Monday, August 31, 2009

DALAI LAMA BEGINS TAIWAN VISIT

EXILED SPIRITUAL LEADER DALAI LAMA MOLLIFIES CHINA
OVER 'PURELY HUMANITARIAN' TAIWAN TRIP
Pekín, Taipei (ANSA, AFP) The Dalai Lama has arrived in Taiwan on a visit that has been denounced by China as being likely to destabalise improving ties with Taipei. The Dalai Lama began the first full day of his controversial trip to Taiwan with words to mollify China, saying his mission to comfort victims of one of the deadliest storms to hit the island was entirely humanitarian. The Tibetan Buddhist leader landed at Taoyuan International Airport on Monday for what he called a "purely humanitarian" trip aimed at comforting victims of Typhoon Morakot. This Taiwan's worst storm, struck the island in early August killing about 670 people, many from Buddhist communities.

Over the past 12 years, the Dalai Lama has made three visits to the island which is home to a large exiled Tibetan community and millions of Buddhists.
He has been exiled from Tibet for more than half a century following China's invasion of the then-state and labelled a separatist by Beijing, for promoting initially independence and now autonomy for the region. However, he said that there was no political impetus behind the five-day visit to self-governing Taiwan, which China claims is part of its territory. The Dalai Lama himself is clearly keen to avoid stirring China’s anger. He said at the airport: "I'm a monk. I was asked to say prayers for peace. There is no politics. This is humanitarian in nature." His main mission today was to lead prayers at the site of a giant mudslide that buried the remote mountain village of Hsiaolin after Typhoon Morakot slammed into the island this month. Many of the 670 dead were residents of Hsiaolin. The 1988 Nobel Peace Prize winner said: “We are not seeking separation for Taiwan, but the fate of Taiwan depends on the more than 20 million people. You are enjoying democracy and that you must preserve. I myself am totally dedicated to the promotion of democracy."

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
It is clear therefore that a person who is not well versed in the Vedic injunctions (veda-śāstra-vit) should not run for election as president, governor, etc. Formerly kings were rājarsis, which meant that although they were serving as kings, they were as good as saintly persons because they would not transgress any of the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures and would rule under the direction of great saintly persons and brāhmaṇas. According to this arrangement, modern presidents, governors and chief executive officers are all unworthy of their posts because they are not conversant with Vedic administrative knowledge and they do not take direction from great saintly persons and brāhmanas.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 4 - Chapter 22 - Verse 45"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

GETTING CLOSE TO MARILYN MONROE COSTS $4.6 MILLION

MARILYN MONROE THE STAR OF THE CEMETERY.
A CEMETERY SPACE ABOVE HER SOLD ONLINE FOR $4.6 MILLION
LOS ANGELES (AFP) Marilyn Monroe, who has been dead 47 years, still has such cachet that the crypt above her tomb has fetched $US4.6 million. Men said that spending eternity directly above her isn’t priceless, but it’s worth more than $4.6 million. That was the winning bid when an online auction ended Monday for the crypt directly above Monroe at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles. The crypt is occupied by former Beverly Hills resident Richard Poncher, who was actually interred face-down. But his widow, Elsie, put the spot up for bid on eBay in hopes of paying off a $1.6 million mortgage. She told the Los Angeles Times she wanted to leave the property to her children “free and clear.” Richard Poncher, a businessman, who owned several companies, died 23 years ago aged 81. Richard had bought the crypt from New York Yankee great Joe DiMaggio when he was in the middle of his divorce from the blonde sex symbol in 1954.

Online bidding began at $500,000 but ended at $4,602,100. The winning bidder was unknown. According to eBay, there were 21 bids. “Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Monroe,” read the online auction description. The eBay.com listing says the space at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery above Monroe is being vacated, making room for someone else. The listing also offers the detail that the current occupant is "looking face down on" Monroe. Monroe was laid to rest at the cemetery in 1962. Other notables buried at the cemetery include Natalie Wood, Donna Reed, Dean Martin, Walter Matthau, Bob Crane, Jim Backus, Jack Lemmon, Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Wilder and George C. Scott.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The material body, which is subject to birth and death, diseases and old age, is the cause of all sufferings of the living being, otherwise the living being is eternal; he is never born, nor does he ever die. Foolish persons forget this problem.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 13 - Verse 17"

The misunderstanding of the conditioned soul is the bodily conception of life. The body is material, but within the body is the soul. This is spiritual understanding. Unfortunately, one who is in ignorance, under the spell of material illusion, accepts the body to be the self. He cannot understand that the body is matter. ... "As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." (Bg. 2.13) We are not the body; we are spiritual beings trapped in the body. Our real interest lies in understanding this simple fact. Then we can make further spiritual progress. Otherwise, if we remain in the bodily conception of life, our miserable material existence will continue forever.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 15 - Verse 3"

HOPELESSNESS RAISES STROKE RISKS FOR WOMEN: STUDY

'HOPELESS' WOMEN AT RISK OF STROKE: STUDY
STROKE STRIKES CHRONICALLY HOPELESS WOMEN HARDEST
CHICAGO (Reuters) – For women, feelings of hopelessness are not just unfortunate, they are a stroke risk, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. They said otherwise healthy women who are chronically hopeless are more likely to have a buildup of plaque in their neck arteries that can trigger a stroke. "These findings suggest that women who experience feelings of hopelessness may have greater risk for future heart disease and stroke," said Susan Everson-Rose of the University of Minnesota Medical School, whose study appears in the journal Stroke. Many studies have linked depression with heart disease, and recent studies have suggested that optimism may protect women from heart disease. However this latest study, by Susan Everson-Rose.

Researchers looked at 559 women with an average age of 50 who had no clinical signs of heart disease, such as elevated blood pressure. To measure hopelessness, they asked questions about the future and personal goals. They also measured symptoms of depression using a 20-item assessment scale. And they took ultrasound images of the women to measure the thickness of their neck arteries. "What we found is, those women who reported feeling hopeless about the future or their personal goals had more thickening in the neck arteries - more atherosclerosis - which is a predictor of stroke and subsequent heart attack," Everson-Rose said. The difference was measurable. Women who scored high on the hopelessness scale had neck arteries that were 0.0008 of an inch (0.02 mm) thicker than their more hopeful counterparts. The difference was significant even after adjusting for other heart risk factors including age, race, income, heart disease risk factors, and even depression. Nevertheless, women should be aware that feelings of hopelessness may have physical consequences. "If women do have these strong feelings, it is potentially a predictor of cardiovascular disease and they should seek help," she said.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The guru's business is to see that no human being suffers in this material world. No one can claim that he is not suffering. That is not possible. ... No one can say that he is completely free from suffering. We may then ask why the living entity is suffering. The answer is: out of ignorance. He does not think, "I am committing mistakes and am leading a sinful life; that is why I am suffering." Therefore the guru's first business is to rescue his disciple from this ignorance. We send our children to school to save them from suffering. If our children do not receive an education, we fear that they will suffer in the future. The guru sees that suffering is due to ignorance, which is compared to darkness. How can one in darkness be saved? By light. The guru takes the torchlight of knowledge and presents it before the living entity enveloped in darkness. That knowledge relieves him from the sufferings of the darkness of ignorance.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Science of Self Realization - Chapter 2 - Choosing a Spiritual Master - What Is a Guru?
"

Friday, August 28, 2009

‘MOON ROCK’ GIVEN TO DUTCH IS PETRIFIED WOOD

DUTCH MUSEUM DISCOVERS
MOON ROCK IS REALLY PETRIFIED WOOD
AMSTERDAM — It's not green cheese, but it might as well be. It seems that a moon rock supposedly brought back by Apollo astronauts and presented to a retired Dutch prime minister 40 years ago is actually a hunk of petrified wood, according to the Associated Press. The Dutch national museum said Thursday that one of its prized possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is just a piece of petrified wood. Rijksmuseum spokeswoman Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation that proved the piece was a fake, said the museum will keep it anyway as a curiosity. "It's a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered," she said. "We can laugh about it." The museum acquired the rock after the death of former Prime Minister Willem Drees in 1988. Drees received it as a private gift on Oct. 9, 1969 from then-U.S. ambassador J. William Middendorf during a visit by the three Apollo 11 astronauts, part of their "Giant Leap" goodwill tour after the first moon landing.

Xandra van Gelder said the space agency told the museum then that it was possible the Netherlands had received a rock: NASA gave moon rocks to more than 100 countries in the early 1970s, but those were from later missions. "Apparently no one thought to doubt it, since it came from the prime minister's collection," Van Gelder said. It was given at the opening of an exhibition on space exploration. It was on show in 2006 and a space expert informed the museum it was unlikely NASA would have given away any moon rocks three months after Apollo returned to Earth. Geologist Frank Beunk concluded in an article published by the museum. He said the rock, which the museum at one point insured for more than half a million dollars, was worth no more than euro50 ($70).


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
A living being who lives in the mundane world has four defects: (1) he is certain to commit mistakes; (2) he is subject to illusion; (3) he has a propensity to cheat others; and (4) his senses are imperfect.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
Śrī Īśopanisad - Purport in Mantra 1"

A conditioned living being is endowed with four principles of malpractice, namely errors, insanity, inability and cheating. These are signs of imperfection, and out of the four the propensity to cheat others is most prominent. And this cheating practice is there in the conditioned souls because the conditioned souls are primarily in the material world imbued with an unnatural desire to lord it over the material world. ... The world of hypocrisy can be checked only by counteraction through devotional service to the Lord and nothing else.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 14 - Verse 4
"

AT LEAST 22 DEAD IN PAKISTAN BOMBING

SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 22
PAKISTANI BORDER GUARDS
JAMRUD, Pakistan, (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed 22 Pakistani border guards on Thursday in an attack at the main crossing point into Afghanistan, government officials said. It was the first big attack in Pakistan since Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a U.S. missile strike on Aug. 5 and will raise fears that the militants, who officials say have been in disarray, are hitting back. The bomber struck as the guards were sitting down at sunset to break their daily fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "The guards were about to break their fast when a teenaged boy carrying a bottle of Pepsi walked towards them and blew himself up," said Wakil Khan, a witness at the Torkham border crossing.

Pakistan has been hit by a series of suicide bomb attacks over the past two years, launched by al Qaeda-linked militants fighting the government because of its support for the U.S.-led campaign against Islamist militancy. Security forces have cleared most militants from the Swat valley, northwest of Islamabad, in an offensive since late April, and have also been attacking Mehsud's men in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border. Earlier on Thursday, two missiles believed to have been fired by a U.S. drone struck a militant hideout killing six fighters in South Waziristan, intelligence officials said. The Taliban had been denying Mehsud's death for weeks, but on Monday two of his aides, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman, confirmed their leader had been killed. Security officials have been saying they were expecting reprisal attacks by Hakimullah's men and Thursday's blast in Khyber would appear to indicate he is determined to press on with the fight against the government.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The material body, whether in the higher or lower planetary system, is destined to die. In the lower planetary system or lower species of life one may die soon, and in the higher planets or higher species one may live for a long, long time, but death is inevitable. This fact should be understood.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 9 - Chapter 13 - Verse 10"

We are always in danger because at any moment death can take place. It is not that only Gajendra, the King of the elephants, was afraid of death. Everyone should fear death because everyone is caught by the crocodile of eternal time and may die at any moment. The best course, therefore, is to seek shelter of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and be saved from the struggle for existence in this material world, in which one repeatedly takes birth and dies. To reach this understanding is the ultimate goal of life.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 8 - Chapter 2 - Verse 33"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

PERU: THERE IS A TREATY ABOUT MARITIME DELIMITATIONS

PERU REAFFIMS TREATY OF ANCON
IN ADDRESSING TERRITORIAL DISPUTES
LIMA - Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Garcia Belaunde reaffirmed the Treaty of Ancon (1929)'s role in addressing territorial disputes related to former Peruvian territories on Wednesday. The 1929 treaty stipulates that any decision on territories before the Pacific War (1879-1883) had to be done with Peru's participation. Garcia Belaunde's reaffirmation came after Bolivian President Evo Morales claimed that Peru's dispute with Chile over maritime delimitations kept Bolivia from having a sea outlet. "If Morales considers that Peru wants to impede Bolivia to have a sea outlet, it means that there needs to be a negotiation," Peruvian President Alan Garcia said. Garcia Belaunde said they wanted clear and transparent ties between neighbors because there was a treaty.

In 1929, through the mediation of the United States, Peru and Chile signed the Treaty of Ancon. Under this treaty, Chile gets Arica which used to belong to Peru before the Pacific War (1879-1883). However, Chile cannot make any decisions regarding Arica's sovereignty without Peru's participation. But Peru's relations with Bolivia have traditionally been amicable — at heart, they've got more in common than not. They share Lake Titicaca, believed to be the birthplace of the Incas, whose Peruvian-based empire stretched from Colombia to Argentina. And Bolivia was a Peruvian province called "Upper Peru" under Spanish rule. The two countries waged a joint war against Chile in the 1880s in which Bolivia, now landlocked, lost its Pacific coastline, and Peru a chunk of its southern territory. But ideological differences between Peruvian President Alan Garcia and Bolivian President Evo Morales have distanced the brotherly neighbors. Morales, a left-leaning, Aymara Indian ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and an adamant opponent of free trade, has bristled at Garcia's efforts to spread his free-trade fervor to the Andean Community trade group. Relations further soured when Garcia's government granted asylum to three ex-Bolivian ministers whom Morales is looking to prosecute for their alleged roles in a bloody massacre of protesters in 2003. Morales has called the hefty Garcia "fatty," and labeled him and former President George W. Bush "the worst presidents in the world."

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
From early histories it appears that the entire earth was under one culture, Vedic culture, but gradually, due to religious and cultural divisions, the rule fragmented into many subdivisions. Now the earth is divided into many countries, religions and political parties. Despite these political and religious divisions, we advocate that everyone should unite again under one culture — Krishna consciousness. ... So-called caste systems and national divisions are artificial. According to our Vaisnava philosophy, these are all external bodily designations. The Krishna consciousness movement is not based upon bodily designations. It is a transcendental movement on the platform of spiritual understanding. If the people of the world understood that the basic principle of life is spiritual identification, they would understand that the business of the spirit soul is to serve the Supreme Spirit, Krishna.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Śrī Caitanya Caritāmrta - Madhya-līlā - Chapter 25 - Verse 193"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

POWERFUL IRAQI SHIITE LEADER DIES IN IRAN

IRAQIS MOURNED THE DEATH OF A
REVERED SHIITE LEADER, ABDUL-AZIZ AL-HAKIM
BAGHDAD – (AP) Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the scion of a revered clerical family who channeled rising Shiite Muslim power after the fall of Saddam Hussein to become one of Iraq's most influential politicians, died Wednesday in Iran, the country that was long his key ally. He was 59. The calm, soft-spoken al-Hakim, who died of lung cancer, was a kingmaker in Iraq's politics, working behind the scenes as the head of the country's biggest Shiite political party. But for many in Iraq's Shiite majority, he was more than that — a symbol of their community's victory and seizure of power after decades of oppression under Saddam's Sunni-led regime. Al-Hakim's family led a Shiite rebel group against Saddam's rule from their exile in Iran, where he lived for 20 years, building close ties with Iranian leaders. After Saddam's 2003 fall, al-Hakim hewed close to the Americans even while maintaining his alliance with Tehran, judging that the U.S. military was key to the Shiite rise.

Among Iraq's minority Sunnis, he was deeply distrusted, seen as a tool of Shiite Iran. Al-Hakim's outspoken support for Shiite self-rule in southern Iraq was seen by Sunnis and even some Shiites as an Iran-inspired plan to hand Tehran control of Iraq's Shiite heartland, home to most of its oil wealth. His death comes at a time of political upheaval among Iraq's majority Shiites. The alliance of Shiite parties that al-Hakim helped forge and that has dominated the government since the first post-Saddam elections in 2005 has broken apart ahead of January parliamentary elections, pitting a coalition led by al-Hakim's party against another led by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Hakim was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2007 and he chose to receive his chemotherapy treatment in Iran. Deputy parliament speaker, Shiite Khalid al-Attiyah, described his death as a loss for Iraq.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
One's main purpose in human life should be to purify his existence and achieve liberation. As long as one has a material body, one is understood to be impure. In such an impure, material condition, one cannot enjoy a truly blissful life, although everyone seeks it. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.1) says, tapo divyam putrakā yena sattvam śuddhyet: one must perform tapasya, austerity, to purify his existence in order to come to the spiritual platform. The tapasya of chanting and glorifying the name, fame and attributes of the Lord is a very easy purifying process by which everyone can be happy. Therefore everyone who desires the ultimate cleansing of his heart must adopt this process. Other processes, such as karma, jñāna and yoga, cannot cleanse the heart absolutely.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam -
Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 2 - Verse 12"

TED KENNEDY: SENATOR, DEAD AT 77

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY, 77,
FAMILY PATRIARCH, DIES AFTER CANCER BATTLE
HYANNIS PORT, Mass. – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in an enduring political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. He was 77. In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy, a liberal Democrat, served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more. In a brief statement to reporters at his rented vacation home on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., President Barack Obama eulogized Kennedy as one of the "most accomplished Americans" in history — and a man whose work in Congress helped give millions new opportunities. "Including myself," added the nation's first black president. Kennedy's only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter turned back his challenge for the party's nomination. More than a quarter-century later, Kennedy handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy.

To the American public, Kennedy was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, father figure and, memorably, eulogist of an Irish-American clan plagued again and again by tragedy. But his career was forever marred by an accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969, when a car he was driving plunged off a bridge, killing a young woman. Sen. Orrin Hatch, the conservative Republican from Utah who was alternately a political partner and opponent of the unapologetic liberal for three decades, said "Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States Senator whose influence cannot be overstated." He listed of nearly a dozen bipartisan bills they worked on jointly, including a federally funded program for victims of HIV/AIDS, health insurance for lower-income children and tax breaks to encourage the development of medicine for rare diseases. Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
When the living entity is encircled by wife, children and home, he acts on the mental plane. Sometimes he is very happy, sometimes he is very much satisfied, sometimes he is not satisfied, and sometimes he is bewildered. Bewilderment is called moha, illusion. Illusioned by society, friendship and love, the living entity thinks that his so-called society, friendship and love, nationality, community, etc. will give him protection. He does not know that after death he will be thrown into the hands of a very strong material nature that will force him to accept a certain type of body according to his present work. This body may not even be a human body. Thus the living entity's feeling of security in this life in the midst of society, wife and friendship is nothing but illusion. All living entities encaged in various material bodies are illusioned by the present activities of material enjoyment. They forget their real business, which is to go back home, back to Godhead.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 4 - Chapter 25 - Verse 55"

TAIWAN: 461 DEAD, 192 MISSING AFTER TYPHOON

TYPHOON MORAKOT CLAIMED 461 LIVES AND LEFT 192 MISSING,
TAIWAN SEEKS TO PREVENT EPIDEMICS AFTER FLOODING
TAIPEI (AFP) — Taiwan on Tuesday confirmed that 461 people were killed while 192 were missing after Typhoon Morakot struck two weeks ago causing the worst flooding in the island's history. The latest figures included 318 confirmed deaths from the worst-hit southern village of Hsiaolin, where 106 others were still unaccounted for, the National Fire Agency said. Previously the death toll from the typhoon stood at 376. The toll was expected to rise, with the agency also listing around 60 bodies and/or body parts yet to be identified.

The typhoon lashed the island earlier this month, bringing a record three metres (118 inches) of rain, submerging houses and streets and destroying bridges. Taiwanese authorities scrambled to disinfect villages Tuesday that were flooded in the worst typhoon to hit the island in 50 years after four soldiers helping with the cleanup were confirmed to have swine flu. The soldiers developed fevers and nausea after working in villages in Pingtung county in the south, said Steve Kuo, head of the Center for Disease Control. They later tested positive for swine flu, he added. Taiwan's National Fire Agency says Typhoon Morakot left more than 670 people either dead or missing on the island. President Ma Ying-jeou has said the scale of damage caused by Morakot was more severe than a 1959 typhoon that killed 667 people and left around 1,000 missing. The deadliest natural disaster in the island's history was a 7.6-magnitude quake that claimed around 2,400 lives in September 1999.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
It is the duty of a disciple approaching a spiritual master to inquire about his constitutional position. In conformity to that spiritual process, Sanātana has already asked, "What am l, and why am I suffering from the threefold miseries?" ... Sanātana's inquiry was therefore an intelligent one. "What is the position of the living entities?" he asked. "Why are they always undergoing these three kinds of miseries?" ... Approaching a spiritual master is not just a fashion but is a necessity for one who is seriously conscious of the material miseries and who wants to be free of them. It is the duty of such a person to approach a spiritual master.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Teachings of Lord Caitanya - Chapter III: Teachings to Sanātana Gosvāmī"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SHISHA OR NARGUILE 'AS HARMFUL AS CIGARETTES'

SMOKING A SHISHA PIPE OR NARGUILE
IS JUST AS BAD AS SMOKING TOBACCO

Boston (DbTechNo) - Results of a new study show that smoking shisha is just as bad for you as lighting up an actual cigarette. This is the finding of the Department of Health and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, who performed a study to determine the risks. Shisha is an Arabic water-pipe in which fruit-scented tobacco is burnt using coal, passed through an ornate water vessel and inhaled through a hose. According to the authors of the study, smoking shisha pipes expose the person to high levels of carbon monoxide, even more than actual cigarettes.

This is ironic in a way because many people think that smoking shisha is actually safer than smoking cigarettes, but people who smoke shisha, or herbal tobacco, can suffer from high carbon monoxide levels, its research revealed. The researchers compared the carbon monoxide blood levels of people who smoked cigarettes against those who smoked shisha pipes. They found that levels were similar among those who smoked the pipes and those reported to be light smokers. “We found one session of smoking shisha - that’s 10 milligrams (of fruit tobacco) for 30 minutes - gave carbon monoxide levels that were at the lowest four and five times higher than having a cigarette,” said study author Dr Wareing. "But at the worst, shisha was 400 to 450 times more dangerous than having a cigarette," she added. High levels of carbon monoxide can lead to brain damage and unconsciousness. The study found shisha smokers had 40-70 ppm of CO in their breath - affecting 8-12% of their blood. Despite all this information, nowadays "Shisha bars", which are typically decked out with low stools and soft cushions to create an inviting atmosphere, have become popular in cities across the UK, particularly in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
There are two things: sreyah and preyah. I have discussed all these thing many times. Preyah means immediately very palatable. That is called preyah. And sreyah means ultimately good. Suppose if you take some palatable foodstuff, it may be very palatable to you... There are many examples. Just like smoking. Smoking. Everyone knows, the scientists, the doctor, they declare, "This is a nonsense thing. It should be avoided." They advertise even in the packet also. But people still smoke. But that is called preyah. That is called preyah. Preyah means immediately very nice. And sreyah means when one gives it up, "No, it will keep my health nice." That is sreyah. Try to understand what is sreyah and preyah.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Lecture on The Srimad-Bhagavatam: 1. 16. 13-15 - Los Angeles, January 10, 1974"

Monday, August 24, 2009

THOUSANDS FLEE AS GREEK FIRES RAGE

GREEK FIREFIGHTERS & PLANES BATTLE
WILDFIRES NEAR ATHENS
ATHENS (Reuters) - Fire-fighters battled wildfires on Monday that swept through homes and huge swathes of forest near Athens, forcing thousands to flee, and were beating back the main front of the inferno on its fourth day. A dozen Greek, Italian and French fire-fighting planes tried to douse flames fanned by strong early morning winds. "Air forces are operating since early morning and we hope the fire front will be controlled within the day," said Iordanis Louizos, mayor of Nea Makri, a town threatened overnight and on the fire-fighting frontline. The fires had retreated from Athens suburbs late on Sunday, when authorities used loudspeakers to urge thousands to leave their communities. Flames were burning mainly forest land but strong winds were creating flare-ups, authorities said.

The government declared a state of emergency in eastern Attica on Saturday, where the flames seared about 37,000 acres (15,200 hectares) of forest, farm fields and olive groves. Amid weather service warnings of strong winds until Monday evening, help from Greece's European Union allies arrived. Two Italian and a French aircraft, as well as a helicopter and about 40 fire fighters from Cyprus joined the battle. Four helicopters, 187 fire engines and about 430 fire fighters also battled the blaze, fire officials said. Some 300 soldiers were also dispatched. The fire broke out late on Friday in the village of Grammatiko about 40 km (25 miles) northeast of the Greek capital and quickly spread to neighbouring villages. A children's hospital, a home for the elderly and a monastery were evacuated. While thousands abandoned what are mainly holiday homes around Athens, many frantically used garden hoses and tree branches to try to stop the flames reaching their properties. The handling of the fire, the biggest since Greece's worst wildfires in living memory killed 65 people over 10 days in 2007, will be crucial to Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
This world has been compared to dāvāgni, which means "a blazing fire in the forest". In this material existence no one wants unhappiness, but it comes by force. That is the law of material nature. No one wants fire, but wherever we go in a city the fire brigade is always active. There is always fire. Similarly, there are many things that no one wants. No one wants death - there is death. No one wants disease - there is disease. No one wants old age - there is old age. They are there, against our will, against our desire. Thus we should consider the state of this material existence. This human form of life is meant for understanding, not for wasting valuable life like animals by eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. That is not advancement of civilization.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Science of Self Realization - Chapter V - Practicing Yoga in the Modern Age
"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

MUSLIMS BEGIN RAMADAN HOLY MONTH

RAMADAN BEGAN SATURDAY IN
MOST ARAB COUNTRIES AND IRAN
RYAD - The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began Saturday in most Arab countries and Iran, Mecca is preparing to welcome thousands of pilgrims on this occasion despite the threat of swine flu. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has begun across most of the Muslim world, ushering in 30 days of dawn to dusk fasting and extra prayer. The timing of Ramadan varies according to the first sighting of the New Moon. The ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan marks the time more than 1,400 years ago when the first words of Islam's holy book, the Koran, are believed to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During this month, the gates of heaven are said to open and the gates of hell are closed.

Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia, birthplace of the Sunni rite, and in Shiite Iran set from astronomical observations Saturday the start of Ramadan. This holy month, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, began the same day in Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen , Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan and the Palestinian territories. During this month, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan, during which the Koran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, is supposed to be a month of fasting and charity.
During this month, Mecca, first holy place of Islam in Saudi Arabia, traditionally brings together hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts for the small pilgrimage of Omra. And this year, pilgrims continue to visit even if the inflow is declining due to the risk of spread of swine flu among pilgrims and the restrictions imposed by some countries. Iran has banned all travel to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan and Egypt has decided to prohibit the Omra for people aged over 65 and under 25. The representatives of Muslims in France have also advised not to perform this year Omra. The world's estimated one billion observant Muslims will abstain from food, smoking and sex during the daylight hours and hold extra prayers at night. Ramadan ends with the first sighting of the new moon and culminates in the three-day festival of fast-breaking - Eid-ul-Fitr.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
"These are the general principles to be followed by all human beings: truthfulness, mercy, austerity (observing fasts on certain days of the month), bathing twice a day, tolerance, discrimination between right and wrong, control of the mind, control of the senses, nonviolence, celibacy, charity, reading of scripture, simplicity, satisfaction, rendering service to saintly persons, gradually taking leave of unnecessary engagements, observing the futility of the unnecessary activities of human society, remaining silent and grave and avoiding unnecessary talk, considering whether one is the body or the soul, distributing food equally to all living entities (both men and animals), seeing every soul (especially in the human form) as a part of the Supreme Lord, hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons), chanting about these activities and instructions, always remembering these activities and instructions, trying to render service, performing worship, offering obeisances, becoming a servant, becoming a friend, and surrendering one's whole self. O King Yudhishthira, these thirty qualifications must be acquired in the human form of life. Simply by acquiring these qualifications, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
"The Srimad Bhagavatam : 7 . 11 . 8-12"

Friday, August 21, 2009

MALAYSIAN WOMAN TO BE CANED FOR DRINKING BEER IN PUBLIC

FIRST MALAYSIAN WOMAN TO BE CANED UNDER
ISLAMIC LAWS APPLICABLE TO MALAYSIA'S MUSLIMS
SUNGAI SIPUT, Malaysia (Reuters) - A Malaysian Muslim woman, named Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a Singapore resident, will be caned next week for drinking beer has defiantly asked that the punishment be carried out in public in a case that is fueling debate about tolerance in this multi-racial country. She said the 20-month ordeal added to her distress, but she respected the law banning alcohol for Muslims and was determined to go through with the punishment - six strokes of the cane. The mother of two, who also paid a 5,000 ringgit ($1,420) fine, asked for the punishment, usually carried out in a closed prison, to be done in public. Islam is the official religion in this country that has a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims alongside civil legislation. Despite the prohibition, Muslims can be found consuming alcohol in bars and nightclubs openly in cities such as the capital, Kuala Lumpur, where attitudes are more relaxed.

Religious authorities caught Kartika, a Malaysian citizen married to a Singaporean, drinking at a hotel in Kuantan, on December 11, 2007. Mohamad Isa Abd Ralip, president of the Syariah [Shariah] Lawyers' Association of Malaysia, said too much is being made of Kartika's punishment. "It is not about causing pain. It is about educating others and to teach the person a lesson," he said. The recipient is fully clothed and the flogger cannot raise his arm high, Mohamad Isa said. The blows are delivered using a thin stick, so that they don't break the skin. Kartika, who said she has yet to receive any response to her request for a public caning, is due to be taken to prison in central Selangor state beginning on Monday for one week, during which her sentence will be carried out. She will be fully clothed and kneeling and struck on the backside with a small thin cane using moderate force.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
In every civilized human society there is some set of scriptural rules and regulations which is followed from the beginning. Especially among the Āryans, those who adopt the Vedic civilization and who are known as the most advanced civilized peoples, those who do not follow the scriptural injunctions are supposed to be demons. ... Actually, a woman should be given protection at every stage of life. She should be given protection by the father in her younger days, by the husband in her youth, and by the grownup sons in her old age. This is proper social behavior according to the Manu-samhitā.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Purport in Chapter 16 - Verse 7""

A further understanding to be derived from this example is that a woman, however powerful she may be in the material world, must be given protection, for as soon as she is unprotected she will be exploited by Rāksasas like Rāvana. Here the words vaideha-rāja-duhitari indicate that before mother Sītā was married to Lord Rāmacandra she was protected by her father, Vaideha-rāja. And when she was married she was protected by her husband. Therefore the conclusion is that a woman should always be protected.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam -
Purport in Canto 9 - Chapter 10 - Verse 11"

LEAD SICKENS 1,300 CHILDREN IN CHINA

1,300 CHILDREN GET LEAD POISOING
FROM FACTORY IN CHINA

BEIJING — More than 1,300 children have been poisoned by a year-old manganese factory in central China, the state media reported today, amid national fears about the prevalence of heavy metal pollution. The exposure of mass lead contamination in Wenping township, Hunan province, is the second case in as many weeks, prompting accusations that the authorities have failed to adequately regulate toxins that build up over time. A local government official told the Xinhua news agency that tests of children living nearby showed that 60% to 70% had unhealthy levels of lead in their blood. The authorities closed the factory last week and detained two executives on suspicion of "causing severe environment pollution".

The plant, which is within 500 metres of a primary school, a middle school and a kindergarten, and although the factory had been operating for only a year, 1,354 children were found to have more than 100 mg of lead per litre of blood, the limit considered safe. A gradual build-up of lead in the bloodstream can lead to anaemia, muscle weakness and brain damage. The report of poisoning in Wugang followed a similar incident in Shaanxi province, in north-central China, where state news reports say 851 children living near the nation’s fourth-largest smelter have tested positive for lead poisoning since early August. Pollution is a serious problem across China, where breakneck industrial development has fouled both air and water to sometimes extraordinary degrees. Although the national government has committed to cleanup measures, the World Bank says 59 percent of the water in China’s seven major rivers is unfit to drink, and the government says that the air in about a quarter of cities is unhealthy.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
There is enough of everything by the will of the Lord, and we can make proper use of things to live comfortably without enmity between men, or animal and man or nature. The control of the Lord is everywhere, and if the Lord is pleased, every part of nature will be pleased. The river will flow profusely to fertilize the land; the oceans will supply sufficient quantities of minerals, pearls and jewels; the forest will supply sufficient wood, drugs and vegetables, and the seasonal changes will effectively help produce fruits and flowers in profuse quantity. The artificial way of living depending on factories and tools can render so-called happiness only to a limited number at the cost of millions. Since the energy of the mass of people is engaged in factory production, the natural products are being hampered, and for this the mass is unhappy. Without being educated properly, the mass of people are following in the footsteps of the vested interests by exploiting natural reserves, and therefore there is acute competition between individual and individual and nation and nation. There is no control by the trained agent of the Lord. We must look into the defects of modern civilization by comparison here, and should follow in the footsteps of Mahārāja Yudhisthira to cleanse man and wipe out anachronisms.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 10 - Verse 5"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BOMBS TEAR THROUGH BAGHDAD

SIX BOMBINGS STRUCK IRAQ'S CAPITAL,
KILLING 100 PEOPLE AND WOUNDING MORE THAN 500
Baghdad - CNN News. The Iraqi government implemented new security measures a day after a string of bombings in Baghdad killed at least 100 people and wounded hundreds more, an interior ministry official told CNN on Thursday. Two truck bombs exploding minutes apart have killed 95 people and wounded 563 in Baghdad's bloodiest day in 18 months. A further car bombing and mortar attacks added to the carnage in the Iraqi capital, which has been under the command of local security forces since US troops withdrew at the end of June. An Iraqi official said one of the truck bombs targeted the foreign ministry just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone and the other the nearby finance ministry, across the Tigris river.

Coordinated bombings that tore through Baghdad yesterday killing almost 100 people were a “senseless” act of violence, the Obama administration said, leading condemnation of the bloodiest attack in Iraq this year. The mid-morning blasts, six years to the day after the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was attacked, ripped through civilian and diplomatic areas near government buildings including the Foreign Ministry. The blasts show “the degree to which extremists will always go to wreak havoc through senseless violence,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said he was saddened by the “appalling string of attacks,” while the Security Council demanded those responsible be brought to justice. The attacks underscore the fragility of Iraq’s security since U.S. combat troops withdrew from urban areas on June 30 and as the country prepares for elections in January. The withdrawal from cities is part of a U.S.-Iraqi agreement signed in January that outlines the complete pullout of American forces by the end of 2011.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
"O my Lord, the material miseries are without factual existence for the soul. Yet as long as the conditioned soul sees the body as meant for sense enjoyment, he cannot get out of the entanglement of material miseries, being influenced by Your external energy."
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Canto 3 - Chapter 9 - Verse 9"

In the material world the pleasure enjoyed by the conditioned soul is followed by many painful conditions. For instance, we have seen that in the two great wars, which were conducted by the rajo-guna and tamo-guna, both parties were actually ruined ... actually neither of them were victorious.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 7 - Chapter 1 - Verse 8"

INDIA'S HINDU PARTY EXPELS LEADER IN NEW ROW


INDIA’S BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
EXPELS EX-MINISTER JASWANT SINGH
SHIMLA, India (AFP) — India's opposition Hindu nationalists said Thursday they had expelled senior figure Jaswant Singh amid a row over his book on the legacy of Pakistani founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Singh, a former foreign minister (between 1998 and 2004) and one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), questioned the demonisation of Jinnah by Hindu nationalists who blame him for the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. "He has been expelled from the party," BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters in the northern hill resort of Shimla where the party is meeting for a brainstorming session. The furore over the book goes to the heart of a debate in India about blame for partition of the British-controlled subcontinent into Pakistan and India which sparked communal riots that left up to a million dead.

The subject of Jinnah has always ruffled feathers in the BJP and the current head of the party, Lal Krishan Advani, offered to resign after he sparked controversy by lauding Jinnah as a "great man" and a secular leader in 2005. Singh's book, titled "Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence", was released on Monday. He describes the Pakistani leader as a "great personality". The book “does not represent the views of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In fact, the party completely dissociates itself from the contents of the book,” the BJP said on its Web site. “The important role of M.A. Jinnah in the division of India, which led to a lot of dislocation and destabilization of millions of people, is too well-known. We cannot wish away this painful part of our history.”

Jaswant Singh, has said that his book is a "purely academic exercise, which should be read and understood". "Why should I regret [my] five years of rigour [of writing the book]? [The book] is my reading of the painful period [the 1947 partition of India] of history," he said. Jaswant Singh added: "Nehru believed in a highly centralised polity. That's what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity. That even Gandhi accepted. Nehru didn't. Consistently, he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India." Jaswant Singh strongly contested the popular Indian view that Jinnah was the villain of the 1947 partition or the man principally responsible for it. Asked if he thought this view was wrong, Jaswant Singh said: "It is. It is not borne out of the facts... we need to correct it." "I think we have misunderstood him because we needed to create a demon ... We needed a demon because in the 20th century the most telling event in the subcontinent was the partition of the country," he said. Singh was one of the founding members of the BJP and served as foreign minister between 1998 and 2004, during which time he also held the finance portfolio.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
We actually saw during the partition days in India that although Hindus and Muslims were living together peacefully, manipulation by politicians suddenly aroused feelings of hatred between them, and thus the Hindus and Muslims killed one another over politics. This is a sign of Kali-yuga.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam -
Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 2 - Verses 5 &6"

We do not find any Hindu-Muslim riots in the history of India, even during the days of the Muslims' rule over the country. Conflict between Hindus and Muslims was created by polluted politicians, especially foreign rulers, and thus the situation gradually became so degraded that India was divided into Hindustan and Pakistan. Fortunately, the remedy to unite not only the Hindus and Muslims but all communities and all nations can still be implemented by the Hare Krishna movement on the strong basic platform of love of Godhead.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Śrī Caitanya Caritāmrta - Ādi-līlā - Chapter 17 - Verse 148
"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'LIFE CHEMICAL' DETECTED IN COMET

COMET CARRIES A FUNDAMENTAL
CHEMICAL BUILDING BLOCK OF LIFE
BBC News - NASA astronauts have discovered one of the fundamental chemical buildings blocks of life, an amino acid, glycine, essential for life on earth, in a comet, confirming a long-held theory that the building blocks for life came from outer space. That’s exciting because it suggests other comets and extraterrestrial bodies are flinging the essential amino acids around the galaxy, raising the possibility that life may well have developed elsewhere. “Our discovery supports the theory that some of life’s ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts.” they said. Glycine is an amino acid found in proteins, the sophisticated molecules that organisms use to build and maintain their systems. It was detected in the material ejected from Comet Wild-2 and grabbed by Nasa's Stardust probe.

“The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare,”
said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute. Glycine has been detected in meteorites before and there are also observations in interstellar gas clouds claimed for telescopes, but the Stardust find is described as a first in cometary material. The Nasa spacecraft flew past the 5km-wide icy Comet 81P/Wild-2 in January 2004. The probe swept up particles fizzing off the object's surface as it passed some 240km (149 miles) from the comet's core, or nucleus. These tiny grains, were then returned to Earth in 2006 in a sealed capsule. Distributed among the world's leading astro-labs, the specimens have since been giving researchers a remarkable insight into the conditions that must have existed in the earliest phases of the Solar System when planets and comets were forming.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The material world is only one fourth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's creation, but it is unlimited and impossible for anyone to know or describe, even with the qualification of a life as long as that of Brahmā, who lives for millions and millions of years. ... Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī admitted that to give full details of this expansive material universe would be impossible, but nevertheless he wanted to give the King as much knowledge as he had received through the paramparā system. We should conclude that if one cannot comprehend the material expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one certainly cannot estimate the expansiveness of the spiritual world.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 5 - Chapter 16 - Verse 4"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

64 STILL MISSING AFTER RUSSIAN DAM ACCIDENT

HOPES FADE FOR MISSING IN RUSSIA TRAGEDY AT SIBERIAN SAYANO-SHUSHENSKAYA HYDRO POWER PLANT (HPP)
MOSCOW — Divers Tuesday searched flooded wreckage for 64 people still missing after an accident at Russia's biggest hydroelectric plant but officials admitted that the chances of finding survivors were dwindling. The Sayano-Shushenskaya power station is one of the most powerful in the world with a capacity of 6.4 million kilowatts an hour, and the catastrophe at this plant in the Khakassia region of Siberia - which investigators believed was caused by a sudden increase in water pressure - is already confirmed to have left 12 people dead.

The pressure increase is believed to have caused a massive flood in the turbine room at a time when a hundred people were working there although investigators have emphasised final conclusions have not been reached.
"Unfortunately we have no comforting news. We still do not know the fate of over 60 people, the territory above water and under the water is being searched. We are awaiting a robot, which is able to work underwater. Three groups of divers are now working under the water," Russian emergencies situations minister Sergei Shoigu said. Vasily Zubakin, acting chairman of the plant's operator RusHyrdro, confirmed that 64 people were still unaccounted for. He said it was highly unlikely that the accident, caused by a rupture of water pipes in one of the plant's power units, was due to any kind of terror act, saying "we regard a technical breakdown as the cause". Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the investigative committee of prosecutors, also said investigators "had not found any explosive substances at the scene of the disaster" and ruled out terror as an explanation, but he said that a criminal inquiry had been opened for neglecting the rules of safety at work.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
In this material world, everyone is trying to counteract the onslaught of material nature, but everyone is ultimately fully controlled by material nature. Therefore even though so-called philosophers and scientists try to surmount the onslaught of material nature, they have not been able to do so. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gītā (13.9) that the real sufferings of the material world are four — janma-mrityu jarā-vyādhi (birth, death, old age and disease). In the history of the world, no one has been successful in conquering these miseries imposed by material nature - prakriteh kriyamānāni gunaih karmāni sarvaśah [Bg. 3.27]. Nature (prakriti) is so strong that no one can overcome her stringent laws.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam -
Purport in Canto 7 - Chapter 9 - Verse 19"

Monday, August 17, 2009

GROOM'S EX LIT FIRE AT KUWAIT WEDDING TENT


KUWAIT FIRE STARTER CONFESSES

WEDDING ARSON CRIME WAS FOR 'PERSONAL REASONS'
Kuwait - The ex-wife of a groom at a Kuwaiti wedding party has admitted starting a blaze that engulfed a tent, killing 46 women and children. The 23-year-old told police she poured petrol around the packed wedding tent and set it on fire to avenge her ex-husband's "bad 'treatment" of her before their divorce, Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper said on Monday. Kuwaiti officials say the blaze that tore through a wedding tent and killed 46 women and children was a criminal act motivated by "personal reasons". Authorities said Monday they have identified the perpetrator, who confessed to the crime. Local newspapers report the arsonist is the groom's former wife. Two victims who were hospitalized with severe burns from Saturday's fire died Sunday, bringing the death toll to 46.

Authorities say forensics experts are working to identify the other 35 women and six children killed in the fire, since many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition. The bride escaped injured, but her mother and sister were killed. A place of joy turned into a prison of horror as many of the victims were trampled in the panicked rush to flee the tent filled with women and children. Reports say the blaze took only minutes to destroy the tent.Wedding parties in Kuwait, a conservative Muslim country, are held separately for men and women. Children attend the women's event.
At least 57 people were injured in the disaster, which occurred late Saturday in Jahra, west of Kuwait City.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal love for Krishna is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion. Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt. Then again, when lust is unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence. Therefore, lust is the greatest enemy of the living entity, and it is lust only which induces the pure living entity to remain entangled in the material world.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Purport in Chapter 3 - Verse 37"

"The devotees of the Lord are so forbearing that even though they are defamed, cheated, cursed, disturbed, neglected or even killed, they are never inclined to avenge themselves."

"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Canto 1 - Chapter 18 - Verse 48"

MAGNITUDE 6.5 QUAKE HITS OFF JAPAN ISLANDS

A TSUNAMI ALERT WAS ISSUED FOR
SOUTHWESTERN JAPAN AFTER STRONG QUAKE HITS
TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 hit near islands in southern Japan on Monday, a Japanese government agency said. There were no immediate reports of damage, public broadcaster NHK reported. The quake, at 7:11 p.m. (1011 GMT), rated a 2 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 1 to 7 in some areas, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said, which means that it could be felt by some people in buildings and that hanging objects such as lamps would swing slightly.

It struck near Japan's Ishigaki Island, 223 km (138 miles) east of Taiwan, the JMA said. It followed another earthquake in the area that took place 10 hours earlier. The epicentre of the quake was about 140 km southwest of Ishigaki Island at a depth of 10 km, the JMA said. A warning for a tsunami of around 50 cm (20 inches) was issued after the quake, public broadcaster NHK reported.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
There are adhidaivika miseries, those caused by higher authorities such as the demigods. There may be famine, earthquake, flood, pestilence - so many things. These are adhidaivika sufferings. So we are always suffering one or more of these miseries. This material nature is constituted in such a way that we have to suffer; it is God's law. And we are trying to relieve the suffering by patchwork remedies. But according to the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, you can get free of all your sufferings if you simply change your consciousness to Krsna consciousness. That's all.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Journey of Self-Discovery - Chapter III - The Pleasure Principle"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

NKOREA THREATENS RETALIATION OVER US, UN SANCTIONS

NORTH KOREA MAKES NUCLEAR THREAT
OVER MILITARY DRILLS
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea denounced upcoming joint South Korean and U.S. military drills and said it would "wipe out" the countries with nuclear weapons if they threatened the communist state, its KCNA news agency said on Sunday. South Korean and U.S. forces on Monday start joint computer simulation and communication drills that come in the wake of rare conciliatory moves by Pyongyang, which this month released two U.S. journalists and a South Korean worker it had held captive. North Korea regularly denounces joint drills as a preparation for invasion and nuclear war. "Should the U.S. imperialists and the Lee Myung-bak group threaten the DPRK (North Korea) with nukes, it will retaliate against them with nukes," KCNA quoted a military official as saying. Lee Myung-bak is South Korea's president. "The U.S. imperialists and the Lee Myung-bak group should clearly understand that it is the iron will and resolute stand of the Korean People's Army to go into action anytime to mercilessly wipe out the aggressors," the official said.

The United States stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea to support the country's 670,000 soldiers. The North's military has about 1.2 million troops but analysts said its ill-equipped army would be no match to superior U.S. and South Korean forces. The two Koreas are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict (Korean war) ended with a cease fire and not a peace treaty. South and North Korea have hundreds of thousands of combat-ready troops and heavy artillery along the 155-mile (250-kilometer) border. Impoverished North Korea has been angered by Lee's policy of ending unconditional handouts - once equal to about 5 percent of the North's estimated $17 billion a year economy - and instead linking aid to progress Pyongyang makes in ending the security threat it poses to the region. The North's broken economy has been hit by U.N. sanctions imposed after a long-range rocket launch in April, widely seen as a disguised missile test, and a nuclear test in May.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
As stated above, the living beings are not factual enjoyers of things which are manifested as God's creation. The Lord is the genuine proprietor and enjoyer of everything manifested in His creation. Unfortunately, influenced by the deluding energy, the living being becomes a false enjoyer under the dictation of the modes of nature. Puffed up by such a false sense of becoming God, the deluded living being increases his material strength by so many activities and thus becomes the burden of the earth, so much so that the earth becomes completely uninhabitable by the sane. ... The unwanted administrators, puffed up by false power and military strength, thus become engaged in fighting amongst themselves over ideological conflicts and so exhaust themselves of all powers. The history of the world reflects this factual will of the Lord, and it will continue to be enacted until the living beings are attached to the service of the Lord.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam -
Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 11 - Verse 34"