Saturday, June 30, 2012


EVERY TIME HE LOOKS AT PORNOGRAPHY - A man in India, plagued by porn-induced headaches, has to take painkillers 30 minutes before watching the X-rated movies, according to a case study. The unnamed "unmarried male software professional," 24, complained of "severe, exploding" headaches that developed gradually and peaked 10 minutes into the sexy scenes. "Progressively, he started to refrain from viewing videos as a means of avoiding headaches," researchers from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in New Delhi, India, wrote in the case study published in the June issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior. 
The cause of the man's ill-timed headaches, triggered only by porn and not by sex or masturbation, is unclear. "This guy is interesting because he's just watching porn and not actually having sex," said Dawn Buse, associate professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of behavioral medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in New York. "But he probably still gets aroused and excited, which may be even worse than having sex because there's no release."

Buse said about 1 percent of the population - mostly males - get headaches associated with sexual activity. But even arousal can cause changes in muscle tension, nerve sensitivity and blood flow in the brain that boost the perception of pain, she said. "It makes sense," she said. "There's definitely blood pumping through his head and his body." Like exercise-induced headaches, sex headaches are nothing more than a nuisance, easily negated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Buse said. But in rare cases, the pain can signal something more serious, like a brain tumor or an aneurysm. "If someone has a stiff neck, dizziness or confusion along with the pain, they should talk to a doctor," Buse said. The man, ready to abandon his porn-watching ways, was instead advised to take 400 milligrams of ibuprofen and 500 milligrams of acetaminophen 30 minutes in advance, to which, according to the study, "he reported significant pain relief."  Researchers theorised that 'muscular contractions' involved in sex could trigger the pain in general, and they added that sex could also influence the system controlling the blood flow of the arteries inside the brain.

"Man Plagued by Porn-Induced Headaches", it sounds like the set up for a joke, but a medical journal has revealed how 24-year-old software engineer from India approached doctors after suffering severe headaches every time he watched porn. Researchers who treated him suggested his pain sensitivity was due to a heightened emotional state associated with viewing pornography. Most people think that sex is an essential part of life, so 80 % of all internet traffic is related to pornography. Take care and avoid such garbage.

Actually, women have the power to attract men through all of the material senses. Men become lusty by seeing the body of a woman, by smelling her fragrance, by hearing her voice, by tasting her lips and by touching her body. However, the foolish relationship based on material sex attraction begins by seeing, and thus rūpa, or form, is very prominent in the process of ruining one's intelligence. This fact has been exploited in modern times by huge pornography industries, which prey on unfortunate men and women. The example of the foolish moth rushing into the fire and destroying itself is most appropriate in this regard, for one who becomes addicted to the momentary pleasure of sex indulgence certainly loses his power to understand the spiritual reality behind dull matter. A lusty person becomes blind and foolish through sex indulgence, and his soul is lost in the fire of sense gratification. This whole disaster can be avoided by taking seriously to the process of chanting the holy names of the Lord: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa)
Canto 11: General History
Chapter 8: The Story of Piṅgalā

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

Friday, June 29, 2012


AFTER DAUGHTER FOUND IN LOCKED CLOSET - A mother from Kansas City (Missouri, USA) faces multiple charges for locking her 10-year-old daughter in a closet.  Police found the girl Friday in a small closet where she was forced to stand in own urine and feces. Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said Jacole N. Prince faces assault in the first-degree for knowingly causing serious physical injury to her daughter by failing to provide proper nutrition. The 29-year-old mother is also charged with abuse of a child because Peters-Baker said Prince knowingly inflicted cruel and inhuman punishment on her daughter.  Prince also faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. 
Peters-Baker said Prince locked her daughter in a closet from time to time at their apartment on Highland Avenue near 13th Street. Neighbors said they were surprised because they didn’t know Prince had another child living in the home.  “Every time we do go to Jacole’s house, we would knock on the door, tell her to come out, see what she’s doing,” said Peaches Burrell, neighbor. “She wouldn’t open the door all the way. She would come out and shut the door behind her.”

Police said the victim, who is only identified as “LP” in court documents, was found Friday after someone anonymously tipped off authorities through the child abuse hotline. Officers cleared the first floor of the apartment and proceeded to the second floor. It states they detected a strong odor of urine at the top of the stairs. State police noticed a portable crib pushed next to two closet doors that were tied off with a small rope in one room. Officers asked, “Is anyone in here?” Then they heard a child’s voice answer, “Yes.” Officers had to slide the crib out of the way and use a pocket knife to cut the rope. LP was standing in the closet and stated it was her room. Court documents also state hospital personnel said LP weighed just 32 pounds, which is severely malnourished for her age. The last time hospital personnel said the victim visited a hospital was in 2006. They said she weighed 26 pounds then. LP told police she didn’t get to eat everyday, she never got to play outside and would oftentimes use that closet - about 3 feet by 6 feet - as her bathroom. 
Some of Prince’ neighbors are furious, knowing that for the five years Prince lived there and allowed her other two daughters to play with the neighborhood kids, another child in the home needed help.

A 10-year-old girl from Kansas City (USA) found locked in a urine-soaked closet and severely malnourished continues on the long road to recovery. Her mother, Jacole N. Prince, 29, is charged with first-degree assault, abuse of child and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. "At first blush, the story sounds as apocryphal as it does tragic. It conjures up images of the evil twin locked in the attic, the insane half-brother secreted away in a basement dungeon. Sadly, it is all too real", says Howard Portnoy, NY Headlines Examiner. In this Age of Kali the propensity for mercy and compassion is almost nil.

And after one year passed Nārada and Parvata Rishi were coming. When the former hunter saw Narada, his dear Master, from a long distance, he ran and threw his upper cloth on the ground … in order not to harm any ants … and he offered his prostrations to him. … Then Parvata Muni said: "It is a blessing of you, oh Narada. Otherwise how such a ferocious, how such a cruel and who has very cruel heart. He has no sympathy, nothing. But now he could get that sympathy by your grace.  It is only the Namam, Divine Name can change them. 
If the Divine Name is in the proper process, obtained from a realized soul, and if he contemplates and determines: "I am with full vigor, with full faith I will do namam.", then he will do no harm to anybody. So, a devotee means; the harmless creature. He will do no harm to human beings, no birds, no beasts, no insects, none else. He is always following: ahimsā paramo dharma.  That is ahimsā: one should not harm any animal, any beast, any bird, physically or mentally.

Śrīla Bhakti Vaibhava Purī Mahārāj:
Lecture at Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 26.6.1999
Śrī Krishna Chaitanya Mission

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012


GOOD REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR NICOTINE FIX - Are you having a hard time giving up those after-meal cigarettes and stress-relieving smoke breaks? If you’ve tried just about everything, then here’s a bit of good news for you. According to a new study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, smokers who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are three times more likely to kick the habit. They are also more likely to stay away from smoking for longer as well. Researchers conducted a telephone survey of more than 1,000 smokers from ages 25 and above to see just how a nutritious diet affects their smoking habit. 
After 14 months, the participants were once again called and asked about the number of times they had smoked in the past month. Based on the results, smokers who consumed the most fruits and vegetables were more likely to have not smoked in the past 30 days than those who ate the least produce. Even after accounting for factors like age, race, gender, and income among others, the results remained the same.

The healthy diet also appears to lessen the number of cigarettes people smoke in general. Apparently, eating fruits and vegetables worsens their taste. "We may have identified a new tool that can help people quit smoking," says study author Jeffrey Haibach, a graduate research assistant in the University at Buffalo's Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. "Granted, this is just an observational study, but improving one's diet may facilitate quitting."  Haiback notes that many people mistake hunger for an urge to light one up, so the next time you feel like smoking a cigarette, try eating fruits and vegetables instead. By substituting one habit for another, you’re already improving your quality of life.
Several explanations for the findings are possible: people who consume a lot of fruits and vegetables may be less nicotine dependent, or may have a decreased desire to smoke, the researchers said. Fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber, which may give people a sense of satiety or fullness so that they feel less of a need to smoke. Smokers sometimes confuse hunger with an urge to smoke, Haibach said.

According to a new study published in a biography Nicotine and Tobacco Research, smokers who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are 3 times some-more expected to flog the habit and to stay divided from smoking for longer as well. But, the most important conclusion is that "Unlike some foods which are known to enhance the taste of tobacco - such as meats, caffeinated beverages and alcohol - fruits and vegetables may actually worsen the taste of cigarettes", Haibach said.  How about if today you start changing your diet and kick the smoking habit?.

The trout is lured by the worm on the hook of the fisherman, the mouse by the cheese in the mouse-trap. A tragic irony of the struggle for existence is that living beings are often destroyed by what they desire. But at least the fish and the mouse have excuses: the bait and the cheese look like sustenance. Also, the fish and the mouse do not know in advance that they will be trapped. Humans seldom have either of these excuses. The temptations that wreck their lives are quite often pure indulgences known to be dangerous. For example, no one has to smoke for survival and all smokers are aware that smoking is dangerous. Tobacco kills nearly 10,000 people worldwide every day. ... The statistics about other self-destructive behavioral patterns - alcoholism, substance abuse and suicide - are equally, if not more, alarming. And even among so-called normal people, practically everyone is victimized by some form of self-destructive behavioral pattern - unwarranted expressions of anger that turn out to be disastrous, unintentional use of caustic words that break hearts and so on.

Śrīpad Chaitanya Charan das :
"The Spiritual Scientist"
"Bad habits - Causes and Cures"
December 25, 2011

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


COLORADO WILDFIRE DOUBLES IN SIZE - A stubborn and towering wildfire jumped firefighters’ perimeter lines in the hills overlooking Colorado Springs, forcing frantic mandatory evacuation notices for more than 32,000 residents, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, and destroying an unknown number of homes. The blaze doubled in size overnight to more than 24 square miles, fire information officer Rob Dyerberg said Wednesday. He said homes were destroyed but authorities don’t yet know how many.  Heavy smoke and ash billowed from the mountain foothills west of the city. Bright yellow and orange flames flared in the night, often signaling another home lost to the Waldo Canyon Fire, the No. 1 priority for the nation’s firefighters.  “It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said after flying over the 9-square-mile fire late Tuesday. “It’s almost surreal. You look at that, and it’s like nothing I’ve seen before.” With flames cresting a ridge high above its scenic, 28-square-mile campus, the Air Force Academy told more than 2,100 residents to evacuate 600 households.

A curtain of flame and smoke hung above the academy’s Falcon Stadium; billowing gray clouds formed a backdrop to its aluminum, glass and steel Cadet Chapel, an icon of the academy. Elsewhere, police officers directing traffic and fleeing residents covered their faces with T-shirts and bandanas to breathe through the smoke. “People are freaking out,” Kathleen Tillman told The Denver Post. “You are driving through smoke. It is completely pitch black, and there is tons of ash dropping on the road.” Interstate 25, which runs through Colorado Springs, was briefly closed to southbound traffic Tuesday. Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown told The Post, “This is a firestorm of epic proportions.” And Hickenlooper, who spoke with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Tuesday, told anxious residents that “We have all the support of the U.S. government. We have all the support of the state of Colorado. And we want everybody here to know that.” Throughout the interior West, firefighters have toiled for days in searing, record-setting heat against fires fueled by prolonged drought. Most, if not all, of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana were under red flag warnings, meaning extreme fire danger.

A towering wildfire jumped firefighters' perimeter lines and moved into the city of Colorado Springs, forcing frantic evacuation orders for more than 32,000 residents, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, and destroying an unknown number of homes. The nation is experiencing “a super-heated spike on top of a decades-long warming trend,” said Derek Arndt from the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. We should ask ourselves why we are always tormented by the changes in the weather such as scorching heat, freezing cold and untimely rains.

Despite all this advancement, at every moment everyone is suffering due to at least one of the following threefold miseries: (1) Miseries caused by one's own mind and body (adhyatmika klesha). (2) Miseries caused by other living entities (adhibhautika klesha). (3) Miseries caused by nature (adhidaivika klesha): Floods, droughts, famines, earthquakes, hurricanes etc are devastating calamities imposed upon us through the agency of nature. ... Even if these come only occasionally, they wreak havoc whenever they come. ... Who can say that he is not being harassed constantly by one of these problems? ... Each person spends every moment preserving their life, belongings, kith and kin, job or post, reputation etc. But the world we live in, takes all these away eventually despite our efforts to hold on to them. Thus a wise person should ponder, "Why should our lives 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 Prabhu :
“Discover Your Self”
‘Vedic Wisdom’ - ‘Cause of Suffering’
Director, ISKCON Youth Forum, Pune President, ISKCON, Pune.

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


FOR ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS, STUDY - When caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s use yoga to engage in very brief, easy daily meditations, they lower levels of depression, improve cognitive functioning and reduce stress-induced cellular aging, says a new UCLA study. Currently, at least five million Americans care for someone with dementia. Over the next two decades, the frequency of dementia and the number of family caregivers who provide support to these loved ones will increase dramatically. The extreme burden on caregivers can be severe. “We know that chronic stress places caregivers at a higher risk for developing depression. On average, the incidence and prevalence of clinical depression in family dementia caregivers approaches 50 percent. 
Caregivers are also twice as likely to report high levels of emotional distress,” said Dr. Helen Lavretsky, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Furthermore, many caregivers tend to be older themselves, leading to what Lavretsky calls an ‘impaired resilience’ to stress and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

“Although the relation between mental and physical health has been previously documented, the mechanistic links are beginning to be understood at the cellular level,” said Lavretsky. For the study, researchers recruited 49 caregivers who were taking care of a relative with dementia. The volunteers were randomly placed in one of two groups. The meditation group engaged in a brief, 12-minute yogic chanting meditation called Kirtan Kriya.  This was performed every day at the same time for 8 weeks. The other group relaxed in a quiet place by closing their eyes and listening to instrumental music on a relaxation CD, also for 12 minutes every day at the same time for eight weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks, the meditation group had significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and greater improvement in mental health and cognitive functioning, compared with the relaxation group. The pilot results were “striking,” said Lavretsky, given that improvements were witnessed in mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity over eight short weeks in only 12 minutes a day. “We found that the effects on cognitive and mental functioning and telomerase activity were specific to the Kirtan Kriya,” she said.

A new study at UCLA involving family caregivers and late-life depression revealed that yoga meditation helped reduce the symptoms of depression while showing improvement in overall mental health of participants. “Because Kirtan Kriya had several elements of using chanting (kirtan), mudras (finger poses) and visualization, there was a ‘brain fitness’ effect in addition to stress-reduction that contributed to the overall effect of the meditation,” said Dr. Lavretsky. The combination of kirtan along with mudras increases blood flow to the motor-sensory area of the brain.

Meditation is the art and technique of experiencing divine power within. In Hindu theology, meditation is closely associated with God; thus was born the sacred Hinduism. ... The art and science of Raja Yoga, or meditation yoga, is closely associated with the awakening of the chakras in tune with various breathing exercises (pranayamas). There have been many different techniques, such as Kundalini Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Siddha Yoga, Nirvana-Sahasrara, and Sudarshan Yoga, with some variations. 
In many religious centers, the meditation aspects of yoga are more emphasized. Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Chakra, Siddha Yoga, and a few more are essentially variants of the meditation Raja Yoga. With these types, the physical aspect of Hatha yoga may be less conspicuous. The combination of the secular and the spiritual is met with in many other places. Even though Yoga is a child of Hinduism, it has now grown its own strong wings. It has made its mark, beyond the confines of any one religion. Yoga has truly become a citizen of the world!

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 44 - “Meditation: The Spiritual Practice”
Chapter 45 - “Yoga: Union with the Divine”

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

Monday, June 25, 2012


FIGHT ANGER WITH PATIENCE - Patience is the Mahayana Buddhist virtue that overcomes anger. According to this religious point of view, an angry mind is the result of ignorance, and when we act out of anger, we always cause ourselves spiritual harm. We often harm others when we act out of anger, but we always harm ourselves. So, from this spiritual perspective, we need to eliminate anger from our minds. We do this not by suppressing our anger, but by eliminating the ignorant way we conceive of those persons and things that cause us to become angry. Suppressing anger can cause psychological problems, but eliminating the causes of anger always results in psychological and spiritual health. We become angry because of a deluded view we have of ourselves and the persons or things toward which our anger is directed. When we become angry, we are viewing a thing as permanently bad and hateful by nature - it is as if this thing is pervaded by badness. We also project the characteristic of being "permanently me" onto a collection of body parts and mental states that is continually changing.

We vigorously defend our sense of having a permanent self and become angry with anything we view as causing harm to this self. This false way of viewing a world of permanent things is called a "delusion" in Buddhism. In your daily life, remind yourself that anger is a delusion, and that there are many disadvantages of being angry. I have already explained why anger is a delusion. Now, let's look at some of the disadvantages of anger. Anger is a very unpleasant and disagreeable emotion to experience. No one would choose to experience anger for its own sake. Anger causes us to act in ways that we often eventually regret, because we are not in full control of ourselves when we are angry. We cannot think clearly when we are angry, so we make serious mistakes in thinking and doing as a result. There are many other disadvantages of anger. There are, also, many advantages of being patient, and you can include contemplating them during your meditation sessions to develop patience. To complete your practice of using contemplative meditation to develop patience, you must integrate the results of meditation into your daily activities.

"Anger causes us to distance ourselves from others, because we appear repulsive and threatening when we are angry. Anger is the root cause of all wars, and wars cause widespread death and destruction. Anger can cause us to say hurtful things, even to those we dearly love," explains the author of this article: Tenzin Norbu - pen name of Terrence Moore, a retired professor of Philosophy (USA).  Anger leads to delusion and then towards destruction. Consequently, an aspirant in devotional path, must be wholly wedded to this quality of patience.

Patience is another essential and favourable quality that is needed for every aspirant after devotion. 'Patience and perseverance will overcome mountains'. We are severely disappointed and nonplussed due to want of patience. Those who lack this quality are undone; they do not prosper in any line. By the influence of patience, an aspirant for devotion gains perfect control over himself, and finally the entire world bows to him. Souls under the thraldom of Maya are the slaves of sixfold passions. Those who can effectively succeed in conquering all these six passions can master the whole world. These impulses are (1) an uncontrollable tendency for idle gossip, (2) various undesirable speculations of the wavering mind, (3) proneness to uncontrollable anger, (4) unusual desire for satisfying the tongue with delicious varieties of food, (5) longing for excessive eating, and (6) sexual appetite. These six impulses are highly detrimental to the development of devotion. Hence, with utmost patience, they are to be abandoned in the daily life of one aspiring after Bhakti.

Śrīla Bhakti Vaibhava Purī Mahārāj:
“Guru and Atma Nivedan”
‘Activities Favourable to Devotional Progress’
Bhakti Vigyan Nityananda Book Trust
Śrī Krishna Chaitanya Mission -

Sunday, June 24, 2012


SCANDAL OVER PHOTOS WITH WOMAN - The bishop of the Argentine diocese of Merlo Moreno resigned his post following a scandal over photos showing him with a woman on a Mexican beach, the local press said Saturday. Fernando Maria Bargallo presented his resignation to the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in the Argentine capital, according to the Buenos Aires daily Clarin. Sources at the Nunciature consulted Saturday by Efe would neither confirm nor deny Bargallo's resignation and redirected all questions to the Merlo Moreno Diocesse, where no one was available to answer calls. On Wednesday, Bargallo admitted in a communique that he was the one seen in the photos published the day before in the local press, but said that the woman with him was just "a childhood friend." He also apologized for the possibility that the scandal might lead to "bad interpretations" and said he was "totally committed to God and the church." The photos show the clergyman, 57, with a woman on a beach in Mexico in early 2011. In some shots they are seen in the water holding each other. Argentine Catholic bishop was left red-faced after footage emerged of him swimming and cuddling with the blonde at a secluded luxury Mexican hideaway.

He initially denied it was him in the video, but later admitted he does play a starring role. The bishop explained that the published photos were taken two years ago during a meeting “with a childhood friend - whom I have known practically since the time I can remember - in Mexico.” He added that the two were in Mexico at the same time but for different reasons and were surrounfded by multiple acquaintances who were not shown in the photos. “I have been a close friend of her family my entire life,” he said. But later he had to admit that the woman was more than just a childhood friend. By all means, he tried to show that he had not been unfaithful to his vows as a priest and two days ago he said, “I have very deep feelings for the priesthood and my dedication to the Lord Jesus and I wish to persevere in them until the end,” he noted. Finally he had to admit to the priests of his diocese his affair with the woman. Bargallo had been the bishop of Merlo Moreno, a populous diocese on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, since May 1997, and until last year was president of Caritas Argentina and currently has the same responsibility in Caritas Latin America, both divisions of this international network of Catholic charity organizations.

Catholic Bishop Fernando Maria Bargallo and a blonde woman were spotted swimming together at a Mexican luxury resort. In one picture he is in the water close and face-to-face with the bikini-clad woman. At first the Argentine Bishop denied suggestions about a love affair and said it was only an innocent holidays; however, in the light of the facts, he had to admit to the priests of his Diocese his relationship affair with the woman and presented his resignation to the Pope's envoy in Argentina. When you live in celibacy, do not flirt with women or talk intimately, since lust is the great enemy of spiritual practitioner.

As soon as we accept Lust, our philosophical understanding is internally perverted and we become very confused. We do not understand anything, and in that point our conflicts with the environment begins. Loyalty means determination, if there is no determination one can not be faithful. Controlling the mind means to purify the mind and purify the mind means to control the senses. The wise never want us to act sinfully, but lust never want us to hear the advice of the wise. … Chastity is not a kind of repression, it is just keeping our thoughts clear, clean and honest, otherwise we lose the purity of the intelligence. We must be pure to be fair and we must be fair to not commit offenses. According to the level of purity we want to achieve, it will be the ability to reject the impurity, and that's the way to freedom: to seek the purity, and the more we aspire for the purity, we more reject the impure  proposals. If someone does not have much interest to correct himself or he/she does not let someone else correct him/her, then that person is not very pure, as the interest in pure things makes us pure. Honesty reflects our level of understanding in the spiritual life.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


BETWEEN LOVE AND LUST IN THE BRAIN - Is it love or lust? A new study co-authored by Concordia University professor Jim Pfaus shows that in the human brain you can't have one without the other. "No one has ever put these two together to see the patterns of activation," said Pfaus, whose study showed an overlap in the areas of the brain that are stimulated by love and by sexual desire. The psychology professor explained that the brain can't divorce love from reward and desire. "It really grows out of it.  And you need desire there to keep the love alive." Along with researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland, Pfaus looked at the results from 20 different studies that examined brain activity as subjects looked at exotic pictures and photos of their partners. 
Researchers found that in each case the photos activated areas of the striatum, which is located inside the forebrain. According to the study, the area of the striatum that's triggered by sexual desire is usually activated by things that are naturally pleasurable, such as food or sex, while the area triggered by love is conditioned by moments linked to rewards or pleasures.

"When we have love at first sight, is there ever a time that we don't want to consummate that love by having sex? I don't think so," Pfaus told However, he noted that love and desire affect the brain in very different ways. "It's not like love is lust taken to the tenth degree," said Pfaus. He explained that feelings of love involve the bonding mechanism of oxytocin, known as the love hormone, and dopamine, which controls the brain's reward and pleasure centres. Pfaus said researchers were surprised to find that the area of the brain associated with love is also associated with addiction. "When your lover says I'm not going to see you anymore, you don't say, ‘I'll just find another.' You start acting like a drug addict. You search for that, you beg for it and you want it. It's as if your heart has been ripped out." 
Pfaus explained that love is actually a habit that is formed from sexual desire as that desire is rewarded. "It works the same way in the brain as when people become addicted to drugs," he said. He pointed to studies that show a deactivation in certain parts of the brain when someone falls out of love. Pfaus said the study sheds a new light on addiction and its impact on the human brain.

Scientists claim to have identified a neurological difference between love and lust. According to this new study, love and sexual desire activate different but related areas of the brain. Researchers have traced the origin of love to a part of the brain linked to drug addiction. This meta-analysis led to a map of love and desire in the brain, which shows that the insula and the striatum are involved in the progression from sexual desire to love. From the Vedic point of view, both lust and material love are māyā’s love, whereas Real Love is God's love, the endless and fully rewarding Love.

You refer to the word “love” several times in your letter, but the actual fact is that there is no love in this material world. That is false propaganda. ... In the Vedic language there is no word for materialistic “love,” as we call it in the present day. The word kāma describes lust or material desire, not love, but the word that we find in the Vedas for actual love is premā, meaning one’s love of God only. Outside of loving God there is no possibility of loving. Rather, there is lusty desire only. Within this atmosphere of matter, the entire range of human activities - and not only every activity of human beings but all living entities - is based upon, given impetus and thus polluted by sex desire, the attraction between male and female. For that sex life, the whole universe is spinning around - and suffering! That is the harsh truth. So-called love here means that “you gratify my senses, I’ll gratify your senses,” and as soon as that gratification stops, immediately there is divorce, separation, quarrel, and hatred. So many things are going on under this false conception of love. Actual love means love of God, Krishna.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
"The Science of Self Realization"
SSR 7: "Exploring the Spiritual Frontier"
"Protecting Oneself from Illusion"

Friday, June 22, 2012


ENGAGED IN ODD SPACE DANCE - NASA's orbiting Kepler telescope has discovered an unlikely pair of planets orbiting a distant star. One is small and rocky, the other is large and gaseous. What makes them unusual is that both are orbiting close to their parent star and they routinely come very close to each other, within only 1.2 million miles. "Here we have a pair of planets in nearby orbits but with very different densities," said astronomer Steve Kawaler of Iowa State University, one of the co-authors of the report appearing in the journal Science. "How they both got there and survived is a mystery." 
Kepler is designed to detect planets circling other stars by observing variations in the stars' brightness as their planets pass between the star and Earth. Astronomers using it have so far identified 72 confirmed planets and have several hundred more possibilities. The new planetary pair was identified circling a star called Kepler-36, which is about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The star was already known to have one planet circling it. A team headed by Joshua Carter of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was examining such systems looking for examples with multiple planets.

Astronomer Eric Agol of the University of Wisconsin suggested that the team use a different algorithm to analyze the subtle changes in brightness that are detected by Kepler, and the Kepler-36 pair popped up immediately. The smaller of the new planets is called Kepler-36b and is rocky like Earth, but with a diameter about 1.5 times greater and a mass 4.5 times that of Earth. Kepler-36c, which is either gaseous like Jupiter or watery, is 8.1 times as massive as Earth and has a radius 3.7 times larger. 
But what makes them unusual is their orbits. Kepler-36b orbits its star every 14 days at an average distance of less than 11 million miles. Kepler-36c orbits the star every 16 days at a distance of 12 million miles. Every 97 days, on average, the planets come within 1.2 million miles of each other, about five times the distance from Earth to the moon. 
Normally, gaseous planets like Kepler-36c can form only farther away from their stars, where temperatures are cool enough for the gases to condense. They sometimes migrate closer to the mother star but, in doing so, they tend to sweep away smaller planets. Why that has not happened at Kepler-36 is a mystery.

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has spotted two planets engaged in an odd dance with each other. Kepler-36, which is located approximately 1200 light-years from Earth, has two planets with vastly different densities orbiting so close to each other that each rises in the night sky of its sister world like an exotic full moon. Despite the fact that the two planets are so close to each other, the timing of their orbits means they'll never collide. To many scientists this is amazing and a mystery, but all this is under the supervision of the powerful energies of the Supreme Lord.

By the limited instruments of knowledge (either the senses or the material instruments like microscopes and telescopes) one cannot even fully know the Lord’s material potencies, which are manifested before our eyes. For example there are many millions and billions of planets far, far beyond the scientist’s calculation. But these are only the manifestations of the Lord’s material energy. What can the scientist hope to know of the spiritual potency of the Lord by such material efforts? Mental speculations, by adding some dozens of “if’s” and “maybe’s,” cannot aid the advancement of knowledge - on the contrary, such mental speculations will only end in despair by dismissing the case abruptly and declaring the nonexistence of God. The sane person, therefore, ceases to speculate on subjects beyond the jurisdiction of his tiny brain, and as a matter of course he tries to learn to surrender unto the Supreme Lord, who alone can lead one to the platform of real knowledge.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Canto 2: "The Cosmic Manifestation"   
Chapter 7: "Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions"
Verses 43-45 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

Thursday, June 21, 2012


YOGA CLASS HITS TIMES SQUARE - The smoldering heat was nothing to thousands of yogis who turned out in Times Square Wednesday for the world's largest Bikram Yoga class. The 92-degree weather was substantially less than the 105 degrees - and 40 percent humidity - of a typical indoor Bikram class. More than 14,000 yogis spread out across several of Times Square's pedestrian plazas spent an hour and a half balancing, bending, and stretching, one of three classes being at the Crossroads of the World in the annual celebration of the summer solstice. The class, a set of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, was run by Rajashree Choudhury, a five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championship and wife of Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga. "If you can make it in Times Square perfectly, then you are a perfect yogi," she told her captivated audience before the class. "The solstice is the celebration of the sun. As yogis, we worship the sun." The event, put on by the Times Square Alliance and activewear maker Athleta, has become an opportunity for many to experience a more peaceful version of one of the busiest parts of the city.

"It purifies your body, it makes you feel great. It heals and revives you," said Jillian Sage, an instructor at Bikram Yoga NYC. "Everyone who you know is here. There's a sense of peace and togetherness despite how busy it is." For Alexandra Ruiz of the Upper East Side, it was also a milestone: her final class capping off 130 consecutive days of Bikram Yoga. "It's changed my life," she said. As the class went on, overheated yogis stripped off their outer layers - much to the amusement of passers-by. "The way they bend - we don't do that in Oklahoma," said tourist Ted Patrickson, 34, after a few minutes of watching. The Times Square Alliance will host one more class on Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m. The first 1500 attendees will receive free yoga mats from Athleta.  “It really doesn’t matter what’s going on in Times Square, doesn’t matter what’s going on with the guy next to you. It’s all about just being in the moment whatever that moment may be,” Richard Pietromonac, a demonstrator at the event said. For many cultures, the summer solstice symbolizes a time to renew and refresh the mind, body, and spirit.

The bright lights of Times Square in New York City are world renowned, but today hundreds made their way over to the famous locale for a different kind of “bright light” experience. On the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, the sun's bright light plays a crucial role in the tenth anniversary of “Solstice in Times Square: Mind over Madness Yoga.” Four free hour-and-a-half classes were offered throughout the day and attracted a steady stream of people of all ages, places, and yoga levels. The seeds of the yoga system may be discovered in the ancient Vedic texts.

The word yoga is derived from the root "yuj", which means to unite or to join together. The practice of yoga may lead to the union of the human with the divine - all within the self. The aim of yoga is the transformation of human beings from their natural form to a perfected form. The Yogic practices originated in the primordial depths of India's past. ... Yoga is an integral part of the Hindu religion. There is a saying: “There is no Yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without Yoga.”  The country of origin of Yoga is undoubtedly India, where for many hundreds of years it has been a part of man’s activities directed towards higher spiritual achievements. The Yoga Philosophy is peculiar to the Hindus, and no trace of it is found in any other nation, ancient or modern. It was the fruit of the highest intellectual and spiritual development. The history of Yoga is long and ancient. The earliest Vedic texts, the Brahmanas, bear witness to the existence of ascetic practices (tapas) and the vedic Samhitas contain some references, to ascetics, namely the Munis or Kesins and the Vratyas.

Sushama Londhe :
“A Tribute to Hinduism” - “Yoga and Hindu Philosophy”
Pragun Publications, New Delhi, India -

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Beirut (Reuters) - Notice: This story contains graphic details of abuse and torture - Government forces have used rape and other sexual violence against men, women and children during the Syrian uprising, Human Rights Watch said last week. The U.S.-based group said it had recorded 20 incidents from interviews inside and outside Syria with eight victims, including four women, and more than 25 other people with knowledge of sexual abuse - including medical workers, former detainees, army defectors, and women's rights activists. "Sexual violence in detention is one of many horrific weapons in the Syrian government's torture arsenal and Syrian security forces regularly use it to humiliate and degrade detainees with complete impunity," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW. "The assaults are not limited to detention facilities - government forces and pro-government shabiha militia members have also sexually assaulted women and girls during home raids and residential sweeps." Cases were reported all around Syria, but most of all in Homs province, an epicenter of the revolt. 

HRW quoted a man who said he had been held in the Political Security branch in Latakia in a cell with over 70 other people. He said young boys were treated worse than adults, brought back to the cell raped and with their fingernails pulled out. "One boy came into the cell bleeding from behind. He couldn't walk. It was something they just did to the boys. We would cry for them," the man said. HRW said many of the assaults were in circumstances in which commanding officers knew or should have known the crimes, such as electric shocks to genitalia, were taking place. In another face-to-face interview a woman from the Karm al-Zeitoun neighborhood of Homs city which was overrun by Assad's troops said she heard security forces and shabiha militia rape her neighbors while she hid in her apartment in March. "I could hear one girl fighting with one of (the men)... She pushed him and he shot her in the head," HRW quoted the woman as saying. She said three girls, the youngest aged 12, were then raped. After the men left the woman went next door. "The scene on the inside was unreal. The 12-year-old was lying on the ground, blood to her knees... More than one person had raped the 12-year-old... She was torn the length of a forefinger. I will never go back there. It comes to me. I see it in my dreams and I just cry."

Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Sexual abuse in detention, include rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia. Witnesses and victims told that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused women and girls as young as 12 during home raids and military sweeps of residential areas. Without spiritual progress, men forget about moral or ethical values and become much worse than fierce beasts.

Without spiritual advancement, individually and socially, human society becomes like a society of polished animals. We may have so much technology, but we still act and fight on the same order as cats and dogs. But human life is meant for a much higher purpose. Human life is the doorway to other realms of existence, the topmost being the spiritual realm. In order to rise above "animal vision," we have to become spiritually aware and see beyond the body and its designations, which is merely a temporary covering of the soul, like a shirt or coat. ... As long as people's consciousness is centered around their temporary bodily identity, throughout the world you will continue to find quarrels, fights, riots, wars, the tragedy of people starving in Africa and other places because of the politics, and everything else that motivates people to act on the bodily platform because of the superficial differences between races, religions, cultures, sexes, ideals, or political viewpoints.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
"Spiritual Enlightenment: A Cure for Social Ills"  -

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


CLUB FINAL FOR INJURING LINE JUDGE - Even as the ball left his racket, David Nalbandian knew it was going out. He had just played a running forehand at break point down and was evidently going to surrender the game. Marin Cilic's skilful service return had pinned him into the corner, and the Croatian was about to seize a crucial break in the second set. Everybody could see that. But what nobody could have foreseen was what happened next. Nalbandian's momentum had taken him to the very edge of the court. Out of the corner of his eye he would have spied a plywood advertising hoarding maybe four feet across - blue, with the Nike tick. What he failed to spot was the modest figure of line judge Andrew McDougall, sitting in a small chair behind it. 
In an instant, the frustration and rage inside Nalbandian at losing such a crucial game exploded from him. He aimed a huge kick at the hoarding.  The speed at which Nalbandian was travelling - close to full pelt - would have turned his tennis shoe into a blunt and brutal weapon. It was a shot Carlos Tevez would have been proud of.

"Sometimes you get angry," he said later. "Sometimes you cannot control those moments. Maybe you throw a racket or maybe you scream or maybe you do something like that. So many things happen." This is what happened: the hoarding smashed into pieces, clattering into the left shin of McDougall, a balding 54-year-old gentleman in sunglasses, who recoiled instantly in pain. As the crowd gasped, Nalbandian appeared slowly to grasp the gravity of what he had just done. Officials rushed to McDougall's aid. He pulled up the left leg of his cream trousers, smeared red like a jam scone. Blood was seeping from a one-inch gash. As a result of his crazy action, Nalbandian was disqualified. The spectators at Queen's, some of whom had paid over pounds 100 for their Sunday ticket, will certainly not forgive him. Many of them had missed Nalbandian's fleeting moment of madness, and as the match was terminated, boos rang out from all four sides of the court. 
Cilic was awarded the title by default and Nalbandian was fined the maximum $12,560 and placed under police investigation.

Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian might find himself more than £40,000 out of pocket after he was disqualified from the Queen’s Club Final. The match was two sets old when Nalbandian, after missing a shot, lashed out in frustration and kicked an advertising board in front of line judge Andrew McDougal which left the official with a bloodied left shin. Nalbandian apologised for his actions, but was disqualified for unsporting behaviour. Anger arising from frustration of material desires is called "viroda-yukta-krodha".

Krodha (anger) is the product of kāma (lust), which is the result of the mode of passion. When lust and hankering are unsatisfied, the element of krodha appears, which is the formidable enemy of the conditioned soul. This most sinful and inimical passion is represented as ahańkāra, or the false egocentric attitude of thinking oneself to be all in all. Such an egocentric attitude on the part of the conditioned soul, who is completely under the control of material nature, is described in Bhagavad-gītā as foolish. 
The egocentric attitude is a manifestation of the Rudra principle in the heart, wherein krodha (anger) is generated. This anger develops in the heart and is further manifested through various senses, like the eyes, hands and legs. When a man is angry he expresses such anger with red-hot eyes and sometimes makes a display of clenching his fists or kicking his legs.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Canto 3: "The Status Quo"   
Chapter 12: "Creation of the Kumāras and Others"
Verse 11 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase