Thursday, August 29, 2013

KRISHNA JANMASTAMI OBSERVED

JANMASTAMI, APPEARANCE DAY
OF THE BLESSED LORD SRI KRISHNA
www.indoamerican-news.com Most traditions call for fasting until midnight, when Krishna was born, and then performing aarti and rousing kirtan for His pleasure. In the northern part of India, especially Uttar Pradesh - where places such as Vrindavan, Gokul, and Mathura hold deep significance due to Krishna’s intimate association with them and because of the multitude of His pastimes that were enacted there - the festivities are especially pronounced.
In South India the event is generally known as called Gokulashtami and people draw tiny feet (imprints using a mixture of flour and water) that lead into the kitchen and other rooms from outside the residence, representing Krishna’s mischievous pastimes where he used to steal butter by smashing open the pots hung high from the rafters.

In Dwaraka (Gujarat), where Krishna founded His kingdom, devotees exemplify their uncompromising bhakti towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna by thronging Dwaraka-dhisha temple (also known as the Jagad Mandir). In the great state of Maharashtra the dahi-handi (buttermilk-pot) event is not to be missed. Teams of players come together to form a human pyramid and the person at the apex tries to break the pot open. 
The sheer joy and gaiety that characterize this festival is highly infectious and is universal in nature. Let us pray to the Supreme Lord Sri Hari, simply by chanting whose glorious names we can attain moksha - eternal liberation from this material world!

The sublime advent of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was celebrated yesterday (28th August) all over the world as Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami, or Krishna Jayanti. This is such a joyous and universally uniting festival that all of the world comes together to rejoice in the birth of the protector of saints and destroyer of demons. There are slight differences in how the various parts of India celebrate Janmashtami, but the unifying aspect is that of complete submission to the utter bliss that comes with chanting the names of the Lord and in glorifying Him by hearing and reciting His delightful pastimes. Our gurus have taught us that Sri Krishna is nitya, and not only His birth but all of His pastimes are eternal. Just as sunrise is eternal, in the sense that during the day the sunrise is taking place in one place or another, Sri Krishna and His lilas are also eternal. We have to prepare and purify our hearts so that His blessed appearance can take place within them. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Throughout the infinite planets, you will find all the pastimes of Sri Krishna going on continuously, one after another. In this sense, His appearance pastime is eternal. There are infinite brahmandas and infinite planets - so many that we cannot even conceive of them. Somewhere within these brahmandas, He is appearing continuously. So, in this sense, His appearance is eternal. But He also appears, reveals Himself, in the sanctified heart of the suddha bhakta. This is also His eternal appearance. We have to prepare ourselves so that Krishna will think us to be qualified to get Him. Then He will appear in our hearts. We have to sanctify our hearts so that Krishna can appear there. Krishna is already there, but we are not aware of His presence.


Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja : 
“Eve of Janmastami, Sanctifying the Heart”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math
http://www.gokul.org.uk  -  http://www.sreecgmath.org
http://vinacc.blogspot.com.ar/2013/08/eve-of-janmastami-sanctifying-heart.html

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”
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Friday, August 23, 2013

WHY BENEDICT RESIGNED AS POPE

EX-POPE BENEDICT SAYS 
“GOD TOLD ME” TO RESIGN
Vatican City (Reuters) - Former Pope Benedict has said he resigned after “God told me to” during what he called a “mystical experience,” a Catholic news agency reported. Benedict, whose formal title is now Pope Emeritus, announced his shock resignation on February 11 and on February 28 became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years. 
“God told me to do it,” the Zenith agency quoted Benedict as saying to a visitor to the convent in the Vatican gardens where he is living out his retirement in near isolation. According to the agency, Benedict explained that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what the former pope called “a mystical experience.”

According to Italian media, Benedict's decision to step down was influenced by the various scandals that blighted his eight-year papacy, including the arrest of his personal butler for leaking private documents alleging corruption in the Vatican. He was succeeded by Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who was elected as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years. 
According to the Rome-based Zenith, Benedict told his visitor that the more he observes the way Francis carries out his papal duties, the more he realized the choice was “wanted by God.” There had been media reports that since his resignation, Benedict's health had deteriorated dramatically.

The 86-year-old Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has been living at the Vatican since he resigned Feb. 28, beginning an unprecedented era for the Catholic Church of having a retired pontiff living alongside a reigning one. Months ago, Benedict's decision of resign from his position was heavily criticized. But Vaishnavas should not fall in this spirit of criticism. We have been taught that the dedicated preacher of the truth is the one who does not want to attract attention to himself as a great preacher or guru, but wants to remains as a loyal servant of Godhead. Sometimes, an empowered preacher performs misunderstood actions under unprecedented circumstances. We should always, and especially under circumstances not entirely clear, avoid the demoniac temptation to criticize or speak with suspicion on the actions taken by someone who has devoted his life to preaching or study the Holy Scriptures, no matter what his religion is. We must avoid the criticism and suspicion towards others and be more attentive and more demanding with our own spiritual practice or personal sadhana. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
We are Srila Prabhupada's representatives and in this day and age there is so much misunderstanding amongst the Vaishnavas. There is so much criticism, most of it is properly due because of improprieties, misunderstanding and appasiddhanta  - so many things are there. And it is very easy to criticize, so easy, all too easy to find fault. So, the one message that I would like to give you today is: What service are you doing to please Srila Prabhupada? What will you do to show your love, your gratitude? What service are you doing? You have gotten so much, it is such a great thing that we have, so let us do something. And let us show the right standard. Rather than simply criticize, let us do the right thing. Let us show the proper behavior of the Vaishnava and in that way we are truly glorifying Srila Prabhupada and our guru-parampara. Then we are truly disciples of Srila Prabhupada.

Śrīla Bhakti Bhavan Vishnu Mahārāja :
“Srila Prabhupada Offering”
Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Tirobhava Homage
http://gosai.com/ashrama/swami-bb-vishnu
http://gosai.com/writings/srila-prabhupada-offering


Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BALARAM PURNIMA 2013

APPEARANCE DAY OF
LORD BALARAM, 2013
www.indoamerican-news.com Today, 21st August (Wednesday), is Balaram Purnima and it occurs eight days before Janmashtami, the appearance of Lord Sri Krishna. The Srimad Bhagavatam (10.1.24 ) states that, Being the origin of all incarnations within this material world, and previous to the appearance of Lord Krishna, this original Sankarsana will appear as Baladeva, just to please the Supreme Lord Krishna in His transcendental pastimes. He is also known as (among His other names) as: Sankarsana (because He was transported from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini); Ananta (the Infinite One); Baladeva (the Powerful One); Nityananda (the Eternally Blissful One); Lakshmana (the One with auspicious signs); and Ramanuja (younger brother of Lord Rama).

Lord Sri Balarama is one of the most magnificent expansions of the Supreme Lord Sri Hari. One thing to be noted is that the word “Bala” does not necessarily mean physical strength; in the context of the Lord Balarama it means spiritual strength. And, because “Rama” also means pleasure or bliss, Sri Balarama is also considered as the source of spiritual bliss. Their Lordships Krishna and Balarama were always inseparable and enjoyed some delightful pastimes together. Especially remarkable was the display of strength by Lord Balarama when He eliminated Dvivida, the monstrous gorilla who had the strength of 10,000 elephants. The preferred weapons of Lord Balarama were a club - Sunanda, and a plow, which is why He is also called Haladhara.

Today (Wednesday) we are celebrating "Balaram Purnima", the appearance of Lord Balaram as the son of Rohini and Vasudeva. The Lord Sri Balaramji is the first expansion of Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The other incarnations expand from Him. In Their transcendental pastimes in Vrindavan, Sri Balaram plays the role of the inseparable elder brother of Sri Krishna. Sri Balaram is Laxman, the younger brother of Sri Rama and  He is also Lord Ananta Sesa. In the Chaitanya Lila, Sri Krishna and Balaram appeared as Gauranga and Nityananda or GourNitay. Sri Balaram represents the spiritual strength and He is the original Guru or genuine spiritual master, responsible for the service of the Lord in many ways, and as Lord Nityananda, He is the master in charge of rescuing people from their fallen condition for the pleasure and service of the Supreme Lord. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Lord Balaram’s beauty is enhanced by the earrings touching His cheeks. His face is decorated with tilak made from kasturi (musk), and His broad chest is decorates with a garland of gunja. His complexion is as white as an autumn cloud. He wears garments of blue color and His voice is very grave. His arms are very long, touching His thighs, and He has shown great strength by killing the Pralamba demon. Let me take shelter of this chivalrous Balaram. Bala, (the source of all spiritual power), Ram, (by which one can attain the highest bliss of life, Ramana), is the original spiritual master, from Whom Guru comes. Nayam atma bala hinena labhya; one cannot attain the Supreme without the favor of Lord Balaram. Lord Balaram’s mood in relation to Krsna is that of friendship mixed with servitude and parental feeling.


Śrīmati Mahavegavati devi dasi :
“Lord Balaram”
VINA - Philosophical Articles
Posted: 21. July 2003
http://www.vnn.org/authors/mahavegavati.html
http://www.vina.cc/stories/PHILOSOPHICAL/2003/7/lord.balaram.html

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”
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Monday, August 19, 2013

RADHA GOVINDA JHULANA YATRA

CEREMONY JHULAN YATRA
17th TO 21st AUGUST, 2013
www.iskcondesiretree.net - One of the most popular events in the holy town of Vrindavan, India - where Lord Krishna appeared 5,000 years ago - is the celebration of Jhulan Yatra, the Radha-Krishna swing festival. In Vrindavan among the local villagers and inhabitants this festival lasts for 13 days. In Vrindavan this is one of the biggest festivals of the year and Vrindavana is very crowded at this time, literally hundreds of thousands of people from surrounding towns and villages visit Vrindavan over this period in the auspicious sacred month of Shravana (July-Aug). In Sri Vrindavan for five days, in many of the 5000 temples there, the small Utsav-vighraha functional Deities are taken from the altar and placed on an elaborately decorated swing in the temple room.

Opulence or simplicity, but often the swings are made of gold or silver. After receiving the traditional arati worship, the Deities are pushed on Their swing. Members of the congregation are invited to participate. Each person offers flower petals and personal prayers, and then pushes the swing several times as the other members chant Hare Krishna, Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna jaya Vrindavan, or Jaya Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava dayite in kirtan. 
The atmosphere of this festival is especially sweet as everyone has the chance to intimately serve Radha and Krishna. This is a wonderful ceremonial function of Lord Krishna's pastimes that reflects practically how we are to render service to the Lord for His pleasure.

Jhulana-yatra is celebrated in the month of Shravana (July – August) commemorating the Lord Shri Krishna's childhood pastimes with His friends. This festival celebrate Sri Radha Krishna’s pastime of swinging on a golden swing. The Deities are decorated beautifully and seated on a swing, while the devotees wait patiently in a queue to swing Their Lordships with a special flower rope. When Sri Sri Radha Krishna are seated on the swing, an artik is performed and a variety of bhoga is offered to please Their Lordships. Devotional music - kirtana and bhajans - are played while even the visitors are given the chance join in to pull Their Lordship’s swing. By the grace of Srila Prabhupada, we can do practical actions - not just religious ceremonies - for the pleasure of the Lord and His loving associates. Ratha yatra and Julana-yatra festivals are interactive events which allow the devotees to render a loving service to the Lord in a practical way. In both cases, devotees and visitors are allowed to enter into Lord Shri Krishna's eternal pastimes. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
So this Ratha-yātrā Festival is a mass movement for enlightening people to this Krishna consciousness movement. We have got many other festivities in Krishna consciousness movement. We have got Janmāstamī, Śrī Rāma-navamī, Dola-yātrā, Jhulana-yātrā. ... So if you kindly take to them, then as advised by Lord Caitanya, kīrtanīyah sadā harih [Cc. adi 17.31], you will always be in Krishna consciousness, and there will be no scope of your frustration and confusion. For this purpose especially, I came in this meeting, that you kindly accept this humble instruction that wherever you may be, in whatever position, in whatever condition, you kindly chant these sixteen names [everyone chants], Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“Ratha-yātrā Lecture”
San Francisco, July 5, 1970, 700705RY.SF 
“Complete Works of Srila Prabhupada”
Bhaktivedanta Booktrust Inc

 
Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

MULTINATIONAL EATERY CHAINS IN INDIA

TWEAKING JUNK FOOD 
FOR INDIA'S VEGETARIANS
www.afaqs.com - A McD outlet in Vaishno Devi, a veg-only KFC outlet in Gujarat, a Snickers bar for vegetarians. International brands will do just about anything to find their way into Indian hearts. Restaurateurs often say "Patrons don't eat what you serve. You serve them what they want to eat." This whole "tweak or perish" maxim is something those in the food business have come to swear by. As an eatery or foreign franchise owner, if you don't alter your menu as per the local palate, you may as well get ready to shut shop. 
This rule becomes even more sacrosanct in the Indian context, where a large part of the population is vegetarian.

While chocolate brand Snickers recently launched its fully vegetarian bar in India, several multinational quick service chains such as McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Dominos and Pizza Hut have been busy adding vegetarian dishes to their menus and opening "exclusive vegetarian" outlets. Today, a larger part of the revenue for these chains comes from their vegetarian menus. 
Interestingly, vegetarian dishes form barely 10-15 per cent of their menus, catering to just 3 per cent of the US population. The Indian scenario, on the other hand, is completely opposite; between 30-40 per cent of the country's total population is vegetarian. The writing on the wall is clear: if you have to sell food products in India, then it has to be done the Indian way.

When multinational eatery chains entered India nearly two decades ago, quickly adapted themselves to suit Indian tastes in order to increase its vegetarian portfolio and consequently, their revenues. Although they foster a materialistic aim, this is good because the effect is that millions of animals are not needlessly slaughtered. Many people around the world are becoming vegetarians and this is the result of the efforts of Srila Prabhupada and other Gurus who have came to Western countries to spread India's ancient message of love and compassion towards all the living beings. However, Hinduism has still much more to give: it is good to be a vegetarian, but the next step is offer our meals to God before taking them. It is customary for Hindus to offer their daily food to God as an expression of devotion to Him. Then God acts in reciprocation to the devotees' love by bestowing them Divine blessing and in that way ordinary food (bhoga) becomes the mercy of the Lord (prasadam) which is very auspicious and sacred, healthy for the body and purifier of our hearts. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
What distinguishes Vedic cooking from other types of cooking is the cook’s spiritual consciousness, his awareness that he is preparing an offering for God. In most religious systems, people ask God to give them their daily bread, but the devotee of Krishna offers the daily bread to God as an expression of love for Him. And God reciprocates. In the Bhagavad-gita, one of the Vedic scriptures, Lord Krishna says that He accepts a vegetarian offering, be it no more than a leaf or a fruit, or a glass of water, if it is presented with devotion, and out of His inconceivable mercy He spiritualizes the offering by personally tasting it. What was ordinary food then becomes krishna-prasada, the mercy of Lord Krishna. And what would have been ordinary eating becomes worship, a loving exchange with the Lord.



Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BE TOTALLY STRESS-FREE

TRY NOT TO 
SPOIL THE PARTY
http://timesofindia.speakingtree.in You believe someone else is causing you stress. The truth is there is only one person responsible for your state of mind. That person is YOU. So practise ‘attitude control’. Whether at an exam, in business, sport or music, mental agitation spoils the party. Stress is mental turbulence caused by unfulfilled desire. Eliminate desire; you will be free from stress. We have intellect with which we can face challenges posed by the external world. 
When fulfilled, desire takes the form of greed, delusion, envy and arrogance. Frustrated, it becomes anger. All these cause immense stress. Guided by the intellect, desire becomes benign, transforming into aim, ambition, aspiration.

As long as you are obsessed with a desire you will never get the object of desire. Let go. Work for something beyond your selfish, self-centred interests. When your goal includes the well-being of others, it accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. When people cater to us we say we love them. The truth is we only love ourselves. This attachment causes a great deal of stress. 
Body, mind and intellect need careful management and guidance. If not managed or mismanaged, the same instruments that are designed to give us success, happiness and spiritual enlightenment become the source of strife and stress. Vedanta, our most valuable heritage, gives us this understanding. Read it, reflect over its message and apply it in your life.

We agree with Jaya Row, the author of the article, who adds “As long as you focus on matter - body, mind, intellect - you will be in stress. To be totally stress-free you must take the giant leap into the Spirit.” Our spiritual masters have taught us that we should chant the holy name of God in order to forget our insatiable material desires, and thus, little by little we can purify our hearts. If we gradually devote ourselves to God’s service, our love for Him will increase, and our desire for doing egoistic and material activities will decline. By constantly placing our mind at the lotus feet of our Guru, with the sincere desire of serving him, we can achieve liberation from the claws of the material desires. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
In this advanced technological age, there is ample opportunity for sense gratification. Once we satisfy one desire, another one invariably arises leaving us never truly satisfied. This constant craving for sense gratification leads us to lose our judgment. When we constantly crave something, we naturally don’t want others to have it, and thus we become suspicious of others, thinking that they are honing in on our territory. Waiting in line at a restaurant or retail store, we become suspicious of other people, thinking that they will try to cut is in line. This all stems from the increased mode of passion. ... The remedy for all this is very simple. We simply have to change our desires from the material to the spiritual. Our material senses can never be satisfied. It is not until we try to satisfy our spiritual senses that we will actually be happy.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

CAN'T SLEEP? BLAME IT ON THE MOON!

WE SLEEP WORSE WHEN
THE MOON IS FULL, STUDIO
www.hindustantimes.com - Scientists have found evidence that human sleep patterns are timed to the phases of the Moon, and that people sleep 20 minutes less on an average during a full Moon. Many people complain about poor sleep around the full Moon and the study offers some of the first convincing scientific evidence to suggest that this really is true. 
The findings add to evidence that humans - despite the comforts of our civilised world - still respond to the geophysical rhythms of the Moon, driven by a circa-lunar clock. “The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even when one does not 'see' the Moon and is not aware of the actual Moon phase,” said Christian Cajochen of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel.

In the new study, the researchers studied 33 volunteers in two age groups in the lab while they slept. Their brain patterns were monitored while sleeping, along with eye movements and hormone secretions. The data show that around the full Moon, brain activity related to deep sleep dropped by 30%.  People also took five minutes longer to fall asleep, and they slept for twenty minutes less time overall.
Study participants felt as though their sleep was poorer when the Moon was full, and they showed diminished levels of melatonin, a hormone known to regulate sleep and wake cycles. “This is the first reliable evidence that a lunar rhythm can modulate sleep structure in humans when measured under the highly controlled conditions of a circadian laboratory study protocol without time cues,” the researchers said.

As the moon holds a mystical place in human culture, many popular legends have built up about the influence of the moon, called “The Lunar Effect” or “The Transylvania Effect.” People have said that strange things happen at full moon, werewolves, vampirism, lunacy, epileptic seizures, and so on. However, in the Vedic culture, the Moon has great importance. For example, in Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krishna states, “Among the stars, I am the Moon” (BG 10.21). The Indian astrology or Moon astrology system follows a calender based on constellations which has the Moon in the centre. The Vedic calendar is based on the lunar cycle and many Hindu festivities are held by taking into account the phases of the moon. For example, purnima is the period of the cycle when the moon is full, and Chaitanya Gaura Purnima is a big celebration among the Gaudiya Vaisnavas - the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu - which marks the appearance day anniversary of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
In Vedic astronomy there are 28 important constellations, headed by Abhijit. Of these, 27 lie along the ecliptic and are used to divide it into 27 equal units of 13-1/3 degrees. These constellations are referred to as “nakshatras”, or lunar mansions. They are particularly connected with the motion of the moon, since the moon completes one orbit in about 27.3 days. In SB 5.22.5 the nakshatras are referred to in the following statement: “According to stellar calculations, a month equals two and one quarter constellations.” (Note that 2-1/4 times 13-1/3 degrees equals 30 degrees.) The 28 nakshatras are mentioned in the description of the shishumara-cakra in Chapter 23 of the Fifth Canto. The shishumara-cakra is an imaginary form in the heavens that is made up of constellations and visualized as a gigantic animal. This form is worshiped by some yogis as a manifestation of the virata-rupa, or the external form of Krishna.


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Thursday, August 8, 2013

INDIANS AND BRAZILIANS MEET AND SHARE

A LITTLE INDIA IN 
THE HEART OF SAO PAULO
by Shoban Saxena, Times of India Alameda Sarutaia is a quiet street just off Avenida Paulista, the main avenue that runs through the center of this megalopolis. Cross a couple of buildings, you come across an old villa and the sounds coming from inside - tabla beats mixing with the strains of sitar and an Indian voice singing an old song devoted to a God - make you stop. A step closer to the gate and you smell incense. This is the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) of Sao Paulo. 
The ICC has a decent auditorium, but it is overflowing, with people sitting on the floor, on the steps or standing just standing outside the hall. When you see such a large number of Brazilians at an Indian cultural event, it's impossible not to ask what attracts them to Indian dance and music and culture.

The two countries have been geographically as well as culturally so far from each other that there hasn't been much cultural exchange between them. But at least here in Sao Paulo, the scenario has changed in the past couple of years. With the opening of the centre less than two years ago, the ICC has become Little India, where anyone interested in any aspect of Indian culture can drop by and get immersed in Indian dance, music, spiritual traditions or in the impressive collection of books in the library. 
But if the centre has become a thriving hub of Indian culture in such a short span, it's because of hard work and dedication of some people - Indians and Brazilians. The center is always buzzing with activity. Walk through its three floors and you see Brazilians learning Indian dances, music, Hindi and yoga. And it's all free.

The director of the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) of Sao Paulo, Kamaljit Singh, brings amazing energy to the place. It's his tireless work that has made this centre a Little India in the heart of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hindu religion or Vedic culture, is not merely a religion. It is a spiritual path and way of life and also offers a scientific way of life, from diet, lifestyle, daily schedule, etc. In Hindu society, the temple has occupied a pivotal position, not only the spiritual aspect of it, but also because it has been the focal point of social and cultural activities. The Hindu temples from the different Sampradayas, and particularly the Hare Krishna temples in the Western countries, have become important cultural centers around which all other activities, such as music, dancing, painting, architecture, sculpturing, and many other crafts, are organized. These "Yoga centers" have been built to serve spiritual and cultural needs of all people around the world. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Vedic culture is full of knowledge, and a person born in India can fully take advantage of Vedic cultural knowledge and the cultural system known as varnāśrama-dharma. Even at the present time, as we travel all over the world, we see that in some countries human beings have many material facilities but no facilities for spiritual advancement. ... Especially in the Western countries there are ample facilities for material comforts, but no one has any idea of spiritual advancement. Many are hankering after spiritual advancement, but many cheaters come, take advantage of their money, bluff them and go away. Fortunately the Krishna consciousness movement is there to give all facilities for both material and spiritual advancement. In this way people in the Western countries may take advantage of this movement.


Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) - SB 4.25.13
Canto 4: The Creation of the Fourth Order 
Chapter 25: The Descriptions of the Characteristics of King Purañjana
Verse 13 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase
http://vedabase.com/en/sb/4/25/13

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

UK ANNOUNCES CONSULTATION OF CASTE DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION

TORY MINISTER BACKS OFF PLEDGE
TO END CASTE DISCRIMINATION
www.independent.co.uk Landmark legislation to ban caste discrimination in Britain is being deliberately thwarted by the Conservative equalities ministers in charge of getting it on the statute book, a leaked document indicates. Discrimination on the basis of caste was outlawed in April as part of the Equality Act, after Business Secretary Vince Cable secured a last-minute amendment. 
The Act was supposed to mean the estimated 400,000 Dalits - so-called untouchables - who live in the UK would have legal protection from discrimination by other Hindus. The issue of caste discrimination divided the Coalition, with Liberal Democrats supporting the addition to the legislation and Conservatives opposed.

Equalities minister Helen Grant in a letter to the Hindu groups opposed to the legislation urges them to submit evidence against the law to an ongoing consultation “as we remain convinced” legislation is unnecessary. Liberal Democrat Lord Avebury said: “It's entirely improper that the minister who's supposed to be implementing the legislation - and initiating the consultation - is making it clear she's opposed to the whole process.” 
Meena Varma, director of the Dalit Solidarity Network UK, said: “Until this legislation is passed, the thousands of Dalits who say they are discriminated against will have no recourse to justice. Grant's tactic seems to be to kick the whole thing into the long grass until five years have passed and the Government can scrap the legislation.”

The UK Government has just published their long anticipated timetable for its consultation and implementation of caste discrimination legislation under Equality Act 2010. Hinduism - Sanatana Dharma - is like a Banyan tree which gives shade to all. Birth-based discrimination and heartless treatment of individuals and group of people which was developed in Hindu society with the passage of time as socially sanctioned practices, are in grievous violation of old Vedic teachings and philosophy. There are professional inclinations and innate tendencies, but Scripture does not support the caste system by birth. The Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya within the broad Hindu family of faiths, unequivocally opposes a birth-based caste system, and strongly condemns the use of such a system to discriminate against any person or group, and firmly believe that no one should be denied any kind of opportunity on the basis of his or her birth or caste or race. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Real advanced persons will never complicate their minds with social and caste distinction. This is merely a system people get attached to who have no qualifications, but want to claim a superior position over others in the name of birth. What is the use of having a big prestigious name when your qualities don’t support it? Those who are truly self-realized will never submit to this false claim, but rather defy and challenge those people who are trying to create trouble in society by this type of caste consciousness. ... Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was responding to a challenge of the smarta-brahmanas regarding how somebody can become a brahmana. ... He cited all the qualifications and all the quotes from the scriptures to prove it. Then all of them understood they had been very expertly defeated and realized that what they had believed about things like caste distinction and birth rights was not true.


Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
“Sato Vritteh”
(Following in the Footsteps of Previous Acaryas)
“Qualifications for Mercy”
http://vrinda.vaisnava.hu/officebap/satto-english.pdf
http://www.vedic-wisdom.org/

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

Sunday, August 4, 2013

CHRISTIANS YOUNGSTERS IN SATAN WORSHIP

SATAN WORSHIP WORRIES
CHRISTIANS IN NAGALAND, INDIA
www.religionnews.com - Christian groups in India's northeastern state of Nagaland are working to quell the rapid growth of Satanism after reports that thousands of teenagers from churches had taken up devil worship in recent months. The Vatican's Fides news agency recently reported that more than 3,000 young worshipers of Satan have been identified in Nagaland's capital of Kohima alone.
The actual strength of Satan worshippers is difficult to determine, but such groups also exist in Nagaland's largest city of Dimapur, and they are using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to expand their network, said the Rev. Wati Longkumer, director of the Nagaland Missionary Movement, a group of mostly Baptist associations and churches.

Longkumer said he has seen membership forms for a group calling itself the Black Bulls and inviting youngsters to become part of devil worship. Longkumer's organization, part of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, which consists of more than 1,300 churches, has assigned its youth department to conduct a detailed report. More than 90 percent of Nagaland's 2 million residents are Christians, and about three-fourths of those identify as Baptist.
The Rev. Ben Dang Toshi Longkumer, a Nagaland-based representative of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (no relation to Wati Longkumer), said Satan worship has considerably changed the demeanor and the worldview of the youth, though no criminal activity by them has been reported thus far.

Many Christian youth have adopted Satan worship in Nagaland, India. The Roman Catholic Church and Protestant groups are struggling to counter this phenomenon. One way to overcome this tendency is to give young people real spiritual instruction. In the Vedic philosophy we know about different types of demons, but there is no place for a devil figure who tempts people to do evil things. Western religions say that God is constantly struggling with such a devil. This concept of having an “Evil One” like Satan for a scapegoat is often used as a cop-out to escape personal responsibility. On the contrary, the Vedas explain that one is tempted by maya, illusion and the desires of being independent of the Creator and the controller and enjoyer of this material world. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Vedic tradition says you were born divine and must merely awaken to that divinity, while western religions say we were born sinners or “in sin” and must work to be rectified and saved from our sins. Vedic followers accept responsibility for their actions as part of their own karma, while the western religions say it is the devil that tempts them to do evil things. ... In the Vedic tradition there is no supreme evil force or devil, or prince of darkness, though there are certainly evil beings that exist in both the gross material realm and the subtle realm. Whereas in conventional western religions there is a devil or Satan that is the cause of the evil in the world, and who in this way fights with God.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Why All Religions Are Not the Same”
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/books_by_stephen_knapp.htm
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/why_all_religions_are_not_the_same.htm

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

Friday, August 2, 2013

COLOUR YOUR HANDS WITH MEHENDI!

SIGNIFICANCE OF APPLYING
MEHENDI IN HINDU MARRIAGES
www.boldsky.com - The wedding season is going on in India. In Hindu marriages, several cultures have different customs that vary from state to state (rather village to village). These rituals have been passed on through ages and is still carrying forward to next generation. In Hindu marriages, you can find few things in common. For example, engagement, mehendi, wedding and reception are few common ceremonies that are commonly followed in all most all parts of the country. Mehendi is a pre-wedding ceremony that is very popular in the Northern states of the country. However, the trend of applying mehendi on the hands and feet has become a common trend in the East, West and Southern states too. Earlier, mehendi was applied as nua (colouring fingertips and center of palm) but with the trend of drawing, it has become an art. Well, there are some significances of applying mehendi in Hindu marriages. These are some of them:

Bond of matrimony: Mehendi signifies the bond of matrimony. It is considered as a shagun in Hindu marriages. Mehendi was originally used only during weddings. But with the growing popularity and importance of mehendi, women have started applying it on special Hindu occasions and festivals like Karva Chauth, Navratri, Rakhi and Diwali. 
Colour of love: It is believed that the colour of mehendi signifies the love of the partner. In few cultures, the mehendi colour also shows the love you will get from your mother-in-law. Holy: Only married women are allowed to apply mehendi and spread the colour of a married life. 
Spread joy and celebrate culture: Mehendi ceremony has become a grand celebration in many Hindu marriages. Protect brother: In few cultures, mehendi has a significance on brother and sister relationship. Women apply mehendi on the back of the palm for their brothers. If a woman has a brother, it is mandatory to apply mehendi on the back of the palm.

A Hindu wedding is a combination of traditions and rituals. It is a ceremony from the Vedic times and it is often an elaborate affair. There are few points of significance for applying mehendi in Hindu marriages. Mehendi, as a part of a shagun (gifts given in special occasions), it is considered an integral item of suhag (Indian wedding). It is considered that a Hindu wedding is not just a relationship of two individuals and their two families; rather, it is a relationship of two human beings with their Creator. Marriage is very important because is a unique opportunity to learn how to serve. Working for his or her family and not for oneself is a great sacrifice, which produces a nice result if you do it right: Krishna-conscious children. (Editor's note).

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
There is a close association between Hinduism and fine arts. ... The rich display of fine art in jewelry and costume designs in Hindu society has been accorded great respect. The ancient tradition of householders drawing beautifully colored patterns on their doorsteps, known as rangoli or kolamas, is evidence of the involvement of the common man in fine arts. Another equally exciting Hindu custom involves painting the hands and feet of women with intricate designs, using an herbal product, henna (mehendi). This custom has caught the attention of many Westerners. Called the “temporary tattoo,” it has become a fashion fad in many places. Art is accepted as an integral part of the Hindu home and community. Every Hindu family strives to perfect an art or craft to refine and adore the social pattern. Fine arts truly are a way of life in Hindu culture.


Dr. Hiro Badlani :
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 56: "Hinduism and Fine Arts"
http://hinduismpath.com/
http://hinduismpath.com/book-contents/chapter-56/

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