LWP Newsletter No. 13
Blows are what awaken us and help to break the dream. They show us the insufficiency of this world & make us long to escape, to have freedom.
– Swami Vivekananda
Dear LWP Readers,
The Rally for Rivers campaign led the Isha Foundation kicked off on 3 September in Coimbatore and will culminate on 2 October in Delhi. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the depleting rivers in India: perennial rivers and turning seasonal and tributaries are vanishing. Some worrying trends include:
- Per capita water availability in India has come down 75% since 1947
- 25% of India is turning into a desert
- By 2030 we will have only 50% of the water we need for our survival
Here’s the highlights from the past week on LWP:
– Shruti Bakshi discussed how the Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh scandal in India shows that you can’t talk spirituality to an empty stomach and also that most Indians don’t understand the role of a guru. Read the article.
– With the controversies surrounding ‘fake gurus’ and self-proclaimed holy men, it is also important to have the right understanding of what ‘surrender’ to a guru really means. Beloo Mehra discussed this in the broader context of what surrender means for a spiritual seeker.
– If you have never heard Vedic chanting before, the multi-dimensional Dr Sivaram Hariharan (aka Sydney Kishore) gave a fascinating insight into how he got into learning the ancient tradition of Vedic chanting and the sophistication of tones and letters involved in the chanting. A MUST READ and listen: Vedic Chanting: An Amazing World at the Intersection of Tones and Letters
– Part 2 of the series Primal Divergence: A Contrast of Cultures in which Ganesh Varadharajan explored the limitations of modern science that follows in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks and is not able to grasp the evolution of successive conditions of energy as expounded in Indian thought systems like the Sankhya philosophy. Western pop culture portrays the next stage in the evolution of man as a brutish being, with the idea of beauty of form as emphasised by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, being completely disregarded.
– Rohit Kumar accomplished the rare feat of climbing to the Everest Base Camp (5,364m) and Nagarjuna peak (5,100m). In the Everest Series of posts, Rohit describes his personal experiences of scaling one of the world’s most treacherous terrains.
– In last Sunday’s monthly newsletter, Shruti Bakshi noted that “John Maynard Keynes famously predicted in his 1930 essay ‘Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren’ that over the coming century, productivity would increase so much that people would only need to work about 15 hours a week. Bertrand Russel penned an essay ‘In Praise of Idleness’ in 1932 where he recommended a 4-hour work-day….” Yet we seem to only be getting busier. So what gives? And can yoga help us out here? Read the Importance of Being Idle.
Editor, the LivingWise Project