Friday, May 31, 2013

WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY OBSERVED

WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY
CRUSADE AGAINST SMOKERS
www.euronews.com World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31. It aims to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. Another intended purpose is to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to the negative health effects of using tobacco products, which currently lead to an estimated 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually.
The member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. In the past twenty years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance across the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry. Each year May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), but do we actually understand its importance? Many smokers pledge to quit smoking on this day and forget it just the next day?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) , the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. It kills nearly six million people a year, of whom more than five million are from direct tobacco use, while more than 600,000 of tobacco’s victims are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco and this accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease. 
Nearly 80% of the more than one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.

Since 1987, today May 31 is celebrated as "World No Tobacco Day". The event features enthusiasts and detractors, but is an opportunity to send messages, and encourage the Smoking Control Agreement, stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is called on countries to prohibit all forms of advertising , smoking promotion and sponsorship to help reduce the number of consumers of tobacco. Tobacco consumption kills nearly 6 million people each year. Health organizations have renewed today the crusade against smokers and in favor of the right not to inhale passively and for compliance with the legislation prohibiting this undue practice into public places.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
My father told me when he was young, nobody had any idea that cigarettes were bad. It was fashionable to smoke cigarettes.  One movie star always had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The way he did it the whole of America was trying to imitate. He was such a sex symbol and such a handsome heroic person. His style became the fashion. ... but he died of cancer of the lips. So doctors began coming out and saying, ‘Cigarettes are going to kill you. Stop Smoking!’ When that message came out cigarette smoking became more popular among the young people. Because they are trying to prove to themselves, “I am daring. I am fearless. I don’t care if I am risking my life.  I am going to do it to be cool. Yes I know it will kill me.” It’s so foolish. It’s just the example of mentality of material existence. We are not willing to listen to good advice. 




Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja : 
“Listen To Good Advice”
http://www.radhanath-swami.net/
http://radhanathswami.info/archives
http://radhanathswami.info/knowledge/listen-good-advice-radhanath-swami#more-814

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BABY BOY RESCUED IN CHINA FROM SEWAGE PIPE

CHINESE BABY RESCUED FROM SEWER
PIPE AFTER BEING FLUSHED DOWN TOILET
www.nydailynews.com - A newborn Chinese baby was rescued from a toilet pipe after he was flushed away by his parents, state TV reports. Chinese firefighters had to cut out the pipe and bring it to the hospital, where the 2-day-old was rescued. They found the tiny boy lodged in a sewage pipe below a squat toilet in an apartment building in Jinhua, Zhejiang province. His placenta was still attached. Firefighters sawed out an L-shaped section wide on Saturday afternoon after neighbors reported hearing crying.
The baby boy was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors cut around him to pull out the abandoned infant. The 2-day-old child - named Baby No. 59 from the number of his hospital incubator - was reported in stable condition.

News of the ordeal prompted an outpouring from strangers who came to the hospital with diapers, baby clothes, powdered milk and offers to adopt the child. Despites the offers to adopt Baby No. 59, it was explained the boy would be handed over to social services if his parents do not claim him. Police are treating the case as an attempted homicide, and are looking for the mother and anyone else involved in the incident. 
The landlord of the building in Pujiang County said it was unlikely the birth took place in the toilet room because there was no evidence of blood and she was not aware of any recent pregnancies among her tenants. The incident has sparked outrage on China's Twitter-like service Sina Weibo. "The parents who did this have hearts even filthier than that sewage pipe," wrote one user.

Firefighters in China have rescued a newborn baby boy lodged inside a sewage pipe leading off a toilet in an apartment building in Jinhua city, Zhejiang province. Firefighters and doctors worked together using pliers to cut the pipe apart to get to the baby, who is now in stable condition. China has strict family planning rules, with the one-child policy in place for more than three decades. Couples can face fines if they violate the policy. There have also been cases of female newborns abandoned because of a traditional preference for sons. As we have repeatedly seen, nothing can harm you, if the Lord wants to save you.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
We may have many enemies who may be very powerful fighters, but if we remain under the protection of Krsna, no one can do us any harm. Rakhe krsna mare ke mare krsna rakhe ke. “He whom Krsna protects, no one can kill, but if Krsna wants to kill someone, no one can give him protection.” For example, suppose a very rich man is suffering from disease. He may have a first-class physician, medicine, and hospital available for him, but still he may die. This means that Krsna desired, “This man must die.” Therefore, the so-called protective methods we have devised will be useless if Krsna does not desire us to live. ... Therefore, if God wants to kill someone, no one can give him protection, and if God wants to protect someone, no one can kill him. Rakhe krsna mare ke mare krsna rakhe ke.


Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
"Teachings Of Queen Kunti"
Chapter 7: "Dangerous Encounters"
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase - http://vedabase.com/en/tqk/7

 
Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Monday, May 27, 2013

GREAT CONCERN ABOUT SYRIA CRISIS

UN CHIEF CONCERNED ABOUT
REGIONAL SPILLOVER OF SYRIA UNREST
http://news.xinhuanet.com - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday expressed extreme concern over the increasing risk of the spillover of the Syrian unrest to Lebanon, urging respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region. "The secretary-general is deeply concerned by the acknowledged increased participation in the fighting in Syria by Hezbollah, as well as by the risk of spillover in Lebanon, which has witnessed growing tension over the past week," said a statement released by Ban's spokesperson. 
"All in the region should act responsibly and work towards lowering rhetoric and calming tensions in the region." 

Two rockets hit the Hezbollah-controlled southern part of Lebanese capital city on Sunday, wounding five people. The attack came a day after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah overtly defended his group's backing to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. As preparations are ongoing for the international conference on Syria, Ban called on all countries, organizations and groups immediately to cease supporting the violence inside Syria and instead to use their influence to "promote a political solution to Syria's tragedy," said the statement.
"The secretary-general has consistently opposed the transfer of arms and fighters from outside Syria to either side inside Syria.  He has repeatedly urged respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region," the statement said.

The UN chief reiterated the "paramount importance" of preventing a dangerous spillover of the conflict across borders and called for strict adherence to the Baabda Declaration, which was approved almost a year ago and called for keeping Lebanon neutral from regional tensions and crisis. The United States and Russia have proposed an international peace conference to find a solution to the Syria crisis, which started in March 2011 and has killed more than 70,000 people, left 6.8 million people in need and driven 1.5 million Syrians as refugees abroad. Why so much violence? Who protects civilians and innocent people?

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
The present-day world appears to be running fast towards destruction. As per Indian scriptural evidence, the conditioned souls are enveloped by Lord’s illusory energy consisting of three primal qualities - Sattva, Rajah, and Tamah.  ‘Tamah’ indicates tendency to commit vice or to inflict injury.  In fact, Tamah tendency has now engulfed the whole world and is spreading over like fire and showing its most monstrous destructive ugly appearance.  The sagacious persons are bewildered to find any solution of this terrible tendency of violence. ... Practically it is demonstrated now that the human beings have become the greatest enemy of their own species. It is the greatest shame of such human beings to claim the false vanity of being the best amongst created beings.


Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Human’s sins will never be spared”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math - www.sreecgmath.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sreecgmath/message/869

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF FRIDAY IN ISLAM

WHY FRIDAY IS CONSIDERED
THE HOLIEST DAY IN ISLAM?
www.boldsky.com - You might have heard the greetings of 'Jummah Mubarak' many a times. But do you know what it means? This greeting is usually heard on Fridays which according to Islam is the holiest day of the week. In Hinduism various days of the week are considered to be holy. But in monotheistic religions like Christianity, Islam and Judaism, there is one special holy day in the week. In Christianity and Judaism, both of which are Abrahamic religions, Sunday is the day of Sabbath or rest. It is the day when Christians go to Church. 
Similarly in Islam, Friday is the day for prayer and festivities. It is the first day of the week in these Islamic countries; however, very few people know the spiritual significance of Friday in Islam.

According to Islamic scriptures, the holy prophet Mohammed proclaimed that Friday is the holiest day on which the sun rises. The prophet went to explain his proclamation by saying that God created the first man on Earth, Adam on the same day. Adam was also expelled from paradise on a fateful Friday due to his crime of passion. It was a Friday on which God forgave his son Adam and restored him to this Earth. According to Islamic scriptures, Quyamat or the day of destruction of this Universe will also be a Friday. 
Devout Muslims are expected to pray or read the Namaz five times in a day. It is not compulsory for them to go to mosque everyday. But all the Muslims are expected to be at the mosque for Namaz on Friday evening. This is the prayer of Jummah which is usually conducted by a Muezzin.

In many religions there is a special day of the week that is considered holy. In many Islamic countries, Friday is set as weekly off. Anwesha, author of the article, explains why Friday is the Holy Day of the week for Islam. "Friday in Islam is a day for special prayer and festivities followed by it," she says. Special prayers are offered by Muslims on Friday. "In large Mosques like the Jamma Masjid in Delhi, crowd of thousands gathers to offer their special Friday prayers," she notes. The revealed scripture of the Mohammedans is the Koran, which accepts the fact that ultimately there is only one God and that the Lord is the Supreme Truth worshipable by everyone.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Śri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "The Koran has certainly established impersonalism, but at the end it refutes that impersonalism and establishes the personal God." ... "No conditioned soul can get out of material bondage without serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Love at His lotus feet is the ultimate goal of life." 
According to the Mohammedan scripture, without Evadat, offering prayers at a mosque or elsewhere five times daily (Namaz), one cannot be successful in life. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu pointed out that in the revealed scripture of the Mohammedans, love of Godhead is the ultimate goal. Karma-yoga and jnana-yoga are certainly described in the Koran, but ultimately the Koran states that the ultimate goal is the offering of prayers to the Supreme Person (Evadat).


Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta - Madhya-lila
Chapter 18: Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Visit to Sri Vrndavana
Verses 189 and 194 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

 
Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

STROKE AND DEPRESSION

“DEPRESSION”: A WARNING
SIGN OF STROKE FOR WOMEN
http://shine.yahoo.com - Middle-aged women battling depression may be twice as likely to have a stroke as women in the same age group who are not depressed, a new study finds. "Our findings, however, suggest that depression may be a stronger risk factor for stroke in mid-aged women than was previously thought," lead researcher Caroline Jackson, an epidemiologist in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Australia, said in a statement. The study focused on women aged 47 to 52.
A stroke occurs when damage to an artery deprives the brain of oxygenated blood, causing brain cells to die and allowing toxic chemicals to build up. Approximately 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year (75 % of stroke victims are 65 or older). 

Jackson and her colleague Gita Mishra, a professor of life course epidemiology at the University of Queensland, looked at data from 10,547 women aged 47 to 52 years, none of whom had a history of stroke. About 24 % of the women surveyed said that they suffered from depression and, during the course of the study 117 of them had a stroke for the first time.
Jackson and Mishra found that depressed women were 2.4 times more likely to have a stroke than women who did not say they were depressed.
After eliminating other risk factors - including age, socioeconomic status, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking, and exercising - middle-aged women with depression were still at higher risk for stroke than others in the group.

This study did find a link between depression and stroke. "Depression is a strong risk factor for stroke in mid-aged women, with the association partially explained by lifestyle and physiological factors," researchers concluded. "We need to carry out further research to identify the mechanism by which depression affects stroke risk," researcher Caroline Jackson said in a statement. The stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and it kills about 150,000 people annually. Life is very difficult, there are problems at each step; but the biggest problems and their corresponding solutions are found within ourselves.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Depression is the result of not knowing what to do or what our true identity is. Do not think that depression can be reversed through the invention of new psychiatric drugs. Evil must be attacked at its very root, where it is very difficult because most depressed people are not willing to question their modus vivendi, or their concepts about existence. ... Depression is not an incurable disease, but our materialistic society is far from knowing how to cure it, because in essence, it is itself the cause of the disease. The cure resides in the timeless, deep wisdom that is found in the company of those who have dedicated their lives to spiritual understandings and practices. 





Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
“The Illness of the Century - Depression”
“Vedic Wisdom Collection”
http://www.vedic-wisdom.org/
http://www.sabiduriavedica.org/sv.php?id=49_57
http://vwonline.blogspot.com/2006/03/illness-of-century-depression.html

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

TORNADO IN OKLAHOMA, USA

OKLAHOMA TORNADO FATALITIES
2 INFANTS, 10 CHILDREN IN ALL
www.washingtonpost.com - Two of the 24 people known to have been killed in the tornado that pulverized a suburb of Oklahoma City on Monday were infants. Seven of the dead were 8- and 9-year-old youngsters, the medical examiner’s office said, apparently students at the Plaza Towers Elementary School. The school was among hundreds of buildings reduced to rubble by the storm that devastated Moore, Okla., a city of 55,000 about 11 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City. 
Fourteen storm victims were adults. One of those adults has yet to be identified, said Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. The names of seven others were withheld because family members have not yet been informed of their deaths.

Rescue crews are still searching through the remains of collapsed buildings, and officials have said repeatedly that the death toll from the tornado could rise. But Elliott said the number of bodies transported to the medical examiner’s office - and the “official number of confirmed deaths” - remained at 24 as of Wednesday morning. Most of the people died from blunt-force trauma. A few were asphyxiated. More than 200 people were injured by the tornado, and hundreds of homes, businesses and other buildings were destroyed. Preliminary damage estimates are running as high as $1 billion. 
Hundreds of other children at the school survived the tornado, huddling with their teachers in bathrooms, fleeing the building with frantic parents or seeking safety by pressing against interior walls.

In Moore, near Oklahoma, USA, search and rescue operations were winding down Wednesday as this battered, exhausted city mourned its dead and turned its attention to rebuilding for the future. "When the winds died down and the debris settled following Monday’s tornado in Oklahoma, residents began scrambling to find loved ones amid the rubble of homes and businesses and at least two schools. For some, that search ended in searing grief," published Jennifer Preston at The Lede blog. Why do so terrible tornadoes occur, while sometimes they are just strong winds? Why should we endure these calamities? Why are we here?

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the mood of a devotee. In the form of Radharani, the Highest Guru, Nandanandana Krishna Himself appeared. Sanatana Goswami asked Him questions such as, "Who and what am I? Why am I burning from the three-fold afflictions [miseries caused by one's own body and mind, miseries caused by other living entities and miseries caused by the demigods in the form of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and so on]? What is the ultimate object and how are we to get it?" When we put these questions to a sadguru, then the time for emancipation from the entanglement of this non-eternal sphere has come. It was declared by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Srila Sanatana Goswami. You must have these types of questions in mind.



Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
"The Glories Of HDG Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj"
Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts: 23 August 2002
http://bvml.org/SBBTM/tgohdgsacbsm.htm
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math (SCGM)
Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ANCIENT SYSTEM OF MATHEMATICS

VEDIC MATHEMATICS:
ANCIENT INDIAN KNOWLEDGE
www.indiadivine.org - Indian civilization has surprised academicians time and again with simple age old techniques for solving complex problems. Difficult problems or huge sums can often be solved immediately by the Vedic method or Vedic Mathematics technique, which is derived from the Ganita Sutra in the Vedas. Vedic Mathematics is the name given to the ancient system of Mathematics which was rediscovered from the Vedas between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884 - 1960). 
In the beginning of the 20th century, when there was a great interest in various Sanskrit texts in Europe, some scholars ridiculed certain texts were titled GANITA SUTRA, which means mathematics. The European scholars could not decipher any mathematics in the translations and therefore dismissed the texts as rubbish. 

Bharati Krsna wrote sixteen volumes expounding the Vedic system but these were unaccountably lost and when the loss was confirmed in his final years he wrote a single book - Vedic Mathematics. It was published in 1965, five years after his death. According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras, or word - formulae. For example, ‘Vertically and Crosswise’ is one of these Sutras. These formulae describe the way the mind naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Vedic system is its coherence. Instead of a hotchpotch of unrelated techniques the whole system is beautifully interrelated and unified. This unifying quality is very satisfying; it makes mathematics easy and enjoyable and encourages innovation.

Bharati Krsna, who himself was a scholar of Sanskrit, Mathematics, History and Philosophy, studied these texts and after lengthy and careful investigation was able to reconstruct the mathematics of the Vedas. The author of the article, the Editor of IndiaDivine.org, explains that "These striking and beautiful Vedic methods are just a part of a complete system of mathematics, which is far more systematic than the modern system. Vedic mathematics manifests the coherent and unified structure of mathematics and the methods are complimentary, direct and easy." In ancient India, mathematics served as a bridge between understanding material reality and the spiritual conception.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Spiritually advanced cultures were not ignorant of the principles of mathematics, but they saw no necessity to explore those principles beyond that which was helpful in the advancement of God realization. ... One of the foremost exponents of Vedic math, the late Bharati Krishna Tirtha Maharaja, author of Vedic Mathematics, has offered a glimpse into the sophistication of Vedic math. Drawing inspiration from the Atharva-veda, Tirtha Maharaja points to many sutras (codes) or aphorisms which appear to apply to every branch of mathematics: arithmetic, algebra, geometry (plane and solid), trigonometry (plane and spherical), conics (geometrical and analytical), astronomy, calculus (differential and integral), etc.



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Monday, May 20, 2013

'DRAMATIC DECLINE' WARNING FOR PLANTS AND ANIMALS

CLIMATE CHANGE MAY BE CATASTROPHIC
TO A THIRD OF ALL ANIMALS ON EARTH
www.sciencerecorder.com - A new study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that if nothing is done to curb climate change, the impact on animal and plant life could be catastrophic. The study, which comprises of researchers from the U.K., Columbia and Australia, examined the impact of climate change (specifically rising temperature) on nearly 50, 000 different species. The team carried out climate modeling and examined three main factors: climate sensitivity, ocean mixing and climate-carbon feedback that amplifies the temperature.
By mapping the areas that would remain suitable for species habitation scientists were able to determine that there would be a great habitat loss unless mitigating factors emerge. 

According to the report, global warming will destroy over half the habitat of plant life and a third of the habitat of animal life, a transition that may occur as a tipping point or over long periods. Temperatures are predicted to rise seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 due to global warming, according the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The rise in temperature is largely due to burning fossil fuels, which retain heat and warm the atmosphere.
Over the past century, global temperatures have risen about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, according data presented by the National Academy of Sciences. If this temperature rise happens at the rate predicated, large range contractions can be expected among common and widespread species. The changes would likely lead to the extinction of some 34 % of animal species and 57 % of plant species, say scientists.

More than half of common plant species and a third of animals could see a serious decline in their habitat range because of climate change. The reason for the massive decline is largely due to the rapid change in temperature, which many species will struggle to adapt to over the course of just a few years. “Global-scale biodiversity will be significantly reduced if temperatures rise more than 2C and it would impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides,” says Rachel Warren. We must respect and protect our Mother Earth. The sacred texts of the Hinduism contains many references to the worship of the Divine in Nature. 


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Millions of Hindus recite Sanskrit mantras daily to revere their rivers, mountains, trees, animals and the earth.  Hinduism is a remarkably diverse religious and cultural phenomenon, with many local and regional manifestations. Within this universe of beliefs, several important themes emerge:  • The earth can be seen as a manifestation of the goddess, and must be treated with respect.  • The five elements - space, air, fire, water and earth - are the foundation of an interconnected web of life.  • Dharma - often translated as “duty” - can be reinterpreted to include our responsibility to care for the earth.  • Simple living is a model for the development of sustainable economies.  • Our treatment of nature directly affects our karma. 





Pankaj Jain, Ph.D. :
‘Sustenance and Sustainability -
Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities’
http://fore.research.yale.edu/news/item/10-hindu-environmental-teachings/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/religious-freedom/message/3325

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Friday, May 17, 2013

THE STORY OF PREEYA PRAKASH

GROWING UP HINDU IN UTAH:
THE STORY OF PREEYA PRAKASH
www.deseretnews.com - Preeya Prakash is difficult to define - even for Preeya Prakash. "I consider myself an American," she said during a recent break in classes at the University of Utah, where she is a 24-year-old graduate student with a BA in neuroscience from the University of Southern California. "And I'm a Utahn. I was born here in Salt Lake City. I have lived here all my life. I've got the accent and everything." She is also Indian. Her parents were both born and raised in India, and her hair, skin and handsome features bear the genetic imprint of a country in which she has never actually lived.
"When people ask me, 'Where are you from?' I always say, 'Well, I was born here,'" she says with characteristic wit and good humor. "And then they look at me and say, 'Well, yeah, but where are you ... you know ... from?' 

Things get a little more complicated for Preeya when you throw her Hindu beliefs and culture into the definitional equation. "Culturally, I am Hindu - and a pretty traditional Hindu, at that," she said while relaxing in one of the Marriott Library lounges. For Preeya, growing up Hindu in Utah has meant being part of a decided minority - racially, culturally and religiously. 
According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Utah's 9,000 Hindus comprise .5 percent of the state's population - a number consistent with the percentage of Hindus throughout the United States.
"I credit my parents for teaching me how to balance our Hindu culture with the culture of Utah," Preeya said. "We were Americans, we were Utahns, we were Indians, we were Hindu. We were all of these things, and we embraced all of them fully and completely."

Preeya Prakash is a student at the University of Utah (USA) and she also attends religious ceremonies at the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah in South Jordan. “She credits her parents with helping her figure out how to balance all of those cultures and find peace and happiness in her life,” says Joseph Walker the author of this article. “For me, I kind of look to my faith as a guideline for how I should lead my life. It’s the part of me that keeps me grounded, that tells me who I am and that I am part of something bigger than myself,” she says. Hindus living in foreign countries must be examples of good citizens. Helping and serving others, whatever their religion, is the moral duty of every Hindu.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Hindus are at the threshold of a major transformation. After centuries of subjugation, they are now making bold and mammoth progress in various fields. ... The future decades may be challenging for Hindus in many ways. Synthesizing modern science with traditional religious activities may bring forth golden opportunities previously unimagined. Hindus must not fear or pull away from the new world of technology. Instead, they must use the same to enhance and adorn their spiritual and religious pursuits. ... Hindus in foreign countries must conduct themselves as virtual ambassadors of India. They may serve and love their new country with complete sincerity and honesty without disrupting the roots with the country of their origin.


Dr. Hiro Badlani :
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
“Conclusion: A Legacy for Hindu Youth Diaspora”
http://hinduismpath.com/
http://hinduismpath.com/book-contents/conclusion/

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

SIDDHIS AND YOGIC POWERS

SIDDHIS, POWERS AND
MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES
www.indiadivine.org - It has become quite popular nowadays to speak about mystical experiences and "siddhis". Most yoga and meditation groups speak of them, along with other esoteric blabber such as the raising of kundalini, opening of chakras, and other things which no one has actually experienced. On one side we have new age gurus speaking of siddhis very cheaply as though they are as common as sand on a beach, and on the other hand we have "rationalists" who discount siddhis all together as mere fantasy. Siddhis are a reality, and the science behind them has been passed down from time immemorial by the rishis and preserved in the Vedic texts. 
In actuality nothing is mystic. Everything functions according to natural laws. The rishis (sages), by virtue of their expanded consciousness, understood the functioning of matter on the subtle levels of sound and mind, (however) they did not give much importance to material powers and perfections.

The  rishis were not interested in acquiring wealth, power, fame, etc. Their aim was much higher. How else can we explain the countless yogis, jnanis, tapasvis, siddhas, and rishis who dwell in the sacred realm of the Himalayas. High in the mountains, surrounded by a forest covered in snow. The rishis are there even today meditating on the banks of the Ganges. What keeps them there, living in apparent poverty? Are they fools, are they mad? No, on the contrary, the world is mad and we are all fools. For we are chasing after the broken glass of sense enjoyment, while they are offering us the diamonds of spiritual bliss. 
The rishis (sages) are calling to us. We must heed their call. Whether we are in the city or in the forest, it makes no difference. Internally we must all become rishis and sadhus - transcendentalists of the concrete jungle. "Be situated in your place and attain the goal of life," this is the message of the rishis and the Upanishads - sthane sthitah shruti gatam tanu-van-manobhih.

The Indian learned sages, or Rishis, performed austerities, contemplated, and meditated, seeking solutions for the eternal problems of mankind. "True transcendentalists have no interest in mundane material life," points Prabhu Jahnava Nitai Das, author of the article. "The aim of those following spiritual discipline is to become free from the desire to lord over material nature. Those seeking mystic perfections are motivated by their desire to control matter, subtle and gross." Srila Prabhupada has explained in Bg 6.20-23 that even those yogis who are attracted by the siddhis are not perfectly situated.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
There is much rejectable element in the books on enjoyment-hunting, karma, jnaana, yoga or devotion mixed with these. ... If you read other books than the Bhagavatam you come under the influence of the processes of karma and jnaana, pleasure and pain, birth and death. You may get dharma (punya), artha (wealth) and kaama (fulfillment of desire). One, desirous of emancipation (moksha), may renounce the worldly life, but one such does not serve God. It is only the devotees that do it. God is not served even by the practice of astaanga-yoga which gives you siddhis or vidbhutis like animaa (power to be infinitesimal), laghimaa (power to be as light as hydrogen), etc. not to speak of the salvationist who may want to get rid of the weal and woe of the worldly life and to be the recipient of enjoyment in the negative form.



Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thākura Prabhupāda :
The Pathway to Highest Blessedness
http://www.bvml.org/SBSST/tpthb.html
http://www.harekrsna.com/philosophy/bmgs/acaryas/bhaktisiddhanta/writings/pathway1.htm
Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
http://www.vedicviews-worldnews.blogspot.com.ar/

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PALESTINIANS MARK 65 YEARS SINCE DISPLACEMENT

THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS MARK
'NAKBA DAY' IN GAZA, WEST BANK
www.reuters.com - Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday during demonstrations to mark 65 years since what they call the Nakba (Catastrophe) when Israel's creation caused many to lose their homes and become refugees. A shell fired from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas, exploded in an open area of Israel but caused no injuries, according to an Israeli military spokesman. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from militants in Gaza.
Protesters skirmished with Israeli forces outside a refugee camp near the West Bank city of Hebron and at a prison near Ramallah, leaving several Palestinians injured. Israeli police in Jerusalem scuffled with Palestinian protesters, tossing stun grenades and making several arrests.

Thousands also rallied in the main square of Ramallah, the Palestinians' de facto capital while Jerusalem remains under Israeli control, holding up placards with the names of villages depopulated in 1948 and old keys, symbols of lost homes. Arab states failed in a 1948 war to stop the Jews settling in Palestine, who cited biblical ties to the land and a need for a Jewish state, which up to that time was under British colonial control. 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to return to the region on Tuesday in another bid to revive peace talks frozen since 2010. But a resolution remains elusive and many Palestinians cling to a desire for refugees and descendants to return to ancestral lands now in Israel - an idea Israel rejects, saying it would spell the end of the Jewish state.

The 65th anniversary of Nakba Day was commemorated today by Palestinians throughout Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian diaspora. The “Nakba (the catastrophe) Day” marks the day Israel was founded. In Palestinian towns, at exactly noon a memorial siren was sounded, its length 65 seconds, one second for every year Israel has existed. In the afternoon hours, Palestinian youths began clashing with IDF soldiers. They hurled stones at security forces who returned fire with riot dispersing equipment. Clashes are taking place among people and nations due to our mistaken sense of propriety; in fact we are not the owners of anything in this world.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Śrīla Prabhupāda said we must teach all over the world that Lord Krishna is the Owner and the Supreme Enjoyer.  The sense of ownership is extremely dangerous since it confuses us in our relationship with God.  When we believe to be the owners of something, we believe to be the enjoyers of that, for this reason to believe that something belongs to me is a great illusion; nothing is ours, not even our own body, that to say of others, or the things related to the body, such as children, family, money, facilities, etc.. Krishna often repeats in the Bhagavad-Gita that we must understand that nothing is ours, everything belongs to Him. ... Krishna says: “When you understand that I am the owner of all, everything belongs to Me and I am the enjoyer, then even you'll be My owner and enjoyer.”


Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“Sense of Ownership”
“Words of Gurudeva”
http://www.atulanandadas.cl/
http://www.atulanandadas.cl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=50

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PROMOTING PEACE AND TOLERANCE AMONG RELIGIONS

RELIGIOUS LEADERS GATHER TO
PROMOTE TOLERANCE, UNDERSTANDING
www.mywesttexas.com - In an effort to promote peace and tolerance, leaders from different religious backgrounds met last month in Midland, Texas, USA for an interfaith discussion. St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church played host to leaders of the Baptist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Mormon faiths, and more than a hundred listeners. All of the religious leaders explained about their faith and what role it plays in the day-to-day lives of people all over the world. 
The Muslim faith was represented on stage by Imam Wazir Ali, of Houston.  "It was the plan of God that the world is a pluralistic place," said the iman Ali. "What he wants us to do instead of looking at pluralism and diversity as a problem, is look at it as an opportunity to benefit from the genius of other human beings and other cultures." 

The leaders spoke about how the different faiths can co-exist peaceably in today's world to complex issues such as what each religion teaches about death, resurrection and an afterlife. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, of Kauai's Hindu Monastery, explained that his faith does not teach about resurrection. The resurrection is such a foreign concept in the Hindu faith that he took time to explain the basis of it to people in the audience who might not recognize the term or know its meaning.
"This idea of the resurrection is focused on what's going to happen to the body, ... where the Hindu idea is focused on not the body, but the soul," he said. Also participating in the discussion were the Rev. Randel Everett, of First Baptist Church; Rabbi Holy Levin Cohn, of Temple Beth El in Odessa; and Jerry Zant, stake president of the Odessa Texas Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Much of the messages - from all religions - had tones of tolerance, love, acceptance and harmony. Despite differing views on the specifics, all leaders seemed in agreement on the existence of a higher power and that power's desire for humans to live peacefully and in harmony, always caring for the needs of others. The most important thing that comes from the annual Interfaith Event is the effort for “sharing of knowledge and ideas, a quest for the truth,” said Adam Syed, a member of the Muslim Association of West Texas. We should encourage tolerance and reduce misconceptions of unfamiliar religions and traditions.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
A sense of common interest can be fostered among individuals, if they know that they are inter-connected, are parts of one Organic System and are the sons and daughters of one Father.  Here is the task of all religions; to teach people that all beings of the world are closely inter-related.   Although steadfastness or firm belief in God (Nistha) according to some particular faith and eligibility of the individual is congenial for healthy spiritual growth of every individual, religious bigotry which begets enmity is condemnable, as it is against the real interest of the individual and society.  Real religion teaches love for one another.


Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Madhava Mahārāja :
“Realistic Solution for Diverse Humanity”
Speech at a ‘Spiritual Summit Conference’ - 1968 Calcutta.
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -  http://www.sreecgmath.org/scgmtimes/scgmsbdm.php

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