leslie-cow“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Giving from the heart is said to be the first of the great virtues that lead us to permanent freedom from suffering—and not just giving to family, friends or to those important to us in the mundane world—but to animals desperately in need of love, food, shelter and healing—yes, to dogs, cats, cows, snakes, monkeys and other animals in dire straits, sensitive and defenseless beings who’d bless your heart of gold for making their thorny lives just a little sweeter. In fact, while the world might consider you a reckless idiot for giving generously when the wolf is pounding on your door, the radical seeker of enlightenment is taught to give especially when the chips are down—for it is giving, minus the ego, that burns the bad karma that weighs us down. That said, it is such a delight to be able to give to the unfortunate—without strings and straight from the luminous heart!

Here in Tiruvannamalai, home of the sacred mountain Arunachala and the incomparable sage Ramana Maharshi, I’ve found an organization I genuinely wish to support. It is the Arunachala Sanctuary for distressed animals. Here’s the link: http://www.arunachalasanctuary.com. Please especially do take a look at the “straight from the heart” messages from its founder Leslie Robinson who has kept it running against all odds with the ardent support of a few dedicated staff.

For me, the very thought of the Animal Shelter having to close due to lack of funds is appalling! Thousands would fall back into terrible suffering, for all the animals the Shelter now cares for through rescues, emergencies, adoptions, clinic visits, and hospital activity would come pouring onto the streets. The relationship between the homeless dogs and the humans amongst whom they live would collapse, simply because an intensity of suffering is overwhelming to the human psyche. Rabies would re-manifest and in three or four years the population would once again be out of control—because approximately 7,000 more puppies would be born each year, most of whom would suffer and die.

Being inside the Shelter is a deeply moving experience—one sees vulnerable creatures feeling safe, cared for, resting, playing, chasing each other. Yes, watching the loving and unpretentious commitment of the Shelter staff is a poignant experience. The next time you visit Arunachala, come see with your own eyes.

Back to the mystical view, what goes around does not just come around in equal measure, but is multiplied at least four times. No, I’m not suggesting you should give just so you can receive—and yet it’s reassuring to know that the cosmos showers abundant grace on those who acknowledge the sacred fact that we all originate and must eventually return to a single cosmic source. Advaita = Not Two! So, if you too are moved by the brilliant efforts of this valiant team to lessen the suffering of beings who cannot help themselves, please, even if it’s a tiny amount, do make a donation.

For Direct Online transfers, please visit the website: http://www.arunachalasanctuary.com/to-donate-and-other-ways-of-helping/to-donate

For Mailing Cheques:
Make cheque payable to “Arunachala Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Shelter” and mail to:
Arunachala Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Shelter
Chengam Road, Next to Government Arts College
Tiruvannamalai 606 603 Tamil Nadu, India
Important: Please do include a note with your name, address, and email address

For Wire Transfers:
Please email (arunachalashelter@yahoo.com) and we will send you instructions.
With much love and gratitude for being an integral part of our magical life here at the feet of holy Arunachala!

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  1. Gandiji’s comment at the beginning of your article is a grim reminder of how some animals are treated here in the U.S. Chickens and pigs are forced to live in their own excrement in confined spaces on factory farms. It is a sad commentary on our so-called modern society; all for the sake of maximizing profits.

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