Heat of the moment

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is by far the biggest of its kind in the world. The average daily trading reaches $170 billion, while the total capitalisation of listed companies on the NYSE is well over $14 trillion. As you can imagine, daily events there can often reach fever-pitch. In the late 60’s, a…

Countdown

Recently I was in Trafalgar Square. There were crowds of tourists taking holiday snaps by the Olympic Countdown Clock. As I saw the digits slowly decreasing, it made me think that maybe up there in the heavens is a similar clock which is counting down my life span. At the age of thirty, I’m already…

Instant Karma

The concepts of Karma and Reincarnation are intimately connected. However, when we discuss the law of karma being dispensed over the context of multiple lifetimes, then invariable doubts arises. If I can’t link my present reaction to a previous action, then how does Karma actually teach me anything? What’s the point of suffering if I…

Sacred Space

Yesterday, 416 billion emails were sent by 2.4 billion Internet users. Yesterday, 786,000 television sets were sold, $196 million was spent on video games, and 576 million newspapers were circulated. Yesterday, $9.4 billion was spent on public healthcare, $8.5 billion on public education, and $6.3 billion on military and defence. There was nothing special about…

A Royal Meeting

Last week I had the good fortune of meeting Her Majesty The Queen and His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. A multi-faith reception was held at Lambeth Palace; one of the first public engagements to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. The event was attended by representatives from the Christian, Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish,…

Servant Leaders

The Bhagavad-gita is found within the ancient epic “Mahabharata”, famed as the longest poem in the world with over 100,000 verses. It contains numerous passages which are not only captivating but simultaneously instructive and insightful. In one such episode, the devoted Queen Kunti is faced with a quandary. Presently childless, she is fully aware of…

Are you Buddhist?

For many people a shaved head plus orange robes equals a Buddhist. At least that’s been my experience as a traveling monk. While the Buddhist and Vedic path are two distinct schools, they do share many things in common. The teachings, culture and spiritual practices bear striking resemblance to each other, and the ways of…

Personal resolutions… Global revolutions…

It’s been a one-month break from computers, emails, skype conferences and the e-world at large. I’m not complaining. Taking full advantage of the festive season, our trio of monks travelled to towns up and down the country, with the aim of sharing spiritual wisdom in the form of thousands of books; ancient writings which are…

Blind eye

I’ve just returned from a two week tour of Bangladesh. Crowned the happiest nation in the world by social researchers at LSE, one can sense the contentment that comes from simple living and high thinking. However, on a second-class overnight train from Chittagong to Dhaka I was confronted with the flip side of the story….

Religious War

Recent world events have compounded apprehensions about the social implications of religious belief. While governments grapple with the problem of terrorism, the growing opposition to religion becomes strikingly apparent. As a traveling monk, I am often drawn into heated debates over the link between religion and war. To complicate matters further, the revered conversation of…

The Inside Story

Are power-hungry underground groups like the Illuminati plotting to rule mankind by establishing the New World Order? Was 9-11 an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack, or did the Bush administration help orchestrate the entire incident to justify military policy in the Middle East? Half a century ago, did the US government cover up a UFO landing and…

Inner peace… Outer peace…

I scanned the BBC website yesterday. Unfortunately, some things never change. The top 15 headlines were riddled with global issues and tribulations; conflict and corruption in the political arena, instability and exploitation in the economic world, intolerance and loneliness in our communities, and immorality and baseness in personal dealings. Our attempts at creating world peace…