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by Chip Richards T

he shire of Byron Bay, Australia, has long been known as the ‘land of first light dreaming’. Nestled in

the rolling hills between ocean waters and this ancient volcanic peak is a slice of fertile land bordered by rainforest, streams and the flight of wedge tail eagles. This is the home to Organic India founder Bharat Mitra. As we begin, Bharat Mitra reflects on his

early moments of awakening as a high school student of agriculture… his deep yearning for freedom and the sudden realisation that, “the entity I had always called ‘I’ was not real, but just an accumulation of beliefs, identities and conditions that came from the environment I grew up in.” He goes on to share of his early quest to

live his own version of a free and spiritually connected life, and the winding path that led him to the feet of his master Sri H.W.L. Poonja, Papaji in 1990. “At first it was just about breaking through old conditioning and reconnecting with myself, with nature… enquiring into what is truly my voice, my truth? What is the deepest longing of my heart? Meeting Papaji was beyond miraculous and it was nothing like what I expected. For me, more than everything else, Papaji was the ultimate embodiment of non- separation. Oneness, in action.” Shortly before passing, Papaji told

Bharat Mitra to start a limited liability company.. “This company”, he said, “will help everyone. It will be very big and it will serve a very important function.” At the time, Bharat Mitra didn’t even know what a limited liability company was. But within a few months he found himself sitting in an office as the CEO of a company that was exploding into being. “We knew the vision for Organic India was to be a vehicle of consciousness, but in those days nobody even spoke about social and environmental responsibility; so to speak about consciousness in business was incredibly unique. We explored many different projects with one guiding principle: to harm no one and exploit no one. We wanted to find a way to bring what we had experienced in this very spiritual environment into the business world and the marketplace.” Not as an NGO

or a foundation, but as a new model for business, grounded in principles of nature and spirituality, in service of humanity and the planet. Organic India started as a trading

company with a passion to share the wisdom of India and Ayurveda with the Western world, but when they began to explore what it would take to grow their own herbs organically, they came face-to-face with the incredible devastation that chemical companies had inflicted on Indian farmers. This led them to the revelation that the true purpose of Organic India was not just to be a conscious trading company, but to co-create an organic revolution in India. “When we saw how devastated the marginal farmers were, the vision came that we could work with them to convert their chemical abused fields into organic, biodynamic and sustainable. By empowering farmers to grow organic crops, they would make a better income, we would get high quality raw material, and together we would initiate an entire movement in India. At that time nobody even knew about organic or had organic certification.” It was around this time they met and

began working with Dr. Narendra Singh, who Bharat Mitra describes as, “one of the greatest integrative doctors, pioneering researchers and world experts in herbal medicine.” With 40 years of clinical research and tremendous knowledge of herbs, Dr. Singh knew that in order to produce the very highest quality herbal teas and medicines, “what is most important is the way you plant, cultivate, harvest and process the herbs. Because herbs are actually living beings, with millions of years of evolution behind them, each plant has its own information, knowledge, consciousness and spirit. The most important thing is to produce herbs which are alive so when they come in touch with your body they connect through frequency and vibration and consciousness.” Initially it was difficult to convince the

farmers that this wasn’t just another Western scheme designed to take advantage of them, but with Bharat Mitra’s committed promise

to buy all herbs grown organically, the head of one village agreed to grow Tulsi (the primary herb used in many Organic India formulations) in the first year, and he was joined by eight other farmers. The following year 30 more joined and 150 more the year after that. By the fourth year, over 700 farmers had joined the burgeoning movement. Flash forward 15 years and Organic

India teas and herbal medicines are now sold throughout India, America and in 40 countries around the world. Thousands upon thousands of acres have been converted back to organic and many thousands of farmers have been supported to reclaim their dignity and thriving communities – not only financially but culturally, connected to their core values and heritage. “For me the real essence of co-creation

is when a group of people aligned with a vision make themselves available for the Universe to co-create with them. Together, the possibilities expand beyond measure to achieve something far greater than anyone could have done alone.” With eyes lit by the balance of inspired

passion and deep humility, clarity of commitment and a willingness to “rest in not knowing”, Bharat Mitra speaks of this and all creative seeds now springing forth from the ever-expanding garden of Organic India. “Each one of us has our own unique gifts, purpose and role to play in this magnificent existence. It may appear to be small or big, but everything is required, and it is only when we all come together that this new era can manifest. We truly can create oneness in action in the world.” n

BHARAT MITRA is also the co-founder of UPLIFT – a global movement of ‘Oneness in Action’. UPLIFT unites inspiring visionaries from many disciplines, including science, music, arts and culture, economics, indigenous wisdom and empowered youth. Through key note presentations, immersive workshops and breakout sessions, music performances and more, UPLIFT unites global leaders who are working towards positive change. UPLIFT Festival Byron Bay, 11-14th December 2014.

NOVEMBER 2014 55

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