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Posts posted by suchandra

  1. Bacteria required to cheaply change water into hydrogen gas that can be used as car fuel that doesnt pollute our planet? Scientists should graudually admit that they're neophytes :deal:



    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=subhead width="98%">Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)</TD><TD class=copy align=right>24.05.2006 </TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#a5b2bb colSpan=3>leer155.gif</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3>leer155.gif</TD></TR><TR><TD width=8>leer155.gif</TD><TD class=head2 width="98%" colSpan=2></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/environment_sciences/report-60209.html</TD><TR><TD class=text>

    Bacteria that can munch through confectionery could be a valuable source of non-polluting energy in the years ahead, new research has shown.


    In a feasibility study funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, bioscientists at the University of Birmingham have demonstrated that these bacteria give off hydrogen gas as they consume high-sugar waste produced by the confectionery industry.


    The hydrogen has been used to generate clean electricity via a fuel cell (1). Looking to the future, it could also be used to power the hydrogen-fuelled road vehicles of tomorrow. There is increasing recognition that, over the coming decades, hydrogen could provide a mainstream source of energy that is a safe, environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.




    This was a highly successful laboratory demonstration of bacterial hydrogen production using confectionery waste as a feedstock. The waste was supplied by Birmingham-based international confectionery and beverage company Cadbury Schweppes plc, a partner in the initiative. An economic assessment undertaken by another partner, C-Tech Innovation Ltd, showed that it should be practical to repeat the process on a larger scale.


    As well as energy and environmental benefits, the technique could provide the confectionery industry (and potentially other foodstuff manufacturers) with a useful outlet for waste generated by their manufacturing processes. Much of this waste is currently disposed of in landfill sites.


    In this project, diluted nougat and caramel waste was introduced into a 5 litre demonstration reactor (although other similar wastes could be used). The bacteria, which the researchers had identified as potentially having the right sugar-consuming, hydrogen-generating properties, were then added.


    The bacteria consumed the sugar, producing hydrogen and organic acids; a second type of bacteria was introduced into a second reactor to convert the organic acids into more hydrogen. The hydrogen produced was fed to a fuel cell, in which it was allowed to react with oxygen in the air to generate electricity. Carbon dioxide produced in the first reactor was captured and disposed of safely, preventing its release into the atmosphere.


    Waste biomass left behind by the process was removed, coated with palladium (2) and used as a catalyst in another project, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aimed at identifying ways of removing pollutants such as chromium (VI) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the environment. The reactors used by this parallel initiative also required hydrogen and this was supplied by the confectionery waste initiative too, further underlining the ‘green’ benefits offered by the new hydrogen production technique.




    Professor Lynne Macaskie of the University of Birmingham’s School of Biosciences led the research team. “Hydrogen offers huge potential as a carbon-free energy carrier,” she comments. “Although only at its initial stages, we’ve demonstrated a hydrogen-producing, waste-reducing technology that, for example, might be scaled-up in 5-10 years’ time for industrial electricity generation and waste treatment processes.”


    The team is now engaged in follow-up work which will produce a clearer picture of the overall potential for turning a wider range of high-sugar wastes into clean energy using the same basic technique.


    See the new technology in action at http://bst.portlandpress.com/bst/033/bst0330076add.htm. This video clip shows gas from the reactor being fed to a fuel cell, producing electricity that enables the electric fan to turn.


    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=4 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD rowSpan=4>110gopy.gifleer155.gif</TD><TD>leer155.gif</TD><TD width="98%">leer155.gif</TD><TD width=18 rowSpan=4>leer155.gif</TD></TR><TR><TD class=text vAlign=top rowSpan=3></TD><TD class=text vAlign=top></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>




  2. Obviously these young British soldiers will be thrown in prison, but still better then coming home like that.






    BBC Online – May 28, 2006



    More than 1,000 members of the British military have deserted the armed forces since the start of the 2003 Iraq war, the BBC has discovered.


    It comes as Parliament debates a law that will forbid military personnel from refusing to participate in the occupation of a foreign country.


    Some 900 have evaded capture since the Iraq war started, official figures say.


    But the Ministry of Defence says the numbers going missing from the army have stayed constant in recent years.


    MoD figures show 2,670 soldiers went "absent without leave" in 2001, with the figure rising to 2,970 in 2002 and falling in 2003 to 2,825. In 2004 it rose to 3,050, falling back again in 2005 to 2,725.






    Court martial



    But BBC world affairs correspondent Jonathan Charles said going absent without leave and desertion were not the same, adding a soldier who has gone absent without leave for more than 30 days could be considered as deserting.


    He says figures showed 377 people are still missing after deserting during 2005 alone, with another 189 on the run so far this year.


    And Labour MP John McDonnell said "I think what the MoD is saying flies in the face of all the other evidence and the experience of soldiers on the ground."


    He believes there are "a lot more seeking to avoid service, through different mechanisms".


    On Monday Mr McDonnell told Parliament the number of desertion cases had tripled over the past three years.


    The MoD said it defined desertion as "going absent intending not to come back", or "going absent to avoid active service".


    A spokeswoman said the soldiers currently missing were considered to be "absent without leave", not to have deserted. They would have to be court martialled before they could be found guilty of deserting the army.


    She said only one person had been found guilt of deserting since 1989.


    Former defence minister Don Touhig told BBC Radio Five Live there were no "hard facts" to suggest the Iraq conflict was prompting increased numbers to leave the forces.


    Our correspondent says it is unclear how many troops are deserting because they do not want to go to Iraq and how many are doing so for personal reasons such as family problems.


    Lawyers say they are increasingly being contacted by people wanting advice about getting out of having to serve in Iraq, even if they do not want to desert, our correspondent adds.






    'Illegal acts'



    Justin Hugheston-Roberts was the solicitor for Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith who was sentenced to eight months in prison for refusing to follow orders in connection with a deployment to Iraq.


    He said: "I am approached regularly by people who are seeking to absent themselves from service. There has been an increase, a definite upturn."


    Military law expert Gilbert Blades, who represents soldiers at courts martial, said the numbers leaving because of Iraq were often obscured as they were not counted as conscientious objectors.


    "One can't help thinking that what's behind every absence is the problem in Iraq and I would think that if the real truth was told, then the Iraq problem has contributed to a huge number of people going absent," he told BBC Radio Five Live.


    Our correspondent says there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from military personnel that they are demoralised by the Iraq conflict and by the fact that, despite their best efforts, they see little improvement in the situation there.


    Former SAS member Ben Griffin was allowed to leave the military after telling his commanding officer he was not prepared to return to Iraq because of what he believed were illegal acts being carried out by US forces.


    He says: "I was disturbed by the general day-to-day attitude of the American troops. They treated Iraqis with contempt, not like human beings. They had a complete disregard for Iraqi lives and property."


    Mr Griffin would never have considered deserting but says his views are shared by many others in the British military.


    He told the BBC: "There's a lot of dissent in the Army about the legality of war and concerns that they're spending too much time there".


    He says Iraq is different to other conflicts because, in other operations, the main aim is to improve life for the local population and he believes that is not what has happened in Iraq.


    Mr Griffin says: "There's contempt for the locals. We don't even know how many have been killed."


    His advice to others is not to desert - but to follow their conscience and speak out if they think the conflict is wrong.


    Major General Patrick Cordingley, who commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade Desert Rats in the first Gulf war, said servicemen's views on Iraq prompted some to leave but "good leadership" would avoid it reaching epidemic proportions.


    He said those who had been to Iraq before or whose families were unhappy about them going were among those who might not want to serve there.


    "If you have such a person in your unit you have to discuss things with them... you do not necessarily want people with you if they have that particular view," he added.




    Are you sitting at a computer right now? Are you logged on to the Internet? So you are an addict too...(if you spend daily more than 2 hours in this way without professional interests).


    This is all true, but arent we using our addiction in Krishna's service and our addiction is transformed into remembering Krishna?

    There are nine kinds of devotional service: Sravana (hearing), kirtana (chanting), smarana (remembering) , pada sevanam (serving the lotus feet) arcanam (worshipping):, vandanam (offering prayers), dasyam (servitude), sakhyam (friendship), and atma-nivedanam (self-surrender).. If even one of the nine processes of bhakti can be perfectly performed, one is guaranteed full perfection in life, what to speak if one can perform more than one or even all nine. The first eight processes are represented by the eight petals of the lotus and atma-nivedana (self-surrender) is the center whorl of the lotus.


    So, there's clearly no prohibition to surf for Krishna.:deal:

  4. The Holographic Universe

    Does Objective Reality Exist?<DT><CENTER>

    By Michael Talbot

    </CENTER><DT><CENTER> </CENTER><DT><CENTER><TABLE height=57 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=551 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width="601%" height=56><DL><DT>In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect's name, though there are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science. <DT> <DT>Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn't matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart. <DT> <DT>Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. The problem with this feat is that it violates Einstein's long-held tenet that no communication can travel faster than the speed of light. Since traveling faster than the speed of light is tantamount to breaking the time barrier, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to try to come up with elaborate ways to explain away Aspect's findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more radical explanations. <DT> <DT>University of London physicist David Bohm, for example, believes Aspect's findings imply that objective reality does not exist, that despite its apparent solidity the universe is at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram. <DT> <DT>To understand why Bohm makes this startling assertion, one must first understand a little about holograms. A hologram is a three- dimensional photograph made with the aid of a laser. <DT> <DT>To make a hologram, the object to be photographed is first bathed in the light of a laser beam. Then a second laser beam is bounced off the reflected light of the first and the resulting interference pattern (the area where the two laser beams commingle) is captured on film. <DT> <DT>When the film is developed, it looks like a meaningless swirl of light and dark lines. But as soon as the developed film is illuminated by another laser beam, a three-dimensional image of the original object appears. <DT> <DT>The three-dimensionality of such images is not the only remarkable characteristic of holograms. If a hologram of a rose is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half will still be found to contain the entire image of the rose. <DT> <DT>Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact version of the original image. Unlike normal photographs, every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole. <DT> <DT> <DT>The "whole in every part" nature of a hologram provides us with an entirely new way of understanding organization and order. For most of its history, Western science has labored under the bias that the best way to understand a physical phenomenon, whether a frog or an atom, is to dissect it and study its respective parts. <DT> <DT>A hologram teaches us that some things in the universe may not lend themselves to this approach. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes. <DT> <DT>This insight suggested to Bohm another way of understanding Aspect's discovery. Bohm believes the reason subatomic particles are able to remain in contact with one another regardless of the distance separating them is not because they are sending some sort of mysterious signal back and forth, but because their separateness is an illusion. He argues that at some deeper level of reality such particles are not individual entities, but are actually extensions of the same fundamental something. <DT> <DT>To enable people to better visualize what he means, Bohm offers the following illustration. <DT> <DT>Imagine an aquarium containing a fish. Imagine also that you are unable to see the aquarium directly and your knowledge about it and what it contains comes from two television cameras, one directed at the aquarium's front and the other directed at its side. <DT> <DT>As you stare at the two television monitors, you might assume that the fish on each of the screens are separate entities. After all, because the cameras are set at different angles, each of the images will be slightly different. But as you continue to watch the two fish, you will eventually become aware that there is a certain relationship between them. <DT> <DT>When one turns, the other also makes a slightly different but corresponding turn; when one faces the front, the other always faces toward the side. If you remain unaware of the full scope of the situation, you might even conclude that the fish must be instantaneously communicating with one another, but this is clearly not the case. <DT> <DT>This, says Bohm, is precisely what is going on between the subatomic particles in Aspect's experiment. <DT> <DT>According to Bohm, the apparent faster-than-light connection between subatomic particles is really telling us that there is a deeper level of reality we are not privy to, a more complex dimension beyond our own that is analogous to the aquarium. And, he adds, we view objects such as subatomic particles as separate from one another because we are seeing only a portion of their reality. <DT> <DT>Such particles are not separate "parts", but facets of a deeper and more underlying unity that is ultimately as holographic and indivisible as the previously mentioned rose. And since everything in physical reality is comprised of these "eidolons", the universe is itself a projection, a hologram. <DT> <DT>In addition to its phantomlike nature, such a universe would possess other rather startling features. If the apparent separateness of subatomic particles is illusory, it means that at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected. <DT> <DT>The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky. <DT> <DT>Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide, the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a seamless web. <DT> <DT>In a holographic universe, even time and space could no longer be viewed as fundamentals. Because concepts such as location break down in a universe in which nothing is truly separate from anything else, time and three-dimensional space, like the images of the fish on the TV monitors, would also have to be viewed as projections of this deeper order. <DT> <DT>At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. This suggests that given the proper tools it might even be possible to someday reach into the superholographic level of reality and pluck out scenes from the long-forgotten past. <DT> <DT>What else the superhologram contains is an open-ended question. Allowing, for the sake of argument, that the superhologram is the matrix that has given birth to everything in our universe, at the very least it contains every subatomic particle that has been or will be -- every configuration of matter and energy that is possible, from snowflakes to quasars, from blue whales to gamma rays. It must be seen as a sort of cosmic storehouse of "All That Is." <DT> <DT>Although Bohm concedes that we have no way of knowing what else might lie hidden in the superhologram, he does venture to say that we have no reason to assume it does not contain more. Or as he puts it, perhaps the superholographic level of reality is a "mere stage" beyond which lies "an infinity of further development". <DT> <DT>Bohm is not the only researcher who has found evidence that the universe is a hologram. Working independently in the field of brain research, Standford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram has also become persuaded of the holographic nature of reality. <DT> <DT>Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain. <DT> <DT>In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920s, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious "whole in every part" nature of memory storage. <DT> <DT>Then in the 1960s Pribram encountered the concept of holography and realized he had found the explanation brain scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image. In other words, Pribram believes the brain is itself a hologram. <DT> <DT>Pribram's theory also explains how the human brain can store so many memories in so little space. It has been estimated that the human brain has the capacity to memorize something on the order of 10 billion bits of information during the average human lifetime (or roughly the same amount of information contained in five sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica). <DT> <DT>Similarly, it has been discovered that in addition to their other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity for information storage--simply by changing the angle at which the two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information. <DT> <DT>Our uncanny ability to quickly retrieve whatever information we need from the enormous store of our memories becomes more understandable if the brain functions according to holographic principles. If a friend asks you to tell him what comes to mind when he says the word "zebra", you do not have to clumsily sort back through some gigantic and cerebral alphabetic file to arrive at an answer. Instead, associations like "striped", "horselike", and "animal native to Africa" all pop into your head instantly. <DT> <DT>Indeed, one of the most amazing things about the human thinking process is that every piece of information seems instantly cross- correlated with every other piece of information--another feature intrinsic to the hologram. Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely interconnected with ever other portion, it is perhaps nature's supreme example of a cross-correlated system. <DT> <DT>The storage of memory is not the only neurophysiological puzzle that becomes more tractable in light of Pribram's holographic model of the brain. Another is how the brain is able to translate the avalanche of frequencies it receives via the senses (light frequencies, sound frequencies, and so on) into the concrete world of our perceptions. Encoding and decoding frequencies is precisely what a hologram does best. Just as a hologram functions as a sort of lens, a translating device able to convert an apparently meaningless blur of frequencies into a coherent image, Pribram believes the brain also comprises a lens and uses holographic principles to mathematically convert the frequencies it receives through the senses into the inner world of our perceptions. <DT> <DT>An impressive body of evidence suggests that the brain uses holographic principles to perform its operations. Pribram's theory, in fact, has gained increasing support among neurophysiologists. <DT> <DT>Argentinian-Italian researcher Hugo Zucarelli recently extended the holographic model into the world of acoustic phenomena. Puzzled by the fact that humans can locate the source of sounds without moving their heads, even if they only possess hearing in one ear, Zucarelli discovered that holographic principles can explain this ability. <DT> <DT>Zucarelli has also developed the technology of holophonic sound, a recording technique able to reproduce acoustic situations with an almost uncanny realism. <DT> <DT>Pribram's belief that our brains mathematically construct "hard" reality by relying on input from a frequency domain has also received a good deal of experimental support. <DT> <DT>It has been found that each of our senses is sensitive to a much broader range of frequencies than was previously suspected. <DT> <DT>Researchers have discovered, for instance, that our visual systems are sensitive to sound frequencies, that our sense of smell is in part dependent on what are now called "cosmic frequencies", and that even the cells in our bodies are sensitive to a broad range of frequencies. Such findings suggest that it is only in the holographic domain of consciousness that such frequencies are sorted out and divided up into conventional perceptions. <DT> <DT>But the most mind-boggling aspect of Pribram's holographic model of the brain is what happens when it is put together with Bohm's theory. For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? <DT> <DT>Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion. <DT> <DT>We are really "receivers" floating through a kaleidoscopic sea of frequency, and what we extract from this sea and transmogrify into physical reality is but one channel from many extracted out of the superhologram. <DT> <DT>This striking new picture of reality, the synthesis of Bohm and Pribram's views, has come to be called the holographic paradigm, and although many scientists have greeted it with skepticism, it has galvanized others. A small but growing group of researchers believe it may be the most accurate model of reality science has arrived at thus far. More than that, some believe it may solve some mysteries that have never before been explainable by science and even establish the paranormal as a part of nature. <DT> <DT>Numerous researchers, including Bohm and Pribram, have noted that many para-psychological phenomena become much more understandable in terms of the holographic paradigm. <DT> <DT>In a universe in which individual brains are actually indivisible portions of the greater hologram and everything is infinitely interconnected, telepathy may merely be the accessing of the holographic level. <DT> <DT>It is obviously much easier to understand how information can travel from the mind of individual 'A' to that of individual 'B' at a far distance point and helps to understand a number of unsolved puzzles in psychology. In particular, Grof feels the holographic paradigm offers a model for understanding many of the baffling phenomena experienced by individuals during altered states of consciousness.



    Uh oh thought of something else too, if suns die then this explains the destruction of the universe( in a physical sense of course, Shiva is still the source of it all when it comes to the universal destruction) if there is a sun-like object in the middle of the universe! The ancient Hindus were genuises :) By the way I think in the Vedas it mentions outer space to be like water, which in fact it is kind of like water. Astronauts train in water.



    There're seven layers of the universe and one layer is water, yes.



    The universe is divided into fourteen planetary systems and the earth falls into the seventh one (counting from the top-- Brahmaloka). This seventh planetary system is called Bhuurloka. At the center of this planetary system is Mount Meru which is the starting point of the simulation. As you fly through this planetary system away from Mount Meru, the radial distance is given at the bottom in yojanas from Mount Meru.

    There are 8 miles in one yojana. Jambudvipa ends at a radial distance of 50,000 yojanas. Here is a list of oceans and islands with their maximum radial distance in yojanas:


    Jambudvipa island-- 50,000

    Salt Water Ocean-- 150,000

    Plaksadvipa island-- 350,000

    Sugarcane Ocean-- 550,000

    Saalmalidvipa island-- 950,000

    Surasagara [Liquor] Ocean-- 1,350,000

    Kusadvipa island-- 2,150,000

    Clarified Butter [Ghee] Ocean-- 2,950,000

    Krauncadvipa island-- 4,550,000

    Milk Ocean-- 6,150,000

    Sakadvipa island-- 9,350,000

    Churned Yogurt Ocean-- 12,550,000

    Puskaradvipa island-- 18,950,000

    Clear Water Ocean-- 25,350,000




    The way to read the above numbers is illustrated by the following example: Puskaradvipa island ends at 18,950,000 yojanas from Mount Meru and begins at 12,550,000 yojanas from Mount Meru where the Yogurt ocean ends. The sun is located in the middle of this island (15,750,000 yojanas from Mount Meru). Beyond these seven islands and oceans, there is the 'Inhabited Land', Golden Land, Aloka-vars.a, and then the seven layers of the universe.

    Vertically, you can set the pitch angle to 90 degrees or -90 degrees to fly to the features in other planetary systems. The fourteen planetary systems from the highest point in the universe to the lowest with their minimum altitudes in yojanas from Bhuurloka (earth plane):

    Satyaloka: 233,900,000

    Tapoloka: 113,900,000

    Janaloka: 33,900,000

    Maharloka: 13,900,000

    [Features in Svarloka:

    Dhruvaloka (3,900,000)

    Seven Stars (2,600,000)

    Saturn (1,500,000)

    Jupiter (1,300,000)

    Mars (1,100,000)

    Mercury (900,000)

    Venus (700,000)

    group of stars (500,000)

    moon (300,000) ]

    Svarloka: 300,000

    Bhuvarloka: 100,000

    Bhuurloka: [Jambuudviipa]: 0

    Atala: -70,000

    Vitala: -75,000*

    Sutala: -80,000*

    Talaatala: -85,000*

    Mahaatala: -90,000*

    Rasaatala: -95,000*

    Paataalaloka: -100,000*

    The ones marked with the asterisk are approximate distances. Below Patalaloka are Narakaloka and the Garbhodaka Ocean.


    Okay, I believe someone mentioned a supersun in our universe. Think about this: there is a sun in the middle of our solar system-we know that, look at the galaxy picture and look at the middle-looks like a ball of light to me, now studying this pattern what do you get? There must be some ball of light that is in the middle of the entire universe that we haven't noticed yet. You think we have actually explored the whole entire universe with the Hubble telescope, I doubt it.


    Cyclic Universe Could Explain Cosmic Balancing

    "It is said in the Vedic literature that innumerable universes issue forth when Maha-Visnu exhales in His yoga-nidra and that innumerable universes enter His body when He again inhales."

    KB 87: Prayers by the Personified Vedas

    Cyclic universe could explain cosmic balancing act


    Nature Magazine ^ | 04 May 2006 | Philip Ball

    "Big bounces may make the Universe able to support stars and life.

    A bouncing universe that expands and then shrinks every trillion years or so could explain one of the most puzzling problems in cosmology: how we can exist at all.




    If this explanation, proposed in Science1 by Paul Steinhardt at Princeton University, New Jersey, and Neil Turok at the University of Cambridge, UK, seems slightly preposterous, that can't really be held against it. Astronomical observations over the past decade have shown that "we live in a preposterous universe", says cosmologist Sean Carroll of the University of Chicago. "It's our job to make sense of it," he says.

    In Steinhardt and Turok's cyclic model of the Universe, it expands and contracts repeatedly over timescales that make the 13.7 billion years that have passed since the Big Bang seem a mere blink. This makes the Universe vastly old. And that in turn means that the mysterious 'cosmological constant', which describes how empty space appears to repel itself, has had time to shrink into the strangely small number that we observe today..."


    flash planetarium at


  7. By Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

    May 23, 2006 — A spiritual disposition may provide a "buffer" against hypertension, according to the largest all African-American study on the relationship between blood pressure and an active faith.

    Presented last week in New York City at the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, the study focused on the effects of religious activity on both diastolic and systolic blood pressure in more than 5,000 African Americans.

    "Cardiovascular health disparities among African Americans are widely recognized, and hypertension is the most prominent risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease in African Americans," said study author Dr. Sharon B. Wyatt, of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

    Known as Jackson Heart Study, the research involved 5,302 participants aged 35 to 85, two-thirds of whom were women.

    The researchers asked participants how often they attended church, watched religious services and immersed themselves in meditation or private prayer.

    Other questions addressed participants' interaction with the spiritual in their daily lives and whether they looked to a higher power during times of stress.

    Those who professed greater religious participation were more likely to be classified as hypertensive. On average, they had higher body mass index scores and were less likely to take prescribed medications.

    Nevertheless, the religiously active participants had significantly lower blood pressure, on average, than those who said religion played a small or no role in their lives.

    Female gender, lower socio-economic status, increasing age and lower levels of cortisol -- a biological marker of stress -- were all associated with greater religious participation.

    "Our findings show that the integration of religion and spirituality -- attending church and praying -- may buffer individuals exposed to stress and delay the deleterious effects of hypertension," Wyatt said.

    The results are in agreement with previous studies suggesting religious activity has a physiological benefit. But while praying may help people stay healthy, being prayed for doesn't seem to have the same effect.

    A recent study of coronary bypass surgery found that prayers offered by strangers did not improve patient outcomes. On the contrary, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications.

    Wyatt stressed that the Massachusetts study investigated prayer interventions on outcome, not the effects of religious activity and belief as a part of lifestyle.

    According to Jeffery Dusek, an author of the heart surgery study, "the relaxation response improves health and well-being in individuals with hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions."

    Dusek, who is associate research director of the of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, told Discovery News that the "relaxation response" may be evoked when individuals pray for themselves.

    "Depending on the individual, the repeated phrase may be secular or it may be a prayer," he added.


    I cannot quote the picture in the first post because I need 15 posts or more.


    That definitely is not our universe/galaxy! Does anyone think how they would get a picture of our universe/galaxy? IT is impossible with modern technology. It is simply there as an analogy to point out how big the universe is. That picture is everywhere in American schoolbooks.


    You're right AumShanti, modern science says different things about the time it takes to travel from one side of our universe/galaxy to the other with the speed of light, some say it would take 100.000 years, other "specialists" say, no, light takes less than one day to cross this universe. Others even say light takes Billions of years to traverse this galaxy.

  9. Seems this kind of topic has some effect, let's pray for more things to happen:pray:




    Volunteers Needed for Creating Vedic Model of the Universe


    May 22, 2006

    By Basu Ghosh (das) ACBSP [email]

    Dear Readers,

    Namonamaha. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

    The "pramana group" sub-committee of the "Research Committee" of the SMPDC (Sri Mayapur Project Development Committee) is seeking the services of devotees who would be interested in participation in assisting with ongoing research work into "the shape of the universe" the findings of which will contribute to constructing the "model of the universe", according to the concepts found in vedic and vedic supplimentary literatures for the "Temple of the Vedic Planetarium" to be constructed in the future at Sridham Mayapur.

    Specifically we are looking for devotees who can read in English or any other vernacular (wherein they may find these books already translated from the Samskritam) and identify "relevant shlokas & passages" therein.

    In fact research work is already in progress on this, and several devotees are already participating. We'd like to speed up the process, which entails expanding the number of researchers. We have a budget earmarked for the purchase of the necessary literatures, and we will air mail the books to you after we've finalized your participation in this endeavor. We hope that your participation will be voluntary: at present we have no budget for rumenerative participation.

    Of course, the research program requires coordination and we will have to make final decisions on who researches which purana or upapurana. We already have devotees researching the Mahabharata, Valmiki Ramayana, Bhagavatam, Vishnu Purana, Matsya Purana, Brahmanda Purana and Markandeya Purana. We'll need help with the rest of the Mahapuranas and all of the Upapuranas. Just in case you are curious, once we finish researching these shastras, we can proceed to research the various "jyotisha granthas", or astronomical treatises.

    Any devotee interested in working on this project kindly contact me via private e-mail at your convenince. If you don't know me personally, it would be best if you would inform me of a possible reference from an ISKCON temple president, sannyasi or senior devotee.

    Thanks in advance for your kind consideration and possible participation in the projecct.

    Hope this meets you well.


    Basu Ghosh Das For the "Pramana group" subcommittee [email]

    P.S. You are all welcome to forward this to any internet group of devotees that may not be receiving this message otherwise.

  10. As we know, many devotees still complain, why was Srila Prabhupada so heavy with the scientists calling them demons, dogs, rascals, advanced animals, hogs?

    After all didnt they invent, ok with Krishna's help, the wireless broad band internet together with the pentium4 multi media computer and high resolution flatscreen?


    Modern science discovered that our universe is a galaxy with 200 Billions stars - in the center the Sun, diameter, 865,000 miles, produces heat by controlled nuclear fusion, what causes that the temperature within the central region of the Sun may reach 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

    Still the Sun's movement is so precise that since thousands of years at every solstice, the Sun shines exactly through the same check mark at Stonehenge, Egyptian Cheop's pyramid or South American Mayan Temples with a totally steady output of heat and light and turning around her own axis every second day.

    But did you ever hear a scientist say, direct sunlight actually would kill all life on earth and without the earth having such a highly intelligent filtering atmosphere nothing would work?

    Therefore Prabhupada said, scientists are stupid.



    Our universe/galaxy - with Sun in the center, 200 Billion stars


    Now scientists discovered with the world's largest telescope Hubble, given to them by Krishna's mercy that there're about 50 Billions other galaxies each with such a smiliar huge Sun in the center and all those 50 Billions galaxies gradually moving away from each other, indicating that it all started from one central point. But did you ever hear a scientists say,

    all this is million of times more precise and perfekt than any man-made clockwork - this all must have been created by an intelligent Being?

    Therefore Prabhupada said, scientists are rascal demons.


    All the planets, so the scientists, orbit the Sun without flying off, even when a meteor of the size of the earth hits huge Jupiter what recently happened, Jupiter remains in its orbit like Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, etc. Mercury is so close to the Sun that it rotates the Sun very fast four times every day. Neptune moves very slow being far away from the Sun and it takes 165 years for just one twirl. But still all the planets move in their prescribed orbit since thousands and thousands of years.

    Did you ever hear scientists asking that question, how come that all these planets dont get out of control?

    Therefore Prabhupada said, scientists should be beaten with a shoe.


    Now the International Assembly of Universe Scientists want to show the world the most advanced model of our galaxy, http://www.horizonwa.org.au/

    But where do they mention that the possiblity that this precisely moving universe was created by an accidental chaotic explosion is almost nil?

    Therefore Prabhupada said, scientists are demons.

    Krishna reveals to them His universal form, but their comment:

    This doesnt impress me much.

    Nice atheistic fools!


    1. pre-departure system was unorthodox, but certainly authorized by SP based on the need (SP was unable to personally attend to all these matters). it is customary in all Vaishnava traditions that after guru's departure, his disciples can start initiating on their own behalf.


    2. do you accept, that SP is bound by the principle of adherence to the guru, sadhu and shastra in his actions? pretty much all ritviks I know answer "no" to that question.


    Since Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan mission is in essence to world wide/globally distribute the chanting of the Holy Name in every town and village there's no such thing like "Vaishnava tradition" except Srila Prabhupada who fullfilled that order - Prabhupada is the pioneer and all others jumped on Prabhupada's bandwagon.


    "Disciples can start initiating on their behalf...", please quote sastra about the actual qualification of a genuine diksa-guru. Why do you suggest that just any disciples should start initiating on their behalf and sometime later resign from being a genuine pure Vaishnava acarya?

    For that kind of spirituality present Christianity with the confess&sin option is just fine.

    Why introduce Vaishnavism with unsteady/shaky as good as God acaryas, who will accept?

  12. ISKCON/GM, both had so many falldowns, what's presently the most heard slogan: If a guru does'nt fall down, then he is authorized.

    But is that realy powerful logic how to defeat the ritviks?

    Lets say in the next 10 years again five or six other gurus will resign like it happened in the past - who'll accept a guru as something trustworthy?

    And when the reputation of Vaishnava gurus once is on that level - someone whom you cant really trust - things will be even more difficult than in the Catholic church where priests dont have such an important function and can be easily replaced without any problem.

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  13. Yet another monument of love

    Anisha Sharma


    Lucknow wallah mandir at Vrindavan, with its blend of European architecture and Lucknow's opulence and aesthetics, can give buildings in the city a run for their money.


    Nawab Wajid Ali Shah's Parikhana may not have survived the British, but Lucknow's opulence and aesthetic sensibility, coloured with passionate love or Ishq outlasts in Vrindavan, through a luxurious temple built during the Nawabi period.


    Shahji's temple, Lucknow wallah mandir or Tehre khambe wallah mandir as it is known is a fine blend of art and love.


    It was conceptualised as a palace for Sri Radha Krishna and built accordingly by jewellers Kundan Lal and Phundan Lal Shah hailing from Chowk in Lucknow.


    It is a magnificent offering of love for the divine couple. This single piece of architecture is a signature of Lakhnawi, Italian and Rajashthani sensibilities in architecture - all beautifully rolled into one.


    It bears Nawabi Lucknow's stamp of creative play, blending architectural styles for aesthetic gratification. The sprawling palace-temple's entrance is akin to that of Asafi Imambara.


    Its walled garden in split levels, with coloured water fountains and jharokhas overlooking the Yamuna, have a taste of neighbouring Rajasthan and Agra.


    Its Gothic lion brackets and twisted marble pillars that give the temple its name - tehre Khambe wala mandir, and abundant use of Italian marble add to its grandeur.


    The palace is designed to suit Sri Radha Krishna's varying dispositions. The idols of Radha Krishna or Chote Radha Ramanji as they are nicknamed here, have access to all parts of the building.


    They give audience in their drawing room, sleep in their bedroom, perform raas in the different verandahs, front and back aangans, and the landscaped garden.


    All parts of the palace-temple are bedecked, but the Basanti kamara takes the cake with its decor from Europe.


    Belgian coloured glass chandeliers, inlay marble portraits on walls, ornate grilled doors and windows, Plaster of Paris statues and marble and granite tables are an art connoisseur's delight.


    The door to the drawing embellished with iron mermaids are a reminder of the mermaids on Kaiserbagh's gate in Lucknow.


    Kundan Lal and Phundan Lal Shah in their love for Radha Krishna wanted to live forever in their service. A labour of their love, this temple is unlike any other in Vrindavan or anywhere else in the world. You need a Lakhnawi heart and passion to create such matchless and thoughtful splendour for the object de love.


    Flowers scent the summer air in Vrindavan as floral tributes by way of 'phool banglas' which house the divinity that came to Vrindavan to love and be loved as Sri Radha Krishna.


    On these hot days, temples of Banke Bihari, Radha Vallabh, Radha Raman, Rangnath, Radha Damodar and Iskcon amongst others have these flower-bowers for the deities.


    With the Lucknow-Mathura Mail zipping up and down, there are increased takers from Lucknow to witness a fragrant summer in Vrindavan.


    Colourful festooned boats on Yamuna, arti at Kesi ghat, music in Nidhivan, globalised Vaishanav cuisine at Iskcon, water fountains, thandhai bhog, and monkeys who love to run off with your specs; well that's Vrindavan this summer. And Lucknowites are exploring this love land whole-heartedly.







    By Henry Makow Ph.D. – May 13, 2006





    "The Da Vinci Code"



    When an innocuous cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed was published, Muslims rioted and burned down embassies. But next week, a major Hollywood movie will challenge the veracity of Jesus Christ and Christians are sitting on their hands.


    I have not read "The Da Vinci Code" but I understand it asserts that Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children. His descendants are still alive. Essentially it challenges the Bible story and the Christian belief that Christ was the Son of God. It transfers Christ's prestige to an Illuminati-like secret society that is protecting Christ's descendants against the Catholic Church.

    The book and movie are yet another blasphemous assault on Christianity trumpeted by the full force of the Illuminati-owned mass media.


    Recently Carolyn, a Christian reader from Maine, expressed her frustration in this email.


    "Next week with 'the Da Vinci code,' "They" are going to call Jesus a liar as far as His Death and resurrection are concerned. Then they are going to claim his blue blood line. This would make Jesus a liar... wouldn't it? It is so twisted what they are selling and i count myself lucky to have a least read The Scriptures. 'My Feet Are Fitted With Readiness.' (Corinthians 6:15) What is going to be said about Jesus next week is apostasy."


    I replied: "People like you should show their outrage publicly."


    She replied: "HOW??? With Whom??? Where is the Remnant???"


    I shrugged my shoulders. To change the metaphor, why are Christians such lambs? Why do they always need a shepherd to lead them and a flock to be part of? Isn't Christ a personal matter? Can't they act as individuals? Can't they take initiative? Organize a picket or protest in some other imaginative way?


    When Muslims in Afghanistan heard that the Koran was being flushed down the toilet in far away Guantanamo Bay, they rioted. For them the battle against Satan is very real, and they are willing to sacrifice their lives. This is why they pose the last remaining religious obstacle to the Satanic New World Order.


    Similarly, question the details of the Holocaust, and Jews will cite "hate crimes" and put you in jail.


    But do the same thing with the central fact of Christianity and there is a call for a boycott from the Catholic Church. Well, dah. That's not very scary.


    Why are Christians such pussies? They sat idly by while Christ was crucified! Their reaction wasn't even a factor in that decision.


    I have heard various explanations. Christ said, "Turn the other cheek" and "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's."


    On the other hand, there is the example of Christ turning over the tables of the moneychangers in the temple. Let's follow Christ's example.


    What good are Christian beliefs if you don’t stand up for them? Where is the self-respect of Christians if they allow their beliefs to be trampled on?


    But it gets worse. Some so-called Christians like George W. Bush actually serve Satan. He is a member of a satanic secret society, the Christian chaplains serve with the American army in Iraq and minister to soldiers. Everyone should know Sept. 11 was a hoax designed to justify imperialist wars and domestic repression. It was perpetrated by the Illuminati bankers in London with the help of their puppets in the US government. You just have to look at who bought the Put Options on the airline stock to know the true perpetrators. (Of course this info has been suppressed.)


    Christians should file "hate crime" law suits against the makers of the "Da Vinci Code." On the Judgment Day we will be graded NOT by what we believed but by what we did. It's time Christians stood up for Christ.







    Related: Jacob Rothschild marries a "descendant" of Jesus. "The Rothschilds and the Grail Bloodline" by David Livingstone.




    Henry Makow Ph.D. is the inventor of the game Scruples and author of "A Long Way to go for a Date." His articles exposing fe-manism and the New World Order can be found at his web site

    www.savethemales.ca He enjoys receiving comments, some of which he posts on his site using first names only. hmakow@gmail.com


  15. 34 million are widows in India, in 2004, when the Akshaya Patra (midday meals) scheme was started by Krishna Heritage (the Bangalore based ISKCON group), a small batch of widows from Aamar bari went there to make chappatis, clean the rice and chop vegetables. They were paid Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,500 a month. When Akshaya Patra went into mechanised chappati-making, the work stopped for a lot of the women....


    Sunday, May 14, 2006


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    Wedded to enterprise




    The bleak picture of the widows of Vrindavan is changing slowly. Usha Rai reports on the economic independence and the life of dignity which is slowly replacing the old attitude of helplessness and living off charity.



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    Food for independence: The members of the Aamar Bari guild making wadis





    April and May are blistering hot months in Vrindavan but the tide of pilgrims to this birthplace of Lord Krishna has not abated. Nor has the population of widows. It ranges from 12,000 to 15,000 and despite all the efforts of the Department of Women at the Centre and the West Bengal government, their numbers continue to grow. While many of them have been abandoned by their families in this city of Gods, others come on their own seeking moksha (eternal bliss) after death.


    Efforts to move the simians, all worthy descendants of Hanuman, have failed and those who have to brave the heat for visiting the temples or for other work, hide their spectacles and packets of food, particularly the prasad, as they negotiate the open gutters, the endless flow of garbage and the potted and pitted streets.

    As frail widows, many of them walking with the support of sticks, scurry to and from the Bhajan ashrams, the monkeys can be seen scampering down temple spires, lurking at the sharp turns of the narrow bylanes or swinging from tree tops waiting to grab a tasty morsel from unsuspecting victims. Spectacles and dark glasses grabbed are not returned till their grubby hands are greased with a fruit or some food. Despite the congestion and squalor of Vrindavan, more and more temples as well as guest houses and apartment blocks are coming up.



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    Leather pouches and bags being stitched by the women at Vrindavan. — Photos by the writer




    Vrindavan, despite all the charity pouring into the city and the endless rhythm of chanting, conch shells and temple bells, seems to be caught in a time warp. Only the discerning will get a whiff of the slow change taking place in the lives of widows and the destitute in the city. Many widows are not wearing the stark white clothes of widowhood—in fact they have opted for pastel and printed saris— but those living in the Guild of Service’s Aamar Bari have stopped going to the bhajan ashrams to chant and accept in charity small sums of money and uncooked rice and dal.


    At the forefront of the movement to give vocational training and economic dignity to widows and other destitute women is Guild of Service which runs Aamar Bari for 103 widows. Unfortunately, a majority of the residents of Aamar Bari are too old to work. Pramoda is 90 to 95 years and Satyavati is said to be 112. Many of those bent double with age cannot obviously go out and work but within the confines of the home they wash their own clothes, plates, glasses and other utensils after having the meal prepared by the younger inmates.



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    Trained nursing aides administer medicine




    But the younger ones in their 40s, 50s and even early 60s are eager to supplement their income. From 10.30 a.m. till about 5 pm, with a break for lunch, is work time. Shefali Chakravarty, a skilled craftsperson for leather goods and for tailoring the poshak of Lord Krishna and his companion, Radha, arrives with a few women trained by her, bundles of leather, bolts of brightly coloured cloth for the deities’ dresses and the gold piping and ribbons. All those interested in improving their economic status learn to cut and stitch the leather pieces into functional leather pouches, bags to carry loose coins, credit cards etc. While the bags to keep the mobile are Rs 80 a piece, the smaller money bags etc cost Rs 60 to 40 a piece. In a day, a trained woman can make three to five pouches. The older women make cotton wicks for the lamps and the younger ones learn to stitch pretty clothes for the gods and goddesses of Vrindavan. Shefali markets the goods herself to traders in Agra, Jaipur, Mathura and Nainital.


    A lot of the bags and namkeens come to the Guild of Service office and are marketed by the staff. The wicks for the lamps, the poshak of Radha and Krishna, the beads for chanting and the neatly stitched cotton bags to hold the beads are marketed to traders in the vicinity. Some women even make petticoats and blouses. Drying in the sun at Aamar Bari are the wadis. When it is not wadis the women are busy rolling out papads.



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    Threading bead chains to be worn with specs





    The women, sitting in the comfort of the home and working at their own pace, earn anything from Rs 300 to Rs 800 a month. Some excellent namkeens are also made by the women but only in season, says Bhagwati, the culinary expert of the home. A Marwari from Calcutta, 60-year-old Bhagwati came to Vrindavan two years ago after the death of her husband and father-in-law. While her father-in-law was a manager of a mill, her husband looked after a petrol pump. "I left my son to look after my mother-in-law and came to Vrindavan for peace and solace," she says. Bhagwati is the official chappati-maker of the home. The dough is kneaded by someone else but chappati-making is her responsibility and she takes pride in the softness of her chappatis. Every day a mountain of chappatis are made. Bhagwati earns Rs 500 a month for making chappatis and for the namkeens of the season another couple of hundred rupees. Her son had just sent her four saris and she twirled and proudly showed the one she was wearing. Bhagwati’s only weakness is tobacco and she makes frequent visits to the shop around the corner for the pudiya. In Kolkata her children would indulge her with a whole box of paan bahar, she recalls. But Bhagwati has no complaints. She is happy to be in Aamar Bari.





    Vocational training




    Vocational training is given not only to the widows but to other poor women who want to supplement the family income. Shyama Giri who lives in Durgapura colony of Vrindavan learnt how to make Thakur’s dresses at Kishorpura six months ago. For making a set of 12 dresses for the Lord she gets Rs 36. She and her 14-year old daughter Uma Giri, who does the tailoring, work as a team. If I could get a loan and buy the cloth and other trinkets for decorating the Gods, I could earn up to Rs 100 a day, she says. Since Shyama’s husband is a mahant, wearing saffron robes and wandering off on a spiritual trip when he wishes, the income earned by the two women gets food on the table for the whole family.

    In 2004, when the Akshaya Patra (midday meals) scheme was started by Krishna Heritage (the Bangalore based ISKCON group), a small batch of widows from Aamar bari went there to make chappatis, clean the rice and chop vegetables. They were paid Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,500 a month. When Akshaya Patra went into mechanised chappati-making, the work stopped for a lot of the women. Chabbi, a widow from Bengal, who was with Aamar Bari for seven years, left the ashram two years ago to stay in a rented room and work for Akshaya Patra. She cleans rice and chops vegetables from 9.30 am to 5 pm and earns Rs 1,500 a month. She gets her lunch at her work place and has only to cook one meal a day. Occasionally, she goes to the Bhajan ashrams to sing and earn a little extra. She does not find it demeaning. In her mid-50s, Chabbi has walked out of the shelter of the home and is an independent member of society. She pays a nominal rent of Rs 400 a month and has a bank account. A lot of widows have bank accounts and their deposits are growing slowly but steadily.

    Some 200 widows and young, unemployed women have done a three-month-course as nursing aides and most of them are employed in the hospitals and nursing homes of Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra. Chabbi’s daughter, 30 years old Lalitha, came to Vrindavan six years ago not in search of her mother but to improve her own life. Her husband, a house painter, was finding it difficult to get work in Bengal and Vrindavan seemed a good option. So husband in tow, she landed at Vrindavan and sought the help of Aamar Bari and Guild of Service, where her mother was staying. Lalitha was in one of the first batches to do the nursing aide’s course. She works at Aamar Bari and helps look after the old and infirm. She gives injections, drips, bedpan and sponges and changes the clothes of the bed ridden.

    Fortynine-year-old Usha Dei is her patient at Aamar Bari. When Usha came to Aamar Bari two years ago she could walk and do her work with some difficulty. But a spine injury that occurred after an accident some 15 years ago has resurfaced and today she is confined to her bed and is not even able to lift her leg. It is Lalitha who bathes and changes her clothes every day. In all there are some 30 sick and old inmates who need the assistance of Lalitha and two other nursing aides.

    Lalitha would probably get a better-paid job in one of the city hospitals but with two small children and very little knowledge of Hindi, she feels she can contribute more to the inmates of Aamar Bari. Lalitha takes home Rs 800 a month.




    Banking on self




    A study of the widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi by Meera Khanna, Guild of Service, in 2003 shows that 66 per cent and 73 per cent of those living in rehabilitation homes and boarding houses in Vrindavan have bank accounts. The corresponding figure for Varanasi is 35 per cent and 60 per cent. This indicates some modicum of comfort. But 73 per cent of those living on the streets have no bank account nor do they have anything to bank on when they fall ill or meet with an accident.

    Fifty of the 103 inmates of Aamar Bari get a widow or destitute’s pension. They also have ration cards and are registered voters. Twice a year, Rs 900 at a time, is credited to their account as pension. The Guild of Service provides these widows Rs 100 a month as pocket money and most of them have bank accounts and know how to withdraw and deposit money. Their monthly earnings are used to buy a sari or some other necessity. Most of them have anything from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,500 in their account, says Vimla, a coordinator with the Guild of Service. Some could have much more. On entering Aamar Bari, their stories are recorded by the counsellor. In their will they also name family members who should be informed in case of death and to whom they would like to leave their savings and other possessions. If no one comes after an inmate dies, Aamar Bari does the cremation and spends anything from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 on it. Unless all the rituals are performed properly, the widows believe they will not attain moksha. In fact, they all spell out in their wills the kind of cremation they want performed. When Kaushalya, a popular inmate who loved dancing and singing died recently, her son was informed in Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh. He asked Aamar Bari to do the cremation and reached a few days later to feed all the inmates.

    The kosh or fund created by the money left behind by the widows to the Guild of Service has Rs 20,000. When Ma Dham, being set up on 3 acres of land at Chattikara, near the entrance to Vrindavan for 500 widows and women in difficult circumstances, becomes operational this kosh will be put to good use. Vocational training will be the focus of Ma Dham. There is space to set up a production centre, but more attention will have to be given to bulk production of orders and marketing, whether for leather goods or namkeens. Though the foundation stone for Ma Dham has been laid and buildings are coming up, it has not been easy for the Guild of Service to raise funds for its ambitious project. A spiritual centre, a vocational training centre, a dairy farm, a tulsi farm, a turmeric field are envisaged at Ma Dham so that women can introspect, interact and gain in self esteem. Since Ma Dham is close to ISKCON’s Krishna Heritage, the Guild could have tie-ups with Krishna Heritage and ensure jobs for the women living in Ma Dham. Akshaya Patra is also thinking of getting back the women to roll out 40 to 50 per cent of the chappatis.





    Sustenance & self-esteem




    Economic empowerment of a widow or a single woman is perhaps the most essential support that can be extended. It not only helps in providing sustenance but also raises her esteem in the eyes of society. Bhajan Ashrams have been providing the widows in Vrindavan sustenance and support. However, in view of the changing social perceptions and practices, the Guild would like them to modify their assistance. They should provide accommodation for the widows in their ashrams; provide vocational training either on their own or with the support of NGOs; discourage begging and even monitor their donations to prevent excess items reaching the same person who then sells them in the market.








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    Double burden





    According to the 2001 census, nine per cent of the total female population or 34 million are widows in India. In 2004 there were 3.72-lakh war widows. Every fourth house in India has a widow but there have been few state interventions.

    One intervention, aimed at extending social security benefits to widows is the old age pension scheme. Almost all states and union territories have old age pension scheme for those above 65 years. Andhra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have special pension schemes for agriculture labour. In Kerala, destitute widows of 40 and above are eligible for pension. Similar schemes exist in Orissa and Gujarat for a widow of 50 and 45 years respectively. Karnataka provides pension for widow of 18 years.

    A widow is considered destitute if she is without any regular income and has no relation of 20 years or above, particularly a son or grandson and has not remarried. Widows without relatives, who do not own land or a house worth Rs 1000,who do not wear jewels worth Rs 500 or more or who do not have regular employment are also considered destitute. The destitute widow has to apply on a prescribed form to the tehsildar, who after verification and sanction dispatches the amount by money order.

    However, accessing the pension is a Herculean task.




      The application forms are not easily available at the panchayat offices or if they are, the concerned officer gives them as a favour.


      The forms are not user-friendly. The widow, most often illiterate, has to submit proof of age, duly authenticated by the prescribed authority.


      The forms have to be submitted at the taluk office which is far off. The widows of Vrindavan have to spend Rs 10 to go to Mathura to submit forms. Follow up requires a couple of more visits.


      Verification of the form is a long process. Most widows do not have birth certificate to prove their age. Often they pay a private doctor to get a certificate.


      There is a great deal of arbitrariness on whether the widow is truly destitute or not. If she has a son or grandson, then the application could be rejected even if they don’t want to keep her.


      Finally after all the effort, the pension obtained is grossly inadequate.


      Culturally ostracised, socially marginalised, traumatised by personal loss, economically deprived, the widow is discriminated twice—as a woman and as a widow.




    Isn't it impossible for him to die?

    Where is he?


    Jai Sri Ram


    Hanuman das (ACBSP) is alive! He's right here in our town and chants and reads all day!

    Also the original Hanuman never dies, he's like Achilles, invulnerable, but without a Achilles' heel - impregnable and immortal so to speak. He lives wherever he likes, he's a nityasiddha and can move freely in all the different worlds. But since he's a devotee of Lord Ramachandra he might be only there where Lord Ramachandra is. There are surely many Hunam temples where he is being worshipped and the Hunam Deity is in fact none different from the original Hanuman. Many Hindus actually believe that all monkeys are related to Hanuman and are adorable.



    HANUMAN MANDIR - Allahabad

    The Hanuman Mandir is a unique temple in the vicinity of the Allahabad Fort. It is renowned for the supine image of the monkey-god Hanuman. This is the only temple to have Hanuman in a reclining posture. Though a very small temple, it is thronged by hundreds of devotees everyday.

  17. It can be said that presently worldwide there's a huge percentage (99.9%)of souls in human bodies who in fact are very frustrated of having taken birth as human being.

    This human form of life is especially meant for re-connecting our sleeping souls with Lord Sri Krishna - breaking free from the laws of material nature which keeps us enchanted by illusiory temporary pleasures.

    This human body is by nature not really meant to enjoy material pleasures and we can see everywhere: Souls having attained this valuable form of human live but in fact desire something else: to again become animals in order to better eat, sleep, have sex and defend their territory.

    This is critical and therefore the term kali-yuga was created to outline the emergency on planet earth: overpopulation wherever you go http://www.overpopulation.com/ but where are those human qualities of trying to find out what is God? Negative report, nowhere, instead everywhere, two-legged animals which do what?



    samstutah purusah pasuh

    na yat-karna-pathopeto

    jatu nama gadagrajah


    Translation: "Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna, the deliverer from evils." Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.19


    This world is indeed not overpopulated by human beings, it is overpopulated by those who are born in a human body but in fact are still animals. Therefore all this frustration and all those thoughts about committing suicide.

    Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew all this and what did He do, His mission is to give prasadam and kirtan music of singing Hare Krishna, Hare Rama.

    Still this ilk of souls taking presently birth worldwide actually thinks, we have to stay here for at least 1 Million years in order to examine all those different material pleasures, then may be we're able to detach, meanwhile we keep our souls n deep-sleep and identify with our material bodies...Nice Kali-yuga! :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:


    Srila Prabhupada: "So the whole population is like that, like dog, like camel, like ass and like vid-varaha, pig, the stool-eater, the whole population, at the present moment. So he must elect another big animal who is also in this category. Because he has no knowledge. If you take votes from the camels, to whom he will vote? Another big camel, that's all. If you take votes from the dog, then whom he will elect? Another big dog. Therefore, anyone who is not a devotee of God, Krsna, he is either of these animals. And if he is praised, it is to be understood that he is being praised by the similar type of animals.

    So if we remain sva-vid-varahostra-khara, then we must elect another big sva-vid-varahostra-khara. So how there can be good situation of the state? It is not possible. Therefore the public must be educated so that they may not elect another big dog or big camel or big ass to the exalted post. It is the public's fault. Nowadays it is democratic days. So why should you complain against such-and-such person or president? You have elected him, and now you find fault with him. So it was your fault that you selected such a rascal, sva-vid-varahostra. It is very right conclusion."




    Prabhupada: Yes. They are such foolish persons. They are making friendship with dog, which has no value except creating some offense. The dog's business is, you are not offender, still it will offend, "Gow! Gow! Gow!" (laughter) "Oh, I have not entered your house. Why you are barking?" No, it is his business. He will disturb you. He'll come. We have experience. Unnecessarily they come. At least, make a show of, to attack. That means offending. If... Suppose you are passing on the road, and if I come with a stick, "Why you have come here?" Is it not offense? All right, if I trespass in your house, you can attack with me a stick. Or no, in your country one can kill. You see. Such a nice mentality. But men are also like that. They deserve to be killed. This is going on. So the animal society. You cannot believe a man, just like animal cannot believe another animal. This is... So it is very rightly written, sva-vid-varaha ustra khara. Sva-vid-varaha ustra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh. The general mass of people is no better than these animals, and they are voting to select their leader

  18. Singing of Krishna



    Sonavi Desai

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006 21:50 IST


    Narsi Mehta, the 15th century saint-poet of Gujarat, began his spiritual journey with a highly mystical experience. One day, walking to the forest in deep contemplation, he came upon a secluded Shiva temple and sat down to pray. He spent seven days there, without food or water, lost in contemplation. At the end of the week, he had a vision of Mahadeva.

    “What do you seek from me?” Shiva asked. “I am an ignorant man; I do not know what to ask for. I shall accept whatever you give me,” replied Narsi.

    Shiva granted him a glimpse of Gokul, where Lord Krishna was lost in ecstatic song and dance with the gopis. Krishna blessed Narsi, saying, “You have been witness to the divine rasa-lila. Go forth and compose poetry and spread the word of the Lord.”

    Filled with ecstasy, Narsi began composing songs of Krishna. People flocked to hear his soul-stirring bhajans and his inspiring words. “Happiness and joy are within you,” he said. “When one is asleep to the illusions of this world, one is truly awake.”

    Narsi Mehta was also a social reformer. He welcomed all to his kirtans, in strong rejection of the caste system. To him, the untouchables were Harijans—the children of God. “Mere religious rites and rituals do not lead to the Divine,” he urged.

    “Search for and experience the Truth. There are many paths to liberation. Some follow the path of jnana, others that of karma, and yet others, the path of bhakti.”

  19. Since intelligent design by Lord Sri Krishna vs. Charles Darwin's (1864) theory of chance became a global topic (US evolution court battle opens), Vaishnavas are surely also invited to support not only by quoting Bhagavad-gita, but also by logic&reason, that everything could not possibly have emerged by chance due some big bang explosion. Highly intelligent design in nature is just at its beginning of being explored in great detail by the worldwide theosophical community.

    Complex biocoenosis among different species is certainly a powerful tool to finally proof that without intelligent design by an intelligent creator such interrelations as below cant develop out of some accidential occurrence. Since insects have no human intelligence some higher intelligence must have installed this wonderful functioning biocoenosis.


    Large blue butterflies belong to the genus Maculinea and are members of the large butterfly family Lycaenidae.




    The caterpillars of the Alcon blue butterfly can only survive if they are adopted into an ant nest and fed by the ants. In order to do this the caterpillars have to send signals to the host ants which tell them that they should adopt and care for the caterpillars, although this is against the interest of the ants. University of Copenhagen is investigating these signals, and how they might influence the ants.



    Butterflies in this family have some sort of association with ants. Large blue butterflies have an unusual life cycle in which most of their larval life is spent inside ant nests. All large blue butterflies are rare because of this interaction with ants. There are several species of Large blue butterflies in Europe and Northern Asia.


    The adult butterflies are on the wing throughout July.

    The females lay their eggs on the flowers of the Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe). The caterpillar hatches through the base of the egg into the flower, where it spends two to three weeks eating the flower tissue and the developing seeds. The caterpillar moults three times during this period, but stays very small (3-4 mm long, and weighing about 1-3 mg).

    After its third moult, the caterpillar chews a hole in the flower through which it exits. It then lets itself down from the gentian flower to the ground on a silken thread. Once on the ground it waits.

    If the caterpillar is found by a red ant (Myrmica species), the ant will pick the caterpillar up and take it back to its nest.

    Once inside the ant nest, the caterpillar will be fed by the worker ants and will probably eat a few of the ant larvae and pupae. The caterpillars will stay in the ant nest all through the autumn, winter and spring. They grow a lot during this time, reaching about 12 mm in length and weighing up to 100 mg.

    In the early summer the caterpillar turns into a pupa (also called a chrysalis), still inside the ant nest. The adult butterfly will emerge from the pupa about a month later. The adult has to get out of the ant nest quickly to prevent the ants killing it and leaves before its wings are expanded.


    If we compare this installation with our computer operating system it quickly becomes clear that without intelligent design such huge data handling cant be programmed by stupid insects.

  20. Being a devotee wearing dhoti&tilak doesnt seem a problem in a professional position as the head of the most public of associations in Nigeria.:pray:



    Bolaji Rosiji, PMAN boss


    Sunday, May 7, 2006

    He is at home with anything Hare Krishna and the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN. His best reads are the ancient books written more than five thousand years ago in Sanskrit, now an obsolete language. His immediate duty is to bring peace and justice to PMAN, an association he was elected to head last year.

    Bolaji Rosiji is at once a monk and an entertainer, the only Nigerian, as far as is known, to combine the unique duties as head of an association that has to do purely with entertainment and as a devotee of a religious order that encourages just the opposite.

    When the dauphin of a famous family in Lagos first came to national prominence, Bolaji was no more than a recluse living in a scent-filled room in his father’s sprawling, waterside bungalow in Apapa. As the only child of Chief Ayo Rosiji, a wealthy businessman, he was the natural heir to all that his father had. But he certainly wasn’t impressed with all the money and houses left him.

    He preferred, instead, the spare and ascetic life of a Hare Krishna faithful, shunning any form of ostentation or flamboyance. And he was never without his outlandish outfit – to none Hare Krishna devotees – the few times he made any public appearance.

    There was the ankle-length cotton cloth wrapped around his waist, the completely shaved head and, of course, the chalk markings around the eyes plus the ever-present contemplative mien of a Tibetan monk at prayer.

    Today, the clean-shaven, spectacled and soft-spoken 41-year-old is the president of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN. He has a spacious office somewhere on Anifowoshe, Ikeja, where reporters and aides flock around him much of the time. From unobtrusive obscurity as a monk, Bolaji has simply morphed into one of the most visible public figures in Lagos, seen everywhere from political rallies to human rights demonstrations and with people like Pa Anthony Enahoro and Professor Wole Soyinka.

    Surely, there must be some conflict in carrying out his religious obligations as a Krishna faithful and his professional position as the head of the most public of associations in Nigeria. But Bolaji isn’t in any way disturbed in his dual roles. If anything, he is having a time of his life because, in his words, “it is all about service.”

    And just in case you didn’t know, Bolaji says that not all monks are confined to monasteries.

    “We have a category of monks known as Baba jis; they’re usually resigned to a life of solitude,” he says early on to dispel your fears for his somewhat precarious position.

    “They stay only in monasteries similar to the Catholic monks, and they do study of the scriptures and meditation and prayers. Then we have another category with a more complicated name,” he explains. “They can travel all over, meet people, helping in things like seminars, workshops, developing society, etc. I am one of the latter category.”

    That is to say, he is a monk that can host parties or attend one, sponsor benefit concerts or coordinate one or join in a march for human rights, all of which he has done in the last few months.

    Just last week, he led a retinue of PMAN executive and a clutch of reporters to a monarch in Abeokuta. He hopes to work closely with multilateral agencies like the European Union (EU) United States for Aid and International Development (USAID) and Department for International Development (DFID). In short, Bolaji can get involved in anything as long as it has something to do with developing humanity.

    To help realise this, he long ago set up Guaranga Foundation whose mission statement “is to develop the key constituencies that are relevant to nation building.” The four constituencies, according to him, are the police, the press, education and entertainment. “We identified four groups that if they are empowered can, in turn, empower others,” Bolaji says.

    There is a food-for-life kitchen under the NGO, also. “We provide food for up to 500 people every day except Sundays.” Beneficiaries are orphanages, handicapped and old peoples’ home, and meals are strictly healthy vegetarian diets.

    Of course, what else would you expect from devotees of one of the oldest religions in the world that forbids killing and consuming animal flesh? All through the Sunday Sun’s visit last week, most of the members had their meals meatless, from nursing mothers to babies and even cooks and waiters.

    The restaurant serves only vegetarian meals, and it is about the only one in all of Apapa – an area with the highest number of Indian population anywhere in Lagos. “We cater to a largely Indian clientele here,” says Michael, a restaurant supervisor. Bolaji himself will later educate the reporter on the virtues of a strictly vegetarian diet, quoting relevant Bible portions to shore up his claim.

    Though tabloid and soft sell reporters claim he has a child, the lack of a woman in his life makes him one of the most eligible bachelors in town. So, how does he cope with overtures from the opposite sex?

    Whether in jest or spoken frankly, Bolaji says he has a female aide-de-camp whose duty is to ward off female intruders. But the reporter is more convinced when Bolaji says that “there is nothing to life.” It could have come straight from any monk worth his hood living in the bowels on a rocky mountain, for example. For one, he admits he’s been adventurous as a Hare Krishna devotee.

    “I became a devotee at such a tender age,” Bolaji recalls. “So, along the way, I’ve been adventurous. I have dabbled into different things. And I’ve had my own fair share of experience of the world. And my conclusion is that there is nothing there. There is nothing there at all. All the pleasures of flesh are shallow and they end with death. So, I can never be found endeavouring in materialistic things because they die with the flesh.”


  21. The background is that the school is funded by 10-million pounds of British government money and they obviously cant spoil it by leaving a mark that this new Hindu school might recruit kids away from Chtistianity - the religion of the host country, whose taxpayers pay for that school. Therefore they suggest that the school is rather a Hindu-ghetto where the Hindus exist happily under one umbrella. What disturbs is that Iskcon maneuvers into such kind of financial dependency to teach in that public school a government alleged curriculum of general education - now other Hindu groups like Maharishi-Yogi Foundation and Satya-Saibava Cooperation also claim to send their teachers to present their mayavadha interpretation of Bhagavad-gita to the innocent kids. Not really worthwhile.

    What we can learn, if you start compromizing your pure bhagavat-dharma, you quickly find yourself entangled into more and more compromizing till at the end nothing is left. That's how this material energy functions.


    Krishna rap: Yes, its time has come

  22. <TABLE class=byln cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=428 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=bottom><TD class=byln width=328>5/3/2006, 8:45 a.m. PT

    The Associated Press</TD><TD width=3> </TD><TD width=97></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A devotee of the Hare Krishna belief system of peace and harmony faces the death penalty for killing his best friend, who was having an affair with his wife.

    A jury Tuesday found Satya Krishna Dasa guilty. The jury will return Monday to consider the death sentence.

    Dasa, 31, was convicted of killing Yuri Bukshin in December 2004 and of trying to kill Bukshin's wife, Rebeca Webster.

    Prosecutors said Dasa bludgeoned Bukshin with a socket wrench and stabbed and slashed him more than 20 times. Then, the prosecution said, Dasa stabbed Webster and tried to suffocate her with a pillow.


    Witnesses testified that Dasa, born Joshua Jerome, made a pilgrimage to India in 2004, during which his wife, Janet, and Bukshin started their affair. When Dasa returned, his wife asked for a divorce.

    The couple was living in Eugene. Dasa testified that Bukshin invited him to Portland to talk about Janet Jerome. Dasa said he took weapons as a means of self-defense.

    Prosecutors said he planned the murder, down to bringing plastic ties to bind Bukshin, a tarp and a piece of lumber to fit the floor of a sport utility vehicle and soak up the blood from a body.

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