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November 2009 NEWSLETTER OF SADHU VASWANI CENTRE, UK Vol 15.1 Centres around the world celebrate the 130th birth Anniversary of Sadhu Vaswani on 25 November He was a brother of all men, all races and religions, all nations, a brother of the bereft and bereaved, a brother too, of birds and animals, - a brother of all creation n the golden days of our history, saints and sages with- nomics of the business of earning a living but the Cosmic eco- drew from the world of men and matters and lived lives of nomics which is the art of learning how to live on earth in the austerity, seclusion and tapasya, dedicating themselves to right way, how to be in the world yet not be worldly, to blend the Life of the Spirit. The people had to seek them out, go supplication and worship of God with seva, unselfish service of in search of them for wisdom and enlightenment. the poor and needy and to revere all life as sacred as children of In our contemporary age, the the One Family of God. Age of Kalyug, we are more fortu- Sadhu Vaswani also came to educate nate, at least in this aspect, that our us that the object of our earth life is saints and sages do not shut them- the integration of our whole being – selves away from us; they live and physical, mental, emotional and move among us; they reach out to spiritual – into a fuller and higher us; they call out to us with loving degree of conscious, and to realise concern, and urge us to make God a that we can carry with us to the living reality in our lives. Other Shore only what we have Sadhu Vaswani was one such woven into the fabric ourselves saint. His austerity was selfless de- while on earth. votion, purity of heart and soul, Sadhu Vaswani was a saint who word and deed, humility of spirit offered his life as a sacrifice to the and utter simplicity; his seclusion suffering world. Not only did he was only from publicity and power serve humanity and work for its and the glare of fame, not from the spiritual upliftment, but he also thirsty souls who sought his grace; reached out to extend his love and his life itself was a tapasya – only he compassion to birds and animals, for did not seek the forest of Meditation he saw God’s image in all. to perform the same – he did it “Do not go where the path may through his service of service and lead”, wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. sacrifice, living among the people “Go instead where there is no path.” who needed him. The holy month of Even such a trailblazer was Sadhu November exudes with the fragrance Vaswani who chose the trail not of the birth of two great saviours of travelled by, the road not taken. He humanity – Guru Nanak and Sadhu turned his back upon worldly wealth T. L. Vaswani. Both were simple and advancement but not on the suf- and straightforward, logical and Dada J P Vaswani paying homage to his Master, fering and sorrow which afflicted practical. Both taught that man must Sadhu Vaswani, at the statue installation ceremony the world’s disadvantaged and dis- go beyond cults and dogmas, rites at the Sadhu Vaswani Centre, London - June 2009 possessed. He lived for others and and rituals and realise that it is not he made us aware of a great spiritual knowledge that builds the soul but understanding and love. truth – that life is nothing but a loan given to us, to be spent in They also taught that the spiritual path did not consist in inflat- the service of the suffering ones. ing or aggrandising the ego but in a constant erosion of the Let us express our reverence, love and admiration for our power of our selfish ego which keeps us captive. Beloved Master, for whom to live was to love; to live was to Sadhu Vaswani, the King and Master of the hearts of thou- give. Let us observe his 130th birth anniversary, November 25th, sands all over the globe, was a unique and remarkable gift of as Meatless Day and Animal Rights Day. God to Humanity. ■ Sadhu Vaswani did not come to teach the orthodox eco- I believe that all jivas (creatures) are one in the Eternal One. And whoever kills a creature hurts the Eternal Heart - Sadhu Vaswani Page 2 AARATI Become a vegetarian and halt tion on the other hand, has been linked to a variety of human diseases and increased medical costs. climate change - consume meat and Consider the following irrefutable facts: destroy the planet. • A piece of meat is just part of a corpse; its putre- faction creates poisonous waste in the body What about the animals? Have they • People who consume animal products are ten times no rights? more susceptible to heart disease, 40% more sus- ceptible to cancers, and at increased risk to many he above headlines may sound extreme, but other illnesses including stroke, TB, obesity, osteo- they nevertheless unmask an uncomfortable porosis, arthritis, diabetes and food poisoning. warning – that the meat-eating world needs to When meat spoils in the intestine, it can make the seriously rethink its dietary habits in order to person violently ill than any other food halt climate change. By the same token, there has never • People are continuously eating flesh that is in- been a better case for vegetarianism. fected with TB, cancerous germs and other fatal The idea that meat-lovers are rapidly eating their way diseases. A high intake of animal protein causes an to a disastrous global environment for all may be hard to excessive excretion of calcium thereby causing digest for some. However, a sensible response in reduc- loss of calcium from the bones which in turn in- ing or indeed, eliminating meat consumption is as impor- creases the risk of developing osteoporosis, kidney tant as flying or driving less to reduce one’s carbon foot- and gall bladder stones print. Unlikely as it may seem, eating a burger has envi- • Any normal variety of plant foods provides more ronmental implications deadlier than those of driving an than enough for the body SUV. • For every acre of forest land consumed by urban According to findings published by the United Na- development, seven acres are devoured by the meat tions, meat accounts for more than 18% of global green- industry for grazing and growing cattle feed house gas emissions. It is additionally responsible for • Percentage of tropical rainforest deforestation di- deforestation for purposes of livestock grazing and the rectly linked with livestock raising is more than overuse of water and food resources. Scientists say the 50% greenhouse gas produced by cultivating livestock has • Each individual who switches to a vegetarian diet proved to be more harmful to the earth’s resources than spares an acre of trees per year any other single factor. • Twenty five gallons of water are needed to produce A strident voice advocating reform comes from one one pound of wheat whereas 2,500 gallons of wa- of the world’s leading authorities on climate change, ter are needed to produce one pound of beef Lord Nicholas Stern of Brentford, author of the influen- • By switching from a meat-based to a vegetarian tial 2006 Stern Review. He allegedly declared in an inter- diet a person could conserve 1,423,500 gallons of view with The Times that people ought to give up meat in water order to halt climate change. A controversy ensued, lead- • One acre of prime land can produce 40,000 lbs of ing him to clarify his views: potatoes or 30,000 lbs of carrots, or 50,000 lbs of I think that once people understand the great risks tomatoes but only 250 lbs of beef that climate change poses, they will naturally want to • At least 85% of US topsoil lost is directly associ- choose products and services that cause little or no emis- ated with livestock raising sions of greenhouse gases, which means 'low-carbon • More than 50% of water pollution can be linked to consumption'. This will apply across the board, including water from the livestock industry electricity, heating, transport and food. A diet that relies • If the US switched to a vegetarian diet, 60% of US heavily on meat production results in higher emissions imported oil requirements would be cut than a typical vegetarian diet. Different individuals will • Scientists estimate that the world’s 1.3 billion cat- make different choices. However, the debate about cli- tle and other ruminant livestock emit approxi- mate change should not be dumbed down to a single slo- mately 60 million tons of methane each year gan, such as 'give up meat to save the planet'. • About 40% of the world’s grain harvest is fed to Greenhouse emissions are directly linked to live- the animals. Half of this grain would be more than stock, and methane, a greenhouse gas, is estimated to be enough to feed all hungry people of our planet twenty-three times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Yet despite the damning evidence, the meat industry and Central to the advocacy of vegetarianism is something its advocates is likely to defend its eating habits; for often overlooked by meat-lovers – the animals them- vegetarians, however, it is the golden opportunity to pro- selves. Animal cruelty and barbaric slaughter of animals vide a compelling argument for diet change. in the production of meat is well-known. It is time the The holistic benefits of a vegetarian diet adopted by inhumanity towards animals was replaced by respect. A generations of human beings have been amply docu- veneration and reverence of animals was a cause dear to mented in scientific and medical circles. Meat consump- Sadhu Vaswani. ■ AARATI Page 3 Sadhu T. L. Vaswani’s 130th birth STOP ALL KILLING anniversary celebrated in Pune with gifts Please observe Meatless of hearing Day and hen 121 kids were blessed with hearing aids by Rev. Dada J. P. Vaswani the first sounds that Animal Rights Day they heard were soulful kirtans. Their world is shrouded in silence…only their 25th November fingers help point signs to words that are devoid of sound. They know not of noise, neither can they appreciate music. Life changed for 121 pairs of ears on 29th October - the occa- sion of Sadhu T.L. Vaswani’s 130th birthday according to the Hindu calendar. It was celebrated at the Mission Campus in Pune, with a very noble gesture - the gift of hearing. Hearing-impaired students from the School for the Deaf (run by Indian Red Cross Society) and Garland Craig Memorial School for the Deaf (YMCA) were brought to the Mission campus in Pune. They were served with a sumptuous langar. Then they were led to the satsang hall where those innocent faces unaware of the sound of God and Love were imparted with the gift of hearing from the very hands of Rev. Dada J. P. Vaswani, an epitome of love and compassion. A total of 121 hearing aids were donated. Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani, the spiritual head of the Mission, him- self tested it on the first student to make sure of the authenticity of the hearing aids on the handicapped ears. he Animal Rights Day - Meatless Day Campaign is At the loving instigation of Rev. Dada, the volunteers helped part of the SAK (Stop All Killing) Association and each and every child patiently to put on the aids and were then is aimed at creating awareness in the minds of the brought back into the hall. The wide-eyed children used the people regarding the cruelties done to animals day hearing aids for the first time to listen to the kirtans going on – after day. the sounds divine were like a wave of joy to them and their November 25 is the birthday of Revered Sadhu Vaswani hands clapped in unison to the beats. Their beaming smiles en- whose compassion flowed out in an endless stream to animals veloped one and all - indeed a tearful moment for the teachers and birds. He taught us again and again that birds and animals as well as the devotees present. As Rev. Dada got up to leave at are man’s younger brothers and sisters. Implanted deep in the end of the session, a young recipient with gratitude and joy Sadhu Vaswani’s heart was reverence for all life. Every little writ on his innocent face got up spontaneously to thank Dada thing he did was inspired by the Vision Cosmic. He said a with folded hands - a moment that brought a parting tear to day will come when meat-eating will be condemned as mur- many eyes. der. His heart bled at the cruelties inflicted upon animals for food. This deep consciousness of the need for reverence for The celebrations concluded with a Langar (fellowship meal) for all life, in which ever form it is manifested, formed a very one and all. ■ essential part of Sadhu Vaswani’s teachings. He said, “For me not to love birds and animals would be not to love the Lord.” Hence his birthday every year is ob- served as an International Meatless Day - and Animal Rights Day. For the last several years, millions of devotees and admir- ers have been observing November 25, as Meatless Day and Animal Rights Day, expressing their shared commitment to the ideal of Reverence for all Life. Have you pledged? If not you may do so by visiting our web site: www.sadhuvaswaniuk.com. Your pledge can be made via the “Meatless Day Pledges” link. Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism it could change the destiny of humankind. -Albert Einstein AARATI Page 4 Activities at the Sadhu Vaswani Centre Computer classes: Pete Rughwani has led a course of lessons on using Excel. It proved to be very popular and he has adhu Vaswani, the architect of the Mira Movement in decided to offer intensive courses. He will also be willing to Education, laid great emphasis on the spiritual teach PowerPoint if there is sufficient demand. Contact Pete orientation of life. He encouraged the students to at: email@example.com cultivate the soul and make God the centre of their lives. Dada Jashan, who collected the baton from Sadhu Yoga classes: These are held every Thursday between 7.30 - Vaswani, continuously and tirelessly echoes his Master’s words 8.30 p.m. and are conducted by Savi Chabria and co-ordinated to the youth wherever he meets them on his travels. by Bindu Datwani. The classes cover the concept of Patanjali Yoga consisting of mudra, pranayam and asana. Contact: Dada Jashan always sets aside time for the youth, for he firstname.lastname@example.org believes that the youth of today are the builders of a new world and designers of a new humanity. He, therefore, reminds them There are other interesting classes that will be offered of the three most important things: character building, heroic including Baking & Cooking led by Ekta Datwani and living and spiritual unfolding. Sabeena Lalwani, Seminar Workshops organised by Deepu Mirpuri. Look out for further details. The youth meetings are invariably well attended. The youth wait with impatience to hear Dada’s words to them. Dada Weekly sheva: This sheva of feeding the homeless and poor has an uncanny knack of being able to answer their questions to has been a weekly event for well over three decades. In the their full satisfaction and they go away spiritually charged and earlier years this event was the initiative of Mr Vashdev & rejuvenated. Mrs Padma Mirpuri aided by their then teenaged son, Deepu. However, this service is now provided under the auspices of Dada keeps reminding us that it is incumbent upon the the Sadhu Vaswani Centre, UK. The food and drinks are parents to ensure that their children get the correct triple prepared by volunteers and transported to Lincoln’s Inn Field training: of the hand, the head and the heart. When the children where it is laid out on tables and served with a lot of love and go astray they must be lovingly brought back to the straight and compassion. narrow! The volunteers assemble at Lincoln’s Inn Field, Holborn at The Committee members of the Sadhu Vaswani Centre, 7:55 p.m. on each Wednesday so that they can start serving UK with the encouragement, inspiration and guidance of Dada the food promptly at 8.00 p.m. Jashan have embarked on a number of activities to encourage our children to participate in. We continue to seek volunteers Sadhu Vaswani said that service of the poor is worship of who will be willing to share their talents and wisdom with God. these children. If you wish to volunteer your services towards this worthy The activities that are currently under offer are: cause or sponsor the sheva in any way - in cash, kind or time please contact Deepu Mirpuri on 07836 565 383 or Narain Gurukul classes: In general terms if the children are aged Dhalani on 07713 860299. between 4 - 14 years and are willing to be inspired by the concept of this education their names can be registered to Sadhu Vaswani Centre, UK attend classes between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Saturday. The (Registered Charity No: 1052439) classes are conducted by Aarti Mahtani and Anjali Lakhani. 25 Cricklewood Lane, London NW2 1HP For further information contact: Tel: 020 8455 7775 Fax: 020 8455 3839 email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Career Clinic: A little guidance to help you to manoeuvre Website: www.sadhuvaswaniuk.com through the maze of career opportunities would not go amiss. John Mahtani and Rajan Mirpuri are the wizards who can be Kindly contact us and provide us with your email address consulted. Email: email@example.com for more and other contact details to enable us to communicate with you information. Timing: Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. efficiently and more effectively so that you are kept abreast of all the activities and events taking place at the Centre. Singing classes: Aarti Wadhwani will help you strike the right chord as you step into the world of music. These classes are held every Tuesday from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m. For details send your enquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org Drama classes: Are you ready to take the stage? Contact Sunita Mansighani on: email@example.com and she’ll give you timing details Dance classes: How about Bollywood? If you’re game then Anupa Panjabi and Ekta Datwani will show you the moves. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for the dope.
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