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Saturday, 24th February 2024


Businessmen and women get together for the annual Chopda Pujan in Birmingham - this is a unique ceremony promoting good business ethics and respect for the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi and empowerment to serve society in the best possible way in the coming year

Today is New Year's Day according to the Hindu calendar. It is a time of reflection and renewal, a time to cleanse the mind and make a fresh start for a happy and prosperous future. Yesterday in Birmingham, I participated in a beautiful ancient ritual called the Chopda Pujan, which is a common prayer to the Goddess Laxmi for success and prosperity by entrepreneurs. Natural ingredients are used in this ceremony, and by doing it collectively, we recognise the inter-dependence of business and the need to operate fairly and use our success to uplift society. I encourage you to watch the video.

I also went to a park in Leicester to explore the role of nature in our life, and to give it respect. British culture has a strong respect for gardens and nature, but lacks a spiritual dimension and philosophy of respect for nature. In contrast, Indic philosophies have a deep respect for nature. Here is a potential for marriage and mutual enrichment. At a time of severe environmental stress and global warming, we do need to remind man of our deeper connection with nature and our awe and humility towards its power and sanctity. Poets like Shelly and artists like Ruskin drew profound inspiration from nature. Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist philosophy have a deep love of nature and consider plants and animals as equals.

The more I travel and meet various people, the more I realise that open-mindedness can never be taken for granted, and always needs to be cultivated and nourished. Many educated people, academics and intellectuals think they are open-minded, but very often this is far from the truth. There is a huge amoung of sub-conscious bias in all of us, and we need to be aware of this if we are to make progress and open our minds. The modern world is crying desperately for understanding and tolerance, and open-mindedness is the bedrock of this.

I encourage you to search for related articles on borderless minds on this website. You will find practical tips about how to cultivate and nourish an open mind. Today, I am loooking forward to going to the Sikh Gurudwara and visiting ethnic businesses in the Birmingham area. Follow me, and do leave your comments or tips as we travel.

Article added on 6th November 2010 at 8:58am