“Time tested tips on how to stay healthy live longer” – by Khushwant Singh

Coming on to 98 and still earning more than I did in my younger days, people ask me how I manage to do it. They regard me as an expert on longevity. I have pronounced on the subject before; I will repeat it with suitable amendments based on my experience in the past two years.

Earlier I had written that longevity is in one’s genes: children of long-living parents are likely to live longer than those born to short-lived parents. This did not happen in my own family. My parents who died at 90 and 94 had five children, four sons and a daughter.

The first to go was the youngest of the siblings. Next went my sister who was the fourth. My elder brother who was three years older than me went a couple of years ago. Two of us remain; I, who will soon be 98, and my younger brother, a retired Brigadier three years younger than me and in much better health. He looks after our ancestral property.

Nevertheless, I still believe gene is the most important factor in determining one’s life-span. More important than analysing longevity is to cope with old age and make terms with it.

As we grow older, we are less able to exercise our limbs. We have to devise ways to keep them active. Right into my mid-eighties, I played tennis every morning, did rounds of Lodhi gardens in winter and swam for an hour in summer. I am unable to do this any more. The best way to overcome this handicap is regular massages.

I am convinced that this has kept me going for so long. Equally important is the need to cut down drastically one’s intake of food and drink. I start my mornings with guava juice. It is tastier and more health-giving than orange or any other fruit juice. My breakfast is one scrambled egg on toast. My lunch is usually patli kichri with dahi or a vegetable. I skip afternoon tea. In the evening, I take a peg of single malt whisky. It gives me a false appetite.

Before I eat supper, I say to myself “Do not eat too much.” I also believe that a meal should have just one kind of vegetable or meat followed by a pinch of chooran. It is best to eat alone and in silence. Talking while eating does not do justice to the food and you swallow a lot of it. For me no more Punjabi or Mughlai food. I find South India idli, sambhar and grated coconut easier to digest and healthier.

Never allow yourself to be constipated. The stomach is a storehouse of all kinds of ailments. Our sedentary life tends to make us constipated. Keep your bowels clean however you can: by laxatives, enemas, glycerin suppositories, whatever. Bapu Gandhi fully understood the need to keep bowels clean. Besides, taking an enema every day, he gave enemas to his women admirers. Lucky man, he was.

Impose strict discipline on your daily routine. If necessary, use a stop-watch. I have breakfast exactly at 6.30 am lunch at noon, drink at 7 pm, supper at 8. Try to develop peace of mind. For this you must have a healthy bank account. Shortage of money can be very demoralising. It does not have to be in crores, but enough for your future needs and possibility of falling ill. Never lose your temper, it takes a heavy toll and jangles one’s nerves. Never tell a lie. Always keep your national motto in mind: Satyamev Jayate — only truth triumphs.

Give generously. Remember you can’t take it with you. You may give to your children, servants or charity. You will feel better. There is joy in giving. Drive out envy of those who have done better than you in life. A Punjabi verse sums up: Rookhi Sookhy Khai kay Thanda Paani Pee Na Veykh paraayee chonparian na Tarssain jee (Eat dry bread and drink cold water Pay no heed or envy those who smear their chapattis with ghee) Do not conform to the tradition of old people spending time in prayer and long hours in places of worship. That amounts to conceding defeat. Instead take up a hobby like gardening, growing bonsai, helping children of your neighborhood with their homework.

A practice which I have found very effective is to fix my gaze on the flame of candle, empty my mind of everything, but in my mind repeat Aum Shanti, Aum Shanti, Aum Shanti. It does work. I am at peace with the world. We can’t all be Fauja Singh who at 100 run a marathon race but we can equal him in longevity and creativity. I wish all my readers long, healthy lives full of happiness.


Khushwant Singh

Om Namah Shivay

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Smart Working And Living In The `Now’


A wood cutter believed best day results are obtained by working hard; so he worked hard every . The first day he cut ten trees; the second day nine trees but the third day he could cut only eight trees.At the end of the week, he could cut hardly one tree despite the same six hours of hard work. Perplexed, he approached a wise man and asked him the reason.

The wise man replied, “More than hard work, what is crucial is smart working. Have you sharpened the saw?“ You have to learn to work smart, more than work hard. The brain, for ages, has been programmed wrongly; it has positioned the future to be your saviour. Hence, people think and believe, “If I get million dollars, I will become happy; if I get married, I will become happy .“

So your saviour seems to be in the future. This is the error the brain has done. The description of time is past, present and future. But the truth of time is present. Past was present, future will be present. Hence, the truth of time is present. If you do not know how to be happy now, you can never be happy. If the brain says, I will be happy in the future it is silently telling I am unhappy `now’. With such programming, when it gets the object of desire, it is experienced in the `present’ when the present has been programmed as `I am unhappy now’. So, despite getting what you want, you are unhappy .

You have to learn to be happy now in the present; and out of happiness, you have to get the object of desire and not `for happiness’. This is smart living. You have to bring in the power of `being’ and not get lost to the power of `becoming’. The power of `being’ is, I am happy `now’ and the power of `becoming’ is, I will become happy if I get this or that. How can there be growth, if there is no drive of `becoming’?

You have to look deeply into your life. The `becoming’ which appears to have brought a lot of growth in the form of development ­ has it given fulfilment? Despite achievements, there is no fulfilment. All growth is oriented towards fulfilment. When you position happiness in the future, there will be no fulfilment. So `becoming’ has not really given what is needed ­- fulfilment. Be happy now and out of joy, go about getting what you want. Get not for joy but out of joy.

Then, your work is going to be fun, your life is going to be a joy. For joy is in the `here and now’ and not in the future. The `will of wish’ makes you live for fantasy , but the `will of comprehension’ makes you see the fullness of the here and now.

Do understand that wishing to be happy in the future is different from `willing to comprehend the now’ what the `now’ is. Once this change happens, then life is always in the now. The future will happen, when it happens, it happens in the now. So the `will of comprehension’ transforms the mind. The brain, as one uses it, is creating a fantasy in the future but no fulfilment, but the moment you transform joy in the `here and now’, then the brain uses `the will of comprehension’. An appreciable revolution happens to the brain. This is smart living.

Om Namah Shivay

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झाड़ू रखने के नियम

झाड़ू के महत्व को देखते हुए वास्तु शास्त्र द्वारा कई नियम बताए गए हैं।

– जब घर में झाड़ू का इस्तेमाल न हो, तब उसे नजरों के सामने से हटाकर रखना चाहिए।

– झाड़ू को कभी भी खड़ा नहीं रखना चाहिए।

– ध्यान रहे झाड़ू पर जाने-अनजाने पैर नहीं लगने चाहिए, इससे महालक्ष्मी का अपमान होता है।

– झाड़ू हमेशा साफ रखें।

– ज्यादा पुरानी झाड़ू को घर में न रखें।

– झाड़ू को कभी जलाना नहीं चाहिए।

– शनिवार को पुरानी झाड़ू बदल देना चाहिए।

– शनिवार के दिन घर में विशेष साफ-सफाई करनी चाहिए।

– घर के मुख्य दरवाजा के पीछे एक छोटी झाड़ू टांगकर रखना चाहिए। इससे घर में लक्ष्मी की कृपा बनी रहती है।


१. यदि सभा में साबर मन्त्र बोल दिए जाये तो साबर मन्त्र अपना प्रभाव छोड़ देते है !
२.यदि किसी किताब से उठाकर मन्त्र जपना शुरू कर दे तो भी साबर मन्त्र अपना पूर्ण प्रभाव नहीं देते !
३.साबर मन्त्र अशुद्ध होते है इनके शब्दों का कोई अर्थ नहीं होता क्योंकि यह ग्रामीण भाषा में होते है यदि इन्हें शुद्ध कर दिया जाये तो यह अपना प्रभाव छोड़ देते है !
४.प्रदर्शन के लिए यदि इनका प्रयोग किया जाये तो यह अपना प्रभाव छोड़ देते है !
५.यदि केवल आजमाइश के लिए इन मंत्रो का जप किया जाये तो यह मन्त्र अपना पूर्ण प्रभाव नहीं देते !

ऐसे और भी अनेक कारण है ! उचित यही रहता है कि साबर मंत्रो को गुरुमुख से प्राप्त करे क्योंकि गुरु साक्षात शिव होते है और साबर मंत्रो के जन्मदाता स्वयं शिव है ! शिव के मुख से निकले मन्त्र असफल हो ही नहीं सकते !


आप भले ही इसे अंधविश्वास कहो या फिर टोटका मगर यह सच है कि बुरी नजर से बचने के लिए हमेशा से ही नजरबट्टू की शरण ली जा रही है। अधिकांश दुकानों के बाहर इसे टंगा देखा जा सकता है। और वह है – नींबू व हरी मिर्च से बना नजरबट्टू।

नजरबट्‍टू बनाने के लिए एक धागे में एक नींबू व उसके साथ पांच या सात हरी मिर्च पिरो दी जाती है फिर इसे दुकानों के बाहर टांग दिया जाता है। ऐसा माना जाता है कि नींबू व हरी मिर्च को दुकान के बाहर टांग देने से किसी की बुरी नजर नहीं लगेगी और दुकानदारी पर कोई असर नहीं पड़ेगा।

मॉडर्न व पढ़े-लिखे लोग तक इस बात को मानते हैं कि बुरी नजर से बचने के लिए तो नजरबट्टू सबसे अच्छा तरीका है। इसलिए बाजार हो या महंगे शॉपिंग मॉल्स अधिकांश दुकानों के आगे नींबू व हरी मिर्च लटकते हुए मिल जाएंगे। ऐसा माना जाता है कि हरी मिर्च व नींबू लटकाने से कारोबार को बुरी नजर नहीं लगती है।

Om Namah Shivay

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If criticism comes, take it

The biggest problem is that you don’t want to be humiliated. Get humiliated, and you will see that the ego disappears.

In life, if anyone anywhere humiliates you, know that it is only a plan to soften you. It is a blessing; you should walk away or through the situation with a smile. To begin with, you may feel very uncomfortable, but there will be a shift in you, with which you will be so amazed. Then, nobody will ever be able to take the smile, the love and the compassion from within you.

We should never be shy of humiliation, or of being criticized. If criticism comes, take it. Do you know, many times we hold our hands so tight; this is what I am, this is mine, mine, mine! And the moment someone criticizes us, we withdraw. We are so paranoid about the criticism of others. These are the weakest people, I tell you.

If someone criticizes you, welcome it! If there is something in it, take it. They are taking the risk of losing your friendship, and giving you a comment, or criticism.

You should know that people are there to help you in the world. Don’t see people as enemies. The foolish will look at the world as filled with enemies and hostile people. The wise will look at the world as filled with friends, and think that people are there to help.

From a wise persons’ angle, see that anyone who criticizes you is doing something good to you. They are showing you your mistake, taking the risk of losing their friendship with you. Otherwise, the common man would just say, ‘Okay, why should we lose the friendship of such and such a person? Just say good things, and bye. There is no need to point out your weaknesses.’

So, whenever someone criticizes you, listen to it. If the criticism has some substance, take it. If it is coming out of jealously, be compassionate towards them. That is their problem; they are working out their own jealously. They are pouring out their frustration on you. And in some sense, you are just helping them to empty their mind of frustration.

If they are saying it out of compassion, out of friendship and love, then you take it in that sense. So, you should be able to give constructive criticism from a happy calm mind, and be able to take criticism from the same mind. This will transform your ego.

Om Namah Shivay

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Breaking Mind Traps

Mind traps are caused by our limiting beliefs and hold us firmly within our individual dramas. They are the result of our diminished self-perceptions and can affect nearly every aspect of our lives.

My longtime friend Jim’s parents were very disapproving and always treated him as if he were stupid. He frequently heard negative comments and criticisms and was never empowered to think on his own. Over time, he came to believe that this is how he really was. He didn’t bother studying in school because he was defeated by his beliefs before he even really tried.

Notice the cycle created by this kind of negative self-perception. Mind traps are self-feeding in this way. Because in his heart he did not believe he was capable of doing well, he did not even try. Because he did not try, he failed. Each time he failed an exam or received poor grades, he accumulated more ‘proof’ that seemed to speak to the truth of his limiting belief that he was incapable and unintelligent. He was locked in a self-perpetuating cycle.

These types of mind traps often prevent us from experiencing true achievement and are a major cause of the suffering in many of our lives.… Jim’s beliefs kept him from doing well in his life until he began to question them. Through being present in the moment with his limiting beliefs, Jim began to break the mind traps and began to see that he was much more capable than he had previously realised….

Try this: Pick a colour. What is important to learn from this exercise is that we most readily see what we are holding in our awareness, whether it is positive or negative.

Imagine you are driving down the road when somebody mentions that there are more red cars out today than normal. As you look around, you notice red cars everywhere. You may ask yourself, why are there so many red cars on the freeway today? The answer is that they were always there; you just didn’t pay attention to them. The only reason you are paying attention to them now is that they were brought into your awareness.

Now take a moment and walk around a bit. Think about the colour blue and then look around you. Notice how anything that is blue seems to stand out in contrast to everything else around it. Now pick a different colour. Notice that colour now jumps out at you.

Driving schools for police officers and bodyguards teach that when someone is skidding or is seconds away from a crash, they should look to where they want to go, not where they do not want to go. The fact is that person will more often than not steer themselves in the direction they are looking.

The negative and limiting beliefs we have about ourselves work in the same way: we tend to move towards situations that will support them. The power of keeping an open mind and a positive attitude cannot be denied. The greatest obstacle we have to changing negative beliefs is the fear that they might be proven to be true. Freedom comes from the recognition that these beliefs have no basis in the reality of the present moment.

Negative beliefs only create our worst fears. As we question our limiting beliefs and break out of our mind traps, we have the chance to see a wealth of new opportunities for enjoyment in our lives.

Let’s try the colour exercise again. This time, don’t think about blue. As you are walking and looking around, do not focus on anything blue. Come back when you are ready.

Notice how even though you did not want to see blue, it still jumped out at you in the same way it did when you wanted to see it in the previous exercise. This is an excellent example of how mind traps work. We tend to only see and move toward what we have in our minds, whether it is our worst nightmare or our grandest dream. The first step out of these mind traps is to adopt a ‘beginner’s mind’, which means we should question everything and see everything with new, unclouded eyes.… Once we begin to do this, a universe full of unique possibilities becomes more and more clear.

Om Namah Shivay

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Is All Violence Generated By Males?

Maneka Gandhi, union minister for women and child development, stated recently that “All violence is male-generated.” This might, at first instance, seem like a sweeping statement, but perhaps there is more than a grain of truth in what she said. When Susan Sarandon, the acclaimed Hollywood actor was in India as chief guest at the International Film Festival in Goa in 2013, she echoed a similar sentiment.

Speaking of the increasing reports of incidence of violence against women – not just in India but across the world – Sarandon said that one sure way of sensitising the male of the need to respect women was for every mother to raise her sons in a way that gender equity and compassion as core values are inculcated in them in their growing years. The above is just one aspect of male-generated violence and Sarandon’s solution too is one among many ways of transforming the male propensity for violence to positive ways of bringing about peaceful change.

Children are indeed at their most formative stage of life — which is why the minister stressed on the importance of gender sensitisation at the school stage, saying, “We have started something which will go into effect in a few months called “gender champions”: boys who have been particularly respectful and helpful to girls and deserve to be emulated and rewarded. These prizes will be given to a person in each class annually.”

Violence is of course far more widespread and variegated than that related to assaults on women. Apart from the influence of nurture and environment, the male of the species does indeed seem to have a biological propensity for aggression. Why is this so? Perhaps it all boils down to the fact that the male of the species has an overload of testosterone, the sex hormone that some scientists call the ‘perfect weapon of mass destruction.’ Others call it a ‘warmone’ that triggers aggression, competitiveness, and violence.

The play of testosterone is evident in the army, for instance, where ‘jawans’ or young, testosterone-rich youth is recruited to protect the country at the border. Aggression is the traditional way of dealing with the enemy at the gates. The hero soldier who dies protecting his country is honoured and appreciated for his valour. But he cannot be brought back to life. While this is not to undermine the supreme sacrifice of young soldiers, it does raise the question, is there no other way to protect and guard against external aggression other than young men giving up their precious lives in the process, on both sides of the border? The answer could be ‘smart wars’ fought with robots and spy planes, but what we really need to work towards is to establish peace rather than wage wars.

That could be a utopian dream but one worth striving for, and as a wizened woman CEO suggested to the ministry of defence, “why don’t you rename your ministry as ‘ministry of peace?’ and shot off a letter to that effect to the defence minister. It does seem as though conflict resolution and peace come naturally to women whereas men rare for a fight. Again, let’s blame it on testosterone, the male sex hormone. Chemical locha, as Munnabhai would put it. It’s not as though the female of the species is devoid of testosterone; it’s just that the levels are far lower than those in males. Moreover, every female as a potential mother is programmed to nurture, love and care rather than fight, kill and destroy. And yes, there are exceptions to every generalisation.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Quit Procrastinating

How to Quit Procrastinating

All of us know the feeling—the to–do list that’s longer than the hours in a day. Sometimes we get stuck…not knowing how to move beyond procrastination to accomplishment.

“Squeeze the Most Out of Your Day”

About one hundred years ago, a man named Ivy Lee went to the president of Bethlehem Steel, Charles Schwab, and made a deal with him. Lee told Schwab he could increase Schwab’s productivity as well as the workload of all his managers. What’s more, Lee told Schwab he could help Schwab’s executives produce a significant amount more if he could just spend fifteen minutes with each of them. To make the offer especially enticing, Lee told Schwab he wouldn’t charge anything at all unless his advice worked. “Then, after three months,” Lee told Schwab, “if my advice proves profitable, send me a check for whatever you think it’s worth.”

They struck a deal.

Here’s how productive he was–Lee actually spent only ten minutes with each executive. Here’s what he told them: “I want you to promise that for the next ninety days, before leaving your office at the end of each day, you’ll make a list of the six most important things you have to do the next day and number them in their order of importance.”

The executives were shocked that that was all they were asked to do.

“That’s it,” Lee said. “Scratch off each item after you finish it. Then go on to the next item on your list. If something doesn’t get done, put it on the following day’s list.”

Each Bethlehem executive agreed to follow Lee’s instructions. Three months later, Schwab studied the results. He was so pleased, he sent Lee a check for $35,000! (That may or may not seem like a lot of money to you, but this was one hundred years ago. At the time, the average United States worker made $2.00 a day or $4,000 a year. Thirty-five thousand dollars was a LOT of money! Even today, imagine if you spent a few minutes with a group of executives and gave each one the same, simple tip and got $35,000 for it. You’d be thrilled!)

Many people follow Lee’s advice today. The founder of the $2.2 billion direct sales cosmetics company Mary Kay praised Lee’s idea when she wrote the book You Can Have It All: Lifetime Wisdom from America’s Foremost Woman Entrepreneur. Mary Kay Ash boasted that she herself followed Lee’s advice. After all, she reasoned, Schwab was one of the smartest business professionals of his day. If he felt that bit of advice was worth paying $35,000, she ought to try it, too. So, each night she made a list of things to do the following day. But, she added a twist to it. She didn’t just number the tasks in order of importance. She always put the hardest or most unappealing task at the top. “This way,” she wrote, “I tackle the most difficult item first, and once it’s out of the way, I feel my day is off to a good start.”

Follow Lee’s advice! Before you go to sleep tonight, figure out what you need to do tomorrow. Write down the six most important things you need to accomplish. Not only will you start tomorrow ready to go, but subconsciously, you’ll also be working on those six projects while you sleep. Then, follow Mary Kay’s advice and knock those tasks out from hardest to easiest.

Don’t let your time get snuffed out by what appears to be an innocent killer! Stand guard. When you guard your time, you guard your life. For time is the stuff that life is made of.

Om Namah Shivay

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