Religious Gurus – Sekt Info Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:15:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Religious Gurus – Sekt Info 32 32 Mindful travel shouldn’t be a personal pursuit Fri, 11 Jun 2021 15:00:00 +0000

There has been a lot of ink spilled in the pandemic – including in these pages here – about what the future of tourism will look like.

We already know there is no going back to business as usual, with tourism hotspots such as Whistler, Venice, Valencia and others calling for more sustainable forms of travel long before COVID- 19 does not force the industry to stop.

Much of the discussion about the future of tourism has focused on the concept of ‘conscious travel’, and tour operators from Australia to India are now marketing travel packages with unhurried itineraries meant to promote connection. deeper with nature and longer stays in a destination.

These are undeniable positive elements in the ongoing transition to a fairer and more conscientious global tourism landscape. I just hope tourism can avoid the pitfalls of the multibillion dollar wellness industry that has co-opted the very concept of mindfulness from Eastern collectivist religious traditions to better match the West’s individualistic obsession. for self-actualization, telling clients (mostly women) that the only way to get there is to look younger, slimmer, better; that the only way to achieve inner peace is through expensive retreats and private gurus.

Travel, I would say, is often viewed in the same way: as a tool for personal growth for those who are privileged to afford it. How many blog posts, guidebooks and travelogues have been written to extol the personal value of travel without really acknowledging the toll it takes on the people who need it?

I remember that famous quote from Mark Twain you still see scribbled on Instagram posts about travel being “fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” From the popular travel diary The innocent abroad, which recounted Twain’s 1867 “Great Excursion of Pleasure” across Europe and the Holy Land, the book offered a rare window into cultures that most Americans of the day could only conjure up in their imaginations. It is clear, even through the satirical lens in which Twain excelled, that he had very different views of some cultures compared to others. He calls the French emperor the “representative of the highest modern civilization, progress and refinement”, while, later in the same passage, he describes the Ottoman emperor as “the representative of a people by nature and by his training dirty, brutal, ignorant, non-progressive. , [and] superstitious. ”Twain presents his exaggerated sense of cultural superiority as evidence of an expanded worldview, which I think still infects the Western perspective of travel in subtle ways.

This is not to say that there is no inherent value in travel. Twain was not wrong to say that exposure to different cultures can bring incredible benefits, but if we are to create a more conscious form of tourism, we must, unlike Twain, recognize our position at the top of the hierarchy of people. travel and be honest about the transactional nature of tourism. It also doesn’t mean that you have to be ashamed every time you go on vacation.

This is something Professor Anu Taranath, a professor at the University of Washington (UW), discusses in his book, Beyond Guilt Journeys: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, who was informed by his numerous human rights-themed trips with UW students in India, Mexico and elsewhere.
“Mindful traveling in an uneven world is not about getting on a plane to go somewhere, it is about paying attention and noticing the position in relation to each other,” she said in a commentary. interview with 2019 UW News. “It’s about understanding that we all live in a much longer history that has placed us in different positions of advantage and disadvantage, and has given us very few tools to talk about it.

It’s those tough conversations about power, privilege, and moral responsibility that should be happening with us in our own communities long before we settle into the next vacation destination.

So do your homework. Try to understand a place, its culture, customs, history and power dynamics, and where you fit into it. Read sources that go beyond the Planet alone guides, local leaders and community groups working on the ground, voices that have historically been slandered in the mainstream. Take the time to understand the indigenous rights, traditional place names and customs of the territory you will be visiting and, if necessary, seek permission to enter the territory.

And when it comes to spending your hard-earned money on vacation, make sure you understand exactly where that money is going and who you are supporting. You can even go a step further and pay a property tax (although I struggled to find a Canadian equivalent, the Sogorea Te ‘Land Trust run by native women in the Bay Area is a prime example) or donate to groups like the Black Trans Travel Fund which is dedicated to promoting a safer and more accessible tourism landscape for all.

After all, travel cannot really be considered conscious until it transcends the individual and takes into account all aspects of the tourism equation.

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Mehul met Barbara for dinner the day she disappeared: Choksi’s wife Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:29:09 +0000

Priti Choksi, wife of fugitive diamond dealer Mehul Choksi, has lived in Antigua since 2018. She says she feels trapped after her husband was reportedly kidnapped, tortured and taken from Antigua to Dominica in a boat on May 23. “Priti told LA WEEK.” People call us crooks. But the Jain community supports us.

Excerpts from the interview:

How long have you lived in Antigua?

I had never visited Antigua before 2018, (ie) when we moved here. Mehul must have been here before, when he applied for citizenship and came to the swearing-in ceremony in 2017. We don’t know many Indians here. The fact that there is a red corner notice against him put us in a situation close to jail. We cannot travel freely. I feel like I’m already living in prison. The island is my prison.

Mehul Choksi is reported to have led an extravagant life.

We live in a rented property and drive a used or third hand car. It’s a Japanese or Chinese car. So you can imagine our way of life. We live in a gated community, where most of the people are expats. People ostracized us. After learning about the accusations made by Indian investigative agencies, they began to make vague comments. Some called us crooks.

The local people are nice and kind. But we don’t have any friends in the family.

How do you manage your expenses? Have you or your husband taken a job?

Barbara had rented an apartment across from our house in August 2020 and used to meet my husband on his walks. He likes to walk on the beach and Barbara was there once.

He is not doing well; most of his time here was spent visiting doctors or lawyers. We don’t have a lot of expenses. We are Jains. We don’t eat non-vegetarian food and we lead a simple life. I am not an employee. There is no temple where we live, so I built a small temple in our house with two or three pictures of our gurus. This is where I spend my time.

Do you have the support of your family or friends in India?

The whole Jain community came to support us. Jains around the world have supported us.

There is speculation that you got divorced.

It’s our 35th wedding anniversary.

Where were you when Mehul Choksi disappeared?

I was in my house. We were all seated and waiting for him to come back. My children are worried; we are all clueless.

Do you know Barbara Jarabik? How do you react to the reports that she was Choksi’s girlfriend?

We are traumatized. Barbara had rented an apartment across from our house in August 2020 and used to meet my husband on his walks. He likes to walk on the beach and Barbara was once there. It was an acquaintance with whom he walked. I never spoke to her, but she used to contact my husband every now and then for help. She said she was in the home improvement industry.

On May 23, he left in his car to meet her for dinner. She had been staying in a hotel for some time and would call him to chat over a meal about a property she had to renovate at the behest of her boss. He had just recovered from the Covid and was not going out. That day he went out for dinner.

When did he contract the Covid?

We both had it in February. My case was very serious and I had to leave Antigua for treatment. He was also ill for a while. Now we are both vaccinated. Mehul has heart problems, high blood pressure, and many other ailments; he hadn’t received proper medical assistance here. He had applied for permission to travel to Miami last year for treatment, but it was refused after objections from India.

Are there reports that Barbara was involved in the kidnapping of Choksi?

From what I learned, when Mehul went to pick her up, the door to her house was open. She asked him to come inside, saying she wanted to show him something. As soon as he got out of his car, eight to ten men in blue uniforms grabbed him. They beat him, blindfolded him and gagged him with a plastic tarp, tied him to a wheelchair and took him to a boat in Jolly Harbor. They told him not to mention Barbara and to cooperate with them. He was half unconscious. They gave him electric shocks and confiscated all of his money, watch and bank cards. We don’t know where Barbara is today.

What is your biggest concern?

I want to ask the authorities: are we no longer under the rule of law? It is quite simply contrary to basic human rights. Even if there is an investigation, there are procedures to follow. You cannot just kidnap someone, torture them and deport them.

My husband is 63 years old and needs medical attention. How do the Dominican authorities keep him in police custody for so long? Mehul is not an accused in the CBI indictment against Nirav Modi. But still a red corner notice was issued against him.

Are you planning to appeal to UK?

I appeal to the Queen, who is the Head of State of Antigua and Barbuda. I will approach international forums against kidnappings and human rights violations in my husband’s case.

Are there reports of two Indian men accompanying Choksi on the boat?

Everyone knows what happened. The ship’s crew included two men from the Punjab. I later learned that one of them was from Birmingham. As it was a public holiday in Dominica when they disembarked, Mehul stayed in the boat for a whole day. They mistreated and mistreated him.

Do you miss India?

Certainly yes. What I miss the most is going to the temples, to our guru ji. We regularly visited the temples of Teen Batti [in Mumbai].

How was your lifestyle in India?

We are religious people and we believe in charity. On December 24, 2017, before leaving for Antigua, we opened a girls’ school in Ahmedabad. We have also contributed to the creation of an engineering school. Mehul is a philanthropist, but now he’s called a crook.

Do you want to return to India?

I want my husband to go back to Antigua. I want justice.

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Passionate mother of transgender people in India Thu, 10 Jun 2021 10:23:33 +0000

Prema Chowallur was destined to become a teacher like her Catholic parents. She ended up becoming a social worker and champion for the rights of transgender people, one of the most marginalized groups in India.

Originally from the state of Kerala in southern India, she developed a strong vocation to serve the poor and needy as she grew up, leading her to join the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod (SCC) in 1977 at the age 18.

The nun made her final vows in 1981 and 1988 and pursued higher education. She obtained a master’s degree in business and education and became principal of the famous ICSE school in Gorakpur district, Uttar Pradesh state.

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Sister Chowallur’s life took a turn in 2000 when her boss assigned her to a social work center, which she gladly accepted.

“My goal was to become religious and to serve the poor. Although I was totally dedicated to the ministry of education for 15 years, the desire to work for the poorest of the poor and the left behind was very close to my heart, ”Sister Chowallur said. , 62, at UCA News.

Since then, the charismatic nun has traveled and worked with various church and development groups across India to support poor communities.

Sister Chowallur’s life of service widened in 2015 as she began to fight human trafficking and the plight of LGBTQ communities.

She worked with Palli Unnayan Samiti (Rural Development Society or PUS) in Baruipur in the state of West Bengal and Tarumitra (Friends of Trees), an environmental charity based in Patna in the state of Bihar. She has collaborated with the North East Diocesan Social Service Society (NEDSSS) in Guwahati, capital of the state of Assam, and Purvanchal Pragati Samaj (Eastern Development Society or PPS), both covering North East India.

Her prolific social work was recognized worldwide and in 2005 she was invited to participate in a United Nations consultation on sustainable development.

Sister Chowallur then became vice-president of the Indian chapter of Talitha Kum, a worldwide network of Vatican-sponsored religious congregations against human trafficking. She is also a facilitator of the North East Forum for Justice and Peace and coordinator of her congregation’s Crossian Consortium to Reach Out to the Periphery (CCROP).

Sister Chowallur’s life of service widened in 2015 as she began to fight human trafficking and the plight of LGBTQ communities.

“In 2016, I saw a lady sitting alone on a bus I was traveling in and I dared to sit next to her where no one dared to sit. I started chatting with her and she told her painful story – how she was kicked out of her family and ended up in a railroad slum. It inspired me to work for those who live on the margins or even outside society, ”recalls the nun.

The meeting encouraged her to join the Global Rainbow Catholic Network (GNRC) and the Indian Rainbow Catholic Network (INRC), enabling her to better understand the challenges and plight of LGBTQ communities.

The nun began to take to the streets looking for transgender people, mostly from the Kinner / Hijra community (eunuch). She listened with passion to their stories of pain, struggles, abuse and discrimination, and she felt strongly that she had to do something to help them.

She started inviting poor transgender people to her convent in the Joypur area of ​​Guwahati for discussions and food, which they greatly appreciated.

Her religious order, superiors and confreres supported her as she began to take a less traveled path. The current Superior General, Sister Elizabeth Miranda, has enabled their province to create a home for transgender people.

The nun befriended Nayaks and Gurus, the leaders of the community, and gained their trust. She then began to visit community members regularly and invited them to attend various programs, including Christmas and New Years.

This condition melted the transgender community and they began to see her as one of them. They often call her “Maa” (Mother).

The nun has organized numerous social and awareness gatherings attended by dignitaries and Catholic officials, increasing interaction as a means of gradually reducing the marginalization of the transgender community. Such meetings created a sense of pride and dignity in the community.

My approach is like a double-edged sword. I motivate the transgender community to discipline and refine their life

She also brought in psychiatrists and psychologists, as many transgender people need counseling to overcome trauma.

“My approach is like a double-edged sword. I motivate the transgender community to discipline and refine their lives, which leads them to transform their way of life, although it is a long process, ”said Sister Chowallur.

About 60 transgender people have directly benefited from the nun’s ministry and she is also in contact with over 400 LGBTQ people.

For years, Sister Chowallur and her confreres have envisioned a home for the transgender community in Guwahati.

Finally, on June 2, the Rainbow Home of Seven Sisters was inaugurated in Christian Basti (shanty town) in Guwahati with the full support of the Archdiocese of Guwahati. The event brought together social and religious dignitaries amid the wish that the refuge will remain a ray of hope and a sign of God’s love for humanity, especially the transgender community.

Jesuit Father Owen Chourappa, lawyer and director of the Guwahati-based Human Rights Legal Unit, blessed the home.

The priest appreciated the efforts of the nun to satisfy a great desire he had to open a center for transgender people without being able to move it forward.

“I am happy to see that the Rainbow Home for the trans community started near our institute by the Sisters of the Cross,” said the priest.

Local leader Sandillya Dulal Goswami applauded Sister Chowallur’s indomitable spirit and her unwavering love for transgender people.

“Sister Prema will not give up until she achieves her goal. Her persistent and inexorable search for a space to house the transgender community has proven it,” he said, adding that he This was a very rare type of service.

“The sisters initiated and made a reality where broken, broken and homeless people can find a home,” he added.

Even though there is a quota of jobs in some states like Kerala, transgender people have had to quit their jobs due to non-acceptance, threats and humiliation.

The nun said she plans to welcome trans children to good schools, as she seeks land where trans people can be rehabilitated effectively.

“For now, this center will accommodate both adults and trans children. There will be separate sections for the Kinner / Hijra community, trans women and children belonging to this third gender, ”she said.

South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, enjoy legal recognition and protection, including education and employment rights, but transgender people do. some of the most marginalized communities in the region due to extreme social stigma and discrimination.

Sister Chowallur laments that most legal protections only remain on paper and are not a reality. Transgender people are not accepted by families and society and are looked down upon, teased and treated as objects everywhere.

“Even though there is a job quota in some states like Kerala, transgender people have had to quit their jobs due to non-acceptance, threats and humiliation. In India, people generally believe that they are a curse and a disgrace to the family, ”she said.

Now the nun is looking forward to a dignified life for all trans people.

“We don’t want to see trans people kicked out anymore. Rather, we aim to reduce the number of them living in slums and roaming the streets, ”she said.

“We would like to provide a more socially acceptable lifestyle with some discipline, a better moral life and both the soft skills and life skills required for independent living. This is our first step towards making a big dream come true.

Sister Prema Chowallur with transgender people during the distribution of food rations during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo provided)

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Pancham Dham Foundation Day celebrated among renowned spiritual dignitaries – ThePrint Tue, 08 Jun 2021 10:59:00 +0000

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Sthapana Diwas Pancham Dham Cambodia

New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI / NewsView): To commemorate the day the 5th Dham in Siem Reap, Cambodia was first established to disseminate and proliferate Indian cultural values, ethics and Sanatana Dharma, continuing with the legacy and spiritual journey, the 4th anniversary of founding day was celebrated in a virtual event on May 30, 2021.

The gala event started with Aarti (Vandana) performed by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, president and spiritual leader of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, a spiritual institution based in Rishikesh, India.

The event was organized to share the absolute experience of the spiritual passage and focus on the elevation of the Fifth Dham, which is being established in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with an estimated cost of over 500 crores INR . Once the site has been developed, the religious site will house a 180-foot building. great idol of Lord Shiva.

Foundation Day was a spiritual journey into the teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads. As inculcated in the preaching of “Sanatana Dharma”; the way of life where the glory of Sanatana Dharma is beset with jewels from all over the world with a singular goal being that the world is one with all beliefs in their understanding and that progress is from the subtle to the gross; from ‘many’ to ‘one’, from bottom to top, from form to formless. Sanatana Dharma differs from other areas of life, only in that it has a word of sympathy and promise for every sincere conviction, wherever and whatever, as constituting a step in the great ascent. towards the highest human perfection.

‘Sanatana Dharma’ implies a code of human conduct, a set of principles handed down from time immemorial. Sanatana Dharma seers and preachers delivered speeches on a wide range of topics covered including shastras and modern life, Vedas, their content and meaning, sanskaras (purification ceremonies), common dharma for all and the duties specifically prescribed. about people in the four stages of human life. Like the word “yoga” appearing in the Bhagavad Gita, “dharma” defies precise definition. This could mean his homework related to his class and stage of life. Or it can refer to different areas of general human conduct, such as discipline, good manners, management and the law. That one must follow the “dharma” prescribed for him and that it is dangerous to walk on what is ordered for another is emphasized in the Geetha in two places.

The event saw the presence of big names such as Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Shri Anantnand Saraswati, Shri Umesh Upadhyay, Shri Anil Thakur RSS, Shri Kailash Kher, Shri Sachidanand Joshi, Shri Gajendra Chauchan, Shri Vishal V Sharma, Shri Raj Kishor Yadav , Shri Jitendra Singh, Dr Palakkal, Shri Pradeep Batra, Shri Makarand Bhagwat.

Addressing the founding day, Shri Umesh Upadhyay, President and Chief Media Officer, Reliance Industries Limited quoted: “The spiritual-based Sanatana Dharma and our cultural roots were fading from society during these years. Considering that the existence of Pancham Dham is the foundation of the belief of people who still have faith in Sanatana Dharma, knows its importance and, the 4th day of founding of Pancham Dham is in itself an example.

“We have never been geopolitically oriented; on the contrary, we have always followed the rule of humanity and have worked and will work together to spread the word in society with these initiatives, ”added Shri Umesh.

The Pancham Dham initiative has gained an important place in society with the support of personalities like Shri Inderesh Kumar, one of the renowned leaders of the RSS, Shri Shyam Parande, Shri Gopal Narayan Singh, Shri Shailesh Vats, Rahul Shah and the Saints , Rishis, gurus, politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats and various Indian devotees.

The founders of Pancham Dham training are at the forefront of promoting Sanatana Dharma through their initiatives around the world and more specifically by creating the Pancham Dham (Fifth Dham) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

This story is provided by NewsView. ANI will not be responsible for the content of this article in any way. (ANI / NewsView)

This story is automatically generated from a syndicated feed. ThePrint is not responsible for its content.

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