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The true meaning of secularism

Once President Bill Clinton started singing the praises of Yale law professor Stephen Carter’s works, such as The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, sales went up exponentially. Explaining how preserving a special role for … Continue reading

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The Root of Addiction

How many of us have in one form or another suffered from some sort of an addiction? Well, I guess most of us do have experience of an addiction; some of us climb out of it while some succumb to it. Some are not so lucky though, and their lives are ruined by their uncontrollable indulgence, be it in alcohol, drugs or the like.

So, what really is an addiction? It simply refers to our inability to rein in our mind and senses from an object which we think gives us pleasure. When we are unable to resist the temptation or the urge to do something we enjoy, or we aren’t able to take our mind off it, then we are addicted to that activity or thing. Well, frankly there are two sides to it; we may be addicted to something which does us good or to that which bring us harm. Continue reading

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Life Comes From Life

Although the scientific paradigm requires one to demonstrate the hypothesis being tested, nowhere around us can we see life being produced out of matter. A living woman gives birth to a child, not a dead woman. Chemicals such as urine, tears, and bile are produced within our body when the body is alive; a corpse can never produce such chemicals. We have no evidence that life arises from chemicals or matter. Rather, we are surrounded with evidence that chemicals are produced in the presence of life. Continue reading

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Three Modes of Material Nature

It is said that variety is the spice of life, and there is not the slightest iota of doubt that we live in such a diverse world, with an array of people, culture, food, music, work, hobbies, religion, clothing, animals, plants, etc. Why does such a great diaspora exist? According to the Vedic paradigm, the objects and the going-ons in the world are simple the product or the workings of the combination of three principal modes of nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. Each of these modes has its own principal characteristics which are symptomatic of the different elements that fall within its classification and hence influence their behaviour. Specifically, in the mode of goodness, there is a feeling of happiness and purity, and a feeling of the progressive development of knowledge, while in the mode of passion there is unlimited desire and longing. The mode of ignorance on the other hand is characterized by indolence, laziness and sleep. In reality, the permutation of these modes in different degrees create further sub-classifications with their respective characteristics. Continue reading

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Faith: The Common Factor of Science and Spirituality

Without a certain degree of trust or faith, we could become too fearful to even board a bus. So, faith is a reality we all live with in daily circumstances. The real question lies in where we choose to put our faith and more fundamentally the authenticity or validity of the source of knowledge upon which we base that decision. Ultimately the test of faith lies in seeing or experiencing whether the desired result is obtained or not as predicted. In the case of the example of the bus or airplane, we would never know the result if we chose to never get aboard. The act of placing our so-called blind faith would be justified if we obtain the result of arriving at our desired destination. Continue reading

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The Indispensable Need For A Teacher

Motivation speakers tell us that we have to believe in our own ability to reach our potential, that we can achieve the impossible if we put our mind to it. There may be some truth to this. However, notwithstanding the level of intelligence we have been endowed with, the role of a teacher in our achievements or in realizing our potential cannot be overstated. At every stage of our development, we do need a teacher to help us reach the next level. Yet, it is indeed amusing that when it comes to the field of spirituality, the necessity of having a teacher is overlooked or even scorned at. Continue reading

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Looking Beyond The Glare

In this world of facades, we find ourselves often times mesmerized by the enamoring glare of the objects around us. In a world of glittering lights and sounds propelled by increasing sophistication of modern technology and innovations, where our minds are captivated by the intoxicating excitement of worldly repute and reception that follow status and position, where the charming glances and gestures of those around us entice us into believing in our own glory, we find ourselves ever-restless and always anxious to increase our materialistic stature. As such, we are always kept on the edge, jittery at the prospect of losing out to our neighbour, being left behind in the rat race, or even losing the status quo of our position in society. We are also unsure of how our actions and gestures may be perceived by others, and who we should trust or not trust. In this way, we live in doubt and suspicion and, I dare say, contempt of the very purpose of life. Continue reading

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The Precious Commodity Called Time

As the saying goes: ‘time and tide wait for no man’. Actually, as we live through the sojourn of life, we find that time passes us by paying no heed to who we are or what we do. It is as if time were oblivious to our existence. We find ourselves sometimes telling someone to ‘give me a minute’, or ‘I need some more time’, but truly time just goes by us, and neither can we be given the minute or more time that we need. In fact, we have lost time, the moments that go by cannot be retrieved. The only conclusion is that time is the most valuable resource that we have, for even all the wealth in the world will not be able to purchase a single moment lost. Continue reading

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Science, Religion and Spirituality

By Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

We are living in a world of unprecedented change. Human knowledge, particularly scientific and technological knowledge, is increasing at a pace which was unthinkable only a few decades ago. In its material sense, science has indeed revolutionized the very basis of human existence. The civilization in which we live today has been profoundly influenced by science and technology, particularly by their ability to harness nature to serve humankind. The great saga of modern scientific discoveries and their practical manifestation in new technologies bring out how the human mind in a disciplined pursuit of science has developed an extraordinary capacity to wrest from nature truths whose applications have greatly enhanced our capacity to satisfy human wants. The advance of science and technology is forcing social, economic, political and cultural institutions everywhere to adjust and adapt to the fast-changing environmental conditions. Advances in the spheres of transport, communication and information technologies are fast creating an interdependent global economy. At the same time, unequal access to science and technology is leading to a widening of disparities in income and wealth between rich and poor people in a country and between rich and poor nations. Continue reading

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