Tuesday, 31 May 2011

(3:2) Recollection of Death Brings Peace

The Story of Kosambi Monks (Verse 6)

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (6) of this book, with reference to the bhikkhus of Kosambi.

The bhikkhus of Kosambi had formed into two groups. One group followed the master of Vinaya and the other followed the teacher of the Dhamma and they were often quarrelling among themselves. Even the Buddha could not stop them from quarrelling; so he left them and spent the vassa, residence period of the rains, all alone in Rakkhita Grove near Palileyyaka forest. There, the elephant Palileyya waited upon the Buddha.

This picture is of one episode in the Buddha's life, when he went to spend a rains retreat by himself, with no monks or lay people in attendance. The forest that he stayed in that year was a very big forest, the home of a big tusker elephant known as palilayaka, and the forest was named after that elephant. In Thailand it is called the "palelai forest."

The reason that the Buddha spent the rains retreat on his own that year is that he was tired of the monks of Kosambi who had split into two groups and were not in harmony, refusing to perform the duties of the order (sanghakamma) together. When the Buddha heard of this he went to see them to try to put a stop to their discord, but both sides refused to listen to him. That is why the Buddha went to stay on his own.

Due to the Buddha's great powers and kindness, the elephant known as palilayaka attended on him. In the morning he would bring fruits from the forest to offer to the Buddha and in the evening boil water for him by rolling rocks heated in a fire into a pool of water.

A monkey saw the elephant serving the Buddha and brought a honeycomb to offer. The Buddha received it but did not eat the honey, so the monkey took back the honeycomb and considered it. Seeing bee larvae inside, he took them all out and then took only pure honey to offer. This time the Buddha accepted it and ate the honey. The monkey, watching the Buddha from atop a tree, was overjoyed. Jumping about with excitement, he fell from the tree and was run through and killed by a sharp tree stump.

After the rains retreat the monks who had split into two groups agreed to make up their differences because the local lay people were not making any offerings to them. The monks sent a representative to see the Buddha and invite him to go back to the city. The elephant palilayaka was heartbroken to see the Buddha go, and followed him out of the forest, and even made as if he would follow the Buddha into the city. The Buddha turned to him and said, "Palilayaka. This is the limits of your territory. From here on is the territory of man, which are a great danger to animals such as you. You cannot come with me!"
Palilayaka the elephant stood and roared in grief, but did not dare follow the Buddha. 

As soon as the Buddha was out of sight, his heart broke and he died right there. The texts state that the elephant and the monkey, after dying at that time, were reborn as devas in the Tavatimsa heaven.

The lay disciples of Kosambi, on learning the reason for the departure of the Buddha, refused to make offerings to the remaining bhikkhus. This made them realize their mistake and reconciliation took place among themselves. Still, the lay disciples would not treat them as respectfully as before, until they owned up their fault to the Buddha. But the Buddha was away and it was in the middle of the vassa; so the bhikkhus of Kosambi spent the vassa in misery and hardship.

At the end of the vassa, the Venerable Ananda and five hundred bhikkhus approached the Buddha and gave the message from Annathapindika and other lay disciples imploring him to return. In due course the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi. The bhikkhus followed him there, fell down at his feet, and owned up their fault. The Buddha rebuked them for disobeying him. He told them to remember that they must all die some day and therefore, they must stop their quarrels and must not act as if they would never die.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 6: People, other than the wise, do not realize, "We in this world must all die," (and not realizing it continue their quarrels). The wise realize it and thereby their quarrels cease.

Most of us are not willing to face the reality of impermanence and death. It is because we forget this fact that our lives are transitory, that we quarrel with each other, as if we are going to live for ever. But, if we face the fact of death, our quarrels will come to an end. We will then realize the folly of fighting when we ourselves are doomed to die. Excited by emotions our thought being clouded, we cannot see the truth about life. When we see the truth, however, our thoughts become free of emotions.

(3:1)Hatred is Overcome Only by Non-Hatred

The Story of Kaliyakkhini (Verse 5)

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 5: Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an ancient law.

While residing at the Jetavana Monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to a certain woman who was barren and another capable of bearing a child. 

Once there lived a householder, whose wife was barren. Being unable to bear a child and afraid that she would be mistreated by her husband and her mother-in-law, she arranged for her husband to marry another woman. But on two occasions, as soon as she knew the second wife was pregnant, the barren wife gave her food mixed with drugs causing her to have a miscarriage. On her third pregnancy, the pregnant wife kept it to herself without informing the barren wife. But when the latter came to know about it, she again caused an abortion. Eventually the second wife died in childbirth. Before her death, the unfortunate woman was filled with hatred and vowed vengeance on the barren wife and her future offspring. Thus a feud started.

Among their later existences the two were reborn as a hen and a female cat; a doe and a leopard; and finally as the daughter of a nobleman in Savatthi and a female evil spirit. One day she (Kali Yakkhini) was in pursuit of the nobleman's daughter and her baby. When this lady heard that the Buddha was giving a religious discourse at the Jetavana Monastery, she fled to him and placed her son at his feet for protection. The evil spirit was prevented from entering the Monastery. She was later called in and both the lady and the evil spirit were admonished by the Buddha. The Buddha told them about their past trouble as rival wives and how they had been harboring hatred towards each other. They were made to see that hatred could only cause more hatred, and that it could only cease through friendship, understanding, and goodwill. Both realised their mistake, and on the admonition of the Buddha, made their peace with each other.

The Buddha then requested the woman to hand over her son to the evil spirit. Fearing for the safety of her son, she hesitated, but because of her devotion and confidence in the Buddha she did hand over her son.

The child was warmly received by the evil spirit. After kissing and caressing the child tenderly like her own son, she handed back the child to his mother. As a result, there was no more hatred.


Those who attempt to conquer hatred by hatred are like warriors who take weapons to overcome others who bear arms. This does not end hatred, but gives it room to grow. But, ancient wisdom has advocated a different timeless strategy to overcome hatred. This eternal wisdom is to meet hatred with non-hatred. The method of trying to conquer hatred through hatred never succeeds in overcoming hatred. But, the method of overcoming hatred through non-hatred is eternally effective. That is why that method is described as eternal wisdom.

The principle revealed in this verse is clear. Quarrels can never come to an end by quarrelling. War can never end through further wars. Enmity never ends by returning enmity for enmity. Only by giving up anger, enmity, quarrelling and wars can these evils be stopped. It is through friendliness, forgiving and forgetting that enmity ceases.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

(2:1 & 2:2) Uncontrolled Hatred Leads To Harm & Overcoming Anger

The Story of Thera Tissa (Verses 3 & 4) -- The Twin Verses 2:1 & 2:2 

While residing at the Jetavana Monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered these Verses, with reference to Monk Tissa. Tissa, son of the Buddha's maternal aunt, was at one time staying with the Buddha. He had become a monk only in his old age, but he posed as a senior monk and was very pleased when visiting monks asked his permission to do some service for him. On the other hand, he failed to perform the duties expected of junior monks; besides, he often quarrelled with the younger monks. Should anyone rebuke him on account of his behaviour, he would go complaining to the Buddha, weeping, very much dissatisfied and very upset.

Once, the Teacher asked him, 'Tissa, why have you come to me so sad and sorrowful with tears in your eyes, weeping?" The other monks had discussed among themselves, "If he goes alone, he may cause trouble." So they too went along with him, paid obeisance to the Teacher, and sat down respectfully on one side. Tissa answered the Teacher's question, "Venerable, these monks are abusing me." The Teacher asked, "But where were you sitting?" "In the centre of the monastery in the Hall of State, Venerable." "Did you see these monks when they came?" "Yes, Venerable I saw them." "Did you rise and go to meet them?" "No, Venerable, I did not." "Did you offer to take their monastic utensils?" "No, Venerable, I did not offer to take them." "Tissa, do not act thus. You alone are to be blamed; ask their pardon." "I will not ask their pardon, Venerable."

The monks said to the Teacher, "He is an obstinate monk, Venerable." The Teacher replied, "Monks, this is not the first time he has proved obstinate; he was obstinate also in a previous state of existence." "We know all about his present obstinacy, Venerable; but what did he do in a previous state of existence?" "Well then, monks, listen," said the Teacher. So saying, he told the following story.

Once upon a time, when a certain king reigned at Benares, an ascetic named Devala, who had resided for eight months in the Himalaya country, desiring to reside near the city during the four months of the rains, for salt and vinegar returned from the Himalayas. Seeing two boys at the gate of the city, he asked them, "Where do monks who come to this city spend the night?" "In the potter's hall, Venerable." So Devala went to the potter's hall, stopped at the door, and said, "If it is agreeable to you, Bhaggava, I would like to spend one night in your hall." The potter turned over the hall to him, saying, "I have no work going on in the hall at night, and the hall is a large one; spend the night here as you please, Venerable." No sooner had Devala entered the hall and sat down than another ascetic named Narada, returning from the Himalayas, asked the potter for a night's lodging. The potter thought to himself, "The ascetic who arrived first may or may not be willing to spend the night with him; I will therefore relieve myself of responsibility." 

So he said to the ascetic who had just arrived, "Venerable, if the ascetic who arrived first approves of it, spend the night at your pleasure." So Narada approached Devala and said, "Teacher, if it is agreeable to you, I would like to spend one night here." Devala replied, "The hall is a large one; therefore come in and spend the night on one side." So Narada went in and sat down beside the ascetic who had gone in before him. Both exchanged friendly greetings.

When it was bedtime, Narada noted carefully the place where Devala lay and the position of the door, and then lay down. But when Devala lay down, instead of lying down in his proper place, he lay down directly across the doorway. The result was that when Narada went out at night, he trod on Devala's matted locks. Thereupon Devala cried out, "Who is treading on my locks?" Narada replied, "Teacher, it is I." "False ascetic," said Devala, "You come from the forest and tread on my locks." "Teacher, I did not know that you were lying here; please pardon me." Narada then went out, leaving Devala weeping as if his heart would break. Devala thought to himself, "I will not let him tread on me when he comes in also." So he turned around and lay down, placing his head where his feet had been before. When Narada came in, he thought to himself, "The first time I injured the teacher; this time I will go in past his feet." The result was that, when Narada entered, he trod on Devala's neck. Thereupon Devala cried out, "Who is that?" Narada replied, "It is I, teacher." "False ascetic," said Devala, "The first time you trod on my locks. This time you tread on my neck. I will curse you." "Teacher, I am not to blame. I did not know that you were lying in this position. When I came in I thought to myself, The first time I injured the teacher; this time I will go in past his feet.' Please pardon me." "False ascetic, I will curse you." "Do not do so, teacher." But Devala, paying no attention to what Narada said, cursed him all the same, saying, "May your head split into seven pieces at sunrise."

Now Narada, perceiving that the curse would fall back on his brother-ascetic, he felt compassion for him, and therefore put forth the power of his meditation and prevented the sunrise. When the sun did not rise, the king had to intervene and ask Devala to apologise. Devala refused. Then said Narada to Devala, 'Teacher, I will put forth my power of meditation and make the sun to rise. At the moment of sunrise please keep a lump of clay on your head and submerge in water and rise in different places as you go your way." As soon as the sun's rays touched the lump of clay on his head, it divided into seven pieces. Thereupon Devala ducked in the water, and came up in a different place, and ran away. When the Buddha had given his instruction, he said, "Monks, at that time the king was Ananda, Devala was Tissa, and Narada was myself, when at that time he was obstinate." The Buddha advised them not to keep thoughts of enmity, for this could be only appeased by thoughts of friendliness.


When a person holds that he was insulted, assaulted, defeated, or robbed, his anger continues to increase. The anger of such a person has no way of subsiding. The more he goes over his imaginary trouble the greater becomes his desire to avenge it.

Verse 3
 "He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;"... the enmity of those harbouring such thoughts cannot be appeased.

Verse 4
"He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;" ... the enmity of those not harbouring such thoughts can be appeased.

Living in human society, people often quarrel with one another. When such conflicts occur, people often keep thinking about the wrongs done to them by others. When that happens, their anger tends to grow. But in those who forgive and forget the wrongs done to them, anger quickly vanishes. They are then at peace.

This pair of verses reveals the psychological principle that is basic to emotional control. Emotion is an excitement of the body that begins with a thought. A thought creates a mental picture which, if held onto, excites a corresponding emotion. It is only when this mental picture is discarded and paid no attention to, that the emotion subsides. The Buddha's constant advice to His followers was not to retaliate but to practice patience at all times and places, even under provocation. The Buddha praises those who forebear the wrongs of others, even though they have the power to retaliate. In the Dhammapada itself there are many instances that show how the Buddha practiced patience, even when he was severely criticised, abused, and attacked. Patience is not a sign of weakness or defeatism but the unfailing strength of great men and women. The secret of patience is to change the mental picture or how you interpret a situation. An example is given in the Shantivadi Jataka, where the saint Shantivadi was the Buddha Gotama in his former life. The saint kept repeating the thought, "Long live the king may he be free from harm," while his limbs were severed until death, by this cruel king who wanted to test his patience.

The group who stayed called themselves the Elders (Thera in Pali). They felt they were in keeping with the original spirit of the Buddha's teachings. The other group, the Great Community (Mahasanghika in Sanskrit), interpreted Buddha's teachings more liberally, but in a way that they felt was more true to his intentions. These two groups would eventually evolve into Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.

(1:2) - Happiness Follows The Doer of Good

The Story of Mattakundali (1:2)
(Verse 2)

While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (2) of this book, with reference to Matthakundali, a young Brahmin Matthakundali was a young brahmin, whose father, Adinnapubbaka, was very stingy and never gave anything in charity. Even the gold ornaments for his only son were made by himself to save payment for workmanship. When his son fell ill, no physician was consulted, until it was too late. When he realized that his son was dying, he had the youth carried outside on to the verandah, so that people coming to his house would not see his possessions.

On that morning, the Buddha arising early from his deep meditation of compassion saw, in his Net of Knowledge, Matthakundali lying on the verandah. So when entering Savatthi for alms-food with his disciples, the Buddha stood near the door of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka. The Buddha sent forth a ray of light to attract the attention of the youth, who was facing the interior of the house. The youth saw the Buddha; and as he was very weak he could only profess his faith mentally. But that was enough. When he passed away with his heart in devotion to the Buddha he was reborn in the Tavatimsa celestial world.

From his celestial abode the young Matthakundali, seeing his father mourning over him at the cemetery, appeared to the old man in the likeness of his old self. He told his father about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world and also urged him to approach and invite the Buddha to a meal. At the house of Adinnapubbaka the question of whether one could or could not be reborn in a celestial world simply by mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha, without giving in charity or observing the moral precepts, was brought up. So the Buddha willed that Matthakundali should appear in person; Matthakundali soon appeared fully decked with celestial ornaments and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world. Then only, the audience became convinced that the son of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha had attained much glory.

At the end of the discourse Matthakundali and his father Adinnapubbaka attained Sotapatti Magga and Sotapatti Phala. Adinnapubbaka also donated almost all his wealth to the cause of the Buddha's Teaching.


All that man experiences springs out of his thoughts. If his thoughts are good, the words and deeds will also be good. The result of good thoughts, words and deeds will be happiness. This happiness never leaves the person whose thoughts are good. Happiness will always follow him like his shadow that never leaves him.

Verse 2:
All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.


(1:1) - Suffering Follows The Evil-Doer

The Twin Verses -- 1:1 & 1:2 ; 2:1 & 2:2 ; 3:1 & 3:2; 4:1 & 4:2

Story of Cakkhupala Thera (1:1)
Suffering Follows The Evil-Doer

A middle-aged devout person, named Cakkhupàla, became a monk and was energetically leading a contemplative life. As a result of his strenuous endeavour he realized Arahantship, 4 the final stage of Sainthood, but unfortunately went blind.

One day as he was pacing up and down the ambulatory he unintentionally killed many insects. Some visiting monks, noticing the blood-stained ambulatory, complained to the Buddha that he had committed the offence of killing. The Buddha explained that the monk had killed them unintentionally and that he was an Arahant.

The monks then wished to know the cause of his blindness.
The Buddha related that in a past birth, as a physician, that particular monk had given an ointment to a poor woman to restore her eyesight. She promised that, with her children, she would become his servants if her eyesight was restored. The physician’s remedy proved effective, but the woman, not willing to keep her promise, pretended that her eyes were getting worse. The cruel physician, yielding to a wicked thought, retaliated by giving her another ointment which blinded her eyes. In consequence of his past evil action the Arahant became blind.

* * *

This is the retributive aspect of the law of Kamma, the other being the continuative aspect, that is – the transmission of individual characteristics, impressions, tendencies, etc. throughout one’s wanderings in Samsàra.

An Arahant, though free from all impurities, has to reap the fruit of the seed he himself had sown in the remote past.

The Buddhas and Arahants do not accumulate fresh Kamma as they have eradicated the roots – ignorance and craving- but, as every other being, they are not exempt from the inevitable consequences of both good and bad past actions.

Verse 1
1. Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states. 3 Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts  with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the draught-ox. 1.


Friday, 25 March 2011

Bitter Truths about Chocolate

A few days ago, as I was buying some stuff from the market, i picked up a bar of chocolate, i was reminded of something i recently came across about the companies that use cheap manual labour from  some countries, which include children in order to grow bigger and expand their businesses. 

So, i decided to find out more about this story on my own. This is what i found.

Some questions that came to my mind before i started my inquiry and search were:

1. Which are the companies in the market that manufacture and sell chocolate and which are the leading brands and where are they based ?

2. Which countries are the ones that have children doing manual labour to fulfil the targets of these companies.?

3. Which are the local companies in my own town & country that manufacture chocolate and how much of their work is independent of the foreign companies.

4. What are the steps that one can take if one were to stop this kind of trade to flourish.?

So,  here i will find & insert as much detail i have about this current day social & economic problem.

West African children exploited to make chocolate

Oct 8, 2010 2:54 PM | By Sapa-AP

A report says West Africa's cocoa industry, which produces cocoa is still trafficking children and using forced child labor despite nearly a decade of efforts to eliminate the practices.

A U.S.-sponsored solution called the Harkin-Engel Protocol was signed in 2001 by cocoa industry members to identify and eliminate the cocoa grown using forced child labor in West Africa by 2010.
Independent auditors at Tulane University's Payson Center for International Development said in a late September report that efforts have not come close to the target.
The report says that hundreds of thousands of children are still involved in work on cocoa farms, and are trafficked to Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's two largest cocoa growers.


1. Which are the companies in the market that manufacture and sell chocolate and which are the leading brands and where are they based ?

List of Chocolate Manufacturers

1. Nestlé
Link: http://www.nestle.com/
Founded in 1860 by Henri Nestlé, a pharmacist, Nestlé is a multinational packaged food company located in Vevey, Switzerland. Nestlé is globally renowned with its several product lines including milk, chocolate, confectionery, bottled water, coffee, creamer, food seasoning and pet foods. Today, Nestlé is considered one of the biggest chocolate companies with a wide range of chocolate products such as Aero, 100 Grand Bar, Kit Kat, Nestlé Crunch and Rolo.

2. Cadbury Schweppes
Link:  http://www.cadburyschweppes.com/EN
One of the world’s largest confectionery company, Cadbury Schweppes was founded in 1905 and has its headquarters in Berkeley Square, London, England. Apart from confectionery products, this British confectionery company has also produced a great deal of beverage productions which has made the company a strong regional presence in the beverage industry in the Americas and Australia. Cadbury Schweppes has produced many types of chocolate brands such as Boost, Brunch Bar, Crispy Crunch, Crunchie and many more.

3. Ferrero SpA
Link: http://www.ferrero.it/
An Italian Chocolate manufacturer, Ferrero SpA, is a family business which produces chocolate and other confectionery products. Ferrero SpA was founded in 1946 by a confectioner Pietro Ferrero and is still owned by the Ferrero family. In each year, Ferrero SpA has produced many tons of chocolate which are used in manufacturing chocolate products such as Ferrero Rocher, Mon Chéri, Confetteria Raffaello and also produce the Kinder product series, including Kinder Surprise, Fiesta Ferrero, Kinder Chocolate bars and Kinder Chocolate.

4. Callebaut
Link: http://www.callebaut.com/
The second-largest chocolate producer in the world, Callebaut is a Belgian chocolate manufacturer which produces a wide range of chocolate products for consumers and professional chocolatiers around the world. Founded in Wieze, Belgium in 1850 by Eugenius Callebaut, this company was first operated as a brewery. Later in 1996, Callebaut merged with rival chocolatier “Cacao Barry” to form a new company which is now called “Barry Callebaut”. Its primary products are baking chocolate and cocoa powder which is sold to consumers and professional bakers around the world.

5. Camille Bloch
Link: http://www.camillebloch.ch/
One of the most prestigious chocolate manufacturers in Switzerland, Camille Bloch has been producing high quality Swiss chocolate for over 75 years. Camille Bloch is renowned for their Ragusa Chocolate which is filled with smooth praline cream and hazelnuts, available in a variety of sizes and package types. Additionally, Camille Bloch also offers four different Chocolate Mousse Bars, each of which features decadently smooth chocolate filled with one of four creamy mousse fillings. Camille Bloch’s products were distributed to luxurious chocolate stores all over the world.

6. Divine Chocolate
Established in the UK in 1998, Divine Chocolate Limited is a manufacturer of Fairtrade chocolate products in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company is owned as a partnership between the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa, Twin Trading and Oikocredit. Divine Chocolate’s first product, Divine Milk Chocolate, was launched in October 1998 and followed by a long list of chocolate products such as Divine White Chocolate, Flavored Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and drinking chocolate.

7. The Favarger Company
Link: http://www.favarger.com/en/
Founded in 1826 by a pastry-cook, Jacques Foulquier. The Favarger Company is a Swiss chocolate manufacturer which is located in Versoix, the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. The company is not only well-known for those who live in Geneva and the rest of Switzerland, but also available at many places throughout the world where good quality chocolate is offered. Its soft chocolate and exceptional taste are claimed to be made by the original recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation. The Favarger Company has its famous chocolate products such as Les AVELINES de Genève and Les NOUGALINES de Genève.

8. The Hershey Company
Link: http://www.hersheys.com/
The largest chocolate company in America, The Hershey Company was founded in 1894 by Milton Snavely Hershey. Globally, the company is commonly called Hershey’s and is also considered one of the oldest chocolate companies in the United States. Milton Hershey began to plant cocoa trees in his hometown, Derry Church, Pennsylvania, in 1903 and the manufacturing of chocolate proved successful. Since then, the company has grown rapidly.

9. Royce’
Link: http://rb.e-royce.com/archives/2007/03/royce_chocolates_and_confectio.html
One of the biggest chocolate manufacturers in Asia, Royce’ Confect Co., Ltd., is also known as E-Royce’, has produced and distributed chocolate products to many countries in Asia and other continents. Royce’ was first established in July 1983, with a total capital of ¥10.0 million and increased its capital to ¥30.5 million in September of 1985. From1990, Royce’ became a significant player in the Asian candy industry with many of its famous chocolate brands such as Dacquoise, Lurumaro Chocola, Nutty Bar Chocolate, Royce’ Chocolate Bars, Royce’ Pure Chocolate and much more.

10. World’s Finest Chocolate
Link: http://www.worldsfinestchocolate.com/
Established in USA in 1949, World’s Finest Chocolate is probably most recognized for its beneficent activities which help to raise money for non-profit organizations. Its $1 Almond chocolate bar that is used for fund raising can be labeled with a group’s name and fund raising purposes. This family-owned business has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, and also has a sales office located in Campbellford, Ontario, Canada. World’s Finest Chocolate is well known for being one of only 9 companies in the United States that produces chocolate “from bean to bar”.


Looking at this list of names, out of which 2 names are very familiar and common and home names.. which are Nestle and Cadbury. I looked into my shopping list and always had products to buy from nestle which include Milk Powder and of course chocolates like kitkat and others and cadbury too is a very homely name.
I was quite surprised at this..

2. Which countries are the ones that have children doing manual labour to fulfil the targets of these companies.?


Tracing the bitter truth of chocolate and child labour

Reporter Paul Kenyon with cocoa beans in Ghana
Paul Kenyon posed as a cocoa dealer to find child labourers
This Easter, Britons will eat their way through 80m chocolate eggs without the slightest taste of how the essential ingredient in our favourite treat is harvested.
The truth, as BBC Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon discovered when he posed as a cocoa dealer in West Africa, leaves a bitter taste.
In an investigation into the supply chain that delivers much of the chocolate sold in the UK - more than half a million tonnes a year - the BBC found evidence of human trafficking and child slave labour.
Panorama also found that there is no guarantee, despite safeguards, even with chocolate marketed as Fairtrade, that child labour - as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) - has not been involved in the supply chain.
Dangerous tools
By the time it hits the High Street, cocoa becomes increasingly hard to trace.
As it passes from farmer to buyer to wholesalers, exporters, importers and manufacturers, on the journey from cocoa pod to dried bean to chocolate bunny, it becomes more and more likely that the source of the bean will be lost.
Together, Ghana and Ivory Coast produce 60% of the world's cocoa. More than 10m people survive off the industry.
In a village in Ghana, Kenyon met 12-year-old Ouare Fatao Kwakou, who was sold to traffickers by his uncle and taken from neighbouring and impoverished Burkina Faso to work as a cocoa picker.

Ouare Fatao
Ouare Fatao was taken from Burkina Faso and sold as a cocoa picker
More than a year later, he had not been paid a penny for his work - the profits of his labour going instead to his new cocoa masters and to the uncle who sold him.
In the port city of San Pedro in Ivory Coast, Kenyon posed as a trader and sold on cocoa beans which had been produced by the worst forms of child labour.
It is at this point where the traceability of the cocoa ends and it can be sold on to major chocolate makers worldwide who cannot say how it was sourced.
The end buyer of Kenyon's child labour beans was one of the world's biggest exporters who in turn sells it on to several well known High Street names.
Panorama has seen documents which show that in September 2009, the Fairtrade cocoa co-operative in Ghana which supplies Cadbury and Divine, suspended seven out of 33 of their cocoa farming communities in one of its 52 major growing districts in the country after they were found to be using the worst forms of child labour.
The co-operative, Kuapa Kokoo, is supplied by 1,200 different cocoa communities, known as societies, that are made up of more than 45,000 farmers.
Following remedial action by Kuapa Kokoo, the Fairtrade suspension was lifted in early January. The co-operative said it is the only time that it has failed an audit of its farmers' practices with respect to child labour in 15 years as a Fairtrade supplier.
Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK, said the suspension of farming communities that are suspected of using child labour is evidence that the Fairtrade system is working.
It means that unlike other chocolate products, Fairtrade cocoa is traceable to the source farm and action can be taken when bad practices are uncovered, as happened in the case of Kuapa Kokoo.

cocoa beans drying in the sun
Cocoa beans are dried in the hot sun before being sold on to wholesalers
"We make sure in that case that absolutely we're not selling any cocoa on Fairtrade terms while we put in place the systems and structures to stop it happening again," she said of the recent seven suspensions.
In a statement to Panorama, Cadbury said it had not been supplied with any cocoa beans from any of the seven communities in question either before or during the suspension.
It said: "The fact that child labour issues were identified… is evidence the Fairtrade certification process is working."
No schooling
In Ivory Coast, Panorama met a farmer who relies on his eight-year-old brother and 11-year-old son to help harvest the cocoa that goes to the co-operative supplying Nestle as part of its recent Fairtrade initiative. In January, the company began selling Fairtrade four-finger Kit Kats in the UK.
Neither of the young boys goes to school and figures compiled by the US State Department show that they are among an estimated 100,000 Ivorian children put to work in the cocoa industry.
Although Nestle does buy from the cooperative that the farmer sells his crop to, the company said in a statement: "Panorama has been unable to provide us with any evidence whatsoever of child labour being used to produce cocoa beans purchased by Nestlé."
'Complete failure'
In America - the world's largest consumer of chocolate - US Congressman Eliot Engel proposed legislation nine years ago that would have required all chocolate sold in America to state on the label that it is slave-labour-free or child-slave-labour-free.
But in 2001, he agreed instead to an industry regulated six-point plan to put an end to child labour in the chocolate trade, with the threat of legislation looming should they fail to act.

Burkina Faso village
Impoverished villages in Burkina Faso are a source of child labour
"I didn't trust them at first, but once they came around I trusted them and you know the proof is in the pudding so to speak. If they became hostile or were dragging their feet, we could always resort to the legislation," he said of the United States' chocolate giants.
But lawyer Terry Collingsworth, who has acted against the chocolate industry, said the plan is a "complete failure" and it is time to enact the law that Mr Engel first floated nine years ago.
"Let's dust off that law, and if you mean what you say and you want to stop the use of child slaves producing products like cocoa, let's pass that law, and then we'll have something to work with so that we can successfully stop this crime."
A result of the partnership - a collaboration between Mr Engel, his colleague Senator Tom Harkin, and the US chocolate industry - was to establish a foundation to help end the worst forms of child labour in West Africa, known as the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).
Executive director Peter McAllister said the chocolate companies recognise that there is a problem and are doing their best to find a solution to the practice of using child labour, adding that human rights issues are "complex and challenging" for the companies involved.
"If there wasn't a problem we wouldn't be here so we acknowledge the problem," he said of the widespread practice of using children - a sensitive issue on the ground in West Africa - both politically and economically for the families that need the income from their children working.
Mr McAllister said that is why the ICI is working in 243 communities in West Africa and has already made sure that 16,000 children are in school.
Panorama - Chocolate: The Bitter Truth, BBC One, Wednesday, 24 March at 2100GMT and then, for UK audiences only, on the BBC iPlayer

other important links to see:



3. Which are the local companies in my own town & country that manufacture chocolate and how much of their work is independent of the foreign companies.

Now the important Question is are there any companies that make chocolate in India, and if so which are they and where do they sell them.

I know that home made chocolate is sold by many in small towns like ooty where one gets delightful ooty chocolates.

Size of the industry
The size of the market for chocolates in India was estimated at 30,000 tonnes in 2008.
Geographical distribution
Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore
Output per annum
Cadbury has over 70 %share in this market, and recorded a turnover of over US$ 37m in 2008.
Market Capitalization
The Indian candy market is currently valued at around $664 million, with about 70% share ($ 461 million) in sugar confectionery and the remaining 30% ($ 203 million) in chocolate confectionery.

The Indian Chocolate Industry has come a long way since long years. Ever since 1947 the Cadbury is in India, Cadbury chocolates have ruled the hearts of Indians with their fabulous taste. Indian Chocolate Industry?s Cadbury Company today employs nearly 2000 people across India. The company is one of the oldest and strongest players in the Indian confectionary industry with an estimated 68% value share and 62% volume share of the total chocolate market. It has exhibited continuously strong revenue growth of 34% and net profit growth of 24% throughout the 1990?s. The brand of Cadbury is known for its exceptional capabilities in product innovation, distribution and marketing. With brands like Dairy Milk, Gems, 5 Star, Bournvita, Perk, Celebrations, Bytes, Chocki, Delite and Temptations, there is a Cadbury offering to suit all occasions and moods.
Today, the company reaches millions of loyal customers through a distribution network of 5.5 lakhs outlets across the country and this number is increasing everyday. In 1946 the Cadbury?s manufacturing operations started in Mumbai, which was subsequently transferred to Thane. In 1964, Induri Farm at Talegaon, near Pune was set up with a view to promote modern methods as well as improve milk yield. In 1981-82, a new chocolate manufacturing unit was set up in the same location in Talegaon. The company, way back in 1964, pioneered cocoa farming in India to reduce dependence on imported cocoa beans. The parent company provided cocoa seeds and clonal materials free of cost for the first 8 years of operations. Cocoa farming is done in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In 1977, the company also took steps to promote higher production of milk by setting up a subsidiary Induri Farms Ltd., near Pune.
In 1989, the company set up a new plant at Malanpur, MP, to derive benefits available to the backward area. In 1995, Cadbury expanded Malanpur plant in a major way. The Malanpur plant has modernized facilities for Gems, Eclairs, and Perk etc. Cadbury operates as the third party operations at Phalton, Warana and Nashik in Maharashtra. These factories churn out close to 8,000 tonnes of chocolate annually.
In response to rising demand in the chocolate industry and reduce dependency on imports, Indian cocoa producers have planned to increase domestic cocoa production by 60% in the next four years. The Indian market is thought to be worth some 15bn rupee (?0.25bn) and has been hailed as offering great potential for Western chocolate manufacturers as the market is still in its early stages.
Chocolate consumption is gaining popularity in India due to increasing prosperity coupled with a shift in food habits, pushing up the country's cocoa imports. Firms across the country have announced plans to step-up domestic production from 10,000 tonnes to 16,000 tonnes, according to Reuters. To secure good quality raw material in the long term, private players like Cadbury India are encouraging cocoa cultivation, the news agency said. Cocoa requirement is growing around 15% annually and will reach about 30,000 tonnes in the next 5 years.

Brief Introduction
Indian Chocolate Industry
Indian Chocolate Industry as today is dominated by two companies, both multinationals. The market leader is Cadbury with a lion's share of 70%. The company's brands like Five Star, Gems, Eclairs, Perk, Dairy Milk are leaders in their segments. Untill early 90's, Cadbury had a market share of over 80 %, but its party was spoiled when Nestle appeared on the scene. The other one has introduced its international brands in the country (Kit Kat, Lions), and now commands approximately 15% market share. The two companies operating in the segment are Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) and Central Arecanut and Cocoa Manufactures and Processors Co-operation (CAMPCO). Competition in the segment will soonly get keener as overseas chocolate giants Hershey's and Mars consolidate to grab a bite of the Indian chocolate pie.
The UK based confectionery giant, Cadbury is a dominant player in the Indian chocolate market and the company expects the energy glucose variant of its popular Perk brand to be singularly responsible for adding five per cent annually to the size of the company?s market share.

Other Questions that come to mind:

5. Did the competition from these big companies end up killing the companies that did try to run independently in our own country? Which were these companies.?

6. Is there cocoa plantations that exist in india & what is the market like here?

7. What are the consequences that have resulted in regions affected by this kind of unfair trade due to the greed of these large companies to expand and profit their businesses?

8. Is India affected by the power of these countries to buy out cheap labour in developing and poor countries to further their prospects?

9. What happens to children after they are bought off as slaves on the cocoa farms? Do they have a life at all?

10. Is there a link between the rising problems in regions in & surrounding the ivory coast and the pirates at sea?

On a personal note:
This makes one thing clear and that the next time that i shop for goods, i will opt for indian home made chocolate. As an individual that is all i will be able to do to influence this trade in order for it to eliminate the unseen evils behind the manufacture and export of it.

There is a documentary that you can see about this : Chocolate The Bitter Truth Child Trafficking BBC Panorama Investigation


Another one if you can get it : 

The Dark Side of Chocolate - a film by Miki Mistrati og U. Roberto Romano

So, India doesn't really have any leading companies making chocolate and imports most of it from foreign countries.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

"Tell me of those who always live in Wisdom ..

Krishna And Arjuna
 ARJUNA: " Tell me of those who always live in wisdom, ever aware of the self  Oh Krishna; How do they talk, How sit, How move about?

KRISHNA: "They live in Wisdom, who see themselves in All and All in them, whose love for the lord of love has consumed every selfish desire & sense craving, tormenting the heart. Not agitated by grief, or hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear and anger.
Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they're not elated by good fortune or depressed by bad.
Such are the SEERS.

Even as a tortoise draws in its limbs, the wise draw in their senses at will.
Though aspirants abstain from sense pleasures, they will still crave for them. These cravings all disappear when they see the lord of Love.

For even those who tread the Path, the stormy senses can sweep off the mind, but they live in wisdom who subdue them, and keep their minds ever absorbed in me.

When you keep thinking of sense objects, Attachment comes. Attachment breeds Desire.
The lust of possessions which when thwarted, burns to Anger.
Anger clouds the Judgement; you can no longer learn from your past mistakes.
Lost is the power to choose between the wise and the unwise, and your life is utter waste.

But when you move amidst the World of sense, from both Attachment and Aversion Freed, there comes the peace in which 'All Sorrows' end and you live in the Wisdom of the self.

ARJUNA :  The Disunited Mind is far from wise, How can it meditate? How be at Peace?
When you know no peace, How can you Know joy?

When you let the mind heed the siren call of the senses, they will carry away your better judgement, as storms drive a boat off its safe - charted course to certain doom.

Use all your power to set the senses free from attachment & aversion alike.
And live in the Full Wisdom of the self.
Such a sage awakes to light in the night of all creatures.
That which the world calls day, is the night of ignorance to the wise.

As the rivers flow into the ocean, but cannot make the vast ocean overflow, so flow the magic streams of the sense - world, into the sea of peace that is the sage.

They are forever free who breakaway from the Ego - Cage of " I " , " Me", and " Mine",
to be united with the lord of love.
This is the supreme state. Attain to this and pass from death to Immortality.


The Bhagavadgita, or the Song of the Lord, is a dialogue between Krishna, (an incarnation of Vishnu), and his friend and disciple, Arjuna.The Bhagavadgita occurs just before the great battle of Mahabharata begins.This dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, is the Bhagavadgita