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Ramdev booked for comments against Covid-19 medicines

New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh Police have registered a case against Yoga guru Ramdev for allegedly spreading false information about medicines used to treat Covid-19, Raipur police superintendent Ajay Yadav said, the media reported.

Yadav said a First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged in this regard on the complaint of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Hospital Board (Chhattisgarh) chairman Rakesh Gupta, IMA’s Raipur president Vikas Agrawal, and other doctors.

In his complaint, Gupta has accused Ramdev of allegedly propagating false information about the medicines, misleading people about established and approved treatment methods when doctors and other paramedical workers are fighting Covid.

“The Chhattisgarh Police has taken the right step by registering a case against Ramdev, who is flouting all norms and international guidelines by misleading people of this country. Strict action should be taken against Ramdev for this act,” said Gupta.

Ramdev has been in the news for his comments against allopathic medicines and doctors. He later said he was “withdrawing” the controversial remarks hours after Union health minister Harsh Vardhan asked him to rescind them. In a letter addressed to Ramdev, Vardhan said the people were extremely hurt by the former’s comments against allopathic medicines and doctors.

Ramdev has drawn flak for his statement that about 10,000 doctors died despite vaccination. At least 646 doctors have died of Covid-19 during the second wave of infections and 753 during the first wave, according to IMA. IMA has pointed out no vaccines were available during the first wave and most of those who died during the second wave had not been able to take their shots.

Ramdev said his comments were taken out of context and blown out of proportion. He maintained he was merely questioning the excessive use of experimental therapy.

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Delhi HC issues summons to Ramdev over Coronil kit

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued summons to yoga guru Ramdev on a plea accusing him of making statements against allopathic medicines and claiming Patanjali’s Coronil kit is a cure for COVID-19 but refused to restrain him at this stage saying the allopathic profession was not so fragile.

The high court however orally asked Ramdev’s counsel to tell him not to make any provocative statements.

“Mr Rajiv Nayar is a very respectable senior (advocate). I am sure his client will listen to him,” Justice C Hari Shankar said.

The high court issued summons to Ramdev on the suit filed by Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and asked him to file a response in three weeks and listed the matter for hearing on July 13.

“Considerable time has passed since the passing of allegedly injurious statements. The counsel says defendant no. 1 (Ramdev) continues to make a statement. No injunctive order can be given without giving an opportunity to the plaintiff, especially in view of the objections. Issue summons on the suit,” Justice Shankar said.

The court also issued summons to social media platforms Twitter and Facebook and Astha channel, who are made parties to the petition.

DMA, on behalf of its doctor members, submitted before the court that Ramdev”s statement affects as Coronil medicine does not cure coronavirus and it is misleading. It has claimed a token damage of Rs 1 from him.

The court said it cannot say as to whether Coronil is a cure or not and that it was something to be decided by medical experts.

“Ramdev is a person who doesn’t have faith in allopathy. He believes everything can be cured by Yoga and Ayurveda. He may be right or wrong,” he said.

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Ramdev courts controversy, Patanjaji’s dairy biz head dies of Covid

New Delhi: As yoga guru Ramdev continues to stoke controversy with his comments about allopathic medicines and Covid, the head of his Patanjali Ayurvda’s dairy business has died due to Covid-related complications.

Sunil Bansal, 57, contracted Covid and breathed his last on May 19 in Rajasthan.

Ramdev had sparked an uproar after purportedly calling allopathy a “stupid science”. This has led the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to demand that the Union Health Ministry take action against him, but Patanjali denied the allegations against him, saying that he was only reading a “forwarded WhatsApp message”.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also wrote to Ramdev, saying his statement was an insult to doctors working on the Covid frontlines and asked him to withdraw it.

While Ramdev had complied, in a 140-second clip that went viral last week, he is heard saying that “lakhs have died from taking allopathic medicines for Covid-19”.

Following the controversy, Ramdev also wrote an open letter on social media on Monday asking the IMA if allopathy offered permanent relief for ailments such as hypertension and diabetes.

In the letter shared on his official Twitter handle, he posed 25 questions to the IMA, which had objected to his video clip running down allopathy treatment for Covid-19.

The development comes a day after he was forced to withdraw his statement questioning the efficacy of allopathy medicines.

Ramdev had also launched his Coronil kit in February this year. This is being sold as an “immunity booster”, not a Covid medicine.

On Bansal’s death, Patanjali Ayurveda spokesperson S.K. Tijarawala said: “On May 19, Patanjali Dairy CEO Bansal died due to Covid, which is a big loss to us.”

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Body is your real estate – Yoga of restraint

By Rachana Chopra

Restraint can be of many kinds, but the common underlying philosophy or logic of all types is control of the senses. Why control the senses? Because senses running amuck can be likened to standing defenseless on a ground being trampled by wild horses. You will eventually get run over. 

The Sanskrit term for restraint is pratyahara, derived from two Sanskrit words of prati (away or against) and ahara that is literal for food, and broadly signifies all consumption. Restraint also forms the important fifth limb of the eight-limb Ashtanga yoga; and is defined by Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali as the turning inwards and away from sensory stimuli.

This turning away starts at the level of the senses (indriya pratyahara), encompasses undertaking selective and selfless actions (karma pratyahara), retention of breath (prana pratyahara), and finally paves the way for the mind to turn inwards (mano pratyahara), akin to a tortoise retracting its limbs. Many yogic practices are proposed to attain this multi-tiered restraint, such as concentrating on the space between eyebrows, sitting in a lotus pose while meditating, or prolonging breath retention.

Yet all these practices yield little reward unless we control the dissipation of energy occurring in everyday living. This dissipation is a direct fallout of habits unquestioningly adopted in modern existence. The most common amongst which is the mass habit of eating food cooked at restaurants, café, bars and fast food chains. This is one of the outstanding (and most commonly overlooked) dissipation of energy that we allow everyday, year after year, without questioning it. In fact, we don’t even have to plan such outings—they have become second nature. We also expend huge sums of money doing it; yet another channel for energy leakage since we earn it.

“Jaisa aahar vaisa vichar is a deeply ingrained Indian Philosophy, that means that our food intake controls our thoughts. While there is a lot of talk about organic foods and such, we overlook the quintessential requirement of a good diet—purity of what we absorb. Purity of a meal is controlled by purity of ingredients, purity of intent with which it is prepared, and purity with which it is ingested. When we eat outside, all these three indexes of purity get compromised.

When we eat meals cooked by others (often for profit motive), we not only absorb their physical and mental vibrations, we unwittingly imbibe their psychic tendencies. Besides, of course, ingesting the background music, chatter of customers, scent of other foods that we haven’t even “ordered” (quite a contrast to prayerful yogic eating), strong tastes we would normally not prepare for ourselves, and much more. After offering our bellies, our tastebuds, our ears, and our sense of scent and sight—we return home to concentrate on the third eye, and wonder why we can’t sight it!  

That is because the Ajna Chakra or the third eye is that part of the brain that needs working, just like any other muscle. Its perception hinges upon sincere practice of yogic restraint, and withdrawal from excessive stimuli. The collective practice of outside dining, however, is the direct opposite; it hinges upon indulging in excessive stimuli. It is one of the worst things we can possibly do to our body-mind complex; tantamount to a spiritual suicide. No amount of breath control or asanas can help you recall the inner strength and purity that just got spent.

Besides, allowing strangers to feed you is equivalent to allowing trespassing on private property! Your body IS your real estate. Guard it with utmost care. Let meal times be prayerful times, as we accept nutrition into our bodies, and watch it almost instantly transmute into thought quality. Cook your own meals with love, carry your own meals; even carry your beverages. Have a sense of pride in feeding yourself!

Within just a few months of this endeavor, you would start to notice your inner purity grow. Your patience muscle would also begin to develop, as you would often have to persevere till you get home, and not stop at McDonalds for quick gratification. Your self-prepared meal may be simpler (and perhaps not as mouthwatering initially), but you would taste a different flavor in this meal—the taste of restraint. Let your hunger grow for this flavor.

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The author of this holistic wellness blog is a modern mystic, and spiritual travel guide. She guides self-discovery journeys to places of power and pilgrimage in American Southwest and South Asia. Web: www.rachnachopra.com, Email: info@rachnachopra.com

 

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Most major Indian honey brands fail adulteration test

New Delhi: Several leading honey brands sold in India have failed adulteration tests in Germany, an investigation by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed on Wednesday.

The CSE study revealed that almost all the brands of honey being sold in Indian markets are adulterated with sugar syrup as 77 per cent of samples in the tests were found adulterated.

Honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya, all failed the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) laboratory tests currently being used globally to check for modified sugar syrups, the CSE said.

Only three out of the 13 brands – Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar (one out of two samples) — passed all the tests, it added.

For the study, CSE food researchers selected 13 top and smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold in India. Samples of these brands were first tested at the Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food (CALF) at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Gujarat.

Almost all the top brands (except Apis Himalaya) passed the tests of purity, while a few smaller brands failed the tests to detect C4 sugar – call it basic adulteration using cane sugar.

But when the same brands were tested using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), almost all big and small brands failed.

Out of the 13 brands tested, only three passed the NMR test, which was conducted by a specialised laboratory in Germany.

“It is a food fraud more nefarious and more sophisticated than what we found in our 2003 and 2006 investigations into soft drinks; more damaging to our health than perhaps anything that we have found till now – keeping in mind the fact that we are still fighting against a killer Covid-19 pandemic with our backs to the wall,” said CSE Director General Sunita Narain.

“This overuse of sugar in our diet will make it worse,” she added.

The samples were purchased during August-November 2020 from retail stores in Delhi and major online platforms.

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Supreme Court favors Patanjali in ‘Coronil’ trademark dispute

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to restrain Patanjali Ayurved from using the trademark “Coronil” for its immunity-boosting products released and sold during Covid-19 pandemic.

The case pertained to a trademark dispute, not related to the merits of branding or the efficacy of the formulation of products marketed under the brand name ‘Coronil’.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde declined to interfere with an interim order passed by a division bench of Madras High Court which had, on August 14, granted relief to Patanjali by staying an earlier order of a single judge of the high court.

The single judge had, on August 6, restrained Patanjali from using the trademark ‘Coronil’ and also slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh on it in a trademark infringement suit filed by a private firm, Arudra Engineers Private Limited.

“In these Covid times, if we prevent the use of word Coronil, it will be terrible for the product (of Patanjali),” CJI Bobde remarked when the appeal filed by Arudra challenging the interim order of division bench came up for hearing on Thursday.

The top court dismissed Arudra’s plea and asked the firm to pursue the matter before the division bench of the high court. The division bench is slated to hear the matter in September.

Arudra has claimed that the trademark ‘Coronil’ is owned by them since 1993 for its product used for industrial cleaning and chemical preparations.

The single judge, while allowing Arudra’s plea, had noted that Patanjali exploited the public’s fear and panic by projecting and advertising it’s Coronil products as a cure for Covid-19.

“The defendants (Patanjali) have repeatedly projected that they are a Rs 10,000 crore company. However, they are still chasing further profits by exploiting the fear and panic among the general public by projecting a cure for the coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever,” the single judge had noted while imposing fine of Rs. 10 lakh.

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Climbing the Mountain of Meditation

By Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya

If you are psychically unsettled this week, choose meditation. It is time to release yourself from seeking connection only in the outside world. Do as the ancestors did. Travel inward for answers. Anytime is a good time to start.

Meditation is a powerful tool for taking the journey inward.  Though property agents and retirement brokers will say otherwise, the main anchor and the only Real Estate you really own is… yourSelf.  When we connect the soul to the mind and to the body so that our thoughts are reflected in our actions, an immense power unfolds.

The YogaSutras of Patañjali (circa 400 BCE), considered to be one of the oldest texts on the journey inward, introduced the concept of dhyana, true and focused meditative concentration. Yoga wisemen offered us deep awareness if we could learn to still our minds – yogaś-chitta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ – and simply listen to the unfathomable brilliant wisdom in the pervasive stillness beyond.

This philosophy is outright rejected by the West, preferring Descartes, Freud and Bohr and a concrete, material view of the Universe. Everything that is not supported by chemistry, math, and physics is rejected as magic and pseudoscience.

Stilling the mind is simple, but not easy for those who have grown up with no training of the functions of the mind. Claiming to be among the world’s best repositories of knowledge, most western universities offer no systematic training of the mind. They relegate studies to psychology, philosophy, religious studies, or neuroscience. They denigrate the control of mind as a deeply personal issue, fearful of the State controlling our minds. Freedom of expression and freedom of thought are sacred, yet the teachers do not teach us how to corral the power. Instead, professors police students through college papers that encourage students to parrot the bias of the professor.

When freedom of expression is considered sacred, the perennial issues of campus suicides, sexual violence, illicit drug abuse, alcoholism, vandalism, inappropriate teacher-student relations, embezzlement, and poor stress management plague campuses. These common errors of the uncontrolled mind are addressed as separate issues, but rarely utilize restorative justice and peaceful relations as the path to teaching reform. Graduates of these great universities are educated in material aspects of their discipline but are often morally weak or bankrupt and engage easily in violence and illegal activities when greed, desperation and insecurities take the place of youth.

The experts of yoga philosophy witnessed the spiral downwards in such academically learned people especially in times of crisis and created anchors for heavy brains housing unbridled minds. Daily meditation practice brings us the answers we need.

To begin, start by finding a place where you can be alone and still.  A quiet place in nature is excellent as the ultimate calm is among the earth and her landscapes.  Otherwise a cozy space at home or in a space created for meditation is fine.  To assess yourself, close your eyes and see how long you can remain fully awake but with your eyes closed. When you start drifting away, where do you go? When you feel impatient and need to open your eyes, what compels you? What do you see when you close your eyes?These questions condition us to the ethereal land of uncertainty. They are important exercises in the pursuit of stillness.

After 11 days of this closed-eyes exercise, shift to a visualization training. Close your eyes and see yourself sitting in a theatre. Perceive the stage, the curtains, the décor, the walls, and the dimensions. See the colors of the seats and where you are sitting. Once this is established, watch the stage. From stage right, see a number 1 walk onto the stage. See its color, height, texture, movement and gait. Watch it walk to the center. See it hold still. Then watch it walk off at stage left.  Breathe deeply. From stage right, see a number 2 walk onto the stage. Repeat the exercise until you see number 10 walk off the stage. 

This exercise strengthens the dhi-dhrti-smrti, the buddhi (dhi) power of the intellect, the processing and understanding (dhrti), and the power to recall (smrti), which we know as memory.

Once you can visualize the numbers on the stage and do this visualization exercise for 11 days, shift to the candle focus, a modified form of trātaka, a training of the eyes and mind. Sit in front of a real flame for 11 minutes. Stare into the flame and keep the mind still as your eyes stare as long as it can. Blink only when needed.  Keep the mind on the flame. Focus on the colors and the light. If any thoughts come to mind, see them pour out of your skull and into the flame. Trust that you will remember what you need to remember, and let it go. Light a flame each day and watch it quietly. Allow the mind to still.When you cross a threshold where the physical nature of candle and flame and the eyes disappears, you will know you have arrived.  You must continue this candle meditation regularly thereafter, until the candle is no longer needed. 

Meditation is a journey up the mountain. If you are a trekker, Mount Everest is an arduous climb, difficult and boastful for those who have achieved. If you call the climb Chomolungma or Sagarmatha, you climb enough that you need not boast. You simply do it because you can.

Let meditation be the connection to your inner mountain. 

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