Canada, Kannata, Kannada!
After an idyllic few days at the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences (iii), TN, been on a buzz with meetings and conversations at Duke University, the Veterans Administration, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Toronto Tamil Business Association, TiE in San Jose and tree planting at the San Juan Bautista land where the West Coast Center is being worked upon.
It is interesting and encouraging to see that the Duke Medical University is quite serious about integrated medicine and the top faculty is very eager to partner in bringing about a fundamental change in the way human health is approached.
It has been my dream to build a science museum where children could do things hands-on and above all, come to wonder about the nature of creation and its many manifestations. There is a certain lack of scientific temper in India that should be of concern to all. Most people’s idea of science is the new iPhone. Investing in fundamental sciences is a very urgent need. The personnel at the Chicago Science Museum were a wonderful lot, they reached out understanding and appreciating our needs. In the next two months, when we have the preliminary report, some serious work towards raising funds and planning this most needed endeavor should begin. Hope those with necessary means will come forth and support the cause.
Also spending a couple of days with Sam Pitroda, his vision and passion for the nation is very heart-warming. India needs people of his capability, vision and passion. There are a whole lot of great ideas in the country that are not pursued to their end and remain unfinished. The tag of a developing nation has hung around the neck of Mother India like the proverbial albatross for too long.
For the first time in North America, I addressed a large group in Toronto in Tamil. A Tamil event in North America somehow feels good. The Tamils of Toronto were a wonderful assembly and now committed to create an Adiyogi place to make available the many dimensions of Yoga in Canada. Canada, a mispronunciation of ‘Kannata’, the Huron nation of Indians or Native Americans, now don’t start thinking that they are from Bengaluru. Toronto has a strong presence of Sri Lankan Tamils, what they have gone through in recent times is disgraceful to all humanity and as a generation, we have to put our heads down in shame. In our own times, that this level of atrocities can happen in our backyard and there is nothing much we can do is unbelievable and disturbing at the least. But now, it is important that the Sri Lankan people not allow the shadow of the past to darken their future, the beastly acts of the past should not leave them bitter, the injustice that occurred to our fathers should not injure the future of our children, not to become wounded but wise and strive for a bright future, but never forget the past and ensure that such things do not happen for anyone in the tomorrows of this world.
From Toronto, did a diagonal across North America to the Bay Area in California. An evening conversation with a very successful entrepreneur, a Kannada speaking one from Bengaluru. Silicon Valley has spawned a phenomenal number of success stories over the past three decades. Many Indian-origin people have found their alma mater here and become global heroes of enterprise. This is all it takes to unleash human genius, we have to create a space that is not restrictive.
This Sunday, the 10th of May was eventful as we, that is a little over 300 volunteers, went to our land in San Juan Bautista to plant 1008 olive trees, first step towards making of a West Coast Center. It was a very cute event reminding me of the first blessed days at Isha Yoga Center, India two decades ago. All those wonderful people who were part of that initial time at the Velliangiri foothills, dreamy-eyed and intoxicated with fervor that is rare, pregnant with untold possibilities. Isha Yoga Center is definitely a fabulous harvest of that labor of love. In honor of all those who worked to create Isha Yoga Center, I can say with pride that it is one of its kind in the world, in ambiance, structure and function. As an American CEO expressed, it is too good to be true. Upon the hills of San Juan Bautista, we sort of enacted a repeat of the fairy tale. A wonderful assembly of people in great spirits. It is great luxury to be able to be in a moment that is fresh and nostalgic at once.
Tuesday evening we had a conversation at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco with Paul Hawken. Paul is an Eco-warrior who has for decades given himself to spreading the idea of eco-entrepreneurship, to be able to do business in a more sensitive and sensible manner. Above all, Paul is a dear friend that I hold in great regard. This conversation gains further importance as this week we face the unfortunate reality of CO2 in the atmosphere exceeding levels never before crossed in human history. A dire reminder of what we are doing with the earth, that is the source of our existence. The only choice that we have is, either we correct the situation consciously or nature will do it in a very cruel manner.
The simplest thing that we can do in the next 20-25 years is to bring down human population below four billion level. Right now, there is a whole lot of efforts to curtail human aspirations, we will not succeed in this. But if we make a serious enough effort involving all, we can curtail human population. At the beginning of the 20th century, we were 1.6 billion, now our 7 billion is projected to be 10 billion fifty years from now…
We are nice, but we are too many. In our Blissfulness is the answer for all compulsiveness.