Soldiers-Saints

Newsletter No.8

Dear LWP Readers,

It’s wonderful to see the LWP community growing week by week, sustained by the interest of you, the Readers as well as our gifted contributors – gifted not only in writing talent, but also in inspiration and vision and their ability to communicate the same.

As LWP is very much about you dear Readers, I would love to hear your feedback from time to time. Do share any comments to help us know how we’re doing and to help us know and serve you better.

As usual, the weekly digest is included further below in the newsletter.

(FYI, if you’ve been forwarded this email, you can sign up to receive these newsletters directly)

Soldier-Saints

This week, we concluded the three part series of an interview with Major General GD Bakshi on Soldiers & Spirituality.  You can watch Parts 1, 2 and 3 on LWP or on our YouTube channel.

The interview explored areas that have not been discussed much in modern media, namely the role of spirituality in the lives of soldiers. This is despite the fact that soldiers have one of the closest relationships with death, which would understandably serve as a strong natural impetus to enquire into the nature of life and one’s own mortality, the basis of spirituality.

The interview started with GD Bakshi telling us about his Guru Swami Parvananda Saraswati and his meditation experiences under the Swami’s guidance. Following a near death experience, GD Bakshi came to the realisation that an ascetic’s life was not for him and that he should return to his worldly life to fulfil his karma.

In Part 3 of the interview, GD Bakshi discussed the soldier-saint (sant-sipahi) tradition in India where the one who meditated, picked up the sword. He discussed the relevance of the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata in modern times and the importance of the teachings of the Gita as well as yoga and meditation, to hep soldiers maintain their balance and calm on the battlefield and overcome their fears on the frontline.

A soldier’s spiritual life is not much examined as spirituality is usually associated with peace. But that would be taking a very stunted view of spirituality which cannot really exclude any aspect of life. In intense situations like conflict and war, in fact, it should only become more immediately relevant and meaningful. We were lucky to have had the chance to speak to a soldier who is also well acquainted with spiritual traditions to be able to unearth some wonderful insights on the theme.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this interview so far – do continue to write in with your comments.

Weekly Digest

Here’s some other highlights from the past week on LWP (scroll down for more):

– LWP shared some insights on the significance of idol worship, an important part of Hinduism. Images, symbols and idols feature as an important part of the human psyche and emotional landscape and their dismissal in the realm of devotion is wholly misplaced.

– Dr Vineet Aggarwal discussed the place of ‘faith’ in modern times and it’s significance in the context of a belief in humanity rather than a belief in the superiority of one or the other religion.

– Beloo Mehra shared her reflections on the harmony of spaces. What is it that makes us linger in some places and not others? What gives harmony and space to spaces – physical and mental?

– Ranjan Bakshi shared his review of the book, Ten Sutras for a Great Life by RA Krishna

– Last Sunday, I gave a talk on Facebook Live, hosted by the Indic Book Club, on my book From Dior to Dharma as well as on the purpose and vision of LWP. You can check it out here.

As always, I look forward to your comments, feedback, suggestions and article contributions. Do share this with those you think may be interested so that they can also and join the wiser-living movement!

Wishing you a lovely Sunday wherever in the world you may be!

Warm regards,
Shruti Bakshi
Editor, the LivingWise Project

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Shruti Bakshi
Shruti Bakshi is the Founder of the LivingWise Project. She has worked for several years in banking and financial services in London, Paris and Mumbai. Shruti writes about life at the intersection of spirituality and modern society. Her debut novel 'From Dior to Dharma' was released in May 2017. International link: From Dior to Dharma
India link:

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