Spiritual Awareness

A Guru’s Greatest Gift – Words of Wisdom


By Vivekjivandas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  A guru’s greatest gift is wisdom – words that come from both experience and enlightenment. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj had traveled the world, meeting people from various backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Add to the wealth of his experiences in human interactions the fact that he practiced what he preached,...

Always seek help for animal you find in distress


By John Di Leonardo   The life of a wildlife rehabilitator is not for the faint of heart. Often days are filled with frustration due to people's unwillingness to coexist with wild animals. It seems that many in our society prefer a "sterile" environment, one that is free from geese and their excrement, nesting birds...

Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Legacy of Selfless Service


By Gnanpurushdas Swami  BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  In August 1979, the Machhu Dam burst in the town of Morbi, Gujarat, causing a massive disaster. The widespread flooding left everyone in turmoil. Many lost their lives, and the survivors lost their livelihood. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, in Amdavad at the time, was deeply moved on hearing the news of...

Keep animals off your plate for a kinder, healthier life


By John Di Leonardo  This past week, my friend Karenlynn and I drove a piglet to his new forever home at Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, New York ( 40 miles from New York City). Karenlynn had helped rescue him from New York City’s Gateway National Park in Howard Beach ( part of New...

Awaken to the soul’s innate beauty


By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj  In many places around the world, parents read to their children a famous fairy tale, the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ In this story, a princess is cast under a spell and sleeps for a hundred years. Only the kiss of a true prince can awaken her. While the story is...

The answer to violence is active kindness, ahimsa


By Juliana Di Leonardo   Lately, it feels as though we are traveling back in time. People now have the right to carry concealed weapons and women are losing rights to their own bodies. Sometimes we may fantasize about a simpler world, one that resembles the past but certain things were left behind for a reason....

The Wonder of Positive Attitude


By Gnanpurushdas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha  “The greatest discovery of any generation is that humans can alter their life by altering their attitude,” said William James. Attitude is the way in which we relate, respond, and react to the events and environment around us. But the important thing is that our attitude is self-programmable, so we...

Let’s stop gambling with lives of horses


By John Di Leonardo   Gambling is one of the 7 addictions, or Sapta Vyasan, recognized and prohibited by Jainism. This vice has devastated the lives of many persons and their families, however, when it comes to horse racing, it devastates the lives of animals as well.    Since 2009, more than 1,600 horses have died at...

Let’s Choose Love Over Hatred


By Gnanpurushdas Swami BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha   “Hatred is self-punishment,” said Hosea Ballou, an American theological writer. It is a powerful force often linked with a feeling of frustration, powerlessness, and the desire for revenge. But hate is a choice, just like love. Anyone can hate. However, it takes a lot more effort to love.  In 1987,...