I thing the recognition that the Earth is sacred, the rights of all her beings are inviolable, is growing. This is what has inspired me to spend a lifetime in the service of the Earth and defending the rights of those people who depend upon the Earth.
In terms of what are the satisfying achievements, one is saving this valley where we are sitting, which is my birthplace. I returned here because the ministry had asked me to do a study on potential mining in this region, and our study stopped the mining going ahead. It was the first case in India where the Supreme Court ordered that commerce had to stop if it was destructive in taking away people’s life support systems.
The work I started to do with saving seeds has been satisfying in and of itself, because seeds are such important teachers of renewability, generosity and diversity, and all of that has guided my work.
Regarding the legal issues, I’m satisfied that having woken up to how seeds were under threat, and starting seed saving, I was able to work with our government and our parliament to put laws in place that defend the integrity of seed – Article 3J of our patent laws. I was asked to help draft the Plant Variety and Farmers’ Rights Act so that we have the rights of farmers written in black and white. I was asked to help draft the Biodiversity Act, which makes it an obligation to protect biodiversity.
Then there are the things we started, such as the Community Biodiversity Register, documenting what is there, and all of that is now government policy. I can go to the remotest area and people are collecting this indigenous knowledge.
Then there have been the legal victories against the big giants, for example, our struggle against the patenting of neem. We fought it for 11 years and won. Basmati rice from Dehra Dun was patented by a Texas company, but we had that reversed. The wheat of India was patented by Monsanto and they also had to give up that patent. We were entering a new age of colonialism where instead of grabbing territory and saying, “This is ours,” they were now grabbing life, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and saying, “We are the inventors.” And I think we put a brake on that bio-piracy epidemic. It still happens, but it would have been the norm if we hadn’t stopped it. It is now the exception.
I think that studying the Green Revolution, when the Punjab erupted in violence and the Bhopal tragedy took place, we’ve now been able to show that we can grow more food while protecting the Earth. We can feed two Indias through ecological farming. Our farmers earn ten times more by not being addicted to poisons.
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The Ber Tree
V. RAMAKANTHA, Ph.D., is a former Indian Forest Service officer and member of the Green Initiative at the international Heartfulness Center, Kanha Shanti Vanam, India. Having spent most of his working life living in forests and jungles, in tune with the natural world, he shares his knowledge about some of the amazing medicinal plants of India, in this case the Ber Tree.
Decision-Making versus Implementation
DR. ICHAK ADIZES explores the different qualities and skills needed to make a decision and then to implement it – when to be open-minded and when to be closed-minded, and how to find a common interest so that all stakeholders can work together to implement a decision.
THE ZERO BALANCING POINT
JANMARIE CONNOR explores some practical ways to create harmony and balance where there is tension, conflict and disagreement. How can polar opposites coexist?
Feeling, Sensitivity and Consciousnes
ROS PEARMAIN, Ph.D., has been integrating the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and spirituality, through both practical and philosophical approaches, for over 40 years. Here she explores the way a spiritual practice opens up the levels of feeling and sensitivity, as we expand into deeper and deeper levels of consciousness, and how our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies are integrated through the heart.
Creating Balance FINDING YOUR COLORS AMIDST THE BLACK AND WHITE
MAMATA VENKAT opens up about the challenge of finding selfcompassion and self-acceptance in a world of judgment and criticism. She also offers 10 tips from her own experience about how to cultivate a self-nurturing approach to life.
Toward Zero and Beyond
ALAIN DESVIGNE is the CEO of a leading solar company, the Amarenco Group. He strives to contribute to sustainability in every field of life. Here he explores the nature of reducing and minimalizing our use of resources in the world, by working on our reaction emissions and inner climate changes.
The Birds of Kanha
RAJESH MENON is a photographer from Delhi, who specializes in images from nature. Here he shares some of the beautiful birds of Kanha Shanti Vanam, the 1300 acre property outside Hyderabad, India, that is the international headquarters of the Heartfulness Institute. It is also a green sanctuary.
Giving More, Taking Less
FRANCOIS BOUDERLIQUE learnt about the basic principle of Nature – to give more than you take – when he left a high-powered banking job in Paris to live and farm in Kutch, India. He realized that his understanding of eco farming was colored by his past and he needed to open his eyes to a new reality.
Megha Bajaj shares some simple tips on how to develop the capacity for intuition, which can be cultivated in daily life.
YOGA & PEACE
DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.
Reincarnation And Realpolitik
China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama
An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan
The Little Red Train
A Room for Dad
Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her
THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1
YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.
WOUNDS AND THE WOMB
JULIE PETERS explores how to heal a relationship with the sacred womb, a place of death, life, and possibilities.
Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain SARAH BOWEN explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.
E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies
IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?
I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident
IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.
When the Signal Goes Out
Government-ordered internet shutdowns are becoming more frequent