Altruism

Posted May 4, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: inspiration

A sacrificial attitude is as great as progress towards self-realization. An act of kindness towards a fellow human being is as commendable as an act done without expectation. People who have chosen the path of self-sacrifice come to be regarded as saints and are attributed Divinity. We treat parents and teachers as Gods because they they sacrifice their wealth and knowledge to their wards and pupils.

‘देवो दानाद्व दीपानाद्व द्योतनाद्व …’

God is one who gives in plenty, one who shines and makes others shine.

In the Vedic tradition, while performing Yagna, ghee and other fatty substances are offered to the Divine Fire. The Yagna reminds us to give, and give and give. Mantras are recited one after the other and with each mantra, we place an offering into the flames. This denotes that our hands should never be empty of offerings and continually give and give, with every breath. Each mantra and shloka ends with “Idam Namamah, Idam Namamah.” This means, “Not for me, but for You – the Divine Fire that illuminates the whole Universe.” It reminds us that everything we do in life must be for others, rather than for our own selfish motives.

ॐ इशावास्यमिद्ँ सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा ग्ऋधः कस्य स्विद्धनम्

All this – whatsoever moves in this universe (and those that move not) is enveloped by the Lord. Lord has created it out of Love and Sacrifice. We should also enjoy His wealth with a similar mindset. We should never covet anything that is not ours.

शत हस्त समाहार: सहस्र हस्त संकिर:
ऋतस्य कार्यस्सचे: स्फातिम् समावः

A man, with his two hands should work hard with hundred hands and donate with thousand hands to the underprivileged. The above stresses the importance of hard-work and the virtues of donation. Society cannot progress unless each of us make our contribution and perform our duties. We ought to become prosperous by working hard and then donate generously.

Who then qualify to receive what we seek to donate. Obviously, those who need help the most – the poor, the orphaned, the abandoned and the uncared for. The rise of indigence in the world is the result of the decline in our willingness help fellow human beings.

उता देवा अवहितम् देवा उन्नयथा पुनः
उतागस्चक्ऋसाम् देवा जीवा यथा पुनः

[Ye gods, raise up once more the man whom ye have humbled and brought low
O gods, restore to life again the man who hath lost it]

So my friends, most of you want to help and many of you can! If you show some initiative, we can bring cheer to a lot of people’s lives. Bestow on them the pleasures of life that you have had and most often take for granted. Usher our brethren into a world where everybody leads a worthy and dignified life.

We are all human beings, mere mortals destined to die one day – sooner or later. But is there a way that we can be granted IMMORTALITY ?

त्यागेनैके अम्ऋतात्वमानशुः

IMMORTALITY is possible through SACRIFICE.

Srivyal Vuyyuri (www.sphoorti.org)

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Jim Valvano’s Rules of Three

Posted May 3, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: inspiration

Jim Valvano was the Head coach at North Carolina State University which won the the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament. After he knew he was suffering from cancer, he established the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. The motto of the organization is the immortal line – “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

He made a very short but a memorable speech in 1993 soon after he was diagnosed of cancer. He died a few months later. An excerpt from the speech that continues to inspire people like me even today.

“…….To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special…..

……I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you’re emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day and [as] Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm” — to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality….

….I remember where I came from. It’s so important to know where you are. And I know where I am right now. How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? And I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it……

…..I know, I gotta go, I gotta go, and I got one last thing and I said it before, and I’m gonna say it again: Cancer can take away all my physical ability. It cannot touch my mind; it cannot touch my heart; and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever……”

Some very important lessons from his speech:
Three things to do to make your day a FULL day
1) Laughter – Enjoy your life, the precious moments you have
2) Thought – Spend some time thinking
3) Emotions – Moved to tears, happiness or joy

Three things to remember always
1) Where you started
2) Where you are
3) Where you want to go (have a dream, a goal and you have to be willing to work for it)

Three things that should remain untouched
1) Your Mind
2) Your Heart
3) Your Soul

and the gist of all he said and meant
“DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T EVER GIVE UP”

Srivyal Vuyyuri
www.sphoorti.org

Donate Books for our proposed library

Posted May 2, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: sphoorti


SPHOORTI is planning to collect books from different sources and gradually build a good library. We request all our friends and well-wishes to donate as many books as they can.

Regards
Srivyal Vuyyuri
Sphoorti Foundation
http://www.sphoorti.org

LETTERS!!

Posted April 29, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: Uncategorized

When you want to touch someone, send them a letter! When was the last time you wrote someone a letter? Not an SMS (txt msg) nor an email but a REAL, hand-written with paper and pen, sent in a stamped envelope letter.

Not long ago, for many of us, writing letters was the only means of communication over distances. But now, the addiction to instant communication has made us treat the art of writing someone a letter some kind of an ancient art-form. Moreover, the speed of SMS and emails is not fast enough for some of us. A bevy of abbreviations being invented these days leave people like me fazed. And whether we realize it or not, there is a great danger in the loss of the letter.

Letters have been made redundant by electronic communication which lacks a physical presence unless it is printed out (which governments and environmentalists discourage these days). This means that emails of love (which would once have been love letters); conversations with siblings or pals about families and friends will never be available to historians to discover aspects of our lives today. We are slowly becoming more and more isolated and insular in our views. The internet has broken down communication barriers on a global scale, but it has also built new ones on a local level.

If you think about the importance of letter writing throughout history, you will reckon that most of what we know about the beliefs, ideologies etc of many famous historical figures has been collected from their letters – personal and public correspondence. Letters are useful to historians because the character of famous people and their thought processes can often be revealed more clearly in informal communications (letters) than in official documents (biographies, textbooks etc).

A letter is a personal thing, even more now because we receive so few of them. It is all about sharing, it implies reciprocity and creates a two-way relationship. Letters matter because they are personal in an increasingly disconnected world, and because they take time and effort to produce. In short, writing a letter is giving a gift of oneself.

So, today, make a small gesture that will bring someone bit of happiness. Think of someone you care about, turn off your computer, and write them a letter. Who knows, you may soon be getting one in return 🙂

Srivyal Vuyyuri (www.sphoorti.org)

BOOKS!!

Posted April 26, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: Uncategorized

Enlighten us, donate books

Help us get ENLIGHTENED, donate books – textbooks, notebooks, scrap books, drawing books, graphs and maps.

Sphoorti Foundation
http://www.sphoorti.org
919490120168

Abundance Thinking & SPHOORTI

Posted April 26, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: inspiration, sphoorti

Tags: ,

One of the biggest mistakes that many charities, especially orphanages and similar organizations do is adopting a scarcity thinking vis-a-vis abundance approach.

Most people behind charitable organizations view the Universe of Donors as fixed and imagine that they live in a world where resources are limited. There’s never enough time or money or people. Everyday is a struggle for for survival of some kind and a view of the future hardly exists.

For those who believe in abundance, the size of the Universe of Donors is not fixed, it can grow further and without any upper bound.

The goal, therefor is not to figure out how to claim your part and to hold onto it. The goal is to figure out how we can grow the Universe so that everyone can have a larger slice . These people live in a world where resources are abundant, where one can always find lot of support, the money and the people if ONLY one can think differently. They do not have to worry about for survival, sustenance etc. Their focus is on how to grow the pie so that their slice can get bigger.

So, does this kind of thinking matter …..??? It does matter and it makes a HUGE difference.

Abundance-thinking organizations see an opportunity – be it miniscule or substantial, everywhere. While scarcity thinkers can only imagine and see barriers and problems, abundance thinkers see opportunities in challenges. Abundant thinking frees an organization from the notions of cynicism, insecurity and incremental approach towards mobilizing support.

Such thinking helps in seeing possibilities of expanding the Donor pie continuously, leading to more support from different quarters.

This is one of the concepts that SPHOORTI has been adopting from Day One and has helped us immensely. We have always held the view that the world is full of great souls waiting for an opportunity to do good and we know that the number of such people will only increase as we research and communicate. This is our ‘Abundance Thinking’.

Such thinking frees our mind of all kinds of insecurity and the opportunity to concentrate on our mission – shaping lives of underprivileged children. And fortunately, in our journey, we have been meeting some really great people who are ever willing to extend material and moral support.

How then do we perpetuate this Abundance Thinking ??

Seth Godin, one of my most beloved writers, suggests a way. We can live in abundance in any situation by always focusing first on what we can give. Not on what we can get out of life, but what can we give back to it? The testing part is being consistent all the time, not just when it is convenient to us. If we WANT to, we CAN!!

This again leads us to another core belief – the responsibility to GIVE to our friends in return to their wonderful support to SPHOORTI.

What best CAN we GIVE our donors, sponsors and all our well-wishers.

As an organization, it is our moral responsibility to be effective and efficient, transparent and accountable to our friends. That is the least expectd anyways. But what further can we GIVE that makes us stand apart as an organization. In addition, responsibility to serve our Donors is huge since most of them take time out on their weekends, spend 2-3 hours in travel to spend an hour with the kids. More importantly, having been though this travail, they still come back to meet the kids in the following weeks.

This only increases our URGE to perform to their expectations and GIVE more.

So, ALL our kids GIVE is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, give a MEMORABLE experience each time our friends visit SPHOORTI. The little ones make their friends, part of their FAMILY from day ONE. And surely we want to GIVE them MORE love and MORE sweet memories in every visit.

And with this THINKING, we hope to join forces with more altruistic folks in future to make a difference to more children in need.

Srivyal Vuyyuri
www.sphoorti.org
9490120168

Kids take a break .. finally

Posted April 23, 2008 by srivyal
Categories: sphoorti

After toiling for more than a week writing annual exams, our children finally get their due – summer holidays. Many of of the kids will go to their native villages and are expected to return by May first week.

Last Sunday, our kids went to Ravindra Bharati to take part in First Ray Foundation’s 1st Anniversary celebrations. As usual, their dances were very good. These were the same dances they performed in Vasavi.

This summer, we will have the kids learn new dances, for at least 10 different songs. If we get volunteers to teach dances, that would be awesome, else, we will make do with Youtube videos.

Any of you interested in teaching dances, please let me know – 9490120168.

Srivyal Vuyyuri
www.sphoorti.org