Something to Ponder: Lambs are Babies

 

Dear People of Earth,

This is No April Fool’s Day joke!

Lambs are babies, and when they are separated from their Mama Sheep they feel fear and grief. They suffer.

Please vow to never eat lamb again (not even on Easter, if you celebrate that holy day), and please consider sharing this post with everyone you know!

Something to Ponder: Lambs are babies

With great compassion for all beings,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by MabelAmber on Pixabay.

 

A Shared Love of Peace

“I will fight no more forever.”
                                                   ~ Chief Joseph

The day after my Dad died, my Mom, three brothers, and I sat around a table with Daniel, my high school friend and Funeral Director of Ziemer Funeral Home… He asked us what quote we would like to put in the printed materials for the funeral mass, and we chose to put the above quote by Chief Joseph, because in my Dad’s last few months he was reading a lot about the plight of Native Americans and he was particularly touched by the books he read about Chief Joseph. As he read, he shared with my Mom and me that Chief Joseph did not like fighting and he just kept telling the white men, “I just want to go home.” Even though he did fight at times, he was overall a non-violent person who wanted peace.

Chief Joseph’s beliefs were in alignment with my Dad’s lifelong anti-war, peaceful philosophy, which caused him to fight hard for (and win) the status of “C.O.” (Conscientious Objector) when he was drafted to the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. During that time, he slimly averted going to jail, and then served his time in an office in San Antonio, Texas, where he continued to oppose the war, even while he was in the army!

This was something that my Dad and I very much agreed upon… I have also been opposed to war for my whole life, and after studying the teachings of ancient India, I changed my life to reflect the highest Vedic teaching, ahimsa, which means doing no harm… It is a doctrine of peace and non-violence to all beings… That is why I eat a plant-based diet and live a vegan lifestyle… And I pray that more and more humans will awaken to the sad war of torture that is happening to the animals, fish, and birds on this planet… I pray for the peace and happiness of all beings, including the chickens, turkeys, fish, lambs, cows, and pigs…

So, my Dad really liked Chief Joseph, and my Dad’s middle name was Joseph, and my Dad was buried in a natural green burial at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery (a few feet from where his parents were buried years ago)… and when my Dad read that Chief Joseph quote to us, his eyes lit up with such love! ~ “I will fight no more forever.”

To read a little more about that quote, click here: Chief Joseph.

new-joseph

May All Beings Know Peace.
May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Tree photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay.

Chief Joseph photo from historyplace.com.

 

Contributing to the Ancient Tradition of Ramayana

Reading the Ramayana takes you on a magical journey through your own deepest self. Through the timeless wisdom of this ancient story you will recognize your own wisdom. That has certainly been my experience each time I have read the Ramayana, and I have studied nearly one dozen versions of this tale over the past fifteen years. The Ramayana originated in India, but it has spread throughout South East Asia, and around the world. More than three hundred versions have been recorded, and millions of people deeply love this story.

I also deeply love this sacred story, and, at times I have struggled with the Divine Avatar Rama’s actions. In many of the versions, in certain scenes he performs controversial actions such as killing and hunting, even though the highest Vedic principle is Ahimsa, which means non-harming. So, at a painful moment in my spiritual journey, I felt like I had to choose between my highest ideal of non-violence and my Hindu Yogic Path. They suddenly did not seem compatible. At that black-and-white juncture, I dove deeply into many questions and into some profound soul-searching, and from that query arose a bright, full-colored, new possibility: Instead of throwing out the Ramayana and all of my other yogic spiritual practices, I could write my own version of the Ramayana, and elevate all of Rama’s actions to be in alignment with the highest Vedic principle of Ahimsa (non-harming).

In his rendition of the Ramayana (1957), Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Indian politician and close associate of Mahatma Gandhi-ji) writes, “Let those who find faults in Raama see faults, and if these critics faultlessly pursue dharma and avoid in their own lives the flaws they discover in Raama, the bhaktas of Sri Raama will indeed welcome it with joy. If they exhibit the virtues of Raama and add to these more virtues and greater flawlessness, who can complain?”

Yes, that is exactly what I have done! As StarFire Teja, I see killing humans and demons as a flaw, and I do not kill humans nor demons in my own life. I also see hunting animals and eating their meat as flaws, and I do not hunt animals nor do I eat any animal products in my own life. In The Tejaswini Ramayana, I exhibit the virtues of Rama and add to them the virtues of the highest Vedic Ahimsa: elevating others instead of killing them, and eating plant-based foods instead of hunting animals. Thus Rama has greater flawlessness in The Tejaswini Ramayana…. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari would be proud.

And, when you are reading this book, you will enjoy a magical journey through your deepest self, recognizing your own emotions as expressed through the Divine Super Heroes. As you journey with Rama and Sita, their experience will give you hope for the human condition. I pray that my contribution to the ancient tradition of Ramayana will elevate you and many other beings!

Om Shri Shakahari Rama!
StarFire Teja’s Book is now on Amazon!
Amazon Author Page here: Teja Shankara

Healing Circles with Teja Shankara

Healing Circles with Teja Shankara, author of The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes

 

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image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech