A Short Bio on Mahatma Gandhi

The biography of Gandhi ji reflects the message of love, tolerance, equality, and selfless service.

In India, the title of “Father of the Nation” is given to Mahatma Gandhi. The wide-eyed boy from a downtrodden family grew leaps and bounds, only to etch a mark, which kick-started a new independent era for the world’s largest democracy.

At an early age, Gandhi made his way out against all the odds. A college dropout, Gandhi decided to take that leap of faith and pursue law studies, soon after the birth of his first child Harilal. At 22, Gandhi, who had settled comfortably in London, heard of his mother’s demise, which the family had kept from him. He returned to India, bidding farewell to his London dreams.

His Law firm set-up in Bombay failed miserably, owing to his lack of expertise, so he returned to Rajkot – somewhat dejected. He marked his career, by drafting petitions to litigants which helped him bring in funds.  But, things came to a halt even on that front, when Gandhi had to forcibly stop his operations owing to a conflict with a British officer. One thing led to the other, and the next thing was landing a job in the Colony of Natal, South Africa as a lawyer.

While Gandhi’s work cannot blatantly be attributed as that of a crusader without any violence, he deserves due credits for being the first Indian to apply and implement the principles of non-violence in the political arena. Non-violence considered the highest ethical virtue (dharma) is explained in great detail in his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments and TruthThe views were met with severe flak in Britain when it was under attack from Nazi Germany and post the revealing of the Holocaust.

His popular words, to the masses of Britain, is what will resonate in the patriotic hearts of millions of Indians. The quote, “I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.”

He is known for his values:

Ahimsa / Non-Violence: It has been a bumpy ride throughout for Gandhi, who nevertheless persisted. From being criticized for refusing to protest the hanging of legends like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Udham Singh among many others to being accused of accepting a deal with the King’s representative Irwin that released notorious leaders from prison. 

Satya /The Truth: It is a well-known fact that Gandhi earned his title as the father of the nation owing to his unrelenting pursuit of discovering the truth. His movement, popularly called Satyagrahafound its first formulation in 1920. The move is centered around the mantra of resolution of non-cooperation.

It has been claimed that it was the satyagraha formulation and step, which found a strong connect with the beliefs and culture of the masses that garnered acclaim and support; ultimately earning him the title of Mahatma. Satyagraha is built on the Vedantic ideas of four principles – self-realization, ahimsa (nonviolence), vegetarianism, and universal love.

As per a report on Wikipedia, according to Indira Carr, Gandhi’s ideas on ahimsa and Satyagraha were founded on the philosophical foundations of Advaita Vedanta

Niswarth Seva / Selfless Service: History is laden with instances, where it has been reported and recorded that, on several occasions, Gandhi faced and had to endure severe forms of humiliation and torture at the hands of the whites. But, in a perfect move of sorts, Gandhi bore the insults, without trying to avenge those who harmed him.

Aside from the fact that he did not want the unjust oppression to continue on the non-whites; he resisted the wrongdoings of the whites all his life. Some of the lesser known facts are that he was popular for offering shelter to a leper. He also made conscious efforts to spend time with the sick and dying at a hospital in Natal. 

Gandhi also served in the Ambulance Corps during the phase of the Second Boer War in 1899, where he spread the message that ‘service is meaningless unless one takes pleasure in it.’

Indeed true, as he always maintained that services offered without pure joy served neither the servant nor the served. 

Child Mental Health Issues: Know the Causes & Tips to Overcome

Only a child sees things with perfect clarity because it hasn’t developed all those which prevents us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see “–Douglas Adams

Children are like molding clay. As they grow up, they need a foundation that has to be strong. From the second children are born into this world, they start developing a sense of self-composure for themselves. It then starts giving to the world out, i.e. it begins to bestow trust upon its parents, which forms a base for the whole future development. Thus, being a parent, it’s necessary to support a child for better social, emotional and behavioral health. Young children who start developing strong bonds at an early stage with their parents and family learn to co-operate, care, pay attention and get along with people in their surroundings.

Well, most mental health issues surface at an early age with identifiable threats. In newborns and toddlers, the initial years of their life have a high risk of attracting such severe state. Thus, kids and youngsters with mental health issues tend to have lower educational achievements. According to a British survey, it states that juveniles with mental health issues have more involvement in unjust criminal affairs. But sadly, most children with mental health issues (60-80%), don’t get the support they need and that is how it makes a difference. A significant aspect for aiding a child’s mental health is safeguarding culturally competent services that include in families. There isn’t any particular cause of any mental health issue that is applicable as the reason for any child’s psychological problems is not related to one source, rather too many since as we all know it is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Continue reading “Child Mental Health Issues: Know the Causes & Tips to Overcome”

I Can and I Will

We all know that Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb and the fact that he achieved success after trying it for a thousand times is also not hidden from the world. But do you know how many times people tried to discourage him from trying it the next time? A lot of them, his teachers also exclaimed that Edison is “too stupid to learn anything.” So what kept him going on and to be known in the entire world as “America’s Greatest Inventor”?

Willpower, strength, decision making, determination, dedication, hard work, skill learning- there are many similar words to describe Edison’s approach towards his life and what he does with it. But you cannot find a single word about people like Edison that depicts hesitation to follow their dreams.

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The Implications of Dust & Air Pollution on the Efficiency of Solar Energy

Solar power or photovoltaic power is a technology that has been harnessed over the years to solve energy problems. Here, a metal is hit by light which causes electrons to be either received or released depending on the metal. It is based on this that electrons move through a conductor where electricity is produced. Hence, for the purpose of generating electricity, solar panels are very effective. They last very long, reliable, and do not require the addition of any natural resources once they are constructed. The electricity generated through solar panels is at a fixed cost as long as it is in use. Depending on location, some solar panels are very great where they are, due to the amount of direct sunlight that it receives, making it necessary to install one for your use.

All over the country, many people and industries are embracing the use of solar panels and so has become one of the fastest growing energy sources globally. In the nearest future, whether it is a large utility-scale company or residential rooftop panels, the demand for solar panels will require more construction. However, despite numerous setbacks solar panels have encountered in the past like inefficient grid systems, inconsistency and shortfalls in various national policies on power, and the occasional eclipse, scientists have recently pointed out in a study of a new challenge that presently affects the efficiency of solar panels, and that is air pollution. Continue reading “The Implications of Dust & Air Pollution on the Efficiency of Solar Energy”

5 Tips To Avoid Flu in Winter

How to help prevent

Flu is a very contagious disease that’s often confused with cold. Well, while the causative agents for cold are in hundreds of different viruses, flu is caused only by influenza virus of types A, B and C. Now, these viruses cause the large seasonal breaks and is soon arriving. While flu may be one of the most common diseases that is majorly seasonal, its effects are never so easy to bear. The feeling is just ‘bad’.

Surprisingly, many people take flu for granted and may not go to the hospitals. According to CDC research, it has been established that winter flu epidemic affects 3, 00,000 to 6, 00,000 people each year. It is further observed that of the number – 2, 00,000 people wind up in hospital and between 3,000 and 49,000 don’t survive.

With the above statistics, it is therefore important to take necessary preventive measures ahead of the impending break-out. Flu is the type of disease where prevention would be much better than just cure. Here is how to keep yourself and your family safe from flu during this season. Continue reading “5 Tips To Avoid Flu in Winter”

Inquire Into The Absolute Truth

When my oldest daughter learned how to speak, which was at a very young age, she had an insatiable tendency to inquire about the nature of things.  “Why is the sky blue?”  “Why don’t the animals have houses?” “Can we eat dirt?”  And on, and on, and on.  She literally drove us crazy with all her questions.   But, apparently, she was simply trying to figure things out so that she could efficiently operate in this world.  For her, it was easier to ask her parents, whom she had faith in, than to experientially try to figure everything out.

Similarly, when we inquire into the Absolute Truth, we must be like an innocent child:not dumb, but honest in our inquiry.  In other words, we must have a sincere desire to know the Truth, and a desire to dovetail our life so that it is in sync with the Truth.  In the Bhagavad Gita, the Supreme Lord states:

“Just try to learn the Truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the Truth.”

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Back to Basics Series Part 2: The Search Continues…

At home, and at school, I was taught, and constantly reminded, that I needed to work hard and get good grades so that I could go to College.  Why?  So that I could get a degree, and with that degree, I could get a good paying job.  Why?  Because then I could afford to buy a nice house, a nice car, and attract a nice wife, and support nice children, and buy many of the nice comforts in life.  Why?  These things will make you happy.  After all, you don’t want to end up digging ditches for a living.  Can you imagine how miserable that would be?

Hummmm, I thought, maybe the ditch digger’s misery is no worse than the misery I would have to go through to get good grades, and to work my way through college, and to work for a corporation in order to get a good paying job, and to throw my hard earned money in buying goodies and people who may or may not make me happy?  After all, when I looked around at everyone in the neighborhood, they had all these things, yet, they didn’t seem to be very happy.  The next door neighbor was an alcoholic.  The man down the street, was a drug addict, another man had a gambling problem and was often visited by heavy looking thugs, several of the neighbors were engaged in wife swapping, my friends’ mothers were stressed out about the lines in their face or a couple gray hairs which made them look old, my parents were constantly bickering, and practically everyone was struggling to keep up the facade of being successful and happy.  And these were the country club set—the so-called successful people in life.  Did I really want to grow up and become like them?

infant-in-spirit

Shortly after graduating from high school, I realized I was not who I thought I was: a medium sized, 17 year old body, with brown hair, green eyes, and enough smarts and abilities to help me succeed in whatever endeavor I chose.  This was a very liberating realization, but at the same time, it was a death of sorts.  My attraction to the material world, and to all that was previously meaningful to me, was dwindling, dying away; and my attraction for the spiritual had been awakened.  It could be said that I had been reborn in the spirit.  But I was an infant in the spirit.  My spiritual knowledge was almost non-existent, and I didn’t know what to do—what action to take with this newly found world view.  Where does one begin when searching for his essence and function in life?

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Back to Basics Series Part 1: Simple Living High Thinking

Shortly after graduating from High School, my entire life was shattered. It was the summer of 1968 and, until then, I could have been a poster boy for the “All American role model.”  My grades were above average.  I was an all-around athlete. I’d been offered scholarships to several Universities, and I had realistic hopes of making the 1972 Olympic team as a pole vaulter.  I also had a nice girl friend, and was welcomed in just about any click at school: the so-called in-crowd, the jocks, the surfers, the nerds, the 4-Hers and most of the others. I’m not trying to brag or anything, just stating that I was basically your average all American Joe,and that life was going relatively well.  Of course, life is seldom great in high school, but my future looked promising.  Then, to my dismay, everything dear to me fell apart and faded into oblivion.

my-future-looked-promising

By the end of June, I had moved out of my parent’s home and rented a house with some friends. Like most kids with newly found freedom, we were in the party mood. At one of those parties, I got a little too intoxicated; and feeling dizzy, I sat down alone and leaned against a wall. My roommate was playing his guitar nearby, and my somewhat altered mind was quickly captured by its wonderful sounds. I had never heard such beautiful music before.

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Authority: Real And Apparent

Learning is a vital part of human existence. Whether it is learning on a physical, emotional, intellectual, artistic, or spiritual level, every single person has had to learn something from someone or somewhere. It is engrained into our psyche to learn from others who have more experience than ourselves. It is a natural instinct to watch and learn, or to inquire from others on how something is done. Children at a young age will ask a million questions.kids ask questions - learning from others

Throughout the different stages of life we grow, and with that growth our inquiries also grow from simple questions to deeper ones. And most of the time there is always someone available to answer our questions. But sometimes we might learn the answers ourselves through our experiences, through our own self discovery.

But nonetheless learning from those more knowledgeable than us is always present.

We learn from our parents, from our friends, from our teachers, from our peers, from our co-workers, from our bosses, from our spouses, etc. The learning never stops and neither do the questions.

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Oh, The Tangled Web We Weave

“SEVEN seconds, my dear friends.  SEVEN seconds.  That’s how long it would take for Mr. Browser to click away from or go on clicking towards YOU—your company, your product,” said the Facial-Care-faced guy in an impeccably tailored pin-striped GQ-inspired suit, some hotshot guru for business and market development in Asia Pacific for a leading net-system software.

“Ergo, marketing strategies have to be calculated at lightning pace. Throw away all you learned at business school,” added this amiable vanguard of the WorldWide Mess—er, Mesh.  “Don’t you ever doubt it: businesses will inevitably have to formulate new models at breathtaking speed. Oh yes.  It’s a whole new ballgame.  An exciting, challenging ride to a great new world of unimaginable opportunities. Grab every chance you get.  You snooze, you lose.”

It wouldn’t be wild to surmise that almost the entire audience of dry-cleaned, cellphone-infected, espressoed-out yup-yup-yuppies listening to him that day were as awestruck as I at the forecast on the imminent tidal web—er, wave of internetization coming to sweep us into a world of clicking relationships.

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