Monday, December 30, 2013

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS 2014

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS 
YOU NEED TO MAKE TODAY
www.news24.com - So the 2014 is here. Believe it or not over 50% of people will make the New Year resolution and only less than 2% will actually do something about it, and less than 0.5% will actually keep it for more than 3 months. My suggestion for 2014 is to promise yourself that your financial situation will be better in 2014 than it was in 2013. It does not matter if it is in your business or private life, and here is some tips how to keep it. 
1. Commit. Whatever your goal will be for 2014 make sure that it is realistic, it will be easier to stick to it. By “Commit”, I mean write it down. All the resolutions in your head mean absolutely nothing, so write it down, taking it one-step further it is nice to share it with someone, as if nothing else you will be too ashamed to admit failure to someone else.

2. Plan. Break your goal down to “bite” size milestones. Break it down to months, weeks. This will help you seeing your goal in a very achievable scale. I hope that by then you will realize that you need to either increase your income or decrease your expenses, and yes, I know it is harsh but it works. Remember you need to do something different to have different result.
3. Measure your Results. The nice thing about having a comparison scale with 2013 is that you should have something like a bank statement from the previous year to measure your achievement against it. 
The monitoring process will give you an indication if you are on the right track or do you need to adjust, change your plan of action. Most importantly the success belongs to the 0.5% that actually have done something about it. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014, with the hope that instead of seeing the glass half empty you will fill it to the brim.

As the New Year approaches, it’s time to review decisions made last year. A lot has happened in 2013. Some things were good and some were bad, but the end of each year marks the beginning of a new one. People see a new year as a fresh start; a time to make changes and set new goals through what have come to be known as New Year's Resolutions. This article, appearing in South Africa's news24.com, points “My suggestion for 2014 is to promise yourself that your financial situation will be better in 2014 than it was in 2013”. This is correct from a materialistic point of view, but what about the spiritual side? Maybe the council about Commitment, Plan and Measure the Results can also be applied to find out if we really are determined to make real progress on our spiritual path. Our gurus have instructed that it's very important to take regular inventory of our lives. To transform our consciousness and connect to the Lord of our hearts we need guidance and shelter.  So we should eagerly aspire to take shelter under His lotus feet in surrender and then our pains will be removed and our inner necessities will surely be fulfilled not only next year, but forever. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
A new year is a land mark in our lives and a time for reflection on where we have been, where we are and where we want to go. It's also time to ponder on our failures and mistakes in our spiritual lives. In the path of Bhakti every occasion and everything is for the purpose of transformation. If the previous year bought sufferings in our lives we can take solace in the fact that all sufferings and punishments in this world are for our healthy rectification. Today we need to meditate on what I really want in life. ... On this day let's resolve to go, with determination, to where we really want to go in life. To achieve meaning filled success in our lives, we need strength beyond ourselves and association of sincere souls. We also need to resolve to take shelter of the holy names of God and soberly remember that today we are one year closer to death. At the same time we need to meditate on our purpose in life and that will guarantee an eternal life, beyond the temporary existence of this world.

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“'Bless'-ful New Year 2013”
Talk at Sri Radha Gopinath Temple 
Mumbai on New Years Day, 2012
http://www.radhanath-swami.info/
http://www.radhanathswamionline.com/
http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/masters/wellness/blessful-new-year-2013

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

IS THE UNIVERSE PRODUCT OF A GREAT ILLUSION?

SIMULATIONS BACK UP THEORY 
THAT UNIVERSE IS A HOLOGRAM
www.nature.com - A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection. In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed 1 that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity. 
Maldacena's idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing - and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein's theory of gravity.

It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a 'duality', that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa. But although the validity of Maldacena's ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive. In two papers posted on the arXiv repository, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan and his colleagues now provide, if not an actual proof, at least compelling evidence that Maldacena’s conjecture is true. 
The findings “are an interesting way to test many ideas in quantum gravity and string theory”, Maldacena adds. The two papers, he notes, are the culmination of a series of articles contributed by the Japanese team over the past few years.

Ron Cowen, author of the article, explains that a ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions. Nevertheless, the numerical proof that these two seemingly disparate worlds are actually identical gives hope that the gravitational properties of our Universe can one day be explained by a simpler cosmos purely in terms of quantum theory, says theoretical physicist Maldacena. The Vedic tradition explains that consciousness shapes our material world, the whole cosmos is interconnected and we are essentially holographic energy beings existing in a state of resonance with the scalar field of the cosmos. Some Vedic scholars says that the fact that this field has consciousness explains the power of mantras, prayer and intention. This consciousness is amplified when a large number of conscious people are involved focused with great intention on a single emotional thought (for example, pilgrims during a Kumbha Mela) chanting in unison a mantra. It is said that our brain is a hologram that is a part of an even larger hologram - the universe itself. The field interactions link the body and consciousness. We all have roots in the universe and the conscious mental activity exerts measurable effects on the physical world. That is why for the benefit of our inner world as well as the external surrounding us, we must engage with determination in chanting the Vedic mantras. We suggest this one to you, it is called the Maha Mantra: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
According to achintya bhedabheda, the individual self is a minute particle of will or consciousness - a sentient being - endowed with a serving tendency. This self is transcendental to matter and qualitatively one with Godhead, while quantitatively different. The inherent defect of smallness in size in the minute self in contrast to the quantitative superiority of Godhead makes the individual minute particle of consciousness prone to the influence of illusion. ... Living in illusion, the atomic soul sees himself as separate from the Godhead. As a result of imperfect sense perception he is caused to make false distinctions such as good and bad, happiness and distress. The minute self can also live in an enlightened state in complete harmony with the Godhead by the latter's grace - which is attracted by sincere petition or devotion. ... In this communion the self becomes one in purpose with the one reality and eternally serves that reality with no sense of any separateness from Godhead.



Śrīla Bhakti Bhavan Vishnu Mahārāja :
“Physics to Metaphysics” - “Achintya Bhedabheda”
http://gosai.com/ashrama/swami-bb-vishnu
http://gosai.com/writings/physics-to-metaphysics
http://vedicsciences.net/articles/physics-metaphysics.html


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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

CHRISTMAS IS HERE, A TIME OF
JOY, LOVE, CARE, AND WARMTH
www.dnaindia.comChristmas celebrations are all about family reunions, festivities and happiness. Christmas signifies acceptance, forgiveness, and abundant love. Let us see how these originated. Pagans had always worshiped trees in the forests, used to bring them into their houses, and decorated them while worshiping. This was adopted by the Church and led to the origin of the Christmas trees in Christmas celebrations. There was a time in Rome before the Christian era where emperors forced all the citizens to bring gifts during Saturnalia or December. This custom gradually became a habit during this time. 
The Catholic Church adopted this custom and started the tradition of gift giving by Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas was born in Turkey in 270CE and became a saint in the 19th century. He was amongst the bishops who created the New Testament where Jews were referred to as the children of the Devil who sentenced Jesus to Death.

After Nicholas died, his followers started a cult where they created a boon giving deity called the Grandmother who gave gifts to children in their stockings. This trend continued every December 6, the day Saint Nicholas died. This custom was followed by the German and Celtic pagans who worshiped Woden who had a beard. Gradually the symbol of the gift giver became a person with red clothing, a white beard, and a vehicle to come down. 
Gradually the idol began to be called Santa Claus as Saint Nicholas is called in Dutch and the day of giving gifts began to be on Dec 25 instead of Dec 6. He also got a set of reindeers and today this is the way we see him as a blend of Christian crusader, a commercial idol, and a pagan god.

Christmas season ushers in an air of great joy, happiness and peace. It does not matter if one shares the faith of Christians or not, all feel the joy and peace of Christmas, especially the children all over the world. While thousands of pilgrims are gathered in Bethlehem, and others go to pray at various ceremonies and Christmas church services in their local churches, many people only see the consumerism surrounding these celebrations. Now Santa Claus or the Christmas Papa belongs now to the folklore of almost every nation in the world and unfortunately many people around the world enjoy the celebration just shopping, going to family reunions or wearing Santa Claus costumes, eating, drinking and sharing gifts. It is a pity that the increasingly commercial celebration of Christmas hides the simplicity of the message of Christ's birth. It is a pity that the increasingly commercial celebration of Christmas hides the simplicity of the message of Christ's birth. Many times Srila Prabhupada has explained that Jesus is Krishna’s representative, son of God, a bonafide spiritual master and a jagad-guru or a Guru of the world. By the mercy of Krsna one finds a bonafide spiritual master and by the mercy of the spiritual master, one finds Krishna; and it is not difficult to do this if we consider for example the story of how the baby Jesus appeared in the heart of his mother Mary by immaculate conception, as well as the bright star appearing in the night sky, we can see a direct parallel to the Vedic story about Lord Krishna's birth three thousand years earlier, in Vrindavan, India. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Sometimes Sri Krishna descends Himself, and sometimes He sends His representative. The major religions of the world-Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Moslem-believe in some supreme authority or personality coming down from the kingdom of God. In the Christian religion, Jesus Christ claimed to be the son of God and to be coming from the kingdom of God to reclaim conditioned souls. As followers of Bhagavad-gita, we admit this claim to be true. So basically there is no difference of opinion. In details there may be differences due to differences in culture, climate and people, but the basic principle remains the same-that is, God or His representatives come to reclaim conditioned souls. ... If one loves Krishna, he must love Lord Jesus also. And if one perfectly loves Jesus he must love Krishna too. If he says, “Why shall I love Krishna? I shall love Jesus,” then he has no knowledge. And if one says, “Why shall I love Jesus? I shall love Krishna”, then he has no knowledge either. If one understands Krishna, then he will understand Jesus. If one understands Jesus, you’ll understand Krishna too.


Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda : 
“Raja Vidya” Chapter 6: “Knowledge of Krishna’s Appearance and Activities”
“Room conversation with Allen Ginsberg”, May 12, 1969 / Columbus - Ohio
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

HOW ARE YOU WILLING TO SUFFER?

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION
YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF TODAY
www.huffingtonpost.com - Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a care-free, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room. If I ask you, "What do you want out of life?" and you say something like, "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like," it's so ubiquitous that it doesn't even mean anything. What's more interesting to me is what pain do you want? 
What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up. Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence - but not everyone is willing to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship - but not everyone is willing to go through the tough communication, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings ... and so they settle. They settle and wonder "What if?" for years and years and until the question morphs from "What if?" into "What for?" Because happiness requires struggle. If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. So I ask you, "How are you willing to suffer?" Choose how you are willing to suffer. Because that's the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have the same answer. The more interesting question is the pain. 
What is the pain that you want to sustain? Because that answer will actually get you somewhere. It's the question that can change your life. It's what makes me me and you you. It's what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

At the core of all human behavior, the good feelings we all want are more or less the same. However, some people are ready to pay the cost of them and others not. Some people want to be rich without the risk, with the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth, whereas other people are willing to face certain sort of pain in order to obtain nice and happy things in life, and those are the ones who succeed. “'Nothing good in life comes easy,' we've been told that a hundred times before, Mark Manson, author of this article, says. “The good things in life we accomplish are defined by where we enjoy the suffering, where we enjoy the struggle.” Therefore what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we're willing to sustain to obtain what we really want. Our Bhakti Yoga spiritual masters have taught us that when one develops spiritual awareness, we can understand that our goal in this life is not to seek our own happiness, but that we are born to learn how to make others happy. Karma Yoga also talks about doing the right thing and that we should then detach from the results and urges us to renounce the fruit of our efforts and offer it as a sacrifice for the good of all and thus please the Supreme Lord. In developing a spiritual vision, we  understand that we are all children of the same God, and that in giving happiness to others, even if it causes us efforts and sacrifices, is a humble offering of love to the Lord. The action of making our brothers and sisters happy will undoubtedly make our Heavenly Father happy and it will increase our loving relationship with the Lord. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The sages of India ... had discovered that we are not at all material entities, but that we are all spiritual, permanent, and indestructible servants of the Absolute. But because we have, against our better judgment, chosen to completely identify ourselves with this present material existence, our sufferings have multiplied according to the inexorable law of birth and death, with its consequent diseases and anxieties. These sufferings cannot be really mitigated by any provision of material happiness, because matter and spirit are completely different elements. ... Perfect happiness can be ours only when we are restored to our natural state of spiritual existence. This is the distinctive message of our ancient Indian civilization, this is the message of the Gītā, this is the message of the Vedas and the Purānas, and this is the message of all the real ācāryas, including our present Ācāryadeva, in the line of Lord Caitanya.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“Science of Self Realization”
SSR 2: “Choosing a Spiritual Master”
http://vedabase.com/en/ssr/2


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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SEEING EACH PERSON AS A CHILD OF GOD

POPE BLESSES DISFIGURED FACE MAN
DISPLAYING HEALING POWER OF LOVE
www.huffingtonpost.com While many spiritual leaders preach the importance of compassion, Pope Francis gives us all yet another example of what it really looks like to live a compassionate and caring life. Just weeks after a photo of him kissing a man with a rare skin disorder moved many to tears, another picture was taken showing the pope embracing a man with a severely disfigured face. The Pope spoke to him and blessed him after his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday, Nov. 20. At the end of each general audience, the Pope usually dedicates some time to greeting the sick and disabled people that come to meet him. 
Vinicio Riva, the man with neurofibromatosis, told the media that he “felt only love” as the Pope embraced him in Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City, on 06 November 2013.

Though Vinicio Riva's face was disfigured, the Pope laid his hands on his head and screwed his eyes up tightly in prayer. Though Riva has neurofibromatosis type 1, which presents as a disfiguring skin disorder, Francis opened his arms and embraced him tightly. Riva gave an exclusive interview to Italian magazine Panorama, where he described the loving moment. No words were exchanged, just the healing comfort of touch. “I tried to speak to say something but I was unable to,” said Riva in a translation provided by Time. 
“The emotion was too strong. It lasted a little longer than a minute but it felt as if it were eternity.” Earlier in his general address, the Pontiff asked the assembled crowd to pray for a sick little girl that he had just met. Pope Francis tweeted earlier this year, “The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.”

Pope Francis has made international headlines once again last month. His compassionate nature towards people who suffer was shown publicly after a mass in St. Peter's Square, Rome, Italy. First, he tenderly comforted a man suffering from a rare skin disorder, kissing him on the head and caressing the whole face. Some weeks later, the Pope blessed and embraced a middle-aged man with a severely disfigured face that had large portions of his facial features missing, including his nose and forehead. Last week, the Pope encouraged all people to take care of the needy in a tweet: “Take care of God’s creation. But above all, take care of people in need.” Compassion and Love are not feelings - they are actions. Although we already have some degree of compassion, at present it is very biased and limited. We need to increase the scope of our compassion until it embraces all living beings without exception. Our spiritual masters have taught us that true compassion is to learn how to preach because preaching is truly love; it is love in action. Compassion is the very essence of a spiritual life and the main practice of those who have devoted their lives to serving God, and most importantly of all, helping others to return to the Supreme abode. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Compassion should be the main impact of our lives. Compassion with oneself don't lead us to anything, only calls the attention of the negative. This really means not having compassion, because you think you are the only one that gets the worst of all. ... When will come the moment that I feel compassion for others? Which are going to be your plans for injecting Krishna Consciousness to the different mentalities? When will you fill with the desire, the strong enthusiasm of making something wonderful today? Having compassion for others is already a wonderful thing. We can add to this a humble attitude; not getting angry with anyone and also thinking that everyone is mistaken in a mental tramp. Having compassion, is only a word. Having compassion in Krishna consciousness means understanding that people needs Atma Jnan, so they can have an understanding of their position. Without this people don't understand the most important. This means knowing that we are a spiritual beings and essentially servants.


Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
Tour Europeo - Polonia 2011
Extractos de Conferencias
http://conferencias-virtuales.blogspot.in/
http://gurumaharajdiary.blogspot.com.ar/2011_04_01_archive.html

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

http://www.vedicviews-worldnews.blogspot.com.ar/

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NELSON MANDELA DIES AT 95

NELSON MANDELA DIES; FORMER 
PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA WAS 95
Nelson Mandela, the former political prisoner who became the first president of a post-apartheid South Africa and whose heroic life and towering moral stature made him one of history’s most influential statesmen, died Dec. 5. He was 95. To a country torn apart by racial divisions, Mr. Mandela became its most potent symbol of national unity, using the power of forgiveness and reconciliation to heal deep-rooted wounds and usher in a new era of peace after decades of conflict between blacks and whites. 
To a continent rife with leaders who cling to power for life, Mr. Mandela became a role model for democracy, stepping down from the presidency after one term and holding out the promise of a new Africa. And to a world roiled by war, poverty and oppression, Mr. Mandela became its conscience, fighting to overcome some of its most vexing problems.

He was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent 27 years in prison as part of his lifelong struggle against racial oppression. Throughout this moral and political fight, Mr. Mandela evoked a steely resolve, discipline and quiet dignity, coupled with a trademark big, charismatic smile. He ultimately carried them into office as South Africa’s first democratically elected and black president. His victory capped decades of epic struggle by the African National Congress and other liberation groups against South Africa’s brutal white rulers, first under British colonialism and then under a white-run system called “apartheid,” or racial separation. 
Under Mr. Mandela’s leadership, South Africa slowly began eradicating racism from its legal canon, governmental institutions and school textbooks. A new Constitutional Court was inaugurated in 1995 as the highest court in the land.

Nelson Mandela dies at age 95. In an extraordinary life that spanned the rural hills where he was groomed for tribal leadership, anti-apartheid activism, guerrilla warfare, 27 years of political imprisonment and, ultimately, the South African presidency, Nelson Mandela held a unique leadership cachet that engendered respect and awe in capitals around the globe. The world remembers a great leader who fought to establish equality among human beings. Obviously, the lack of spiritual knowledge is the main cause of the constant competition between individuals, social groups, races and nations to control the wealth, power and prestige. The true platform for social equality and cooperation is not to declare that “we are all equal”, because although from a spiritual vision we all have the same Heavenly Father, in the material world there are many differences. Some have good qualities of life, health, education, intelligence, while others lack even the basic minimum resources to survive. Knowing that the Supersoul ( Paramatma ) is present in every soul and every material body, we must be aware of the true spiritual nature and also help all to achieve an appropriate balance between the material and spiritual life goals. It is not enough to proclaim that we are equal. We must take a step beyond that and accept that differences exist and therefore we are responsible for caring for those with less facilities. True compassion means that anyone who has more qualities or resources has to use them to protect those who do not have and also strive to give the best of all: help others awaken spiritual awareness. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Universal brotherhood is spontaneously manifested in the heart when we know our father and mother. So we find the great saints of great traditions throughout history offering respect, love, and compassion to all living beings. Social equality is only real when it’s actually from the spiritual platform. On the spiritual platform there is total equality because we are not these bodies. We are not black, white or yellow; we are not Indian, Pakistani, American, Russian, African or Chinese; we are not men or women, rich or poor; we are not brahmans, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras or untouchables. We understand these to be temporary designations. Through political or philanthropic propaganda, to try to create equality has many limitations. In his famous address at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Martin Luther King proclaimed, “I have a dream that one day people will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” He was a religious man.


Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“Is it possible to achieve social equality through bhakti?”
http://leadershipandspirituality.com/
http://www.radhanath-swami.info/
http://www.radhanathswamionline.com/

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

Sunday, December 1, 2013

HISTORY OF YOGA IN RUSSIA

RUSSIA'S AGE-OLD 
PASSION FOR YOGA
http://indrus.in Yoga was enjoyed by quite a large number of people in Imperial Russia, and this laid the roots for its absorption into Soviet culture. From the end of the 19th Century and right up until the 1920s, when the USSR was formed, Indian philosophy and yoga were popular amongst the artistic and intellectual communities. The books of American writer William Atkinson, who wrote under the pseudonym Yogi Ramacharaka, were published - works which included: Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism, and The Science of Psychic Healing.
Besides Atkinson's works, other published works included Svami Vivekananda's book on Raja Yoga, Yoga Sutra by Patanjali, which came out with the Russian title of “Patanjali's Aphorisms”, and Bhagavad Gita was also republished.

Interestingly, Bhagavad Gita first appeared in Russia under the reign of Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584). The manuscript was sent to the tsar as a gift from one of the Great Moghuls. Its first translation into Russian (from English and Sanskrit) was published in 1788 by Imperial decree of Catherine the Great and with the endorsement of the Holy Synod (“this book is good for the soul”), with typography by Nikolai Novikov. Information about yoga during the dark, harsh, Stalinist times is hard to come by. But yoga was still very much in existence, practiced by a tough core of brave people. These dedicated yogis and yoginis mainly practiced in camps, and yoga was undoubtedly a factor in helping them to survive the inhumane conditions. 
From the appearance of the first books on yoga to the founding of the first official yoga schools, the path of popularizing yoga in Russia has been long and windy, but not without its interesting moments.

This interesting article on the history of yoga in Russia thru the present day, was written by Olga Kazak from the Yoga journal.  It is curious the fact that the interest in yoga flared up during the dawn days of the Soviet Union and really took flame during the sunset years of the red empire. As the writer says, “It is hard to imagine how and in what direction yoga would have developed in Russia, if it weren't for the many years during which yoga was practiced behind closed doors, in an atmosphere of danger and secrecy (after all, yoga was an offense for which you could be put in prison), and also the limited access to information about yoga.” With respect to the path traveled by the Vaishnavism in Russia, the one who gave it the big push was Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. He was so anxious to have Krishna Consciousness  reach every country in the world and he also had a plan to bring God into godless Soviet Russia. However, the early days were very difficult for Srila Prabhupada's disciples. In 1977 Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev became head of state, and by 1980, several ISKCON devotees had been imprisoned simply because of their faith. In 1982 Yuri Andropov was determined to wipe out all things religious, and he increased the campaign against ISKCON. Semyon Tsvigun, his deputy chief of the KGB, announced that the three foremost threats to the Soviet Union were “pop music, Western culture, and Hare Krishna.” Intense persecution of Hare Krishna devotees ensued. Many were thrown into prisons, labor camps, and psychiatric hospitals. Yet despite being cruelly tortured and seeing their friends die around them, they clung to their devotion, refusing to give up Krishna consciousness. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
When Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja went to America, the Cold War between communism and capitalism was going on intensively. The communist countries were gaining influence after winning the war in Vietnam and nobody in the world could imagine that there could be a change in the situation. Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja systematically sent His followers to penetrate the so-called “iron curtain” behind communism, where an atheistic philosophy and form of government was flourishing. Swami Maharaja's initial strategy emerged when he met a young Russian seeker, Anatoly Pinyayev, who would soon become Ananta Shanti Das. Ananta Shanti was Swami Maharaja’s courageous and lone student in the Soviet Union and would later be responsible for opening many centers all over Russia. … While enduring more trying times, the devotees saw considerable success ... (they) chanted regularly on Moscow streets, distributed prasadam widely and put over 160,000 books into Russian hands.



“A Portrait of the WVA”
“Pioneers Behind the Iron Curtain”
Published by The WVA newsletter & journal committee
World Vaishnava Association
Vishva Vaishnava Raj-Sabha
http://www.wva-vvrs.org/
http://officebap.com/india2009/wva/portrait.pdf

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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF BUDDHA'S BIRTHPLACE

OLDEST BUDDHIST SHRINE
HOLDS CLUES TO BUDDHA'S BIRTH
http://edition.cnn.com - There are about 500 million Buddhists worldwide, but it's unclear exactly when in history this religion began. The Buddha’s life story spread first through oral tradition, and little physical evidence about Buddhism's early years has been found. Now, scientists for the first time have uncovered archaeological evidence of when the Buddha's monumentally influential life occurred. Excavations in Nepal date a Buddhist shrine, located at what is said to be the Buddha’s birthplace, to the sixth century B.C.
The research, published in the journal Antiquity, describes the remains of a timber structure about the same size and shape as a temple built at the same site in the third century B.C. Archaeologists also found reason to think that a tree grew at the center of this ancient structure, lending support to the traditional story that the Buddha's mother held onto a tree branch while giving birth to him.

“This is one of those rare occasions when belief, tradition, archaeology and science actually come together,” lead study author Robin Coningham, professor at Durham University in the United Kingdom, said at a press briefing Monday. “We know the entirety of the shrine sequence started in the sixth century B.C., and this sheds light on a very long debate,” Coningham said. Beneath remains of the Ashokan temple, archaeologists found a series of postholes from where timber posts had rotted out. The central, open portion of the most ancient temple appears to have housed a tree, based on the discovery of large fragments of mineralized tree roots. This part of the temple also had never been covered by a roof.
To establish the dates of the earliest Buddhist shrine at Lumbini, Coningham and colleagues analyzed charcoal found within postholes, as well as sand. Different techniques used on each of these materials pointed to the same conclusion of the sixth century B.C., but the postholes indicated a range of about 800 to 545 B.C.

Archaeologists in Nepal say they have found traces of a temple timber structure linked to Buddha's nativity going back to the sixth century B.C. The remnants - unearthed at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal, which has traditionally been venerated as the spiritual leader's birthplace - were analyzed with carbon-dating tests, and scientists has dated the time frame for the construction in the sixth century B.C. Lord Buddha was an incarnation of the Supreme and his birth was predicted in the Srimad-Bhagavatam several hundred years before the time He made his apparition. Buddha lived in India at a time when Hinduism was the most spread religion; and although following the Vedas, many people had deviated from the primary goal of Vedic philosophy. They liked to perform ceremonies and rituals for material enjoyment, which included animal sacrifices. Under the disguise of doing Vedic rituals, people indulged in eating the animal flesh. When there was a large unnecessary killing of animals, and as a result people were increasingly degraded, Lord Buddha came. He taught four noble truths: that suffering exists, there is a cause for suffering, suffering can be eradicated, and there is a means to end all suffering. But these topics were not new. These four basic truths had previously been discussed in the Sankhya philosophy before Buddha's appearance, and later been further elaborated upon in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Even more, these philosophical seeds of the Samkhya and Yoga had already existed in the Upanishads, millennia before the birth of Lord Buddha. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The Vedas encode instructions according to the eligibility or qualification of various living beings, especially human beings. But in the course of time, ignorant men took the tamasika orders to be the only instruction of the Vedas and engaged in the extensive killing of animals, sometimes even sacrificing human beings during worship of the demigods. At that time, the Supreme Lord descended in the form of Buddha and outwardly rejected the teachings of the Vedas for the welfare of human beings incapable of comprehending the true teachings of the Vedas. ... As Lord Buddha was the Supreme Lord Himself, many people resolved to follow ahimsa-dharma-the path of non-violence, due to His influence. As a result of non-violence, the hearts of human beings became pious and their qualifications gradually increased, so Lord Siva appeared as Sankaracarya. He re-established the supreme authenticity and decorum of the Vedas, and founded the philosophy of ‘brahmakarana-vada’ (Brahman as ultimate cause).

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Dasavatara - The Ten Manifestations of God”
Chapter 9: “Sri Buddha-Avatara”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math - www.sreecgmath.org

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

INTERNATIONAL DAY TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR 
ELIMINATION VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
www.jagranjosh.com - International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women is observed on 25 November 2013 across the world to raise awareness about violence against women. The theme for the year 2013 is: 'Unite to End Violence against Women'. This year, the UNITE Campaign is extending Orange Day to 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, starting from 25 November, International Day to End Violence Against Women, through 10 December, Human Rights Day. In 1999 the UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The date of 25 November was chosen to commemorate the Mirabal sisters, three political activists Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961) ordered brutally assassinate in 1960.

Why This International Day? • Violence against women is a human rights violation. • Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women. • Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security. • Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential. • Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic. • Between 500000 to 2 million people are trafficked annually into situations including prostitution, forced labour, slavery or servitude, according to estimates. Women and girls account for about 80 per cent of the detected victims. • It is estimated that more than 130 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM/C, mainly in Africa and some Middle Eastern countries.

Unfortunately every day more victims of male violence must be added. Many women are cruelly killed by men just for being women. It is said that up to 70 percent of women experience violence in their lifetime. Today the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a necessary date to make a call for help to stop this social evil is celebrated. The international community did not explicitly recognize the alarming dimensions of violence against women worldwide until December 1993, when the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. Until then most governments viewed violence against women as a private matter between individuals and not as a widespread problem that affects and seriously violates human rights and requires the intervention of the States as responsible for the protection, prevention, control, detection and punishment of all forms of gender-based violence. While Vedic culture teaches the true value of women as heads of households and as a representation of spirituality, the Goddess of Fortune and Motherhood, in many modern societies it is said that they try to achieve gender equality; however, we observe that the number of women killed and injured by their husbands or partners is steadily increasing.  (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
When in a society one loses respect, tenderness and gratitude for the mothers, society is condemned to degradation. This is notable nowadays where they talk a lot about women's liberty, but where the woman is openly the symbol of instinctive exploitation among men. The patience that mothers have with their children, and their practical function of protecting the family and connecting them with Mother Earth, Mother Nature, is a great gift from her for everybody. ... Mothers are in general more religious, more honest; they do not act irresponsibly or get intoxicated, etc. The balance between men and women, the aspect of complementing each other with the blessings of the Vaisnavas, is what is fundamental in a sane family and society. All kinds of sentiments about men being superior to women, is born from a mind of competition and from an inferiority complex. It is really very far from Krishna consciousness.


Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
"Mother’s Day every day"
From the Hotline chat 11th of May, 2003
http://www.vaisnavi.org/v2/articles/mothers_day_everyday.php
http://www.vedic-wisdom.org/

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

AMERICAN DIVER DIES IN COMPETITION

AMERICAN MAN DIES TRYING 
TO SET FREEDIVING RECORD
http://msn.foxsports.com An American free diver died Sunday after trying to complete a 72-meter dive at a sanctioned event in the Bahamas. Nicholas Mevoli was attempting to set an American record in the constant weight without fins category, which requires divers, who are not using oxygen, to dive straight down and resurface without the aid of fins. At the 68-meter mark, Mevoli stopped and appeared to turn back for the surface, only to dive down farther in an effort to reach his goal. Mevoli eventually did reach the surface, but that’s when things took a turn for the worse. 
After being treated at the scene after Sunday’s try, Mevoli was brought to Vid Simms Memorial Health Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:44 p.m. local time, one hour and 19 minutes after he began his dive. Mevoli was 32.

Doctors at the hospital determined that he had pulmonary edema and had 800 cubic centimeters of fluid pulled from his lungs. Mevoli had previously set a different record in May, when he became the first American to dive to 100 meters unassisted, but with the use of a monofin. On last Friday, Mevoli failed to set an American record in free immersion diving and came to the surface with blood dripping from his mouth after abandoning his 96-meter attempt at 80 meters. The International Association for the Development of Apnea, the governing body for the event, said that Mevoli was the first athlete to die in an international competition in the sport’s 21-year history. 
There are no clear figures on how frequently deaths and injuries occur. “Some deaths go unreported ... but one estimate of worldwide freediving-related fatalities revealed a nearly threefold increase, from 21 deaths in 2005 to 60 in 2008,” Outside magazine reported.

Nicholas Mevoli, a 32-year-old from Brooklyn, trying to set a freediving record died last Sunday after he surfaced from a depth of more than 200 feet. He hoped to reach 236 feet (72 meters) with only one breath of oxygen and without the assistance of fins. In freediving, divers plunge to depths shunning breathing equipment such as oxygen tanks or other typical scuba-diving gear. As they descend, free divers can experience various negative health effects, including decreased heart rate and compressed lungs, however, the more dangerous problem is the buildup of carbon dioxide, which acidifies the blood. Now, we may ask why people wants to hold their breath for absurd lengths of time or perform other extreme activities? Thousands of enthusiasts might answer: “This is our overriding passion and it offers us an experience like nothing else.” This is very sad and unfortunate. Precious lives of young men and women are wasted in this crazy desire to practice risky sports. Our human life is very valuable, and it is not advisable to put our health in such threatening risks only to test the limits of physical endurance. We must live for higher purposes. If we can use this human life in a valuable way, we can acquire the key by which to become free from the whole chain of life in this troublesome world. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Good skiers can go down a mountain at the same speed of an automobile on a highway. Falling down a mountain at such a rapid pace is certainly exhilarating, but there is an inherent risk involved. Just one small slip up, one mistake, and you can be part of a serious accident. ... We have no control over the events of nature, but how do people react to these near-death experiences if they do occur? Do they give up skiing as a result? Do they give up snowboarding? On the contrary, people still take to these dangerous activities knowing full well the risks that are involved. ... Why does this happen? Why do we repeatedly perform activities that we know are bad for us? ... Harmful behavior can only be eradicated if we have a higher engagement. ... Devotional service is a full-time engagement which involves dovetailing all our activities for the benefit of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, or God.


Krishna'sMercy.org - Jai Shri Krishna :
“Dangerous Behavior” - Posted on July 17, 2010
http://www.krishnasmercy.org/dotnetnuke/
http://krishnasmercy.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/dangerous-behavior/

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