Monday, April 27, 2015

Reaching Out

त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे
सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्
मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्

Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe
Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam
Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan
Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||

Great Lord, now especially, count all your Children and don't miss a single part. Take all those lost under your protective shelter, and bring safe shelter to those with none, as you shelter those survivors at your great Temple.  Remove their fear and suffering, the world needs no more; bring them Peace and Bliss, and guide those who are lost gently to their next destination.

I have been told so many times by wise people I thank for some kindness that it is not them but Bhagavan who gives it.  But what they deny in turning the Thanks away from themselves is that Bhagavan often works through US.  Through Seva, and through respect and kindness paid to others and oneself, among other ways.

Through Seva.  In places or situations I cannot directly step in and help, I am a big fan of fundraising for good, vetted charities that work effectively and with as little over-head as possible so that most of the moneys reach the people in need.  My last post was such a one.  This post is for links for vetted charities to help those in Nepal and other areas affected by the Earthquake.

By "vetted" I mean the structure of the charity is transparent and has been researched to assure there is no corruption, as much money goes to helping the recipients of the charity, and the methods of helping are effective.

This is a video from an online acquaintance of mine, Anil.  We call him our Chhota Bhai, He is a sweet person, he glows.  He is from Nepal, and thankfully his family is safe so far.  He has started his own fund with a friend and is going to buy food then travel to Nepal from Delhi with supplies to feed people.  Here is his Link to his fund:

Other good places you can help out:
Here is an article with 7 more:

Direct links to the 7 they recommend:
Please, if you have your family, and you and they are sleeping in some form of bed and shelter tonight,  if you are certain of your own meals tomorrow...  Donate and help someone who suddenly has lost most or all of these things, and just before Monsoon.  Especially if you can't be there to help directly, giving money to those who can and will use it well, is a great way to help out.

We Worship the Three-Eyed One,
Who is Pristine Spiritual Essence and Who Nourishes all beings.
May He sever our Bondage of Samsara, like a Cucumber from its vine,
and thus Liberate us from Death, for the sake of Immortality.

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः

Monday, April 6, 2015

Giving Back

இன்னா திரக்கப் படுதல் இரந்தவர்
 இன்முகங் காணு மளவு
"Feeling compassion is not a pleasant feeling,
till the needy person gets a smile on his face."

~Thirukkural 224                    

The first Hibiscus of 2015 has opened in our home, bringing the blessings of Sri Ganapati and Spring.

This is just a brief update, mainly to plug for a fundraiser I'm participating in.  You see, 4 years ago my cousin, (more like a neice), was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia at the age of 14.  We will call her Vanaja.  Her mother, my cousin on my father's side and very much like a sister to me, (let's call her Manisha) is a single mother of two and she often struggles to make ends meet.  The cost of treatment, even with insurance, was staggering and while Vanaja was in treatment a parent or guardian was required to be present in case of emergency most of the time.  Treatment periods were months long, and as a single mother Manisha couldn't keep a job, care for her other child and still be there at the Hospital all the time.  Of course this is where Family comes in, but Family cannot make legal healthcare decisions on the spot that a parent is able to, and so we were only of so much help.

One might wonder where the Father was.  He was and is battling the heavy fruits of his own Karma, and hasn't been in any kind of mental state with which to care for or support his Family since long before any of this happened.

Having been there for this, and having seen all the families in the ward alongside Vanaja, I had a unique perspective on the singular and unique stresses cancer brings to a family when it is a Child who is affected.  Families can be torn apart by this, and even if they survive the experience and the treatment is successful, they are left irrevocably changed.  It is a very long and often dark road, watching children and infants suffer this disease - particularly your own.

My own family and all the ones there benefited from programs to bring some light, laughter and morale to the patients and their families.  Things as small as ice cream parties for children not allowed to leave the ward because their immune system is too compromised, or big as helping cover some of the costs for financially struggling families; even programs like "Make A Wish" allowing the children to have one dream come true at no cost to the family.  These things are so very important, not only because good morale is important to healing and hope, but also to give some good memories together in the middle of it all.

My family benefited from these programs, and I wish to do something to give back.  So, I have joined in a fundraiser event for one of the key foundations that fund these programs.  I don't know who reads my posts, though I know there are one or two.  I hope that any who do read might help me to give back, either by sponsoring me directly at my personal fundraiser page, or perhaps by passing my link on to friends and family who might be able to sponsor me.  FaceBook, email, Twitter, whatever, please, pass it on, and if you can afford even a few dollars to add to the pool, it would be so welcome. 

Two weeks ago, Vanaja was declared 'Cancer Free'.  It isn't a definitive cure, but it's a huge victory.  She has become one of the most beautiful and graceful people I am blessed to know.

~Love, Light and Blessings
  Om Shivaya Namaha