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April 24, 2014 12:09 am - Citizens’ groups try to avoid voter list fiasco in Cityl Staff Reporter Mumbai Citizens groups in the city have been working hard to create voter awareness and make sure that each registered voter in the city is able to exercise his or her vote on Thursday. Amidst citizens’ concerns regarding the possibility of mass deletion from the voters’ list, groups such as Volunteer for a Better India (VBI) and AGNI are trying their best to ensure that people who have registered as voters can cast their vote. VBI Mumbai representative Vasudha Jhunjhunwala says that they have been in direct contact with the offices of the Collectors and the Returning Officers (RO) of all six Mumbai constituencies, Thane and Navi Mumbai and that they are cooperating with the groups’ volunteers. “Deputy District Election Officer of the island city, Maya Patole, was extremely cooperative and even sat down to try and rectify some of the complaints that had been made through the VBI,” said Jhunjhunwala. She also said that the Collectorates and ROs had given voters’ lists to them and they had launched a citywide door-to-door voter awareness campaign. She went on to say that on polling day, volunteers of the VBI would be present at close to 1,800 polling stations throughout the Greater Mumbai area, carrying laptops with Internet access to allow people to check the voters’ list online in case their name is not found on the list carried by the polling staff. If voters do not find their names on the list, they can also fill their names and contact details into a Google form created by the VBI. The list of complaints collated through this form will be submitted to the Election Commission after the elections. “We missed an opportunity in Pune by not doing this,” says Jhunjhunwala and adds, “It would have made it easier to ask the EC and the Collectorate for rectification of those errors. We are trying to avoid that in Mumbai.” Sharad Kumar, AGNI’s trustee in charge of elections, said that they had also been trying to spread awareness regarding the voters’ lists. “Those who have registered after January 2014 are on a supplementary list, that will be kept at every polling station along with the main voters’ list,” he said. “We have been spreading awareness via email, SMS and social media that those who have registered should check the voters’ list for their name. It may have been classified as under the supplementary list or the ASD list of unaccounted for voters.” Collector clarifies City collector Shaila A has clarified that the one prerequisite for a citizen to vote is that their name has to be on the voters’ list. The voters’ list that is available online and that will be kept at polling stations on Thursday contain the names on the supplementary list and the ASD list. If an individual’s name is on the list, they can produce one of eleven prescribed proofs of identity and cast their vote. Shaila also clarified that the voters’ slip was merely to inform the voter about their designated polling station and serial number, and not a necessary document to cast their vote.
April 24, 2014 12:08 am - A few prestigious seats at stake
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April 24, 2014 12:08 am - Emraan set to strike

The ancient Hindu treatise of Sage Bhrigu

2nd lead 2

RUBY LILAOWALA speaks of Brahma-Chintan or Divine Meditation, which was practised in ancient India and today only fragments of it are scattered in secret Himalayan ashrams.

In ancient India, there were secret schools (Gurukul) wherein occult knowledge was given by word of mouth. Secrets regarding higher spiritual states of mental exercises (Raj-Yoga) were whispered by the Guru to his chosen Shishya and this knowledge about the Supreme Reality is the greatest treasure anybody can have or experience. The pupil, who desires to have this knowledge, has ultimately to search for this treasure within himself with some guidance from his Guru. It is not sold in the bazaar for all and sundry like in today’s age of “Dhongi-Gurus” who hold spiritual workshops in five-star hotels charging huge amounts.
Our ancient Indian texts enjoin secrecy again. Hence, Gurus revealed only part of the teachings and that too only the elementary doctrines with extreme discretion to trusted pupils. One branch of this knowledge was Brahma-Chintan or Divine Meditation. In ancient India, it was a huge volume but today only fragments of it are scattered in secret Himalayan ashrams.


This volume was composed thousands of years ago by Sage Bhrigu and originally had 12 divisions for subjects like philosophy, yoga, meditation, states of consciousness and life after death. All wisdom in this book was jealously guarded though in Tibet, a few students have studied it. It is a mystic philosophy which has no English translation. Our Rishis and Munis could attain higher states like Samadhi with this knowledge, the premise of which is: He is only the preceptor. He (God) as the universal soul is within us. Whatever befalls is to be calmly accepted as the “will of God” and the aspirant must give up his entire self – body,mind, actions and feelings to the Almighty. This part is not for the ordinary person who is a householder (Grihasthi).
The final goal of Brahma-Chinta is the sacred-trance meant for Yogis, for in that state of Samadhi, man obtains perfect proof that he is the soul.He frees his mind of his surroundings, objects fade away and the outside world seems to disappear.He discovers the soul as a living, real being within himself: it’s peace, bliss and power (called sat-chit and anand) overwhelm him. A single experience of this changes everything and one feels spiritual-rebirth. When one enters into this sacred-trance, a kind of vacuum is created within the mind and God’s blessings fill the vacuum.
How unlike today’s fake swamis and dhongi-babas! Some spiritually inclined people are born great, some achieve greatness and some appoint press-agents !