Spiritual Awareness

Find courage to mend fractured friendships


"Ahimsa paramo dharma" is the fundamental tenet of my organization Humane Long Island.    Attributed to various religious teachers, including Mahavira -- the 24th Tirthankara or enlightened spiritual master in Jainism -- and popularized by Mahatma Gandhi, "ahimsa paramo dharma" is loosely translated to "non-violence or non-injury to life -- requires doing the least harm...

Selfless Sacrifice of Pramukh Swami Maharaj


By Jnanpurushdas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  One of Voltaire's contemporaries wrote a wonderful catechism (question-answer) on the topic of love. He began with the question: Q. What is a human being? A. Someone who can think and understand. Q. What should he or she do in life? A. Pursue happiness at whatever cost. Q. Isn't that self-love? A. Yes. Q. Isn't that bad? A. Not...

In this Chinese New Year of the Rabbit let’s be sensitive to these clever, curious animals


By John Di Leonardo  The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is upon us, and it is fitting that it is the year of the Rabbit.    Rabbits are complex creatures, simultaneously delicate and powerful. With four powerful incisors on their upper jaw, a defining characteristic of Lagomorphs, rabbits...

Let’s learn to coexist with nature


By Juliana Di Leonardo  The winter conjures thoughts of watching delicate snowflakes descend from clouded skies, graceful ice dancers effortlessly gliding from one trick to another, and steep blanketed hills with daring sleighriders searching for speed, but there is one seasonal activity that others partake in that is far from beautiful or fun, duck hunting....

Let’s choose nonviolence for our new year resolution


By John Di Leonardo We’re coming into a new year and that means you may be thinking about a New Year’s resolution. Perhaps you’re thinking about getting leaner or building more muscle. Maybe you’d like to be a little kinder or live a little greener. Perhaps you simply want to give more back to your community. By following just one...

Equality, Respect and Love for All


By Jnanpurushdas Swami  BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  Pramukh Swami Maharaj treated everyone with equality: rich or poor, young or old, regardless of creed, color, or country. In 1984, Swamishri was on a spiritual tour of the Navsari district in South Gujarat, India. In one such village, an assembly was held with Swamishri seated on a pedestal. Just then, his eyes...

‘Wildlife rehabilitators in NY should not have to work in fear of being shot’


By John Di Leonardo Last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed two major pieces of animal welfare legislation: the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill and the Cruelty-Free Cosmetic Act. The former will prohibit the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in New York state starting in 2024 while allowing stores to showcase homeless animals...

Creating New Pathways to Peace


By Jnanpurushdas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s love was such that he worked for the betterment of others, even at the expense of his own happiness, comfort, health, and well-being. He sacrificed himself ahead of everyone but never deviated from that path.  Once, Swamishri was in Vallabh Vidyanagar in Gujarat, India. Every morning after his prayers...

Make a difference: Help us ban fur farms across Canada


By Taimoor Choudhry  I used to live a life of luxury - selling diamonds, flying private jets and attending fashion shows globally - but now I am an animal rights activist on a mission to change the world! It was a life-changing moment that shifted the way that I saw the world and I knew...