Category Archives: About me

Trip to Bhuj- Gujarat

The city is so small but still buzzing. There is only one flight to Bhuj by Air India which is never on time. Two hours of delay both ways is normal. I was expecting to see some authentic traditional houses on the way to our kul devi temple but it seems people across the country are losing the touch with traditions and have embraced highly toxic so-called modern lifestyle.

The plastic garbage is ruining the country and the countryside. It’s consumed by the cows on the roads and than we drink that milk and expect to be healthy.

The temple was located in the remote area 3 hours from Bhuj airport. Though it was jungle me Mangal. We stayed in the hotel Regenta which is 3 km from the airport. It is built on the hill top with a beautiful sight of the city.

The funniest part is, I noticed old fashioned sofa made of wood, a washbasin made on a silai machine, an autorickshaw – old-styled chakra and a ship. The culture which we want to desperately leave behind, we are ok to embrace it as a fashion statement. We want to display it as home decor in modern houses. But we don’t want to go back to that healthy lifestyle and more so we just keep abusing the old traditions.

The sad part is, we are progressing economically on the line of global lifestyle at the cost of environment, culture, health, mental peace and spirituality.

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. 


At the Temple of Kadu Malleswara and others

Continuing with my visit in the busy area of Malleswaram, I reached the temple of Kadu Malleswara after finishing the Gangamma and Nandi Temples located in the vicinity. A temple that is many centuries old, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is the lord of the forest as Kadu in Kannada means forest.  This place should have been a forest full of trees once upon a time. Modernization and a teeming population should have shrunk these green areas and they would have become a part of the city at some point of time. The area Malleswaram gets its name because of this temple. One legend says Sage Gautama had performed penance in this forest, so the area is rich with spiritual vibrations. History says that this temple was consecrated in the seventeenth century by Venkoji, the step brother of Maratha ruler, Shivaji after he found a Swayambu linga in the place. The place is so vast and you can explore it at a leisurely pace.

I found the stone images of snakes so fascinating. The nagara kallu or snake in stone is installed in fulfillment of a vow according to locals. There are hundreds of such stones in the far end of the temple.

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There is also an image of a seven-headed black snake in the premises.

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It was really a blissful visit as I climbed the flight of steps and worshipped Lord Shiva, his consort Parvathi and also Lord Vishnu in the main shrine. There are other small shrines dedicated to Lord Dakshinamurthy, Hanuman and the Navagrahas.

A little farther from this temple is the Dodda Ganapathy Temple.

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The evening wore on and I next went to the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, this temple too seems to have had a connection with the Maratha rulers. The temple was consecrated by a kinsman of Chatrapathi Shivaji. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple. As it was the eve of Vaikunta Ekadashi the temple was getting ready for the stream of visitors the next day and decorations were on in full swing. I felt so fortunate to be in the presence of Lord Narasimha on such an auspicious occasion.

You can learn more about the Narasimhavtar if you follow this link on my website

http://www.indianscriptures.com/gods/avatars/vishnu-avatar/narsimhavtar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting the Dakshina Mukha Nandi Temple

The year 2017 has begun on a significant note for me. Travelling to Bengaluru to attend the Pravasi Bharathiya Diwas as a delegate, I thought it best to make use of this opportunity to visit local temples steeped in legend and history.

I was so happy to visit some of the temples in Malleswaram, which is one of the traditional areas of the city. My first stop was the Gangamma Temple. What a beautiful place this is! The deity Gangamma dedicated to the River Goddess Ganga is worshipped by the locals. Mother Ganga strikes an emotive chord in the heart of Indians as she blesses this land with her grace. She stands for prosperity and wealth. No wonder we find that she is worshipped in all parts of India by her children. The annual jathra or fair is a big event here where thousands from all over the state come to the temple to offer worship. There is a lovely chariot in which the goddess will be taken in a grand procession during the festival.

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You can learn a lot more about Mother Ganga from the detailed articles on my site

http://www.indianscriptures.com/sacred-places/rivers/ganga-1

http://www.indianscriptures.com/vedic-lifestyle/food-and-health/food-tales-from-scriptures/water-the-source-and-sustenance-ganga

Bang opposite the Gangamma Temple is a temple that attracted me with the image of a large Nandi atop the spire of the temple. I went there and was amazed by what I saw. Even more thrilling is the fact that this temple known as Dakshina Mukha Nandi Teertha meaning the South facing Nandi Temple was lost and buried under sand and was a distant memory in the minds of the local people. Then one day in 1997 when someone wanted to sell this plot of sandy land, locals protested saying that a temple had stood there centuries ago. Soon they started digging the land and buried deep under mounds of sand, a beautiful view of the temple emerged. The Archeological Survey of India stepped in and began excavating the place excited that they were going to recreate history. And they were not disappointed. An exquisite temple so grand and unique emerged and they went about piecing together the history of the temple. Using the carbon dating method, the ASI feels the temple is 400 years old. But some say it could be 7000 years old too though there is no evidence apart from hearsay and local legends.

I felt thrilled that I was directly witnessing a unique history as I went inside to see the temple. I have visited so many temples and have always found the Nandi which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva seated right in front of the Lord. Here the Nandi was seated atop a platform and right below is a shiv ling. Water flows out of Nandi’s mouth and falls on the Shivling as if he is continuously doing abhishek on the Lord.

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I tried to find out where the water is coming from. That seems to be another mystery of this magnificent temple. No one knows the source of this water body. May be it is a fresh water spring, maybe it is some other divine source. The water is supposed to have medicinal properties. It collects from the shivling into a tank that is right in front of the shrine. Locals call this tank a kalyani.One thing that caught my observation was that the temple is slightly lower than the surrounding areas. Possibly that is why it had remained hidden from public view for so many years. But I marveled at the engineering skills of our great countrymen that inspite of years of neglect the temple remains in a fit condition to host devotees who come to pay obeisance to Nandishwara, the loyal vehicle of the Lord. There are also small idols of Ganesha and the Navagrahas on a raised platform.

I threw some coins into the tank which had a few fish and turtles and slowly wound my way to the exit. I was witness to a unique slice of the past.

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The Global Indian

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This year I attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas for 2 days in the garden city of Bengaluru. The weather was pleasant and the Exhibition Centre where the grand event took place was spacious and lovely. It was very well organized and I can see that the event is getting bigger and bigger every year. It is apparent that global Indians look forward to attending the Pravasi event as it gives us a chance to meet, network and also learn about the latest things that the government is doing keeping us as stakeholders. There is a sense of belonging now to the country of our roots.

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I took the opportunity to present my book on Hindu Culture and Lifestyle Studies to the Chief Minister of Assam. I enjoyed the lovely exhibition displaying arts and crafts from various states of India. These talented craftsmen were present there and it was great interacting with them.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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January 9th is a very special day for Indians whether they are resident, nonresident or ethnic Indians. It is the day that commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay in the year 1915. It is often said that Gandhi left India as Mohandas Karamchand and returned home as the Mahatma. Fighting off racial arrogance and plunging into causes more humanitarian than political, he emerged as a messiah for the masses.

It is indeed appropriate that the Indian Government has decided to honor this day as Pravasi Bharatiya divas celebrating the Indian diaspora and welcoming them home on this day. Each year 7th to 9th January, a celebratory event called the Pravasi Bharatiya conference is held in any Indian city by rotation. It is rightly said you can take an Indian out of India but not India from the heart of any Indian. The country with its ancient heritage and culture shows the way to everyone in the world and it is to reaffirm one’s roots to this ancient country that Indians gather home during this time.

Protecting our heritage

I visited a few countries in the last couple of months. During my travel, I found how other countries are protecting their heritage sites and welcoming visitors to their tourist sites. It not only generates income for the country but also helps in popularizing the culture of that particular place. When the visitors go back to their own places they are sure to describe their visit and the facilities available to their friends and relatives. This word of mouth advertisement helps in promoting tourism much more than any pamphlet or agency. What is it that a visitor looks forward to while visiting such places? Cleanliness and hygiene are the two important things that come to my mind. The place should be clean and good rest room facilities should be available. It should be children and elder friendly. If there is provision for the differently abled then that is a huge bonus.

It is here that many places abroad score over our country. India is blessed with a wonderful heritage and culture. Go to any part of the country and every monument you see there speaks so much about the history of the place and its people. But I feel sad when I see these beautiful structures vandalized, people scribbling with nails and pens or other sharp instruments, throwing empty juice cartons or chips covers all over the place and I am filled with revulsion and also sadness. Imagine how a visitor would feel. I feel these are things our schools should be telling the children. We have to inculcate pride in our culture, in our national treasures. Teachers, parents and all of us interested in the future of our nation should make it a point to talk to our children about these things. Swatcch Bharat is not a campaign run on the streets alone. If each one of us takes it to heart and educate people and this includes our children, our workforce, people like our maids and drivers, then the message will go well. It cannot happen in a day. It takes some time but atleast we have made a beginning. People outside are so proud of their treasures, this feeling that it is all ours should be there within each one of us. We have to take responsibility and care for our rivers, beaches, waterbodies and any other natural and manmade tourist spots. I hope you all agree.

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Gandhi jayanti celebration in London

It was just a perfect coincidence for me to be in London today on the day of Gandhi Jayanti which is also celebrated as non violence day.

I was bit curious to know what actually people do on this day. To my surprise it was damn serious and sincere efforts by various organisations to acknowledge the contribution of this man called GANDHI in various forms.

I started with first celebration at Euston square garden where high commissioner remained present and gave a short speech on the importance of this day. Than we followed to High commissioner’s office where Modiji’s speech was telecasted live from Delhi where he opened a center specially for NRIs. It followed to the parliement square where patidar samaj concluded peace march. 

I used to read and write a lot about Gandhiji in school days. I remembered his teachings but forgot him in last few years. It was a good feeling to get connected with my favorite topic of essay in school days.

Temple Visit across world

It is such a pleasure to visit temples in any part of the world. There is something magical about the ambience and you feel connected to the divine when you are there. Maybe it is because of all the rituals and pujas that are conducted inside which creates vibrations that rub onto us when we visit them. The silence also helps us to connect with god easily, no wonder they say it is only in the depths of silence you can hear the voice of god.

Also our scriptures talk about shilpa shastras and vastu shastras which deal with design, architecture and the science of building temples, forts, houses etc. The vast spaces in the temples have a deeply significant purpose for energy flows in these spaces and we can carry the positivity with us when we return from there. I truly felt these when I visited the Sanatan Hindu temple at Wembley. It is extremely beautiful and the well-carved walls are exquisite. The entire temple is very well maintained. When significant incidents from the epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and our Puranas are put up on the walls they also serve as a link for the visitors with our glorious culture and traditions. These walls speak so well that visitors are engrossed in absorbing the message conveyed by these walls. By putting up images of popular men and women who have inspired others the temple also seeks to be inclusive and is seen as promoting values which are common for all like compassion, love and service.

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Third patotsav of Kamleshwar shiv temple in kibigori

Shrivedant Foundation celebrated third patotsav of Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple in Kibigori today. Kamal Shah and Vaishali Shah invited devotees from Kisumu, Kericho, Kakamega and other nearby towns.The priest Pradipbhai of Sanatan Temple performed the maha rudra yagna and changed the dhwaja.

The devotees from Iskon temple of Kisumu sang bhajan during the celebration.

An opening of a new hall at sanatan hindu temple in kisumu

I am a bit surprised that how and why this news got missed by the people in kisumu. A new hall – Karsanji Makanji Rawal Auditorium named after father of Mr. hasmukh Rawal and Mrs Kalpana Rawal was inaugurated on 14th May in Kisumu. Mr Hasmukhbhai Rawal and Mrs Kalpana Rawal were the chief guests of the event. Kaminiben thakkar and her group presented cultural program which mesmerised the audience. The souvinor of the temple was also launched during the event. 

It is surely a feather in the cap of sanatan temple and a new offering in Kisumu. The hall is well designed and going to be the best choice for weddings, parties and any cultural event. 

Closing ceremony of Shah Free Eye and ENT camp by Jain youth league Thika

It was truly a pleasure to remain present at the closing ceremony of Jain Youth League Thika on Thursday last week.

The team recognised doctors for their contribution to the society and their service to so many patients. Many of them had recieved the sight after more than three decades.

It was a monent of pride and satisfaction to know that more than eight hundred people recieved free treatment for eyes and other ENT related problems.


  

75th celebration of JainYouth  league of Thika 

I really enjoyed the event of 75th celebration of Jain Yourh League of Thika. The celebration started with prayers to Lord Ganesha presented by Kamini Dance school. They also presented other cultural dances which were truly mesmerising.

The chairperson Mr Hitesh Shah walked through the activities of the organization.  There were many interesting facts about their flagship program Shah free eye clinic which has been going on for last 37 years in various parts of Kenya. The team has operated more than 140000 patients for cataract with many other treatments like ENT related problems.

The event was well attended by more than 340 people from Thika as well as Nairobi.


  
  
  
  

Eye and ENT clinic by Shree Jain youth league Thika 

img_3613It was a learning experience to be part of the Eye and ENT camp arranged by Shree Jain Yough League of Thika in Kisumu county in this week from Monday till Thursday. Though I didn’t do much to help them but I observed quite a few interesting things from the camp about the patients’ registration, marketing the details of camp, logistics of the camp etc. It was worth spending four days in different locations for few hours.

The camp was conducted in four completely different locations around Kisumu; first day was at Ngere Primary school in Ahero, second was Konditi School at Peponditi, third was at  Wagai primary school in Yala and forth was Jalaram School in Kisumu central.

Dr. S.K. Savla was leading the camp with eight doctors from India; he has been coming to Kenya for last 37 years in April to serve the local community for the eyes related problems specially cataract.

The very able team screened  around 3900 patients for eyes related problems and 2300 ENT patients were checked. At the end of the camp, they found 265 people for cataract problem and 60 for ENT related who were to transported to Thika for further treatment.

It was truly pleasure to know Dr. Savla who has been so dedicated to this camp for last many years. His wife was equally passionate about helping Doctor in his work. I should appreciate the doctors who joined the team without expecting anything in return.

 

A day spent with Indian High commissioner in Kisumu

It was truly a pleasure to meet the Indian High commissioner to Kenya Mrs. Suchitra Durai again in Kisumu on Saturday 26th March with her family. During the lunch session in Kisumu Yacht Club, I found that she has a great knowledge of India’s bilateral trade with Kenya and how it can be improved through more opportunities for the business communities of both the countries.

She explained the same more in details in the evening session which was attended by representatives of communities and others. It was a day well spent with her and know more about the initiatives taken by Indian government for NRI communities across the world.

Meeting with High commissioner of Kenya

I think its worth sharing this on women’s day that Kenya is truly delighted to have a lady as High commissioner of India to Kenya, Mrs. Suchitra Durai. It was my pleasure to meet her in Nairobi at her office on 7th March 2016.

I was really impressed by her simplicity and professionalism both completely at ease. It is also wonderful to know that the Indian government is taking many new initiatives to help NRI communities to come closer  to India.

I am also thrilled to be part of this new development and take forward India Kenya relationship to a greater heights.

 

Ammaji’s disciple Submitraji in Kisumu

It was truly a pleasure to host Submitraji, the disciple of Ammaji at my residence during his visit to Kisumu this month. When our committee of Sanatan mandir decided to invite him to temple, I quickly thought of hosting him at home to know more about Ammaji and it is always my pleasure to invite such saints in the house.

He was acoompanied by Manish Shah from Nairobi and two other members of his team. Nath and Rupal. Nath is a German guy who is always traveling with Swamiji to donate white Crane to blind schools. After picking up them from the airport, we checked the venue of evening talk and after lunch went to Kibos Blind school. It was really heart warming and touching to see so many blinds in the region not so far from Kisumu. They were truly happy to receive the sticks which can help them to get the direction and a strong support as well.

after the donation drive, we returned and went for the evening talk at the temple. The talk was in English and Hindi mixed which people enjoyed. I learned quite a bit more about the projects Ammaji does and how she has embraced the world by hugging each and every soul she has ever met. It was truly an amazing fact that she has reached out to millions of people and shared their pain and sorrows and given them a motherly comfort which they might have not got from their own family.

Our country is truly great as we keep getting such saints in the country who not only helps Indians but the people world over.

Seminar on Bhagwad Gita at Nehru Center in London!

The Bhagawad Gita holds an eternal fascination to man and the wonder is that each time you read it, like an onion, you can keep peeling different layers from it. I have always been attracted to the Gita and each and every commentary that I have read has helped me gain fresh insights into this little wonder book. Imagine my happiness then to be invited to a seminar on the Gita which was held at the Nehru Centre in London in September 2015. It coincided perfectly with my trip to the UK so I decided to make the most of it.

The Gita is not a religious scripture followed by followers of a particular religion; oh no it is timeless, eternal and has a universal appeal because it provides solutions to every problem under the sun in a simple, logical and humane way. Thus the Seminar comprised of eminent scholars from all over the world who had gathered there to share their ideas and get enriched in the process. Members of the managing committee were drawn from India and England.

A high point of the program to me personally was when one of the keynote speakers, Mrs. Suryakanthi Tripathi remarked that she referred to my website www.indianscriptures.com everyday and has even bookmarked it. She was full of appreciation at my endeavor and congratulated me for presenting articles on a wide range of subjects from our Scriptures in a language easily understandable to the lay public. Scriptures like the Gita should be presented in a simple manner so that the common man can relate to it and follow it easily and the series Layman and the Gita presented on the site does exactly this.

    

The Seminar saw presentations by well-known academicians and scholars and these are the points what I gathered from them.

Mr. Brian Black is a lecturer of Religious studies in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Lancaster. He discussed how and why Bhagwad Gita was spoken in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It created an impact in the listener’s mind about the importance of the knowledge shared by Krushna.

I observed that many misconceptions about Vedic scriptures continue to prevail in people’s minds. The western scholars are highly influenced by scholars from the early 1900’s who presented the Veda in a derogatory manner. They still use the words like Brahamanism etc. which doesn’t exist in our scriptural directory.

Prof. Peter Flugel studies and propagates Jain scriptures and has an amazing in-depth knowledge of various Jain sutras. I felt truly proud of our community members who have emphasized on various such scriptures to impart knowledge to millions.

James Mallinson is a lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London. He shared his true life experiences of the Kumbh Mela, how society connects with each other in India, the importance of Yoga in Bhagwad Gita. Prof. Theodore Proferes is a senior lecturer in Ancient Indian Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I was truly impressed with his way of presenting the Mimamsa point of view in
Bhagwad Gita. He stated that the theory of Karma is well explained in Gita and that it truly helps us to identify where we stand in life and where we want to go.

Swami Sarvapriyananda from Ramkrishna Math and Mission explained the Vedantic point of view of Bhagwad Gita. Vempaty Kutumba Sastryji explained how Gita strides across like a colossus and time stands still in its pages. Therefore its message is relevant to all people at all times. His paper explained the points of Atman and how it is explained in the Gita.

The most impressive part of the talk was the recitation of various verses from the Bhagwad Gita by Stephen Peter Thompson. He has been teaching Panini, Gita and Upanishads at various universities and centers across UK. He traced the connection between the verses of Chapter 2 of the Gita with Katha Upanishad.

It was nice to know the interest of the Indian High Commissioner to UK in such topics. He shared his idea of the Gita and also spoke of the need to hold such gatherings more often in London. On a personal note, I requested him to see my website and share his comments which he agreed to do.

    

           
           
I also met Prof Shaunaka Das, the Head of the Oxford Center for Religious Studies in another occasion. He answered all my queries and inspired me on how to look at scriptures from an academic angle. How to understand them from an international point of view? I can hardly wait, I am eager to take my research to the next level and make it visible on an international platform. His guidance is really going to help me to learn the Bhagwad Gita differently.

My profile!

Hey! It is difficult to say few words about yourself. But let’s try. I am the founder owner of Shrivedant Foundation (www.shrivedant.com) in India, Kenya and United Kingdom. The foundation aims to bring forth the pearls of wisdom from ancient Indian scriptures. My team could manage to collect more than 45000 pages of various scriptures under one portal http://www.hinduscriptures.com. After building a Shiv Temple in Kenya with my husband, I moved on to fulfill my dream of promoting vegetarianism in Africa, hence launched Kenya Vegetarian Club. www.kenyavegclub.com.  Our team is of geeks, researchers and New media professionals who publish researched content on websites, mobile platforms, books, journals and magazines. We aim to open a university solely dedicated to Indian scriptures one day.

After securing a couple of Diplomas and Degrees (Masters and Post-Graduate) in International Business, Management, Marketing, Internet Technology and Financial markets,  I felt they are useful only for the employments and to survive corporate jobs. Hence had to lay my hands on various work profiles while working with the family in their businesses. After studying almost all the theories of management in the management school,  I wanted more. A typical nerd in the university campus, I started studying more about Indian scriptures during the weekends till the librarian would come and request me to leave the library so that he can go home. First book in this series was Chanakya’s Arthashastra which lead to many more books, research papers, meetings with so called representatives of Hindu culture and religion etc. But my insatiable desire of knowledge didn’t end there. It is when I decided to fulfill the huge gap between the seeker of authentic knowledge and the scriptures in the world. This gave me an idea of combining my knowledge of technology, management, keen interest in research and present them as www.hinduscriptures.com.

The site actually changed my life, lifestyle, thinking pattern, approach, ambition, endeavors, circle of people around me, friends, emotions and made me much stronger person what I am today. It didn’t end here, it has added few more virtues too and made me ambitious, focused, more responsible towards the society, empathetic and more sensitive. Eventually sharing the real knowledge of Indian scriptures is the aim of life. I am ready to go to any length to fulfill this goal till the last breath of life.

This endeavor led me to compile the details about Indian lifestyle into the study material. We have recently launched courses called Hindu Culture and Lifestyle Studies on the website www.hinduculturestudies.com. It is also available in the form of self study books and one can teach into the classrooms too. We will make it available in various book stores online and offline very soon.

My passion for saving the environment and nurturing nature is taking shape slowly through Kenya Vegetarian Club. I am able to reach out to farmers, women and youth to empower them in the field of agriculture and organic farming. I surely want to appeal to my readers to go for tree planting wherever possible, donate some seeds to poor farmers and ensure not to bargain with them while buying any  such produce from them. You may find clues on how and why to do it in my book called The Veg Safari.

Awards and accolades:

  • Hind Rattan Award by NRI Welfare society in Delhi 2017
  • Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Sanman in the house of Lords in London in 2016
  • Authentication certificate for the content of the website and course material from Deccan College of Pune, India
  • Appreciation letters from eminent personalities like Shri Narendra Modiji, Smt Anandiben Patel, Shri Vijay Rupani ji- Chief Minister of Gujarat, Swami Avimukteshwaranandji, Pujya Bhaishree Shri Rameshbhai Oza, Shri Morari Bapu etc.
  • Various certificates from Kenyan bodies for contribution to uplift the locals as well as various Indian communities
  • Nav Rattan Award – Delhi – 2016
  • Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences from the Young Scientist University of America

Attended a meeting on finance bill in Kisumu

It is really interesting to know that a country like Kenya known for uninvolvement of people in jurisdiction, invites people to give a feedback on forthcoming finance bill. When I heard them I found that the government team was all set to hear us. Could manage to suggest about the charges on advertisements on our own premises. They replied about every category patiently and also took feedback from our team of HCK kisumu.

It is a good lesson about how system works locally.

Sattvic Diet and Yoga

This article was written on the occasion of Inernational Yoga Day. IT was published in one of the newspaper in Kenya.

The word Sattvic is derived from the Sanskrit word Sattva which means pure, essence, nature, vital, energy, clean, conscious, strong, courage, true, honest, wise, rudiment of life.” Sattvic diet emphasizes food and eating habits which promote, maintain or restore a sattvic state of living. It is pertinent to remember that the food we consume falls under any one of the three categories namely Sattvic, Tamasic and Rajasic. Food and drinks that have a destructive influence on the mind and body are classified as Tamasic while those foods that neither lead to better health nor prove to be destructive fall under Rajasic.

References in Scriptures

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Yoga literature that can be traced back to the medieval era raises the concept of mitahara or moderation in eating. The best diet is one which is tasty, satisfying, nutritious and adequate to meet the needs of the body. Hatha Yoga Pradipika suggests that one must “eat only when one feels hungry” and “neither overeat nor eat to completely fill the capacity of one’s stomach; rather leave a quarter portion empty and fill three quarters with quality food and fresh water”. Further one interested in yogic practices should avoid foods with excessive amounts of sourness, salt, bitterness, oil, spices, unripe vegetables, fermented foods or alcohol. The Bhagavad Gita also stresses that those in Satttva state prefer foods that are life giving, nourishing, and purifying one’s existence at the same time conferring strength, happiness and health. The goal of Yoga is Chitta vruthi nirodaha that is controlling the mind and calming the senses. A sattvic diet aids in achieving this goal easily. The Chhandogya Upanishad says, “By the purity of food one becomes purified in his inner nature; by the purification of his inner nature he verily gets memory of the Self; and by the attainment of the memory of the Self, all ties and attachments are severed.”

A Sattvic diet

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Hence a Sattvic diet is also known as Yogic diet. This includes seasonal foods, fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins. Seasonal foods, fresh and naturally sourced, well prepared and freshly cooked are recommended. Moderation is the key in Yoga. Vegetarian food procured without harming other living creatures is hence recommended. All the six flavors are important and are preferably present in the Sattvic diet as each is vital for sustenance. Today doctors and dieticians recommend that the food pyramid be followed with a wholesome diet that can provide nutrition from all quarters, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They also advise that a diet that is vegetarian certainly helps in reducing many lifestyle diseases which was advocated by our ancient seers.

It is not what we eat alone that matters but how we eat too contributes to our well being. Eating should not be a rushed, matter of fact chore to be over and done with. The act of eating itself is an offering to the Vaishwanara or the divinity that is there within each one, hence it is considered to be akin to a yagna. Sattvic diet is light, easy on the stomach, refreshing and does not contribute to mental agitations. When prepared and served with love, it creates harmony and balance in the human body.

Swami Sivananda sums up beautifully when he says, “Evolution is better than revolution. You should not make sudden changes in anything, particularly so in matters pertaining to food and drink. Let the change be slow and gradual. The system should accommodate it without any trouble.”

 

Think and grow rich – Napoleon Hill

Though it was written decades ago, this amazing book, like the Bhagwad Geeta, holds true for every age and era. I was deeply affected by the book. It seemed to me that through every word and every line, the legendary Napoleon Hill was speaking directly to me in the context of my current circumstances. Reading it has given me a definite goal in life and helped me take firmer decisions.