Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman  
  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  




I met Shakun Narain after Sept 11, 2001, when a lot of us gaped in horror as we witnessed a horrendous terrorist operation.

Terrorism struck Bombay in 1993 killing people and damaging buildings and confidence of its inhabitants.

The vicious earthquake hit Gujarat on the 26th of January 2001. And then Godhra ‘happened’ in Gujarat, and its aftermath.

Everywhere we looked, we encountered uncertainty for ones future, for ones well-being, for ones children. Are we next? We were asking ourselves.

I wondered, what to do, about it? If we, at the ‘Times of India’ were not going to do something, who would?

I have always believed that Human Consciousness grows when it goes through crisis and pain.

And the world has had a big chunk of that.

I started to think, and to think hard! I came up with the idea that one of the ways to unite the world was to spread the knowledge that was common to all religions. We called it ‘Singularity of All Faiths’. I also believed that the time had come for the good people to connect!

Maya Shahani, a multifaceted charming, lady, became instrumental in bringing together interesting thinking people from different religions and different walks of life to the group.

I was introduced to Shakun, through Maya. Various other eminent people, from around the world, joined in discussions as to how we should bring peace to the riot torn planet.

The Women’s Movement for Peace and Prosperity was then and thus conceived under the umbrella of Times Foundation drawing its inspiration from Smt. Indu Jain, Chairman of Times Group and Chief Patron of WMPP.

WMPP adopted 7 methodologies to realize its vision.

Shakun Narain took the lead in its Spiritual Desk.

I saw her ‘grow’.

Ms Indu Jain, the chairman of Times of India, invited representatives of over 80 Spiritual Organizations, and introduced them to her.

She offered her the 6th floor room, in the Times of India Building and a free hand to realize her dream of Spiritual Uplift.

Shakun has a Vision!


She believes in an education which will teach the children to smile forever.

That it is woman’s wisdom that could bring peace into the world.

We all agree that there may be differences in various religions and cultures.

The need of the hour is not to ‘tolerate’ them but to ‘celebrate’ them.

She believes in the Hindu concept of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’(The world is God’s family).

That disagreements will remain, and total love and friendship may not be possible, but one can still make an attempt to co-exist

How does a regular person help?

By opening homes and listening hearts.

By opening our homes to neighbors of different creeds, and listen to understand, and not to argue!

Shakun believes that the world requires more than quotes, that the world has now, got to stop hurling stones, after all we all live in glass houses.

She believes in the world of Electronic Mail that we live in. She believes in using the ‘pen’ rather than the ‘sword’

She conducts discourses, sings, pens books, has an active website called ‘Dal-sabzi for the Aatman’ which is a weekly mailer started by her. Soon after, she started to send ‘Dadi Nani ki Kahaani’ by electronic mail. I must confess that I enjoyed the short, informative stories that she sent very much, and regularly praised her efforts.



Shakun’s vision extends beyond the horizon.

She wants to spread the concept of Spirituality to schools, colleges, corporates and to  next-door neighbors.

Her Spiritual Desk is working on a work-shop ‘Gems of all Faiths’, whose aim is to highlight the similarities of Religions.

She is planning an inter-collegiate essay competition, which will encourage students to delve deeper into their beliefs, and celebrate the similarities of faiths!

She conducts classes for children, and teaches people from different parts of the world, the wisdom of the Ramayana, the Geeta and other Scriptures.

And now, she is releasing the book ‘Dadi Nani ki Kahaani’ which will educate the citizens of tomorrow with the same message: That all Religions teach love, and that we need to reach out to one another, to preserve the planet that we live in.

‘DADI NANI ki KAHAANI includes, lives and teachings of  Great Prophets, Incarnations, Masters, Deities, Personalities…Stories from the Shrimad Bhaagvad, Ramayana…

All the stories, in simple, child-friendly language, celebrate the similarities of messages imparted by all the Great Beings that walked the planet.

I am convinced that not only will the children be inspired, but the parents will also learn a thing or two.

I know that she will turn her dream into reality!

And when she does, I like to believe that I played a part in it!

Ram Maheshwary

General Manager

Times of India

Discussing "Gems of other's Faiths" with Mr. Maheshwary

Discussing 'Gems of other's Faiths' with Mr. Maheshwary




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