Yoga Therapist Bijoylaxmi Hota’s session of An Author’s Afternoon was a balm to our souls in the trying times of COVID 19. Bijoylaxmi looking resplendent and evergreen, was in conversation with yoga enthusiast, Bharti Harlalka. Ehsaas Woman of Kolkata Mallika Verma welcomed the guest speakers.
Bijoylaxmi Hota has been into this ancient form of spiritual healing since past three and half decades. She was introduced to the world of yoga by her mother when she was suffering from chronic ailments post pregnancy that was disrupting her normal life. A 15 day stay at the Yoga ashram not only healed her convulsions and twisting bones but treated her panic attacks and insomnia as well. Her faith in Yoga lead her to Bihar School of Yoga where she acquired training under Guru Satyananda Saraswati, author of many books on Yoga himself.
Initially, when she started imparting yoga, she had taught the Asanas and the Pranayams only. As her students increased she ventured further and divulged how her tribal helping hand had inspired her to experiment with time tested Ayurvedic remedies which soon became very popular. Bijoylaxmi mentioned that being a student of nutrition had been an added advantage and soon generated a flow of regular loyal patrons. People started coming to her regarding their psychological problems as well. Hota added that depression is an ailment that is underplayed in India. She further explained that depression is not just related to psychological issues, it can be brought on by nutritional, physical as well as social misgivings. As Yoga revolves around the spiritual synthesis of the mind and the body, Bijoylaxmi began addressing mental health through Yoga as well.
Bijoylaxmi also spoke on the current scenario of commercialised Yoga that comes in with a lot of irrelevant frills. She unfolded that the ancient Yogis who had conceived and practiced this art were extremely disciplined and followed great deal of restrictions and abstinence. Yoga may have gained a lot of popularity in recent years but at the same time she lamented the misuse of the craft by people for commercial purpose. “What it has become is fashionable and short lived and will fail to achieve the desired results” she said. Bijoylaxmi said that Yoga is both curative and preventive and should be put in a time frame. Each and every muscle and nerve is part of the wholesome healing process of Yoga. “Use it or lose it” said the Yoga guru. She elaborated on BMI theory in Yoga which stands for Body, Mind and Intellect.
The attendees were completely engrossed in her deep knowledge on how thyroid and obesity should be dealt with and how cleansing of our body is of utmost importance to repair and revive our body cells. She explained how Asanas clear pranic blockages, Pranayams help to cleanse the channels, Mudras assist in transportation, Bandh locks energy in the body and Satkarma performs necessary remedial process. Sleep is very much needed to deal with the wear and tear of the tissues and lack of sleep can be traced to deficit of Vitamin A in our body, she divulged. During this critical period of the Pandemic she revealed that chanting OM and practicing the Savasana and Sivasana would help to a certain extent. It is very important to build up one’s immunity at this time she added. Speaking on fasting and water washing methods, she mentions that the practice helps to cleanse and repair the body as the body tends to spend less time on digestion.
Bijoylaxmi Hota has just finished writing her 11 th book and revealed her wish to set up a Wholistic Living Farm soon. She urged everyone to build up on their immunity and engage the mind spiritually to deal with the trying times. The session elevated the spirits and rejuvenated the minds of the attendees.
Singh’s book ‘Batla House’ is centred around the controversial and famous encounter that took place in Delhi at the Batla House. The book starts from the first bomb blast that took place on 13 th September 2008. The bomb blasts were simultaneous in many places at the same time and were done by a terrorist group called the Indian Mujahidin. The terrorist group had done serial bomb blasts in over 14 places in Delhi and the police had been trying to find them since a long time. When they got the news of the group hiding in Batla House they went there to investigate where the shootings happened. Media spun the news saying that it was a fake encounter and that it was just done under the pressure. The media and the people put out rumours saying that the police officer that died was killed by his own team, however, when the forensic report came it was clear that the police officer had been killed by the terrorist group, the dead terrorists also had residue of gun powder on them that indicated that the shots had been fired by them. The police officer that had died was one of the most decorated police officer, Mohan Chand Sharma, it was his discovery that had led the team to Batla House. He had in his lifetime neutralised around 35 terrorists, received numerous medals and was also awarded the Ashok Chakra for bravery in the battle field after he had died. He was knowledge of both the technical and the human skills.
He said that the media is like the 4 th pillar of democracy and has the responsibility to make sure that they do not put out fake news out in the public domain. When the police investigate and presents the facts, it does in front of the court where the defence also has the right to fight and present the facts to the court, a judiciary body that is independent of the other pillars of the democracy. Whereas the media just presents the facts that they think is correct and frames a side, the other side has no right to defend themselves. The party that is declared guilty by the media become guilty in the eyes of the people and has no chance of redemption. The media must understand that they have a greater responsibility to refrain from showing the news that can leak sensitive information about the case and hamper the investigation. Media is like the 4 th pillar of democracy and has the power to sway the people in whatever side that they want to. The investigation teams must also be trained in what information should be shared and what should not be, as that can make or break the case.
Singh then said that sometimes the clues can be found easily whereas many times when dealing with terrorists finding clues that connect and make sense are difficult. The investigation agencies have to look for clues both on the scene and off the scene. The area has to be extensively swept for any evidence and the dump data, like the phones connected to the nearby tower, same phone present at different locations of crime. The data has to be looked through carefully as the evidence is hidden in them to crack the case.
When talked about the investigation that followed the encounter Singh mentioned that the team that has done the encounter is never a part of the investigation team, however since there is not one agency for looking into the encounters, the media and the people still claim that the teams are the same and hide facts that do not show the police in good light.
The two roles that Singh played were both of important as one dealt with the physical and internal security of the country whereas the other with the economy and social security of the country. Both these roles are fulfilling in their own way and give an immense sense of satisfaction knowing that one is doing something that will help the country be a better place in all aspects.
The conversation ended with Esha thanking Singh and Bhatia on an insightful conversation on the encounter that happened in Batla House and how the media had twisted the facts that were presented.