Sunday, February 22, 2015


A PAST LIFE AS A BLACK WOMAN A five year-old boy in the U.S. city of Cincinnati believes he a 30-year-old African American woman, who died in a 1993 fire, in a past life, Fox8 news channel reported last week. It started out with Luke Ruehlman, then two, calling things around the house “Pam” which was followed by making references to “when he was a girl.” “He used to say: ‘When I was a girl, I had black hair,’ or he would say, ‘I used to have earrings like that when I was a girl,’” Erika, Luke’s mother, said adding that he has stopped mentioning Pam.
Luke revealed his belief that he was Pam when his mother confronted him about who she is. According to the mother, the boy recounted a process of reincarnation in which he was “pushed back down to earth” in the form of a new born.

“Well, I used to be [Pam], but I died. I went up to heaven, and I saw God, and he pushed me back down and when I woke up, I was a baby and you named me Luke,” the boy was quoted as saying. In an episode of paranormal investigative show “The Ghost Inside My Child,” Luke is shown several photos of African-American women in their 30s. Pamela Robinson, the woman Erika believes her son Luke was speaking of, was one of them. Luke appears to have been able to identify Pamela Robinson using knowledge his mother said he would not have been able to acquire on his own. 
After the incident, Erika reached out to the Robinson family in a bid to find out more about the woman her son claims to have been. She found out that both her son and Pamela shared an affinity for artist Stevie Wonder and playing the keyboard.

This article is about an five year old American boy, called Luke, who claims he is the reincarnated spirit of Pam, a 30-year-old woman. The young boy has spooked his mother after recalling unsettling details of how his past life ended when he died jumping from a burning building. Luke's mother Erika says that her son started talking about his “past life” when he was only two. The story was investigated by the TV show 'The Ghost Inside My Child', who put Erika in touch with Pamela Robinson's family who said that Luke's personality and music interests are very similar to their late daughter. And since contacting Robinson’s family, Erika has reportedly also uncovered coincidences between her son and the late Chicagoan’s favorite things: Stevie Wonder's music and the piano. “It’s a positive [message] of unification, of love,” Luke's mother says. She believes that the message of Luke should be made public, because "we should not define the soul based on a race or a genre," she says. She also states that they did not receive money for the TV documentary and her intent is for this story of unification to be shared with others because it's a positive one. Our spiritual masters have taught us that soul incarnates through different forms (samsara or reincarnation); it takes another birth in a material body to continue with material experiences or the pursuit of satisfying material desires. The understanding of reincarnation is not complete without understanding the law of karma. The concept of reincarnation and karma are joined, so the reactions to our desires and actions cause ultimately suffering because they attach us more and more into the continued cycle of birth and death. In this sense, the Vedic literature offers complete spiritual information on the science of life after death, karma and reincarnation. (Editor's note).

Hindus are known to believe in the idea of reincarnation. A common misconception is that reincarnation only refers to the idea that a sinful person comes back in their next life as a rat or a tiger or some lower animal. Reincarnation actually means the soul accepts a material body and that after death, the current body is discarded and the soul enters a new one. [...] The soul is eternal, but our material bodies aren’t. We have accepted our current bodies due to our past karma. Birth, death, old age, and disease are guaranteed for the body. At the time of death, we give up our present body and accept a new one based on our karma. [...] The most important thing to understand about reincarnation is that it can be stopped. Lord Krishna tells us that thinking of Him at the time of death will stop the perpetual cycle of birth and death. 

Krishna' - Jai Shri Krishna :
“Reincarnation” - Posted on April 04, 2009

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015


BEIJING (AP) Chinese were seeing in the Year of the Sheep on Thursday, but with fortune-tellers predicting accidents and an unstable economy, it wasn't exactly warming everyone's heart. “In around June, when it's getting hot in China, the Western economy will fluctuate quite a lot and will be very unstable,” Shanghai-based astrologer Dong Jialing predicted. “But August or September will mark the start of a very stable economic period,” he said. 
This animal sign, which comes once every dozen years, can be said to have an identity crisis. Known variably as the Year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram, the sign's confusion stems from its Chinese character, "yang," which broadly describes any of the ruminating mammals, with or without horns.

Many Chinese prefer to translate it as the “Year of the Sheep” because sheep are more cute and cuddly, and large sheep figures have appeared around the capital's shopping areas in recent weeks. The goat, however, is more likely to be the original meaning because it was a popular farm animal. During the seven-day holiday that started Wednesday, the world's second-biggest economy largely shuts down. 
Many mainland Chinese tuned into the annual New Year's Eve TV gala Wednesday evening, and this year's mascot managed to achieve the problem-solving feat of not being clearly a sheep or a goat. The previous year, the Year of the Horse, is generally considered to be an auspicious time - never mind that Asian airlines had a string of high-profile disasters.

Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the beginning of the lunar calendar used in many parts of Asia and celebrated around the world. But, are we in the Year of the Sheep or the Ram or the Goat? The confusion stems from a bit of ambiguity in the Chinese language. The Chinese character "yang" describes any of the ruminating mammals, with or without horns. A goat is "shanyang," while a sheep is "mianyang." (A ram is just a male sheep.) The Chinese character "yang" is present in other characters with positive meanings, such as "beautiful," ''auspicious" and "goodness." Still, some superstitious Chinese find the year inauspicious. Some parents say they'll avoid having a child this year. Astrologists interviewed said this year would bring a volatile economy, more transport accidents and windy natural disasters such as tornadoes in the United States and typhoons to Southeast Asia. Feng shui master Clement Chan said he sees a lot of fire this year, and "fire means accidents." He anticipates plane crashes in the first half, but not as many as in 2014. He also sees a lot of road accidents. On the positive side, he sees female managers and company leaders doing well this year. "I think you'll see a lot of female world leaders - they'll achieve something great, actually," Chan said. Beyond the popular superstitions and predictions of psychics and astrologers, one thing is certain: This year will be a new opportunity to try to know God and cultivate our inner being. A new chance that God has given us to reflect on towards where we direct our life. God willing, we have twelve months to improve ourselves, purify our spiritual essence and release of many conditions that for countless ages have chained us in this material world. (Editor's note).

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

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“'Bless'-ful New Year 2013”
Talk at Sri Radha Gopinath Temple 
Mumbai on New Years Day, 2012

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


WITH DECEPTION AND FRAUD Despite stricter European controls, the olive oil industry in France is still rife with deception and fraud. In their report released this week, France’s Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) unfolded various deceptive trade practices, while warning consumers to be more vigilant when buying olive oil. After visiting 348 establishments last year, investigators identified several areas of concern in regard to the quality, labeling and misrepresentation of olive oils sold in France.
France imports more olive oil than it produces but fraud was prevalent in both imported and domestic products. The agency found labels that were not in French, incomplete or outright false.

Many labels lead consumers astray, allowing them to believe that the oil was produced in France when it was not, or indicated a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) indiscriminately. Only eight regions in France enjoy Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) status which guarantees the geographical origin and recognized production conditions. Investigator found labels falsely indicating AOC and AOP status when the oils had not, in fact, been granted the distinction.
Other impermissible claims made on packaging included statements such as: “rich in omega 3”, “no cholesterol” and “rich in antioxidants”. DDCRF advised consumers of olive oil to be vigilant, to be skeptical of less expensive olive oil and to contact them should they find their olive oil “suspicious.”

After visiting nearly 350 establishments last year, French investigators from the Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control, identified various fraudulent practices related to the quality, labeling and counterfeit of olive oils sold in France. This article, written by Alice Alech from Olive Oil Times, says that the DGCCRF's report finds that in many cases there was no indication of provenance on the labels and the compulsory country of origin was not indicated on 8 percent of olive oils analyzed. There were also concerns about best-by dates on products when producers were unable to provide suitable records to justify the dates on the labels. Investigators also found containers labeled ‘dried tomatoes in olive oil’ but on examination were found to contain only sunflower oil. In view of so many flaws or inconsistencies in the product descriptions, consumers of olive oil are advised to be cautious and alert for possible fraud that can affect both their health and their pocket money. In the ancient Greece, the Olympic Games winners were awarded olive leaf crowns and olive oil. But the "purity" of that oil is difficult to be available today, especially because in this Kali yuga there is a strong tendency toward fraud. Since we live under so much suspicion, misunderstanding, and self-deception it is not surprise that the majority of olive oils on your supermarket shelf don’t deserve the title of “extra virgin” due to contamination, rancidity and poor manufacturing. (Editor's note).

Vaishnava philosophers have discovered that all the mistakes we are guilty of making originate from (1) error, (2) inebriation, (3) the shortcomings of our senses and (4) an inclination to deceive others, and by these our boldest and strongest thoughts are lost. [...] A general inclination for deception creeps into our heart when we take a one sided view and establish facts or theories with the greatest assurance. All people are subject to fall victim to these defects. The only exception is God Almighty and His associate counterparts, who remain within the Absolute Truth. God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-blissful. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, and none like Him can be found anywhere. He is one without a second and possesses infinite powers.

Śrīla Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Mahārāja :
“Omnipotent God Beyond Error”

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015


KEEPS A GANESHA DEITY IN HIS LOCKER (Glendale, Arizona) Tom Brady is the quarterback of the New England Patriots American football team which had just won the Superbowl. When Tom Brady reached his locker, about an hour after victory and a series of interviews, he was done talking to the news media. But his locker spoke for him. Prominently displayed was was a four-inch bronze elephant-headed statue - Ganesha, the Hindu God. Or as Brady quietly told a visitor, "The Remover of Obstacles." 
Two team officials shielded him from the news media with the same intensity that the New England Patriots offensive line protected him from the Seattle Seahawk.

But the locker spoke. Ganesha, remover of obstacles, almost beckoned to the curious. Ganesha illustrates the spiritual side of his psyche developed with trainer and adviser Alex Guerrero. But the spiritual is coupled by mental commitment, evidence by more items in his locker. Lying next to Ganesha were five note cards and handwritten notes that included: "Bend knees more on drop." And, perhaps most important, "Be on toes", and a poster by his children Benjamin and Vivian that read "Go Patriots. Love you Daddy.''  
He was on his toes all night, shaking off two interceptions, throwing four touchdown passes and, in what was again Brady at his best, leading the Patriots back from a 10-point deficit. On his toes on a 20-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski on the game-winning drive. Brady, 37, can now rival Joe Montana as the greatest quarterback of all time.

Tom Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football, believes Ganesha as 'remover of obstacles' and who better needs obstacles to be removed than the playmaker in this rough and tumble game? Brandy keeps a four-inch deity of Ganesha, and his devotion came to light after journalists crowded around his locker after the quarterback led his team New England Patriots to a fourth Super Bowl title two week ago. More items in Brandy's locker - a poster by his children - show that his spiritual and mental commitments are joined. The Times of India newspaper said that "American fealty to Hindu Gods is not new. President Obama himself was reported keeping a small locket of Hanuman in his pocket as a lucky charm during his Presidential campaign. And the US House of Representatives now had a self-professed Hindu lawmaker in Tulsi Gabbard, whose faith comes from the Hare Krishna movement, and who used the Bhagavad Gita to take her oath in Congress." In many parts of the world, especially in all America and Europe, there are many spiritual movements, which have their roots in India but they are not Hindu. Different meditation movements, although rooted in the ancient Hindu meditation practice, are not considered as “Hindu” or even as “religious.” The same is true of the Yoga practitioners, who do not think of themselves as Hindu. Increasingly, more people have started to respect the wise knowledge, admire the open and tolerant way of living, and also enjoy the colorful traditions coming from India. (Editor's note).

Hinduism is pluralistic. In other words, it does not claim any one prophet or savior; it includes all aspects of God; it does not subscribe to any one philosophy or dogma; it includes various schools of thought and ways of understanding spiritual Truth; it includes a variety of religious rites or sacraments; it does not exclude any particular scripture that can help a person understand more about God and spiritual Truth; and it does not say that you have only one life in which to become spiritually perfect or you will go to eternal damnation. Thus, Vedic philosophy is more of a way of living and an outlook on life than a religion. Because of this, Hinduism and the path of Vedic culture includes a variety of customs, ideas, and philosophies. It accommodates a wide range of approaches for allowing people to advance and understand our spiritual identity and transcendental Truth.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
Vedic Culture / Hinduism: A Short Introduction

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

Saturday, February 7, 2015


IN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY - Among Vedic practitioners, Tulasi "The Incomparable One", is vital in the worship of Lord Vishnu. As Vrinda Devi she arranges the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in the forests of Vrindavan. Devotees always offer food to the Lord accompanied by a leaf from Tulasi. In addition, Vaishnavas chant on and wear sacred beads made of her wood, and in some traditions anoint their body with sacred clay in the form of her leaf. 
For thousands of years Tulasi was worshipped in India and slowly made its way westward via trade routes linking India to Persia and Greece. Many may not know that Tulasi plays an important role in Orthodox Christianity (including Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian, and Romanian Orthodox Churches).

According to Orthodox tradition when the disciples of Jesus went to the tomb of Christ they found it empty but all around the area were fully bloomed Tulasi. The Greeks called Tulasi 'Holy Basil', from the Greek word 'basileus' meaning King/royalty for it was reserved for the greatest.
Several hundred years later, Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in search of holy relics. It is said she found a barren hill covered in sweet smelling Tulasi, and upon excavation found the true cross beneath the Tulasi plant. Because Tulasi was discovered both at the cross and tomb of Christ, traditional Orthodox Christians saw it as a symbol of paradise, of spiritual rebirth and sanctity. This is simply one example of the influence of Vedic culture upon the world.

The author of this interesting article shows that this sacred plant was cultivated in Christian Orthodox monasteries and became part of the most holy rituals - it is used to create the holy water, to sprinkle the holy water on practitioners, to create the holy oils to anoint, to adorn the altar, and to garland the cross. Even priests circle the sacred plant during the ceremony! All of this seems is very similar to the celebrations and rituals described in the Vedic tradition of knowledge. The Vedic literature explains that Sri Vishnu, and particularly Sri Krishna, are closely associated with Tulsi. Tulasi is a manifestation of Vrndadevi, the forest gopi. She appears in this form in Vaikuntha and on earth as well. If one worships the Tulasi plant, following in the footsteps of the spiritual master, one will surely make rapid advancement in spiritual life. Now, we learn from Christian sources that Jesus Christ is also associated with Holy Basil. Although Tulsi and Holy Basil are not exactly the same plant, they are related and this is more than a “divine” coincidence. Our spiritual masters have already taught us, there is many connections between Christianity and the Vedic culture - the most ancient surviving spiritual and mystical traditions on the planet, which has shaped Hinduism as we know it today. (Editor's note).

Hindus worship Tulasi, the basil plant. Tulasi occupies a very exalted position in Hindu mythology. Tulasi becomes wedded to Lord Vishnu. In the worship ceremony, no offering is complete without the tulasi leaves. It has been identified as a sacred and spiritual entity, just as the cow has been exalted in a similar position. It also represents an honor to the agriculture product in Hindu society. Ayurveda has described many good benefits accruing from the use of the basil plant. Many Hindus grow this plant and water it with their own hands, along with chanting a prayer or Gayatari Mantra. In general Hindus have a respectful attitude toward all plant life, considering it sacred. The recognition of plants in human society vindicates their good ecological attitude from ancient times. 

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

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


SAVED 200 GIRLS FROM SEX SLAVERY Buddhist nuns are everywhere among the streets of Myanmar - of all different ages, some as young as 5. Dressed in pink loose-fitting shirts and pants with orange scarves, they have shaved heads and rely on alms to pay for their schooling, food, housing, and other basic needs. Monks don’t have the same economic handicaps. The large temples pay for their needs, but that’s not surprising. In Myanmar, being a woman is hard, more so if you are poor and live in the north of the country, where tribes are still battling the government. Girls in these areas are in a precarious position, constantly in danger of being trafficked across foreign borders.
Concern over trafficking has led many parents in the north, who earn an average of $1,200 a year, to send their daughters south to the capital of Yangon and the only outlet for escape and education — the nunneries.

One of these institutions is located in Than Lynn, a 30-minute drive from the center of Yangon. At the Thadama Myintzu Nunnery, run by the nun Daw Aye Theingi, more than 200 girls, who range in age from 4 to 18, live in two small buildings with a rudimentary outdoor kitchen and bathing area. In many cases, the girls do not see their parents for years, if ever again. Due to a generous donation, the nunnery is building a modern three-story building to house all the girls, but it won’t be ready until summer. 
Daw scrapes up the $200 a year it takes to send each girl to a local school through donations. “I want a better life for them,” Daw said. At age 18, the girls will decide if they want to stay or leave to look for a life in the city. Almost none of them return home.

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is well known for its role in human trafficking and its penchant for sex slaves. UNICEF estimated in 2003 that 10,000 girls were being trafficked every year from Myanmar into Thai brothels alone. Myanmar people are trafficked to Thailand, China, Malaysia, South Korea, and Macau for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labor. This leaves this country’s girls in precarious and life threatening situations. Fortunately, this is where the hope comes in. This article, written by Paula Froelich from Yahoo Travel explains how  the Thadama Myintzu Nunnery has saved the lives of over 200 girls. The young Buddhist nuns accept alms to pay for their schooling, food, housing and other basic needs. The sad reality of this is the fact that many of these girls do not see their parents for years, if ever again. In this troubled world, due to the moral decay of the people and their alienation from God, we observe the increment of demoniac societies based on illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. Our spiritual masters have taught us that we should cultivate a solid understanding of spiritual knowledge, and in this way we can develop respect for all others regardless of race, sex, or species. But more important to the theoretical knowledge, we need to practice it by following a pure life and in that way we can be an example to others; imitation of good examples bring a peaceful social behavior worldwide. (Editor's note).

Today people are simply becoming servants of their senses. For sake of sense enjoyment they become blind their responsibility to offer respect to the Divine Couple and naturally it is reflecting on all aspects of society with allot of corruption. […] We are all the eternal servants of the Supreme Lord, but due to the influence of this age of Kali, we have become forgetful of our real heritage, service to the Supreme Lord. We have heard all this knowledge by the grace of our previous saints (Guru-Vargas) which can deliver us from this planet by following the instructions of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - Sankirtan - chanting the Holy Names - the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, under the shelter of a pure devotee of Krishna. We must follow a few principles: no gambling, no intoxication including smoking and coffee, no illicit sex and non-violence (no animal slaughter).

Śrīla Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaj :
“My Humble Offer to You”

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