This is the motto of Swami Shivananda, a great saint who was based in Rishikesh.

We have so-called spiritual organisations and charitable organisations. Can u tell me one where there is no political conflict? If we are really working for the greater good, the utilitarian perspective, as promoted by John Stuart Mill, then why the internal organisational conflicts. We all have a desire for name and fame, let’s face the truth. In regular organisations this is faced; there is no guise of ‘ I am a better person than you’. Though I do have to say in this age of political correctness this too has been creeping in.

When I was a corporate lawyer, over 12 years ago we walked our talk, be it good or bad. Since then I have event managed and worked with ‘philanthropic’ organisations. To be honest, I have never experienced so much politics and desire for the name in these organisations. These corporate organisations may not be doing’ good things but at least they are walking their talk. I personally think ‘ to thine own self be true is more important than being a fake philanthropist. Its what is in your own heart that matters most. it is that which gives u internal heaven or hell.

In conclusion and it might be a long one:

Walk your talk

Don’t try and be politically correct if you are not.

Use your highest intellect to decide your action.

Look at the longer-term consequences of your actions, not just the short ones.

If you want name and fame.. don’t be ashamed of it.

Don’t do fake philanthropy.. you are only deceiving yourself and others.

To deceive yourself will lead to inner struggle, pain, suppression and perhaps illness.

Don’t be motivated by guilt as then you will never find out who you really are. Is this not the purpose of spirituality.. do find out who u are on a relative plane and an absolute plane?

Don’t worry about what people might think if you are not philanthropic.

‘To thine own self be true and fair’

And in the words of my mum

‘ Call a spade a spade’

Renu Gulati

Born and raised in the UK, Renu Gulati is the founder of Stree, a women's empowerment and heal the earth initiative.

She had a keen interest in natural products and holistic healing from a young age. In the UK, Renu worked extensively in the area of women’s empowerment  She is an Ayurveda lifestyle and diet consultant, teaches cooking classes along with running a women's empowerment program – STREE.