Our lives, your life, my life – rest on the legacy of people who have gone before us.
None of us can claim to be the absolute creator of our life. Without the prodigious inventions of people like Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, where would be the technology upon which so much of our comfort and success depend? And aren’t we learning to work to save our natural environment as a result of the efforts of people like Rachel Carson? We are indeed greatly indebted to countless people who have been prepared to step outside the familiar and comfortable to follow the promptings of their inner wisdom and passion and invite their fellow men and women into new ways of thinking and being.
We are constantly building our future on the gifts of others and, by the same token, creating a legacy for others by our own input into life. The degree to which we invest our time, energy, creativity, power and love into what we do determines the extent and impact of the legacy we leave.
What kind of legacy do you what to leave behind you? What kind of legacy do I hope to leave? The examples of many people who have achieved excellence in their lives stand out as a guide on which we can strive to model our own lives and achievements. One such person who constantly inspires us to go the extra mile by his visionary approach to life is Mansukh Patel.
Mansukh Patel scientist, philosopher, author and visionary
Patel is a dynamic and innovative teacher, a peacemaker, initiating programmes in self development and giving inspirational and motivational presentations and seminars filled with his own contagious passion for life and the individual.
Mansukh Patel’s early days
Mansukh Patel was born in 1955 to parents who were great practitioners of Dru Yoga and firm adherents of Mahatma Gandhi. They fully espoused Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and living according to the ancient tenets of truth that are enshrined in all cultures. This gave the young Mansukh a firm grounding in yogic principles and he has applied them in every aspect of his life ever since.
Mansukh moved to the UK as a young teenager and graduated in biochemistry and gained a doctorate in cancer toxicology. Applying his scientific precision to his experience of Dru Yoga in its widest sense, Mansukh Patel developed a vibrant approach to health, wellbeing and self-empowerment. Today, thousands of teachers across the world have qualified from the Dru teacher training courses who in turn serve many thousands of students weekly. The vision of a healthy world reaches out through his TV documentaries, DVDs, his many books and, most importantly to him, the many people he has trained to further the work of empowering others.
Sharing his knowledge to help people live a long, happy and healthy life has always been a passion for Mansukh Patel. After all, unless we are healthy in the body and in the mind we are not in any position to pursue our chosen path in life. For this reason, Mansukh is passionate in his encouragement for people to adopt a careful health programme. He is rigorous with his own health regime but within that rigour there is no rigidity, but rather a fluidity that enables him to constantly monitor himself and adapt his approach to changing circumstances. He has a full range of strategies at hand – yoga, meditation, positive thinking, walking, dietary regime based on the best of western and Ayurvedic principles. Whatever he learns about himself in the process, he immediately passes on so others can benefit too.
The other side of the coin, of course, is the inevitable truth that it’s only when we are happy and living at our full potential that we are healthy in the body and in the mind.
Particularly outstanding has been Mansukh Patel’s work in war zones. From the instigation of the pouring in of tonnes of aid in the form of food, medical supplies, clothing etc to going in personally with a team of people, his ultimate aim is always to help people pick up the threads of their lives and re-build their own peaceful communities. In this he clearly follows in the footsteps of his father, Chhaganbhai Patel, whose motto was: Transform the world by giving people the tools to transform themselves.
Mansukh Patel’s journey
The journey began at the invitation of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees), the Red Cross, the Medical Centre for Human Rights and the Croatian Association of Psychotherapists. Mansukh Patel’s work took on a new pioneering angle when he took the therapeutic form of Dru Yoga off the mat and out of the comfort of the smart studios in the west, into the areas where they were sorely needed, where stress and trauma were running at exceptionally high levels. That early work proved invaluable in putting together a Manual on Detraumatisation, which has been translated into several languages for use in the field.
Arising out of his work in war zones came one of Mansukh Patel’s greatest gifts to the world, The World Peace Flame. In collaboration with Savitri MacCuish, he instigated the bringing together of seven flames from five continents. The individual flames were lit by peacemakers and carried the intentions of the hope for peace of everyone on that continent. The flames were kept permanently alight as they were flown to the UK and on July 31st 1999 at the International Conference in Bangor University, all the flames were combined into one to create the World Peace Flame.
Since that time the flame has burned constantly – in monuments, in specially made containers and in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of candles that have been lit from it to burn in people’s homes, in places of worship, in schools, hospitals and workplaces throughout the world. Community leaders, decision-makers and celebrities have been presented with a World Peace Flame.
Mansukh Patel’s greatest achievement
2002 saw the inauguration of a monument housing the World Peace Flame outside the Peace Palace, home of the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague. Two years later, every single country and territory in the world united in creating a Peace Pathway around this World Peace Flame Monument thanks to Mansukh Patel and his team.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by more than a hundred ambassadors – a major achievement in itself, clearly indicating that this intriguing little flame had captured the imagination of people from all cultures and faiths. It was a momentous occasion, marked by the signing of the historic World Peace Declaration by ambassadors of every single country and region of the world. The whole ethos of the Flame had impacted on nations in such a way that they were starting to look more deeply into ways of catalysing understanding and unity within the diversity that constitutes the human race.
This extraordinary achievement brought a flood of messages of congratulations and encouragement from the worlds’ leaders, from the (former) UN Secretary General, Kofi A. Annan who said:
The World Peace Pathway is an invitation to the entire international community to come together in the struggle for peace. It should give us all added motivation to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of peace in every sense of the word — ideals that the United Nations has symbolized throughout its history.
There are currently 15 World Peace Flame monuments established in major cities and buildings in the world. Community projects rise out of these inaugurations from Education projects, multi-cultural events, groups and local initiatives. The World Peace Flame carries with it the message “peace cannot be delegated but begins with you and I and the choices we make each day”. It’s an invitation to each one of us to live our dream.
From free Medical Camps, Medical Dispensaries and Eye Clinics running in Gujerat, India, to children in India and East Africa being given the opportunity and support for further education with the Peace in Your Hands projects of the WPF continue to create peace on a grassroots level.
Mansukh Patel’s heritage
Mansukh Patel would probably say that it doesn’t matter what we choose to do with our lives. What matters more is how we do it. By pouring all our heart and inner strength into whatever task we choose to do; by being willing to stand up for truth; by being relentless in pursuing our dream; by living with integrity no matter what; when we accept this as our code of honour we are leaving a legacy. This is how we leave our imprint on the world; this is how we live on in the hearts and lives of others; this is the purpose for which we were born.
We can’t all be an Einstein or an Albert Schweitzer or a Mansukh Patel, but we can all leave a legacy for those coming after us. Mother Teresa once said, ‘There are many people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things … It is not the magnitude of our actions, but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.’
To do small things with great love’ is within the reach of us all.
This is the message of Mansukh Patel’s life and work, and this is what he, and others like him, invite each one of us to do within the sphere of our own lives.