You are on page 1of 18

AshaKiran is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 to fill a community need, for the purpose of providing assistance and counseling

to people of South Asian origin (for now) in our community that are
experiencing crisis situations due to language barriers and cultural
stigmas, South Asians when faced with problems such as abuse,
domestic violence, depression, or lack of a friendly ear.
Dec 2011-Jan 2012

Message of Hope

Your Immediate Attention Needed!!

Dear AshaKiran supportersAnnouncements:
Introduction to Meditation
The Legislative Process
How a bill becomes a
Free Health Screenig...13
Health Screening pics..14
AshaKiran FAQ.16

On February 2, 2012, our community will come together for

Alabama Gives Day, and we need YOU to join us. Its 24 hours
of unprecedented nonprofit giving - and its your chance to
make a real difference, right here in our community.
Please save the date and help sustain AshaKirans efforts at
building a healthy and harmonious community. You can donate
online at
The minimum donation asked is $10.
Your contributions will help cover costs for a safe/
transitional house for survivors of domestic violence and abuse and for free health screenings
for the needy.
Please support us on Alabama Gives Day.
Thanking you,

Committed to Educate, Empathize, and Empower people of South Asian origin


For Event
sponsorship and
advertisements in
AshaVani, call 256698-4446 or email

- Mahatma Gandhi

Endorsed by: Alabama Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (aAPi), Huntsvlle India
Association (HIA), Gujarati Samaj of TN Valley, Bengali Association of Huntsville, Huntsville Islamic Center, HCCNA, Orissa Association of Southern Chapter


S. R. Murty and B. C. Sahu
Mantra in Sanskrit means man mind or to think, and tra to liberate, thus meaning to liberate from thought. Every classical mantra has been experienced, accepted and passed down
to the next generation by our Rishis or sages. Mantra meditation or mantra japa is usually
practiced to obtain one or more of the following benefits.
1. Physical alleviation of bodily ailments, issues related to health
2. Mental -- help with control of psychological problems like depression, removal of obstacles in education, interpersonal relationships, business and professional matters
3. Spiritual developing spiritual power called mantra siddhi, overcoming negative traits,
relief from karmic influences
In earlier times and even during these times, a Guru initiates and gives instruction how to
perform mantra japa. In addition, there are usually some rules and rituals. The alternative
to a Guru initiation is to give a prayer to your favorite deity to help you with the japa, and
make a resolution mentally that you will perform the japa so many times a day for this
many days, and then proceed to do what you resolved to do. It is also recommended to
make a donation to a temple or to your favorite charity when you complete what you resolved to do. For example, the time-tested recommendation is to perform recitation of a
mantra 3, 11, 21, 27, 54, or 108 or more times a day for 40 days at the same time every
day. It is up to your convenience. A mala usually has 108 beads. Doing one mala is counted
as 100 repetitions. Doing one mala every day for 40 days is counted as 4000 repetitions.
The recommendation to do japa of one mala of a mantra for 40 days seems to be the minimum effort to achieve noticeable results for the first 2 objectives mentioned above. In case
the karmic burden is heavy, more than one 40-day practice may be required to experience
the benefits of mantra meditation. The third objective of obtaining mantra siddhi requires at
least 125,000 repetitions and some additional rituals.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is based on mental repetition of a sound or
"mantra." The TM movement claims that only specific "sounds" can be used, and that the
selection of sounds is based upon a trade secret. The mantra is given in a private "initiation"
ceremony, or "puja," in which the initiate brings fresh fruit, flowers and a new handkerchief,
to be offered to a picture of Maharishi's deceased "Master" in an incense-filled, candlelit
We will now give a few classical mantras for mantra japa, and indicate how people have
used them to obtain specific results. There are no special requirements for doing japa of
these mantras. Most mantras refer to a particular deity.
OM Gum Ganapathayei Namah
This is an invocation to Ganapati, remover of obstacles; good for removing obstacles in careers, health, relationships and in any endeavor. If there is something holding you back, do
this mantra daily for 40 days visualizing Lord Ganesha.
OM Shrim Mahalakshmyei Namah

This is an invocation to Lakshmi, the Goddess of bounty; this is a good mantra for prosperity of family and financial needs; do this mantra daily for 40 days visualizing Goddess Lakshmi.
OM Dum Durgayei Namah
This is an invocation to Durga, a warrior Goddess; this is a good mantra for protection from
enemies and harassments in personal and professional life; do this mantra daily for 40 days
visualizing Goddess Durga.
OM Saraswatyei Namah
This is an invocation to Saraswati, Goddess of artistic and scholastic endeavors; this is a
good mantra for students and creative activities of all kinds; do this mantra daily for 40
days visualizing Goddess Saraswati.
OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
This is a mantra of Vishnu, sustainer of life in the world. This is a good mantra for removal
of many chronic health or relationship troubles while bestowing peace and prosperity; do
this mantra daily for 40 days visualizing Lord Vishnu.
OM Namah Sivaaya
This is a mantra of Siva, destroyer of sins and evil; this is good mantra for overcoming the
negative effects of karma and leads to spiritual enfoldment; do this mantra daily for 40 days
visualizing Lord Siva in his aspect of Maha Yogi as an ascetic in deep meditation..
Mahamrutyunjaya Mantra
Trayambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva bandhanam Mrityor Mukshiya Maamrutat
This is also a mantra of Siva. This is usually recited to ease the pain of karma and help with
problems related to health and accidents. Do this mantra daily for 40 days visualizing Lord
The following is a small sample of mantras used for overall spiritual progress. The japa of
these mantras may be done as much as one wishes or as guided by their Gurus.
om bhur bhuva swaaha
thath savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dheemahi
dhiyo yonaha prachodayaat
OM Namo Narayanaya

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, HareHare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
RAM mantra
Detailed instructions on doing can be found at the site: RAM mantra, its meaning, method
of chanting, and benefits,
We will now discuss mantras known as planetary mantras.
This is a small sample of mantras. In addition to the mantras devoted to a particular deity,
mantras for planets are used extensively in japa to ease the ailments attributed to specific
planetary positions and transits in a persons horoscope. We will give a brief description of
the type of ailments attributed to each planet and the prescribed mantra japa.
1. When Sun is weak, he tends to gives weak eyesight and right eye problems, headaches,
heart trouble, dental problems, overheating, fevers, blood pressure, baldness, neurological
problems etc. Some symptoms of malefic sun are relations with father are not good, not
getting favors or recognition from superiors, and problems related to bones.
Mula mantra of Sun (Surya) for japa is:
Om Hraam Hreem Hroum Sah Suryaya Namah
Recite this mantra 6000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing the heart, blood and
2. When Moon is weak, besides psychic problems he causes sleep disorders, lethargy,
drowsiness, lung problems like T.B., digestive complains, enlargement of spleen, frequent
coughs and colds etc. Some symptoms of malefic Moon are inability to concentrate on any
subject, difficulty in making decisions, asthmatic problems, afraid of even small issues making one very timid etc.
Mula mantra of Moon (chandra) for japa is:
OM Shraam Shreem Shraum Sah Chandraya Namah
Recite this mantra for 11000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing the digestive system, lymph system, and menstruation problems.
3. When Mars is weak, it makes a person lacking in courage and not getting any help from
the younger brothers. It causes inflammations, inability to tolerate hunger, wounds, accidents, piles, liver complaints, skin rashes, tumors, cancer in muscular parts of body when
closely conjunct with Rahu. Some symptoms of malefic mars are overall weakness, having
lots of fights, frequent misunderstandings, and no favors from superiors.
Mula mantra of Mars (Mangala) for japa is:
OM Kraam Kreem Kroum Sah Bhaumyaya Namah
Recite this mantra 7000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing blood cells issues, adrenal glands, and male sexual problems.

4. When Mercury is weak, it causes psychic diseases, insomnia, nervous breakdown, skin
diseases, impotence, loss of memory or speech, deafness, asthma, disorders of intestines,
and it creates tensions in life, lack of confidence, and indecisiveness. Some symptoms of
malefic Mercury are dental problems, failure in business and profession, and problems of
nervous system.
Mula mantra of Mercury (Buddha) for japa is:
OM Braam Breem Braum Sah Buddhaaya Namah
Recite this mantra 17000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing problems of hands,
lungs and sensory organs.
5. When Jupiter is weak, it causes lymphatic and circulatory congestion, thrombosis, anemia, tumors, jaundice and other liver complaints, ear problems, and asthma. Some symptoms of malefic Jupiter are loss of hair, get influenced with rumors, leaving studies without
any pressing reasons, and problems related to spinal chord.
Mula mantra of Jupiter (Guru) is:
OM Graam Greem Graum Sah Brihaspathaye Namah
Recite this mantra 16000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing the liver, gall bladder
and thighs.
6. When Venus is weak, it causes venereal diseases, urinary diseases, diabetes, anemia,
stones in bladder or kidney, weakness of sexual organs, paralysis, asthma, and impotence.
Some symptoms of malefic Venus are skin diseases, and getting no favors from females and
anything feminine.
Mula mantra of Venus (Shukra) is:
OM Draam Dreem Draum Sah Shukraya Namah
Recite this mantra 20000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing the neck, throat, kidneys, and feminine problems.
7. When Saturn is weak, it causes constant and painful diseases, leg fracture, cancer, skin
diseases, paralysis, arthritis, gout, rickets, insanity, numbness, windy diseases, impotence
in men, asthma, intestinal obstruction etc. Some symptoms of malefic Saturn are danger
from fires, loss in construction work, and accidents from articles made of iron.
Mula mantra of Saturn (Shani) is:
OM Praam Preem Praum Sah Shanaischaaya Namah
Recite this mantra 19000 times in 40 days. This is useful in healing problems of skeleton,
cartilage, white blood cells and the spleen.
8. When Rahu is weak, it causes diseases of phlegm, intestines, skin, nervous system, ulcers, blood pressure, heart trouble, psychic disturbances, insanity, insect bite, and cancer.
Some symptoms of malefic Rahu are no support from family and too many enemies in life.

Mula mantra of Rahu for japa is:

OM Bhraam Bhreem Bhraum Sah Rahave Namah
Recite this mantra 18000 times in 40 days.
9. When Ketu is weak, it causes wounds, injuries, diseases in spine and nervous system,
surgery, ulcers, inflammations, intestinal diseases, mental aberration, low blood pressure,
bad habits, and skin diseases. Some symptoms of malefic Ketu are urinary problems and illhealth of children.
Mula mantra of Ketu for japa is:
OM Shraam Shreem Shraum Sah Ketuve Namah
Recite this mantra 7000 times in 40 days.
These planetary mantras can be used individually to raise the energies of a particular planet
or they can be used as a set for general well-being and enlightenment. Frequently the question arises as to doing the japa personally or have a priest or astrologer do the japa for you.
Both are possible. In the author opinion, if you can do the japa yourself, it is best to do
yourself. The reason is in addition to receiving the desired benefits of japa, the discipline of
doing japa quiets the mind and elevates the person spiritually.
We will now discuss the technique known as chakra meditation.
Another technique is meditation on each chakra. Charkas can be thought of as multidimensional energy vortexes that reign over various regions of the body and brain. Each
chakra is thought of being responsible for the health of the organs, glands and systems of
the particular region where it is located, and is also responsible for certain emotional states
and mental characteristics. The way of healing and rejuvenation the body and also, of optimizing oneself psychologically and mentally, is by opening, healing and balancing the chakras.
The opening, healing and balancing of chakras is called chakra meditation. There are many
different techniques with which to perform chakra meditation. One example is chakra meditation using Seed Sounds. More specifically, this chakra meditation is done by chanting the
sound of the particular chakra. The seed sounds for each chakra are as follows.
Mooladhara: Root chakra meditation sound: LUM
Swadhistana: Sex chakra meditation sound: VUM
Manipura: Navel chakra meditation sound: RUM
Anahata: Heart chakra meditation sound: YUM
Vishuddhi: Throat chakra meditation sound: HUM
Ajna: Third Eye chakra meditation sound: OM

Sahasrara: Crown chakra meditation sound: Silence

In this chakra meditation technique the seed sound is chanted either out loud or mentally,
while awareness is brought to the region of the chakra. This technique should be used with
caution as it is a very direct approach.
Another method to do chakra practice is described in the book Guaranteed Solutions by
Swami Nityananda.
The intent of this article is to give a general introduction to meditation and mantra meditation. There are details that have not been discussed here. We advise that meditation should
be learnt from your Guru or a learned person. It is also true that an ounce of practice is better than a ton of theory. We should mention that results vary from person to person for a
number of reasons.
Of all the various meditation techniques that exist, some people think that the top 3 techniques are zen meditation, mantra meditation and chakra meditation.
To learn more about mantra meditation, the books, Mantra Meditation, and Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, are good books to start with. Also refer to Fundamentals
of Mantra Sadhana or Practice,
We will now present the theory of meditation in yoga sutras expounded by the brilliant philosopher, Patanjali.
Om Namo Narayanah
Yogena chittasya padena vaacaam
Malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena
Yopaakarottam pravaram muninam
Patanjalim praanjaliraanatosmi
Om, I salute Lord Narayana
I bow before the wisest Patanjali, the most efficient of all sages, who gave yoga for the serenity of mind, grammer for speech and medicine for the ailing body.
According to verse iv, Narayana Sutra of Yajurveda, Lord Narayana is the absolute and efficient meditator. It says Narayana is the Supreme Reality designated as Brahman. Narayana is the highest Self. Narayana is the Supreme Light. Narayana is the infinite Self. Narayana is the most excellent meditator, and meditation is absolute Narayana, meaning ultimate bliss or sat chit ananda .

Meditation or Dhyanam is a form of yoga. As a matter of fact, meditation is the most important part of yoga. Yoga is the communion between the meditator (jivatma) and the Infinite
Self (Paramatma). To have the communion with Paramatma, supreme consciousness, focused thinking with introspection and serenity is needed. Mind is the most powerful thing in
the world, but at the same time it could be the most unstable and most mobile object. It is
said that the mind moves every tenth of a second or faster. Focused thinking works like a
laser where amplified light focused on an object can burn or destroy the object. Another
simile is the focusing suns rays by a convex lens which can burn a piece of paper.
Mananam, chintanam and antarjnanam, which mean keeping the mind still, thinking and introspection are needed to have a successful meditation. Samadhi will be hard to obtain by
meditation without realization of supreme consciousness.
Meditation in western thinking, by and large, is considered keeping the body and mind still,
but in reality it entails much more than that. Let us go back to Patanjali and see what he
says about meditation.
In verse 1.2 of Samadhi Pada of Yoga Sutras Patanjali says, yogah cittavritti nirodhah;
yogah=communion, union or integration; citta=consciousness which has three components,
manas(mind), buddhi (intellect), and ahamkara (ego), vrtti=state of mind, course of conduct, behavior; nirodhah=stoppage, restraint; yoga is the union of self (atma) with supreme
consciousness (paramatma) by controlling the affairs of the mind. Citta has the three components mentioned earlier and it has the three functions, cognition, volition and motion respectively. Citta, according to vedic interpretation, is the subtlest form of cosmic intelligence
Humans are composed of five sheaths or koshas, namely, annamaya (anatomical), pranamaya (physiological), manomaya (mental), vignamaya (intellectual), and anandamaya
(blissful). All the first four sheaths, when controlled properly, lead to the last sheath,
namely, anandamaya kosha. Ahamkara or ego plays the most pivotal role in controlling the
body, mind and sense complexes. Through yoga, the practitioner (sadhaka) restraining his
body, mind and senses by thinking and contemplation, and by focusing on the ultimate consciousness attains joy (ananda). Hence to attain this dharana (stillness, concentration),
dhyanam (meditation) and guidance of ahamkara (ego) is needed. Samadhi is the grand finale of yoga (meditation).
Kathopanishad, in 2nd chapter verse ii and iii, gives a good analogy of body, mind and sense
complex. The human body is considered as the chariot, passenger in the chariot as the atman, intellect (buddhi) as charioteer, mind as the reins, senses as the horses and sense objects as the wheels. So the human being has to control all the external forces such as above
and further guided by buddhi can attain the goal in life.
Patanjali describes about different types of samadhi (profound meditation or absorption),
mainly sabija and nirbija. Sabija samadhi is dependent on support or seed. This Samadhi
comes from understanding or intelligence (buddhi) and the I principle (asmita). Nirbija
Samadhi comes from prajna (faculty of insight and wisdom).

When consciousness dwells in wisdom, a truth bearing state of direct spiritual perception
dawns. When that new light of wisdom is also relinquished, seedless (nirbija) samadhi
dawns. This is all in Samadhi Pada of Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
Samadhi Pada is followed by Sadhana Pada, wherein Patanjali describes the means of practice (abhyasa). In Chapter iii of Vibhuti Pada, (vibhuti means accomplishments or gaining
supernatural powers), he describes integration (samyama) through concentration, meditation or profound absorption. In the final chapter, Kaivalya Pada( kaivalya means emancipation), Patanjali takes the sadhaka to the quest of soul (atman). Hence Kaivalya Pada is
called also antaratma sadhana. The sadhaka gets liberated from dhrama, artha, kama, and
moksha. He is free from sattva, rajas and tamas and becomes gunatitan, which is the apex
of yoga.
Due to the limitation of space, we will describe the mode of meditation as prescribed by
Patanjali in yoga sutras and by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita. In chapter 6, verse 10-15,
Lord Krishna tells Arjuna what the yogi should do about meditation. Basically the yogi
should retire to a lonely and clean place, not too high and not too low, and be seated on a
mat or skin (deer or tigers) with the body, sense and mind subdued and free from passions; concentrate on citta. He should keep the mind focused on atman. He should keep his
body, head and neck erect and still, with eyes half-closed and eyeballs fixed, having a fearless and serene mind, and contemplate on Krishna (paramatma) as the supreme goal. By
keeping the mind subdued and steadfast, he attains peace and nirvana (moksha).
Patanjali says stiram sukham asanam. The sadhaka should sit on a fixed and steady seat
which is comfortable. He should practice the eight constituents of yoga, namely, yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana, and samadhi, which mean moral
judgement,fixed observances, posture, regulation of breath, concentration, meditation, and
absorption in the supreme consciousness respectively. The observance of yama creates purity of mind, and removes klesha (afflictions). Yama entails ahimsa, satya, asteya,
brhmacharya, and aparigraha which mean nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, chastity, and
non-possession (non-hoarding) respectively. The yogi should do niyama, namely, sauca,
santosha, tapah, svadyaya and Ishvara pranidhana which mean cleanliness, contentment,
religious zeal, self-study which lead to knowledge of Self and surrender to God respectively.
By controlling body, mind and senses, withdrawing like a tortoise from all worldly objects,
the yogi creates a field for dharana (concentration) and meditation (dhyanam). By perfecting dharana and dhyanam, one obtains vibhuti (accomplishments or divine powers), and ultimately kaivalya where consciousness becomes pure and the yogi obtains absolute freedom, bliss, and beatitude.
Om tat sat
We have attempted to give the theory and practice of meditation applicable to modern living
conditions. This is a deep subject and our hope is that this effort will be useful to the readers. If you have comments, questions or just to discuss any aspect, send an email to the
authors,, and we will be happy to talk to you. If
you need assistance with the mantras, the priests at Sarva Jana Mandir or the authors will
be happy to assist you.

The Legislative Process How a Bill Becomes a Law

A piece of proposed legislation, known as a bill, is required. Any person can draft a bill, as it
is simply a proposal. Frequently bills are drafted, at least in part, by various interest groups.
However, only a member of Congress may formally introduce a proposal as a bill. Congress
consists of two legislative bodies, the U.S. House of Representatives (House) and the U.S.
Senate (Senate). A bill can originate in either the House (designated as H.R. with a number)
or the Senate (designated as S. followed by a number). Bills are of two primary types
public and private. A bill that affects the public generally is known as a public bill. A bill that
affects a specified individual or private entity rather than the population at large is called a
private bill. In very rare situations, a bill concerning a single individual in need of extraordinary immigration relief is introduced under the "private bill" category. The basic, step-bystep procedure in the legislative process follows.
Step 1. Introduction of the Bill and Referral to Committee
A member of Congress in either the House or the Senate introduces the bill. The person introducing the bill is known as the sponsor. An unlimited number of members may cosponsor a bill. Once a bill has officially been introduced, it is referred to the appropriate
standing committee/s in the House or Senate, according to carefully delineated rules of procedure. The committees specialize in particular types of policy and legislative matters that
come before them. Within the committees, there are more specialized subcommittees. Immigration matters fall under the Judiciary committee in both the House and Senate.
Step 2. Action by Committee
The clerk of the committee to which the bill has been referred, enters it on the committee's
Legislative Calendar. The committee then decides either to refer the bill to a subcommittee
or let it be considered by the committee as a whole. At this point the bill is scrutinized and
examined most carefully. This is the first stage at which a bill could "die," should a committee choose not act on it at all.
Step 3. Review by Subcommittee
Once the bill is referred to a subcommittee, it undergoes extensive study and review. The
subcommittee often seeks the input of the relevant government departments and agencies.
The subcommittee may also conduct one or more hearings. These hearings provide an opportunity for various public officials, experts, and other supporters and opponents of the
legislation to express their views by giving testimony on the subject. Subcommittee members may question these expert witnesses on various aspects of the bill. It is required that
such hearings are public unless, in the interest of national security, otherwise determined by
a majority of the subcommittee.
Step 4. Mark-up
Once the hearings are completed, the subcommittee will usually consider the bill in a "markup" session. The bill is either (a) reported favorably to the full committee, with or without
amendment, (b) reported unfavorably, or (c) reported without recommendation. The subcommittee may also decide not to report legislation to the full committee, which would effectively "kill" the legislation, as it would not move forward.
Step 5. Final Committee Action
Once the committee receives the subcommittee's report on the bill, it may either conduct

further study and review or vote on the subcommittee's recommendations and proposed
amendments, if any. The full committee then votes to determine whether it will report the
bill favorably to the House or Senate, or "table" it (i.e. postpone action indefinitely).
Step 6. Reported Bills
If the committee votes to report the bill, the committee chairman instructs the committee
staff members to prepare a written report on the bill. The report describes the purpose and
scope of the piece of legislation - a detailed point-by-point analysis, the impact of the legislation on existing law and programs, and reasons for its recommended approval.
Step 7. Scheduling Floor Action
Once the bill has been reported to the chamber (i.e. House or Senate) where it originated, it
is placed chronologically on that chamber's calendar.
Step 8. Consideration and Debate
When the bill reaches the floor of the chamber it is opened to debate, pursuant to the rules
or procedures governing debate on legislation in that chamber. These procedures determine
the conditions and amount of time allocated for general debate.
Step 9. Voting
Once the debate has concluded, with possible approval of any proposed amendments, the
entire chamber votes on the bill. A simple majority is usually required to pass or defeat
most bills.
Step 10. Referral to Other Chamber
If the chamber that originated it passes the bill, it is then referred to the other chamber
where it usually follows the same route as described above. That is, if the bill was initially
submitted in the House and, thereafter, is approved by the House, it will be referred to the
Senate for an identical procedure. The second chamber then may approve the legislation as
received, reject it, ignore it, or approve amendments to the bill.
Step 11. Conference Committee Action
Legislation must pass both the House and the Senate in an identical form. If, after step 10,
the second chamber passes the legislation in an amended form, there are two possibilities.
If the amendments are minor in nature, the legislation is sent back to the first chamber for
concurrence. However, if the amendments are significant, a conference committee with
membership from both chambers is formed to reconcile the differences between the House
and Senate. If the members of the conference committee (known as conferees) are unable
to reach agreement on the proposed legislation, it dies at this point. If an agreement is
reached, a conference report is prepared describing the proposed recommendations by the
conference committee. Both chambers must approve this report.
Step 12. Final Action
Once both the House and the Senate have approved the bill in identical form, it is sent to
the President. The President can choose to take one of the following courses of action: (a)
approve the legislation and sign it, thus enacting it into law, (b) take no action for ten days
while Congress is in session, in which case it automatically becomes law, or (c) oppose the
legislation and veto it. If the President chooses to veto the bill, Congress may attempt to
"override the veto." Such action requires a two-thirds roll call vote of the members of both
chambers. The President may also choose to "pocket veto" the bill, i.e. take no action on
the bill after Congress has adjourned its second session. In case of a "pocket veto" the piece

of legislation dies. There are many other complex areas within the legislative process. Often, with "hot" areas of legislation, there are many different versions of the same bill proposed on both the House and Senate sides, simultaneously.
For more information on the legislative process and legislative activity, visit Thomas, Legislative Information on the Internet. This is an informational service of the Library of Congress. Information specific to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is
available on their respective websites.


All the ABCs of basic health and wellness from allergy and
anxiety to blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol to scoliosis
were offered in free health- screenings and education at Lowe
Mill on Seminole Drive in a collaborative effort spearheaded by
AshaKiran, the South Asian Empowerment non-profit organization in Huntsville on Saturday October15 from 10:30 am to
An impressive number of compassionate, communityminded, medical, mental health and social work professionals
worked non-stop alongside an enthusiastic volunteer crew to
screen, test and counsel over 250 people, some of whom had
lined up as early as 9:30 for the 10:30 opening and stayed well
beyond the scheduled closing. The dire need for adequate
healthcare in our society was highlighted by the numbers of
people seeking free help for the basic questions of health. Mr.
Burr Ingram of Huntsville Hospital, one of the organizations
which partnered in this event commented on this need. Free
sandwich lunches and gift bags with soap, shampoo, toothpaste and even socks were available to all who came. Spanish
interpreters were on hand for those who needed language assistance. The Lowe Mill provided a spacious and congenial environment for the health fair and there was plenty of parking.
The organizations which generously provided volunteers and
services for the event included Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville
Islamic Centre, Hindu Cultural Centre of North Alabama among
many others.



To walk with the client without passing judgment, letting them
know their options, lending support, and offering friendship while
maintaining confidentiality and be a ray of hope when they need it the
most to improve their physical, mental and spiritual health

Empathizing: 24/7 Ashaline is available

to walk with the client without passing judgment, offering friendship, giving a
hand, discussing available options, lending support, while maintaining
confidentiality and be a ray of hope when the client needs it the most to improve
their physical and mental health.

Empowering: Two Endowments were set up to assist in reestablishing lives:

such as reeducating, retraining people of South Asian Origin that have experienced crisis situations
1.Named Endowment
2.General Endowment

Frequently asked questions about AshaKiran

What is AshaKiran?
AshaKiran was formed (Jan 2006) by volunteers in the Huntsville community as a non profit organization to fill a
community need, for the purpose of providing assistance and counseling to South Asian origin people (for now) in our
community that are experiencing crisis situations. Due to language barriers and cultural stigmas, South Asians when
faced with problems such as abuse, financial troubles or just need a friendly ear, did not have anywhere to turn. Now
volunteers who share similar cultures and language are available through a 24 hour telephone line called Ashaline which
started in May 2006 to provide support.
What happens when I call Ashaline?
When you call, a trained volunteer will give you information about services in the community, to resolve the crisis. If you
are new to the community and want to connect with people from your country or state of origin, if you have health issues
that are critical, and need information on clinics and physicians that might suit your needs because of financial and cultural
concerns, if you have a disabled child and are unsure about what services are available, if you have domestic violence
issues and need to know what your options are, if you cannot speak fluent English and need translators for specific
reasons, if you need transportation in crisis situations, and in legal and immigrant crisis, these are some of the things that
you will want to call Ashaline for.
When someone calls Ashaline, how is the call information kept
Apart from the volunteer that answers your call, your name and specific
personal information will not be discussed even among the AshaKiran
volunteers. The Ashaline volunteers go through extensive training at
CSNA apart from orientation at AshaKiran to handle the crisis calls in a
caring and confidential manner. They sign a special
confidentiality agreement.
What communities are served by AshaKiran?
For now, AshaKiran is serving people in North Alabama who have their
origins in India as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan,
and Srilanka, people of South Asian origin.
Where does the money donated to AshaKiran go?
Money from donations is mainly put into endowment funds, Ashaline and
operations. AshaKiran is run by all volunteers, no salaries are paid.
Operating expenses in 2009 were minimal
Who can volunteer at AshaKiran?
Anyone of South Asian origin can. You can volunteer your time for
translations, transportation, events, education, take the training at CSNA
to be an Ashaline volunteer and answer calls. You have a lot of choices on
how you can volunteer. If you choose to donate money without
volunteering your time, thats fine too. At AshaKiran, we try to keep the
names of volunteers confidential unless they themselves choose to tell
about their involvement with AshaKiran.
If someone you know is suffering in silence and needs help, please call

How can you help?

Interested in volunteering, please check the
appropriate boxes:
Direct Services: help clients on

Ashaline (after completing CSNA training)

Community Education




Grant writing


Tax Deductible Donations are welcome

(Checks payable to AshaKiran and mail to:
P. O. Box 12311, Huntsville, AL 35815)
Amount: $__________________________
Phone: ______________________
Email: ______________________
Please cut out this portion and mail

(Hopeline) 256-509-1882

We make a living by what we get, but we

make a life by what we give
Winston Churchill

It takes courage to make a change

Page 16