Net Pickings

Updated: Sep 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
Tomorrow is the finale of the golden jubilee birthday celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi, practitioner of the heal-by-hug art. But I profess, till a week ago, I hadnt a clue about Ammachis holy existence.

To make up for such a ghastly miss, I headed out into the virtual world with the express intent to get dope on Ammachis humble origins, her international fan club, her touring schedule, her pearls of wisdom, the works. And twas while reading a first-person account of an American who had met the spiritual guru in NYC, posted on, that I came across this gem of a site.

For starters, even though its devoted to matters spiritual and religious, the tone is anything but boring or moralistic.

Its funny, thought-provoking, soothing, controversial and informative, by turn. You can do trivia (I suggest the how spiritual are you quiz), get advice on how to deal with egoistical colleagues at work, discover who exactly a gay witch is, and get a dose of Eckart Tolles spiritual advice (hes the author of the New York Times No 1 bestseller The Art of Now).

For the serious-minded, how about The Dalai Lamas thoughts on coping with old age, or a Vaishnavite priests case for the Iraq war based on teachings of the Gita Not to miss the very interesting article which equates pleasures of pornography with sins of adultery because, if you please, they both shift erotic attention away from ones spouse!

Best of all, perhaps, is the fact the site is not affiliated with any particular religion or spiritual movement so one can get gyaan on religions, philosophies, and movements including Falun Gong, Pagan philosophies, Taoism, Quakers, Scientology, and yes, even atheicism and agnosticism.

Guaranteed to appeal equally to sceptics, dabblers, and believers.
Of course, to drive away the blues generated during the course of the week, recourse can be had in more than spiritual advice and religious discourse. You could well head out to a local bar, resto-bar, lounge-bar...or any other bar, for that matter... for that well-deserved drink or three, couldnt you And some of us may toodle off to a pub to attain a booze-induced high with the sole intent to zip into slumberland. Some others may consider chilling out as a function of good music and great grub, and not merely the feel-good feeling generated by a drink.

And then, there are those who regard the comfortably numb feeling as a perfect antidote to the hectic week gone by!

Now, if youre one of the latter, ie, majorly into drinking, drinking every week-end, do take in the valuable advice available at
For then, courtesy the top 10 hangover cures, you are all set to beat the worlds worst possible hangover Sunday morning. But do keep print-outs handy because youd want to avoid this site once already drunk or in the throes of a hang-over. Its garish design and loud colours will only make the eyes squint and the head reel some more! While sober, you could consider doing other tipplers a favour by submitting your personal cures.