Sunday, September 30, 2012

STRONG TYPHOON HITS JAPAN

POWERFUL TYPHOON MAKES
LANDFALL ON JAPAN'S MAIN ISLAND
www.japantimes.co.jp - A powerful typhoon that was traveling northeastward Sunday along the coast of western Japan made landfall on the main island of Honshu after hammering the southern islands of Okinawa, where it killed a man and injured more than 50 people while causing extensive blackouts, the weather agency said. At 7 p.m., Typhoon Jelawat made landfall in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, with the season's 17th typhoon moving through the Japanese archipelago, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. In the village of Yomitan in Okinawa Prefecture, 29-year-old Nobuhiro Bando was confirmed dead after being washed away by high tides while he was fishing. The municipal government of the central Japan city of Nagoya briefly issued an evacuation advisory for a total of 57,000 people in 21,000 households amid fear of flooding due to rising water levels of rivers in the city. 

A survey by Kyodo News on local police showed that at least 116 people had been injured across the nation on Sunday. The Ishinomaki city government in Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, issued an advisory for 11,000 people in 4,700 households in Miyagi Prefecture. The city of Hachioji near Tokyo recorded winds of 137.2 kph, while the cities of Fujinomiya and Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture saw 120 millimeters of rain per hour, prompting the weather agency to issue a warning for a record-breaking deluge in a short period. The agency is warning of torrential rain, thunderstorms and high waves, forecasting rainfall of 150 mm in Tohoku and Hokuriku, and 120 mm in Hokkaido over the 24-hour period through Monday night. According to airlines, over 500 flights mainly in western Japan have been canceled Sunday, while Japan Railway Co. decided to halt part of its shinkansen bullet train services across the nation.

A major typhoon bore down on Japan's main island on Sunday, with winds gusting up to 180 kilometers per hour and heavy rains that threatened to disrupt the Tokyo area and potentially cause problems for the Monday rush hour. Rainfall was expected to reach 500 millimeters in some areas over a 24-hour period. The storm hit the southernmost main island of Okinawa on Saturday, where it left many people injured, and more than 300,000 homes without power. Due to lack of observance of yagya (ritual of sacrifice), all around the world there are disturbances in nature, which in the form of karmic reactions are affecting all of us.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
It is a misperception, that the West has almost all that it needs. All of us have probably heard about devastating hurricane and storms. … So rather than going into the intricacies of comparison of  natural calamities and problems that we face in India and America, the underlining principle is that, things are not as rosy in the west as are portrayed in our media and TV. They are quite grave in many ways. Yes, if people do not worship and perform yajgya then the result is, not just that they don't get rains; rather they don't get rains in proper way. We should not be naive and simple in understanding that if someone is performing yajgya or is following dharma then suddenly the rains start coming. No that is not completely correct. That is just a causal connection between the two. But this causal connection is much more broader and deeper.



Śrīpad Chaitanya Charan das :
“The Spiritual Scientist”
“How is the Western world having its necessities despite not performing any sacrifices?”
Posted on April 14, 2012  -  http://www.thespiritualscientist.com/
http://www.thespiritualscientist.com/2012/04/how-is-the-western-world-having-its-necessities-despite-not-performing-any-sacrifices/



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
http://www.vedicviews-worldnews.blogspot.com.ar/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

OLYMPIC VEGETARIANS HIGHLIGHTED

“OLYMPIC VEGETARIANS”,
ELITE ATHLETES WHO SHUN MEAT
www.guardian.co.uk - Lizzie Armitstead was just 10 years old when she told her parents she wanted to become a vegetarian. Last July, she won Great Britain's first medal of the Olympic Games, taking silver in the gruelling 87-mile road cycling race, no less. In this article written by Adharanand Finn, an editor for the Guardian, he explains: I was brought up as vegetarian from birth and have been a long distance runner for most of my adult life. One of the most common misconceptions I've come across is that vegetarians are pallid, gentle creatures who would recoil in a tough sporting arena. Despite the fact I was breaking school records on the track, people still questioned my diet's ability to make me strong. I spent six months last year living and training with some of Kenya's greatest long-distance runners, for my book, "Running With the Kenyans". The athletes (from the Rift Valley) were not strictly vegetarian, but ate very little meat, which is usually reserved for special occasions such as weddings or funerals. Although there were occasional non-vegetarian meals served in the athlete training camps, we lived mostly on a diet of rice, beans, ugali (a dough made of maize flour and water) and green vegetables.

The list of gold medals the Kenyan athletes have won on the track is almost endless. (On a personal note, I returned home to run a marathon in under three hours.) However, most nutritionists are still unconvinced of the benefits of a vegetarian diet for elite sportspeople. While it can mean a diet low in saturated fat, which is good, it requires athletes to be more vigilant about their intake of protein, iron and vitamin B12. “It is hard work,” says Linia Patel, a sports nutritionist at the British Dietetic Society. “It can be done, of course, but I take my hat off to those who do it.” Yet as Armitstead has shown yet again, vegetarians continue to rise to the very top of their sports. She follows a long line of Olympians who have managed to excel without “eating corpses”, as she herself puts it. In honour of her medal, here are a few other great vegetarian Olympians: Paavo Nurmi, Murray Rose, Edwin Moses, Carl Lewis, Emil Voigt, Christopher Campbell, Martina Navratilova, etc.

23 year old Lizzie Armitstead won the silver medal in the Women's Road Race at the Olympic Games 2012 in London. The grueling 87 mile race through the rain soaked streets of London took more than 3 1/2 hours to complete, and Lizzie was just milliseconds away from taking the gold. Lizzie is proof positive that a meat-free diet is optimal for even the most extreme athletes, considering the strength and endurance needed to get through such a competition. Lizzie decided to go vegetarian when she was just ten years old - she was sick of eating “corpses”, as she explains - and is cited as saying she would have done it even earlier had her parents allowed her to. She started riding a bike when she was only four years old, and by the time she was eight she was competing not only in bike races, but also triathlons (which include cycling, running and swimming). She eventually moved out of girls-only races to compete with, and win over, the boys teams too!


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Until around the mid-twentieth century, most of us were taught that meat contains essential amino acids that could not be obtained in vegetarian foods. It was thus implied that a vegetarian diet was inferior and incomplete. But now the tables have turned - without any controversy, medical opinion now favors a vegetarian diet. Meat is often considered a relatively toxic substance for human consumption. Health authorities worldwide agree that heart attacks, cancers, and many other diseases are more prevalent in the meat-eating population than in the vegetarian population. ...  Vegetarian food provides potassium to the body, which is considered a beneficial element. It also has a more alkaline base that is beneficial to good health in many ways. Vegetarian food is considered a complete diet, especially if there are sufficient dairy products and nutrient foods like soya in the diet.


Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 48: “Vegetarianism”
“The Compassionate Way of Living”
http://hinduismpath.com/
http://hinduismpath.com/book-contents/chapter-48/



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Friday, September 28, 2012

YOGA HELPS SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS

YOGA FOR SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS
NOT A FAR STRETCH, INSTRUCTOR SAYS
http://manhattan.ny1.com - An ancient form of exercise for the body and soul is being used to help improve the lives of children with special needs. For five-year-old Hiro Saburi, sitting serenely for even a few minutes is no easy task. This boy from Queens (New York, USA) has autism. “He was really like up and over there and there. So hyper he wanted to calm down but he didn't know how to do that,” said Hiro's mother, Mika Saburi. With each conscious breath and held stretch, Hiro is learning how the body and mind are linked. For the last two years he's been practicing a discipline dating back to antiquity, but with a modern tweak, catering to children with special needs like his. It's called “Yoga for the Special Child.” “They can concentrate better. They can learn quicker. They become more peaceful,” Yoga for the Special Child” Founder Sonia Sumar. Sumar founded the discipline in the 1970's after giving birth to a daughter with Down Syndrome. Although she died at 15, Sumar says teaching her daughter the basics of yoga enhanced the quality of what little life she lived. 

Sonia Sumar trains occupational and physical therapists and teachers at Integral Yoga Institute in the West Village. She's made it her life's work traveling the world, helping special needs children. “By working with all the other kids around the world, I filled up all the emptiness that came with her passage and I feel her with me all the time, inspiring me,” Sumar said. It's not always easy. On this particular afternoon, Hiro didn't make it through his 30 minute session. But even in the short time he practiced yoga, it seemed to have a calming effect. 
“The way it is to be more balanced between mind and the body which is beneficial,” Mika Saburi said. “This is a work that is soul to soul. When you establish that kind of connection with someone, there are no limitations,” Sumar said. Hiro's mother hopes yoga will make his transition to kindergarten in the fall smoother and life beyond much easier.

Hatha yoga is an ancient set of physical and mental practices designed to bring the body, mind and breath into balance. Teaching children yoga has many positive benefits for them. An integrated series of balanced Yoga increase body awareness, strength and flexibility. The specialized breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can improve concentration and reduce hyperactivity. Through yoga children can develop body awareness, build self-esteem, improve focus and concentration, enhance posture, learn calming techniques; above all it is enjoyable and very natural for children to be in the postures. A yoga class for children at Manduka Yoga in Toronto, is a spontaneous journey of song, verse and circle play to inspire, creative movement, cooperation, concentration, coordination and independence.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Yoga prescribes physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which will free one from mental and physical diseases. ... Asana -”bodily postures”: This process of various exercises and bodily postures brings physical and mental steadiness as well as health and vigor.  Pranayama - “control of breath”.  Prana means life air and yama means to control.  It involves controlling the inhalation, exhalation and the retention of the air we breathe. ... Yoga practices are also meant for the holistic upliftment of mind, body and spirit.  By regularly practicing Yoga, Pranayana (breathing exercises) and by maintaining a natural life style in one’s eating, resting, work, etc., a person can be fully relaxed and free from tension and anxiety.  When a person maintains these practices properly, he or she will be free from heart diseases and mental anxiety.



T.D. Singh, Ph.D. - Śrīla Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Mahārāja :
“Science and Religion - Present and Future” - “Yoga”
Bhaktivedanta Institute - http://www.scienceandscientist.org/
http://www.bhaktisvarupadamodara.com/lang1/pg002.html
http://www.krishnascience.com  -  http://www.bhaktisvarupadamodara.com/



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

NASA'S 2030 MISSION TO MARS IS GOING VEGGIE

NASA BUILDS VEGGIE MENU FOR
PLANNED MARS MISSION IN 2030s
http://www.sci-tech-today.com - Researchers are building a menu for a planned NASA mission to Mars in the 2030s, mixing and tasting the vegetarian concoctions they hope to send with the astronauts. Travel to Mars opens the possibility that astronauts can do things like chop veggies and do a little cooking. It may be possible to boil water with a pressure cooker too. The menu must sustain a group of six to eight astronauts, keep them healthy and happy and offer a broad array of food. That's no simple feat considering it will likely take six months to get to the Red Planet, astronauts will have to stay there 18 months and then it will take another six months to return to Earth. “Mars is different just because it's so far away,” said Maya Cooper, senior research scientist who build the menu along with Lockheed Martin. Astronauts who travel to the space station have a wide variety of food available to them, some 100 or so different options, in fact. On Mars there is a little gravity, allowing NASA to consider significant changes to the current space menu.

Travel to Mars opens the possibility that astronauts can do things like chop vegetables and do a little cooking of their own. Even though pressure levels are different than on Earth, scientists think it will be possible to boil water with a pressure cooker too. One option Cooper and her staff are considering is having the astronauts care for a “Martian greenhouse.” They would have a variety of fruits and vegetables - from carrots to bell peppers - in a hydroponic solution, meaning they would be planted in mineral-laced water instead of soil. The astronauts would care for their garden and then use those ingredients, combined with others, such as nuts and spices brought from Earth, to prepare their meals. The top priority is to ensure that the astronauts get the proper amount of nutrients, calories and minerals to maintain their physical health and performance for the life of the mission, Cooper said. Already, Cooper's team of three has come up with about 100 recipes, all vegetarian because the astronauts will not have dairy or meat products available. It isn't possible to preserve those products long enough to take to Mars - and bringing a cow on the mission is not an option, Cooper jokes.

NASA is already making plans for their Mars mission which will take place in 2030. Since eating is the first thing that people need to do in order to survive, scientists are studying the best menu for astronauts: that is the food will be healthier and tastier. To ensure the vegetarian diet packs the right amount of protein, the researchers are designing a variety of dishes that include tofu and nuts, including a Thai pizza that has no cheese but is covered with carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, scallions, peanuts and a homemade sauce that has a spicy kick.  “The menu is favorable because it allows the astronauts to actually have live plants that are growing, you have optimum nutrient delivery with fresh fruits and vegetables,” researcher scientist Cooper said. Is there anything more to say?

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Recently a group of eminent doctors called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), themselves members of the American Medical Association, have decided to change the US consciousness on human nutrition, particularly among the medical community.   Armed with decades of nutritional research data, the PCRM - which is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. consisting of doctors and laypersons - frankly says:  “The fact is, it is very easy to have a well-balanced diet with vegetarian foods. Vegetarian foods provide plenty of protein. Careful combining of foods is not necessary.  Any normal variety of plant foods provides more than enough protein for the body’s needs. ... Excess protein has been linked to kidney stones, osteoporosis, and possibly heart disease and some cancers.  A diet focused on beans, whole grains and vegetables contains adequate amounts of protein without the ‘overdose’ most meat-eaters get.”


“What Is Hinduism?” :
Chapter 43 - “The Meat-Free Life”
“Five Reasons to Be a Vegetarian &
Ten Arguments Against Eating Meat”
Hinduism Today Magazine - Himalaya Academy, India - USA - 2007
http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/wih/


Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YOM KIPPUR BEGAN AT SUNDOWN YESTERDAY

DAY OF ATONEMENT,YOM KIPPUR 2012
JEWISH HOLY DAY STARTED LAST NIGHT
http://abclocal.go.com - Israel ground almost to a halt Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year. The country has completely closed its airspace to airplanes, shut down its buses and trains, and locked its border crossings in preparation the holy day, which begins Tuesday evening and ends Wednesday after sundown. Restaurants, businesses and schools closed, government ministries shuttered, and Israeli television and radio stations went silent. 
Highways and roads emptied of cars - a convention honored even by most secular and non-Jewish Israelis. Yom Kippur is Judaism’s day of atonement, when devout Jews ask God to forgive them for their transgressions. They refrain from eating and drinking and attend intense prayer services in synagogues. The day caps a traditional 10-day period of soul-searching that began with the holiday of Rosh Hashana, the start of the Jewish new year.

Thousands of worshippers shrouded in white shawls, some blowing long curly rams’ horns called shofars, convened Tuesday morning on the holiest site where a Jew can pray, the Western Wall. Many of Israel’s secular Jews fast for the day, but stay at home watching movies and playing board games. In another tradition, secular children ride skateboards and bicycles through the empty streets. At Jerusalem’s outdoor market, many scurried around doing last-minute errands before the country shut down. 
Nearby, ultra-Orthodox Jews swung live chickens over their heads while reciting a blessing, then slaughtered the birds - a symbolic ritual that transfers their sins to the animals. The practice has come under criticism in recent years, and many have replaced it by donating money to charity instead. Many Israelis also reflected on the 1973 Arab-Israel War, which Israelis call the Yom Kippur War because it broke out surprisingly on that day.

Tuesday evening marked the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, which Jews consider to be holiest day of the year. Forgiveness is central to the process of being born again - forgiving ourselves, forgiving others and seeking their forgiveness also. The desire for rebirth is so profound, that Yom Kippur invites people to “play dead,” at least physically, for 25 hours, as they abstain from eating, drinking, caring for their bodies and having marital relations. After observing Yom Kippur, people come together on Wednesday night to for a break-the-fast celebration by which they will affirm life and their new lives - eating, drinking, laughing, and sharing the ancient Jewish toast, L’chaim - to life. There are many similarities between the Jewish and Hindu traditions.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Shalom to acharyas, and revered guests. I shall speak on similarities in our traditions. ... We have lunar calendars in both traditions. The number of years in our calendar is the same. For marriages and other auspicious events, we see different days. Both perform marriages under canopies. Some of the rites are similar.  We also have corresponding festivals. In the Jewish tradition, you have Yom Kippur, and we have Navaratri; we fast and pray and do special prayers at the time. The festivals of Purim and Holi, coming in the springtime, signify triumph of good over evil are in both traditions. When we do a blessing, we use rice as the symbol of fertility. Both, Hindus and Jews, do penance and fasting. In the past, it is said that Jews used to rub ash on the body to purify themselves. We have two important rivers: Jordan and Ganga. Finally, the essence of both traditions is “atmanah pratikulani paresham na samacharet,” do not do unto others what you do not want to have done to you. Om.


HH Mahamandaleswar Sri Swami
Gurusharananandaji Karsni Peeth of Mathura
“Similarities Between Hindu and Jewish Traditions”
First Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit - New Delhi - 2007
http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/05-08/editorials2960.htm



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FORTY-EIGHT OXEN SAVED!

INDIA: GAU RAKSHA DAL PUNJAB
FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL BUTCHERS
www.ariseindiaforum.org - On two different occasions within a two-week period Satish Kumar and his dedicated men of Gau Raksha Dal Punjab intercepted two trucks headed for a slaughterhouse in Agra and safely located the oxen they carried in goshallas (protected stables) in the Vraja Mandala area. The first truck carried twentyeight healthy Kangrej oxen and the second one carried twenty full size and healthy desi oxen. The two trucks and crewmembers were turned over to the Mathura and Chatta police stations where they were booked for illegal transportation of kine. 
Satish Ji has successfully put an end to illegal transportation of cows in Punjab and is now training others how to stop it in other states. He has found much support in the Vrindavana area and is organizing to expand his activities along the Delhi-Agra highway where reportedly many trucks illegally carry kine to illegal slaughterhouses in Agra and the surrounding area. The captured trucks were new ten and twelve-wheelers and were identified as carrying livestock as they displayed certain movements not characteristic of vehicles carrying stationary goods.  

The oxen were packed in tightly and each was restrained by a nose harness. Though it is not accurately known, it is suspected that the oxen had to endure this tortuous treatment for more than thirty hours. One of the trucks had two men riding in the compartment with the oxen and among their possessions was found syringes and tranquilizing drugs to keep the oxen sedated during travel. The two butchers riding among the oxen drew their knives and attempted to stab the go-sevaks (cow servers) who were riding on the canvas covering above the oxen while the driver swerved and swayed the truck at ninety kilometers perhour in the attempt to throw the go-sevaks off. 
Several members of Gau Raksha Dal followed behind in their vehicles along with the police. When confronted with the second impenetrable roadblock the butchers abruptly stopped and fled on foot into the fields of buckwheat bordering the highway. After a heated chase through muddy fields, the butchers were apprehended and turned over to the police who transported them and the truck back to Chatta.

Despite the fact that butchers took special care to conceal the oxen in trucks, still the expert members of Gau Raksha Dal - who are trained to identify vehicles carrying livestock - were able to detect that the truck was illegally transporting animals. Assisted by the Mathura Police the suspected truck was stopped and an inspection revealed the truck carried twenty-eight magnificent Kangrej oxen. The dedicated work of the Gau Raksha Dal Punjab has the potential to restore Bharat (India) to its former glory. All go-bhaktas (devotees) should do their best to support them in all ways possible. It is a tragedy that modern society does not appreciate the significance of caring for cows and bulls, but instead it exploits and kills them.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
To ensure spiritual well-being, brahmanas must be protected, and to ensure material well-being, cows must be protected. In a simple agrarian society it is easy to see the value of cow protection. The cow eats grass which humans cannot eat, and turns it into the “miracle food” of milk, which is versatile and full of nutrition. From milk comes yoghurt, cheese, butter and ghee (butter-oil). In return for her milk, the cow is protected and cared for as a member of the community, and she and the bull are never slaughtered. The bull cannot give milk, but he can be just as valuable because he likes to work hard in the fields, ploughing, grinding and pulling carts. While the bull helps to produce grains and vegetables, the cow gives milk. Milk products combined with grains and vegetables produce the perfect balanced human diet. The protection of the cow and the bull is therefore the basis for a simple and prosperous life.



Ranchor Prime (Śripad Ranchor Dasa) :
“Hinduism & Ecology”
Chapter 12 “An Alternative Society”
Friends of Vrindavan (FOV) - WWF
http://www.fov.org.uk/hinduism/12.html
http://www.fov.org.uk/hinduism/hinduism.html



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Monday, September 24, 2012

AMISH MEN FOUND GUILTY IN BEARD CUTTING ATTACKS

AMISH SECT LEADER AND
FOLLOWERS GUILTY OF HATE CRIMES
www.nytimes.com - Samuel Mullet Sr., the domineering leader of a renegade Amish sect, and 15 of his followers were convicted  on Thursday in Cleveland of federal conspiracy and hate crimes for a series of bizarre beard- and hair-cutting attacks last fall that spread fear through the Amish of eastern Ohio. The convictions of Mr. Mullet, along with several relatives and others from his settlement who carried out the assaults, could bring lengthy prison terms. 
The verdicts were a vindication for federal prosecutors, who made a risky decision to apply a 2009 federal hate-crimes law to the sect’s violent efforts to humiliate Amish rivals. Defense lawyers in the case and an independent legal expert had argued that the government was overreaching by turning a personal vendetta within the Amish community, and related attacks, into a federal hate-crimes case. But the jury accepted the prosecutors’ description of the attacks as an effort to suppress the victims’ practice of religion.


The victims “simply wanted to be left to practice their own religion in their own way in peace,” Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said. “The defendants invaded their homes, physically attacked these people and sheared them almost like animals,” Mr. Dettelbach said. Mr. Mullet, 66, the founder of a community near Bergholz, Ohio, and 15 followers, including six women, were tried for their roles in five separate attacks last fall, involving assaults on nine people whom Mr. Mullet had described as enemies. The jury, which had no Amish members, heard 3 weeks of testimony and deliberated more than four days before reaching a verdict last week. Although Mr. Mullet did not directly participate, prosecutors labeled him the mastermind of the assaults, in which groups of his followers invaded the homes of victims, threw them down and sheared their beards and hair. Among the traditional Amish, men’s long beards and women’s uncut hair are central to religious identity. The Amish are religious separatists who dress plainly and avoid many conveniences of modern life.

An Amish sect leader and 15 of his followers are facing more than 15 years in jail after being convicted on federal hate crime charges in connection with several beard and hair-cutting attacks which were carried out with battery-powered clippers, scissors and razor-sharp shears that are designed to trim horse manes. Prosecutors argued that the attacks were intended to humiliate those who questioned Mr. Mullet’s cultlike methods - disciplinary and sexual practices - which included forcing errant followers to sleep in chicken coops and pressing married women - including his own daughter-in-law - to accept his intimate sexual “counseling.” The sect leader coerced married female followers into having sex with him saying it would turn them into better wives. Leaders who have followers under their control should cultivate universal love in order to overcome selfishness and transform arrogance into humility, vengeance into forgiveness, and hate into love.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Universal Love illuminates our relationship with other human beings. ... Universal Love illuminates our realisation of the responsibility we have for all our thoughts, words and actions. With the understanding that every action in this world produces an equal reaction, for our own good we should seek to avoid everything that can produce a negative future effect. We must attempt to perform acts that better the world, offering a positive future for everyone.  ... Universal Love permits us to see ourselves as happy servants, not tyrannical masters of those around us. Envy and taking advantage of the weaknesses of others shows how the exploiting spirit leads to indifference to others sufferings, thus increasing the feelings of frailty in the world. Serving others is a great experience which allows us to feel useful and full of self-esteem; whereas subjugating others only produces hate, rejection and loneliness.


Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
“The VW Collection Online “
“Principles of Universal Love”
http://vwonline.blogspot.com.ar/ - http://vrindaportal.com/
http://vwonline.blogspot.com.ar/2006/03/principles-of-universal-love.html


Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

MONSANTO'S CORN FOUND TO BE TOXIC IN RATS

STUDY POINTS TO HEALTH PROBLEMS
WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
www.latimes.com - In what is bound to stoke the debate over the labeling of genetically modified foods, scientists in France have published a controversial study reporting that rats fed corn that was engineered to withstand spraying with the herbicide Roundup developed health problems, including tumors and trouble with their livers and kidneys. The study, which appeared Wednesday in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, was embraced by opponents of genetically altered foods, including backers of Proposition 37, which if approved by California voters in November would require most foods with genetically modified ingredients to bear a label. But the report was sharply criticized by geneticists, who cited its small size and other methodological problems. The research was led by Gilles-Eric Seralini, a professor at the University of Caen in France and founder of the nonprofit Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering. It is the latest in a series of papers by his group to report abnormalities linked to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The authors studied 200 rats clustered into groups of 10. Some groups ate chow containing various quantities of Monsanto Co.'s Roundup-resistant corn; others ate the same chow and were fed Roundup in drinking water with it. Still other rats received chow made from conventional corn, with various levels of Roundup. During the two-year study, the scientists found that up to 50% of the male rats and 70% of females that ate genetically modified corn, Roundup or both died prematurely. That compared to a 30% (male) and 20% (female) mortality rate among control rats that ate conventional corn without Roundup. The scientists also reported greater numbers - and earlier development - of mammary tumors in female rats exposed to genetically modified corn, Roundup or both than were found in control animals. The authors also reported organ abnormalities, including 2.5 to 5 times higher rates of liver problems in animals exposed to genetically modified corn, Roundup or both. The findings “present an overwhelming case for further research” as well as for labeling and reform of regulations about genetically modified food, Seralini said in a news conference that was organized by Britain's Sustainable Food Trust, a nonprofit group that campaigns for changes in the food supply.

In a study that prompted sharp criticism from other experts, French scientists said that rats fed on Monsanto's genetically modified corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumors and multiple organ damage. Scientists found that the rats fed on a diet containing the herbicide-tolerant GM maize, or given water containing Roundup considered safe in drinking water and GM crops in the US, died sooner than the rats fed just the standard diet. The researchers also described late-developing, large mammary tumours and severe liver and kidney damage. The tumours, although not metastasizing (spreading to other parts of the body) were said to be big enough (as big as ping-pong balls) to impede organ function in the affected rats. When man “plays God” by manipulating the DNA of crops with genetic engineering techniques, lots of unfavorable unwanted results may occur.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
In new fields of research, scientists almost invariably promise beneficial, often sensational, future results. However, the past track record of such promises shows counterproductive, often devastating, consequences.  For example, genetically-modified (GM) food was advertised as the solution to world hunger, but it ended up causing hunger-deaths of hundreds of farmers in Maharashtra, India. These farmers were captivated by promises of pest-resistant seeds and high yields, but when the pests developed resistance to the seeds, the yields failed utterly. Moreover, as the GM seeds are designed to not give seeds for the next sowing, the farmers had no chance of a yield in the next season either. Afflicted by poverty, hunger and hopelessness, multitudes of them committed suicide. Alarmed by the possible adverse consequences of GM food, the European Union has outright banned their use and concerned NGOs worldwide are striving for similar curbs.


Śrīpad Chaitanya Charan das :
“The Spiritual Scientist”
“What is wrong with creating life?”
Posted on October 15, 2011
http://www.thespiritualscientist.com/
http://www.thespiritualscientist.com/2011/10/why-not-play-god/


Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

RADHASTAMI CELEBRATIONS

SRI RADHA ASTAMI FESTIVAL
CELEBRATING RADHASHTAMI 2012
www.dandavats.com - Radhastami is the annual observance of the Appearance day of Srimati Radharani, who is dearmost to Lord Krsna. Radharani always comes to be wherever Lord Krsna is present, and her Appearance day is always celebrated exactly two week’s after Sri Krsna’s. The Servants at the Krishna Balaram temple, Vrindavana, explain: “23rd September, is the glorious celebration of a special event, although it occurs annually. Every year it fills the hearts of the devotees with effervescent joy - The build up to another year of pomp and festivity, and of course, the unparalleled flow of unalloyed compassion that just drowns everyone in an ocean of bliss! What is this? It is the glorious festival of Radhastami. Occurring during the eight day of the waxing moon, this beautiful festival is gorgeously celebrated throughout Vrindavana as probably the holiest of all holy days. To the inhabitants of Vrindavana and especially the inhabitants of the Krishna Balarama temple, a very special energy flows through the hearts of one and all. What is this? It is an annual wait to get an opportunity to again glorify the dearest object of there sweet love and worship - a whole year of eagerly waiting with anxiety to once again get a perfect glimpse of Their Lordships Radha-Syamasundara.”  

“This day will give devotees a rare and wonderful darshana, that of the soft lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. This auspicious day is also a rare chance for the devotees to make and offer something wonderful to Radharani in deep gratitude to Her for Her limitless compassionate glance that She casts upon them, moving there hearts to sincerely go on, through the turbulence that life throws at them, just like an affectionate mother. To the devotees of the Krishna Balarama temple, She is not just another deity of Lord Krishna’s internal potency, but she is the original form of Her Majesty. In the Brahma-samhita (5.33), it is stated that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vrindavana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Lord Krishna. Srimati Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature.”  The temples will be decorated with beautiful flowers, ornately adorning the altar and temple room as well as the inner and outer temple area, a marvel of natures beauty and opulence, quite befitting the mood of Vraja with its abudance of beautiful scented flowers.

The Vedic teachings say the highest truth has both male and female aspects. The female nature is called shakti ("the energy") and the male shaktiman ("the energetic"). Both aspects of the Supreme Being are described in histories like the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Ramayana and Mahabharata, where They appear together as Vishnu and Laksmi, Rama and Sita, and Krishna and Radharani. During Krishna's childhood on Earth in the rural village of Vrindavan, India (circa 3200 BCE), Radharani ("Queen of worshipers") was His feminine counterpart. On Radhastami, the temple Deities are covered entirely in flowers and on this day only, one may take darshan of Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet, which are covered on all other days. The day of Radhastami is spent by the devotees in reading the transcendental pastimes of Radharani and her Gopi friends, and her lila pastimes in the groves of Vrndavana with Krishna.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The two transcendentalists Rādhā and Krishna are a puzzle to materialists ... one needs great spiritual insight to understand the mystery of these two personalities. One is enjoying in two. Śrī Krishna is the potent factor, and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the internal potency. According to Vedānta philosophy, there is no difference between the potent and the potency; they are identical. We cannot differentiate between one and the other, any more than we can separate fire from heat. Everything in the Absolute is inconceivable in relative existence. Therefore in relative cognizance it is very difficult to assimilate this truth of the oneness between the potent and the potency. ... In fact, Rādhārāṇī is the internal potency of Śrī Krishna, and She eternally intensifies the pleasure of Śrī Krishna. Impersonalists cannot understand this without the help of a mahā-bhāgavata devotee. The very name “Rādhā” suggests that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is eternally the topmost mistress of the comforts of Śrī Krishna. As such, She is the medium transmitting the living entities’ service to Śrī Krishna. Devotees in Vṛndāvana therefore seek the mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in order to be recognized as loving servitors of Śrī Krishna.



Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta -  CC Ādi 4.56
Ādi 4: “The Confidential Reasons for the
Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu”
Verse 56 - http://vedabase.com/en/cc/adi/4/56


Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Friday, September 21, 2012

BOY SCOUTS SEX ABUSE SCANDAL

BOY SCOUTS: SEX ABUSE SCANDAL
UNCOVERED WITHIN ORGANIZATION
www.ksdk.com - Over a 20-year period, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and even helped many to cover their tracks, the Los Angeles Times reports. The newspaper says its extensive review of 1,600 confidential “perversion files” from 1970 to 1991 found that BSA officials frequently allowed suspected molesters to leave the organization for bogus reasons like business demands or “chronic brain dysfunction.” Times reporters Kim Christensen and Jason Felch write that while the Boy Scouts has kept a blacklist of alleged molesters since 1919, it often didn't work, as men would slip back into the program and face new accusations. 
The newspaper, which broke earlier aspects of the story in August, examined more than 500 cases in which the Scouts had heard of alleged abuse through tips from parents or staff members. “In about 400 of those cases - 80% - there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police.

In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it,” the Times writes. The newspaper says BSA officials declined to be interviewed for the article. Spokesman Deron Smith, in a prepared statement to the Times said, “We have always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement and today require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to their local authorities.” 
The Times notes that the organization's lawyers have been fighting legal battles around the country to keep the files from public view. In a statement to the Times, BSA said, “The Boy Scouts of America believes even a single instance of abuse is unacceptable, and we regret there have been times when the BSA's best efforts to protect children were insufficient.” The organization is “committed to consistently strengthening and enhancing our Youth Protection measures,” said Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock.

A newspaper investigation has found the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of suspected child sex abusers to authorities and often helped cover up the accusations over two decades. A review of 1,600 of the organization's confidential “perversion” files dating from 1970 to 1991 revealed that leaders often helped suspected molesters push the allegations under the rug. Several Boy Scouts officials failed to report hundreds of cases of child molestation by volunteers and adult leaders. Sex abusers were urged to resign or their tracks were covered up by officials. In every materialistic society most people are absorbed in bodily consciousness, this means that people shamelessly try to enjoy or exploit others and to avoid paying the consequences.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
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, ... On a more local level, you will continue to see or experience sexual harassment, rape, child abuse, violent crime, drug abuse, unwed mothers, etc., because of the lust and greed that motivates people to cater to their bodily and sensual urges. And with the lust for satisfying the body and senses comes emotions like jealousy, envy, anger, hatred, and so on. ... This is because the relationship has been based on the superficial level. ... With spiritual enlightenment, there will be real love and concern for others because people will see that we are all in this world together, all working for the same basic needs, and our relationships will be based on our spiritual identity, not our temporary bodily covering. This is what is needed.


Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Spiritual Enlightenment: A Cure for Social Ills”
http://www.stephen-knapp.com  -  http://www.stephenknapp.info/
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/spiritual_enlightenment_a_cure_for_social_ills.htm

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

EARLY CANNIBALISM TIED TO TERRITORIAL DEFENSE?

THE REASON EARLY HUMANS MAY
HAVE PRACTICED INFANT CANNIBALISM
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com - The earliest known instance of cannibalism among hominids occurred roughly 800,000 years ago. The victims, mainly children, may have been eaten as part of a strategy to defend territories against neighbors, researchers report online in the Journal of Human Evolution. The new study shows how anthropologists use the behavior of modern humans and primates to make inferences about what hominids did in the past - and demonstrates the limitations of such comparisons. The cannibalism in question was discovered in the Gran Dolina cave site of Spain’s Atapuerca Mountains. Eudald Carbonell of the University of Rovira and Virgili in Spain and colleagues found evidence of butchering on bones belonging to Homo antecessor, a controversial species that lived in Europe as early as 1.2 million years ago. Because no other hominid species has been found in the region at the same time as the butchered bones, the victims must have been eaten by their own kind, the team concluded. Today, human cannibalism occurs in a variety of contexts: for nutritional value (often in times of starvation), as part of funerary rituals or during warfare. 

The different purposes of cannibalism can leave different patterns in the archaeological record. When humans consume other humans for purely dietary reasons, the victims are often treated just like any other prey. This is what the researchers found at Gran Dolina. Eleven individuals were butchered in a manner similar to that of deer and other mammals: Bones had cut marks in areas of muscle attachments and the skulls had signs of defleshing. Thus, H. antecessor appeared to eat its own kind for a nutritional purpose - but probably not because of a food shortage. So why cannibalism? To find an answer, the researchers looked to chimpanzees. That’s because some aspects of H. antecessor cannibalism don’t resemble those of contemporary human cannibalism or cannibalism seen in Neanderthals or early modern humans living 100,000 years ago. For instance, nine of the 11 butchered individuals at Gran Dolina were children or adolescents compared with the largely adult victims of more recent human cannibalism. Young victims is a pattern seen among chimpanzees. When female chimps range alone near the boundary of their territory, males from the neighboring group may kill and eat the females’ infants. Carbonell and his colleagues suggest the best explanation for this behavior is territorial defense and expansion.

Back during the Early Pleistocene era in Europe, there lived a now-extinct subspecies of humans called “Homo Antecessor”, and it dates back to about 800,000 years ago, and they're one of the earliest known hominids to have lived in Europe. Archeological evidence indicates that this species practiced cannibalism - and that they preferred the meat of young children. In ancient times, when cannibalism was prevalent in the world, certain group of people used to eat human flesh. The Mahabharata tells that when Vyasadeva led Queen Kunti and the sons of Pandu to the town of Ekachakra, they came to know that - due to the weakness of the local king - a cannibal Rakshasa named Baka rules the country and he devoured one human being every fortnight. So, Queen Kunti asked Bhima - her second son - to kill that cannibal demon.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Baka, the mighty Rakshasa, inflamed with wrath, uprooted a lot of trees hurling them with all his power at the son of Kunti (Bhima). Soon the forest became treeless and finding no other weapon, Baka ran at Bhima and seized him with his arms. He dragged Bhima on the ground, and Bhima also dragged him on the ground. Soon the Rakshasa became fatigued and Bhima pressed him down to the earth with his knees and beat him with his fists. The cracking of his back and the screaming of his voice filled the whole forest. Baka then vomited blood and gave up his life force. The friends of Baka were frightened, and Bhima commanded them, “Do not kill human beings again, for if you do, you will die as Baka did.  The Rakshasas were terrified at Bhima's power, and from that day on, they were seen by the inhabitants of that town to be very peaceful toward mankind. Then Bhima dragged the lifeless corpse of the demon, placed him on the city gate and went away unseen by anyone. The next morning the citizens of Ekachakra saw the cannibal's mutilated body covered in blood.



“Mahabharata Summation”
Fourteenth Chapter of the Adi Parva,
Entitled: “The Cannibal Baka Slain”
http://philosophy.ru/library/asiatica/indica/itihasa/mahabharata/eng/gbmb01xt.html



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