Spiritual Desk of WMPP
lot of wonderful things have happened!
Shahani Trust prog. at Jai Hind College:
Ms Shakun Narain released the book 'Dadi Nani ki Kahaani' at the hands of Deputy
Prime Minister Sri L.K. Advani on Dec.14th 2003
an excerpt of my Speech
wrote Dadi Nani ki Kahaani at my grandson Aditya's request.
asked me to send him a short note on Krishna so that he could share it with his
friends. He lives in the US. I started sending these stories to some other
children I knew and soon, not only children, but their parents were asking me to
add them to my mailing list.
is then that we realized that there was a need for Dadi Nani ki Kahaani of this
this Memorial Programme to commemorate the life of Dada K. T. Shahani, allow me,
Maya, to pay a homage to my parents and in laws as well.
father Mr Jamnadas Khiani passed on when I was only 4 yrs old. I was brought up
by my mother Mrs Lajwanti Khiani, to who I owe my spiritual inclination. Thank
you mummy, I wish you were here!
in-laws Baba Sobhraj Jhamatmal Kimatrai and Ama Kishnibai groomed me. I married
at the age of 20.
husband Narain, children Sunder Madhavi Anuja supported and encouraged me in all
that I did!
address my husband Narain and daughter Anuja, as I stand here. Thank you for
your trust and support.
book has been made possible because of the encouragement of Mrs Indu JAIN, And
Mrs Maya Shahani.
you, Mr Ram Maheshwary, for insisting that I think BIG
are core members of the Women's Movement for Peace and Prosperity. Its pet name:
book speaks of the lives and teachings of Great Masters and a host of festivals.
is time to celebrate the similarities and differences of various faiths.
dream, dignitaries on the dais, is that at least one page is read at every
school assembly hall daily…to instill values in our children…
me to read you the last page of my book.
I have a vision.
Do you know what a vision is?
To see something that has not happened yet.
It is something that I wish will happen.
you know what my vision is?
That the world stops fighting.
That it stops arguing, about which religion leads you to God.
Because the truth is, that if you truly understand the message of God, It asks
us to love one another.
that different religions are different pathways that take us to the same
then, I have another vision.
And that vision is that you, my grand-children are going to fulfill that dream!
you are going to understand the message of God, the way, He intended it to be.
And that is, that there should be peace on earth.
we may disagree on certain points, but that at no time, we resort to destroy,
the home, in which we all live in together.
do you know where, and what that home, is?
You have guessed right.
That Home is Earth.
And we have to preserve it.
you, my children, have to perform that task.
And I am sure that my vision will be fulfilled!
The book has been recommended for reading in the South Bombay
Schools, by Ms Basanti Roy, Inspector of Schools
books have been distributed to 500 schools in Bombay as part of Value Education
Lighting candles for PEACE
The Surya Yog session at Taj Mahal Hotel and on the boat
between religion and Spirituality
a conversation with Swami Surya Jowel)
Religion is like a cage
Spirituality is the bird
Religion is restrictive in the sense that it is bound by
Scripture, rites and rituals.
It is external.
The bird of Spirituality has the freedom to establish
direct link with the Absolute.
Spirituality is all about inner purity where love is
unconditional, faith is undivided, and the mind is above matter.
Misuse of religion leads to communal disharmony and
Spirirituality is soul-search; it can only lead to peace
and harmony with oneself and with society and nature.
There is no contradiction between religion and
No religion teaches to hurt or harm. It is the misinterpretation of religion
that gives it a bad name, leading to divisions.
Spirituality is free of dogma and so can help one rise above religious
dogmatism, to be one with the Supreme Spirit.
launch of the speech 'Gems of Other Faiths' by Shakun Narain at the
Rotary in the form of a short speech in which Ms Raahat Jaffrey took part as
Ms Promilla Gurtu held a session of ‘Healing by Chakras’ at the TOI.
Spiritual session are conducted by Ms Shakun Narain for children
age of 7 yrs at the Sadhu
Vaswani Mission,13, Gitanjali Bldg, 1st floor,
Near Radio Club, Colaba, Bombay
– 5 and at Ishwar Bhawan, Little Gibbs Rd.
5) Ms Rohini Gupta conducts Spiritual Sessions in
collaboration with the Brahmakumaris,
once a month at the The Brahmakumari
Centre, 301, Varun, Dattatreya Rd, Sta Cruz West (2003)
6) Celebrating Adhik Maas (Invitation notes sent out)
Hindus have an extra month which comes every two and a half
The Hindu calendar has got less than 30 days in a month.
These extra days, make an extra month.
This extra month is called 'Adhik (extra) Maas (month)
It is also called 'Purushottam Maas'
Purush means 'man' Uttam' means 'Great'
It refers to the High Being, who you may call 'God'
This year the month starts on July the 18th and ends on August the 15th .
This month is considered very auspicious and is especially dear to Lord
Lord Krishna is my Ishta Devta, which means that: the Deity that appears to my mind when I pray, is 'His'
So I would like to celebrate this month with my 'Sakhis' (girl friends).
Those on my emailing list, who live in Bombay are very welcome.
Have organized 2 kirtans.
1) At Shantivan: This garden, inspired by a vision of Ms Amla Ruia is a
of lush green which helps us to live in harmony with nature.
The landscaping, amphitheater and waterfalls are a sight that give the garden
a divine ambience.
Address: Shantivan is situated in a lane near Simla House, a few steps from
Baug, stretching from Malabar Apts right up to Little Gibbs Rd, near Hanging
To get to Shantivan, you take the lane going up, opposite Priyadarshni
(Napean Sea Rd) towards Simla House.
Date: Monday, the 26th July 2004
Time: 4 to 5 pm.
(There is a covered area, so we shall only get wet with devotion)
2) Iskcon has got a beautiful mandir opposite the Babulnath Temple, to which
I have been wanting to take my friends to.
So I thought which better time, than during the month of the Supreme Being (Purushottam)
Shree Radha Krishna Prabhoo has been kind enough to fix a time slot which is generally convenient to my lady friends. He is kindly taking care of all the
other arrangements. All we need to do is to take a few steps towards HIM, and Krishna will do the rest. So see you there too.
Address: Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, 7 KM Munshi Marg, Chowpatty, Mumbai
Date: Monday, the 2nd of August 2004
Time: 4.30 to 5.30 pm
(The Temple is on the 1st floor but there is a lift facility)
Please come, and say hello to the Lord.and me!
Do bring your friends. It is a big hall.
Connecting with 'Manthan' (Seated Ms
Basanti Roy, Inspector of Schools, South Bombay
12) Taken my speech on 'Gems of Faiths' to:
1)Rotary Club Bombay Pier
2)Rotary Club Bombay Queen City
3)Rotary Club of Bombay Bandra
(Oct 19th 2004) at Otter's Club
4)Rotary Club at WIAA (Oct 27th
5) Indus International November
6) Rotary Club of Bombay
Peninsula on September 22nd 2005
7) Rotary club of Mumbai
Sealand on 27th July 2006
Below: Attended an alternative Education Vision by Partho
at Maya Shahani's place. Partho believes in Education which facilitates
connection with ones innermost being. Education must have an intuitive and
rather than it being only academic...
is alternate education?
is the free space we talk about in alternate education?
to voice opinions|
to move intelligently|
qualities would a child from such a school possess?
to self and others|
child who has the |
ability to adapt and possessing a high level of
create sensitive human beings, we have to start with teachers.
do we want the change?
has to be a common goal: A
decision to change the system.
of us are frustrated with the educational system.
cannot make the change working in isolation. For this, connecting and
networking is important.
change in learning is necessary. A will to change is necessary.
is important to enjoy the process of learning and teaching and should not be
just a means of acquiring knowledge and information.
should be able to extend beyond defined horizons.
do we start with the teacher?
Initiate teachers into new way of thinking – giving them personal
need to be open to this. The
teacher’s philosophy of life should be a practical living example.
Concentrated re -education of teachers
trained to be thinkers- unfortunately the best of minds are attracted to corporates; only the others become teachers . Thinking must evolve as learning
happens and must lead to social and intuitive thinking.
have to create scientists not students of science
who will make children want to come back to learn more for the joy of it.
have to address the curriculum
oriented B.Ed curriculum ( for teachers)
curriculum that is child-originated and teacher framed that seeks to
creatively transform and shape the content
This creates an intellectual curiosity and joy of learning that
with the child for life – stretching from primary level to high school level
Alternate thinking- away from
mainstream/ conventional paradigms.
change in pedagogy - the art or science of teaching – required.
initiative very important in the process of change.
does an alternative school need?
Three important factors:
to create alternate education:
and deepen our world|
that anything that contributes to learning is education.|
education is not only academic achievement defined in its true sense but also
to actual situations.
encompass the core group, teachers and the curriculum
celebrate childhood and have an open ended philosophy
We had a book release on the 19th
of Aug 2006 at the Times of India Bldg
The book: 'Shiva to Shankara' by Dr
Devdutt Pattanaik published by Indus Source Books
was released by Mr
Sudarshan Shetty whose sculpture adorns the Hyatt Grand at Santa Cruz,
In the picture above, from left: Dr
Devdutt Patanaik, Ms Sonavi Desai, Sudarshan Shetty and myself speaking
about the necessity of not only understanding and appreciating our own
faith but that of others...
Shiva to Shankara is a praiseworthy effort
to decode symbols and mythology connected with MahaDeva.It is a must read for
those who must make an effort to understand the 'subjective truth of a people
or a culture'
On the 2nd September 2006:
Women's Movement for Peace
and Prosperity (an initiative of the Times Foundation) and Dharma Rain Centre oganised a public talk on Meditation in Everyday Life by Dharmacharya Shantum
Seth at the Times of India Building
Dharmacharya Shantum Seth is an ordained
teacher in the Zen (Dhyana) tradition of the Vietnamese Master
Thich Nhat Hanh.
He teaches in India and abroad and has been leading pilgrimages 'In
the Footsteps of the Buddha' since 1988
Shantum said: Become aware of the miracle of each
breath. Walking, talking, even the disturbing sound
of the cell phone during a talk can be used to meditate...A
bell should 'bring' you in touch with yourself...
Thich Nhat Hanh says:
Walking meditation is like eating. With each step, we nourish
our body and our spirit. When we walk with
anxiety and sorrow, it is a kind of junk food. The food
of walking meditation should be of a higher quality. Just walk slowly
and enjoy a banquet of peace.
Above: Spoke at Seva Sadan on 'Gems of
Faiths' on 8th Sept 2006
It was very well received thanks to God
who must have spoken through me! After all He must be hoping for Peace too!
From left: Seva Sadan Society
managing committee members; Vaijayanti Gupte
( chairperson edu comm and hon jt
treasurer), Meheru Panthaki (Hon Jt sec), Khurshed Pavri (Hon sec),&
Ms Mithila Apte (MD Sinara Consultancies), Ms Tarana ,(counsellor
Sinara) and Yours Truly..:-)
Above: Part of the WMPP TEAM, the women with compassion who
work hard to give voice to the voiceless women by
making them physically, mentally and spiritually healthy!
Hindu Customs and Beliefs
in the Ramayana
Read: Spiritual Desk of WMPP