Buddha's Paradise, Spiritualism

Buddha: Mindfulness Meditation…Guru S N Goenkaji

downloadThis article is dedicated to Guru S N Goenkaji, (in tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin) who spread Buddha’s mindfulness meditation to India and the whole world. Vipassana or to look at yourself in a special way is an insightful meditation based on awareness of your feelings. Also known as Burmese movement, Vipassana meditation is one of the mindfulness technique rediscovered by Buddha to come out of misery to liberate ONESELF. Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation and focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined insightful meditation. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. Vipassana meditation is taught as a residential course across the world and more information can be accessed at http://www.dhamma.org.

Continue reading “Buddha: Mindfulness Meditation…Guru S N Goenkaji”

Finance & Economics

Rise of Structured Products in Wealth Management

download (1)Credit crises in 2008 highlighted the risks associated with complex derivatives and securitization. However complex and exotic derivatives have also helped to diversify risks in the form of structured products which form part of alternative investments in wealth management.

Structured products, as described by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), are securities derived from or based on a single security, a basket of securities, an index, a commodity, a debt issuance and/or a foreign currency and swaps. Structured products can be plain vanilla product (composed of zero coupon bond and put/call options) or can have exotic options (digital options, look back or knock out structures) and can be principal and non principal protected. Structured products could range from simple index linked structures which are principal protected to non principal protected structures having credit default swaps as an underlying asset class. Globally, low interest rates have driven investors in search of high yield products apart from traditional asset classes like equities, fixed income and real estate.

Structured products are one of the fastest growing products in alternative investments especially in Asia in private banking and wealth management for high net worth investors (HNI investors with investable surplus of USD 1 million). Structured products help investors to diversify their risk and form an important asset class in Markowitz portfolio theory of efficient frontier.  Structured products can also be tailor made by asset managers for investors (HNI/UHNI) depending on their risk profile, investment horizon and view of the underlying index. Moreover structured products appeal to the growing investment savvy investors who are themselves sophisticated enough to understand complex derivative structures and investment strategies.

images According to Credit Suisse, global wealth is USD 253 trillion with Asia especially China as the biggest growth market and not surprisingly has the second highest number of millionaires next to United States. After credit crises, appeal of complex structured products which are more common in United States and Europe is on a decline with simpler vanilla structure products being favoured especially in Asia. Strict rules and regulations against complex derivatives, CDS market nonexistent except for a few blue chip companies and non convertibility of currency esp. in India limits the scope of complex structured products in emerging markets. In India about 90% of the structure products are equity linked products to Nifty while in China trusts and vanilla structures are sold routinely in unregulated shadow banking.

1-Cash-Prevails-Over-Equities-2015Going forward as capital markets especially the derivative markets develop and become more complex in emerging markets like China and India and as investors become more investment savvy,  structured products will play a pivotal role as a diversification option compared to traditional asset classes like equities and fixed income. According to Warren Buffett derivatives might be financial weapons of mass destruction but when used judiciously it helps to diversify risk and add liquidity to the system.

The richest 1% of the world’s population now owns 50% of its total wealth, according to Credit Suisse. Why?? Is this information not disturbing.. 

Detailed report on wealth management coming soon..Stay tuned


Wellbeing & Fitness

Bikram Yoga..Hot Hot Hot Yoga

P1In this article we will be discussing my experience in Bikram yoga. This and coming month we shall be discussing about fitness, well being including yoga and meditation. To begin with Bikram yoga is performed in a hot room and is of 1.5 hrs which includes twenty-six patented yoga asanas. Bikram Yoga is very popular abroad especially in North America and Europe.

Bikram Yoga was founded by Bikram Choudhury when he visited United States during the 1970’s. The postures are based on the hatha yoga technique while  I remember watching a video of Bikram Choudhury where he discussed how it is easy to mold metal using heat. This analogy applies to your body and mind to make it more supple and flexible when you practice yoga asanas in a yoga studio which is heated to nearly 40-42 degrees with special heaters and humidifiers. The difference between Bikram Yoga and other yoga techniques is that due to the temperature it maybe helps to accelerate weight loss and flexibility. Continue reading “Bikram Yoga..Hot Hot Hot Yoga”

Spiritualism, Travel & Adventure, Wellbeing & Fitness

Yoga at its Best:Sivananda Ashram

Continuing my series on Fitness & Wellbeing, Travel & Adventure and Spirituality, we take a look at Yoga as a means of Fitness, Wellbeing & Spirituality in this article. Yoga sutras a compilation of asanas with mindfulness  is credit to Yogi Patanjali. they are a set of physical asanas along with meditation which help in the union of  body with consciousness resulting in both physical and spiritual well-being.  We will not dwell deep into the origins of Yoga since Swamiji_Classic_1many books and literature is available on internet.

In this article and series of articles i will discuss my experience at various Yoga centres across India during my spiritual sabbatical apart from my experience in Vipassana meditation.
We begin our journey by discussing the very famous Sivananda Ashram  which is spread across the world with headquarters in Canada (not surprised since Canada is emerging as a spiritual hub in the world).  Founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedantamaster Centres, Swami Vishnudevananda, was a world authority on Hatha (yoga symbolising physical postures)  and Raja Yoga. Swamiji was also known as the “Flying Swami” for the different peace missions he accomplished around the world.Swami Vishnudevananda was a disciple of Swami Sivananda, who was one of the greatest Yoga masters of the 20th century, Swami Sivananda, is the inspiration behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. The teachings of Master Sivananda ( photo on right) are summarized in these six words: Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize. ( Source: Sivavanada.org) Continue reading “Yoga at its Best:Sivananda Ashram”

Science & Technology

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 jointly shared by Chinese, American and Japanese

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

with one half jointly to

William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura
for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites

and the other half to

Youyou Tu
for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria

Diseases caused by parasites have plagued humankind for millennia and constitute a major global health problem. In particular, parasitic diseases affect the world’s poorest populations and represent a huge barrier to improving human health and wellbeing. This year’s Nobel Laureates have developed therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases.

William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, as well as showing efficacy against an expanding number of other parasitic diseases. Youyou Tu discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria.

These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually. The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable.

Read the full article here.


Science & Technology

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015

12047030_10206096388226073_8678560525103461817_nMetamorphosis in the particle world

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognises Takaaki Kajita in Japan and Arthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe.

Around the turn of the millennium, Takaaki Kajita presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities on their way to the Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan.

Meanwhile, the research group in Canada led by
Arthur B. McDonald could demonstrate that the neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

A neutrino puzzle that physicists had wrestled with for decades had been resolved. Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, up to two thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements performed on Earth. Now, the two experiments discovered that the neutrinos had changed identities.

Click on the artcile below