Spiritual Awareness

Through Ahimsa right path will be easy to follow


By Juliana Di Leonardo  Climate change often feels like the elephant in the room. Some choose to ignore it or outright deny it. Others semi-address it with reusable bags, cups, and compostable straws which help but are more feel-good than do-good. With the uprising of greenwashed products, corporations have instilled consumers with the belief that...

Life is restless for peace in the world


By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj Mystic poetry and literature is rich in verses addressing the way to a peaceful, calm life. One of the greatest mystic poet-saints of the past century, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, has written a verse that captures the way to lead lives in which we reduce stress and anger...

Yaksh and the Devas


By Jnanpurushdas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  The Vedic texts share numerous stories of those engulfed in pride and living in delusion. Pramukh Swami Maharaj often narrated an inspiring anecdote from the Kena Upanishad. Once, the deities were humiliated by the demons in a battle, so they ran to God and prayed for more strength. God blessed...

Make teachings of Jainism, Ahimsa open to all


By John Di Leonardo  Last week, Sloth Encounters — an illegal Long Island petting zoo that subjects sensitive sloths, including vulnerable babies, to grabbing hands, noisy crowds, and ramshackle cages — was ordered to shut down pending further orders from the Suffolk County Supreme Court. Larry Wallach — the exhibitor who owns Sloth Encounters — responded by announcing plans to haul the...

Mysticism – science that injects life with peace, joy


Mysticism, rightly understood, is the most universal and fundamental approach to achieving an integrated and fulfilling life. In a world that has made such remarkable scientific and material progress, the challenge before us, individually and collectively, is to make similarly spectacular progress in the spiritual sphere.     Each of us is allotted a limited amount of time...

Let’s be mindful of impact we have on world around us


By Juliana Di Leonardo Rocks of various sizes stacked high around waterways, beaches, forests, and deserts are a common fixture nowadays when visiting natural landscapes. These piles, created by humans, may appear harmless, meditative, and inspiring to others, but by building these sporadic towering monuments we unintentionally disrupt our fragile ecosystem. The arbitrary stones used...

Sloths — Masters of Equanimity and Lords of Ahimsa


By John Di Leonardo According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term sloth means 1. reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness, or 2. a slow-moving tropical American mammal that hangs upside down from the branches of trees using its long limbs and hooked claws. One might ascertain that the slow-moving sloth, native to...

Obey Before You Command


By Jnanpurushdas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  On October 21, 1991, a group of swamis were waiting eagerly to greet Pramukh Swami Maharaj at Rajkot Airport in Gujarat, India. As the aircraft landed and parked at the arrival gate, a couple of local swamis came into the plane to receive Swamishri personally. One of the swamis...

This Paryushan, let’s reflect on living a kinder life


By John Di Leonardo Jai Jinendra,  Paryushan, Jain spiritual festivities, beginning this August 24th for Svetembar Jains and this August 31st for Digamber Jains is the festival of forgiveness and compassion. It lasts 8 days for Svetembar Jains and 10 days for Digambar Jains. In the Digambar tradition, it is known as Das Lakshana Parva.   According to Mrs. Pramoda Chitrabhanu,...