Topics usually steers clear of religion.
But with all the talk lately about conflict between the US and North Korea, we figured readers could do with a taste of mysticism and the divine.
With the world at the mercy of two madmen with their fingers on nuclear buttons, a few wise quotes from an ancient text might be just the ticket, hey?
Yoga Loft in Newcastle must be thinking along the same lines. It’s holding a free discussion on the Bhagavad Gita on Saturday.
“The Bhagavad Gita is a Hindu sacred text originally written in Sanskrit that forms part of a larger epic, the Mahabharata,” the Yoga Loft newsletter said.
“Yoga is presented in the Bhagavad Gita as the process by which a person can connect with the absolute or divine.
“It is a narrative that is told through a dialogue between Arjuna, a warrior, and his charioteer, Lord Krishna.
“Arjuna doubts whether he should go into battle and Krishna explains that he must fulfil his dharma, or duty, as a warrior.
“Some consider the battle described in the Bhagavad Gita to be an allegory for human life.”
Here are some quotes from the sacred text.
* There are three gates to self-destructive hell – lust, anger and greed. Renounce them.
* The offering of wisdom is better than any material offering.
* The wise work for the welfare of the world, without thought for themselves.
* Calmness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint and purity: these are the disciplines of the mind.
* If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love for hatred. If you want to see heroic, look to those who can forgive.
* Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime.
* Whatever happened was good. What’s happening, it’s going well. Whatever will happen will also be good.
* You need not have any regrets from the past. Do not worry for the future. Live in the present.
* Only when a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.
Hmmm. Is this religion or just some ancient form of self-help?
Oh, we almost forgot. For the purposes of political correctness, we better add that if Hinduism isn’t your thing, you might find solace in some other ancient religion like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism or Jediism [the Star Wars religion].
If that’s not your bag, there’s always the modern-day forms of devotion/distraction – consumerism and alcoholism. We highly recommend against the latter.
Yoga Loft is in Hunter Street. The free discussion will be held on Saturday from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.
Topics wrote recently about the kind souls who leave valid tickets in the slots of ticket machines in Newcastle.
Kindness must be going around.
Newcastle City Council’s latest newsletter carried this story from Natalie Neubauer.
"A little over two weeks ago, I fell off a skateboard on the foreshore and badly broke my ankle. An incredible amount of kind people stopped to help me, doing everything from calling the ambulance and getting in touch with people I knew to covering me with jackets, talking me through the pain and propping me up while we waited for the ambulance.
“I don't know who all those people were, but I want to say thank you. I wish I had a picture of that moment because it was a beautiful one of human kindness. I'm thankful for every person who chose to get involved.
“It made a huge difference in an initially traumatic experience. I moved to Newcastle from the USA 12 years ago and I love this city so much. That night was a highlight of why this place is great.”
RSPCA NSW has released an album of cat ballads. The animal welfare group said the songs – which were sung from the perspective of cats – were about desexing, microchipping and protecting cats.
“You might think that sounds strange, but we think it all sounds pretty good (and we think your cat would agree),” RSPCA said.