Thursday, February 28, 2013

DO YOU LIVE EACH DAY WITH PURPOSE?

LIVING WITH PURPOSE 
CAN EXTEND YOUR LIFE
www.aarp.org - When you wake up in the morning, do you think to yourself, “I’m so excited, because today I get to… (fill in the blank)? No? I have teenagers, and on occasions I hear the following proclamation, “I’m bored!”  Usually said out loud to the world in general, with only one part (unsaid) that is directed at me: “…and what are you going to do about it?” Boredom, idleness, and lack of motivation can often be linked to a lack of purpose, according to Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose. I was struck by series of interviews Richard made of a group 65 and older.  
Each was asked what they would change about their life if they could do it all over again.  The resounding response:  a life with purpose - they wanted their time on this planet to matter, to have made a difference. Robert Byrne once said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Do you have one?

Living with purpose is more than just mustering motivation to get through daily tasks like grocery shopping, getting your car repaired, or preparing your taxes.  More than getting a manicure or “9 holes in” before noon. Real purpose gives meaning to your life and others. In fact, I believe it is “other” centered:  perhaps a purpose that supports your community or helps improve another person’s life.  Even a small, but deliberate act, can have purpose: * Spending time with an older neighbor - who may be isolated. * Serving meals at a local food bank/kitchen. * Responding to a friend’s personal tragedy. * Volunteering at a community, hospice or senior center. There are so many needs and fewer hands to meet them.  And according to a study conducted by Rush University Medical Center, living with purpose can extend your life.

If you have identified a meaningful purpose - go for it with gusto.  If you don’t, get one. The author of the article, David Whitehead from AARP (A community of people committed to rediscovering their gifts and exploring new possibilities), says that AARP’s new online tool, Life Reimagined can help you discover your unique gifts and explore new possibilities for the road ahead. “The important point is - get started! Strive to live with purpose.  It can help change, sustain and bring joy and happiness to your life - perhaps even while helping others,” he says. Just pursuing selfish ambitions, trying to establish a permanent place for ourselves in this mortal world, is our big mistake. We should live for higher purposes.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
In order to comprehend that there is a life, which is indeed fulfilling; a life beyond the heartbreaks of this world, takes positive engagement. It is necessary to be amongst those with a different standard of life - a selfless life, a life that is spiritual by nature rather than a material one. Spiritual life is not fantasy nor theory. Spiritual life is devotional life and is all about practice. ... We are created for a higher purpose. We are aliens to this planet. We are from a different realm, we do not belong here. Our place, our nourishment, is in a different realm. ... The idea is that whatever you do in your day, make sure that your endeavor is to make your guru smile. If you can make your guru smile, your day will be successful. We should approach devotional service in that mood, “What will make my spiritual master smile?”


Śrīpad Bhakti Srirupa Madhava Mahārāja :
"The Ultimate Encouragement"
Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Ashram
Sep 6 2008 - Krishna Talk 81
http://gosai.com/ashrama/swami-bs-madhava
http://gosai.com/writings/the-ultimate-encouragement

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS?

FROM RELIGIONS OF EXCLUSION TOWARD
A NEW SPIRITUALITY OF INCLUSION
http://www.huffingtonpost.com The concept of "being spiritual but not religious" suffers from a lot of confusion. One reason is that spirituality fails to elucidate specific guidelines on how to "do it right." Unlike religion, which often errs on the other side with too many rules, or too rigid of rules, a generalized spirituality offers few or no standards for behavior, or even for thought. Many who have turned to being spiritual but not religious left religion in the first place to escape overly rigid rules, so they like it this way. But having no explicit guidelines at all can leave seekers prey to superficial and spiritually counterfeit ideas. 
You can't expect your life to improve because you suddenly start wearing crystals, for example. This absence of guidelines and structure unfortunately leaves people confused, to the extent there is a "spiritual but not religious" movement. An understanding of the spiritual development stages begins to provide a much needed structure to spirituality.

It can orient people toward an authentic spirituality based on a more solid form of personal responsibility, and a deeper form of interpersonal integrity than even our religions teach. One example of this is the concept of inclusion versus exclusion. At the literal level, our religions teach specific beliefs that differ greatly from one religion to another. Each religion excludes outsiders, and denies their beliefs have any validity. But the spiritual development stages tell us we need to move beyond these literal beliefs to become spiritually mature. 
The process includes a step where a person thinks through what he or she has been taught in an open-ended critical manner. This may lead her to reason herself out of belief in that religion, or at least it will lead her to grasp the same teachings in a less rigid, and hopefully less literal, way.

Unlike the specific religions, which exclude outsiders, this form of spirituality includes everyone and everything. Margaret Placentra Johnston, author of this article, explains that "at the upper spiritual development levels, a person can see that all religious traditions have validity when their teachings are seen as metaphors for more universal truths." Nowadays, many people promote various ‘spiritual’ activities because it is considered that they mean open-mindedness and reject ‘religious’ practices which involve close-mindedness. 


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The intention underlying this desire to be ‘spiritual-not-religious’ is laudable, but its application is questionable. Usually the intention is that we should be broad-minded, not narrow-minded. That intention is fine, but is the underlying implication true? Is it true that spirituality makes us broad-minded and religion makes us narrow-minded? ... The Vedic wisdom-tradition points to an intriguing relationship between spirituality and religion. It explains that spirituality is meant to help us develop love for God. This is done through a harmonious combination of philosophy and religion, which constitute the two rails on which spirituality runs. The philosophy aspect of spirituality involves the study and understanding of matter, spirit and the controller of both, God. And the religion aspect involves the following of certain rules and regulations that help us realize and experience higher spiritual truths.


Śrīpad Caitanya Caran das (BE E-TC) :
“The Spiritual Scientist” - Articles
"Isn’t it better to be spiritual instead of being religious?"
Bhaktivedanta Academy for Culture and Education (BACE), Pune
http://thespiritualscientist.com/
http://www.thespiritualscientist.com/2013/02/isn%E2%80%99t-it-better-to-be-spiritual-instead-of-being-religious/

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Monday, February 25, 2013

CHANTING THE GAYATRI MANTRA

SIGNIFICANCE OF RECITING
THE POWERFUL GAYATRI MANTRA
www.boldsky.com Gayatri Mantra is considered to be one of the powerful mantras in Hindu religion. The Gayatri Mantra has been reported in the Rig Veda about 2500 to 3500 years ago, and the mantra may have been chanted for many centuries before that. The significance of Gayatri Mantra is beyond the human reach and whoever chants can feel the power of Gayatri mantra. Gayatri mantra is said to be so powerful that if it is repeated thrice a day, it will confer all the blessings on you in the form of good health, wealth, vitality and beauty. 
Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit: Aum bhur bhuvah suvaha, tat savitur varenyam. Bhargo devasya dhimahi. Dhiyo yo nah pracodha yat. The interpretation of Gayatri Mantra: Aum, Dear God, Thou are the giver of life, the bestower of happiness and the remover of pain and sorrow. O Lord, Creator of the universe, may we receive your sin-destroying light. May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

Here are few benefits of reciting Gayatri Mantra: Makes you strong from within: Reciting Gayatri Mantra brings strength in oneself. Brings positive energy: When one is reciting the powerful Gayatri Mantra, it illuminates the surrounding atmosphere and creates positive vibrations. Successful marriage: If anyone is worried about the delay in marriage, then there is a solution found in Gayatri Mantra. Brings prosperity: Interestingly, Goddess Gayatri is also known as Annapoorani, the Hindu Goddess of food. It is said that any family who worships Goddess Gayatri and recite the Gayatri Mantra find prosperity in their life. 
Gives us health and a sense of protection: Reciting Gayatri Mantra is known to be a particular type of Pranayama. It regulates and channelizes the entire breathing system which in turn makes us healthy. It is also a magnificent hymn or prayer that connects the human mind with the Supreme Being.

The words for the Gayatri mantra are arranged in such a manner that it creates a powerful force. Anyone who chants this Mantra tends to feel relaxed, thus increasing concentration power. Vijayalakshmi, the author of the article, explains that the power of Gayatri Mantra enhances the intellectual level and washes away the sins, purifies the mind, body and soul. "There are few techniques that should be followed while chanting the Gayatri mantra. It is recommended that a person chanting Gayatri Mantra should always close their eyes and try to concentrate on each and every word that are recited," she says. The meaning of the Brahma Gayatri must bring us to the conclusion of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Gayatri mantra and the Srimad-Bhagavatam are one and the same.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
What is the meaning of Gayatri ? The word gayatri is a combination of two Sanskrit words: ganat (what is sung) and trayate (gives deliverance). This means, "A kind of song by which we can get our salvation, relief, emancipation. Gayatri is known as veda-mata, the mother of the Veda. If we examine the Vedic conclusion from it's most condensed aphorism to its most extensive expression, we shall find that it begins with omkara : the Vedic symbol OM. That truth is expressed as the gayatri mantra, then it appears in the form of the Vedas, and then as the Vedanta-sutra. Finally, the Vedic conclusion is given its fullest expression in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Since the meaning, the purpose of Vedic knowledge progresses in this line, the gayatri mantra must contain within it the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam - that is, that the Krsna conception of Godhead is the highest.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
"Brahma Gayatri Bhasya - Sri Gayatri Nigudhartha"
http://www.bvml.org/SBRSM/
http://gosai.com/writings/brahma-gayatri-bhasya-sri-gayatri-nigudhartha

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

AIR POLLUTION AND HEALTH RISK, STUDY

WHERE AIR POLLUTION IS BAD,
HEART ATTACKS ARE MORE DEADLY
www.theatlantic.com - Patients released from the hospital following a heart attack are more likely to die over the following years if they go home to an area with higher levels of air pollution, according to a new study in the European Heart Journal. By air pollution, the study refers specifically to particulate matter that's 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5). No significant results were found for larger particles or for the presence of nitrogen oxide in the air. But reducing the concentration of PM2.5 to a baseline level, absent human contributions, could reduce post-heart attack mortality by 12 %.
To arrive at this data, they followed over 150,000 patients in England and Wales, cross-referencing their health records with average air pollution levels for their postcode. At the study's end, a quarter had passed away; the researchers estimate that 4,783 of those deaths occurred prematurely due to the influence of air pollution.

What's interesting about researchers focus on the patient's location, though, is that one of the aims of the study was to evaluate whether air pollution might be contributing to the socioeconomic disparities seen in mortality following heart attacks: Multiple studies have established that patients with lower income and less education are more likely to die following a heart attack. The same has been established for people living in poorer communities, which are also known to suffer disproportionately from poor air quality. 
But after accounting for factors like smoking and diabetes, the researchers found little support for air pollution's ability to explain the steady decline of recovery rates with lowered socioeconomic status. Something else, yet to be fully understood, must be behind that association; air pollution is more of an equal opportunity health risk.

The PM2.5 are particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, called "fine" particles. These tiny particles introduced into the atmosphere by human activity appear to hinder our recovery after heart attacks by as much as 20 percent. Lindsay Abrams - the author of the article, explains that in the U.S. the major sources of PM2.5 include traffic, wood burned in stoves and fireplaces, field and forest burning, and, to a lesser extent, industrial production. Along with the industrial revolution and the proliferation of automobiles, air pollution threatens humanity; however, the worst effect of the modernization and the urbanization is the increasingly breakdown of morals, ethics and mental stability.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
If we deal properly with consciousness then we can realistically deal with the problems of this world. Otherwise we are just doing patchwork. The cause of all the pollution in the world is polluted consciousness. Because our minds are highly polluted with toxic greed. What is the nature of this greed? It can never be satisfied. The Vedic solution is to learn how to be content and satisfied with simple things - simple living high thinking. Earth is our mother and the natural resources are sacred, they are God’s energy and how we respect and utilize them is what is going to determine the fate of the world. We could be happy with the simple things that God provides if we just learn the art of using them in harmony with the will of God.


Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
"Vedic Solution to Environmental Pollution"
http://www.radhanath-swami.net/  -  http://radhanathswami.info/
http://www.radhanathswami.com/2013/01/vedic-solution-to-environmental-pollution/

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

MYANMAR FOSTERS PEACE PROCESS

ETHNIC RECONCILIATION
AND PEACE PROCESS IN MYANMAR
www.eurasiareview.com In a landmark talks between the Myanmar government and the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) held at Chiang Mai on 20 Feb 2013, the government, perhaps for the first time, officially agreed to initiate a political dialogue with the ethnics after six decades of civil war. “This is the beginning. They (ethnic groups) see that a political dialogue must be facilitated in order to solve these problems. But we didn’t manage to make it happen under the previous governments” said Aung Min, the Chief Negotiator, at a press conference after the meeting. 
Till date, the government has entered into ceasefire agreements with 10 armed groups which have only resulted in suspension of hostilities. A full-fledged war is in progress since June 2011 with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) which is the only major group that has not entered into a cease fire agreement.

The last ceasefire agreement with the KIA that lasted for 17 years was broken by the government troops in June 2011. Minor skirmishes still happen with some other groups also on some pretext or the other. The peace committee has always harped on economic development and evaded the issue of political dialogue for the reason that it was beyond the purview of the peace committee and that it is the prerogative of the parliament to initiate the political dialogue. 
The peace process has also gained momentum in the first ever Myanmar Development Co-operation Forum held at Naypyidaw on 20 January 2013 wherein a number of representatives of the International Community met with President Thein Sein to sign an agreement for a smooth process for international aid to flow into Myanmar for the next few years.

The Myanmar government has taken a welcome step to initiate political dialogue with the ethnic groups which has been their main demand. According to C. S. Kuppuswamy, the author of the article, the ethnic groups have also perhaps realised that they have to work on a common agenda despite the differences in their demands and views for achieving their goal. The reaction of the Myanmar armed forces on these developments are yet to be known. The outcome of the present initiative will very much depend upon the cooperation of the armed forces.  We should all leave our sectarian views and expand our vision of things and thus contribute to a more peaceful world than the one we live in. 


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Though the vocation of each individual is different, everyone’s goal is the same - the attainment of peace. If we ignore the Emperor of Peace and simply devote ourselves to worldly duties or to our work, thinking that peace will come to us through material learning, wealth or riches, then we are destined to fall into the pit of misery. The consequences of this attitude are clear - people are becoming more and more selfishly oriented and thus actually ignoring the interests of their society and country. They have forgotten that the struggle for enjoyment or renunciation is not the essential struggle in life. We achieve real enjoyment by renouncing our own selfish interest in favor of higher purposes like society, country and God.  The real struggle in life is to find a harmonious relationship between enjoyment and renunciation. ... If we do this, we can make our lives successful.


Śrīla Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Mahārāja :
“Sanatan Hindu Dharma - The Way to Harmony”
http://www.gopinathmath.com/book/export/html/53
http://www.gopinathmath.ru/katha/Sanatana%20Hindu%20Dharma%20way%20to%20harmony.pdf

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Friday, February 22, 2013

MINORS' RAPE AND MURDER IN INDIA

RAPE AND KILLING OF 3
YOUNG SISTERS SHOCKS INDIA
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com In the wake of outrage over the alleged rape and murder of three minor girls in Murmadi-Sawari village in Bhandara district last week, the Centre as well as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have reacted sharply on Thursday. "We have asked the Maharashtra government to send a report on the unfortunate incident," Union minister of state for home R P N Singh said in Delhi on Thursday. Taking a suo motu cognisance of a media reports, the NHRC issued a notice to the state chief secretary seeking the report within four weeks. "They belong to a poor family. Quoting the villagers, the media report said that the post-mortem of the bodies was done only when they protested," the NHRC said in a statement. The girls, aged 11, 9 and 6, went missing on February 14. A day later, their brutalized bodies were found in a well three km from their home.

It was only after the villagers staged an agitation by blocking roads and protesting outside the police station that the cops finally lodged a case of murder, kidnapping, rape and other serious charges. Though the police initially registered a case of accidental death, post mortem report confirmed sexual abuse and murder, police said. Additional director general of police Javed Ahmad who visited the village on Thursday said there is no breakthrough yet even after seven days of the incident. The victims' mother met Bhandara superintendent of police on Wednesday and demanded arrest of her mother-in-law and others in the case. Ahmad said the police teams are investigating all possible angles in the case, including the allegations made by the mother of the victims. "Efforts are being made to nab the culprits. Several persons have been quizzed in this connection," Ahmad said.

Police were searching villages in western India on Friday for suspects in the rape and killing of three young sisters. The bodies of the sisters - aged 6, 9 and 11 - were found at the  bottom of a village well in Bhandara district in Maharashtra. Initial medical reports inform the girls were sexually assaulted. The shocking news comes as India is still reeling from the horrific case occurred last December in New Delhi, in which five men and a juvenile are accused of gang raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman. Another heinous sexual attack which shows that during the terrible age of Kali-yuga men are increasingly devoid of good qualities, as described in many Puranas.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
In Kali-yuga it is seen that women become stronger, bolder, and  more independent. In some cases, women are forced to become strong and independent due to being mistreated or left unprotected by men of little character. The Bhagavatam (1.16.21) explains that  women and children are left unhappy and forlorn by unscrupulous men who often search for young girls with whom they might have illicit sex. ... The Vishnu Purana (Book Four, Chapter 24) also confirms this, stating that union between the sexes will be based on passion alone, and women will be mere objects of gratification.  ... By the time this takes place in Kali-yuga, child pornography, rape, and other sexual crimes will be out of control. Politicians and law officers will be bribed into impotence, some even participating in  and profiting from these perverse activities.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
 “The Vedic Prophecies: A New Look into the Future”
Vol. 3 - “Changes During Kali Yuga”
“The Depravity in Family Life ind Relations Between People”
http://www.stephen-knapp.com  -  http://www.stephenknapp.info/

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

WHAT HAS MONEY GOT TO DO WITH IT?

CAN MATERIALISM AND 
SPIRITUALITY COEXIST?
http://timesofindia.speakingtree.in - Can materialism and spirituality coexist? Is it possible to be spiritual and materialistic at the same time? Why not? In fact, it is more difficult to be completely spiritual or completely materialistic. It is a lot easier and more enjoyable being a combination of both. Even if the ratio is 70:30 or 80:20, it is fine. Most of us fall in this category. People with a ratio of 95:05 are rare. If money and spirituality could not co-exist, we would not have so many Hindu gods and goddesses wearing gold crowns and silken robes.
In fact, the word money, itself, is said to have originated from the Roman fertility goddess Moneta, an aspect of Juno, in whose temple money was first minted. Hence, many spiritual leaders believe that money is a part of divine energy and should be wisely used in our own interest and the interest of society.

Clearly, there’s no conflict between wealth, prosperity and spirituality. It is greed and spirituality that cannot co-exist. Contrary to what is popularly believed, money is not the root cause of all evil in society. It’s the urge to cling to it that is the problem. Comparing present-day lifestyle with that of earlier times, it might seem that there’s a decline in spirituality, but it is actually not the case. Earlier, people led simple lives and, therefore, had enough time and money to devote to spiritual pursuits. Today, an average person works 10 to 12 hours a day and spends so much time commuting to work.
Necessities of life too, have increased. To be able to maintain a ‘decent’ standard of living, people have to work really hard. As a result, they might not be able to devote themselves to religious or spiritual pursuits. There’s a saying in Hindi: “Bhookhe pet bhajan na hoy”. It means that you can’t be spiritual on an empty stomach. Clearly, there’s no contradiction between material needs and spiritual needs.

What is the relationship between money and spirituality? "Money is not the cause of all evil. It is the urge to cling to it that is the problem," remarks Bhavleen Kaur, the author of the article. "In spite of not going to the temples every day, and not participating in bhajans and kirtans (congregational chants), one could still be close to the Divine through one’s concern for one’s family, friends and the world around him." Even in the complicated daily life, one can act spiritually "As long as his moral compass is pointed in the right direction," she explains. The real treasure that we must cherish is our relationship with God and try to turn our greed into real generosity to others using our money to spread God Consciousness.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Householders engage in fruitive activity earning money, so it is recommended for them to use the fruits of their labor toward offering food to Krishna, or God. They are also required to host as many guests as possible. ... Though the ideal householder life may be difficult to implement in this age, the best thing a family can do is to become devotees of Lord Krishna and offer all their food to Him prior to eating. This prasadam should also be distributed to as many friends, family, and neighbors as possible. Through this system, there is no need for government programs or food donation charities. In this way, the householders can perform the highest service to their fellow man and satisfy society’s real hunger, the hunger for spiritual life.


Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

PROMINENT ROLE OF ANIMALS IN HINDUISM

ANIMALS AND BIRDS: 
HINDU DEITIES VEHICLE
www.boldsky.com Animals and birds play an important role in Hindu religion. Hindus are known to respect cow as it is considered to be extremely sacred. Cow is also known as Aditi, meaning 'Mother of Gods'. In Hindu mythology, the cow is considered the mother of all including Gods and humans. Every part of the cow holds religious symbolism; the horns symbolize the Gods, legs represent each of the Himalayan mountains and her face represents the sun and the moon. The Gopuras or the tower in South-Indian temples are often carved with the deities and animals. Some of the animals and birds which are popularly known to be the vehicles of the Hindu deities are:
The Rat is Lord Ganesha's vehicle. It symbolizes Ganesha's ability to destroy every obstacle. The Bull (Nandi) is Lord Shiva's guardian and vehicle. The bull is said to embody sexual energy and fertility. Riding on its back, Shiva is in control of these impulses. The Tiger is the vehicle of Goddess Durga, the destroyer of evil. Sometimes it is drawn as a lion, appearing without stripes which symbolizes mercilessness, anger and pride.

The Peacock, vehicle of Goddess Saraswathi, represents arrogance and pride over its beauty, and by having a peacock as her mount, the Goddess teaches not to be concerned with external appearance and to be wise regarding the eternal truth. The Owl, vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi, the owl represents spiritual wisdom, the blindness associated with seeking worldly rather than spiritual wealth. The Swan, also known as Hamsa is the vehicle of Lord Brahma, symbolises intelligence and discrimination. Garuda is the lord of all birds and Lord Vishu's vehicle. He is a remover of obstacles and a fanatic enemy of serpents. 
The Elephant (Airavat) is the vehicle of Lord Indra, the Storm God and bringer of rains. It symbolises reliability, dignity, power, royalty and pride. The Crocodile or Makara is the vehicle of Lord Varuna, the God of Rain. The crocodile symbolises dignity, power, speed, strength, cunning and bravery. The Horse, the vehicle of Lord Surya or the Sun God, who is the chief of the 'Navagrahas'. He rides upon seven horses which symbolise the seven rainbow colours.

Great reverence is given to the animals in Hindu mythology either with direct representation or as God themselves, such as Lord Ganesha (Elephant God) and Hanuman (Monkey God). Vijayalakshmi, the author of the article, mentions various animals which are considered the vehicles of Hindu Gods. She says that some people may think that these animals just act as a means of transportation, but they are symbolic representative of something immaterial and formless. These creatures or Vāhana (“vehicle”) serve as the vehicle and as the sign of a particular deity. Apart from those already mentioned, other vahanas are: Agni's carrier is usually a ram. Lord Yamaraja's vehicle is a water buffalo. Karttikeya's vehicle is a peacock. Vayu, the god of wind, rides an antelope. Yamuna devi rides on a turtle or fish, and Saraswati devi and Ganga Ma on makaras. 


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The Sanskrit word Vihana means 'vehicle' or 'carrier', denoting an animal or creature that serves as a vehicle or mount for a deity. The vahana accompanies, pulls the chariot of, or serves as the seat or mount of the transcendental personality he serves. A vahana is sometimes depicted on banners and emblems to identify the cult or affiliation of the devotee. In some instances, the vahana assists an exalted personality to manifest on planes or in spheres or worlds hierarchically inferior to their own. In one of Vishnu's pastimes, for example, he is described as riding upon Garuda, "since the Lord is not accustomed to stand on earthly ground". ... The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, "Of lordly elephants I am Airavata", thus Airavata is the king of all elephants. Airavata (Airaawat) is the vehicle of Lord Indra, king of the demigods.


The Hare Krsnas :
"The Philosophy" - "The Supreme Personality of Godhead"
"Transcendental Associates" - "Transcendental Carriers"
http://www.harekrsna.com/index.htm
http://www.harekrsna.com/philosophy/associates/carriers.htm
http://www.harekrsna.com/philosophy/associates/carriers/demigods.htm

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

PREGNANT TEEN WINS ABORTION BATTLE

PREGNANT TEEN AND BOYFRIEND
WIN COURT BATTLE TO KEEP BABY
http://news.yahoo.com A pregnant teen who sued her parents, claiming they were coercing her to have an abortion, will be able to give birth to her baby. Attorneys representing the 16-year-old girl were granted a long-term injunction against the girl's parents in Texas family court on Monday, according to court documents. The teen is 10 weeks pregnant and the injunction will last for the duration of her pregnancy. As part of the order, the girl will be able to use her car to go to school, work and medical appointments. Her parents had taken away the use of the car as part of their effort to force an abortion, court papers stated.
The teen's parents will be liable for half of the hospital bill when she gives birth, unless she is married to the baby's 16-year-old father. The teen, identified in the lawsuit only as R.E.K. since she is a minor, was "beside herself" when she called the center for help, her lawyer Stephen Casey told ABCNews.com last week.

Attorneys filed a lawsuit on the teen's behalf earlier this month arguing that her parents "are violating her federal constitutional rights to carry her child to term by coercing her to have an abortion with both verbal and physical threats and harassment." The group claims it has previously represented teens in similar situations and won their cases. When the pregnancy was confirmed, the teenager's father allegedly "became extremely angry, was insistent that R.E.K. was not having the baby, and that the decision was not up to her, according to the lawsuit. He stated he was going to take her to have an abortion and that the decision was his, end of story."
The teen claimed in the lawsuit that her parents had taken away her phone, pulled her out of school, forced her to get two jobs and took away her car in an effort to "make her miserable so that she would give in to the coercion and have the abortion."'

A Texas teen has won her abortion court battle against her parents, meaning she will be allowed to give birth against her parents’ wishes. The 16-year-old pregnant teen sued her parents after they allegedly tried to coerce her into getting an abortion, but the courts ruled she can keep the baby. "These girls are in a bind, particularly in a situation where their parents are forcing them to do something they don't want to do," lawyer Stephen Casey said. "Regardless of the [situation], that's her parents and she should expect support from them in this situation, not resentment and anger." Due to the current spiritual crisis, it is not very common that the law raises his voice to defend unborn babies, so news like this are very positive and an example of hope that we should broadcast.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The idea of abortion shows the depth of the crisis of values found in our so-called “modern society”. The government tries to protect the interests of consumers, industrial people, pensioners, etc. Could it be that these creatures have no rights just because they can talk about their needs and express their desire to live? How to be denied protection to them? The legalization of abortion will be the burial of the grace and dignity of man and the politician class, too. ... Ignoring the law is no excuse to transgress it although abortion was legalized, it would be a violation of the laws of nature (Law of Karma: Justice infallible. Eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth) in other words action and reaction, both individually and collectively. Earthquakes in Popayan or Mexico are reactions, they are not coincidences. We are responsible for what we do and what we fail to do, too. ... We must strive to achieve the purification of our existence by wholeheartedly promoting compassion, truthfulness, internal and external cleaning, in realizing our eternal life.


Monday, February 18, 2013

RUSSIA BEGAN STUDYING METEORITE FRAGMENTS

'METEORITE RUSH' BEGINS AS
RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS FIND FRAGMENTS
www.smh.com.au - A meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural mountains and sent fireballs blazing to earth has set off a rush to find fragments of the space rock, which hunters hope could fetch thousands of dollars apiece. Friday's blast and ensuing shockwave shattered windows, injured almost 1200 people and caused about $32 million worth of damage, said local authorities. It also started a "meteorite rush" around the industrial city of Chelyabinsk, 1500 kilometres east of Moscow, where groups of people have started combing through the snow and ice.
Scientists at the Urals Federal University were the first to announce a significant find - 53 small, stony, black objects around Lake Chebarkul, near Chelyabinsk, which tests confirmed were small meteorites. The main fireball streaked across the sky at a speed of about 30 km/s, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos, before crashing into the snowy wastes.

Viktor Grokhovsky - a scientist with the Urals Federal University and the Russian Academy of Sciences - did not say whether the fragments had told his team anything about the origins of the meteor, which NASA estimated was 55 feet (16.7 metres) across before entering Earth's atmosphere and weighed about 10,000 tons. More than 20,000 people took part in search and clean-up operations at the weekend in and around Chelyabinsk, which is in the heart of a region packed with industrial military plants. Many other people were in the area just hoping to find a meteorite after what was described by scientists as a once-in-a-century event.
Residents of a village near Chelyabinsk searched the snowy streets, collecting stones they hoped would prove to be the real thing. The internet filled quickly with ads from eager hunters hoping to sell what they said were meteorites - some for as little as 1000 roubles ($32).

Scientists announced the discovery of dozens of tiny fragments (only 0.5 to 1 centimetres across) of a massive meteor whose ground-shaking shockwave hurt 1,200 people and damaged buildings across five regions of Russia. One amateur space enthusiast estimated chunks could be worth anything up to 66,000 roubles ($2,128) per gram - more than 40 times the current cost of gold. One seller of a large, silver-hued rock wrote in an ad on the portal Avito.ru: "Selling an unusual rock. It may be a piece of meteorite, it may be a bit of a UFO, it may be a piece of a rocket!". Almost everyone is concerned with earning money and seeking sense gratification, but our internal self will never be satisfied no matter how much money we make.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The greatest need in the world today is love and compassion, not money and technology. Those things can be used but if money and technology are in the hands of greedy, envious, lustful people they will not help the world. You may earn money, you may use technology if required but let it be with a heart of love and compassion. Be an instrument of love, an instrument of illumination in this world. Many of you are young, you have decisions to make right now in your life of what your future will be. Human life does not last very long. Sometimes it is said youth is wasted on the young. When you start getting older you realize the years go so fast. If only I could do it again. You have youthful energy, you have intelligence, you have so many opportunities. What is your ideal? What is your purpose, what is your integrity?


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

Saturday, February 16, 2013

BASANT PANCHAMI AND GODDESS SARASWATI

HOMAGE PAID TO GODDESS SARASWATI
MOTHER OF KNOWLEDGE AND MUSIC
www.thehimalayantimes.com In Kathmandu, Hindu devotees today observed the Saraswati Puja, also known as Basanta Panchami, by worshipping Saraswati, regarded as the goddess of learning, across the county. Students, teachers, musicians, artists and others worshipped the goddess. The kids, who are about to enroll at school, were made to scribble letters today with a belief that the goddess bless them as they seek knowledge. Devotees and students were seen thronging various Saraswati temples in the Kathmandu Valley and across the country since early morning.
According to the Hindu calendar, the day also marks the end of the winter and beginning of the spring season. Panchami also celebrates the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, the mother of wisdom, learning, speech and music. In this festival, kite flying competitions are organised with the participation of national and international competitors.

Basant Panchami is a festival considered especially significant for lovers of art and education. On this day, yellow coloured dishes are made in many northern regions of India.  Yellow flowers are seen the most during Vasant Ritu (spring season). This time, mustard crops are full grown and yellow colored flowers blossom on it. Basant means a sort of intoxication. The Colour of Basant  - or Basanti colour - is a colour in the mid of yellow and orange. Hence, considering the relevance of yellow color, many people eat food of this color and wear yellow coloured clothes. 
The day of Basant Panchami is considered to be the beginning of life. Spring season is the season of rebirth and bloom, the time when fields of yellow mustard charm everybody's heart.   Wheat crop starts swinging like gold. Colorful flowers starts blossoming. The day of Basant Panchami is celebrated as the welcoming of colors and happiness.

The festival of Basant Panchami (Vasant Panchmi) is the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring. This festiva is celebrated on fifth day (panchami) of Shukla Paksha of Magh month (between the months of January and February in Gregorian calendar). On this day Lord Vishnu, God Krishna-Radha and Mother Saraswati - the Adhisthtari Devi of Vedas - the Goddess of education and learning, are worshiped with yellow flowers, Gulaal, water offerings, incense, lamp, etc. As per the tradition, yellow and sweet rice and yellow coloured Halwa are offered to God in the pooja and then eaten as Prasadam. This festival is especially celebrated in North India with full glee and delight. 


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
In the Vedic/Hindu tradition, there are many festivals that are observed throughout the year. There are major festivals and numerous minor ones, as well as those that are celebrated on a local or regional basis. ... Vasant Panchami is known as the festival of kites. It is celebrated towards the end of winter in the month of January-February, especially in the northern parts of India. The weather changes from harsh winter to soft spring or "Vasant". Vasant is the time when the mustard fields are abound with their yellow flowers that seem to usher in spring. So Punjabis welcome the change and celebrate the day by wearing yellow clothes, holding feasts and by organizing kite flying. Vasant Panchami day puja (worship) is devoted to Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning. She bestows the greatest wealth to humanity - the wealth of knowledge.



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