What is the True Cost of War?

There is something very odd happening in the world everyday. Instead of heading towards tolerance and peace, some prefer to use violence, crimes, and even start a war, to get what they want. Throughout history, we hear about wars that earned our independence as a nation, about wars that gave us freedom, and so on. Many stories raise a war and the sacrifice of people to the level of necessity, using words like bravery, self-sacrifice, and courage to mask the atrocities and sufferance that lies behind all wars. These stories also mention heroes, to take our attention on the things that really count when it comes to a war, and that is the real cost. Continue reading What is the True Cost of War?

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I have spent the last six months trying to fill myself up with so much enjoyment, so many experiences only to find myself back at home feeling completely unfulfilled. I guess in reality I have spent my whole 22 years of life doing that, but these last 6 months were the crux of it. I wanted. Wait. I needed something new, something to blow my mind so that I could feel that all my endeavors so far had not been in vain. You see I have had a good life so far according to the western definition of a good life. I have had the education, the nice family, the upper middle class upbringing. I have money and graduated with a pathway into a successful career as an accountant. Practical right. Yes. I was raised on practical with a mum as a bank manager and a dad as a solicitor. Practicality runs in our veins.

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So I had just graduated and was due to start my career a month later. I say career, but it is more than that isn’t it? I was due to start my steps down the path to adulthood with the intention of success. Yes, the path of wealth, family, white picket fence. Nice car, something a little sleek. I was due to start down that path and where I should have been feeling an excitement about starting the path to achieve and peace & satisfaction that my life was working out (unlike so many other people I knew) instead I was instead feeling…..empty. This emptiness had been growing. As my graduation became closer, the emptiness did too. Continue reading Empty

Earth Day: A Reminder for us to care for our Planet

There is no question that our planet provides all the resources we need in order to be able to exist, but we have been neglecting planet earth because we have been too busy inventing things and building structures. The importance and the significance of earth day revolve around the environment and how we interact with it.

Earth Day

Every now and then, the planet will let us know just how small we are and it will show us the power that natural events can do. We call them natural disasters, but they are actually part of the natural cycle of changes that the planet goes through. We are inhabitants of a planet that is in constant shift and nature is wise beyond our understanding.

Earth day is in many ways a very powerful reminder of the fact that we have to take care of the world with all efforts that are possible within our reach. Some people say that they don’t worry about preserving the planet because no one else does and this means that it’s pointless, but that is far from true. There are many ways to make a change and to contribute to the preservation of our planet.

The most important thing to remember at all times is that our world needs us to take care of it. Often quoted by Hawaiian Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, the world needs us to be conscious about it and to stop polluting it. The world would not need our help if we didn’t pollute the water, the air and the earth itself. Our planet is gorgeous and we are always too selfish spend too much of our time taking away from it instead of giving to it.

Tulsi gabbard Earth Day

Being a very impact-ful environmentalist and an well-being enthusiast, Tulsi has always taken steps for the betterment of the environment. She is a great advocate of individual and community health. This spirit of Tulsi is evident as she has co-founded the Healthy Hawaiʻi Coalition (HHC), a grassroots organization for conducting and educating in favor of environmental protection. She co-founded this HHC when she was very young, say 19. This shows Tulsi Gabbard’s foresightedness and what a brave heart she has. This HHC operates in more than 50 schools in the Hawaii state. The prime program i.e. watershed education curriculum is operative in all those educational institutions, thereby making all educated – how to be a friend of the earth, instead of being an enemy. Tulsi Gabbard is the co-founder and the Vice president of HHC. Tulsi Gabbard is also famous as the Waterwoman – the lead character in an educational play conducted in the HHC organization.

A proactive Tulsi has shown immense character while acting for people – whether for creating and amending legislation policies or touching their hearts through social and practical programs. Her activities speak about her a lot. She is a very hard stone to crack. She is also famous as the youngest legislator ever elected in the state of Hawaiʻi. Her solidarity is evident of her role in the Army. Ms. Gabbard served Hawaiʻi Army National Guard in 2003, she has also rigorous training in Alabama Military Academy’s Officer Candidate School to her credit. Each and every action of Tulsi is commendable.

We cant afford to miss the success of Tulsi Gabbard where she already commenced efforts to protect the reefs especially in the West Hawaiʻi, West Maui, and Heʻeia. Fortunately, the goverment authorities also joined hands in these efforts. Their main goal is to protect the limited natural resources and promote sustainable practices. Tulsi  Gabbrard immensely thanked the authorities for taking care of the reefs which is being affected by the major problems like – shore erosion, wetlands, removing dangerous species and wildfire impacts.  You can check the full detail here.

Tulsi Gabbard is one of the best and real example of a politician with a heart who is sincere in her efforts in acting favorably on behalf of the Earth and thus protecting the lives of the people.

Tulsi Gabbard is a real environmentalist. She’ll help us protect our environment and our kids’ future as well.

Some of the positive comments she has received from her real fans are below:

The amount of sincerity and perseverance Tulsi Gabbard’s has shown is really touching.

She is truly a sincere leader. Good Luck Tulsi.

I’m so happy Tulsi’s fighting for the local farmers.

Tulsi is the torchbearer to preserve this precious resource for generations to come.

The whole idea propounded by Tulsi Gabbard and alike is – “If you make the conscious decision of recycling, using more green energy, consuming more products that are eco-friendly and raising awareness so other people do the same thing, you will be part of a large change and a change that does indeed make a huge difference in the world.”

Earth day is all of those things and much more. Earth day is definitely a way to help humanity turn their heads away from the hectic modern world that we have created and take a look at the heart that we are neglecting. The good thing is that millions of people have become aware of this, but the change has to be on a larger scale in order for things to get better.

Next earth day, you should make it your goal to help raise awareness in as many people as possible. Just remember that there is nothing that matters more than our planet. Take care of this planet because it’s not ours, we are part of it. We do not own it, we simply inhabit this amazing planet.

An Entrepreneur with a Heart of Gold

While most of us judge people on material gains, there is no dearth of men who have spent and sacrificed their major part of lives and a large portion of fortunes in the betterment of society. We know of many businessmen who have time and again volunteered to serve mankind with their selfless and unmatched compassion for various social causes. Iconic Mr.Joseph is one of those near-perfect human beings, who always gave a free hand to needy by showing his profound interest in various causes those are hurdles in human development and equality of opportunity. He is known for his spiritual discipline and his deep experience in the martial arts.

you are a leader

Visionary Entrepreneur Mr. Bismark, most commonly famous as founding director of Qnet, is one of the most loved businessmen of this era, who is also widely regarded for his philanthropic works. He is often called as one of the most innovative thought leaders in all the industries he ventured into. This surely can be the acumen of the man who has been successful in all his endeavors with a grit to rise after failure. Whatever, one or two instances of mini-failures surfaced in his colossal career, become a case study and inspirations for many.

Continue reading An Entrepreneur with a Heart of Gold

Longing For Home

Everyone is looking for a home. Everyone wants somewhere to go that when they arrive at the front door they feel they are welcome. It may be the swinging flap of a Bedouin tent or the gilded marble walkway to the door of a Beverley Hills mansion. It makes no difference to the dweller. As they step up to the threshold of the place where they live they know they are home.

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At the end of 2014 there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide. The people who have been recently forcibly displaced due to conflict or persecution in the world is 13.9 million.  (a)  So, we have all these people who are all moving enmasse across the globe, all moving towards what they believe will be a better place than the one they have come from. And who can blame them? The experiences of war are something no-one in a lifetime should ever have to endure.

As an English teacher who spent 10 years working with refugees, I have seen firsthand the type of trauma that many people carry with them, not just within the confines of their homes but in the classroom, in the street, on the bus, in the bank, buying lunch. At any given moment something might erupt or  break down and they, the holder and bearer of the most terrible memories will be at the mercy of the strangers around them. Unable for just that short period of time to contain the composure that we expect in our civilised societies.  And after? What happens to that person then? We bring in refugees to our respective countries, we give them cheap housing and put them on benefits hoping that they will soon become proficient enough in our language to join the workforce. But often this does not happen. In each and every country we have thousands of displaced persons languishing in safe, protected, situations who are lonely and lost and longing for the familiarity of their own village, town, city or country.  Each and every one of them harboring conceptions of things that we can only imagine and that we should all be grateful we have not had to endure.

A friend of mine who is now an interpreter, came to a safe western country many years ago from Tehran, a city of eight million people.  The house  her family was given was in a beautiful, leafy, suburb of a quiet Australasian city of 300,000.  Once the family had been settled in by social workers over the weekend, they came on the Monday and assisted her husband and children to find their way to their respective daily places of work and school and she was left at home. She had no English at this point in her life. That first weekday she spent in her new country was one of the most terrifying she had ever had.  At three o’clock on the Monday afternoon she waited at the window overlooking the street.  She waited and waited and not only did her husband and children not appear for several hours, there was no-one on the street. While she was waiting she imagined all sorts of terrible scenarios. The streets in Tehran at three in the afternoon are literally teeming with life. Schools open their doors and children play football or cricket or sit on sidewalks reading books or just chatting. Parents walk to pick up their children and stand in groups and catch up on local news. Youth crowd out on to the sidewalks and streets and stroll along arm in arm. Vendors come with their carts of sweets or snack foods and the cafes wait as the afternoon customers pour into their establishments wanting afternoon refreshments. The streets are alive, vital,  dynamic. There is never a time in Tehran when there is no-one on the streets.

Now as my friend looked out her window, there was no-one. Nothing moved, no animals, no cars and definitely no children or husband. That quiet seclusiveness that we pay appreciable real estate dollars for was the very thing that created a foreign and alien experience for my friend. She considered all types of horrific scenes in her mind; the most logical and overwhelming one was that somehow the city where her children and husband had gone had been overrun by an over powering army and that everyone had been killed. She was now alone and soon she would be found and killed as well. This was her only explanation for why there were no people anywhere.  This was the  sole reason the streets were empty and there were no signs of life as she knew it to be. She had only been in this country for a few days and in that time she had been through initial security checks,  met lots of well meaning strangers, been hastily shown a new house to live in, arrangements had been made for her children to attend school and her husband was going to a job that had been arranged before they left Iran.  She, as the non-bread winner, was the one left alone and unaided with no communication in her own language. At that point in time she longed to be back in her city, she wanted familiarity, she wanted to be where she knew why things happened, she wanted to be safe, she wanted to be home.

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All over the world there are millions of people in the same situation. Unable to understand even a tiny piece of a particular culture and feeling alienated and alone. What might be familiar to us, something we take for granted, like a tree lined road in a safe, quiet suburb can be the most disturbing situation for someone else.

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But it is not only the millions of refugees and migrants who are looking for a home. The average length of time that we in the western world stay in one house before selling up and moving on is between 7 and 13 years. Not long in terms of stability, nestling in, creating a sense of place, a home.

Then of course there are the people who can never have their own home but are forever at the mercy of the landlord. These people dream of the time they will be settled in their own house. A place that they ‘own’ and can’t be kicked out of.  And those dreams are all different. The person who longs to leave the city and become the grower of their own food is dreaming of 10 acres of fruit trees, gardens, a small cottage settled next to a clear stream and a house cow, while the person who has just spent 10 or 15 years living in such a way, knows the austerity and hardships of such a laborious lifestyle, is dreaming of  moving to a low maintenance apartment in an inner city somewhere,  thinking that he can buy all his organic produce from a local farmer’s market and have an easier lifestyle.

And then of course there are the millions of homeless people in our world who live on the streets or in shanty towns under cardboard and tin huts who dream of living in real houses someday. Everyone is longing for a home, a sanctuary to call their own.

“It’s not safe on the streets, and sometimes you feel sad because you have nothing to come home to. You walk around all day living life for nothing.

You dream and dream all the time about going home, but you have no home to go to.”

Female, 18, Hayward (b)

When we do get a home we fill it up with all the things that make us feel comfortable, all the things we can enjoy that we think will make us happy.  We choose a certain decor that we know will create the atmosphere we want to come home to. It may be minimalistic, shabby chic or retro. Whatever the style, when we think of our home we consider all the new things we need to buy to make it even more desirable to live in.  After some years we change the look of our home and we start all over again.

The other day I was in a charity shop and a woman came into the store to donate some items. She had a clock and a large black and white photo collage of New York city.

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I was surprised that she was giving away these items and some other smaller bits and pieces. All the pieces looked new and in very good condition. She told me, “I’m doing a complete makeover, I’m going from modern to traditional, everything is being changed, these have to go.”

Even when we have a home, we quickly become dissatisfied, we have to change and rearrange things all the time. We are constantly looking at what we can buy to make our house look better, function better, satisfy us more. The problem is we will never be able to settle into a home in this world and be completely satisfied.

There is a Sunday school song which tells the story very clearly of where we should build our homes and where we will find real satisfaction. It goes like this;

The wise man built his house upon the rock,

The wise man built his house upon the rock,

The wise man built his house upon the rock,

And the rains came tumbling down.

 

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

And the house on the rock stood still.

 

The foolish man built his house upon the sand, 

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,

The foolish man built his house upon the sand, 

And the rains came tumbling down.

 

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

The rains came down, and the floods came up,

 And the house on the sand washed away. (c)

If we think that this is a mere children’s song with some hand movements to show rain falling and houses standing or being washed away we are mistaken. The words to this song are very important for us today and our yearning for a home. Like the latter person who built his house on the sand we are following in his footsteps. The homes we are setting up and trying to snuggle into forever is a dream. It is unreal. If we were to go down to the sea at low tide and build a house and then watch the consequences of the house being washed away twelve hours later by the high tide we would be laughed at for being so foolish. People would consider us crazy. It would be a fruitless effort, a huge waste of time, money and materials. But this is exactly what our endeavors are when we try to make a home in this world as we are unaware of the real identity. This very idea of our real identity is given by Jagad Guru founder of the famous science of identity foundation.  This world is not our home, we do not belong here. We are temporarily traveling through and we should be looking for ways to go to our real home in the spiritual world. This real home that we continually search for is the house built upon the rock.

This world is like a world of sand, everything here is temporary and ephemeral. Nothing is lasting. Some people may live in the same house all their lives, one they may have inherited it from their father and brought their new bride to dwell there, raised their children there, seen their grandchildren and maybe even their great grandchildren come and go from the same house. But this is rare and even if those years have brought some happiness, sooner or later they must leave when death comes calling at their door. The pain of separation from all the family members and from their homestead will be great and will create distress for the person leaving and the people left behind. This is the nature of dwelling here in this world of shifting sand.

No matter where we live, where we put down roots, sooner or later, we have to move on. This may occur through a natural disaster, the death of a loved one, a broken relationship, a landlord exerting unfair rights or some other cause.

The home we are looking for is one that we never have to leave. A place where we belong.  A home where I am loved and I love those around me. It is permanent and everlasting and it is the house that is built on the rock of spiritual love. All these ideas emanate from the eternal teachings of the great spiritual gurus. The nature of the world around us is temporary. Everything here will eventually dissolve, disappear, breakdown and be replaced by something else. This is the world of impermanence. The spiritual world where the Supreme Person dwells is eternal, full of love and happiness. It is a real world and the Supreme Person is waiting for us to come home.  He wonders why we prefer to traverse this world of fickleness and distress, when we can have a wonderful life with Him, forever safe and free from all the trials and tribulations that we endure here.

It is us who are making the choices to stay here to try and enjoy the homes of this world. We think we have forever. We are like the foolish man and we nestle in and inhabit different dwellings over and over again, convincing ourselves that this time we will have a real home.  But the shifting sands  of time invariably come along and wash us out of our cocooned existence and we have to start all over again.

Continue reading Longing For Home

Groove to Bliss for a Better Future!

Music is in every culture of the world; from the djembe drum circles in Africa, to the percussion street-bands in Brazil, Irish folk songs in the pubs, British rock gigs at the local clubs, buskers in the streets of New York, and the orchestras of cities throughout the globe. There are a million other examples of how it’s such a big part of everyone’s life in different ways, and how it accompanies each one of us through different stages.

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Everyone likes to “get down” (dance) to their favorite jam, or blast their vocal chords singing a “blues”. Basically, pretty much everyone, loves music. Whether they’re playing it, dancing it, singing it, or simply letting the ears do the work; it’s a way to relax and put things aside, let go of emotions, forget problems, get motivated to do things, and the list goes on. But, music as we know can become redundant and dull over time. Our favourite song is no longer soothing to our ears or warm to our hearts after hearing it for the 100th time in-a-row. The magic simply does not happen anymore when we constantly play and practice our pieces or compositions, which used to make our hair stand and send chills down our spine.

Bowie performing 'Space Oddity'

So then we set out to find new music, new artists. We squeeze ourselves dry attempting to create a new riff or melody. We put ourselves in the most suitable environments for creativity. Search every corner of iTunes and the internet for a new, better, and more fulfilling “hit” of music to get our ear fix. This is satisfying at times, but often, we don’t get that satisfaction we’re looking for in a song. Actually looking at it on the long-end of things, we never get the fulfillment we want.

But we can, if we add the right element to the music we listen to or play.

Mantras.

A mantra is a spiritual sound vibration that transcends this material realm; it goes beyond the regular material sounds we hear every day and actually quenches our constant thirst we try to fill with many things, like music. It takes our mind off the mundane and places it on a spiritual platform, which is most natural to us and our real identity. Why?

Because we are spiritual in essence, therefore we need spiritual satisfaction. Spiritual food. As we are not essentially the biochemical in essence. To know the reality about ourselves, read here.

But what does meditation and mantras have to do with music or our desire to be happy and have fun? Everything!

Like stated above, we are spiritual in essence, therefore we need spiritual energy to really satisfy us. Material happiness is not enough and very fleeting. All the scriptures of the world state this in some way or another. And we derive  spiritual energy from this sound vibrations.

By nature we need and want to be active, that’s why we’re always trying to do something (sleeping and doing “nothing” are actions by the way) in every hour of the day. But more so than just doing something, we want to have fun. Lots of fun. As much fun as we can have; we just want to be happy chappies. And that’s perfectly normal, because that’s part of our nature as spiritual sparks.We must Know more  about the essential aspects of life i.e. about our real self and self realization

What we have to do now is take what we already know and like doing, and simply spiritualize those activities like singing and hearing. We can do this with mantra meditation.

Continue reading Groove to Bliss for a Better Future!

Local Food Movement & Harnessing Green Power

Local. Organic. Free Range. Natural. It is easy to get lost in all of the labels of our food today. What is healthier? What is best for you and your family? What is best for all of us? The local food movement has gained traction recently, but what exactly is eating “local,” and why should we do it?

food movement

In the past century, the food we consume has come from farther and farther away. Sometimes, the foods that we consume are not even food, rather preservatives, additives, and others manufactured into a food product. The local-food movement looks to change how we eat. Local food is that food grown by farmers that serve community distributors and retailers.

Promoting the local food products will give a massive boost to the local farmers and help the Hawaiian  natives a lot as rightly said by nature lover Tulsi Gabbard. This will generate revenue and people won’t be forced to leave their home in search of a good job. In this respect, Tulsi Gabbard the representative of Hawaii 2nd district in US House of Representatives has promised to help in all respects concerning the encouragement of this local growth. Tulsi Gabbard loves to serve and sacrifice for people and society, her attitude is not hidden to many. Tulsi is an extraordinary political talent.

Continue reading Local Food Movement & Harnessing Green Power

Modi & Tulsi Gabbard: Service In The Spirit of Bhagavad Gita by Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Spiritual Master or Guru of Arjuna

What do 64 year old Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and Tulsi Gabbard, 33 year old Congresswoman from Hawaii have in common? As it turns out, quite a lot, actually. Tulsi Gabbard, the first American/Hindu member of congress, and Modi, India’s powerhouse political leader both lead a life of public service inspired by the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the guru or spiritual master of Arjuna, in The Bhagavad Gita.

Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran who took her oath of office with her hand on the Bhagavad Gita, credits the message of the Gita with her approach to public service and as “a source of courage and comfort”.  At their recent meeting in New York, in a thoughtful and personal gesture, Tulsi gifted her own spiritual scripture the Bhagavad Gita to the Indian Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Mr Modi regularly presents the Bhagavad Gita to public figures and world leaders including the Emperor of Japan and President Obama of the United States. According to Mr Modi, “I have nothing more valuable to give and the world has nothing more valuable to get.”

Continue reading Modi & Tulsi Gabbard: Service In The Spirit of Bhagavad Gita by Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Spiritual Master or Guru of Arjuna

Elements Required For a Sustainable Future

Sustainable future largely depends on sustainable development, a plan for using resources to achieve development without over-straining the resources needed for future generations. Sustainable development is a process that envisions future needs of a generation and strives to meet living conditions that ensures Sustainable future. For that, essential elements must be established to safeguard use of resources and to sustain continued human needs.

Sustainability must take into consideration the practice of maintaining resources, both natural and human made, without endangering or degrading natural biological systems. Human needs resources for continuity in life, without which sustainable future cannot be realized. To achieve sustainable future, it is important for human to establish sustainable development through establishment of essential elements that strengthens ecological foundations. Such elements include;

Continue reading Elements Required For a Sustainable Future