TOS  e-Newsletter
In this  issue:
A Plea for the Animals: Dolphins Are Not Toys
An OMHSS student profile
TOS Around the World: Bangladesh, India, Slovenia, and Sweden
What's new on the TOS International website?
Do we have your group's current information?
Theosophical Order of Service International e-Newsletter
EN 43 - March 2017
Dear TS and TOS members and friends,

Looking out my window I see signs of early spring, primroses in bloom, crocuses and daffodils breaking through the ground and a robin checking out the food supply. I live in the Northwest of the United States.  Your view may be different. For all of us the vernal equinox is approaching when night and day are of equal length, a time of perfect balance, a time of pause before change. The TOS e-Newsletter will soon experience a change. David Sztain of Canada is joining our team as editor of the e-newsletter. Please join us in welcoming David to his new role. Our website too is undergoing change as Rozi Ulics, our webmaster, is in the process of redesigning it. I've had a sneak peek, and it's going to be beautiful as well as user friendly.

Our articles this month were written by a Buddhist monk, a student, a TOS member and our TOS President, Tim Boyd. They cover the topics of animal welfare, death/grief/hope  for the future, creativity and motive giving us an eclectic look at life.

We're very excited to announce the upcoming TOS International Conference and most happy that it will be held directly after the TS World Congress, giving participants one airfare to pay and one place to stay. Save the date!

As always, we want to know what you and your groups are doing. Please send information about your activities with good quality photos, to:

Yours in service,
The TOS team:

Nancy Secrest,  International Secretary
Rozi Ulics, Webmaster/Editing
Vicki Jerome, Proofreader
 “. . . it is not merely the doing of work which is important but the manner in which it is done and the purity of purpose behind it.”   - Radha Burnier, former International President of the Theosophical Order of Service

A Plea for the Animals: Dolphins Are Not Toys
by Matthieu Ricard
Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, photographer, author and humanitarian 
The dolphinarium industry is a perfect example of institutionalised selfishness. Money is the driving force that creates and runs them. Their educational, recreational and environmental facades are covers for the merciless enslavement of species gifted with rare intelligence and who enjoy a rich and complex social life.

In the people who run such businesses we find only hypocrisy, profiteering and disinformation. In the public, we see one example out of many of cognitive dissonance: We just love these marine mammals - they’re so “cute”; documentaries are dedicated to their majesty; we make stuffed toys and key chains in their likeness. But we also make their life a living hell. Read more here.
Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School - Uma's Story
The Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School has been providing needy children with an education since 1894. Now with classes from kindergarten through level twelve, it also offers students sound employment opportunities and an entry to higher education. Uma Velpandi was in level twelve last year when she took her final exams the day after her beloved father passed from this life. Even through her grief Uma finished at the top of her class. She went on to receive a scholarship and is now in her first year at university. Uma says that her father’s last words, “you must study well,” sustained her through this difficult time. She tells us her story in her own words. Read more here. 
Uma Velpandi   
TOS Around the World
   TOS Bangladesh - our newest group
Our newest TOS group is attached to the Maynamati Lodge of the TS Presidential Agency in Bangladesh. Presidential Agent, Mr B.L. Bhattacharya, who is also the National Director of the TOS in India, encouraged the Lodge to form a TOS group “to shape the image of the Maynamati TS Lodge as a complete lodge.”

The new TOS group contains 11 members with Advocate Prahlad Debnath as Chief Patron, Adv. Abdul Jalil as President and Mr Sajal Paul as Secretary. Adv. Prahlad Debnath is the Correspondent to the International TOS. Several of the group's members and their families attended the Adyar Convention where they enjoyed meeting many other members of the TS and TOS and attending the TOS Session. Upon returning home the energetic group went to work immediately fixing several objectives two of which have already been accomplished! Read more here.
Birendra Bhattacharya, Presidential Agent for Bangladesh, giving greetings at the Adyar convention 2016-2017   
  TOS India - Dr T. K. Nair retires 
Dr T. K. Nair addresses a workshop on gender equality in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India in 2014 
Dr T.K. Nair has just handed over the reins as National Secretary of the TOS in India after six years of exceptionally fine service at the side of National Director, Mr B.L. Bhattacharya.
The role of National Secretary of the TOS in India is unlike that role in any other country. The Indian TOS has around 158 groups divided into 22 regions; it has 1,028 patron members and 5,833 life members – vastly more than in any other Section in the world.  Can you imagine the number of hours of work it takes to keep order in the records? Can you imagine the number of miles travelled in response to invitations to speak?  Read more here.

  TOS Slovenia - Charity to All
All through the year TOS members in Slovenia provide caring service to people in distress at home and throughout the world in the form of financial assistance, clothing, footwear, household goods, food and non-material aid such as, meditation, compassion and home or hospital visits.

Blanka Blaj Borštnar has been the TOS Correspondent for many years doing a marvellous job. As she was recently elected Organising Secretary for the TS Slovenia Regional Association – congratulations Blanka! – she will soon be transferring her TOS position to someone else. The TOS Slovenia works through what they call “circles”. There are four of them: the Adyar Circle, the Circle of Understanding, the Surya Koper Circle and the Surya-Svit Maribor Circle. They serve both individuals, who are sometimes members, and groups. Read more here.
  Blanka Blaj Borštnar,  Organising Secretary of the Slovenia Regional Association and Slovenian TOS Correspondent 
TOS Sweden - a pictorial report
Birgitta Stålhammar, National Coordinator of the TOS in Sweden
The TOS in Sweden recently chose the setting of a weekend seminar on the theme “Seeing with the Eyes of Spirit on the Path of Service” to celebrate the exceptional work over a long period of their National TOS Coordinator, Birgitta Stålhammar. A gift was presented to Birgitta in recognition of her 20 years of dedicated service to disadvantaged children in neighbouring Latvia, a country with close historic ties to Sweden. Enjoy the photos here.
What's new on the TOS International website?
Latest News - TOS International Conference
The  Fourth TOS International Conference will take place 9-11 August, 2018 in Singapore. The TOS Conference immediately follows the Theosophical Society World Congress which runs from 4-9 August. The specific venue has yet to be determined. Both events will be located at the same venue. This is a working conference for those who are active in TOS work. We will review our accomplishments since our last conference in 2013 and make plans for the next five years. All active TOS workers are welcome, whether or not they are members of the TOS. As an unexpected extra, 9 August is a National Holiday in Singapore complete with parades and fireworks.
Sentosa Island, Singapore
Singapore skyline at night
Ria Pali, a member of Mahabharat group, Odisha, India, gave an experiential presentation there on "Awakening Creativity" on 5 November 2016.
Why Can't the Sky be Pink?

by Ria Pali

The atmosphere is happy and cheerful, with lots of kids between the ages of six and ten years. Their assignment is to replicate a template created by the instructor consisting of the sky, mountains, birds and mounds of land in the foreground. On one such occasion I overheard a six-year-old run up to the instructor to show him her work. After a brief pause the instructor asked her –
 “Why have you made the sky pink?”
  The question caught me off-guard. It got me thinking. Really, WHY can’t the sky be pink after all? In the little girl’s world, the sky could be orange, purple, red, green… anything that she imagined it to be.  Read more here.

   Tim Boyd, President Theosophical Society and  Theosophical Society in America

Motive is Everything

by Tim Boyd

In 1971 a man named Theodore Golas wrote a short book that went on to become an underground sensation. The setting for this phenomenon was in San Francisco just past the tumultuous peak of the 1960s. San Francisco had been a hub of activity throughout the decade and had developed into a little Mecca for the hippie and drug culture of the era. The contemporary mantras of “Peace and Love”, “Free Love” and “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” had attracted a population of young people pushing the boundaries of sexual and chemical norms. It was a mixed bag that included both intense darkness and light.  By 1971 much of the social and cultural upheaval that characterised the period was waning, and many of the young people who had been such a driving force in the various powerful movements of the time were looking for sustainable avenues to channel their energies. Read More Here.

Please check your country's TOS information on our website. There's a link to the website at the top of this page. You'll find it in the yellow, right hand column on the home page. Click on your country's name to verify the information. Please let us know if it is correct, and give us the correct information if it is not. We especially want to make sure that your information accurately depicts your TOS group/s on our new website which is now in the process of being designed.
"…for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his godlike qualities and aspirations and their sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him.  Kindness, absence of every ill-feeling or selfishness, charity, goodwill to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one’s self, are its chief features."
  From H. P. Blavatsky’s 1888 Letter to the
American Convention