Monday Motivation Interview – with Balaram Das from Project KRISH – Girl child education and women empowerment

Today´s interview is as I promised – about Project KRISH – which helps to offer education, meals and a safe space in India for underprivileged girls. With love, Pitta drive and compassion a group of Devotees created a beautiful village and started to work their Dharma.

I talked to Balarama Das from Project KRISH and it was one of the most inspiring interviews. Balarama Das and me are connected in another way as well, as we both come from the Hardcore Straight Edge Scene and so this collaboration comes truly from a deep connection and the bottom of our hearts! It is also a talk where you can see how connected all the fields of Yoga and Ayurveda are.

Find out for yourself and get inspired and motivated this Monday!

  •  From Ayurveda With Love means compassion and finding our Dharma in life, so can you tell us what you are compassionate about?

Since I got involved in the HC Punk scene in the early 90s, the compassionate spirit within my heart was gradually reawakened.

Moreover, when I was introduced to the Krishna Bhakti culture, which is the path of selfless love and causeless compassion, the spirit of compassion became considerably manifested.

I’m trying my best to be compassionate to myself, other people, especially the helpless, to animals, to mother earth and other living beings.   

  • Tell us where do you come from, what you are doing and what your plans look like?  Where do you teach/work/heal actually?

 I am from the Philippines and I grew up there. Right now, I’m trying to live here in Vrindavan, India. I came here in 2016. I am working/serving in one NGO which provides free education to the underprivileged girls in the village of Vrindavan.

My plan is to live here in Vrindavan and serve the Brajabasis as much as Srimati Radhika allows.

  • What do you know about Ayurveda? Do you practice it already?

Ayurveda is an ancient secret of living in harmony with each individuals‘ nature of existence. I’m trying to practice it.

  • What are your thoughts about Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the antidote to modern hyperconsumerist-materialistic-self-destructive lifestyle.

The modern world is pulling out human beings away from their natural environment of quality life. By practicing an ayurvedic lifestyle it will gradually help each individual to uncover their real self and will unmask the artificial and unbalanced impositions.

It is a great science of understanding how the human body works within and without.

  • Do you know which Dosha you are?

I’m predominantly Pitta.

  • How does your perfect morning routine looks like?

Usually, I get up at Brahma Murta hour, about one and a half hours before sunrise, sometimes, earlier than that. I do some basic stretching and recline positions.

Then I drink 1-2 glasses of lemon water with black salt (no sugar). Then I will take a bath. I will do some mantra meditation for a few minutes and will start serving my Govardhan and salagram silas. After that, I will take early morning breakfast, usually fruits/nuts and some nice hot Indian rice porridge. This is my daily morning routine here in Vrindavan.

  • How do you integrate Ayurveda into your day to day life?

I guess I’m unaware that I’m living half of my life in the principle of Ayurveda. I became a vegetarian 20yrs ago and prefer to buy vegetables from local farmers or community markets. Avoiding all the artificial canned or manufactured stuff. Spending more time on meditation and serene environment. Walking, Yoga, cycling, and nature tripping.

Every time I buy stuff, I usually choose natural, fresh and genuine Ayurvedic products. When I get sick, I prepare to make my own medicine from herbs and make an Ayurvedic tea. Since I’m In Vrindavan now, it’s more natural to live it. But I still need to work on some aspects of it.

  • I would like to hear more about the n4s zine! Can you tell us what exactly our zine is about?

I started the n4s zine in 1996. It’s an account of our life (those who are involved in N4S) especially our adventures and travels. When I was involved in the anarchist movement, I usually featured anarchist punk bands and different pieces of information on autonomous movement and collective.

The n4s zine becomes an unofficial manifesto or guide to DIY lifestyle in the local HC punk scene in the Philippines.I stopped writing the zine when I started to take the path of Krishna Bhakti at the beginning of 2000. 

But I realized, if some individuals were inspired by the contents of our zine, then it would be better to encourage them into something positive that will uplift their consciousness and life. So I revived the zine and took it in a new direction and started to feature bands that are Bhakti oriented and into a sober and positive lifestyle. Not just bands, but different individuals that will help inspire other people.

  • You are also involved in a project called „KRISH“ – what is this project all about?

Project Krish is about giving hope to the underprivileged girls of India. Currently, we are working on Vrindavan village. We established a school, the Braj Gopika Vidya Mandal in Nandgaon. This school provides free education, free meals, and free school supplies to poor girls. We also give them weekly skill development training.

Basically, it’s about women empowerment and educating the girl child. You may ask why girls? In India, especially in rural areas, women are still considered the low class. Most of their basic rights are being denied and violated, and they experience tremendous abuse, exploitation, and harassment. Child labor, child marriage, child prostitution, dowry system, violence, poverty; these are some of the problems the young girls of India are facing today.

Most parents prefer to have a boy instead of a girl child. Female infanticide is a very common practice here, they killed the baby girl after birth or even inside the womb. It’s not surprising to see a girl fetus in a trash bin or thrown into the drainage in India…. Our attempt to save the girl child and to make a change is very insignificant, but we need to start somewhere.

These horrible things are not just happening in India, but in other countries too. So we must do something about it.

  • Where can we reach out to you and support this project?

Support our campaign for Girl Child Education and Women Empowerment, please call us at +91 8979999497.

Send your donations here: projectkrish.com/donate/

Visit us at http://projectkrish.com/

Follow us on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/projectkrish/

Like and share our Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/projectkrish/

  •  What are your goals the next months according to Project KRISH and your Zine?

 I’m planning to release the next issue of my zine next month and will try to continue writing for the zine so I can regularly publish it.

About Project Krish, we will continue our activities in school whatever we’d started. And we are looking forward to more admissions and expansion. We wouldn’t be able to pursue our goals without the help of our supporters. We only depend on you. So please help us in any way you can. If you can sponsor a girl, please donate. You can also send books and school supplies. If you will visit Vrindavan, you can come to our school and spend some time with the girls, talk to them, play with them, teach them and inspire them. There are so many ways we can do, you can simply share our social media pages. That would be enough. We need to reach more people. Thank you so much.

  • Is there any final quote you find inspiring and want to share with us?

“In a world full of hate, violence, destruction, and degradation; being kind and staying positive is an act of rebellion.” –n4s-

Radhe Radhe, Balaram Das! Thank you so much for finding time for this interview and making the world to a better place.

If you liked this interview, go and also like their Facebook and Instagram page, share their content so spread the project as far as possible to reach many people which could help!

Also subscribe to “From Ayurveda With Love” if you want to make a connection with us and don´t miss interesting projects, healers and so much more! You can also write for our blog if you want to!

From my heart to yours,

Namaste,

Krishnaprema

According to Ayurveda – a vegan diet can help to boost your health!

There is always a bit of a sceptical opinion when it comes to Ayurveda and vegan nutrition. But there is no point why Ayurveda and veganism shouldn´t be working together.

Ayurvedic nutrition is complex and a health care system. Ayurvedic nutrition is also very individual and holistic. The advice of Ayurvedic nutrition is mostly to skip fish, meat and eggs – because they are heavy to digest anyways. Cheese and sausages are also nothing any Ayurvedic nutrition plan would suggest.

But wait, what´s with all the animal based ingredients in ayurvedic recipes?

But milk, batter, honey and joghurt are part of many recipes and health care tipps. The traditional diet is here more vegetarian, but obvisously not vegan.

The vegan philosophy and ethics are perfectly fitting together with Ayurvedic nutrition. From a spiritual perspective, we have the topic of Ahimsa – which can be translated as a form of non-violence. The old vedic texts are saying that the killing of animals is giving the soul a dark shade and eating meat, fish and eggs is increasing negative emotions, thoughts, lazyness and attachment.

You might know this philosophy from your Yogateacher training or any Yoga book, which talks about the spiritual texts and basic philosophy.

Traditionally, Ayurveda got more a scientific point of view on diet and separates food in 12 different parts – even meat, fish, eggs and milk got kind of medical effects when we use them. But when it comes to illnesses and stress, there is always the suggestion to don´t eat any of those ingredients. Or to be clear – there is – depending on the kind of illness – the decision, if your diet is going to be vegetarian, mixed or vegan to heal. And – what I learned from Ayurveda over the years is for sure – there is no right or wrong, no black and white.

Many vegans are vegan for the animals. Ethical reasons are the main key here.

For vegan nutrition it would be important to eat enough plant-based healthy fats and proteins. Good oils, nuts and seeds, grains and legumes in any form should be on your daily plate. As you might know, Ayurveda uses specific herbs which will help to digest the legumes in an easy way and don´t leave you bloated. Cumin, Asafoetida and Himalayan Salt is a mix that works fine with lentils, beans and soy protein.

Vegan fast food is also just fast food according to Ayurveda. You want to eat fresh, healthy food to keep your spirit up high!

The best way to eat ayurvedic and vegan, is to eat on a regular basis lentil curries, rich soups with peas, fresh veggies and grains and add to your daily nutrition plan seasonal fruits, herbs, seeds and nuts. You should support your Agni, your digestive fire with foods which are easy for your body to assimilate, break down and absorb. That means you also have to look at your specific constitution! 😊

Tips for your Ayurvedic constitution and a vegan diet:

Vata

Vata peeps are often bloated from raw veggies and too many legumes. It will lead you to dry and rough skin, feeling exhausted and being bloated a lot. A good combination of healthy fats can help you to feel balanced – eat many nuts, sesame oil, try my coconut porridge and warming spices like cinnamon, pepper and ginger. Vata Dosha peeps are mostly into a healthy holistic diet anyways, because it speaks to their qualities so much – which are sublte, dry and cold. Eating raw salads, drinking smoothies is increasing our ether energies, so we feel inspired, high vibing and spiritual.

Pitta

Pitta peeps have a grounded metabolism and can eat many grains, legumes and even cold and raw food and digest it well – especially according tot he other Doshas. A vegan diet can be very easy for this dosha when it is mainly based high carb and low fat, without many spicy dishes. Sour, spicy and meat are increasing the acidity of your digestion so much that it leads to irritated skin, infections of the nerves and even heartburn. Coconut can cool you down, also chickpeas, mungbeans and leafy greens will make you feel super balanced.

Kapha

Kapha peeps can also benefit from a vegan diet because they can easily reduce their fat intake. Animal based proteins are also causing the feeling of heavyness and increasing the mucus production – which is not supportive for this Dosha anyways. Veggies, spices and fruits who spice up your life and energy level are perfect! Ginger, pepper and eggplants or pineapples will help you to digest plant based proteins. Spices which are keeping your metabolism going like pepper and ginge rare perfect for you! Kapha Dosha can benefit a lot from a vegan diet, but also should avoid to eat raw foods too much.

As you can see, a vegan and ayurvedic diet are pretty compatible! It is a very young movement and there are many options not available yet but I am sure also ayurvedic-vegan products are increasing in the future. Today I just found one company which seels Chyavanprash vegan and without Ghee, so I decided to work on a nice recipe now for my own (and you for sure!) 😉

To keep it short here for you:

  • Ayurveda and veganism got a lot in common, also based on the ancient philosophy about „doing no harm.“
  • Ayurveda and veganism can be a huge benefit for some Dosha related characteristics.
  • Ayurveda and veganism are working great on your health, when you watch out for a balanced diet with healthy veggies, grains and fruits, also healthy fats.
  • Ayurveda and veganism are a younger movement and there is much to explore right now according to recipes and treatments.

I hope you have the best Sunday! Stay compassionate and humble! Namaste!

Vegan, healthy and happy for 18 years now!

Krishnaprema