Photo of George Rapanos George Rapanos: A Quest for Religious Transformation
I said to the almond tree,
"Sister, speak to me of God,"
And the almond tree blossomed.

- Haiku given to St. Francis.


George is a retired Pharmacist and a successful Businessman in Real Estate Ventures. George earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from Ferris State University and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from New York University. George has written and published three books, "In Search Of The Hidden Treasure" ISBN #0-9634591-0-4, "The Tao Of Tribute Money" ISBN #0-9634591-1-2 and "Pearls of Great Worth" ISBN #0-9634591-4-7.

"The whole world is restless and confused. It will always be so as long as man sets his ideals on the wrong objects. There will be no happiness until man learns what he seeks comes from within himself."



Letter I had written to my children after I came back from India

February 28, 1998

Dear Alex, Ruth, Laura, Angela and Jonas;

I was going to send you a post card from India, but it could not contain what I experienced and wished to say. Mom and I both enjoyed the sights and the past grandeur of a lost civilization. I was particularly touched by the people of India. Those people afflicted with poverty and disease are more appealing than the successful, for we see in them the mystery, the beauty, and the sadness of life. Though there is no special virtue in the hopeless and the outcast; we see in them the struggle of the unconquerable spirit of man with its fate and circumstances. The spirit is never broken however much it may be bent or beaten.

Even the poor illiterate villagers with their ancient household traditions and religious observances seemed to me to be more familiar with the spiritual mystery enveloping this world than the emancipated comfort minded individuals eager for life and adventure. It seems that we have lost more than we have gained by providing comforts to our bodies but our minds and souls are starving. The elimination of the inner world of personal experience is not a sign of progress. The present crisis of civilization is the direct result of the loosening hold of ethical and spiritual ideals. In our present day culture, acts of spirit and morality are essential.

Though we have made enormous progress in knowledge and scientific inventions, we are not above the level of past generations, in ethical and spiritual life. In some respects we have perhaps declined from their standards. Our natures are becoming mechanized and void within.

It is distressing to see human suffering anywhere in the world. The mad craze for power, fame and wealth is the root cause of many ills of modern society. Wealth is not all; it cannot buy the best things--the most desirable possessions; happiness of mind and heart, contentment and goodwill are beyond the purchase of money. Often suffering is not a punishment but a discipline. It is through suffering that we learn to grow.

The trouble with our civilization is that in our anxiety to pursue the things of time, we are neglecting the things that are not of time, the enduring and the eternal. Life is short and happiness is uncertain. Death comes to all, prince and peasant alike. Life on earth is meaningless apart from its eternal background. Only a humanity that strives after ethical and spiritual ideals can use the great triumph of scientific knowledge for the true end of civilization. The end of man is to let the spirit in him permeate his whole being, his soul, flesh and affections. He attains his deepest self by losing his selfish ego.

Tattva Darsham das, (Tom Rapanos) my second cousin was a gracious host and a wonderful spirit. Not only does he have an Ashram in the mountains that people come from all over the world as a pilgrimage but he also practices the principals of his faith. He has taken into his family a little girl and boy to raise. He has also provided for over six years in bringing up a girl that is now to be married. He is educating some forty children as well as providing them with school uniforms and food for lunch. He has a devoted Hindu wife and two wonderful and talented children that were a joy to be with.

If the purpose of life is to seek and experience God and do His work, then Tattva in my opinion has succeeded. Tattva (Truth) Darsham (To have the vision) das (servant). What a wonderful tribute to God!

Mother has sent in the pictures to be developed and whoever is on the internet will be able to see them as soon as they are processed.

With all my love and affection,

Dad

Bhaktivedanta Eco Village India
President - Tattva Darsham das
www.ecovillage-asia.org

   

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