Saturday, April 30, 2011


Beijing (Reuters) - Courts in China have jailed 14 people, two of them for life, for selling milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, state media reported on Friday.  In 2008, at least six children died and nearly 300,000 fell ill from consuming powdered milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added to low quality or diluted milk to fool inspectors checking for protein levels.  Despite large-scale recalls and repeated vows to get tough, authorities continue to uncover cases of melamine in milk powder.  In the latest instances, individuals in the northern provinces of Shanxi and Hebei were found guilty of intentionally adulterating milk powder with melamine and passing it off as having met quality inspections, Xinhua news agency said.

In one case, in Hebei, people sold off tainted milk powder which had originally been seized after the 2008 scandal, simply replacing the packaging; in another case, at least 130 tonnes of contaminated milk powder had already found its way onto the market before the authorities swooped, Xinhua said.  China’s food sector has been beset by poisonings and toxin scandals that have shaken consumer confidence. Numerous crackdowns have apparently had little effect.  China said in March at least 20 percent of domestic dairy companies would lose their operating licenses following inspections of fresh milk and infant formula producers.  Three children died this month after drinking nitrate-laden milk in what police judged an intentional poisoning.

Chinese courts have sentenced 14 people to prison terms ranging up to life for producing, selling or adding melamine-tainted milk powder into their products.  The sentences underscore China’s struggle to stop sales of phony or tainted food and medicines despite repeated crackdowns.  Suppliers have added melamine to milk to make watered-down supplies appear to have the correct protein content.  At least six children died and nearly 300,000 others fell ill after drinking melamine-tainted formula in 2008.  Rogue traders, eager to make money, do not care to contaminate powdered milk and endanger the health of millions of infants and children.

In ancient times, king Yudhishthira asked to grandfather Bhisma how there ever came to be a need to have a king.  Bhishma replied: “I will tell you. In the beginning there was no king. There was no punishment. These two were not needed then. Men were all righteous and each man protected the other. As time passed on, however, the hearts of men began to be invaded by errors. Once error enters the heart, the mind gets clouded and the sense of right and wrong begins to wane. It was even so with the men of distant times.  Covetousness was the first guest in their hearts. When covetousness came into life, men began to want things which did not belong to them.  Righteousness was completely lost to the world. ... Brahma assured the gods that he would find a way. He then formulated the rules for chastisement.”

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Purpose and Function of Government According to Mahabharata”  -

Friday, April 29, 2011


VOLCANO PUTS ECUADOR ON ALERT - Authorities in Ecuador closed schools and evacuated residents in areas near a volcano Tuesday after ashes spewing from its crater fell on homes and farms, state media reported.  Ashes from Tungurahua - which means “throat of fire” in the native Quechua language - rose more than 7 kilometers (4 miles) into the air Tuesday, the government news agency said.  Authorities issued an alert as monitors detected six eruptions, ranging from moderate to large, and a significant ash cloud Tuesday, state media said.  “According to our observations, damages to crops, pastures and small effects to the health of people are already evident,” the country’s geophysics institute said.  Officials first detected increased activity in the volcano April 20, with monitors observing regular small eruptions of ash and gas.
The glacier-capped, 16,478-foot volcano has erupted periodically since 1999, when increased activity led to the temporary evacuation of the city of Banos at the foot of the volcano.  Tungurahua erupted in December, sending ash and lava spewing nearly a mile into the sky.  Major eruptions also occurred in August 2006 and February 2008, according to the government’s emergency management agency.  Before the recent activity, the last major eruption was between 1916 and 1918. Relatively minor activity continued until 1925, the Smithsonian Institution said on its volcano website.  The volcano is 140 kilometers (86 miles) south of Quito, Ecuador’s capital.

Ecuador declared a national alert after the Tungurahua volcano, notorious for previous eruptions, began spewing lava again, forcing closure of schools and a widening evacuation of residents.  A 5-mile-high column of lava and ash generated a vast, stifling canopy of poisonous gases and smoke, forcing the authorities to issue repeated warnings to fleeing residents of towns to cover against the contaminated air.  Geological phenomena can not be stopped by us; but we can help to decrease the every day human actions which pollute our environment.

So much pollution, the ecology of the world according to environmentalists is on the brink of disaster.  Solarized caps are beginning to melt due to global warming. Global warming is due to unnatural pollutions which are born of simple violations of natural laws. Exploitation, with no concern for the earth, for living. ...  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. ... By chanting the name of the Lord it has the power to clean the mirror of the heart and allow our true eternal nature to shine, awaken our eternal love within, which is the source of real peace and real happiness.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


TO MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION - Research suggests that religious belief can help protect against symptoms of depression, but a study at Rush University Medical Center goes one step further.  In patients diagnosed with clinical depression, belief in a concerned God can improve response to medical treatment, according to a paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.  A total of 136 adults diagnosed with major depression or bipolar depression at inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care facilities in Chicago participated in the study.  The patients were surveyed and the Study found that those with strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience an improvement.  Specifically, participants who scored in the top third of the Religious Well-Being Scale were 75 % more likely to get better with medical treatment for clinical depression.

The researchers tested whether the explanation for the improved response was linked instead to the feeling of hope (measured by feelings and expectations for the future and degree of motivation), which is typically a feature of religious belief.  “In our study, the positive response to medication had little to do with the feeling of hope that typically accompanies spiritual belief,” said Patricia Murphy, PhD, a chaplain at Rush and an assistant professor of religion, health and human values at Rush University.  “It was tied specifically to the belief that a Supreme Being cared,” Murphy said.  “When treating persons diagnosed with depression, clinicians need to be aware of the role of religion in their patients’ lives. It is an important resource in planning their care,” stated Murphy.

Antidepressants can be an effective treatment for depression, but they don’t work for everyone.  In a new study, the authors found that patients who had strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience a 50 % reduction in symptoms.  They have discovered that people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression are more likely to respond to medication if they believe in a caring God.   This is not new to religious people, but we also ought to love Him, to serve Him; there must be mutual love, and finally we have to surrender us completely to His Eternal Love.

The Proud man, urged by his false ego, ignores the fundamental principles of human life, viz., a virtuous life, full of faith and love to his ever loving Lord. But, providentially a day will come, when he must feel the necessity of this fundamental principle, realizing the utter vanity of the worldly pleasures. ... At every moment, he is being violently tossed by the roaring waves of this ocean of never-ending sufferings.  All his false hopes are frustrated; his confidence in the efficacy of his own actions betrays him finally. ... He feels his helplessness and sincerely longs to come out of this terrible predicament.  ... He recollects wise saying and comes round to the above fundamental principle. He surrenders himself to the Supreme Lord. ... Surrender, pure and genuine moves the Heart of the Supreme Lord. It melts Him and He flies to the rescue of a surrendered devotee.

Śrīla Bhakti Vaibhava Purī Mahārāj :
“Guru y Atma Nivedan” - ‘The Act of Submission’
Bhakti Vigyan Nityananda Book Trust
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission  -

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Agencies - Sathya Sai Baba was laid to rest in the form of a samadhi at his ashram in Puttaparthi on Wednesday. The final rites were performed by Sai Baba’s nephew RJ Ratnakar guided by nine priests, adhering to strict traditional rituals and vedic chants at Sai Kulwanth Hall, which was closed for the public during the ceremony.  Sai Baba was buried lying down on his back sparking debate among religious leaders across the state. Saints and holy men are kept in the Padmasana (lotus position) for Samadhi as they are believed to have attained a level of detachment that makes cremation redundant.  Hymns rang through his ashram at his hometown of Puttaparthi in southern India as his body was sprinkled with petals and holy water before a private burial behind a maroon curtain.

Although Sai Baba was born to Hindu parents, raised in a Hindu community, took a Hindu name, wore the saffron-colored vestments of a Hindu sannyasin, even so, he did not profess to be a Hindu.  Sai Baba’s reputation was founded largely on claims of his miraculous powers. It was later tarnished by accusations of quackery and even pedophilia, though he was never convicted.  Sathya Sai Baba was certainly wrong about one thing having, in 1963, announced that he would live until 2020.  Sai Baba established an extensive network of schools and colleges throughout India, helping millions of people. The humanitarian projects under his name, with which he was only marginally involved, became a force parallel to the government in parts of India. The organization is estimated to have assets around US$ 8 billion, and could fall into a succession war.

Indian religious leader Sathya Sai Baba, who died Sunday, was buried in his hometown of Puttaparthy in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  Sai Baba quickly won fame for supposed mystical powers including the ability to heal and conjure objects including gold watches out of thin air.  But his "miracles" were probed to be simple magic tricks.  He was also the subject of a series of allegations of sexual abuse of young male followers.  Apart from many other allegations, in which part of the Vedic literature was his incarnation described? or was just his own claim of being God the only proof of his incarnation?  Despite of this, his followers honestly believe he was God, an 'Avatar' as he declared to be.

Giriraja: Sai Baba?
Prabhupada: Sai Baba. He is showing little yogic aisvarya. But people are, because they do not know, they are not aware of Krishna, they are taking him as God. You see? ... Suppose a man declares himself that “I am avatara.”  So intelligent man should test him, how he is avatara. We accept Krishna or Lord Ramacandra for their uncommon activities. But what are the uncommon activities, so many avataras? Simply being praised by a group of persons. That’s all.  They must be accepted by the sastra that he is avatara. Otherwise, why so cheap avatara, we shall accept?

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Morning Walk - April 4, 1974, Bombay
Conversations  -  -  The Complete Works of HDG ACBSP

Guest (2): Sai Baba?
Prabhupada: Sai Baba, he also says, “I am Bhagavan.” Therefore he’s bogus. How you can say yourself that you are Bhagavan, God? What is your power? What you have shown? And this is cheap. Now, supposing Sai Baba is God. So people accept him God, why? Because he shows some jugglery. He creates little gold. Is it not? So if, by creating gold, he is God, then there is bigger God who has created gold mine. Why shall I go to this tiny god? I must go to the big God who has created gold mine. This is common sense. But foolish people, they have no common sense even.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor,
other Guests and Disciples - February 12, 1975, Mexico
Conversations - 750212rc.mex  -  The Complete Works of HDG ACBSP

Q. What is the Vaisnava understanding of Satya Sai Baba of Putraparthi? Some say he is an incarnation of Siva, others that he is a great yogi. His followers say he is Bhagavan.
A. Vaisnavas do not accept Sathya Sai Baba as Bhagavan (God). ... Because the Vaisnavas are concerned with Bhagavan and always hearing and chanting about Him, they should know best who is Bhagavan and who is not. ... Being absorbed in thoughts of Visnu/Krsna, should Bhagavan descend in one of his incarnations, his devotees would be the first to recognize him. There is no doubt that Krishna is God, but Vaisnavas doubt that Sai Baba is Krishna for good reason. He may be an accomplished yogi.

Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
Sri Caitanya Sanga - Sep. 2, 2000, Vol. II, No. 33
“Nistha: Into the Valley of Love of God” - Q & A with Swami B. V. Tripurari

So many complains about this man made it very questionable whether he was even honest. What to speak about being an incarnation of God.  Name and fame does not give him the ability to lift the Govardhan hill like Lord Krishna did.  Many persons in this age dream of being or becoming God. So when a person tells them that he is God and that they can also become God then he will be very popular. That is called a fashion of one person fooling the other.

Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
Comment posted on Vedic Views on World News blog
“Sathya Sai Baba Passes Away at 84” - April 25, 2011 5:54 PM

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


USA ( - About three million kids, or 8 percent of those aged 8 to 18, say they never eat meat, according to a 2009 Harris poll sponsored by the Vegetarian Resource Group. About half of these consider themselves true vegetarians, meaning that they not only don’t eat red meat, but also leave out poultry and fish.  Many more will dabble with vegetarianism sometime during childhood and adolescence, trying it out for a short period of time.  Some of these children come from families who are already vegetarian or vegan (eating a diet that avoids all animal products, including meats, dairy and, sometimes, honey), and so this is just the status quo. But there are also many who come to a decision to eschew meat on their own. 

And this can present some challenges for harried carnivorous parents trying to provide healthful yet convenient meals for the entire family.  “It’s all about including lots of whole (minimally processed) plant foods. And if you meet your calorie needs with an abundance of whole plant foods, your nutrient needs will effectively be met,” notes Dina Aronson, a registered dietician, long-standing vegan, and mother of two from Montclair.  Overall, you can look at this as a great opportunity for the entire family to learn to eat a bit more adventurously, healthfully, and mindfully; even if only one member says no to meat.  In fact, a lot of families will find that having thoughtful and constructive discussions about why your child has chosen to become a vegetarian can enrich the family as a whole.
Perhaps you’re a parent concerned about imposing your vegetarian lifestyle on your baby, or you may be the head of a meat-eating family confused by your child’s recent decision to become a vegetarian.   Regardless of your dietary preference, you should discover how to achieve healthy harmony in a vegetarian household and meet your child’s dietary requirements, too.  Besides nutritional needs, you have to learn to address the social and emotional aspects of vegetarianism, such as helping your child cope with pressure to conform to a standard diet and ensuring that school officials, caregivers, and relatives abide by your child’s dietary wishes.

“The animals are my friends, I don’t eat up my friends.” (G.B. Shaw) -  If we are the children of the same Mother Earth, Mother Nature and of the Supreme Lord, then how can we deny our smaller siblings, the little animals, their right to live just as we claim it for ourselves.  We are all maintained by the Creator, thru Mother Earth.  We should feel gratitude for her and manifest compassion for those that need our help.  That will provide us with happiness and peace.  Who doesn’t consume neither meat nor eggs can understand what is compassion toward the other living beings.  While we put meat and blood on our plates we won’t be able to find peace in our lives.  The Biblical principle is that who kills with a sword will die by a sword. It is the clear law of karma.  Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.

Monday, April 25, 2011


SRI SATHYA SAI BABA DIES - Prominent spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday morning, leaving behind millions of mourning devotees in India and abroad, and a sprawling system of educational, medical and philanthropic services that has huge resources at its command. He was 84.  He had bravely battled complications of the heart, lung and kidney for four weeks.  The end came at 7.40 a.m., after 28 days of intense anxiety among his followers and frenetic activity by doctors of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences.  The medical team gave him expert care but could not save his life as multi-organ failure set in.  After his admission to the hospital on March 30, a cardiac pacemaker was implanted. As his condition deteriorated, doctors put him on a ventilator system and on dialysis.

As news spread that the Baba’s body would be brought to the ashram in the afternoon, people ran onto the streets in a frenzy of emotion. Men and women of all age groups could be seen crying without any restraint. The air was filled with the slogan, ‘Satya Sai Bhagwan ki jai.’  After the passing of Sai Baba, a vast empire spread across Puttaparthi, Bangalore, Kodaikanal, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai, and overseas centres, needs to be administered as effectively as before. The spiritual guru was the Chairman of the Sathya Sai Central Trust that manages funds pouring in from devotees across the globe, as well as the affairs of a string of service and spiritual organisations.  The body will be interred in the hall on April 27 around 8 a.m.

Hindu spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba died on Sunday in a hospital near his southern Indian ashram. He was 84.  Many devotees considered him a living god.  Sai Baba as a teenager had asserts to be a re-embodiment of the well-known Shirdi Sai Baba.  His organisation has financed health and education projects, among them hospitals and clinics that claim to cure illnesses beyond the capabilities of mainstream medicine.  Indian’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described his death as an “irreparable loss”.  “He was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice,” said Mr Singh.

Satya Sai Baba (1926 - ) has become a legendary figure and is considered to be God incarnate by his many followers. The religious organization associated with his name has performed great service to humanity by providing excellent hospitals, schools, colleges, and drinking-water facilities, as well as undertaking many other social activities.  His ashram, known as Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of the Highest Peace) at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, is always buzzing with religious and philanthropic activities.  He promotes a virtuous life, vegetarianism, abstinence from alcohol, and charitable deeds.  He is famous for his everyday miracles, such as producing sacred ash and other articles from nowhere, but he dismisses all that as being only the initial attention-catching activity.  The real thing, according to him, is the spiritual awakening and moral transformation.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 42: “Hinduism in Modern Era”
“Spiritual Masters of the Recent Period”

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Agencies - The Christian community is all set to celebrate Easter today (April 24) at all the churches across the country. 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 that lord died on Good Friday while Easter Sunday is celebrated as ‘Jesus resurrected on Easter Sunday.’  Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.  His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday). Easter marks the end of Lent; a 40-day period of fasting and the last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, which contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

The greatest way we honor his name is in loving our neighbors as ourselves and helping those in need. This is what Christ represents and it is in showing kindness, generosity and peace that we celebrate the true meaning of Easter.  “On Easter Sunday Jesus rose from the dead. The tomb was empty but the story didn’t stop there. Jesus appeared to his followers time and time again until his ascension into heaven. He had truly overcome death and said that by believing in Him we can do the same.  Sin brought death into the world.   Jesus overcame sin and offers us eternal life by following Him. We follow Him by loving God and our neighbors,” said Rev. Leonard Collins, St. Augustine Catholic Church, South Bend.

For Christians, Easter offers the promise of redemption, with Jesus’ resurrection representing the possibility of entering into eternal life.  Easter is the greatest manifestation of God’s love that gives hope amid the evils of the world.  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 many, it is a propitious time for introspection and evaluation of our everyday actions; so it would be good if we transform our existence making all our days a continual Easter Sunday.

On the morning of Monday 26 June 2002, Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaj had a meeting with Father Alfred Agius, a Jesuit priest who is the head of the Interfaith group of the Catholic diocese of Westminster. ... Maharaj then mentioned to Father Agius that he had been to the Vatican on a previous European preaching tour. ... Maharaj then went on to describe his impressions when he had viewed the “Pieta” of Michelangelo.  The “Pieta” is a marble sculpture of the body of Jesus lying in the arms of his mother Mary, after His crucifixion.  Maharaj said “When I saw this statue, frankly I was shocked!”  “Shocked?” we asked.  “Yes! I was so shocked to see how Jesus died! And for the sake of the living beings!”  Maharaj’s face showed genuine compassion when he spoke about this.  Father Agius seemed clearly touched by the experience of that meeting with Srila Tirtha Maharaj.

VINA News Blog :
“A Message of True Catholicism”
“A meeting with HDG Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Gosvami Maharaj”
Published by Dasi on Saturday, July 17, 2010.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


VIEWS AT INTERFAITH DIALOGUE PANEL - Leaders of five different religious backgrounds discussed how their traditions allow them to understand and confront contemporary issues.  The religious officials commented from a faith perspective, asked by moderator Russell Meyers.  On the topic of suffering and tragedy in the world, the panelists all acknowledged they could not give a clear answer as to why bad things happen. “I think that suffering and evil are simply brute facts of the world, facts that are as inexplicable as they are undeniable,” said the Rev. Jim Liggett of St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church.  “It’s just the way it is.” “Everything happens for a purpose,” said Rabbi Sidney Zimelman of the Temple Beth El in Odessa, who called humankind’s struggle with suffering and pain “one of the most vexing obstacles to faith”.  

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, the current spiritual leader of the Kauai Hindu Monastery in Hawaii, said natural disasters are bound to happen while living on a dangerous planet like earth.  “God didn’t guarantee us a planet free of imperfections,” he said.  “The fact that it is imperfect goads us on to grow spiritually.”  The religious leaders tackled politically charged questions, such as religion’s place in politics, abortion and the ability to pray at schools.   The panelists also were asked to share what they believed to be the ultimate goals in their faith journey.  Though the religious leaders had starkly different opinions on some issues, many said they appreciated the openness and respect their answers received.

This week, leaders of five different religious backgrounds confront contemporary issues in Texas, USA.  “I think there are misconceptions about what these different faiths believe.”  “It’s a chance to talk about the things that make us different. We’re not all the same,”  Jay Mayo, pastor of adult ministries of Stonegate Fellowship, said.  Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami from the Kauai Hindu Monastery in Hawaii appreciated the opportunity to share their perspectives.  “Community always benefits from tolerance. I’d say the viewpoints that have been gathered are wonderfully diverse and respectful of each other,” he said.

Every individual has his peculiar nature distinct form any other. So, obviously individuals will vary in their opinions and tastes and this is quite natural. It is an unnatural thing to attempt forcibly to encage individuals into one fold, faith or particular ideology. Accordingly cultivation of tolerance of others’ views is essential for world-peace and unity.  Indian sponsors of religion appeared to have got that insight and tolerance; hence many independent views have cropped up in India and have flourished simultaneously.  Want of tolerance makes us sectarian and that spirit motivates us for forcible conversion of others which brings turmoil and unrest in the world. Religion should give equal scope to all the individuals for their respective spiritual development according to their attributes.

Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Madhava Mahārāja :
“Realistic Solution for Diverse Humanity”
Speech at a ‘Spiritual Summit Conference’ - 1968 Calcutta.
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

Friday, April 22, 2011


CHOCOLATE EGGS MARKET - Easter is the oldest and most important Christian festival, marking the end of the fasting season of Lent and the death, on Good (derived from God’s) Friday and resurrection of Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday.  It has deeper and more complex associations than Christmas, particularly in the Orthodox Christian world.  There are many customs and traditions associated with Easter which, like most other holiday and feast days, are derived from a combination of both Jewish lore and pre-Christian and pagan practices.  It is named after Eostre, the goddess of fertility and birth, worshipped by first-century pagans at the vernal equinox, who believed she would bless both their families and their crops.  Christian missionaries saw this celebration took place around the time of the resurrection of Christ, so they adopted Easter as a Christian holiday to increase conversion.  The Easter chocolate bunny or rabbit is a much more recent idea.

Eggs, of course, are ancient symbols of fertility, for very obvious reasons, while the Seder meal incorporates a hard boiled egg as a symbol of new life.  The ancient Persians also painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration falling on the spring equinox.  An egg has also been seen to be associated with the rebirth or resurrection of Christ.  The custom of eating them also derives from the fact that they were forbidden during Lent.  There are a great many rituals associated with eggs, mainly dating from Mediaeval times in Europe, usually involving decorating, throwing, rolling or hiding eggs for children to find them.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this week is one of the holiest times of the year. Christians commemorate the resurrection and sacrifice of Jesus Christ; Jews honor the Israelites' exodus to freedom from slavery.  Rooted in persecution, oblation, humility and eventual triumph, both religious holidays have an underlying common theme: no matter what the calamity, you will rise again to victory.  It is precisely this interpretation of those defining events that each and every one of us should take to heart during challenging times.  A happy Easter to all of our many Christian friends; and a happy Passover to our many Jewish friends!!

To be a heathen or pagan simply meant that one followed those religions that existed prior to Christianity, ... so paganism is simply a reference to following the old remnants of the Vedic Aryan culture. ... We can trace many more similarities between Christianity, Judaism, and other cultures.  ... the celebration for the resurrection of the Greek god Adonis is said to have taken place as late as 386 A.D. in Judea at the same time as the Easter observance of Jesus’ resurrection. And the use of dyed Easter eggs was widely known by such people as the Egyptians and Persians who made presents of them, and by the Jews who used them in the Passover feast. These are some of the non-Christian traditions that became incorporated into the Christian Easter holiday and are still practiced today.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Christianity and the Vedic Teachings Within It”  -

Thursday, April 21, 2011


WILL GET THEIR MONEY BACK - Federal prosecutors in Manhattan may have declared war against the world’s biggest online poker companies, but the two sides are working together to return funds belonging to U.S. players.  The government will allow PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to use their web sites to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players’ funds held in accounts with the companies.  The five-page domain-name use agreements with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will also let the poker companies continue to use their domain names to offer for-money online poker games to players outside the U.S.  In return the world’s two biggest online poker companies have agreed not to facilitate for-money poker games for U.S. players and to let an independent monitor verify their compliance with the deal.  Last week the U.S. Attorney, shut down the online poker industry in America by seizing five Internet domain names, used by the three main companies facilitating online poker games in the U.S.

In addition, a federal judge issued a restraining order against 76 bank accounts in 14 countries utilized by those online poker firms and their payment processors. The crackdown included the unsealing of an indictment against 11 individuals, including Isai Scheinberg and Raymond Bitar, the founders of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, which accused them of operating illegal gambling businesses and conspiring to commit bank fraud. The deals, which were struck between the feds and the online poker firms yesterday, will likely bring relief to U.S. online poker players who feared they would lose or be unable to access money they had deposited but now the U.S. players can withdrawal their funds.

Gambling or betting is not a harmless game neither for those rich addicted to it - nor for the poor or young who get hooked on its false lure of easy riches.   So it was heartening last week to see the Obama administration finally go after three of the largest Internet poker companies.   The indictments are bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling.  Internet gambling isn’t like going to a casino.  Compulsive gamblers and teenagers can’t be screened at the door.  And it’s all too easy to click away a few thousand dollars in an instant. That’s why the US Congress decided to outlaw it.

Gambling opens the door to all types of deceit.  Whoever doesn't dedicate his life to gambling understands that all work and each responsibility has its own fruit.  To gamble means not to know why one is living. The risk of wasting our human life is too great.  The only game of authorized chance is the game of self realization.  Responsibility and honesty get lost simultaneously when playing with money. The illusion of betting is that one can win something good, effortlessly. The idea of good luck contradicts the law of karma.  Time that is lost in gambling should be devoted to improving family relationships, because the family is our best treasure.  One has no right to put others in anxiety, the well-being of one's beloved family is at risk. No one will find blessedness in games of chance, nor in material gain.

House of Wisdom :
"Gambling - The real fortune is inside of you"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Bogotá ( - Torrential rains in Colombia wreaked more havoc around the country this week, including an area outside the capital where an avalanche of mud and debris smothered an entire town, killing at least one person.  Some 80 people have been killed in Colombia this year due to rain and flooding, with most of those deaths during the last couple of weeks.  Earlier this month, 20 people in a bus were killed when an overflowing river in the lush coffee-growing region swept the vehicle off a steep highway.  This year’s death toll adds to the 300 or so killed during the second half of 2010 when the unusually heavy and persistent rains began, fueled by the “La Niña” weather phenomenon, a South American counterpart to “El Niño.”  There are also concerns of more problems in northern Colombia along the Magdalena River.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said late Monday the lashing rains and its destruction of life and property is “without precedence in the history of Colombia.”  The resurgence of the rains also threatens to derail Colombia’s economy, which only recently got back on track and is expected to grow between 5% and 6% this year. Analysts say the recent rains may destroy coffee crops, just as they did last year, and make it difficult for some multinational companies to transport oil and coal to shipping ports for export.  Nearly all of the nation’s 32 states, or departments, are under a state of emergency, and around 3 million people have been left homeless since the devastation began last year.

“La Nina” climate phenomenon is caused by the cycle of water evaporation from the ocean and atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, increasing rainfall and humidity in northern South America, including Colombia, Venezuela and northern Brazil.  The worry is that if the rains continue - and Colombia’s meteorological institute Ideam says the intense rains could last into June - the temporary fix for the large breach might be washed away.  Besides the heavy rain, soil erosion is due to irresponsible logging and reforestation neglect, which destroy the natural balance.

Despite all this advancement, at every moment everyone is suffering due to at least one of the following threefold miseries: (1.) adhyatmika klesha; (2.) adhibhautika klesha and (3.) adhidaivika klesha. The miseries caused by nature (adhidaivika klesha) like floods, droughts, famines, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. are devastating calamities imposed upon us through the agency of nature. ... And moreover, we are being constantly tormented by the changes in the weather such as scorching heat, freezing cold and untimely rains. Thus a wise person should ponder, “Why our lives should be ridden with the anxiety of facing and tackling one problem after another? Is this all that life is meant for? Or is there a life of eternal joy that is never inhibited by sufferings?”

Śrīpad Radheshyam Das :
“Discover Your Self” - ‘Vedic Wisdom’ - ‘Cause of Suffering’
Director, ISKCON Youth Forum, Pune President, ISKCON, Pune

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


TRIGLYCERIDES, BLOOD FAT LEVELS - People who take steps to alter their lifestyles and eat healthier diets can significantly reduce high levels of triglycerides, a type of blood fat that is associated with heart and blood vessel problems and other diseases, the American Heart Association says in a new scientific statement.  Changes can include substituting healthy, unsaturated dietary fats for saturated ones, exercising, and losing weight, which could reduce triglycerides by 20% to 50%, the AHA statement says.  “The good news is that high triglycerides can, in large part, be reduced through major lifestyle changes,” says Michael Miller, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  “In contrast to cholesterol, where lifestyle measures are important but may not be the solution, high triglycerides are often quite responsive to lifestyle measures that include weight loss if overweight, changes in diet and regular physical activity,” added Dr Miller.

For people who are outside the normal range of triglycerides, the scientists recommend limiting:  * Added sugar to less than 5% to 10% of calories, or about 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories daily for men.  * Fructose, from processed foods and naturally occurring foods, to less than 50 to 100 grams per day.  * Saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories.  * Trans fat to less than 1% of total calories.  * Alcohol, especially if triglyceride levels are higher than 500 milligrams per deciliter.   People with high triglycerides should focus on eating more vegetables; fruits that are lower in fructose, and high-fiber whole grains.

A new study has indicated that dietary and lifestyle changes, such as improving eating habits and do exercise, can significantly reduce elevated levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat) which are associated with heart and blood vessel diseases and other health problems.  People who take proper steps can reduce unhealthy blood fat levels.  The human body is designed to help us to achieve the transcendence and needs to be cared for according to yogic principles that harmonize and connect it with our inner self.

The physical body is considered an instrument or vehicle of the soul on its path towards perfection, and it has its own needs that must be met in order to run well.  Right exercise: The asanas, improve blood circulation and muscle flexibility, and help the joints, muscles and other body parts to work correctly.   Correct breathing: Yogic breathing techniques called pranayama, producing a burst of energy that leads to mental and physical rejuvenation of the body.  Correct relaxation:  Relaxation is a natural method of revitalizing the body and mind.  Rigth diet: The yogic diet is a vegetarian one and is composed of pure foods that promote health and vitality.  Positive thinking and Meditation: They purify the intellect and allow to achieve wisdom and inner peace.