SWAHA International

Hindu based non-profit organisation based in Trinidad & Tobago

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Fulfilling Our Highest Human Potential

Guardian Pullout July 2016 final-page-001

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A True Friend

Kareena Kirpalani was clever, pretty and fun to be around. She got along with everyone and many described her as a social butterfly. Therefore, it was no accident that Kareena was the most popular girl in school. From an early age she made an effort to be kind and friendly to everyone, so much so that she invited the whole class to her upcoming birthday. She was such a busy girl with so many friends that she hardly got a chance to spend time with individual friends. However, she felt very lucky because no other girls had so many friends at school or in the neighbourhood.

But everything changed on National Friendship day.On this day at school, everyone was having a great time drawing, painting and giving gifts to their best friends.That day in class everyone was asked to make three presents to give to their three best friends. Kareena found this task to be difficult because she was now required to choose three friends from amongst the dozens of her friends.

Strange enough,when all the presents had been made and shared among the classmates, Kareena was the only one who did not receive a single present. She felt terrible and spent hours crying. “How could it be possible? So much effort to make so many friends and in the end no one saw me as their best friend!” Everyone came and tried to console Kareena for a while but interestingly, they only stayed for a short time before leaving.

This was exactly what Kareena had done so many times before. She realized that she was a good companion, but she had not been a true friend to anyone. She tried not to argue with anyone. She tried to pay attention to everyone, but now she had found out that was not enough to create friendship. When she got home that night, she created quite a puddle with her tears and Kareena asked her mother where she could find true friends.”Kareena my dear,you cannot buy friends with a smile, for a true friend you must always be available in good times and bad,”answered her insightful mother.

Kareena decided to change her ways so that she could finally have some true friends. That night in bed she thought about what she could do to create true friendship. Her thoughts instantly directed her to her mother.Her mother was always willing to help her, she put up with all of Kareena’s likes, dislikes, mood swings and meltdowns. She always loved and supported her. Kareena smiled because she realized she had already found a best friend, her mother 🙂

Kavita Mohammed

SWAHA Hindu College

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Scriptural Verses on the Guru

Dhyaan Moolam Gurur Murtih

Pujaa Moolam Guruh Padam

Mantra Moolam Gurur Vaakyam

Moksha Moolam Guruh Kripaa


The root of meditation is the Guru’s form

The root of worship is the Guru’s feet

The root of mantra is the Guru’s word

The root of liberation is the Guru’s grace.


Gurur Brahma Guru Vishnuh

Guru Devo Maheshvarah

Gurureva Parabrahma

Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah.


Guru is Brahman. He is Vishnu.

He is Shiva

The Guru is indeed Parabrahma

Salutations to Shri Gurudev.


Gurumoortim Smarennityam

Gurunaama Sadaa Japet

Guroraajnam Prakurvita

Gurorananyanna Bhaavayet.


Meditate ceaselessly on the form of the Guru

Always repeat His name

Carry out His instructions

Think of nothing except the Guru.


Agyaanam Timiraandhasya

Gyaananjana Shalaakayaa

Chakshuram Militam Yena

Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah


Salutations to the Guru

Who, with the collyrium stick of  knowledge,

Treats the eyes of one

Blinded by the darkness of ignorance.


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Guruji Kay Charanon Mayn

Guruji kay charanon mayn sheesha ko jhukaao

Janama janama kay bhaagya phala ko paao

Laagay moha maayaa na kabahu jagata kee

Dayaa sindhu Guruji kay charanana dhyaao

 Bhatakataa rahaa hoon main yuga yuga say swami

Milay gyaana aankhay Hari darasha paao

 Kaama krodha mada lobha shatru hai bhaari

Guru gyaana khanga say maara bhagaao

Jisa Vayda kahataa ajanamaa anaadi

Usa daykha kara mana kee duvidhaa mitaao


Bow your head at the Guru’s feet. Receive the fruits of good fortune for all your past lives.

In order not to be affected by the attachment and illusion of the world, meditate on the feet of the Guru, the ocean of compassion.

I have been wandering from age to age. Please give me the wisdom so that I may see the Lord.

Desire, anger, intoxication and greed are my greatest enemies. Drive them out with the sword of the knowledge attained from the Guru.

The Vedas describe the Guru as unborn and without beginning. Turn to him in order to remove all doubts within the mind.


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The word “Guru” in general means a teacher or that individual who removes one’s darkness of ignorance. According to Hinduism, one can have many gurus. The teacher who imparts worldly knowledge is the ‘vidya-Guru’, and one can have many of these in his life. However, the ‘Sat-guru’  is a qualified spiritual master who imparts spiritual knowledge, who initiates the seeker into the spiritual path and guides him along the path to  self-realization. In the lives of every individual, the Guru is a necessity for learning and experiencing spiritual truths. It should be remembered that all the sages, world teachers, even avataar or incarnations of God, had Gurus.

The Sat-Guru

Hindu scriptures declare ‘Aachaarya Devo Bhavah- the teacher is God.

A Sat-guru is none other than God himself, descended in human form or a human who has attained the highest level of spiritual knowledge. According to Sri Ramakrishna, a great religious master, a Satguru is like a huge steamer that can safely carry a lot of people across a turbulent river.

Guru is God. A word from Him is a word from God. His mere presence or company is elevating, inspiring and healing. His very company inspires illumination. The Guru Gita says that the Sat-Guru is Shiva, the One who is ever auspicious and welfare-causing, the bridge to cross the ocean of worldliness and the source of all knowledge. He is no different from the Supreme Being.

He is the One who eradicates the anguish of all dualities and helps the ‘shishya or disciple to overcome all misfortunes and calamities.

The Shishya

The journey to self-realisation  is easily accessible in the company of the Guru. Various recommendations or injunctions have been provided by our scriptures on the role of the shishya in strengthening the Guru-Shishya relationship. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Meditate ceaselessly on the form of the Guru.
  2. Constantly serve the Guru with mind, speech and action.
  3. Shed all sense of ‘my-ness’ and seek refuge in the Guru.
  4. Bow down in the direction of the Guru’s feet with devotion everyday.
  5. Serve the Guru obediently, attentively, sincerely and with utmost humility.
  6. Have absolute faith in the Guru.
  7. Have full confidence in the words and actions of the Guru.
  8. Give up those actions, thoughts and words that the Guru disapproves.
  9. Please the Guru by earnestly carrying out his instructions and practising his teachings.
  10. Cultivate discipline and avoid tendencies of hate, anger, lust, greed, egoism, envy, pride and attachment.
  11. Remain steadfast in your trust towards the Guru and without doubt, the highest objective of life will be achieved.
  12. Chant Guru mantra daily.


On the auspicious occasion of Guru Poornima 2016, we pay tribute to all the Gurus of SWAHA, the most esteemed Pundits who have been working tirelessly to spread the illumination of enlightenment across the length and breadth of this land.  We also remember the ground-work laid by the founding Guru of SWAHA, the late Shankaracharya Pt Hari Prasad. We also acknowledge the indefatigable work of our Spiritual Head, Paramacharya Pt. Hardeo Persad, as he continues unceasingly to build upon these strong pillars. It is on such firm foundation that many shishyas  are being guided towards enlightenment.

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Spiritual Economics. Contentment.

‘Money is the least of your worries’…This simple statement has confused populations of people all over the world for centuries because of how difficult it is to teach people to believe in it much less to learn how to implement its tenets in one’s life. This statement provides the answer for bettering the human race and unfortunately, the best formula for destroying it. Whatever the quantity of money a person possesses can be cause for worry, whether it is measly, by one’s standards, or a large sum. Do you see how teaching people about contentment becomes troublesome?

Our society is plagued by a problem far worse than just financial mismanagement or inflation. Our society is motivated by a collective consciousness that needs to be understood and problematized on a spiritual and psychological level.  As such, notable researchers and authors have made attempts to offer solutions; specifically, Dhanesvara Das, in his book entitled, ‘Lessons in Spiritual Economics from the Bhagavad Gita’, where ‘spiritual economics’ refers to a cross-disciplinary study combining psychology, economics and the spiritual science of the Vedas. In so doing, solutions are provided for people who find themselves in worrying economic downturns in their personal life and as citizens of a country.

In order to gain insight into how to teach and learn contentment, one must temporarily tune out the rhetoric and economic jargon of financial ‘Gurus’ (for lack of a better term) and tune in to the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita which expounds the understanding that we are spiritual beings living in a material world and that economics is a man-made creation. We must face our problems with the understanding that there is a link between economic activity and human consciousness. In our modern society, we must live, work and function as part and parcel of this web of relations. Finding contentment is even more difficult today where the link between economic activity and human consciousness has almost become indissoluble.

Spiritual leaders are now faced with hungry audiences. An apt understanding of the link between economic activity and human consciousness is fundamental for future progress of any nation. A man who cannot provide for his family nor feed himself will relinquish his faith in God first, and guess what happens after? Hence, the list of roles and responsibilities of our religious leaders has been extended to now protecting society from caving in on itself. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are reminded of the Ramcharitmanas in which similar circumstances affected society and how they reacted. This will help us to understand and appreciate the tremendous sacrifices of the people and how they faced these challenges. In a time where taxes were levied indiscriminately on the people of a nation, the leader sought to achieve a dictatorship and establish full control. A group of rishis or spiritual men were forced to pay and, in a jar, they pooled their only possession-the blood flowing through their veins. This jar was buried out of fear but when opened, Shakti emerged and caused Ravan’s downfall. This Shakti represents the collective consciousness of the rishis and by extension, our resolve in times of disfavour.

Our society has faced tremendous challenges before and will continue to do so but it is necessary to not become slaves to monetary advancement. We must define and understand ourselves as spiritual beings first and foremost and in so doing, obstacles that we think are problematic will wither away with this new resolve.


Pt. Varistha Persad

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