Monday, July 21, 2014


TO DEATH FOR 'ADULTERY' CHARGES Jihadists in the northern Syrian province of Raqa have accused a woman of adultery and stoned her to death, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday. It was the first "execution" of its kind by the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, which has proclaimed the establishment of an Islamic "caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq. "The Islamic State carried out its first sentence of death by stoning against a woman in Tabaqa, accusing her of adultery," said the Britain-based Observatory, referring to a town in Raqa province, most of which is under IS control.
An activist in the province confirmed the report, and said the stoning took place in a public square in the Tabaqa market area on Thursday evening. "This is the first time that this has happened here," added Abu Ibrahim.

"The situation is unbearable. Stoning is the worst punishment history has known. A quick death is more merciful," Salameh told AFP via the Internet, using a pseudonym for security reasons. "The woman's family did not know the sentence was going to be carried out at this time," said Salameh. He said residents are "terrified" of IS, but fear the consequences of reacting to its harsh methods. The IS first emerged in the Syrian conflict in late spring last year. 
Some Syrian rebels initially welcomed the jihadists, seeing them as potential allies in their war to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime. But the group's systematic abuses and quest for domination swiftly turned the mainstream opposition against it, and rebels have been battling IS fighters since January.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) executed another woman who was accused of adultery by stoning her to death in the northern Syrian province of Raqa. The stoning of the second woman was carried out "in a square near the Municipal Stadium, where the IS fighters threw her by stones to death after bringing a pickup full of stones because people refused to participate of stoning." ISIS first emerged in the Syrian conflict in late spring last year. The group has reportedly executed around 270 people after they seized a gas filed in Homs province on Thursday. "Every day we receive accounts of a terrible litany of human rights violations being committed in Iraq against ordinary Iraqi children, women and men, who have been deprived of their security, their livelihoods, their homes, education, healthcare and other basic services," said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. According to Amnesty International, death by stoning takes place with the convicted buried up to the chest, and stones are thrown at the head. The stones are large enough to cause enough pain, but not too large to kill right away. Actually, one can not understand how so wild method of capital punishment can still exist today. In some societies running away from an abusive husband or a forced marriage is considered a ‘moral crime,’ for which many women are now imprisoned.  Violence against women is a sign of something is very wrong in the society.  When in a society one loses respect, tenderness and gratitude for the mothers, society is condemned to degradation. All women are mothers; ill-treatment to them is great disrespect to the Consort and Shakti or Potency of the Lord. (Editor's note).

Persons who are attached to sinful activities generally become envious and violent toward other living entities. Committing violence is a heinous sin. It is everyone's duty to give up violence. Violence toward human beings is the gravest sin. ... Violence toward other living entities is the root of all sinful activities. ... There are three kinds of violence: violence toward human beings, violence toward animals, and violence toward demigods. Violence is born from hate. ... There are two types of cruelty, cruelty toward humans and cruelty toward animals. Cruelty toward men and women causes great disturbances in the world. When people practice cruelty toward one another, compassion leaves the world and irreligiousness in the form of cruelty become prominent. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5).

Śrīla Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thākura :
‘Violence Toward the Living Entities’
“Śrī Bhaktivinoda Vānī Vaibhava” - Vol 2. “Abhidheya”
Compiled by Śrīpad Sundarānanda Vidyāvinoda.

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Friday, May 23, 2014


DANGEROUS THAN YOU THOUGHT - Bad news for seafood lovers: fish isn't quite as healthy as we've been led to believe. If you eat fish regularly, chances are you're getting too much mercury and too few omega-3s. That's the conclusion of a report released months ago from the Environmental Working Group. While US Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to eat up to 12 ounces of a seafood (about three servings) a week, the EWG has discovered that this may be dangerously high for some people.
EWG’s analysis of mercury and omega-3 concentrations in seafood finds that 10 of the most popular seafoods in the American market would pose an unacceptable mercury risk to an average-weight pregnant woman who ate amount recommended by the government each week.

Since safe mercury levels are based on body weight, lighter women are at greater risk from mercury in seafood. And for folks eating fish because they're hoping to get their omega-3 fats, which have been shown to lower cardiac risks, and boost infant brain development, there's more grim news. 
The EWG concluded that many people won't benefit as much as they hope, because 8 of the 10 most popular types of seafood, including shrimp and catfish, rank low for healthy omega-3 fats. EWG investigated mercury contamination and beneficial omega-3 levels in seafood in order to identify species that offer the greatest health benefit and lowest mercury risk.

Fish has always been associated with a healthy diet. It’s low in calories and rich in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. However,  due to pollution and other environmental factors, some fish contain unhealthy amounts of mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), and parasites, eating fish is not so healthy as it was thought. Eating fish from the rivers and oceans is not safe ... but, what about the farm-bred fish?  There are many bad news for the one who loves eating farm-bred fish because they have also been found to have high concentrations of antibiotics and pesticides. In AnitaStayHealthy's blog, we read: "Farmed salmon may have at least 10 times the amount of cancer causing organic pollutants compared to the wild variety – This can most likely be attributed to the feeds that are used on farm raised fish. If you knew what went into the feeds of farm raised fish you would be horrified. Apparently, chicken feces is one of the main ingredients that go into farm fish feed. Not only that, the transfer of pig and duck waste to fish farms is also a very common practice." It has been demostrated that pesticides in our food supply can cause cancer and other health risks, yet pesticides are often covering all of the fruits and vegetables that we eat, unless we buy organic or grow our own, and it is also very well known that mercury in fish causes developmental problems in babies, and also heart, kidney and brain problems in adults. Therefore, we must adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and become aware of what we eat to protect our health and stop the unnecessary killing of animals and the innumerable sufferings to which our small brothers are subjected on farms where they are bred, which are real concentration camps, of torture, misery and martyrdom. (Editor's note).

Pure and wholesome vegetarian foods are what is needed for our own refinement, health, strength, and happiness; while other kinds of food cause pain, suffering and disease.  Furthermore, we can see that the process of preparing and eating food is also a part of the Vedic system for making spiritual advancement. As the Vedic literature explains, what we eat is an important factor in the process of purifying ourselves and remaining free from accumulating bad karma. It actually is not so difficult to be vegetarian, and it gives one a much higher taste in eating and in one’s spiritual realizations. The level of our consciousness is also determined not only by what we think and do, but also by the vibrational level of what we put into our bodies as food. The more natural and peaceful the food, the more healthy and peaceful will be our consciousness.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Vegetarianism: Recommended in Vedic Scripture”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Sunday, May 18, 2014


BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF GAUTAMA BUDDHA - Buddha Purnima, reverentially, the most important day for the followers of Buddhism, commemorates Lord Buddha's enlightenment in 588 B.C and also his attainment of the highest of spiritual goals, 'Nirvana' in Bodh Gaya and 'Parinirvana' (or "final cessation") in Kushinagara. Alternatively called Buddha Jayanti,  (it was on Wednesday 14 May) or the day which consecratesthis day consecrates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. As the name itself suggests, Buddha Purnima is observed on a bright full moon in the Vaisakha month (April/May), a time especially suited for introspection, charity and puja. 
Historically, the importance of Buddha Purnima goes back to the era of Chinese scholarship where the day is mentioned in the works of the Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien. Buddha Purnima is known by different names in different countries. As per the native tongue of different countries, Nepal observes 'Swanyapunhi', Singapore upholds Lord Buddha's teachings on 'Vesak Day', Indonesia celebrates 'Hari Waisak', while Thailand commemorates this day as 'Visakha Bucha Day'.

Buddha Jayanti is celebrated across south-east Asian countries that have a recognizable Buddhist population. Countries that observe Buddha Purnima include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Korea, China, Cambodia, and Japan. Buddhists observe Buddha Purnima with great calmness and contemplation, reflecting on the moral precepts laid down by Lord Buddha, ruminating on the events of his exemplary life, visiting monasteries and listening to sermons and narratives/verses from Buddhist scriptures, offering food and donation to the monks and paying homage to the statue of Buddha by offering incense, flowers, candles, and fruits. Special religious programmes including 'bhajan' and 'aarti' are held.
As a part of rituals, devotees pour milk and scented waters on the Bodhi tree and place diyas around it. The most important and visual aspect of Buddha Purnima celebrations is the procession in Bodh Gaya that starts from the 80-ft tall Buddha statue up to the Mahabodhi tree, the fig tree, representative of Lord Buddha's Enlightenment. The Mahabodhi tree is worshipped in a ritualistic way with water, incense, flowers, diyas and candles.

Buddha Purnima during Vaishakha month is celebrated as birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha. Buddha Purnima is also known as Buddha Jayanti, Vesak, Vaishaka and Buddha’s Birthday, and this year it was celebrated on May 14. Gautama Buddha, whose birth name was Siddhartha Gautama, was a spiritual teacher on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. Most people consider Lumbini, Nepal as birth place of Buddha. Buddha died at the age of 80 at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important pilgrimage site related to the life of Gautama Buddha. The other three important pilgrimage sites are Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. It is believed that Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment at Bodhagaya and he first taught the Dharma at Sarnath. It is believed that Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment and passed away on the same day. The holy Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, which is the main shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha sees hordes of followers descending on the site on this day. Sarnath, near Varanasi, where the Buddha preached his first sermon is another important site for Buddha Purnima celebrations. In Orissa, Dhauligiri is a Buddhist site known for Buddha Purnima celebrations. Followers from Thailand, Tibet, Bhutan and various other places visit Sarnath on this day for blessings. As a symbolic gesture, on Buddha Purnima, Buddhists in India and other Buddhist countries make special efforts to light up their houses while streets are gloriously illumined with lights. Technically Lord Buddha’s philosophy is called atheistic because there is no acceptance of the Supreme Lord and because that system of philosophy denied the authority of the Vedas. But our spiritual masters have taught us that it was an act of camouflage by the Lord. Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Godhead. As such, he is the original propounder of Vedic knowledge. He therefore cannot reject Vedic philosophy. But he rejected it outwardly because before the advent of Lord Buddha the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures claimed that the killing of animals was indicated in the Vedas, and thus they justified the slaughter of animals. Therefore Lord Buddha wanted to stop firstly the habit of killing animals and consequently he superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. Lord Buddha adopted this rejection of the Vedas in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process. (Editor's note).

Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gayā (Bihar) as the son of Añjanā, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal-killing. Less intelligent men of the Age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda : 
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāna)
Canto 1: Creation 
Chapter 3: Krishna Is the Source of All Incarnations
Verse 24 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


TUESDAY, 13th May 2014
APPEARANCE DAY OF LORD NRSIMHADEVA Narasimha Jayanti celebrates the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha (half man – half lion) to save Prahlad from demon Hiranyakasipu. Narasimha is the fourth of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to Puranas, Lord Vishnu appeared as Narasimha on the Chaturdashi day in the month of Vaishakh.
Narasimha Story: Demon Hiranyakasipu had obtained a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed by man or beast, by day or by night and from inside or outside. And also he could not be killed by any weapon. After receiving such a powerful boon, Hiranyakasipu conquered heaven and earth and declared himself as God and asked people to worship him and not Vishnu. But Hiranyakasipu’s son, Prahlāda, was a staunch Vishnu devotee and disobeyed his father. The whole kingdom worshipped Hiranyakasipu; but in his own house his son worshipped Vishnu. Father tried all means to change his son, but he failed miserably. He then tried to kill but each time the young boy escaped from the clutches of death with the blessings of Vishnu. Fed up with his son, one day Hiranyakasipu challenged Prahlada and, looking to a stone pillar, asked, ‘If your god is omnipresent, is he in this pillar also?’

Prahlad answered, ‘HE is present in the pillar and even in the rust.’ Hearing this Hiranyakasipu slashed hard on the pillar with a sword. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu emerged from the pillar in the form of a Narasimha and slew the demon at dusk. Narasimha killed the demon by keeping him in his lap and tearing his heart with bare hands thus overcoming all the boons the demon had attained from Brahma. 
What to do on Narasimha Jayanti Day?: Devotees fast on Narasimha Jayanthi day and visit Lord Vishnu temples. Fasting is from sunrise to next day sunrise. Those opting for partial fast can consume milk, fruits and food items not made using rice and grains. Prayers dedicated to Narasimha are chanted on the day. The best prayer is to read about the avatar of Narasimha in the Bhagavad Purana. People also give alms on the day and perform Annadhanam (donate food to poor). Donating food to poor children is highly meritorious on the day. It is believed that those people who observe Narasimha Jayanti vratam will reach the ‘Vaikunta’ – abode of Vishnu. 

Today, 13 May, Hindus in India and all over the world celebrate Narasimha Jayanti with a lot of excitement. According to Hindu calendar, Narasimha Jayanti is celebrated on the day of Vaishakh Shukla Paksha’s Chaturdashi. Lord Narasimha has always been related to power and victory. According to beliefs and religious texts, Lord Narasimha was the 4th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On Narasimha Jayanti day Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narasimha, a half lion and half man, to kill Demon Hiranyakashipu and to establish dharma in this world. The rules and guidelines to observer Narasimha Jayanti fasting are similar to those of Ekadashi fasting. Devotees eat only single meal one day before Narasimha Jayanti. All type of grains and cereals are prohibited during Narasimha Jayanti fasting. Parana, which means breaking the fast, is done next day at an appropriate time. On Narasimha Jayanti day devotees take Sankalp (vows, resolutions) during Madhyana (Hindu afternoon period) and perform Lord Narasimha Pujan during Sanyakal (between dusk and light out) before sunset. Our spiritual masters have taught us that the Narasimha Kavacha - told by Prahlada himself - is a powerful prayer for protection against dangers of the mind, body, nature and other living beings. In this wonderful story, we learn about the importance of always depend on Krsna, and be surrendered to his will, as it did Prahlada Maharaja. When the Lord Narasimhadeva appears from the pillar to annihilate Hiranyakasipu, we can recognize the great truth in the words of Sri Krishna when he says: "For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me."(BG 6:30). Lord Narasimha is the giver of pleasure to the heart of Prahlada Maharaja, and the One who - due to his great compassion - removes all obstacles on the path of devotional service. I pray to Him to be completely surrendered to the service of our Guru parampara. (Editor's note).

“Father, He is everywhere,” said Prahlada.
“Then why do I not see Him in this pillar?” retorted Hiranyakasipu.
“I see Him even in this pillar,” replied Prahlada.
The very powerful Hiranyakasipu condemned Prahlada with extreme anger and harsh words. “May your Lord save you!” Saying these words, he picked up his sword, rose from his throne and violently struck the pillar with his fist. As the pillar was struck, it emitted a terrible sound as if the whole universe was being shattered. Brahma and the other demigods were afraid of this unique, terrifying sound and Hiranyakasipu himself began to search out its source. Then, in order to prove correct the words of both his devotee Prahlada and Lord Brahma, the Supreme Lord appeared in a wonderful half-human and half-lion form called Nrisimha. Even though the Lord appeared before his very eyes, Hiranyakasipu still could not understand Him as the Lord; he saw Him as a strange creature. Without pure devotional eyes, one cannot see the Lord.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Dasavatara - The Ten Manifestations of God”
Chapter 4: “Sri Nrisimha-avatara”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Friday, May 9, 2014


DAY OF SRIMATI SITA DEVI On 8th May is a very important day in the Hindu calendar and on this day the 9th day of the bright moon in Vaisakha Month falls Sita Navami--the day when the Mother Earth (Dharti Ma) gave birth to Srimati Sita-devi.
We all celebrate Raam Navami (the birthday / appearance day of Shree Raam) in such great pomp and splendor yet this day of His wife goes by unrecognized. In my humble opinion I think that this day is as important or maybe even more important than Raam Navami.
One cannot go to the father without getting the blessings of the mother and in the same way we seek the divine blessings of Mother Sita to take us to Shree Raam. Without Mother Sita Lord Raam is incomplete and vice versa.

King Janaka in the Ramayana explains: "One day, when I was ploughing the fields, I found Her under the ploughshare and gave her the name Sita. Thus after emerging from the earth itself, She has grown up in my care."
Thus was born the most famous Devi in history.
The katha (narration) of Her birth, marriage, exile, abduction, (in) famous agni-pariksha (fire ordeal), and banishment is not only known and loved in Bharat (India), but throughout South and Southeast Asia and, indeed, in much of the rest of the world as well. 
Whether conveyed through music and mime, poetry, popular folk tales, dramatic performances, video, comic books, epic narrations, the katha of Sita has captured the hearts of billions of people. To this day She is India's most favourite Devi. Jai Shreeeee Sita-devi.

Yesterday, Hindus all over the world celebrated Sita-navami, the appearance day of Srimati Sitadevi, the eternal consort of Lord Ramacandra. This year Sitanavami falls on 08 May. Normally, devotees fast till noon and the devotional program usually includes Shobha yatra with Deities of Sri Sri Sita Rama. Srimati Sita Devi is the daughter of the Earth goddess, Bhumi Devi, and central figure of the Ramayana. In Maharishi Valmiki's own words, Ramayana is known as the noble story of Sita "Sita-ayah  Charitam Mahat". Her glories are sun by the poet-saint Thyagaraja in his "Sri Janakatayane", "Oh daughter of Janaka, the blessed souls of refugees!  Oh Consort of Sri Raghu Rama, bedecked with shining gem-ornaments! Pray, protect me always! You are the wind that destroys the clouds of demons like the hundreds-headed Ravana; You are the indweller in the hearts of the devotees; Your Feet shine with the lustre of gems set in the crown of Indra." Also, in the "Shri Ramashtakam" written by Shrila Murari Gupta, we read: "In Her upraised hand Sita Devi holds a thousand-petalled lotus flower, and Her five graceful fingers make it appear that the flower's hundred petals are covered by another five petals. I forever worship Rama, best of the Raghu dynasty, by whose side forever remains this Sita, whose radiance is like molten gold." Our spiritual masters have taught us that we should follow lots of teachings that Mother Sita Devi has given us. One is to be firmly attached to our bhajan and remains always bound to our Lord. When Rama's exile pastime came, Rama proceeded to Sita and asked her to stay behind, but Sita begged, "Have pity on me. A wife's position is always beside her husband. Don't leave me behind. I'll die without you." At last Rama permitted Sita to follow him. So, in this auspicious day, we pray to Mother Sita's for Her divine blessing in keeping strong our faith and reviving our desires to serve our Guru and the Vaishnavas. (Editor's note).

Srimati Sita Devi is an eternal consort of Lord Ramachandra. She is known to be the daughter of Bhumidevi, the goddess of earth. In Treta-yuga, she appeared to King Janaka in Mithila while he was ploughing the earth. She was later married to Lord Ramachandra and joined him when he was banished to the Dandakarnaya forest. Despite being kidnapped by the demon King Ravana, she remained faithful to Lord Rama, who eventually killed Ravana. She had two illustrious sons Luv and Kush. She is addressed by several names such as Maithili (princess of Mithila), Janaki (daughter of Janaka), Rama (wife of Lord Ram), etc. She is a central figure in the Ramayana and an embodiment of qualities such as chastity, forgiveness, self discipline, simplicity and gratitude. Srimati Sita Devi is also the manifestation of the goddess of fortune. On her auspicious appearance day, devotees can aspire for Their Lordships Sita Rama to bestow sincere devotional service and qualities upon them.

"Srimati Sita Devi Appearance Day"
Sri Sri Radharasabihari Temple

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Saturday, May 3, 2014


AKSHAYA TRITIYA, 2014 - Two days ago, on 1st May, Thursday, Parshuram Jayanti was celebrated throughout India. Lord Parshuram was born on Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya which is why this day is celebrated as Lord Parshuram Jayanti. Parshuram is known to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was the son of Raja Prasenjit’s daughter Renuka and Bhrigu dynasty’s Jamdagni. Parshuram was devoted to Lord Shiva. 
The day of his birth is celebrated as Parshuram Jayanti all over India with a lot of zeal and excitement. A Parshuram Shobha Yatra is organized on this day along with other Havans, Pujas, Bhandaras, etc. Originally, his name was Ram. But, he came to be known as Parshuram because of the mystical weapon called Parshu which as given to him by Lord Shiva. Parshuram is believed to be Lord Vishnu’s sixth incarnation.

Observing fasts and other religious works have been the trademarks of this day for centuries. According to beliefs, he defeated Kshatriyas a number of times. He was born to free the world of Kshatriyas’ pride. Parshuram was taught by Dronacharya. He was the fifth son of Jamdagni and Renuka. He had four elder brothers : Rumanvant, Sushen, Vishwa and Vishwavasu. 
Parshuram has immense knowledge and was a great warrior. He wanted to live for the benefit of mankind. Parshuram had immense energy and was a great human being. Parshuram always helped the ones in need and was just in every decision he took. 
The day of Parshuram’s birth, i.e, Akshaya Tritiya is important in its own way. This day is considered to be auspicious, therefore any auspicious work done on this day gives fruitful results.

Parashurama Jayanti is celebrated as birth anniversary of sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Parasurama Jayanti usually falls on the same day as Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. The purpose of this sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is to relieve the Earth's burden by exterminating the sinful, destructive and irreligious monarchs that pillaged its resources and neglected their duties as kings. Parasurama, also known as the "axe-wielding Rama," was born into a Brahmin or priestly family but had the immense physical power and killer instinct than a Kshatriya or the warrior class. Subhamoy Das, who writes in " Hinduism", explains that the birthday of Parasurama or "Parasurama Jayanti" is an important festival for the Brahmins or the priest caste of the Hindus as he was born a Brahmin. On this day, people worship Parasurama and observe a ritual fast in his honor. Srila Prabhupada has taught us that the ksatriyas, or the ruling class, must govern the world in accordance with the rules and regulations enacted by great brāhmanas and saintly persons. If the government is not guided by conscious men of God in the people's unhappiness. As soon as the ruling class becomes irresponsible in regard to the religious principles, it becomes a burden on the earth; and as in previous eras the ruling class, who was degraded to the modes of passion and ignorance, was killed twenty-one consecutive times by the brāhmanas, headed by Paraśurāma, similarly, the Supreme Lord arbitrate the means to remove the pride and vanity of evil rulers and protect His devotees. (Editor's note).

Lord Parasurama is the sixth avatara of the Dasavatara. Of the twenty-five lila-avataras, Bhargava Parasurama is the nineteenth. In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 20.246 Anubhashya commentary of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Parasurama has been enumerated as one of the saktyavesa-avataras (a descent of the Lord’s extraordinary power). Parasurama is the manifested form of the power to suppress miscreants. ... The character and activities of Parasurama have been described in the Santi and Vana Parvas of the Mahabharata. … (and) in the Vishnu, Matsya and Kalika Puranas as well as Sahyadrikhanda. ... In the Bhakti-ratnakara of Sri Narahari Chakravarti Thakura, Parasurama’s residence is mentioned as being in Kamyakavana (one of the twelve forests of Vraja-mandala). It also mentions that Mahaprabhu set His lotus feet at the birthplace of Parasurama in Renuka village at Agravana, just before His arrival at Gokula (Vraja-mandala), during his travelling from Prayag.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Dasavatara - The Ten Manifestations of God”
Chapter 6: “Sri Parasurama-avatara”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EASTER 2014!

OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - On Easter Sunday, Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of their Lord, Jesus Christ. The account of Jesus' rising from death was recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament. Prior to his crucifixion, Jesus had told his disciples that he would rise again on the third day after his death. He had been buried in a tomb, guarded by an enormous stone so that no one could steal the body. 
When some women visited the grave, days after his death, they found that the stone had been moved and the tomb was empty. Jesus was seen that day and for several days later, when he revisited his friends and disciples. One disciple did not believe Jesus was alive again until he touched his fatal wounds from the crucifixion.

In the following 40 days, hundreds of people witnessed Jesus' return from death, proving all he had prophesied was true – that Christ had indeed risen from the dead before ascending to heaven. For Christians, the fact the Jesus rose from death demonstrated He has power over death, and only through Him can people have hope for eternal life. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). 
With his resurrection Jesus broke the power of death and gave a hope permanent to all mankind. Following the sombre mood of Good Friday which marks the crucifixion of Christ, Easter Sunday is therefore a time of great celebration for Christians.

Today (April 20) the Christian community around the world is all set to celebrate Easter. Easter Sunday is typically the most well attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches as the Christian community holds prayers and special ceremonies to mark the Easter week. The Friday before Easter Sunday is observed as a mourning day due to Jesus died on Good Friday while Easter Sunday is celebrated as ‘the day when Jesus resurrected.’ Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.  His resurrection is celebrated today, Easter Sunday (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday). Just as the birth of Christ is at the center of Christmas, the story of his death and resurrection is at the core of Easter Sunday or Resurrection Day. For Christians, Easter is the greatest manifestation of God’s love that gives hope amid the evils of the world. Also for the Jews is a day to celebrate because Passover marks the passage of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt.  We should remember that Lord Jesus preached the love of God, forgiveness and compassion; however, He was tried and crucified without mercy. He preached the consciousness of God, therefore He is our spiritual master, He is our Guru. For those who are not Jews, nor Christians, nor believe in the stories that tell the life and death of Jesus, this is also an auspicious time to perform introspection and evaluation of their daily actions, so it would be nice if we transform all our existence so that not only today, but all our days become a continuous Easter Sunday or Resurrection to a new spiritual life in harmony with God and our brothers and sisters. (Editor's note).

The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titiksā (tolerance) and karunā (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified, he didn't condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him. (Of course, they could not actually kill him. But they were thinking that he could be killed, so they were committing a great offense.) As Christ was being crucified he prayed, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing”. A Vaisnava is unhappy to see the suffering of others. Therefore, Lord Jesus Christ agreed to be crucified - to free others from their suffering.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“The Science of Self Realization”
Chapter IV “Understanding Krishna and Christ”
“Krishna, Christos, Christ”
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Vatican City (CNN) - The washing of feet was a radical act in Jesus' time. It is no less radical in the modern era, with Pope Francis' decision to break with the long-standing papal tradition of washing only priests' feet, to include women and non-Christians in the symbolic ceremony. The controversy began on Holy Thursday last year when Pope Francis washed the feet of two women and two Muslims at a juvenile detention center in Rome. 
Before this, modern Popes had only ever washed the feet of 12 priests at the Vatican, during the Mass for the Last Supper. This year, Pope Francis visited a home for the elderly and disabled, the Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, to wash the feet of "12 disabled people of different ages, ethnicities and religious confessions," during a special Lord's Supper Mass, according to the Vatican.

Those chosen for the special honor included a 16-year-old boy from Cape Verde who was paralyzed in a diving accident last year, a 19-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and two 86-year-olds with mobility problems. The 78-year-old pope smiled at each of the people whose feet he washed, but clearly struggled to get up from his knees as he moved down the line; two assistants helped him to his feet. He appeared to tire towards the end of the short ceremony. 
The tradition of the pontiff washing his priests' feet is based on a passage of the Bible which says that Jesus attended to his disciples at the Last Supper, saying, "If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." (John 13:15) But until last year, no pope had dared to go against Vatican rules and choose anyone but priests for the Holy Thursday event. In choosing to change the practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.

Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people during a Holy Thursday ritual in Rome on Thursday. Francis continues to break with tradition by performing the pre-Easter ritual on non-Catholics. According to Vatican leaders, Francis' gesture was one of humility and service, intended to embrace those on the fringes of society. From the beginning of his papacy, the pope himself has been on the "fringes" of long-standing Vatican protocol, for example by choosing to live outside of the papal palace and eschewing traditional papal garments and modes of transport. In breaking the rules of foot-washing at the Vatican, the Pope is acknowledging what has been a practice in local churches for some time, and also reminding Catholics that the important thing is not whose foot is being washed, but the spirit behind that gesture. The congregation of the Roman Curia, named Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship, states that foot-washing “represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.'” We try to follow the steps of our spiritual teachers, despite all our weaknesses and imperfections, and thus, we celebrate this concept and agree with Pope Fracis who has said, “Jesus made a gesture, a job, the service of a slave, a servant. And he leaves this inheritance to us: We need to be servants to one another.” This is what Srila Prabhupada taught us that the Vaishnava is a server that is always ready to provide a service to the Lord and, in the same way, the Lord is always looking for an opportunity to render some service to His devotee. We must overcome the selfishness that is based on ignorance and to seek spiritual enlightenment that allows us to change ourselves, and go step by step developing the qualifications to be eligible to engage in the loving devotional service of the servants of the servants of the loving devotees who are eternally engaged in serving the Supreme Lord. (Editor's note).

Unless we cleanse the pollutions, the artificial impositions that are upon our mind we can’t understand our natural state of health. So the purpose of human life according to the great acharyas, according to the great scriptures is to clean the mind, to make it pure. ... Because think about it, is happiness something outside of yourself, is happiness something you can put in yourself? Real happiness is a state of consciousness. ... Every religious system every religious path that is actually authorized teaches how to clean your heart, how to purify your mind, how to see your true eternal self in the mirror of your consciousness. First thing is we have to stop throwing dirt in our mind by our activities. We should live according to ethical, moral principles. We should live in a spirit of service to others rather than exploitation of others.

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

Sunday, April 6, 2014


CELEBRATIONS ON APRIL 8 Ram Navami is one of the most significant days observed by the Hindus, especially the followers of Vishnu. Ram Navami is the day etched out in the Hindu calendar as the auspicious occasion that consecrates the birth of Lord Ram, Lord Vishnu's seventh human incarnation on earth. Born to King Dasarath and his wife Kaushalya on the 'navami' or the 'ninth day' of Chaitra month, Ram Navami is celebrated in the spirit of a festival in March/April. 
According to Hindu belief, Lord Rama came on earth invested with the divine qualities of Lord Vishnu, associated with purity of soul, beneficence and humility. From the mythological perspective, Lord Rama is seen as eternally blissful and in his earthly form came to exemplify the perfect man, referred to as 'Maryada Purushottam'. It is this aspect that is recalled during the Ram Navami festival.

Lord Rama's dutifulness, integrity and magnanimity are detailed out through the various episodes of the epic 'Ramayana'. Recitations and discourses from the Ramayana help us to take cues from Lord Rama's demonstration of integrity and courage in order to triumph over evil motives and selfish desires. Thus, Ram Navami festival is for all those who want to imbibe these qualities in thought and action. 
It is with this spirit that Ram Navami is celebrated in all parts of the country, with instances of full nine-day celebration and fasting rituals to seek Lord Rama's grace throughout the crest and troughs of life. Since the day coincides with the wedding of Rama and Sita, the mood on this day is extremely jubilant. In Andhra Pradesh, temples re-enact the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita on the final day of Ram Navami. 

This year 2014, Sri Ram Navami falls on 8th April and it is celebrated with elaborate preparation and fervor. The rituals in the observance of Ram Navami include recitations from 'Ramayana' or Tulsidas's 'Ramacharitmanas', long renditions of bhajans and kirtans and awe-inspiring puja and arti. The bhajans are very uplifting as they eulogize the virtues of Lord Rama, Lakshman, Sita, and Hanuman. Hanuman is known for is his devotion to Rama, and a lot of devotees recite 'Sunderkand' that strengthen qualities of courage and dedication. Ayodhya, Lord Rama's holy birth place witnesses a huge congregation of devotees who come to take a holy dip in river Saryu on the pious occasion of Ram Navami. In South India, the Ram Navami festival carries on for nine days consisting of several elements of ceremony and rituals. In Rishikesh, which is an important seat of Ram worship, special prayers dedicated to Lord Rama, japas and constant chantings invoking Lord Rama's name is a common practice. Mantras like 'Om Sri Ram', 'Jai Sri Ram' raise the higher energies around the place. Our spiritual teachers have taught us that if we hear about the life of Ramachandra, His activities and pastimes, we will be associating directly with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for there is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes, and Himself. With his exemplary behavior, Lord Rama achieved unity in thought, word and deed, for that reason, far from celebrating Ramanavami as a mere celebration, this occasion is an invitation to elevate our emotions, our feelings and our understanding of spiritual contemplation and self-control, with which we come into harmony with the forces of the world. (Editor's note).

Dasharatha was the king of Kosala, an ancient kingdom that was located in present day Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya was its capital.  The childless Dasharatha was advised by his family priest Vashishtha to perform a fire sacrifice ceremony to seek the blessings of God for children.  While performing the fire worship ceremony, a majestic figure rose from the sacrificial fire and handed to Dasharatha a bowl of rice pudding, saying, “God is pleased with you and has asked you to distribute this rice pudding (payasa) to your wives - they will soon bear your children.”  The king received the gift joyfully and distributed the payasa to his three queens, Kausalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. Kausalya, the eldest queen, gave birth to the eldest son Rama.  Bharata, the second son was born to Kaikeyi and Sumitra gave birth to the twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna.  Rama’s birthday is celebrated now as “Ramanavami”.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“The Ramayana Summarized”  -

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

Friday, April 4, 2014


FESTIVAL CELEBRATING THE GODDESS Hindus are observing the holy period of Navratri, through worship and devotion. Navratri is a nine-day observance which has began last Monday (March 31) and will continue until April 8. Known as Chaitra Navratri this period starts on the first day of Chaitra (March April) month and ends on Rama Navami (the birth of Lord Rama) which is the ninth day of the month.
Navratri is one of the most prominent festivals of Hinduism. The first three nights are dedicated to the goddess of action and energy, Durga. Her different manifestations of Kumari, Parvati and Kali are worshipped during these days. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped for the next three days in her various aspects as the goddesses of peace, plenty and bliss. Fulfillment is more important than wealth itself. As the goddess of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi bestows wealth, success and fame and fortune to her worshippers and devotees.

On Lalita Panchami (the fifth day), children gather all the books in the house before a sacred lamp and invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. It is also the occasion for all artisans to lay down their tools before the goddess and seek her benediction upon their trade. Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge. The religious Navratri festival revolves around the three aspects of Goddess Shakti which are worshiped, with first three days devoted to Goddess Durga, followed by fourth, fifth and sixth days devoted to Goddess Lakshmi and last three days for Goddess Saraswati. 
The devotees observe fasting for seven to eight days, and break their fast on the eighth day (Ashtami) or ninth day (Navami) of the festival, by carrying out “Kanya Pujan” or “Kanchika Pujan”. This involves worshipping and seeking blessings of nine young girls, representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga.

Since last Monday, 31 March, festive fervour has gripped India as thousands of Hindus began the nine-day fasting festival 'Navratri' (nine nights). During fasting, only fruits, milk, potato and other root vegetables should be eaten. Devotees are involved in chanting of mantras (Hindi words), and (bhajans) related to the Goddesses. All along this week, all-day services take place at temples throughout the country, with devotees making offerings throughout the day. This Hindu festival culminates with Ram Navami (this year falls on April 8); it is the ninth day of the moonlit fortnight in the Chaitra as per Hindu almanac, which usually coincides with the spring season and falls in the month of March or April. Vasant signifying spring and Navratri signifying nine nights; Vasant Navratri is celebrated in the spring season of March or April of each year for exactly nine nights. It is observed by Hindu’s and all other devotees all over the world. Vasant Navratri involves several days of fasting (performed by all the true devotees) and is dedicated to celebrating the nine forms of the mother goddess, Shakti and the birth of Sri Rama. The ninth day is also the day of the Ayudha Puja in the south of India. The Ayudha Puja is worship of whatever instruments one may use in one's livelihood. On the proceeding evening, it is traditional to place these instruments on an altar to the Divine. Our spiritual masters have taught us that we should make conscious efforts to see the Divine in the tools, instruments and objects we use every day. By doing this we are connecting our work, labor, study or profession to God and we can see them as imbued with the Divine presence. In this way we can be able to maintain constant remembrance of the Divine and also see our daily activities as an offering to the Supreme Lord. (Editor's note).

Navaratri includes the Sarasvati Puja and the Durga Puja festivals. “Nava” means nine and “ratri” means night. So Navaratri literally means nine nights. It is during these nine nights of festivities that the goddess is worshiped in Her different forms of Durga, Lakshmi and then Sarasvati. Durga ... destroys the anarthas or unwanted barriers that hold us back from our true spiritual potential. (...) Lakshmi .... gives one the wealth of good qualities, such as love, goodness, compassion, forgiveness, cooperation, nonviolence, devotion, purity, and the like. (...) Sarasvati ... gives one the intelligence, knowledge and wisdom by which spiritual realization is possible. ... After having removed our impurities, gained the proper virtues, and then acquired the knowledge of the Self, then the last day is called Vijayadasami, or the day of victory over our minds and the lower dimension after having worshiped the goddess in her three forms.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Hindu Festivals”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”