Each Generation – Inspirational Quotations

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“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems


EACH GENERATION

“Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself. Heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression, this generation starting from its own negations has had to re-establish, both within and without, a little of that which constitutes the dignity of life and death.

In a world threatened by disintegration, in which our grand inquisitors run the risk of establishing forever the kingdom of death, it knows that it should, in an insane race against the clock, restore among the nations a peace that is not servitude, reconcile anew labour and culture, and remake with all men the Ark of the Covenant. It is not certain that this generation will ever be able to accomplish this immense task, but already it is rising everywhere in the world to the double challenge of truth and liberty and, if necessary, knows how to die for it without hate. Wherever it is found, it deserves to be saluted and encouraged, particularly where it is sacrificing itself. In any event, certain of your complete approval, it is to this generation that I should like to pass on the honour that you have just given me.”

– Albert Camus, Nobel Prize speech.

 

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1957 was awarded to Albert Camus “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”.

 

link to the full speech – Albert Camus

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1957/

To the People of Paris, France: – “je suis désolé”  Toutes nos pensées sont tournées vers les victimes et leurs proches. Difficile de mettre des mots sur ce que l’on ressent ce matin. Restons debout.

 

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Play Of Life, Anandamayi Ma – Child Of Light

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Alexander Lipski wrote in his book  “The Essential Sri Anandamayi Ma”: The days I stayed in the Ashram of Anandamayi Ma flew by. Throughout my stay I had a feeling of utter contentment and peace – world problems were temporarily eclipsed. As though in the presence of a gigantic spiritual magnet by mind was engrossed in the Divine. When thinking of the blissful experiences I had there, there flashes even now through my mind a scene of a kirtana with Mataji. And I hear her chanting “He Bhajavan” ” to the accompaniment of a harmonium. Her chanting is the very expression of divine love and ecstasy and prompts me to echo the words of the Persian inscription on the Divan-i-Khas:

“If on Earth be an Eden of bliss, it is this, it is this, none but this” … Here is an excerpt from Lipski’s book on the topic of suffering.

Anandamayi Ma’s view on suffering and poverty are so diametrically opposed to the whole philosophy of modern western man that it would require revolutionary changes in his attitude for him to agree with her. All our attempts to wipe out poverty and the doctors’ frantic quest for eliminating physical pain are undertaken in the belief that perfection can be attained by physical means. They are based on a ritualistic view of the universe which labels certain things as evil without acknowledging their redeeming potential. Above all, this applies to modern western man’s aversion to suffering, which is regarded as an unmitigated evil.. In contract, Andanadmayi Ma holds up to us the attitude toward pain as exemplified in India’s great epic, the Ramayana. There, Hanuman, the loyal devotee of Rama built a bridge to Sri Lanka, in order to rescue Sita, Rama’s consort, who had been abducted and taken to Sri Lanka by the demon King Ravana. During the construction of the bridge, Hanuman accidentally hurt a squirrel. The squirrel thereupon complained to Rama and demanded that in punishment Rama step upon Hanuman. Rama did so and told Hanuman not to commit such a deed again, if he did not want to suffer similar punishment. But Hanuman retorted: “I will very often commit such faults so that I may repeatedly feel the pressure of your feet.”

Further to stress the purifying effect of suffering, Anandamayi Ma tells the story of a pitcher which became a puja vessel. Originally it had been just an ordinary clump of earth on which people trampled and into which people dug with sharp spades. Later the earth was taken to a potter who kneaded it and put it on a potter’s wheel, turned it around, moulded it and fired it to make it hard and solid. Only then was it fit to be used as a puja vessel and sacred Ganges water poured into it. Similarly human vessels have to be moulded to become fit instruments for the divine spirit. “Be enduring as earth, then divine life will be awakened in you.” By looking at suffering from a truly monistic point of view, another dimension emerges: “Who is it that loves and who is that who suffers? He alone stages a play with himself. The individual suffers because he perceives duality. Find the One everywhere and in everything and there will be an end to pain and suffering..

Charity Begins at Home – The Story of Mrs.Tara Shah – Value Of Kindness

Mrs Tara Shah

A wise man discovers his duty and does it at all costs. It is the duty of all to be impartial and to abstain from causing injury to all living things.

– From Excellence in Jainism

Suffering Is Changeable

This touching story of Tara, known in the Jain community as ‘Taraben’ (sister Tara), brings again to light, the importance of service and sacrifice in our lives. Tara told me some time ago, “that to her Service is a joy, there is nothing as wonderful as giving.” Now some years on from this original story, Tara is still engaged in her charity work, and is once more set to visit India.

But many of us do not appreciate that service can be a joy in the way Tara experiences it. Often, we react by feeling quite helpless whenever faced with dire poverty and disease. We may point to the philosophy of ‘karma’- and say, “It’s the will of God.” Of course, this is one way to evade the issue of the down-trodden and suffering of others. ( Although, the question of Karma should not make people’s afflictions more acceptable). Another stand-point is to offer absent healing or engage in prayer which has it’s merits, for all good thought is positive and worthwhile. But there is no prayer, or healing like helping  hands that seek no name or reward.

Tara’s way is the path of action,known as Karma Yoga and, by so doing, she is not denying the philosophy of karma which is very much part of her Jain tradition. Instead, she does her best to eliminate the idea of ‘unchangeable’ karmic destiny by her positive and generous actions.

To my mind, the easiest way to accept karmic teachings is from a view that it is ‘collective’, and common to all. By helping each other, in whatever way we can, we are gradually eliminating the darkness of ignorance that engulfs our world.

Tara’s energy and goodwill also embraced our early production of InnerViews Magazine. She has supported us generously over the years with donations, encouraging words and letters. Tara is a Sai Baba devotee, although her visits to Swami’s ashrams are now rare because of her charitable duties. Nonetheless, she is spiritually in tune with all of his declarations; one which I believe suits this story and we present it here:

Make your heart soft, then success is quick in Sadhana (spiritual practice). Talk softly, talk sweetly, talk only of God – that is the process of softening the subsoil.  Develop  compassion, sympathy; engage in service, understand the agony of poverty and disease, distress and despair; share both tears and cheers with others. That is the way to soften the heart and help Sadhana to succeed.

– Sathya Sai Baba

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And So To India!

It was a warm day in May 1992 when many ordinary and distinguished Jains gathered together in a house in Hounslow, West London. The event was the loading of a huge container filled with clothes and foodstuffs destined for Gujarat, India.

The house belonged to Mr. Rajni and Mrs. Tara Shah, an Oshwal Jain couple who were born in Kenya and migrated to the U.K. some forty-seven years ago. For them, the event was a cherished dream come true – a dream to help the poor and the needy in their homeland. There was no expectation of reward, no desire for fame or status. Simply a wish to help others who are less fortunate than themselves in the best way possible.

This was to be the fourth such mission in as many years. By now, Tara had  developed some experience of handling the collection of clothes, the clearance through customs, and the final distribution of goods in remote Indian villages. The most distinguishing feature about the project was that the items were to be distributed by Tara herself. In this way, she could personally ensure that the charity reached its final destination.

Although, Tara’s project was not problem-free, she remained undeterred. For her, she had to look after her ‘extended family’ at whatever cost. Each year, she spent her money on fares, custom duties, wheelchairs, etc. in addition to spending six months of her time in organising the programme, and delivering the collection of goods to India.

In the four summer months of 1992, Tara went to three hundred and fifty villages in Gujarat state, often going to very remote and inaccessible areas. Using the Kuvarbaai Dharamsala in Jamnagar as her base, she would, every morning at 6. a.m set out with the lorry driver and the video cameraman. The journey to the first destitute village would normally take five hours of travelling in exhausting conditions of immense heat, dust and on bumpy dirt roads. There was no break in this journey, and the same distance was covered whilst returning in the evening – an average of ten hours travelling a day.

The  film captures the people vividly, and it is very difficult to express in words, the  conditions  these villagers endure. Usually, they lacked any education, health care or  sanitation. Often they had to walk several miles to collect water. Orphan children living  alone  were nothing unusual in the villages. Poor housing, with only the minimum of household  goods, was standard. Often villagers could be found living in tents; their dismal life-style frequently  left  them  with little to say. So much hardship had been experienced in  their  lives  that the  situation  could  not  get any worse. The clothes and foodstuffs  were a boon to their suffering, and the smiles on their faces needed to be seen to be believed.

A Timely Wheelchair

In  one  village,  there was a forty-two year old orphan called Babu. He  was  so  physically disabled  that the only thing he could do was to lie in bed all day and night. The  only  time he left his small hut was when the village children helped him to go to the toilet. This was a difficult  exercise,  for Babu had to be lifted and carried out of doors.  Babu’s  parents  died caring  for  him, and he never saw anything beyond his village.

When Tara  saw  his  plight, she  decided  to order a special wheelchair for his size and disabilities, and made  a  special trip back to the village to deliver it. This trip was captured on film. When Babu heard that a  wheelchair had arrived for him, he could not contain his joy. He wiggled out of bed  and rolled  his body out of the house, scraping his skin against the dry and stony ground. It  was like  a  young baby crawling without limbs and feet, and getting hurt in the  process.  When Babu  finally was lifted into his wheelchair, he felt like a king being enthroned, and for  the first time in his life, he was able to visit his village and the surrounding area.

When  we  see these pictures, we can understand why Tara calls the villagers her extended family. Another factor that greatly concerns Tara is that when there is work in the summer months, villagers are only paid fifteen rupees a day to dig holes, and earthbanks. And out of that meagre amount, the government officials retain five rupees from each wage earned, leaving very little for the villagers to keep for themselves.

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Original story printed in ‘Young Jains’ Jan.-Mar. 1993

Sai Baba Photo

Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God. You can see the moon which orbits the earth on a perfect path, a path which can be calculated by scientists for centuries ahead.

What about your own path? Here, you are the scientist for your own life and you alone can plot the path that will take you into the future. You are plotting that path, day by day, with every thought and every act. All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter.

~ Sai Ram

Namaste♥ ॐ♥Pranam♥ ॐ♥Namaskar”