximum ventilation and help the perspiration evaporate. But, open footwear attracts dirt and therefore, foot hygiene becomes all the more important.
A foot problem called "Athlete's Foot" develops more easily during hot and humid weather, because it thrives on soggy skin. It starts as a fungal infection. So, if there is dry scaling on the feet, especially between the toes, with itching, consult a dermatologist without delay. Anti-fungal preparations are effective in dealing with the problem in the initial stages. Excessive moisture due to sweating, tight shoes and humid weather can lead to bacterial activity and worsen the condition. Use talcum powder and keep the feet as dry as possible.
Weekly pedicures help to keep the feet and nails clean and prevent fungal infections, especially in hot and humid weather.
Home Pedicure
After removing polish, soak feet in one-fourth bucket of warm water, add half cup of coarse salt and 10 drops of lemon, or orange essential oil (if you cannot get essential oil, use half cup of lemon or orange juice). If your feet tend to sweat a lot, use a few drops of tea tree oil, as it has germicidal properties. It helps to deal with bad odour. Soak the feet for 10 to 15 minutes.
Then clean the nails with the brush. It should not be too hard. Use the pumice stone on the heels and side of the soles. You can also scrub the entire feet with a rough towel or loofah. Scrubbing removes germs.
When this is done, wash the feet in clean water. Dry thoroughly with a towel.
If your nails need cutting, use a nail clipper. Cut toe nails squarely across. Use an emery board to smoothen them. Avoid rounding off toe-nails in order to prevent in-growing nails. Do not cut the cuticles of the toenails. Cream them and push them back gently with a cotton bud.
Apply cream on the feet and nails and massage it into the skin, working it into the cuticles. Do not use sharp instruments to clean the nails. Pay special attention to the heels, applying more cream if needed. Use upward strokes for the massage, from the toes towards the ankles. Wipe the feet with a moist towel. Then apply talcum powder.
If you wish to apply polish, put some cotton wool between the toes. Apply the nail varnish in broad strokes, from the base of the nail to the nail tips. After the first coat dries, apply the second coat of colour.
Here are some home remedies for the monsoons:
Foot Lotion: Mix together 3 tablespoons of rose water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one teaspoon pure glycerin. Apply on feet and leave on for half an hour.
Cooling foot bath: Add rose water, lemon juice and a splash of eau de cologne in cold water and soak feet in it. Cools, cleans and removes odour.
Cooling Massage Oil: Take 100 ml olive oil and add 2 drops eucalyptus oil, 2 drops rosemary oil and 3 drops khus, or rose oil. Mix together and keep in airtight glass jar. Use a little of this for foot massage. It cools and protects the skin.


  Sunday Magazine Edited by: Neeraj Rohmetra, E-mail:

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