Met revered saint Babaji Labh Singh ji from Anandpur Sahib India.

I some how always manage to get the blessings of saints wherever I am. We at Kisumu are fortunate to welcome Shree Babaji Labh Singh Ji from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab.

He is 94 yrs old serving the community for a long time. It was a perfect day and occasion to have a small chat with him and share my books with him. 

He was accompanied by Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ji from Birmingham. 

They are chairman of Guru Nanak Nishkam sewak Jatha,  a religious and charitable organization dedicated to selfless service to humanity in the name of Guru Nanak Devji. The organization headquarter is based in UK with charitable branches in India, Kericho and Kenya.

A small session on HCLS at Thika with Hindi Mahila mandal

It is quite understandable that many ladies question how our courses are going to help their kids if they learn it. I encountered this very important question while I was in Thika with a ladies group.

Let me give you an example of an indian CEO in modern technology world. E.g. Sunder Pichhai from Google. He hails from a very humbled background with the fully rooted indian values. Do you think there was nobody else as technically sound as him and also creative. But his values pushed him to this stage as he was to head the company world over. Even to climb the ladder of corporate world, we need to inculcate the indian values to our kids which gives them an upper hand above peers. 

The world is surely competitive and we don’t have enough time to teach more to kids. But value based education helps you not only in jobs but also in personal life. 

A journey from Dwarka to Oxford 

It is very rare that one gets blessed to find knowledge from two extreme worlds. Sixteen years back I started from mokshpuri Dwarka to find myself, where I come from and what am I doing here? Why we don’t choose our parents, community, region and religion. All those things are decided by a super natural force which we can’t see and feel in our world.

While I met the team of Turors at Oxford Center of Religious Studies in Oxford, my bug of questioning came alive. 

It is true that everyone around the world has a right to learn our scriptures and practice also at the same time. Oxford Center for Hindu Studies is one of them. They have tried their best to bring the right point of view of scriptures and presented in the manner one can understand.

But my question is what about our own indian system? When are they going to start school, colleges and universities to teach scriptures and give degrees too. There is none at present which can claim of teaching scriptures in its original way apart from Ved Shala and few gurukuls. 

One more question is who should be teaching them? Everyone claims to be the authority but I think it’s only traditional gurukul system should take initiative and modernize and present them. 

It’s going to be a big battle ahead about taking a lead, delivering it and implementing the knowledge at the grass root level. Let’s see who does it successfully? 

Indian Sitar by westerners 

It is always very amusing to enjoy indian musical instruments by westerners who really try to put efforts to play those difficult strings together. Recently I attended such event in Nehru Center in London where three Europeans played very good sitar, ghunghru, Arabic drums etc. 
They ​​did a good justice to the instruments, taal, Soor and tempo of the melodies they created on stage. It is very difficult for me to appreciate any westerner attempting to play indian instruments as for us it is an attempt to connect with god and not just create random music. 

I still appreciate their efforts and music they created and entertained relatively a good audience. 

Veggie delight in Europe 

I always knew that western world is sleeping over diet issue for a long time. But increase in various lifestyle diseases have forced them to revisit the issue of diet all over again. It also means that world is moving towards health and wellness unlike earlier time of fire fighting and not fire prevention.

Increase of vegan diet, cafe and Resturents all across Europe has made it possible for those who were always complaining of non availability of food while traveling. 

Gone are the days when one would need to walk miles to find a vegetarian dish in any decent Resturent in affordable price. 

I found so many such resturants which only serves vegetarian food and doing extremely well. Not fearing of not having enough customers to pay their rentals. 

A tour to the UN in Geneva 

It was worth spending three hours in UN at Geneva to know what they actually do. Very rightly said by the guide that UN talks in Newyork and actually works in Geneva. 

The long session of their activities and few meetings about environment related issues enlightened me on how I can take forward my work related to uplifting the local women and add more activities to Kenya Vegetarian Club for the next level. Its time to understand what is important and what action is required to do for locals. 

My aim of saving the environment through vegetarian diet is actually taken quite seriously at UN too. I saw quite a few banners talking about it all over the center.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Gandhiji’s statue in the premises, though I had heard about it earlier but saw it today. 


Cultural Diversity

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The world is such a diverse place. It is like a mosaic with different cultures forming a rich and beautiful tapestry. We understand that it is the uniqueness and identities of different groups and societies that make up this wonderful human world. And we need dialogue and exchange of thoughts constantly to remind us that we need to live alongside different people in harmony and peace.  We have to acknowledge this diversity, only then will we be able to accept and learn from others and share what is good in our own. This kind of a dialogue should be there in all our schools and colleges, I feel, only then we can truly call ourselves cultured.

There is so much divisiveness in a society that we have to take this call especially when we live in multi-ethnic, multicultural societies. The Dalai Lama keeps stressing that dialogue is a good thing. Otherwise, we will grow up as separate islands or pockets without mingling with others. As the world is becoming more global and we are moving across continents, this kind of integration and seamlessness is necessary. This is what the meaning of true culture is. When I was researching for the Hindu Culture Studies books which I have authored I found that India from the ancient times had this kind of approach. Vasudaiva kutumbhakam, we always believed that the entire world is my family. We assimilated all cultures, welcomed people of all ethnicities, treated them as our own and that is the true culture of our ancient country. We have to teach our children and our future generations about this. That is the reason why our country holds reverence among the world nations. This pride should be instilled in all our countrymen.

Wherever I travel in this wide world I come across people asking me so many questions as they want to know about what they have read or heard about India and I feel quite happy to talk to them about the greatness of our culture. We don’t realize the priceless treasure that we have inherited. Let us hold on to it and become cultured in the true sense of the word.

International Day of the Family

Every year 15th may is observed as the International Day of the Family. Every country has understood the importance of the family in a person’s life. In fact, a family is a place where everyone unwinds, feels natural and also learns to give and give in. Many companies ask details of a candidate’s family before calling them for interviews. This is because sociologists feel a person with a family is more mature and can handle trying situations with calmness. It is a place for emotional and spiritual growth. We learn to adjust and understand other’s needs and also learn to put other’s feelings and needs before ours. An extended family which includes pets is good for our health and growth. I feel sad when I see people sitting at homes or travelling as families they may be together but not really together. Everybody seems to be lost in a world of gadgets. When we were young we used to chat, joke, tease, play simple games but nowadays the only thing that is a constant companion in everyone’s hand is the mobile.  Maybe that’s why the United Nations decided to observe an exclusive day as day of the family as we need to be reminded of basic things in life.

It recognizes the importance and the role played by families in shaping an individual’s life and has been observing May 15th as the International Day of the Family with a specific theme for each year. This year it is Families, education and well-being. Education is not limited only to school and college. Life teaches us many experiences and what better place than a family to learn? We need to raise awareness among families about the important role they play in promoting early childhood education. The gift of education is a distant dream for many as many impoverished families see their children as potential income generators and send them away for doing menial tasks when in reality they should be enjoying their carefree childhood by going to schools and studying. This whole year the focus will be on making disadvantaged parents around the world understand the importance of education and the need to educate their children.

So I think wherever we can, we can influence and encourage parents to send their children to study and also help them in getting all the information they require. That’s a nice way to see that education for all becomes a reality one day in this world.

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An Author, Motivational Speaker, Researcher, Social Worker, Traveler, Avid Reader

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