Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pranayama: Tecniques and Benefits

All the methods of pranayama are described in the classic scriptural texts and each pranayama has its own importance. However, a practitioner will find it hard to practice all the seven types of pranayama on a daily basis. Therefore we have formulated a sequence and time for all the seven pranayamas with our experience and divine blessings of god and teachers.

This revised process takes around 20 minutes and a practitioner reaps the following benefits with regular practice:


 

1. Overcomes vata, pitta and kapha problems.

2. Maintains the functioning of the digestive system and cures all the stomach diseases.

3. Relieves the diseases related to the heart, lungs and brain.

4. It is beneficial in cases of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, constipation, gastric trouble, acidity, respiratory problems, allergy, migraine, high blood pressure, kidney diseases, sexual diseases in men and women and even fatal diseases like cancer.

5. It can prevent hereditary diseases like diabetes and heart problems.

6. It prevents aging and is beneficial in controlling hair loss, prematurely hair getting grey/white, wrinkled skin, poor eyesight, forgetfulness, etc.

7. The seven-step pranayama process gives a natural glow and shine on the face.

8. It purifies the chakras and arouses their strength, thereby providing spiritual strength and arousal of kundalini.

9. It keeps the mind calm, peaceful and cheerful and overcomes depression.

10. It is helpful in contemplation and also gives the strength to meditate for several hours.

11. It relieves us of all the physical and mental problems along with negative conditions like anger, lust, greed, attachment and ego.

12. It cures all physical problems, removes foreign particles from the body, etc.

13. Negative conditions are replaced with positive ones and the practitioner remains happy and cheerful.


 

First Process of Pranayama: Bhastrika Pranayama

Sit in any meditative posture and breathe in deeply with both the nostrils and breathe out with full force. This is known as Bhastrika pranayama. This can be done in three ways depending on the capacity, slow, medium or fast. People with weak heart and lungs should do it slowly. A healthy person and old practitioners (experts) should increase the pace gradually. This pranayama should be done for three to five minutes.

Resolution at the time of doing Bhastrika Pranayama:

Breathe in deeply and think in the mind that the divine strength, energy, purity, peace and happiness present in the universe are entering into your mind along with the vital life energy. You are filled with divine strengths.


 

Special Points for Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama:

1. Patients of high blood pressure and heart disease should not practice this pranayama at a fast pace.

2. Do not fill the air into the stomach and do not expand it. Breath into the diaphragm, the stomach will not expand but the ribs and chest will expand.

3. Practice it for less duration during summers.

4. In case of kapha and sinusitis, people suffer from nose blockage.

Such people should close the right nostril and breathe in through left nostril and then repeat it on the other side. Then they should breathe in and out from both the nostrils.

5. This pranayama should be done up to five minutes regularly.

6. Keep the eyes closed and chant Aum mentally with every breath.


 

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama:

1. It overcomes cold-catarrh, allergy, respiratory diseases, asthma, chronic cold, sinusitis and other kapha related problems. It strengthens the lungs, heart and brain and gives pure oxygen.

2. It cures thyroid problems, tonsil problems and other throat problems.

3. It maintains the equilibrium of all the three doshas and evacuates toxic and foreign substances from the body.

4. It stabilizes the mind and prana, and is helpful in the arousal of kundalini.


 

Second Process of Pranayama: Kapalbhati Pranayama

Kapal means brain and bhati means glow, shine, brightness, light, etc.

The pranayama which gives a natural glow, brightness and shine to the face is known as Kapalbhati. It is slightly different from the previous one. In case of Bhastrika, breathing in and out are done with equal force and pace, but in this case the breathing out is done with full force and breathing in is done automatically as a reaction to throwing out the air. Breathing out process is done with full concentration. This contracts and expands the stomach and strengthens mooladhara, swadishthana and Manipur chakras. This should be done for at least five minutes.


 

Resolution at the Time of Doing Kapalbhati Pranayama:

At the time of practicing this pranayama, the practitioner should think that he is throwing out all the problems of the body. Along with the breath the problems are getting relieved. The person should throw out the air with this feeling whatever it might be, doshas, anger, lust, greed, hatred, jealousy, etc. Think that diseases are getting relieved while breathing out to reap full benefit.


 

Time for Practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama:

It should be done for three to five minutes. Take rest in between whenever you feel tired in the beginning. After one or two months, practice it for five minutes without stopping. This is the complete duration. Initially, the person could suffer from stomach or backache but it will get relieved gradually. The people with pitta nature should do it for two minutes in summers.


 

Benefits of Practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama:

1. It increases glow, brightness and shine on the face.

2. Overcomes all kapha related diseases like asthma, allergy, sinusitis, etc.

3. It is beneficial in case of heart, lung or cerebral problems.

4. It reduces weight, diabetes, gastric trouble, acidity, kidney and prostrate problems.

5. Constipation is also cured with five minutes of regular practice. Diabetes is controlled without medicine and it also reduces excess fat from the stomach by four to eight kilos within one month. It opens blockages of the heart.

6. The mind becomes stable, calm and cheerful. It removes negative conditions and depression, etc.

7. It purifies the chakras and circulates a divine energy.

8. This pranayama is beneficial for the health of the stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, intestines, prostate and kidney. This pranayama is sufficient to cure almost all the stomach problems, which even asanas cannot do. It also strengthens weak intestines.


 

Third Process of Pranayama: Bahya Pranayama (with Tribandha)

1. Sit in padmasana or siddhasana and breathe out completely at one time.

2. Do moolbandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha and stop the breath (externally).

3. Remove the bandhas and breathe in slowly.

4. Inhale and without stopping inside, breathe out and repeat the process as mentioned in the previous steps. This can be done three to 21 times depending on the capacity.


 

Resolution at the time of doing Bahya Pranayama:

Think mentally that all the diseases, doshas, negative energies are going out from the body as you throw out the air. Strong resolution at the time of doing this pranayama relieves all problems and gives instant results.


 

Benefits of Practicing Bahya Pranayama:

This is a harmless pranayama and overcomes playfulness of the mind. It increases digestive fire and is beneficial in case of stomach problems. It makes the mind sharp and bright. It purifies the body, overcomes seminal problems, night pollution, early ejaculation and other humour related diseases. This pranayama has special strength on all the stomach organs and initially the practitioner could feel some pain in stomach or weakness. Therefore it should be done with all the bandhas.

Fourth Process of Pranayama: Anulom-Vilom Pranayama

Method of closing the nostrils: Close the right nostril with the thumb and (alternately) the left nostril with the little finger and ring finger. The hand should be raised slightly above (it should not be in front of the nose).

The left nostril denotes the moon, strength or calm, therefore this pranayama begins with left nostril.

Close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale from the left nostril. After inhaling close the left nostril with ring finger and little finger and exhale from the right nostril. The pace of inhaling and exhaling should be increased gradually. Breathe in and out with full force and maintain the pace of respiration either slow, medium or fast depending on the physical strength. Fast pace of inhaling and exhaling creates loud sound in breathing. After breathing out completely, close the left nostril and breath in from right nostril. Then close the right nostril and breath in from left nostril. This is one cycle. Repeat it several times. In case of slight tiredness, take rest in between and repeat. Begin the practice from three minutes and increase it up to ten minutes. Regular practice for a few days increases the capacity of the person and the practitioner can do it for five minutes without stopping. Everybody practice it for at least five minutes and maximum ten minutes but not more. During summers it should be done for three to five minutes.

Regular practice for five minutes arouses the energy accumulated in mooladhara chakra and helps in arousal of kundalini. Chant Aum mentally with every breath. This makes the mind suitable for attaining the stage of contemplation.


 

Resolution at the Time of Doing Anulom-Vilom Pranayama:

Think that sushumna nadi is getting aroused with the friction of right and left nostrils. Imagine that a divine light is moving upwards till sahasrara chakra.

Think that the whole body is enlightened with a divine light. Imagine the presence of divine light inside and outside the body and visualize Aum Kham Brahma.

Think that the divine energy, strength and knowledge are present on all the four sides of the body, that almighty god is filling celestial energy in the body, take in the energy. Guru is the only source of inspiration for getting this energy and guru combines with heavenly feelings.

Anulom-Vilom pranayama done in this manner gives physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Mooladhara chakra arouses a light and arouses kundalini, the divine knowledge will flow upwards and gain tremendous energy.


 

Benefits of Practicing Anulom-Vilom Pranayama:

1. This pranayama purifies 72 crore 72 lakh ten thousand two hundred and ten nerves. Purification of all the nerves makes the body strong, bright and healthy.

2. It cures joint pain, arthritis, gout, Parkinson's disease, nervous weakness, vata diseases, urinary problems, humour related diseases, seminal loss, acidity, pitta, cold, catarrh, chronic cold, sinusitis, asthma, cough, tonsils and other kapha diseases. It cures tridoshas.

3. It opens heart blockages. Regular practice of this pranayama opens around 30 to 40 percent blockage within three to four months. We have experienced it practically on several patients.

4. It overcomes the irregularities of cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL or LDL, etc.

5. It replaces negative thoughts with positive thoughts. It helps in keeping the mind happy, fearless and enthusiastic.

6. In a nutshell pranayama purifies the mind, body and virtues. It cures all the ailments and the mind becomes capable of contemplation.

7. Repeat this pranayama 250 to 500 times, the energy present in the mooladhara chakra moves upwards and helps in the arousal of kundalini.

Note: See the cautions and methods of arousal of kundalini for further information in this regard.


 

Fifth Process of Pranayama: Brahmari Pranayama

Inhale completely, press the base of the nostrils with the little fingers, close the ears with your thumbs, keep the index fingers on the forehead, close the eyes and place the ring and middle fingers on the closed eyes. Chant Aum with the mouth closed (only the humming sound) and inhale. The sound resembles the sound of a honeybee, hence the name brahmari pranayama. Repeat it at least three times and maximum up to 21 times.


 

Resolution at the Time of Doing Brahmari Pranayama:

Imagine the synchronization of celestial power with divine strength.

The practitioner should think that god is showering his empathy, love and happiness on him. He or she should visualize a divine light in the agya chakra and removing all the ignorance present in the mind. The practitioner should feel that he or she is getting eternal wisdom.

Pranayama done with such pure thoughts helps in reaching contemplation.


 

Benefits of Practicing Brahmari Pranayama:

It overcomes playfulness of the mind and is very beneficial for meditation. It is beneficial in cases of mental stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.


 

Sixth Process of Pranayama: Aumkara (Udgeet Pranayama)

All the above-mentioned pranayamas should be followed by udgeet pranayama. Our eyebrows resemble the shape of Aum. The body and the entire universe are full of Aum. It is not an individual or a shape; it is a divine strength, which is circulating in the whole universe.

As a knower, the practitioner should inhale and exhale so slowly that he or she should not feel the sound of respiration. The breathing should be so gentle that even a piece of cotton kept in front of the nose should not move. Try to feel the respiration from within. In the beginning you will feel it only at the tip of the nose but gradually you will experience it deep within. In this way chanting Aum for some time helps in contemplation of mind. The practitioner will be able to concentrate the mind and get engrossed in Aumkar. Gayatri mantra should also be chanted after understanding its meaning along with Aumkar.

This will help the person in getting engrossed in the true form of god, which gives happiness. This should be practiced at bedtime also in order to enjoy sound sleep. It overcomes bad dreams and gives sound sleep.


 

Seventh process of Pranayama: Nadi shodhana pranayama

In the beginning, close the right nostril and inhale from left nostril just like Anulom-Vilom pranayama. Stop the breath inside and do moolbandha and jalandhar bandha. Remove jalandhar bandha after sometime and exhale very slowly from the right nostril. Then inhale from right nostril and do kumbhaka, stop the breath inside and exhale very slowly from the left nostril. This is one complete cycle or nadi shodhana pranayama.

It is very beneficial if done with full concentration without pressing the nostrils. It helps in concentrating the mind and gives a lot of stability. There should not be any sound at the time of inhaling and exhaling. It should be done from one to three times or more. In the beginning, the ratio of poorak, antah kumbhaka and rechaka should be 1:2:2. For example, poorak, antah kumbhaka and rechaka should be done for 10, 20 and 20 seconds respectively. Gradually, the ratio can be increased to 1:4:2. Bahya kumbhaka can be added later and then the ratio can be 1:4:2:2. This pranayama should be done at a very slow pace. Focus on pace of respiration and its intensity instead of number of repetitions. This is more beneficial, and inhaling, controlling and exhaling the breath is the actual result of this pranayama.

There is no need to take rest in between. Chanting Aum or gayatri mantra mentally is favourable while doing this.


 

Benefits of Practicing Nadi Shodana Pranayama:

The advantages are similar to Anulom-Vilom pranayama.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Your Breath Can Change Your Life

Five minutes of pranayama is enough for all-round wellbeing, writes yoga teacher CARRMINE IREENE


 

Breathing is the most important biological function. On an average, a person takes 15 breaths per minute, making it 900 breaths in an hour and 21,600 breaths in 24 hours. In every conscious breath, we touch the higher power of the Self to reach the sheath of the soul.


 

Way To The Soul

Yogic breathing consists of four parts - pooraka or inhalation, abhyantara kumbhaka or retention of the inhaled breath, rechaka or disciplined complete exhalation and bhayakumbhaka or retention after exhalation.

In pranayama, the sadhaka uses the body as a sacrificial altar. Inhalation is like pouring ghee on the altar, exhalation is the flame blazing out from the yajnakunda.

Retention is in the form of mantra, an offering so that the Self merges and dissolves in the Universal Soul or Paramatma.

Below the navel is a great nerve centre which stores the extra prana and this is the hawankhunda of the body where incineration takes place.

When you breathe through the left nostril you are awakening the human consciousness and breath drawn in through the right nostril awakens divine consciousness. When the breath is held either inside or outside the body it embraces shakti to enlighten the mind and attain spiritual bliss.

As you ascend in inhalation the sound resembles 'so' and in descending exhalation, the sound resembles 'hum'. This is the 'sohum mantra' that we repeat unknowingly throughout life. To be aware of this mantra and the breath that we keep taking is the first step towards pranayama that takes us to the soul's doorstep.


 

The Divine Path

With every passing thought, our energy gets consumed, depleting our prana and creating ambush on our path. Breath is the messenger of the body. Every action of life comes from kama or desire that is creative energy which leads us to moha or attachment. If kama is not handled well, it can turn to madha or arrogance and krodha or anger. The highest and purest form of desire is karuna or compassion. When you inhale and hold the breath within your body, compassion is awakened and there is a renewal and reversal of arrogance. Greed is destructive and gives rise to ahamkara or ego which paves the path of insecurity and jealousy and nibbles prana away. As you start inhaling through the opposite nostril, the manipulative ego gets anchored with the Self and there is no room for greed and undesirable emotions. The belly is the meeting point of matter and soul and bhayakumbhaka is its apex.


 

Breath Control

In part one, you inhale through your right nostril, blocking the left nostril with the little finger of your right hand. In part two, you hold the breath inside the body, closing the right nostril with the thumb. In part three, you exhale through the left nostril, releasing the little finger while the right nostril is closed. In part four, you hold the breath outside after a complete exhalation. Repeat the round by inhaling now through the left nostril in part one and proceed to complete the cycle as before.


 

Benefits Of Pranayama

1. Pranayama frees the mind from any clutter that is obstructing soul growth

2. Helps memory and concentration and improves focus and balance

3. Tackles the problem of insomnia and anger, bringing peace and calm

4. Improves the health of the heart, lungs, brain and the digestive system

5. Corrects the metabolic rate to overcome obesity and helps in weightloss

6. Builds up immunity and helps you fight infections and diseases

7. Purifies the aura and alleviates energy loss

Five to 15 minutes of pranayama can bring about a dramatic change in your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being.

Mobile Phone culture and its effects

1 Introduction:

Mobile phone has become an essential necessity not only for the urban population but for the rural masses also. In India, it is nearly as old as a quarter of a century, yet it has become the most used channel of communication between individuals. Newly emerging highly sophisticated handsets, loaded with numerous apps and functions, are rapidly replacing PC's and have become multi-functional and multi-facetted. We can listen to our favorite music, watch TV, access news, perform business transactions, book tickets, and express ourselves on blogs and social networking sites just by tapping of our fingers on its screen. The world has shrunk into our palms in the form of a sleek mobile phone. It is in the light of aforesaid characteristics of mobile phones that a deep study relating to the effects of the mobile phone on individuals as well as communities has become mandatory.

When we see the mobile telephony in the context of Indian Subcontinent, we find that people use mobile phones more like a social status rather than a mode of wireless communication.

In the words of Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, "In the West, the smart-phone revolution was beginning to make its mark, but up to then, mobile phones were just another telephone, often associated with 'work', rather than 'play'. In India, for millions who never had the luxury and opportunity to communicate through a household fixed-line, the arrival of the cheap cell phone was a revolution, and everyone wanted to have at least one in the family--usually the men, but increasingly women too."

In the electronic/print media, news relating to hazards of mobile phones keeps on coming at regular intervals. The younger generation is gradually getting addicted to them so much so, that many schools had to take preventive measures and restrict the students from bringing the mobile phones in the school premises. Mobile handsets have become a kind of identity of an individual especially in the metros. Studies have shown that the adolescents sometimes, face psychological problems on account of the mobile phones. Hence, the technology is proving to be as well a boon as a bane.

Indeed, we know from the history of technology, including the history of the Internet, that people and organizations end up using technology for purposes very different from those initially sought or conceived by the designers of the technology. Furthermore, the more a technology is interactive, the more it is likely that the users become the producers of the technology in their actual practice. Thus, society needs to address responsibly the questions raised by these new technologies. And research can contribute to providing some answers to these questions. To look for these answers, we need knowledge based on observation and analysis. Rather than projecting dreams or fears of the kind of society that will result in the future from the widespread use of wireless communication, we must root ourselves in the observation of the present, using the traditional, standard tools of scholarly research in order to analyze and understand the social implications of wireless communication technology. People, institutions and business have suffered enough from the prophecies of futurologists and visionaries who promise and project whatever comes into their minds on the basis of anecdotal observation and ill-understood developments. I take exception to such approaches.

Instead, the purpose is to use social research to answer the questions surrounding the transformation of human communication by the rise and diffusion of wireless digital communication technologies.

Monsoon is angry with us

It is generally stated that India is dependent on agriculture. Our economy is mostly based upon agricultural products. Agricultural land need irrigation. Irrigation in our country, is mostly depends upon the rains which take place during the monsoons. Therefore, if monsoon gets angry with us in India, it hampers our economy very badly. This year we could not have a good monsoon. In Karnataka, Government is distributing funds to the temples in order to please the god of rains. Stock market is shrinking and economy of the country is showing depressing signals. Therefore, it is very important to know as to what really the monsoon is and how it is so very important.


 

What is monsoon?

The word monsoon is derived from the Arabic word mausim meaning season. The most famous monsoon is the Indian monsoon. The intense rainfall in these regions can cause massive flooding and destruction of crops. In dry climates, monsoons are an important replenishment for life as water is brought back into drought-stricken zones of the world. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

The earliest explanation for monsoon development came in 1686 from the English astronomer and mathematician Edmond Halley.

Halley is the man who first conceived the idea that differential heating of land and ocean caused these giant sea-breeze circulations. As with all scientific theories, these ideas have been expanded upon.

During most of the year, winds blow from land to ocean making the air dry. Winds originating from land are called continental.

During certain months of the year, the winds begin to blow from the ocean to the land making the air moist. Winds originating over a body of water are called maritime.

This moist ocean air is what causes monsoonal rains over many countries.


 

Why Do Wind Patterns Shift in a Monsoon?

Differential heating occurs when the sun heats the land and oceans. Incoming solar radiation heats landmasses faster than large bodies of water. In tropical and sub-tropical climates, solar heating is most intense in the summer months. As the land heats throughout the summer, a large low pressure system builds over the land. The heat from the sun also warms the surrounding ocean waters, but the effect happens much more slowly due to the high heat capacity of water.

Therefore, the ocean temperatures as well as the layer of air above the oceans stays cooler longer. The cooler air above the oceans is moist and more dense creating a high pressure zone relative to the pressure above the landmass.


 

Winds flow from high pressure areas to low pressure areas due to the pressure gradient. Once the temperature conditions on the land and oceans change, the resultant pressure changes cause the winds to change from a land-to-ocean direction to an ocean-to-land direction. Monsoon season does not end as abruptly as it begins. While it takes time for the land to heat up, it also takes time for that land to cool in the fall. This makes monsoon season a time of rainfall that diminishes rather than ends.

Monsoon seasons can actually fail bringing intense drought and famines to many parts of the world. From 1876-1879, India experienced such a monsoon failure. To study these droughts, the Indian Meteorological Service (IMS) was created. Later, Gilbert Walker, a British mathematician, began to study the effects of monsoons in India looking for patterns in climate data. He became convinced that there was a seasonal and directional reason for monsoon changes.


 

It is a natural supposition that there should be in weather free oscillations with fixed natural periods, and that these oscillations should persist except when some external disturbance produces discontinuous changes in phase or amplitude. According to the Climate Prediction Center, Sir Walker used the term 'Southern Oscillation' to describe the east-west seesaw effect of pressure changes in climate data. In the review of the climate records, Walker noticed that when pressure rises in the east, it usually falls in the west, and vice versa. Walker also found that Asian monsoon seasons were often linked to drought in Australia, Indonesia, India, and parts of Africa.


 

Jacob Bjerknes, a Norwegian meteorologist, would later recognize that the circulation of winds, rain, and weather were part of a Pacific-wide air circulation pattern which he called as "Walker circulation".


 

New Theories on the Causes of Monsoons

Theories of the development of monsoons have stood firm for over 300 years. Classical thinking on monsoons is that their development is sparked by the differential heating of land and ocean as described above. But in a recent NASA Earth Observatory release, those ideas may be changing. Geoscientists at the California Institute of Technology have been working on new ideas as to exactly why monsoons develop.

Two researchers, Schneider and Simona Bordoni of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, used computer models to re-create an Earth with no landmasses. Surprisingly, they found that differential heating was not a necessary component to creating monsoons. Instead, they concluded monsoons arise because of an interaction between tropical air circulation and large-scale turbulence in the middle latitudes. The large middle latitude disturbances modify circulation in tropical regions causing rapid circulation changes which can bring on the characteristic high surface winds and heavy rainfall of the monsoon.

Whatever may be the causes and effectsof the monsoons, the important thing is that anger of monsoons can create havoc in the country. Therefore, it is very crucial for our meteorological department to devise a system whereby we can predict the monsoons in advance and more accurately so that we could curb some of the ill effects of a bad monsoon.

It is not the blistering heat that is keeping the farmers away from their land of a little over an acre (0.4 hectares). Most Indian farmers have no access to irrigation systems. They depend on the monsoon rains that fall between June and September. This year the rains have not come. "No rain, nothing," says Sharmila, as she flicks away flies with the edge of her scarlet sari. The family has been unable to plant its main sorghum crop, she says, and their buffaloes are becoming "diseased", a euphemism for starving.


 

India is experiencing its worst monsoon in years. Summer rains constitute around 80% of the country's annual rainfall. But from June to mid-August, when most crucial planting takes place, the rains were 29% lower than average. In Uttar Pradesh, they were down by more than 60%. Rice, the biggest crop sown during the monsoon, has been worst affected, along with sugar cane and oilseeds. Rainfall has increased in some areas in recent days. But it has come too late for many crops, which require an even sprinkling through the hot summer. Heavy showers now could even damage already reduced crops of sugar cane.

Fresh rainfall may prove more helpful to winter-sown crops such as wheat, which rely heavily on water from reservoirs, whose levels remain far below average.

To mitigate the damage from the poor monsoon, the government is encouraging farmers to plant more winter crops. India's economy is closely tied to its fickle summer rains. Agriculture accounts for 18% of GDP. More importantly, it employs 60% of Indians, many of whom now seem certain to curb their spending this year. A bad monsoon can also reduce power production: hydropower provides a quarter of India's electricity.

In 2002, when monsoon rains were down by 19%, GDP growth slowed from 5.8% to 3.8%. But as agriculture shrinks as a proportion of GDP—it made up 30% in 1990—the impact of poor monsoons is reduced. This year industrial output in June surged by its highest annual rate in 16 months, nearly 8%. Still, many economists have shaved a percentage point off growth estimates for the year, to between 6% and 7%. The government, meanwhile, has said it has enough food stockpiled from two years of healthy harvests to prevent high inflation. Let us pray to the god of rains for better monsoon management so that the anger of monsoons may be cooled down.