This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
-Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether (or space) - become purified. May I become the light (or the Divine Principle of life and intelligence), free from impurity and evil. To this end, I offer this oblation into the consecrated Fire. YAJURVEDA Taittiriya Aranyaka 10-66-1 The ancient vedic worship ofpancha bhutha-s (five elements) is a tribute to Mother Nature which consists of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky. These elements complement each other to create a harmonious world which is millions of years old. They benefit all the living beings and contribute to each other in a cyclical process which constitutes the harmonious flow of our past, present and future. The judicious use of these natural elements by humankind makes our environment a living paradise. The abuse of our environment brings disaster to the individual and mankind. Of all the lives on this earth, Mother Nature has endowed man with all the intelligence and evolutionary advantages and entrusted him with the responsibility of upholding and protecting this world. Western mythology personifying man as Atlas holding the world on his back is a typical symbolic expression. Let us protect the earth to protect ourselves. Editorial C. V. AGARWAL SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE PRESENT STATE OF THE WORLD AND GROUNDS FOR HOPE 'Triple is this gate of hell, destructive of the self — lust, hate and greed; therefore let man renounce these three.' Bhagavadgita, XVI. 21 Modern scientists propound several astounding concepts which their predecessors a century ago would have considered fanciful, baseless speculations of philosophers. Some of these are: The universe is expanding limitlessly; there is a law of gravitation which brings every object near to every other, promoting balance and stability; every object is in constant motion, nothing is fixed and permanent, that is, the law of impermanence operates. Concepts like these have profound implications, and one who broods over them, assimilates them and lives by them, becomes transformed and even enlightened. The consciousness of such a person goes on expanding limitlessly. However, such principles have not .reached the masses and few among those who have heard of them have gone deep into their import. The present scientific terminology is new, as it should be, due to changing times, but thoughtful people realize, that the principles mentioned have been known to wise, enlightened ones, sages and seers from times immemorial. The masses seem to have forgotten them, brushed them aside, or ignored them. This has led people to embrace 'lust, hate and greed' which lead them to the 'gate of hell', as the Bhagavadgita puts it. In other words, these three, which sway the masses these days, are at the root of the suffering, misery, violence, and terrorism dominating the world in the present era. Material objects are limited, and must be so, but craving for them is unlimited. Hence the competition, envy, jealousy, and ceaseless effort to possess them and without the least consideration for the genuine needs of others. The ensuing deprivation leads to the suffering of the deprived and the resultant struggle for acquisitions creates constant anxiety and unhappiness. The root cause of all this is ignorance, that is, overlooking the facts of life. In its constant movement, the mind rushes faster and faster, hither and thither
without stopping to 'observe'. Let us ask what we want? Is it not happiness — though a few seek bliss? But unfortunately pleasure is mistaken for happiness, which means that certain vibrations in the sense organs lasting only a few minutes, are sought after. As pleasure lasts only 2 Wake Up India . Editorial a short while, the struggle becomes more intense and even aggressive. One goes on to grab, whether it be material objects, power, position, status, name or fame. One fails to think what one will do with that which has been acquired by a long, bitter, unhappy struggle. Or how long will it last? Newspaper reports are full of stories of vast properties unaccounted for, bank lockers are full of jewellery and crores of cash, which none can use or even glimpse. Much of this is accumulated by cheating and depriving others of their lawful due. Lust begets hate. Such people are in the limelight, others try to follow in their footsteps. Fortunately, a large number of people do not indulge in such deeds and there are certainly persons with strict morals and high principles. Such people spread the message of the unifying power of love — perhaps not universal love — which draws all closer, like the gravitational field. Such people, though not in the news, need the support and encouragement of all who really want peace, harmony and happiness. Are there guidelines or principles explored in simple language for the common man to consider? All the great teachers have given such guidelines according to the needs and understanding of those who come to listen and learn. In India the most widely known are the Five Precepts, the Pancasila of the Buddha and the Five Yamas, vows of self-restraint, enunciated in a slightly different form by Patanjali. They both begin with Ahimsa which does not mean merely not killing, which is undoubtedly much needed at the present time, but abstaining from inflicting any injury, suffering or pain on any living creature by thought, word or deed. Such an attitude cannot be imposed by a rule of conduct but arises from love, from a glimpse of the essential unity of all. In the words of Dr I. K. Taimni, 'Hatred, dishonesty, deception, sensuality, and possessiveness are some of the common and ingrained vices of the human race, which have surfaced in this Dark Age, Kali Yuga.' We need to be aware of these in ourselves, then proceed to make others aware. Such action is essential for all who call for India to wake up. • This is not the place to expound the precepts in detail. It is obvious that we must not take property, money or goods not belonging to us and also abstain from appropriating intangible things, such as credit or privileges which are not our rightful due. Colonel H. S. Olcott's life is a noble example of this, for he took no credit for anything he did, let alone for what he did not do. The precepts do not speak of giving up all pleasurable experiences such as eating tasty food or listening to music, but what needs to be avoided, is the craving for the repetition of pleasurable sensations which causes the mind to rush after them with resultant ill effects. One needs to develop an attitude of non-possessiveness. It is not the quantity of things with which one is surrounded but the attitude towards them which matters. TJiere are many examples. April - June 2002 Editorial
Without dwelling on the philosophical aspects, everyday observation of the world reveals the impermanence of all that exists. Those in power rise and fall as do riches and a superfluity of useless things — such as a hundred pairs of shoes. Such accumulation involves a struggle to acquire and anxiety to keep them, not to speak of psychological factors like competition and envy which deprive one of happiness, may be requiring tranquillizers and sleeping pills. Should not all thinking persons spend a few minutes a day renouncing non-necessities? If some start the day with such an attitude and practise it gradually and selflessly, the message will spread fast and there will be a marked reduction in evil, such as violence, terrorism, corruption, hatred and competitiveness. A story about the last moments of Alexander the Great brings home the fate of accumulations obtained by a great struggle. When he was lying on his deathbed, tens of thousands of Greeks gathered round the palace, weeping, lamenting and crying: 'Who will now protect us?' Alexander summoned his trusty generals and, praising their obedience to his commands even at the risk of their lives, asked if they would fulfil his last wish. They nodded, but began to tremble, wondering what ambitious assignment Alexander had for them on his deathbed. Alexander said that when his funeral procession was taken out, his hands should be kept out of the shroud for the people to see his palms. The generals were astonished and said, 'Sire, this is not done, the people will blame us for negligence'. Alexander smiled for the last time and replied,' I want people to see that this greatest of conquerors is taking nothing with him.' This teaches us a great lesson. A poet puts it thus: He asks a new-born baby, 'You come straight from God. What message do you hold in your closed fists?' The baby closes his eyes and lips as peace and happiness radiate from his face. O When a smorgasbord of information and entertainment lies at the touch of a finger, how long can we concentrate on any one train of thought? Can we allow ourselves the time to reflect, or resolve an emotional conflict? Both the speed of the internet, and the wealth of information it offers, militate against certain thought processes. We become good at multitasking and skim-reading, but less good at the kind of reflection and contemplation which is essential for true originality and emotional wisdom. Madeleine Bunting The Guardian Trial of Political Bosses DAVID ANNOUSSAMY A Minister made a startling statement one day in public: 'However I try, it is impossible for me to avoid corruption, I am driven to it from all sides.' This is an indication of the level the cancer has reached. Whether it is suffered or greedily desired corruption, it has to be curbed effectively if the nation is to progress. Soon after assumption of office the new Prime Minister declared such a task to be one of his main priorities. Suggestions have to be made to him from all sides to combat this complex social evil. Some time ago, a brake was put, even preliminary to the prosecution itself, with the investigation machinery being kept under the control of the Executive. In this way, political bosses had created for themselves a haven of impunity. A Prime Minister could even say challengingly, 'Let the law take its own course.' The response to the problem from the political fold has been to float a bill .on Lokpal. The idea has been in the air since 1964, but the institution never saw the light of day even though government after government has given assurances on the matter. Even assuming that the Act comes into existence, and the Lokpal is given vast powers of investigation, that will solve only the problem of the initiation of prosecution. This has been already taken care of to a large extent by the
Supreme Court stepping in to free the CBI from the fetters of the Executive. A free investigation has revealed corruption of Himalayan dimensions. Lakhs became outdated long ago, crores are no longer sufficient. We have to revive the old multiples of the crdre, namely the padan and the neel. But before charges can be framed or thereafter, matters are stayed by the accused persons filing petition after petition before the High Court or the Supreme Court on one ground or another. We no longer hear about cases which created much sensation when detected. The Supreme Court, which received great applause for freeing the investigation from political clout is helpless in ensuring the regular course of trial in corruption cases. Accused persons are bent upon protracting the proceedings in the fond hope of stifling them upon their return to power. Otherwise, prosecution will abate only after their death. However, their offences, very often of enormous nature, cannot be left unpunished. In all countries, at all times, special ways and means to prosecute politicians have been devised. They cannot complain of discrimination, after having enjoyed special treatment in all aspects of life as WIPs. In Iridia, where trie WIP culture is high, the effectiveness Trial of Political Bosses of their prosecution is incredibly low. The whole process needs to be revamped. It is therefore imperative for all those interested in good governance to start thinking on the matter. In this exercise, it may be useful to have a glance at what has been attempted successfully in other countries. Pending the elaboration of a special mode of prosecution of political bosses, some steps may be taken urgently to give teeth to prosecution within the existing legal framework. For that purpose, we have to bear in mind that in criminal matters, rapidity of proceedings and certainty of punishment are as important as the severity of punishment. To reach this goal, the following steps may be considered: a) Petitions for stay of proceedings should be carefully monitored by High Courts. No stay for more than two weeks should be permitted, except when the right of the defence would be impaired in such a way as to render the proceedings void. For other irregularities, no stay should be granted. No second petition to be entertained in respect of matters which were within the knowledge of the accused or which could have been within his knowledge with the exercise of reasonable diligence at the time of the first petition. b) More analytical reporting by the investigating agency will greatly facilitate and speed up the trial. The investigating agency usually presents in bulk before the court the voluminous materials collected by it. This creates a reaction of self-defence in the mind of the judge, faced with the magnitude of the task of perusing them carefully. The investigating agency should rather critically analyse the materials collected and make a presentation which is easily accessible to the accused as well as to the court. The modus operandi should be clearly brought to light, the important elements of proof should be highlighted. The aim should not be to cover each and every instance as in a civil suit, but to show that offences have been unmistakably committed in some of them. This will enable the court to grasp the case easily, to come to a conclusion quickly and to draft its judgement in a clear and concise manner. Whoever reads judgements running into hundreds of pages, gets the impression that the matter still remains undigested. Police reports should contain annexures good
enough to appear as marked documents appended to the judgement. The effort put in by the investigating agency in the analysis of the case will considerably cut down time and effort at subsequent stages, including appeal and revision. Instead of having to wade through a jungle of documents, courts will have at their .disposal, well-arranged documents, to enable them to scrutinize them with reference to the ingredients of the offence. c) Even out of power, a political boss is still a dreaded creature on account of the possibility of his return. Even if he does not personally come back to power, the party members are prone to consider the investigators, prosecutors and judges entrusted with the case as enemies of the party. Therefore, those officers should be made absolutely immune to any political authority in respect of their careers. In addition to these steps, some slight changes are necessary in the existing laws. Trial of Political Bosses The first one should tend to give full effect to the charge framed by the court. Before that important step, the accused person is furnished with the police report, along with all documents attached therewith. That document is still wrongly called by its former name of 'Charge Sheet'; under section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, it is nothing more than a report of investigation. Upon taking cognizance of the offence, the court considers such a report and also all the documents; it gives the prosecution and the accused an opportunity to be heard. Then it decides whether to charge or discharge the accused. There will be a charge only if the evidence as proposed by the prosecution would lead to conviction. Orders in either case may be challenged before the higher courts. If the accused pleads guilty to the charge, conviction will ensue immediately. The accused may claim to be tried, if his belief is that the prosecution may not be able to substantiate before the court the evidence collected by it. It is thus seen that framing of the charge is a full-fledged judicial act which should be given its due effect. If the accused person is innocent, he should see that the charge pending against him is cleared at the earliest. If he acts otherwise, suspicion against him increases in the mind of the public. In order to prevent him from delaying the doomsday and to entice him to take up his trial, some steps may be devised. For instance, depriving the charged accused to contest any election, to hold any post in a recognized party, in view of the national importance of the matter and the proclivity of prominent accused persons to paralyze the course of justice. However, in order not to allow the prosecution to take undue advantage of such a provision and to protract the trial, the deprivation of political activity may be limited to, say, three to six months after the charge. But any period during which the trial is stayed at the behest of the accused will have to be added to the period of six months, in order to curtail any move by the accused to dodge the proceedings from his side. The second legislative step necessary would consist of removing the snag existing now in the Prevention of Corruption Act. As per the Act, the allocation of cases to Special Judges has to be done by the Central Government (Section 4). Since as per Section 3 of the same Act, both the State Governments and the Central Government are empowered to create Special Courts, it is quite normal that both of them are equipped with power of allocation of cases. This is the arrangement found in Sec. 197 (4) of the Indian Penal Code. The present position of law is abnormal, unwarranted, and constitutes a hurdle to the prosecution of political bosses by the respective State Governments. The Supreme Court which was seized of the matter in J. Jayalalitha vs. Union of India and another, did not settle the matter since the bench was not a constitutional one. The bench was eager not to stay further
the proceedings and rested content with holding that at that stage of proceedings, the arrangement made by the State Government need not be disturbed. This implies that allocation by State Governments does not vitiate the proceedings. In order to avoid further recurrence of the legal battle on the Trial of Political Bosses matter, it is highly preferable to amend Sec. 4 to entrust the power of allocation of cases to State Governments as well. The third legislative amendment of law is in respect of sub-section (e) of Sec. 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The provision embodied in that section enables prosecution of a person in case of possession of resources disproportionate to his income. The sub-section refers to a person who is in possession or has been in possession. The latter phrase allows inclusion of any huge expenditure as well. This appears to be the easiest way to prosecute erring persons. But, it requires plenty of skill to prove the disproportion. The disproportion is to be assessed with reference to known sources of income. For that purpose, all public servants including political bosses should be made to make a statement of resources and property at the time of assuming office and thereafter every year. In case such a statement was not made, only declarations of wealth and income made before the Tax Authorities should be taken into account and it should be made clear in the text of the law itself that no other proof is admissible. The above-quoted sub-section at present refers to the public servant or any person holding possession on his behalf. This compels the prosecutiori tq prove that the third' party is in possession on behalf of the accused, which is not easy. The provision should be amended to include the public servant, his close relatives and friends, the party he belongs to, who are in possession of resources for which they cannot account satisfactorily. In addition to the above, the Corrupt Public Servants Bill (forfeiture of property) prepared by the Law Commission may be taken up for early consideration. To sum up, in order to speed up the trial of indicted political bosses and to restore the confidence of the citizen in the rest of the political body, some drastic and imaginative steps are necessary. Some of them are possible within the framework of the existing law and others would require legislative modifications. It is to be seen whether the desire expressed by the Prime Minister is translated into action, in spite of the resistance of those addicted to corruption who still wield considerable political influence with the help of the money amassed. Effective trial of political bosses will bring down corruption spectacularly at the lower levels. As per the latest international assessment, India ranks 27th in the matter of corruption, whereas China ranks 42nd. Our goal should be to attain soon the level of that country and to continue a downward trend in the prevalence of corruption. Zero level corruption is also possible. Finland has that distinction. O According to Danish ornithologists, the electronic chirping of mobile phones is so widespread in Europe that some birds are mimicking the sounds and incorporating them into their mating and territorial songs. Time, June 2000 Animal Husbandry or Animal Butchery? GEETHAJAIKUMAR India is known for her great spiritual tradition of non-violence and ahimsa. Over the centuries, the bedrock of India's culture and spirituality has been the
recognition of the oneness and sacredness of all life. In the past, many animals (including the rat) were revered and accorded a special place in different religions and in Indian mythology as the vehicle of various Gods. The cow was considered to be especially holy and accorded a special status. It occupied a pivotal position in the rural economy and was considered to be an integral part of each farmer's family. A farmer of old would no more think of selling his elderly and unproductive cow for slaughter, than he would consider selling an elderly or sick member of the family. But now all this has changed. Traditional values, ethics and compassion towards all living beings are no longer considered to be realistic yardsticks in today's world, which is run ruthlessly in the search for more and more profit. The tenth Five-Year Plan of our country is currently under formulation by experts arid one of the areas of planning is the Meat Sector. The Committee advising the Planning Commission has recommended the setting up of a National Meat Board and the formulation of a National Livestock Policy for organizing and running livestock production on scientific lines, to ensure more meat production. The thrust of the whole set of recommendations is to increase the * slaughter of animals, especially of cattle; to encourage the export and import of meat from and to our country; and to promote the eating of meat by Indians. A look at the composition of the advisory committee gives one a rude shock. Almost the entire panel is known to be pro-meat-export, while two of the five — Mr Man Allana and Mr Satish Sabharwal — run corporate empires in meat production and export. It is therefore hardly cause for surprise that the Plan recommendations talk only of more killing, more non-vegetarianism and more slaughter. Some of the specific objections to the policy as outlined by Beauty Without Cruelty (Pune), an international animal rights organization are briefly mentioned here: Proposals on the anvil... and objections. • Restriction on slaughter of buffaloes to be removed as part of Review and Amendment of State Animal Preservation Acts in view of 'changing animal production and utilization scenario'. Animal Husbandry or Animal Butchery? Objection: The buffalo is one of the largest domestic animals we have. The giver of our daily milk and the producer of natural fertilizer and fuel, its slaughter is a heart-rending sight. Activists are trying hard to curtail the slaughter of this useful animal and this proposal wants to legitimize the slaughter in law. Pragmatic' age limit for slaughter of bullocks and removal of ban on beef export to improve (!) cow economy and prospects of cattle. Objection: Wholesale licence to kill in the name of pragmatism should not be tolerated. The living cow is the nation's wealth and the sustenance of the rural economy. It should not be killed. Killing it means killing the people who depend on the cow being alive. The poor man's tractor, the source of the farmer's fertilizer and fuel till its dying breath, the bullock is the centre of India's rural economy. Authority of local bodies to sanction or not sanction slaughterhouses to be taken away and given to the State government.
Objection: Individuals, local bodies or communities should have the freedom to decide that they do not want a particular objectionable activity in or near their place, e.g., if a village does not want poultry farms or piggeries set up close to its land or does not want a slaughterhouse opened near the village, it should be free to decide so. With the new proposals, the State would get power to override the local people's wishes and impose their policies upon them. People's powers to reject something not acceptable to them should not be taken away. • Setting up of slaughterhouses in rural areas. Objection: The activity of killing animals is to be reduced, not spread further and further. Ours is a nation of farmers, not butchers. We fill our stomachs by tilling the soil, not by beheading animals. Rural areas should not be brought into the net of this bloody business as it would result in erosion of traditional values and outlook of rural folk towards animal life, their peaceful coexistence and spiritual attitude towards animals as vehicles of God. • Establishment of a National Meat Board at a cost of rupees two crores to implement, monitor and guide programmes in the Me"at Sector. Objection: 'Animal production and utilization' is nothing but a euphemism for breeding, killing, and slaughter. Bringing to birth to be killed. Such a utilitarian view and such commodification of our living wealth are not acceptable. • Livestock Importation Act to be amended to cover import of meat and byproducts. Objection: We do not need more meat in the country than exists already. When there is a need for curtailing even what is produced domestically, this proposal talks of importing more and more. Just as we do not want our animals killed for consumption abroad, similarly we should not create demand for the killing of another country's animals. Animal Husbandry or Animal Butchery? It is unfortunate that such an important and controversial subject like meat production — an issue on which emotions run high, and where questions of morality and ethics are involved — is sought to be tabled in the parliament to become the country's official policy without any sort of referendum. It is imperative to have public hearings acros? the length and breadth of the country before the government, which is supposed to be representing the people of the country, takes important policy decisions of this kind. It is also ironical that the same government, which has set up the National Commission on cattle to make an assessment of India's cattle wealth and give recommendations to preserve the same, is also formulating policies for increased slaughter of cattle. If the government were allowed to go ahead with the proposals for increase in meat production and export, India could be facing a very grave cultural crisis — the loss of her unique and proud identity in world culture arising from the respect which she accords to all life. It is the duty of every citizen of this country to do his little bit in opposing such a horrendous enactment from becoming a reality by participating in signature campaigns, writing letters to the government, articles in the press and participating in other forms of protest. As Eli Wissel said, while receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, 'Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.' © To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face, one must be able love the meanest of creation as oneself...
The only means for realization of Truth it has been made to appear. Not to hurt Ahimsa, but it is its least expression. evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, Mahatma Gandhi
is Ahimsa... [It] is not the crude thing any living thing is no doubt a part of The principle of Ahimsa is hurt by every by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody.
Peace Be with You and the World SARASWATI NARAYAN In the world outside, we talk of peace and war — war between nations, religions, or ideologies — communism, socialism, capitalism, fundamentalism, closed and open societies, etc. But there is also war and peace inside ourselves as individual human beings. Some persons are peaceful within, which is reflected as peace on their faces as well as in their actions. Others are disturbed, unhappy, ever lacking peace within and reflect that disturbance in their conduct and action. These two aspects of peace can be called two sides of the same coin. If there is deeper understanding and peace within individual human beings, there is bound to be a measure of peace in the world outside as well. This is a basic truth which needs to be kept in mind by us. It is perhaps because of the interconnection between the two that the teachings of the great spiritual leaders of mankind often end with an invocation to peace. The Upanishad-s usually end with 'Shanti, Shanti, Shanti/ St Paul, in his Epistle to the Philippians, says: 'The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ/ In another place in the Bible is the statement that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy and peace. One incidentally notices that most of the books written by Dr Annie Besant on various aspects of life also end with either 'Peace to all beings' or 'Peace be with you/ There are different ways, different perceptions, of knowing peace within and around us. We will deal here with some of them.1. Right understanding of religion2. Realizing that we all live in and share one world and that all life is one3. Respect for our fellow beings 4. Love. A great teacher once wrote that two-thirds of the ills of the world are due to religion — religion so-called. The root meaning of the word 'religion' is that which unites or binds us together. Unfortunately, as interpreted, presented and mostly lived, it has led to division, wars and lack of peace. Even at present we are facing the scourge of terrorism and jehad in the name of religion. But a deep scholar explains 'In Islamic jehad, it is the spiritual sword that severs the Gordian knot of the ego and accomplishes the quiet or great peace, equivalent to pax profunda of European Hermeticism/ He adds, 'the word Islam (submission to Divine Will) is itself derived from a root having to do with peace/ The dichotomy between true religion and religion so-called, exists unfortunately, in all religious traditions, more or less. Peace Be with You and the World Religion per se stands for peace and love, as all the great teachers over the millennia have stressed. 'Love your neighbour as yourself', said Jesus Christ. Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavadgita: 'He who seeth me everywhere and seeth everything in me, of him will I never lose hold, and he shall never lose hold of me.' There is therefore urgent need to present widely before people, the meaning and purpose of religion. Annie Besant and Dr Bhagawan Das did it in their own times. Annie Besant stressed the brotherhood of religions through her lectures and writings. Dr Bhagawan Das brought out a well-documented book titled, The Essential Unity of all Religions. Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave also stressed in their writings and
prayer meetings, the basic oneness of all religions and therefore, the need for goodwill among the followers of different religions. Each one of us can do something to try to make religion a symbol of peace and love through the ways we think, work and love. There is need for a growing realization that we all live in and share one world and that all life is essentially one. Peace cannot arise or prevail in a world sharply divided into rich and poor, the exploiters and the exploited in terms of material resources. This perception hopefully seems to be gradually dawning now. The World Bank has recently published studies stressing the need to bridge this gap and two of these studies are entitled 'Voices of the Poor' and 'Crying Out for Change'. In a lecture last year entitled 'The Web of Life', Mrs Radha Burnier, President of the Theosophical Society, pointedly brought to our notice that all life is one, and I would like to quote a piece therefrom: 'The Web the cosmic spider spins is the universe and it is woven of a single thread. An intricate, delicate, beautifully functional network stretches from the centre in the highest spiritual region, farther and farther down to this gross material level.' Modern scientists have also begun to stress the oneness of all life and a holistic vision of the universe, all life being interrelated, interconnected and interdependent. Thoughtful environmentalists are now beginning to stress not only our intergenerational but also intra-generational responsibilities for our actions. When J. Krishnamurti was once asked what is good and what is evil, he responded: 'No, no, let us use another word — whole and that which is not whole.' Another perception which helps in promoting peace is respect for our fellow beings. In a way, it flows naturally from the second one, related to the oneness of all life. A teacher once pointed out that 'a sense of peace arises from harmony with the essential nature of things, an inwardly undistorted and beautiful relationship to everybody and everything/ This essential nature of things is the divine essence embedded in everything and everybody. And that is why the Bhagavadgita points out that sages look equally on a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant and even a dog and a lowly person. Perhaps, we do not realize that even in our everyday lives in the family, in the neighbourhood, in our workplace, how much disturbance to the peace within us and outside is caused by our behaviour based on self-esteem, self-centredness, selfishness and vanity. A teacher once Peace Be with You and the World observed: We treat members of our family as pieces of furniture to sit upon. The same perhaps applies to the subordinates in our workplaces. We thoughtlessly hurt others and destroy their peace and if they react we feel angry and lose our peace as well. The last perception and perhaps the most important, is that of love. The wellknown booklet, At the Feet of the Master refers to the four qualifications and the last one is mentioned as love. It significantly adds that of all the qualifications, love is the most important, for if it is strong enough in us, it forces us to acquire all the rest and all the rest without it would never be sufficient. Love and selfless service to others go together and loving, selfless service in various spheres is the work expected of a serious-minded human being. Service is the stream that' naturally, effortlessly and inevitably flows out from the spring of pure love. Loving service can be rendered even in small ways in our everyday lives. An old saying asks the housewife to knead love into the bread she bakes, and advises the salesman at a shop to put strength and peace in the parcel he ties for the housewife with the weary face. I would like to
mention here what j. Krishnamurti and Mother Teresa have said: J. Krishnamurti observed, 'Love is the total absence of the' me'. If you have got it, you have drunk of the fount of life.' Mother Teresa said, 'Let us love one another as God loves each one of us and so bring peace in our heart, our home, our country and in the world.' O There will be no Peace if there is no Justice There will be no Justice if there is no Equity There will be no Equity if there is no Progress There will be no Progress if there is no Democracy There will be no Democracy if there is no Respect For the Identity and Dignity of all peoples and Cultures. Rigoberta Menchu Turn, Nobel Peace Laureate in an Open Letter to President Bush, Sept. 2001. A Dog's Life RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN When my beloved dog, Homer, was dying of cancer this year, my father asked me whether I had considered cloning him. This was just two months short of the announcement this month that scientists had succeeded in cloning a cat. I have to admit that I had secretly harboured the fantasy of cloning Homer when he first became ill. How could I ever part with this extraordinary dog, who sang to classical music and had humanlike intelligence? How could I resist the urge to cheat death? I told no one that I had checked out pet cloning on the Web. It seemed seductively simple: all you had to do was obtain a tissue biopsy from your pet and have your veterinarian send the sample to the company. For about $1,000 the company would store the tissue in liquid nitrogen, with the pet to.be resurrected by cloning at some future date for some hefty new fee. Then I asked Homer's vet, a brilliant animal oncologist, what she thought of pet cloning in general. She must have known, what I was thinking and said kindly, 'Maybe some day in the future.' Long before the dream of cloning, some people seemed to be trying to own the same dog over and over. When their pets died, they bought puppies of the same breed; sometimes the replacement dog was even given the predecessor's name. But similar as two dogs of the same breed may be in temperament and ability, these owners never got a carbon copy. Even while I checked the Web, I knew that cloning was a false promise. Nature's own clones, genetically identical twins, who share the same DNA and are raised by the same parents, do not turn out the' same. Homer's clone would look like Homer and possibly even act like him, but he would not be Homer. Homer was in essence the relationship, built over many years, of shared and unrepeatable experiences. Cloning could not recreate the most precious thing about him — our bond. I left no therapeutic stone unturned in treating Homer's radiation and chemotherapy, which gave temporary relief, miracle drug for human cancer, Gleevec. Along the way, a Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Centre read and analyzed got better medical care than I will ever get. But in the die. bone cancer. After I even gave him the new cancer specialist at the his biopsy. He probably end, I had to let him
And so I told my father 'no'. Cloning might produce replicas, but it cannot bring
about immortality. The bonds between people and pets — and those between people — are precious in large part because they are fragile and mortal. OCourtesy: New York Times, 26 Feb. 2002. Universal Sharing WORLD GOODWILL £JEWSLETTER, NO. 2, 2000 Sharing — It is such a simple word; and such a simple, ordinary concept. What could be more natural to human beings than to share what they have with others? We see this in the spontaneous way in which children share. A stranger enters a community — in some parts of the world it would be natural hospitality to share a meal with him. The sharing of food creates a basic communion and community within a group. Yet it seems that some aspects of modern society can work against this tendency. The Dalai Lama remarks: 'We find modern living so organized as to demand the least possible practical dependence on others.... We can also point to the increasing autonomy that people enjoy as a result of advances in science and technology .... There has arisen a sense that our future is not dependent on our neighbours but rather on our jobs, or on our employers. This in turn encourages us to assume that others are not important for our happiness, therefore, their happiness is unimportant.' One possible obstacle to sharing is the current focus upon individualism, upon expressing the potential within each one of us, which if taken to the extreme, hardens the boundaries of the self, so that all the gifts we discover are used only for our own benefit. Rather, our gifts and talents should be shared with the wider community, for in this way they multiply the riches of the wider whole. The truth of this is evident particularly with regard to knowledge and information, which have become such important factors in modern life, and which are sent racing round the globe by the tools of electronic communication. A beautiful example of the power of sharing in this area are the Free Software and Open Source software movements, which aim to keep the programming code in which computer software is written, freely available for modification and copying. This means that programmers around the world can cooperate on major software projects, such as the development of the GNU/ Linux operating system. The rise of this programme, from being a Finnish computer science student's project to a system which is used by major companies, illustrates what can happen when people share their time and skills freely so that all may benefit. Another field where the flow of information would benefit from openness and sharing is in the work being done to decipher the human genetic code. But commercial considerations appear to have blocked this flow for the moment, highlighting the contentious area of intellectual property rights. Indeed, the idea of sharing naturally opens up the whole question of what ownership means, and how this right should be exercised responsibly; for ownership implies that a person has the exclusive right to use something, but it is then up to the owners as to whether they will use the right to exclude others from its benefits or to include them. This can range from the rarefied matter of whether others are given access to potentially beneficial information, such as genetic information or computer code, right down to the most mundane level of whether people are able to walk across large tracts of countryside which are privately owned. At every level, the persons or groups who own the resource concerned have the opportunity to share, if they so wish. For example, a number of those who have acquired large sums of money through business have then redistributed this wealth in imaginative ways for the benefit of the wider public. It will be interesting to see if the fortunes now being made through high technology will also benefit the wider whole — the announcement of the funding of a 'virtual' university by one Internet entrepreneur provides a hopeful sign.
One significant area which obviously needs the free flow which sharing engenders is the world's food supplies. It is well known, for example, that there is enough food in the world to provide for everyone's daily needs. Yet one recent statistic shows how far from this state of affairs we still are: the world's total of overweight people, at approximately 1.2 billion, is estimated to be equal to those who are underfed. The means to redistribute this food already exist — all that is needed is to muster the will-to-share. This remains a major challenge for humanity in the twenty-first century. In another equally important area, that of water, there are encouraging signs of this will to share. On World Water Day held on 22 March 2000, at the conclusion of the Second World Water Forum held in the Hague, national delegations from all over the world adopted a special Declaration on Water Security in the twenty-first century to ensure that every person has 'access to enough safe water at an affordable cost'. Taxation is something which people tend to regard as a necessary evil. Yet if we reflect upon taxation from a goodwill perspective, we realize that it is, in fact, a necessary good, as taxation pays for public goods on a local and national level — public hospitals, schools, national parks, public transport, et cetera. It is a basic means of sharing the wealth of a population, whether at the national or regional level. Perhaps the term itself is one which would benefit from change — would we think differently about the subject if we were asked to pay a 'social investment donation', for example? Perhaps the most important area where we can share is in truly sharing our culture and world-view. History records many terrible 'culture clashes', where members of one group have refused to accept the importance of the culture of another group, often leading to violence and oppression. To cultivate a more peaceful world, we must learn to approach people of other cultures with goodwill, while we need not expect to agree on every point. Instead, there is the chance to celebrate our diversity, while acknowledging and working towards shared purposes. When we are able to share subjectively in this way, with open hearts and minds, then the practical difficulties of sharing the earth's resources can be seen in their true proportion, and readily solved. O News and Notes Wealth and Health An article in The Guardian Weekly (14—20 March 2002) constitutes a warning to the populations of developing nations desperately imitating the wealthy world. It says that they can no more sustain the fiction that in the wealthy West, people are well nourished. In the United States, it is reported that 61% of the adults are overweight, but their bodies are starving. A woman weighing 60 stone had to be refused a seat on a plane, because it was impossible to strap her into any seat. Cinema and stadium seats have been increased from 17 to 22 inches in width. Even in developing countries where people try to copy the West, malnutrition exists along with obesity. The cause — junk food, easy meals and fast foods. Fast foods have become the fashion and norm almost all over the world. It is described as 'McDonaldization of diet' which means coke and chips and ready meals of every kind. The affluent West has 're-invented malnutrition', and is said to be 'exporting' the new disease, that is, malnutrition in an obese body. The fast food lifestyle overloads the body not only with fat but with toxins — the fat often being meat mechanically scraped off the animal carcass. The author of the article, Jeanette Winterson suggests that one remedy for the situation would be to levy taxes on fattening foods. If such foods are made expensive, while organically grown, healthy substances are cheaper, a change might begin. Let us take note of the author's warning:
We cannot afford to be fat. Fat food degrades the environment and it degrades us. Profit-driven, factory food is turning human beings into gross parodies of themselves. We cannot live in a world weighed down with greed and waste. We cannot condemn our children to a life sentence in a prison of fat. This life sentence is caused not only by dietary folly, but because the meat in animals and birds which have been fattened in factory farms is full of antibiotics and hormones which are absorbed by people who prefer fattening foods to simple vegetarian meals. There is a new affluent class which has the ready money to indulge in expensive but less healthy foods. Winterson says: 'Don't we need to be a little bit hungry? Hungry for a change, hungry for a fairer world? One thing is certain — a fairer world won't be a fatter world.'18 Wake Up India Weeds are Welcome Across East Africa, thousands of farmers are planting weeds in their maize fields. Bizarre as it sounds, their technique is actually raising yields by giving the insect pests something else to chew on besides maize. 'It is better than pesticides and a lot cheaper', said Ziadin Khan, whose idea it is. 'And it has raised farm yields by 60-70 percent.' In East Africa, maize fields face two major pests, and Khan has a solution to both. The first is an insect called the stem borer. True to its name, its larvae eat their way through a third of the region's maize most years. But Khan discovered that the borer is even fonder of a local weed, napier grass. By planting napier grass in their fields, farmers can lure the stem borers away from the maize — and into a honey-trap. For the grass produces a sticky substance that traps and kills stem borer larvae. The second major pest is Striga, a parasitic plant that wrecks $10 billion worth of maize crops every year, threatening the livelihoods of one hundred million Africans. Weeding Striga is one of the most time-consuming activities for millions of African women farmers, says Khan. But he has an antidote: another weed, called Desmodium. 'It seems to release some sort of chemical that Striga does not like. At any rate, where farmers plant Desmodium between rows of maize, Striga would not grow.' Khan's novel way of fighting pests is one of a host of low-tech innovations boosting production by 100 percent or more on millions of poor Third World farms in the past decade. This 'sustainable agriculture' just happens to be the biggest movement in Third World farming today, dwarfing the tentative forays in genetic manipulation. It seems peasant farmers have a long way to go before they exhaust the possibilities of traditional agriculture and have to place their futures in the hands of genetic engineers. Courtesy: New Scientist, 3 February 2001. * * * Safe Drinking Water Selling drinking water sans the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) mark can land a person in jail. Acting on a petition filed recently, the Madras High Court amended the Prevention of Food Adulteraton Rules 2000, and decreed that all packaged drinking water should carry the BIS certification mark and those who sell such water without the mark could face criminal prosecution, besides closure of their units. The rule was being flouted with impunity by mineral water selling companies and was proving a serious health hazard to consumers, with the municipal government acting as a silent spectator. Hopefully the Court intervention should help to remedy the sorry state of affairs.Courtesy: Down to Earth, 30 April 2002. * April
- June 2002 19 Our Contributors Dr C. V. Agarwal retired as a Professor from the Institute of Technology, Varanasi and is currently the Presidential Representative of the Theosophical Society for South East Asia. He has been active in the prevention of cruelty to animals and writes articles on this and the importance of a vegetarian diet based on scientific facts. Mr David Annoussamy is a long standing member of the Theosophical Society. He retired as a Judge of the High Court of Madras and currently lives in Pondicherry. Dr Geetha Jaikumar is a birdwatcher and is deeply interested in ecology related issues. She has obtained her doctorate on Industrial Pollution in Tamil Nadu. She is the Director of the Chennai Chapter of Beauty Without Cruelty, an International Animal Rights Organization. Mrs Saraswathi Narayan was educated in a Theosophical College in Varanasi, and was the National Director of the Theosophical Order of Service for many years. The Order has as its motto: A union of all who love in the service of all that suffers. For information about subscriptions, renewals and other matters, please address your correspondence to: The Manager, The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai 600 020. « »Subscriptions: Annual Rs. 2Q/- Fifteen Years Rs. 200/Outstation cheques to include Rs.7/- towards bank charges. 20 Wake Up India WAKE UP INDIA JOURNAL OF THE NEW LIFE FOR INDIA MOVEMENT April-June 2002__________Vol. XXVII No. 2 Editor: Geetha Jaikumar Editorial Board: Ahalya Chari, N.C. Ramanujachary, G. Gautama Art on cover: Mughal octagonal jade plate inlaid with semiprecious stones. Wake Up India is published every three months. We welcome articles and letters concerning ethical issues, the improving or deteriorating trends in national and global values, and the means to a better society. No political articles will be considered. Any material which appears in Wake Up India may be reproduced freely without any changes. One of the purposes of the magazine is to give wide coverage to the information contained in it and we would be happy if our readers were to perform this service. Contents Editorial C. V. Agarwal Trial of Political Bosses David Annoussamy Animal Husbandry or Animal Butchery? Geetha Jaikumar Peace Be with You and the World Saraswati Narayan A Dog's Life Richard A. Friedman Universal Sharing World Goodwill Newsletter Features News and Notes Our Contributors Wake Up India is the journal of the 'New Life for India Movement'. For information about the Movement write to Dr N. C. Ramanujachary, Secretary, 'New Life for India Movement', The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai 60O 020. BOOKS ON REGENERATING INDIA RIGHT LIVING IN MODERN SOCIETY PROF. P. KRISHNA Former Professor of Physics at the Benares Hindu University and Rector of the Krishnamurti Education Centre at Rajghat, Benares, Prof. Krishna here stimulates thought on withstanding the present forces leading to conflict and egocentredness. Rs. 60 SEARCH FOR VALUES SOLIJ.SORABJEE
A legal luminary, currently India's Attorney General, discusses the decline in moral and spiritual values in the country and offers solutions. Rs. 12 DOES INDIA HAVE A FUTURE? RAJMOHAN GANDHI A growing body of Indians, listening to others and to their own conscience, may integrate the scattered and colliding particles that is India today. Shall we do this or shall we listen only to ourselves, collide and quarrel and dig a grave for India? This distinguished scion of Gandhiji expounds the subject. Rs. 15 REFLECTIONS ON INDIA GOPALAKRISHNA GANDHI India's High Commissioner in Colombo The chasm between the English-speaking elite and 'vernacular India', the absence of civic sense and growing consumerism, disparity between the high and low, violence, the plight of women — India's population is callous to all this. But there is an acquifer of goodness which must be tapped by every Indian, and not allowed to dry, because 'what we are the world is'. Rs. 15 FOOD FOR THOUGHT ADAM MOLEDINA A shocking revelation of the distress and pain caused to animals by human beings.A call to compassionate living and action. Rs. 20 For Catalogue, Enquiry and Order write to: THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING HOUSE Adyar, Chennai 600 020, India Fax:91-44-4901399 Phones: 4911338 & 4466613 E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Regd. No. RN 30538/78 ISSN 0972-186X NEW LIFE FOR INDIA MOVEMENT A Movement for Right Citizenship, Right Values and Right Means The Movement stands for. * Right citizenship based on regard for social and public welfare, overriding personal, group or sectarian interests. * The recognition of right values and the adoption of righteous living. * Fulfilment of individual and collective responsibility in private and public life.* Concern for conservation of the earth's resources. * Contribution to order; peace and beauty in one's environment.* Alleviation of suffering, starting with one's own neighbourhood.Printed and published by S. Harihara Raghavan, Manager, Vasanta Press, The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Clicnnai 600 020, India Home ~ About the Society ~ Early History ~ Emblem ~ Founders ~ Objects ~ Headquarters ~ Directory ~ Fundamentals of Theosophy ~ Adyar Library & Research Centre ~ The School of the Wisdom Courses ~ International Conventions ~ Forthcoming Events ~ Contact
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