Experts Prescribe Ancient Vedic Knowledge of Nepal
As Antidote for Modern Ills in Education and Agriculture
(26 September 2010) Practical, scientifically proven solutions to contemporary problems that grip Nepal and the world were showcased during two international conferences at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 22 and 24 September.
Education Conference speakers, on 22 September, offered a technology whereby the people of Nepal could develop their full human potential. Agriculture Conference speakers, on 24 September, encouraged Nepal to become the first completely organic nation, which would help insure the safety and purity of its food supply.
Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, representatives of Western universities, NGOs, and authorities in the ancient Vedic tradition of knowledge were among a distinguished panel of international experts who proposed that the profound challenges facing Nepal and developing countries can be effectively addressed by applying the ancient Vedic knowledge, which was revealed in the Himalayas millennia ago.
Deputy PM Koirala inaugurated the International Conference on Organic Agriculture, Food Safety and Purity through Vedic Science on 24 September by declaring, ‘Organic agriculture is considered the most pure, safe, and environmentally friendly method of agricultural development. In countries like ours, where religious and social tradition play important roles in social policies and life style, the Vedic organic agriculture system offers positive hopes and successful examples for scientific agricultural development.’
An initiative to make Nepal the first all-organic country in the world was launched with Dr Hari Krishna Upadhyaya, Executive Chairman of the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy, Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED), leading the charge along with Deepak Baskota, former Home Minister and founder of the Kanchanjangha Tea Estate, the first successful organic tea cooperative of Nepal.
Nepal to Become the First Organic Nation
Dr Upadhyaya, Executive Chair of CEAPRED, said the objective of the conference was to ‘create a collective awareness of the economic, environmental, and health advantages of organic agriculture for Nepal’.
Dr John Fagan of Maharishi University of Management, USA; Dr John Konhaus of Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture Institute; and Dr Peter Swan of Maharishi European Research University, Netherlands; spoke of the dangers of chemically based agriculture and genetically modified seeds, and highlighted the superiority of the organic system of production and its economic viability and environmental necessity.
‘Both short term, and even more significantly, long term, the natural system outperforms conventional agriculture, and protects and preserves the soil and our health and that of future generations’, Dr Fagan said. He also warned of the well financed marketing strategies of the multinationals who promote conventional chemically based agriculture and biotechnology to developing countries with unsupported or overstated claims.
Conference Chairman Deepak Baskota of the Nepal Maharishi Vedic Foundation, which sponsored the agriculture conference, operates the pioneering Kanchanjangha Organic Tea Estate cooperative in eastern Nepal. He affirmed that the demand for organic products in Western countries currently exceeds, and will continue to exceed, any supply that can be produced for years to come. The conference participants urged that Nepal become the first all-organic nation and that Nepal becomes the brand name for everything that is pure and healthy.
Vedic Agriculture Defined
Dr Konhaus outlined the authentic approach to Vedic Agriculture, as brought to light by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: ‘The real and most fundamental concern in Vedic Agriculture is how lively, balanced, and supportive is the Creative Intelligence of Natural Law in the farmer, in the plants, and in the environment.’
‘In Vedic Agriculture we are concerned with that agency which transforms the soil and air and water into fruits and vegetables. We are concerned with creativity, and, most essentially, we are concerned with the pure Creative Intelligence which is responsible for the balanced and complete expression of that creativity. We want to be sure this agency remains strong and comprehensive, and is not weakened in any way. We want to be sure that all the forces responsible for successful agriculture are timely and supportive’, Dr Konhaus said.
Dr Konhaus then described how the appropriate Vedic recitations at the proper time can maximize the plant’s growth, nutrition, and purity for the benefit of the consumer, the environment, and the farmer.
Maheshwari Ghimire, Senior Organics Inspector for NASAA, located the descriptions of organic agriculture in the Vedic literature and described the current certification process in Nepal.
Shiva Sharma, Chairperson of the National Labor Academy, exhorted the group to create test organic sites throughout Nepal with a central research facility to provide local and international data of best organic practices to the farmers, which can then be used to persuade government to implement an organic policy within three years.
Bharat Upadhya, Executive Director of CAEPRED and co-sponsor of the conference, detailed his agency’s field efforts to enhance and identify indigenous practices, which demonstrate organic effectiveness.
The Agriculture Conference concluded with a resolution to create an action plan that will make Nepal completely organic as soon as possible.
Consciousness-Based Education Utilizes Vedic Technologies
to Develop a Student’s Full Potential and Promote Stress-free Learning
The International Conference on Consciousness Based Education held on 22 September identified Vedic technologies, including the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme, which have been researched in the West and shown to enable the student to assimilate knowledge without stress, enhance learning, improve grade point average and health, and, most profoundly, to directly experience the source of wakefulness and bliss. Through the introduction of these Vedic technologies of consciousness, research confirms that education can become stress free and meaningful and student performance enhanced. Programmes developed in India and the United States utilizing these technologies in secondary and higher education are now being offered in Nepal.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s historic address to educators in Kathmandu in 1974 inaugurated the conference. Maharishi spoke about today’s educational system, which reveals to the student who has earned a doctorate how little he actually knows. But Maharishi consoled the audience by affirming that anyone can experience Total Knowledge, the field from where all knowledge arises, and thereby enjoy the fruit of all knowledge simply and naturally.
Dr Susan Dillbeck, President of the International Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education, outlined the key elements of Consciousness-Based education, and explained its effectiveness and how it can be easily implemented in any school or higher education institution.
Dr Dillbeck said that the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme directly and systematically develops the latent creative potential of every student. In this way, students are able to fulfil their personal and professional goals and lead happy, productive lives as ideal citizens.
Research Proves the Technology’s Effectiveness
Dr Michael Dillbeck, Research Professor at Maharishi University of Management, USA, provided a brief overview of the more than 600 scientific studies that verify the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique for mind, body, behavior, and society.
Findings relevant to students include increased use of the brain’s potential, improved cognitive abilities, improved academic performance, decreased anxiety, better health, improved school behaviour, increased tolerance, and greater appreciation of others. In addition, when a large enough group of students practises the advanced TM-Sidhi programme together, they create an influence of peace and harmonious progress in the whole nation.
Success in Schools and Universities in India, Nepal, and the United States
Prof. Bhuvnesh Sharma, Vice Chancellor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic Vishwa Vidyalaya in Madhya Pradesh, India, located the source of Consciousness-Based education in the Vedic literature. He described how all students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic University in Madhya Pradesh and Maharishi University of Management and Technology in Chhatisgarh, practise the Transcendental Meditation programme while studying both conventional academic disciplines as well as Maharishi Vedic Science to appreciate the inner values of life.
Mrs Vasanthy Parasuraman, Principal of Maharishi Vidya Mandir in Hyderabad, India, represented the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Group of Schools in India, which has a total enrollment of over 200,000 students. She explained that the school system’s success is based on the performance of its students, and said that parents are satisfied with the holistic development of their children.
William Goldstein, General Counsel and Professor of International Law at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) USA, offered to collaborate with Nepalese institutions of higher education to integrate Consciousness-Based approaches into existing curricula. He also said that collaborations could be established by joint programs, topper programs, and student and faculty exchange programs in which students can receive bachelors, masters, or doctoral degrees from MUM and their Nepalese university. In this way, he said, students will gain the benefit of these Vedic technologies while they receive the specialized knowledge in their chosen field, such as computer science, management, education, digital communications, physiology, art, or Vedic Science.
Lobsang Lama, Chairman of the AJ Wild Institute, Kathmandu, spoke of AJ Wild’s experience as the first school in the Kathmandu Valley to utilize the Transcendental Meditation programme for its students and faculty. In the first year of applying the programme in this Cambridge-certified college preparatory secondary school, graduating seniors had their highest examination scores in history and successfully entered their chosen colleges. AJ Wild is now planning on implementing a complete Consciousness Based educational approach starting this spring, as they are so pleased with the results.
Summary: Nepal is uniquely positioned to successfully launch these educational and agricultural initiatives throughout the country because of its comfort and familiarity with the Vedic knowledge and its pre-existing use of indigenous agricultural practices. Its varied microclimates enable Nepal to offer a range of agricultural products unmatched in the world in response to the growing global demand for purity. In 1974 when Maharishi Mahesh Yogi visited Nepal, he recognized Nepal’s unique position in the global family of nations and stated, ‘Nepal to lead the world.’
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