Though I remained a woman with no further aspiration after my graduation, I’ve witnessed the zeal in my children to take their education levels higher in a foreign university. As a mother, I wished their paths went smooth during their preparatory phases. However, I’ve realized that it is inevitable to face some common hurdles when for the first time one has to move to another country for higher studies. To begin with, the doubts that put my daughters under constant pressure were,  ‘How expensive is the study going to be?’, ‘How would it be to adapt to a new place and culture all alone?’ and ‘How easy is it going to be to crack the competitive exams?’

While preparation for the subject tests took much of their time, the English Language Test could not be overlooked. Though they were quite proficient in English as a language, scoring well in a test did need some effort. Said that the English language tests are timed and that the test content are of higher standard than a common man’s language, the required preparation had to be given its due weightage.

Pearson offers PTE – Pearson’s Test of English – Academic, one of the world’s leading computer-based English tests.  One of the grand benefits of PTE Academic test is the fast delivery of test results, usually within five business days. The flexibility of test dates and centres availability is yet another additional, notable feature. Also, PTE is approved by New Zealand and Australian governments for visa applications and by thousands of universities in the UK, US and Canada.

Benefits of PTE scoring system

All sections of the PTE Academic are machine scored. The score report includes, in addition to the overall score, individual scores for each of the communicative skills and enabling skills. This may provide a helpful factor to universities in the admission decision making process.

The enabling skills score help the test taker to identify specific strengths and weaknesses in his/her spoken and written English. This can be helpful in deciding what further courses the test taker must pursue.

PTE Academic scores are aligned with CEF, a recognized English language evaluation standard in Europe and other countries. Due to the alignment, it is easier for universities which follow CEF to interpret PTE Academic scores to its equivalent CEF levels.

 PTE Academic Preparation Course

#DefinitelyPTE offers a comprehensive preparatory course to test takers. Free online sample questions area available in the PTE official website. On purchasing a PTE preparatory package, test takers get access to several benefits such as full tests, score reports that imitate real time reports, in addition to hints and tips for the test.

PTE Academic Test Centres

There are over 200 PTE Academic test centres across 50 countries with several centres within US, Canada, UK, India and Turkey each. New centres are added periodically and one may want to check the updated list of centres before deciding on the test centre.

#DefinitelyPTE is one of the wise options for a English language test for students aiming for a study abroad. It is especially helpful for students who want a faster test results for tighter deadlines.


The Interesting Tale of Selling My Nokia 1600 For $100

With new luxuries coming into our lives, what do we do with the old utilities? For some, selling off an old item may not be a necessity because the little money it can fetch may not be significant to them. And to some, old things may carry significant memories and irrespective of their working condition, they would prefer to preserve it with them. And I have enough of such preserved memories around the home!

One was my old Nokia 1600. Once upon a time, it was my prized possession. It was the time when mobile phones were just getting introduced in India and owning one gave such a prestigious status. Until how many ever years I had used it, I maintained it carefully.

Times change and somehow for some reason, new things come to you and thus came a new phone to me. Yet, I had kept my old phone safe. Sometimes, when someone in the house undergoes the frustrated period of getting their smart phones repaired, my Nokia 1600 would serve as their temporary back up.

After serving a while as back up and after lying inside my handbag for a few years, I finally decided to give it away. It was in perfect working condition; so I wasn’t willing to give it for free to anyone. I tried asking a few neighbours, relatives, known people; but I couldn’t make a fair deal. I had posted ads over selling websites. However, nothing turned out favourable.

But, you will be surprised to hear how I finally sold my Nokia 1600 – not for Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000, but for $100.

I had always kept my old phone within a zipper inside my hand bag and without my knowledge it continued it remain there during my trip to the US. I was at the Frankfurt International Airport, just in time for the security check for my connecting flight to Dallas. Security check always gets me nervous. I get tensed when it is my turn to leave the gadgets and liquid bottles in the checking tray. I hold my breathe until I see my things on the other side of the black box. With little time left, I quickly grabbed my things to rush to my gate.

And there we were flying – my Nokia 1600 and I, across the Atlantic Ocean. In sometime, an American co-passenger sitting next to me started a formal conversation with me. During the conversation, he specifically asked me if I was carrying an old-modeled mobile phone with me. It kind of shocked me at first. However, without letting me despair, he explained that he had noticed on old phone on my security check tray at the Frankfurt Airport.

Well, he seemed straight forward and put his request to me in no time. He wanted to buy my Nokia 1600! Period!

What? I was scared, scared to death! As an Indian woman, my gut wouldn’t trust strangers. Especially, making deals with strangers – no way! My old phone was already restored to factory settings; so there wasn’t anything in it that I should be afraid of revealing my personal information through my phone. Yet, I couldn’t accept an unexpected deal, several miles above the sea level 😆

But why would someone want to buy an old phone from India?

I was curious to know but I refrained my conversing any further to him lest I will again be put into the difficult situation of saying yes to the deal. However, as though a mind reader, he continued to explain politely that he owns an antique phone shop and in fact he is returning back from New Zealand after a visit to the antique telephone shops in there.

Hailing from a country which hardly values antiques and looks down upon anything that’s old, I was not convinced by his antique shop stories and continued to pose a rigid face. He pulled out his phone to show me the pictures of his shop in Dallas and his online buying site. However, all that went through my mind was that he must be a terrorist trying to collect old phones to use it for illegal purposes.

My fear heightened when he offered to pay me $100.

100 dollars? I quickly tried to convert to Indian Rupee in my mind. But in my confused state, my brain couldn’t work and it took more than three minutes to figure out the amount – Rs. 6700! Why would somebody pay me six times the amount of the original price for an used, old-modeled, outdated gadget?! Uff! I wanted the airplane to land immediately and save me from this tension.

Understanding my grim reaction, he said he would wait until I meet a family member of mine at the Dallas airport, so that I can have a discussion with them and come to a decision. For some reason, this particular point calmed my nerves because the responsibility seemed to shift to my daughter now.

In spite of the long queue at the immigration counter, he waited patiently after we reached the Dallas airport. Finally, I could breathe in peace after I spotted my daughter and family. The antique man got into a conversation with my son-in-law who was excited about the offer. To my surprise, I was congratulated to have successfully sold my old phone for $100. I was told that antique shopping is common in the US and it was indeed my lucky day.

Ha! When I look back, it seems an interesting incident; in fact an interesting coincidence that I had to carry my Nokia 1600 with no necessity to the US, the man whose seat number was next to mine was an antique collector and that by a strange chance, he had noticed my phone on the tray in those few minutes!

If you are looking to sell your old gadget, do check Cashify and use coupon code CLEANCASH to get an additional discount of Rs. 250.

My Journey towards the Spiritual Path

My today’s post is dedicated to my beloved parents for I am what I am today because of them!

As how it is difficult to distinguish spirituality from our daily routines, it is as well difficult to mark when exactly we begin our introspection on this subject. Theoretically, it dates back to the year 2002 when I joined as a member of Yogada satsanga Society of India. I felt Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda’s divine grace through his Autobiography of a Yogi. His teachings and writings conveyed that through Kriya yoga one is sure to be led towards the path of truth as it is scientifically proved as well. Though he is not in his physical form now, he has been my silent Guru from then.

In spite of carrying life’s burdens and difficulties, I developed a great discipline for regular and sincere spiritual practices then. So was the impression of his teachings and lessons. However, maya did not let me continue for long. I was once again blinded by the three-fold sufferings (Physical, mental and spiritual) and my practices withered away with the wind. My earthly duties kept me occupied day and night. Probably it was Guruji’s plan to make me understand the values of Karma yoga. Well, however I kept dwelling on God and did practices whenever possible.

Kriya Initiation

Now that I have fulfilled my most duties, I am here again to start my spiritual journey. In the last one and a half years, I prepared myself once again to walk through the divine path. And today, I feel honoured to have received my Kriya initiation (Kriya diksha). I bow down to God, my Guru, my Paramgurus and seek their blessings and guidance on this saintly day.

What joy and contentment in that once again my soul is marching towards the path of eternity!

A few quotes that I read today:

Compassion toward all beings (daya) is necessary for divine realization, for God Himself is overflowing with this quality. Those with a tender heart can put themselves in the place of others, feel their suffering, and try to allievate it.

– Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda from God talks with Arjuna – The Bhagavad Gita

Whether the highest Being is called Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma or Indra, Sun or Moon, Buddha or Mahavira, I always offer my salutations to Him alone who is free from attachment and hatred, worldliness and ignorance, who is endowed with compassion toward all creatures and is possessed of all noble attributes.

– Reprinted from Kalyanapurana

Photo Courtesy: http://a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/

How to Read Character

By studying the character of others, one can become alert to ways in which he can improve his own nature. To study character in a negative way, however, is not right, and has a devastating effect. Everyone shuns a “character detective,” who exposes others’ faults. Many people who enjoy criticizing cannot themselves stand criticism, and may even have  the same  flaws they so righteously deplore in another.

Character study is important primarily in this respect: one needs constantly to take note of virtues in others and to implant those good traits in himself.

Jesus said: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” He condemned  that criticism of others which is done solely out of desire to hurt. Such behavior is unkind and spoils friendship. Criticism has no use whatsoever unless it is given with sincere love, and only when wanted. It should be offered with a loving desire to help the other person.Those who have learned self control have the right to help others. From that point of view character study is worthwhile.

One type of character is based on physiognomy. It is said that the salient characteristics of man are revealed in his body—- a very sweeping statement. Not all one’s physiological characteristics do tell the real tale of the inner life.

Aristotle studied physiognomy as a guide to character. Hindu teachers go deeper. They say that the main thoughts of all one’s incarnations are reflected in the eyes. Though the eyes reveal the whole story of the  soul, not only of this life but of past lives, still it requires a master’s mind to analyze the revelation of your past lives reflected in this life.

Once in a while you are walking along and suddenly notice something in the eyes of a passer by, and you think, ” I don’t like him,” or as” I like him.”Eyes tell the whole story. Fear, anger, jealousy, greed, generosity, love, courage, spirituality—–all these qualities, good and bad, cause corresponding reflections in the eyes.

Facial and bodily features have been studied, even the bumps on the head have been analyzed, but physical appearance does not always tell the story.

No two faces are the same. Each is different because of characteristics that have manifested themselves in this life and in past lives. So it is not a matter of simply judging people as bad or good because their present looks are repellent or pleasing. St. Francis was not physically attractive, whereas his disciple Brother Masseus was a handsome man. But Masseus did not possess as great a spiritual beauty as St. Francis.

You can analyze people more surely according to their feeling than to their physical appearance.

Though an interesting study of character is possible through analysis of the eyes, the emotions, and the physical features, as has been pointed out, the greatest and highest way to learn about character is through soul intuition. If your mind and feeling remain perfectly calm, you will be able to feel intuitively and exactly the nature of each person you meet.

As a mirror reflects all things held before it, so when your mind- mirror is calm, you will be able to see reflected in it the true quality of others. If you are busy doing good to all, remaining calm and meditative, the true character of whoever comes to you will be revealed to you.

Self-Realization Fellowship international headquarters, Los Angeles, California, January 11, 1942

Kundalini: The Serpent Fire of Yoga

According to Sri Aurobindo, India is the Divine Mother incarnate among the nations world. India’s soul purpose as a nation is to serve as the spiritual guide and guru of nations to lead humanity forward in to a truly planetary age. If any nation can lead the world spiritually, it is probably India, which has never lost its ancient spiritual and yogic roots.

The fire of consciousness is best known in yogic thought as the Kundalini or the “Serpent fire,” said to be coiled like a serpent at  the base of the spine. Kundalini represents a very subtle yet extremely powerful bioelectrical force, with lightening- like action to unfold higher states of consciousness and perception. It is said to be composed of primal sound and mantra that constitute the energy of consciousness. It contains the secret evolutionary power of nature within us, motivating us towards a higher consciousness and Self-realization.

According to great yogis, the Kundalini is the root energy of the soul and carries its power. It is the ultimate transformative power of the soul’s fire.When the Kundalini awakens, it rises through the spine and opens the seven chakras that are the seats of higher consciousness placed along it. Once it reaches the head or crown chakra, our consciousness is liberated from time and space and we realize the universal self becoming one with the cosmic being  or or infinite light.

Kundalini is the fire of soul that is the basis of all evolutionary transformations. Its yogic awakening helps unfold our species’ potential to realize God.

Kundalini the Serpent Fire

Kundalini yoga is part of many Yoga paths, with various practices of asana, pranayama, mantra, visualization, and meditation. A form of yoga now common in the west that is connected to both the Vedic Rishi tradition and later Kundalini approaches is the Kriya Yoga tradition, which Paramahansa Yogananda first brought from India to the United States in the nineteen twenties. Yogananda, the author of the classic book Autobiography of a Yogi, has been perhaps the most significant figure in the Yoga tradition in America over the past century.Kriya Yoga emphasizes special pranayama techniques along with meditation and devotional practices, and is a comprehensive, yet practical integral Yoga for arousing the Kundalini and opening the chakras. It reflects the ancient Vedic fire Yoga, as Yogananda himself notes:

The real or inner fire ceremony is the uniting of life with the greater Life, by practice of pranayama or Kriya Yoga, the technique of life control.

When in the astral fire-rite the pranic current withdraws in to the subtle centres of the spine and brain, then instead of wasting its energies in reforming matter- bound cells, the freed reinforced prana awakens those cells with divine life by babtizing them with the light of spirit.

Yogananda himself mentioned the need for India and the Unites States to come together for the future evolution of humanity. He saw the combination of the yogic spirituality of India with the scientific humanism of America as the two complementary powers necessary to lead civilization forward to its higher purpose. Much of his work in America was aimed in that direction.

Babaji — the supreme guru behind Kriya Yoga tradition —- who was said to have achieved physical immortality through its practice, is perhaps the ultimate guide for this planetary transformation needed today. He may be one of the old Vedic Rishis who has remained with us through the centuries, as many Rishis, particularly Vasishta and Agastya, were not only great Yogis but the very founders of the Yoga tradition.

When individuals come together for inner practices whether physically or mentally— they can generate a power that grows geometrically according to the degree to which their are attuned and unified.They can create a powerful psychic energy in the collective mind that can neutralize even the darkest Karmas that haunt our species. This is the purpose of satsangas or gatherings of spiritualseekers in the name of or in the presence of the guru.

The call of the sacred fire takes us to spiritual practice, meditation, or Yoga in one form or another. We must strive to transform our planet in to a harmonious world that appears like a jewel of love in the greater universe of light. This higher spiritual evolution is our true future as a species.

By Dr. David Frawley   from a Magazine devoted to healing of body, mind, and soul

Photo Courtesy: http://www.indianetzone.com

Jesus Christ Resurrection

Dear blog viewers,

HAPPY EASTER!!!  . It was on this  auspicious day Jesus Christ resurrected to prove the whole world,

Soul is immortal,

Death is only a shedding of the body,

Not the cessation of the personal existence.

You may or may not believe in the law of reincarnation; but if this life is the beginning and the end of human existence, it is impossible to reconcile the inequalities of life with a divine justice. According to the law of cause and effect, every action creates a commensurate reaction. Therefore whatever  is happening to us now must be a result of something we have done previously.

We may understand , too, how the perfect life of Jesus on earth was the result of several previous incarnations in which he had developed self-mastery. His miraculous life as Christ was the result of many past lives of spiritual schooling. He became an Avatar, a divine incarnation, because in previous lives as an ordinary human being he fought the temptations of the flesh and conquered. His example gives the rest of the mankind definite hope.

Jesus had learned all of life’s lessons in this school of many incarnations,  and had demonstrated his complete victory over material consciousness. That is why the Heavenly Father said of him,”This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

One who is liberated as Jesus is, becomes one with Spirit. Yet he retains his individuality; for once God has created a human being, He keeps in His consciousness a permanent record of that creation.

Jesus as an individual personality can reincarnate in two ways: in vision and in the flesh. If you have great devotion you can see him inwardly exactly as he appeared  when he lived on earth. A number of saints have thus beheld him and have relived with him various events of his life.

Jesus can reincarnate again at any time, in the physical body or in the inner light, according to your devotion and power of concentration.

So let us all pray to Jesus on this auspicious day  and let us all get his blessings for our better life!!!

Let us chant cloud coloured Christ come!!!

Cloud coloured Christ come!!!

Oh my cloud coloured Christ come!!!

Oh my Christ, Oh my Christ, Oh my Christ, Oh my Christ!!!

Jesus Christ come!!!

By Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda from “Man’s Eternal Quest”

Paramahansa Yogananda: A Yogi in Life And Death

Dear blog viewers,

My today’s blog post is dedicated to my beloved guruji Sri Paramahansa Yogananda who attained mahasamadhi today!!!

Sri Sri ParamahansaYogananda entered mahasamadhi (  a yogi’s final conscious  exit from the body) in Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 1952, after concluding his speech at a banquet held in honour of H. E. Binay  R. Sen, Ambassador of India.

Paramahansa Yogananda was the first great master of India to live in the West for an extended period— thirty two years, until his mahasamadhi in 1952.

The great world teacher demonstrated the value of yoga (Scientific techniques for God-Realization) not only in life but in death.Weeks after his departure his unchanged face shone with the divine lustre of incorruptibility.

Last Smile

Mr. Harry T. Rowe, Los Angels Mortuary Director, Forest Lawn Memorial-Park ( in which the body of the great master is temporally placed), sent Self- Realization Fellowship a natarised letter from which the following extracts are taken:

The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramahansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience….. No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death…….. No indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible desiccation (drying up) took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparralleled one…. At the time of receiving Yogananda’s body , the mortuary personnel expected to observe, through the glass lid of the casket, the usual progressive signs of bodily decay. Our astonishment increased as day followed day without bringing any visible change in the body under observation.Yogananda’s body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability…..

“No odour of decay emanated from his body at any time….. The physical appearance of Yogananda on March 7th, He looked on March 27th, just before the bronze cover of the casket was put in to position, was the same as it had been on  March 7th. He looked on March 27 th  as fresh and as unravaged by decay as he had looked on the night of his death. On March 27 th there was no reason to say that his body had suffered any visible physical disintegration at all. For these reasons we state again that the case of Paramahansa Yogananda is unique in our experience.”

Dear devotees of YSS/ SRF,

Let us pay homage to our beloved Guruji Sri Paramahansa Yogananda on his mahasamadhi day and let us get his blessings which lead all of us to the path of truth!!! Jai Guru!!!