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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Changeover to success

Vineet Mani

There was a murmur in the classroom. The students were whispering. Some were giggling and others were struggling to hold their laughter. Everyone seemed amused. A fragile child was standing in the middle of the class and was reading out from a textbook. He was fumbling, making mistakes.


The teacher wanted him to read in order to bring improvement in his language but looked utterly disappointed. He had tried on several occasions earlier too but to no avail. There was no trace of improvement. Students mocked at him. He did not reply but his eyes were moist.

After a few days, the teacher went through the same process. A few hands went up, including the child in question. The teacher wanted to ignore him, but the confidence in his eyes compelled him to give him a chance. The child started reading slowly. The other students waited for the moment to make fun of his mistakes. But with every line he read, his confidence grew.

His voice was clearer, and there were no flaws. The students, who were ready to make mockery, started listening to him intently. When he completed reading, the teacher called him to his desk and gave a gentle pat on his shoulder. All the classmates were looking at him with awe and appreciation.

The teacher asked him how he could bring in the dramatic improvements. The child stood up and pointed towards one of the classmates and said, “He made me realise my abilities to perform.” The other child was new in the school and was a gentle fellow.

“He called on me the other day and pleaded me to come out of dejection. He spent hours with me and we kept practising. He did not laugh at me even once and pinpointed towards the mistakes and gave probable measures to rectify them. With his support and his trust in my abilities, I started practising with hope.”

The teacher looked around the entire class. They were all shamefaced. Only the two boys were in their best form and they felt on top of the world.

innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Where the GOD turns HIS HEAD down

Fix the mind on me, worship Me alone, pay obeisance to Me. By doing so you will come to Me. Give up dependence on all Dharmas, take shelter in Me alone,
I will free you from all sins. (Gita xviii. 65-66)

It was not so that the Arjuna was the only best devotee. There have been greater devotees than him. The devotees of higher orders do not desire to be pardoned from the sins. We desire Moksha also as well as freedom from worries.But the devotees of high order do not ask to Lord as kind and forgiving.

The Gopis have conjugal sentiment towards Lord but so far as the high order of love is concerned, the Gopis stand just like Drashta. Love, Lover and Beloved all three are one. The sun does not enter in to the mirror. It is only the reflection the mirror becomes dazzling due to the sunlight, in the same manner the devotee reflects as a .person of love.At this stage, Lord, devotee and devotion become one . Every limb of the body and all efforts are intermingled in the form of love.The love ceases to be there. The lord and devotee both come under one and the same condition. There is obsolute oneness.Whatever there is only pure love. God is love and love is God. Radha herself is krsna and krsna Himself is Radha. The stage of oneness is supremely highest. It is belived that when Gauranga Mahaprabhu
Came out to see people, they got merged into love.

I n Grantha Sahiba it is clearly said, “Meri bhaandi bhagat chhadai “ It means once I fixed any one’s fate,only My devotee can change his fortune even not Me.
This is the immense power of devotee where God turns His Head down.


Kamal wadhwani
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Friday, June 24, 2011

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Best Teachers

BY MEHAK BURZA

You were either honest or you weren't. This was the core principle, which my grandparents taught me. They believed there was no in between. They had a simple motto hanging on their living-room wall: - "life is like a field of newly fallen snow; where I choose to walk, every step will show." They didn't have to talk about it — they demonstrated the motto by the way they lived.

Sitting on their knee watching the sunset, they introduced the word Integrity to me. Integrity? I used to question, my eyebrows raised. They understood instinctively that integrity means having a personal standard of morality and ethics that does not sell out and that is not relative to the situation at hand. Integrity is an inner standard for judging your behaviour.

Unfortunately, integrity is in short supply today-and getting scarce. But it is the bottom line in every area of society. And it is something we must demand of ourselves.

A good test for this value is to look at what they said:-

Stand firmly for your convictions in the face of personal pressure.

Always give others credit that is rightfully theirs.

Be honest and open about who you really are.

Integrity means you do what you do because it's right and not just fashionable or politically correct. A life of principle, of not succumbing to the seductive sirens of an easy morality, will always win the day. It will take you forward into the future without having to cheek your tracks in a rear view mirror.

My grand parents taught me that.






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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bliss of giving

The great Indian businessman, Sri Ratan Tata, has made a $ 50 million donation to Harward Business School , one of the largest individual endowments the U.S. school has ever received .

Mr. Anand Mahindra donated $10 million for a Humanity Achievements Center at Harward .

Giving alms has always been acknowledged, in all cultures, as one of the great services rendered to God. Renunciation of all possession, it has been said, is ahimsa and unrestrained appropriation of all possessions is himsa.

Some wise man has said - “in this world it is not what we take but what we give that makes us rich.”

In Chicago in 1893, January, Rutherford, one of the richest men in history, went to see Swami Vivekananda. Swami ji was resting. Rutherford produced from his pocket a cheque of big amount in favour of swami ji and offered it to swami ji but swami ji did not look at it: next day, he gave him a cheque with double the amount of the previous one. Swami ji didn’t look at it. The third day, Rutherford asked Swami ji - “How much money do you want Swami ji? Please tell me. And give me audience to discuss with your good self a problem I have.”

Swami ji asked him what was his problem. He said that he didn’t have peace of mind though he was perhaps the most affluent person in the world. Swami ji told him, “Donate ,donate as much as you can and you will get the peace of mind.”

As has been said – “How is rainfall possible without clouds? How can corn grow without sowing seeds? Likewise , how can the living beings attain bliss without renunciation? Every living creature is aspirant for happiness and happiness is the outcome of renunciation.”

Renunciation lends divinity to men. Lord Bahubali followed the path of renunciation and attained divine-hood - he conquered the kingdom of the great sovereign Bharat, after whom this country is named, and returned it to him conquering it without waiting for the eyes to wink.

Bahubali was the noble soul who laid the foundation of Indian culture by renouncing the kingdom he had won. His statue adorns the Sravanbelgola hill in Karnataka and millions go there to pay their homage to the the immortal heritage of a great Indian renunciate.


Kamal Wadhwani




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Does God Exist ?

This article is my own perspective of things and I don’t wish to hurt sentiments of anybody. Many a times I have thought about this topic but I have never reached a conclusion . I belong to a Tamil family and since I was born I always trusted the existence of God . While you are at home your beliefs never change because you live in a secure environment.But as you grow up and when life starts hurting you more often you look forward to your God.That is the time you realize his absence and start challenging his presence . The harder you try to embrace him, the farther he seems to go away. If God really exists why does he seem to sit back and watch when the tsunami is wiping off a country of people he created ? Why does he not help the unfortunate people of this world every other day ? The only reason why some of my friends believed or had a slight inclination towards god was that they thought he was responsible for human existence as science had not proved how life came on earth .

Now let me take you to a different world where we assume that God exists and we are aware of it. He takes care of everybody there and keeps people happy and also keeps a check that there is no injustice in the system.Every move of yours is controlled by him . Now would you like to live in such a world ? Will you realize the emotion of happiness if you don’t know what sadness is ? You will only be a puppet in the hands of God. Its not that he is not there in our world but its just that post creation he wants us to live they way we want to live. He wants us to adapt and build our own environment . He wants you to live every possible emotion and make life a LIFE. Praying or not praying to him is a personal choice . He is not going to hurt people who don’t pray . To people who pray , he may not help directly but gradually make their conscience become clear. As children we are made to believe he’s there and we are taught to fear him when we do a wrong thing. So he inadvertently becomes responsible to build our conscience . We live with that . Now if you look back, just that acceptance of God made you a good person and shaped your personality. You did not give anything to god but in the pursuit of following his path you improved upon yourself . I personally believe in God and feel he’s there. I am against superstitious beliefs surrounding God but have faith in him. The reason behind this is some of the miracles I have seen in life which I cannot see as mere coincidence. Concluding this article is difficult but what I feel is having faith in God only helps humanity in general and not having a faith does not make it worse. So it is completely a personal choice. Let me know your views and as usual criticism is most welcome

Ganesh Shanker
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Is the Earth Crying?  

Yes, the Earth is crying. She is badly wounded. Her soul is fragmented. Her two sons – Dharma, righteouness, and Gyana, knowledge, are also injured and are prostrate on the mother earth. Earth is crying and beseeching Rama - “ Where are you? You were the example of adherence to truth, adherence to righteous conduct. O, Rama, you were the ideal man, ideal husband and a very truthful and brave king. At present, every where there is untruth, arrogance of money and of power and loss of values. True knowledge has been lost in the pursuit of selfish motives and greed. Power has corrupted therulers who care not for the suffering masses. Come and save this world”.
 
Rama replied, “ O Maa, I cannot. To-day the whole world appears to me as a ball of fire. Raga, Dvesha, lobha, jealousy, passion and greed are every where. How can I find a brother like Laxmana now? Yes, at every step I come face to face with Ravanas and in this world and there are infinite number of Ravanas and finally you will see that Rama will be killed by Ravanas.Or, I will be anotherJesus on the Cross.
 
 
After that  Earth calls  Lord Krishna, “ O Krishna, where are you ? Druapadi is calling you. Desprataly she needs you.Women today are the most vulnerable, are being subjected to all kinds of violence. Come, take birth again and protect them.”
 
Lord Krishna replied, “ O Maa, if I come to this world, I will be killed by  thousand and thousands Shishupals, Duryodhanas and Dushanas. I myself will be cornered in the cakarvayuha of evil.”
 
“O Lord Buddha, please listen to me,” Earth next says - “Sectarianism, bigotry, fanaticism and violence afflict humanity;abuse and disrespect have become the public discourse. Age, knowledge and good conduct are no longer respected. Buddha, you are the messenger of peace, compassion, empathy and sympathy. Hold this world with compassion and lead human beings to the path of love and peace again.
 
Lord Buddha smiles with deep sarrow and refuses to come to this earth where he has been rudely abandoned.
At last Earth prays to Paramatma, God,  to send any one of them to save this world otherwise this world will have to be destroyed by His own wrath.
  God listens, waits and watches. The hour it seems has not yet come – but is near.
KAMAL WADHWANI
20-B PKT-B PH-2 ASHOK VIHAR
 DELHI-52


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Prayers are answered

Rose Tirkey

We pray daily, sometimes quietly and other times aloud. We pray for our near and dear ones’ health, direction and salvation in their times of distress and pain. But it’s not always that things happen the way we want them to happen. Despite our prayer, tragedies happen with all of us. What does this


mean? Didn’t God hear our prayer or didn’t He understand how much it hurt us? Does it mean that we stop praying and give up on God?
No. Prayer will be more vital now than it was earlier. God’s desire to hear from us is still alive. Faith is not demanding of what we want; but is trusting God’s goodness in spite of life’s tragedies. We grieve, we pray and we keep on praying. We should understand that God has His own ways and plans, which is much more supreme. When He takes away something from us, He wants us to have something better.

We need not question God’s ways to answer every call or prayer because we know that He will somehow, somewhere will not break our trust and someday will surely hear our request. It is for us to listen to Him and see the signs of His blessings on us. If we keep our eyes on our Lord, He will never take His eyes off us.

“He sees the Good Shepherd, bringing him to still waters.” It clearly pictures a quiet place, a retreat from the pressure of life, where we can rest in the presence of the Shepherd of our heart and be strengthened for what lies ahead. We beg and plead. God may never give us exactly what we ask for. But He may have something better in mind.

Keep on praying because He will surely answer one day. He will help us wait patiently and to trust Him for His good perfect answer. We know that in the pain and struggle of living without answer, we may find comfort in our Heavenly Father. Something beyond the tears, pain and loss; there is hope where there is praying.

innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Smile is the way

Vineet Mani


Harsh words were falling on his ears from all sides. His classmates adopted all the techniques to ridicule him. They were throwing paper balls, chalk pieces on him but he did not respond. In fact, he could not. The small, thin boy was a new entrant and had nothing special about his appearance. His


ordinary clothes, tattered bag and unpolished pair of shoes narrated his family's financial state of affairs.
His strong and affluent classmates got an opportunity to make fun of him. It was a daily affair.

The boy wanted to run away but could not as his peasant farmer was under huge debts and he was his only hope.

But one day the classmates crossed all the boundaries. The boy felt like shouting loudly and chase them away. His eyes got filled with tears. An outburst seemed imminent. But the boy gathered his emotions, closed his eyes and remembered Him.

What to do in such a situation? he mumbled. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and looked everywhere. And he started smiling, looking at each and every fellow.

The perturbed classmates wanted to see him weeping and pleading. On the contrary, the boy was smiling. They tried to tease him through various ways and means but all in vain.

After a few days, they all lost interest in ridiculing the boy. They wanted to hear him cry for their entertainment but nothing happened.

Some classmates approached him and enquired for such a reaction.

He smiled and said, "The other day when I closed my eyes and asked the Almighty how to handle such an adverse situation, He smiled at me and told me to just smile and everything will be fine, and that retaliation was the easiest thing to do. When I first smiled at you, I realised that I am feeling elated not only on my tolerance level but on your pitiful condition. You were simply wasting your energy and precious time in such a non-constructive activity."

The classmates were baffled and could not utter a word.

The boy went off smiling as usual.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Faith the saver

Rajesh Krishan

After having two sons(me being younger),my parents were delighted to have a daughter. But, my sister was born with some medical issues which required special treatment. The doctor was a friend of my parents and used to call my sister ‘gulab ka phool'. He told my parents that she needs to be operate


d and confessed that he was afraid that the operation could prove a failure. ‘Kahin gulab ka phool murjha na jaye’, that was what he said emphasising that she may or may not make it, and, therefore, her life would be in God’s hand.
That was when my parents opted not to subject her to medical treatment and have faith in God. They travelled all the way down to Puttaparthi to seek blessings of Satya Sai Baba in whom my parents had complete faith.

My mother, who had my sister in her lap, was among thousands of devotees sitting in rows across from one another waiting patiently for Sai to appear. My mother tells me how she was praying silently with her eyes shut when Sai appeared before her.

For few moments, my mother was speechless. She simply couldn’t believe that out of thousands of people, Sai came straight to her. My mother laid my sister at Sai’s feet to which He commented, “Keep her with you, in your lap”. He then placed his hand on my sister’s head and walked away.

That event had two effects on my parents. As humans, my parent’s faith in life and God was strengthened. As parents, they’re now sure that their beloved gulab ka phool won’t wither.

My sister is now well over 30 and she is doing well. I think this story could inspire a lot of people to have such hope, hope that there is more to our lives than what we see happening in the physical world. Only that one has to have complete faith.

Let me conclude with these lovely Kutless lyrics: I’ve seen miracles just happen/Silent prayers get answered/ Broken hearts become brand new/That’s what faith can do.

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Theory of Karma

AK Bhargava

There are many theories around the theory of Karma. A lot of us believe that our present actions are the outcome of our past actions. That means we have no control over them for any improvement. But Karma determines only our experiences and not our actions. Our personal happiness and sorrow is the


result of our past actions but what we are doing at present is not the result of past actions. There is a tendency sometimes to blame Karma for our decisions. Secondly, Karma is very empowering. We wrongly understand that we have no choice in life that is bound by our Karma. Basically, Karma gets mistaken for fate or destiny, which it is not the case.
If work is Karma, its effect is Karama-phala or fruit of work. It is difficult to deny that actions have consequences. Everything that we do has results. Secondly, it is difficult to deny that we all want our life to be happy, meaningful and fulfilling. Thirdly, it makes difficult to deny that our hope for justice for life makes it difficult to oversee that goodness is rewarded and evil punished. That is what Karma theory in the essence is. There is no need to blame anyone for our sorrow or be indebted to anyone for our happiness. We are responsible for both for our action as well as the results of our actions.

We rarely question the existence of happiness in our life. If something makes us happy, we say we deserve it. Only when there is failure, then we ask, “why me”. The general tendency is to find an external cause for the trouble and blame it. Then the control as to when I should be happy or unhappy depends on others. Then there is no freedom to be happy.

It is inevitable that some news or happening will make some of us happy and some others unhappy. Should I be overwhelmed by the joys and sorrows in life? Both can be overwhelming. If we are getting overwhelmed by joys or sorrows, then the clarity of our mind is lost.


innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Play the winner

VN Chhibber


“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” – MK Gandhi. Tolerance, a rare virtue, bounces back even when you are thrown against a tight corner. A square can’t bounce as it has angularities; a ball can as it is ligh
t and round.
Virtue of tolerance comes from sensing each thing as a riddle and being part of the solution. Also, all things move in cycles --- that which is cumbersome now is bound to change character. There is movement in tolerance, there is flexibility, for one is not afraid of change. Change is a constant phenomenon. Someone who is tolerant simplifies things to remove hurdles. Humour during tolerance comes from good nature and cheerful outlook on life.

Is it possible to have tolerance as a virtue rather than a necessity? Virtue acquired gives us godly power. We come close to Him by becoming soul-conscious.

“In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher”, says the Dalai Lama. Watch and with the passage of time let the cycle of events unfold themselves. This brings us a sense of well-being, and then solutions fall into place, into pattern. A philosophy evolves that lasts a lifetime. One has to love people as they are, and appreciate them for their talents.

When you begin looking into people’s eyes and see their rarity, and you meet them with your rarity, then tolerance comes naturally. It is an expression of your well-lubricated and hassle-free life.

When there is no tolerance, at home or at workplace, each little thing becomes a burden. It is like standing on the edge of a cliff and nagging or grumbling out of habit.

Tolerance is saying yes to the game of life and enjoying it to the hilt. This virtue stands you in good stead. In due course of time, you are ahead of others in life’s journey.

You will be deeply admired for your accomplishments in life. And to this, if you add a few other qualities, you move towards divinity.


innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Spiritual sense

PP Wangchuk

How does one get spiritual sense? By being good and doing good? By praying and engaging in activities that are religious and humanitarian in nature? Ajit Kumar Bishnoi’s latest book, ‘Spiritual Sense’, answers all these queries. Apart from the obvious — God, soul, dharma, liberation and happiness— t


he book also covers topics like intelligence, mind and time.
What one liked most in the book was the chapter on liberation. What happens after liberation? The author says that liberation is not one’s exit from this material world forever. One may have to return time and again just as God incarnates Himself on this planet with some mission. Or, God may send you to this earth time and again as his representative to carry out specific duties.

Apart from such cases, there are what the author calls “small souls” that suffer from the “defects of making mistakes.” They too are liable to be sent back to the earth by God just like the case of a thief sent to jail.

“Remember, Lord Krishna has described earth as a place of misery. Then, some souls, out of curiosity, may come here, as tourists travel from rich countries to other countries. Since one is liberated, there is freedom and one can opt for such travel. One may even decide to stay here, like many from rich countries choose to settle in poor countries…”

This is quite interesting for those who believe that it can be true. For those who don’t believe in such cases, it is good entertainment. And, to make my concluding observation, no sane person would say that one who does not believe in God can’t be spiritual. That is, one who believes in God may not be necessarily a greater spiritualist.

Some atheists are known to have been great humanitarians!


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Friday, June 3, 2011

Truth most overrated

Rajneesh Batra

What is the most over-rated virtue of life? After much deliberation and first-hand experience, perhaps I got the answer: Truth Some of you might ridicule me, but I have strong reasons to believe this way. It is undeniable that we crave for ‘truth’ in every domain of our lives without looking at ours


elves how ‘truthful’ lives we have been pursuing.
Truth is a relative term. If something is an ‘absolute truth’ for somebody, it may be an ‘absolute lie’ for some others. Never forget that a ‘half filled glass’ is always ‘half empty’ too.

There is nothing in this world like ‘absolute truth’. One has to fix the wheels of lies to move it forward. For example, if one has to give a true opinion about a dark complexioned woman, he would say that she carries ‘sharp features’ which don’t suit fair complexioned people. Can anybody say that it is a ‘truthful’ statement? No, because the ‘truth’ was given the ‘crutches of lie’ to stand.

Let us take two recent examples. One of Manu Sharma, whom one court finds totally innocent and the other finds him guilty of the ‘rarest of the rare’ crime. That too on the same grounds and on the basis of the testimony of the same witnesses. In the second case, when Geelani is acquitted in the case of ‘attack on Parliament’, it was said that ‘truth’ prevailed. But when Mohammad Afzal was slapped with death sentence in the same case, the judicial system was called ‘biased’.

Defining ‘truth’ is thus very simple. ‘Truth’ is a ‘sugar-coated candy’ that is liked till it reaches the ‘sour’ core of it. We accept a statement as ‘truth’ until it suits us, and after that we dump it citing various and hilarious reasons.

Whosoever in this world is in the search of ‘truth’ in any form, should first assess himself whether he is capable of vetting the ‘hidden truth’ behind the ‘surfaced’ one.

Except for death, there is no “absolute truth” in this world. It is a matter of perception only. A million of truths get defeated by a single lie!


innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

God needs no proof

A K Bhargava

If you think God does not exist, you are right. As per the Vedanta, God does not exist. It is only Brahman which is the base of life and universe. The nearest thing to God is probably the space or ether which supports the universe. When He has no form, desire, ego or any qualities of His own,


how can anyone become devoted to Him? However, He is supposed to be within us all. The whole universe is His creation. When we talk of Love for Him, we talk of Love for his creation. A lady had once approached a Swami and asked him how she should love God when she knows nothing about Him.
The Swami asked her if there is any one whom she loves. She said she loved her grandson. The Swami told her she should consider her grandson as a gift from God and bestow her love on him and God will get that love.

The grosser a man, the bigger proof he needs for His existence. Someone needs a scenario like Mount Everest to marvel about Him, but others who are more subtle and sensitive get impressed just by seeing a pomegranate so nicely packed with seeds as God’s most wonderful creation. Similarly, a Bhakta sees His image in His statue.

Not that the statue is the God. We see India in our flag but the flag does not become India. We see marriage in a marriage ring but marriage does not get nullified if the ring is lost. Similarly, we have God or Brahman. He does not cease to exist if images are not there.

Like in Sankhya Yoga or Gyan Marg, logic plays an important part but the same logic you cannot apply in Bhakti Marg. But one thing is sure: If one is really devoted to the Lord, his actions get dedicated to the Lord and he would find it difficult to harm others. It is easier for a Bhakta to become a Karam Yogi.

The best way is to choose a path which suits you and let others choose their own.


innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nurture nature

We are today on a collision course with nature and the damage to environment has become the greatest bane of our times. This blue planet of ours is in peril as never before. In sheer arrogance and under false notions, we are violating the laws of nature and playing havoc with the plethora of fauna a


nd flora created munificently by the divine order. The need is to realise that the ecological crisis is a symptom of the spiritual crisis emanating from man’s total ignorance, insatiable rapacity and utter selfishness.
It requires reshaping our present attitudes and redefining our values and adopting a renewed respect for the divine laws; failing which our very existence will be at stake.

We must remember that many present-day ailments like cancer, AIDS and TB are the outcome of our disrespect for nature. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs avers: “Air is the spiritual as well as the temporal teacher, water is the father, and earth is the great mother of all. Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play.”
Dharminder Singh Ubha


Then, isn’t it an unpardonable sin to pollute the air, our Guru and to dump effluents in our progenitor, the water? As we puncture the ozone layer, the cycle that manufactures chlorophyll in green plants is damaged or hindered and since plants are an essential part of this cycle, we simply pave the way for choking ourselves to death.

In India, trees have always been associated with wisdom, morality and life force. Their worship or veneration is common all over the land. Sri Granth Sahib is replete with references where the Guru or the Lord has been personified as a tree.

Interestingly, 48 of the Sikh Gurudwaras in India have been named after various trees. Sri Guru Granth Sahib preaches to live in harmony with nature in order to live a healthy life.

A healthy and pollution-free environment will give us a healthy society.


innervoice@hindustantimes.com
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