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  1. Today is the death anniversary of "Dr V", the light behind the India based Aravind Eye Hospitals, which cured tens of thousands of people from cataract blindness, with most surgeries being done free of cost. "Dr Venkataswamy's pioneering work and his compassionate spirit has been recognised by a number of honours. Among them are the Padmashree from the Government of India, The Helen Keller International Award, which has been presented to him at the United Nations, and the timelife service award from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. We await with eagerness his first lecture on the theme of 'Rationalism and Spiritualism'. Please welcome Dr Govinda Venkaswamy." ---Harvard Divinity School, 1992 The below is a video about Dr V and the Aravind Eye Hospitals http://www.aravind.org/ivisiongoogle.htm Or http://www.aravind.org/ivision/homepage1000.htm Have a fruitful time.
  2. Source: http://www.globaldharma.org/Files%20-%20Adobe%20Acrobat/SBW/SBL%203.16%20Increasing%20Our%20Gross%20National%20Character.pdf SEVERAL YEARS AGO, we met an MBA student named Kapil Jawa who was completing his studies at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in India. He shared with us a most fascinating masters thesis he had researched about a values-based approach to measuring economic development. The overall theme of his report was: Just as economic growth is necessary for human development, human development is critical to economic growth. This two-way link must be at the heart of any enlightened policy action. One of the most startling things he demonstrated was that the lack of wealth was not the barrier to overcoming our world's hunger, poverty and social problems. Using data from the United Nations, he showed that in 1997, Europeans and Americans together spent more on cosmetics, perfumes and pet foods than it would have taken to provide reproductive health, basic health and nutrition for all people on the planet. And military spending in that same period was twenty times that. So the resources are not lacking in this world, but the will, the understanding and the compassion are! In his thesis, Kapil also pointed out the philosophy found in Kautilya's Arthashastra that inspired a revival of many kingdoms in India for years after his reign. As Kapil stated: the healthiest state of affairs was one in which values higher than worldly possessions received honour and approval; maximum production was not the supreme objective of the economic organisation; commerce or wealth-making was not an end in itself; and merchants and manufacturers carried out their activities in a trust for the society they lived in. Kapil concluded his findings in this way: * Gross National Product and per capita income are not holistic indicators to compare the progress and development of nations. * A developmental philosophy should be framed in terms of achieving the overall welfare of society and not just economic growth. * Economic development should result in enabling people to achieve the final spiritual goal of human life. * In addition to the use of economic indicators, we could use indicators of five universal values "truth, righteousness, peace, love, and non-violence" to measure national development.. We concluded from Kapil's inspiring thesis that the real wealth of a nation is the character of its people. As Swami Vivekananda once said: The rise of nations comes with an increase of men of character and of strong ethical and moral fibre. Therefore, every country in the world that wishes to increase its real wealth must necessarily focus on increasing its Gross National Character (GNC), along with its Gross National Product (GNP)! As Kapil put it so beautifully: The purpose of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy, and creative lives. This simple but powerful truth is too often forgotten in the pursuit of material and financial wealth. There are clearly important initiatives that are happening around the world along these lines. Since 1990, the United Nations has been publishing its Human Development Index (HDI); and in 1999, the late Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq developed the 'Humane Governance Index' (HGI). While these initiatives are at a macro level; in our view, business leaders also have the opportunity to make a dramatic difference to the overall welfare of our world, by taking the lead in exercising their own character, inspiring integrity in their colleagues, and transforming the character of their organisations. How? We've found that character springs most deeply and most directly from our spiritual nature! And therefore, the real call is for transformational leaders who base their leadership on their spiritual roots and values. Character development is a business leader's greatest contribution to the development of an economy, which comes from the Greek word oikonomos, meaning 'household management'. When we step up to the call to be business leaders steeped in our spiritual values, we will manage our companies and our economies with the same character as we would our own households and thus build the Gross National Character (GNC) of our nations. So, ask yourself: How can I contribute to the strengthening of character in myself, my colleagues, and my organisation? How can I contribute to the Gross National Character of my country?
  3. There are a number of ways through which one can support Akshaya Patra endeavor. One of those ways is to use the internet search engine GoodSearch.com, a search engine that donates money to charity for every search we do through them. Prior to doing the search, select Akshaya Patra Foundation as your preferred charity at GoodSearch.com Thankyou. Have a fruitful time.
  4. James Sinclair has been popularly known for calling the top of the gold market in 1980. He is now the the Chairman and CEO of Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corporation (Tanrange). Here is an excerpt from an interview with him. === When I was the Chairman of the Board for Sutton Resources in the late 80’s/early 90’s, their stock price grew from US19 cents to US$56 and was then bought by a major corporation. How did we do this? We raised our corporate profile by our personal behaviour. I went to Tanzania, Africa and lived with the people and we acted as responsible citizens, undertaking the needs of an area of a developing country that was within the scope of our economic impact and environment. We saw to the needs of the people and their health; we built a hospital. My influence with this company was from 1989-1995. The last book that I wrote dealt with this subject – how you do business in a developing world. But then after this level of success, the management began to act in extremely unethical, bad ways. They were doing some very bad things like stealing money from the stockholders for themselves and hurting people. I knew they had never done these types of acts before and therefore they shouldn’t do them now. I first went to my management and said, “Can I convince you not to act in this way?” No. “Can I plead with you not to act in this way?” No. “Can I pay you not to act in this way?” No. So I fired the management. The problem with this was, the management was also on the board, so they turned around and fired me. Then I called a special meeting of the shareholders to determine what to do with all of this, and that is called a proxy. In all of this, I became a warrior and fought against them. I asked them to cease and desist and change their policies and asked them to liquidate their major asset, which was a piece of land that they were going to build a mine on to extract gold. When they refused I executed the public proxy against them, which cost me personally US$5 million. Even though this was a modest company, the legal battle reached the level as if it were between two of the largest corporations in America. I went so far as to hire the people who did the Nabisco take-over proxy to represent me. The management immediately began to throw dirt at me, but through all of it, I never deviated from the high road. The way I handled this publicly was to say that they weren’t capable of building a mine and therefore the asset should be sold. I knew if you put US$300 million in these guys’ hands, it would have been a disaster. So that’s why I executed a proxy to force the sale of the company. I knew these fellows had shown their true colours and were not ethical people. Even though I made them very rich initially, I threw the whole company into a major turmoil with this proxy. In all of this I became a warrior. What I did every morning was to say to myself, “Was Napoleon angry because he had a battle. No, he was happy. So let’s go today and fight successfully.” I was a warrior that never left the high road. I never attacked them as individuals for their ethics, even though that was the whole fight. I was drinking 16 double espressos every day just to stay awake with all of the tension and fatigue, and eventually I went blind in one eye. At this point I said, “Okay, if you want both eyes, take them. I’m still going to continue my battle.” I am now blind in one eye as a result, and could have died if I had remained there because the tension was so great. They attempted to ruin my reputation. They took my money on three different occasions using legal manoeuvres, but even after all of that I ended up beating them. What won in the end was nature. Nature was on my side. This property was so valuable that a company came in and bought it. But I had to fight for over a year and a half. I had to take many punches: they sued my wife, they had detectives trailing my children, they said I was part of the mafia. It’s hard to believe what they did to try to stop me. I never stopped my fight against them and they couldn’t understand why. I had 21 lawyers and took this fight of ethics to the level of the Fortune 500, as if it were between two of the largest corporations in America. Do you know what hell is like? Hell is having 21 lawyers working for you. I put every cent I had in the world into it. No one paid me anything to do this. I did this because following God through my spiritual teacher, and my sense of ethics had made me a warrior. Initially I lost the proxy because they paid one of the stockholders to get his votes, but even then I still got 47.3% of the total vote. But that didn’t stop me. After that they had so many lawsuits that they couldn’t get financing to build the mine; I wouldn’t let them off the hook. So here they won, but they couldn’t get financing. Nothing could make me stop. Why? Because I knew I was to be a warrior and I was to fight. During all of this I felt like I was dying. I hurt from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head and every day I felt like I was going to my execution. At one point one of the executives came up to me and said, “Look, it’s nothing personal; it’s only business.” And I said, “You better get out of my physical presence so I can control myself.” What could I do? I couldn’t change what was happening; this was what was on the plate. Was I going to run? If I had run they would have killed me. So I fought to the end. Even during this extreme tension, I took the time to be quiet. I wouldn’t miss that time for anything in the world. When I couldn’t sleep at night, I went to my meditation room. Why waste your life if you can’t sleep? Even if you can’t meditate, you can pray. Prayer for me is not “God help me.” Prayer for me is “give me courage, give me strength.” Source: http://www.globaldharma.org/Files%20-%20Adobe%20Acrobat/SBL/!OK%20James%20Sinclair%2019%20Apr%2002%20Final%20approved%2024Mar06.pdf
  5. samudra vasane devi parvatha sthana mandale Vishnu patnee namasthubhyam paada sparsam kshamaswa me O Mother Earth! O Great Goddess shining in the apparel of the Ocean and conveying maternal love through the beautiful hills which are your limbs! O beloved Consort of Lord Vishnu who sustains the whole creation! I bow unto Thee, forgive me as I walk and touch Thee with my feet, O Mother! This has been a morning wake up prayer for many Indians, before they touch their feet on the ground. Kailash Murthy, a bank employee from India, had been practicing this ethos while cultivating his 6.5 acre land in Doddinduvadi village of Kollegal taluk in Chamarajanagar district in the state of Karnataka, India. Kailash transformed the habit of using using chemical fertilizers or pesticides during the farming process. And the results had been encouraging. Report from a nearby forestry college indicated that the farm exhibited a symbiotic relationship as observed in natural forests. More than 3000 varieties of plants co-exist in the farm. Kailash had also grown 33 quintals of paddy on an acre in comparison to 18 quintals in nearby areas. Kailash Murthy practices Natural Farming. The practice of Natural Farming, or "Rishi Khethi" as he refers to it, do not incorporate the usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Unlike organic farming, this practice do not incorporate bio-fertilizers/ bio-pesticides, and not even tilling. He has been influenced by the thoughts of Masanobu Fukuoka from Japan, known for his book "One Straw Revolution". More details about Kailash's practice of "Natural Farming" can be found here: http://www.thehindu.com/2009/01/19/stories/2009011952860300.htm Kailash Murthy is conducting a "One Day Workshop On Mango Cultivation Under Natural Condition" on May 2, 2009, at a place near Mysore, Karnataka, India. Those who would be interested to attend the seminar can contact him. There is no fee to attend the seminar. The travel expenses has to be borne by the participant. The contact details of Kailash Murthy are available at the website of Academy of Natural Farming: http://www.the-anf.org As Fukuoka said, “…the ultimate goal of natural farming is not the growing of crops... but the cultivation and perfection of human beings”. Thankyou.
  6. Two months back, Nokia India announced that it will plant a sapling for every old mobile handset/ accessory deposited back to its dealers or customer care centers. This is an extension of its take-back programme that Nokia has been following globally. As per the Greenpeace 2008 report - Guide to Greener Electronics ( http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/Guide-Greener-Electronics-10-edition.pdf ), Nokia is the leading green company, in terms of taking responsibility for the entire life cycle of its products, of the 18 market leaders that Greenpeace assessed. And this is the impact... "Nokia collects 3 tonnes mobile waste in 45 days" http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/03/02/stories/2009030251620100.htm Thankyou.
  7. Fritjof Capra speaking about his meeting with Werner Heisenberg, known for his uncertainty principle and also awarded the Nobel in Physics in 1932. I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that d to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him.. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China. The following is an excerpt from the book "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra Five years ago, I had a beautiful experience which set me on a road that has led to the writing of this book. I was sitting by the ocean one late summer afternoon, watching the waves rolling in and feeling the rhythm of my breathing, when I suddenly became aware of my whole environment as being engaged in a gigantic cosmic dance. Being a physicist, I knew that the sand, rocks, water and air around me were made of vibrating molecules and atoms, and that these consisted of particles which interacted with one another by creating and destroying other particles. I knew also that the Earth’s atmosphere was continually bombarded by showers of ‘cosmic rays’, particles of high energy undergoing multiple collisions as they penetrated the air. All this was familiar to me from my research in high-energy physics, but until that moment I had only experienced it through graphs, diagrams and mathematical theories. As I sat on that beach my former experiences came to life; I ‘saw’ cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulses; I ‘saw’ the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I ‘heard’ its sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers worshipped by the Hindus.
  8. Hello All, Would you be interested in being part of a research endeavor related to the application of Human Values at Work/ Workplace/ Corporate Innovation? If Yes, you are invited to take a survey at the below link. The survey is designed by William and Debra Miller from the Global Dharma Center (www.globaldharma.org - a site where amazing free resources on the theme of 'Spirituality at Work' is available). The link is: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Jiw1jEzyecXy6OzUnDE20g_3d_3d The individual scores and findings of the survey will be shared with the participants. You need to take the survey before Saturday (31 Jan 2009). Thankyou. Have a nice day.
  9. 2 links 2 tobacco truths: FACTory http://www.thetruth.com/facts/facts.cfm?category=136 The Useful Cigarette http://www.thetruth.com/facts/useFulCig/ Thankyou.
  10. Its the time of the season when we send greeting cards to others. If you are planning to send an E-card during this holiday, have a look at the below link: http://www.care2.com/ecards/ Care2 has more than 25,000 cards from where you can make a choice. For every e-Card sent, Care2 makes a donation to an environmental nonprofit to save a square foot of rainforest. Care2 also donates 5% of its website revenues to leading nonprofits. Nice way to promote a green cause during this holiday season. Thankyou. Have a nice day.
  11. Here is a project that gives us an opportunity to contribute the idle/extra processing power of our computers for global good. It is a distributed computing project known as World Community Grid. Wikipedia has this to say about World Community Grid: "World Community Grid (WCG) is an effort to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle scientific research projects that benefit humanity... Using the idle time of computers around the world, World Community Grid's research projects have analyzed aspects of the human genome, HIV, dengue, muscular dystrophy, and cancer. The organization has so far partnered with nearly 400 other companies and organizations to assist in the work and has over 410,000 registered user accounts." Details of how you can volunteer your computer for global good can be found at the website of World Community grid which is worldcommunitygrid.org Thankyou. Have a nice day.
  12. Here is an article which speaks about eating and living healthy. The link that you can copy paste is: chopra.com/agni Thankyou.
  13. Here is an article titled "World is facing a natural resources crisis worse than financial crunch" published on The Guardian newspaper yesterday. • Two planets needed by 2030, if we continue our life "business as usual" • We are using using 30% more resources than sustainable The article can be accessed by copy pasting the below link: guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/29/climatechange-endangeredhabitats The article is based on the Living Planet Report 2008, which can be accessed by copy pasting the below link: assets.panda.org/downloads/living_planet_report_2008.pdf Thankyou
  14. Hello All, Here is an online way that gives us an opportunity to serve the flood affected people of Bihar. The weblink is: helpbihar.in Thankyou. Have a nice day.
  15. Here is an article which appeared on The Hindu Business Line today - titled "Give Buddhist economics a try": The link is: thehindubusinessline.com/2008/09/15/stories/2008091551160800.htm Thankyou.
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