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Posts posted by suchandra


    This is the material world. There will also be murders by stabbing, gunfire, arrows and bombs also.


    The best one can do is tell the truth about the evil of abortion in hope of saving at least that individual from traveling the viscious circle of abort then be aborted.


    Some actions lead towards God consciousness and some actions lead away from it.


    One who is at least a little intelligent will error on the side of caution.

    Good point theist, another thing, each day 200,000 babies see the sunlight whereas each day 100,000 babies are aborted. This is madness.


    Prabhupada: You are less than animal. You are greatest animal. You want to kill your children.

    Vasu Ghoṣa: But they have no life. There is only you know an amoeba in the womb.

    Prabhupada: Don’t talk nonsense, waste time. All rascals proposal. Don’t indulge in this rascal theory.

    Indian devotee: Now there is a society for prevention to the cruelty to animals. At the same time they are killing the animals also.

    Mahamsa: They think they can adjust and control.

    Prabhupada: Mudha.



    Morning Walk Conversation

    with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

    August 23, 1976, Hyderabad



    "Animal has got also sense. The modern civilization is less than animal. Animal does not kill its own son. The human being is killing his own son. So this is the position. And this is not at all good. It is suffering. We are purchasing suffering more and more. The laws of God or laws of nature, they are very strict. Daivi hy esa guṇamayi mama maya duratyaya [bg. 7.14]. You cannot avoid the stringent laws of the material nature. If you violate, then you will suffer. If you follow, then you will be elevated."

    Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.47

    by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

    Dallas, July 29, 1975


    Bhaktivedanta Academy Choir Nityananda's Appearance Day 2009






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  2. In the words of His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad, founder acharya of ISKCON, "Everybody is a part of the supreme personality of Lord Shri Krishna. What we see-man or woman-is only an external covering. All living entities (souls) have an eternal relationship of pure love with the Supersoul (Krishna). We were always related to the Supersoul but have forgotten that relationship. We have fallen down in this material world. We need to be connected to Krishna and reestablish our relationship of pure love through devotional service (bhakti). This bhakti is not material, there is no scope for business. From the Vedic perspective, love is unconditional, unmotivated service to Krishna. And when that happens, everyday is Valentine's Day.''



    MUMBAI: It's the season for love and what better time than to meet cupid in his original avatar- Krishna, the Dark Lord, the embodiment of pure love. The Vedas describe him as a beautiful youth with a glowing complexion the colour of rain clouds.


    "Krishna embodies the archetype of the ultimate lover in all its forms,'' says spiritual guru Deepak Chopra. "As the holy child, he is both the receiver and giver of love. His innocent love radiates like light from a bonfire, focussed on none and denied to none. As Radha's lover, he gives us a glimpse into the nature of conjugal love, fidelity, romance, mystery, adventure and deep longing.

    Finally, Krishna shows us the love between guru and disciple when he instructs the great warrior Arjun in yoga as a means to enlightenment: raj yoga, the love of meditation; bhakti yoga, the love of devotion; gyan yoga, the love of knowledge; and karma yoga, the love of service. By understanding and knowing Krishna, we can elevate the significance of Valentine's Day to a deeper understanding of love and live life with joy and fulfilment.''


    Love, of course, needn't only be seen in the narrow context of romantic love between man and woman. In the words of His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad, founder acharya of ISKCON, "Everybody is a part of the supreme personality of Lord Shri Krishna. What we see-man or woman-is only an external covering. All living entities (souls) have an eternal relationship of pure love with the Supersoul (Krishna). We were always related to the Supersoul but have forgotten that relationship. We have fallen down in this material world. We need to be connected to Krishna and reestablish our relationship of pure love through devotional service (bhakti). This bhakti is not material, there is no scope for business. From the Vedic perspective, love is unconditional, unmotivated service to Krishna. And when that happens, everyday is Valentine's Day.''

    And that's not all. Krishna's also a handsome young god with attitude. He is said to be the poorna avtar. While the Vedas describe this as the full manifestation of Vishnu, you could simply call him the complete man. Explains bureaucrat and author of The Book Of Krishna, Pavan K Varma, "Dharma, arth, kaam and moksh are the four highest goals of Hindu philosophy. Each must be pursued in proportion, none in exclusion. As shringarmurtimam, Krishna is the embodiment of shringar ras and symbolises the balanced pursuit of desire. Much has been written about the glory of raas leela or the `dance of divine love' that Krishna performs with his gopis on the banks of the Yamuna in Vrindavan. While I am totally against indiscriminate mimicry of western institutions, the romance of Radha and Krishna is eternal and all-encompassing.''

  3. 'Petrochemical hub would devastate Sundarbans' http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200902070921.htm


    Kolkata (IANS): Fisherfolk and green activists have voiced serious concern over the government's go-ahead to a petrochemical hub in Nayachar in West Bengal, saying it would cause immense ecological damage in the nearby world-famous Sundarban mangrove forests.

    The Nayachar island being a deltaic estuary zone of the Hooghly river, they say the project would contaminate the water, which is home to a large variety of aquatic life and feeds the mangrove forests that are home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

    "We are astonished that in conceiving and going ahead with this petroleum, chemical and petrochemical investment regions (PCPIR) project, the government has paid scant attention to the ecological devastation that such a project is going to inflict on the area," National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) chairperson Harekrishna Debnath said.

    The chemical hub project at Nayachar in East Midnapore district got the nod at a meeting between the state government and a high-powered committee in the national capital Feb 3.

    "If the project comes up at Nayachar, the entire region would get affected by its toxic chemical discharge," Santanu Chacraverti of the NGO Direct Initiative for Social and Health Action (DISHA) told IANS.

    "Not only would it disturb marine life but these poisonous chemicals would also enter the Sundarban creeks and affect the bio-diversity of the large mangrove swamp."

    "The entire mangrove forest is criss-crossed by water channels and there is a huge possibility that this water will get polluted by the Nayachar project.

    "The project will endanger a large number of people who earn their livelihood out of this deltaic estuary. It'll cause immense environmental menace," Chacraverti added.

    Debnath said the area where the project is expected to come up is of immense ecological importance.

    Nayachar is located within 10 km of the Sundarbans biosphere reserve and within the Hooghly-Matla estuarine zone, a region which is undoubtedly one of the world's richest in terms of biodiversity.

    The region is the spawning ground of a vast array of marine life forms, including numerous commercial varieties of finfish and shellfish. The Hooghly-Matla estuarine and coastal waters of West Bengal provide livelihood to over 250,000 fishermen.

    Nayachar is located about 200 km from Kolkata. As part of the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB), the government of India had declared the entire 9,630 sq km of the forest as the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve in 1989.

    "The petrochemical industry is hazardous and accident prone. The plan to locate such an industry in the Haldia region, especially processing industries in Nayachar, constitutes a horrible assault on ecology, livelihoods and resources," Debnath said, terming the state government's effort to bag the final clearance as 'ignoble'.

    "It is also of great concern that the government, in planning 'developmental' schemes, avoids consultation with citizens and in planning the PCPIR it did not discuss its plans with the fishermen in the state," Debnath said.

    He pointed out that the area provides food and nutritional security to tens of millions in West Bengal and the neighbouring states.

    The fishermen's committee also called upon all concerned citizens to voice their protest against the petrochemical industry which would affect the coastal ecology.

    Nayachar, a stretch of land measuring 12,500 acres on the river bed of the Hooghly, was handed over to the Prafulla Chandra Roy Chemical Complex (PCRCC). It is a joint venture company in which the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) has 49 percent stake and the New Kolkata International Development (NKID) has 51 percent share.

    The NKID is a consortium formed by Unitech Ltd and the Salim Group of Indonesia with each partner holding 40 percent stake. Indonesian firm Universal Success holds the remaining 20 percent.

    The NKID entered into an agreement with the West Bengal government on July 31, 2006, for developing mega infrastructure projects in the state. <!-- story ends -->

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  4. The essence of Shiva


    <table bgcolor="#ffeedd" border="0"><tbody><tr><td> An exhibition on Shiva Nataraja at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, excellently curated, brings together a small but exquisite collection of works to reaffirm the Cosmic Dancer and his context from his world and beyond. The exhibition is on till March 1, 2009. </td></tr></tbody></table>

    <hr color="#ddeeff" noshade="noshade"> With the use of some rare colonial prints of French origin and archival photographs, Beltz’s piece puts the exhibition into perspective for the European audience it is largely intended for. <hr color="#ddeeff" noshade="noshade">



    Talking of Shiva: Exhibits from the show at Museum Rietberg: Kalyanasundaramurti. </center>


    Shiva Nataraja: The Cosmic Dancer — the title of the recently opened show at the Museum Rietberg puts one on the defensive: Oh! no, here they go again, another show on the universal icon, beloved of Ananda Coomaraswamy and the Department of Tourism. Yet, the show is well worth a visit because of how it is curated. This credit goes to the team of curators and Johannes Beltz of the Museum Rietberg who have brought together some rare and wonderful pieces on display.

    Beltz has also written the introductory essay outlining the trajectory of interest in Indian culture by collectors and donors such as Alice Bonner and Eduard Van Leyden who were a large influence on early Swiss collections of Indian and South Asian Art. He also foregrounds these against the context of dance explorations of Uday Shankar and Mata Hari and others who were exploring the motif of Shiva Nataraja. With the use of some rare colonial prints of French origin and archival photographs, Beltz’s piece puts the exhibition into perspective for the European audience it is largely intended for.

    Valuable insights



    Chola period Goddess Durga. </center>

    The other curator, Saskia Kersenboom, South Indian anthropologist and dance expert and authority on devadasis of South India (Her work Nithyasumangali should be prescribed reading for any student preparing for a Bharatanatyam arangetram so they understand where the post-nationalist construct of this name derives its history, legacy and continuum from). Kersenboom has written a definitive catalogue that templates the entire exhibition into three prisms of time-space continuity through her exceedingly well researched and cross referenced essay in three parts: Natya, Ayanam and Tandava.

    This writer had the privilege of being taken around by Dr.Kersenboom before the exhibition opened to the public later that evening and following her prescribed route and understanding the context in which the display was made completely elevated the experience. One enters the gallery and is greeted by a dwarapala. This one though has tremendous presence and is placed as a reminder of the two gate keepers Destiny and Death before one enters the sanctum. This particular piece from the Reitberg’s collection has superb jewellery and hair flowing almost as in a Nataraja idol.


    The origin of the Nataraja story is seen through the lens of two sources, that of the Natyasastra and the South Indian epic Cilappatikaram. Through these sources Kersenboom takes us through details and stories to come to the essence of the presence of Shiva, represented in the centre of the exhibition as a Lingodhbhava and then allowing the viewer to make a pradakshina around the gallery so as to understand the rituals performed within the temple space. Four varied nandis at four cardinal points lead to this central Lingodhbhava backed in reverse by Shiva Dakshinamurti, the Teacher. These in turn are surrounded in matrix of six Natarajas from the Pallava and Chola periods. Through the viewing we also see a detailed diagram of Nataraja with all his attributes clearly signified so that for the viewer who comes fresh out of context can read the coded idol. The essence of The Cosmic Dancer, ruling by the dynamics of his movement and reign of continuous transformation of day and night, externalisation (shrishti) and re-absorption (pralaya) are more clearly understood within the context of the game of dice that Shiva and Parvati play in the cosmic time of the universe.


    Here we find that Shiva is outwitted many a times by Parvati and it is she who wins. Within this metaphor of Ayanam, the course of time, we see that if Parvati is the victor then all creation grows and expands but with Shiva’s victory it contracts inwardly into the source. However, Parvati is always and ultimately the winner presupposing that when she does so, life conquers and triumphs over death. Here we see the god and goddess together and separated. In the Ardhanarishwara Murti exhibited in the exhibition, again from the Rietberg’s vaults, one is delighted by the scale and finesse with which the sculptor has imbued this piece. A surprise is to find the Nandi which turns his face in a three quarter position and almost nuzzles Shiva, reaffirming for the viewer the real archetypes from which these gods were brought into early Indic imagination. Beautiful bronzes of Somaskanda, Uma Sahita Shiva and a rare but exquisite Meenakshi Kalayanam (Kalyanasundaramurti) from the Nayak period with Vishnu giving away Parvati and pouring sacred water over their palms through a perfect Kalasam are a delight to behold. Here too, a rare Nandi vahana from the Berlin Museum is seen in pigment colorations but its most striking features are the way its sculptural plasticity is portrayed, tongue licking and proud as Nandi would have been carrying the Utsavamurtis (processional images).

    The Dakshinayanam or the Southern Path takes us to the transition of the sun to darker spaces. Here is a time for contemplation and planting new fields for the next season. Village life and rituals are in a liminal metaphorical stage and caution is exercised. Fierce goddesses, demons, the propitiation of the goddess at Navaratri and the time of pilgrimage represented through the Nayanmars, the sixty three bhakti saints of the Saiva Siddhantha cult of South India who wandered and sang in praise of their beloved Shiva are shown here. Here there is a bust of Kali which has serpents encircling her breasts and a serpent as a necklace and their sinuous curves give this fierce icon an unusually rare sensuousness. Various stories from the hagiographies of the saints and their poems allow the viewer an access into their lives which are known to the followers of Southern Saivism.

    When the Arudra star appears Shiva dances his Ananda Tandava, “Dance of Bliss”. This star is thought to be ‘moist’, ‘soft’ and ‘tender’ and marks the turning point in the accumulation of danger. His dance in an arch of fire purifies and transforms all darkness along the Southern course into gold. The Natyashastra makes mention of this vigorous dance ‘at the end of pralaya’ which is bestowing ‘all happiness’. Here were turn to the six Natarajas placed in a peripheral square to the final stage of Tandava.




    Nandi. </center>

    Ananda Tandava is now the Dance of Bliss and it allows for the pilgrim and viewer to partake of Shiva’s grace or arul thus transcending human experience. In the background contextual music recorded at temples sung by the ritualist (Otuvars) and also a movie showing the manner in which these processional deities are taken around in festivals makes the viewer understand the why, where and what-fors.

    From here, the viewer, sated by the imagery of the icons, sculpture, woodcuts, ritual artefacts of the exhibition and the imagined world of their real context with life lived to the beat of nature, festivals and the grand celebrations of divine epiphanies memorised in the cultural genome of the people of the South leaves the exhibition drenched with a large amount of exhilaration.

    The pieces are exhibited in the round and make for easy viewing. There are beautiful colour tones of red madder used on pillars to create the three dimensional sensation of temple stripes with the white walls. The only small aberrations are the display of the 63 Nayanmars from the newly cast British Museum collection against a backdrop of mint green walls and each one’s name only in Tamil. There are small details like that of a Vaishnavite temple cart in the exhibition on Shiva and in the chart on Shiva Nataraja his flowing dhoti/veshti /vastram is called a sarong!! Besides these small details the show is an exercise of delicate and sensitive curating that has brought together a small but exquisite collection of works to reaffirm the Cosmic Dancer and his context from his world and beyond. It is in this viewing that the curators allow the viewer to take the leap beyond what is, what was and what can be. The potentiality of our larger spiritual lives is exemplarily displayed and discussed through this show; the challenge for the viewer is to find it echoed in the viewing.


  5. January 30, 2009




    The 10 people most responsible for the recession



    The global financial crisis has evolved into a worldwide recession of epic proportions. Analysts fear the sudden slump which has followed the credit crunch could even rival the Great Depression of the early 1930s and lead to global stagnation.

    But who is responsible?

    The bursting of the housing bubble and the collapse in confidence throughout financial markets was not caused by one individual or a single decision, so pointing the finger of blame is a near-impossible task. But Times Money has given it a shot anyway. Here are ten suggestions for the nine men and one woman responsible for the mess we're in. Once you have read our notes, vote in our poll and make your own suggestions in the comment box at the end of the piece.




    1. Dick Fuld

    Multi-billionaire and US squash all-star Dick Fuld, 62, was CEO of Lehman Brothers when it went bust in September last year. Dubbed the “scariest man on Wall Street”, Dick Fuld is blamed for a litany of mistakes that include leaving Lehman Brothers heavily exposed to toxic US sub-prime mortgage debt and other assets that collapsed in value in the wake of the credit crunch.

    His secretive work ethic, which rewarded loyalty over all else, has been criticised for silencing potential whistleblowers. In its final months a series of interested buyers surfaced to save Lehmans, but Mr Fuld would not sell at the prices offered. Had he acted sooner, he would have been able to avoid bankruptcy. Institutional Investor magazine named Dick “America’s top chief executive” in 2006. The collapse of Lehmans triggered the second destructive phase in the credit crunch and laid the foundations for a full blown global recession.


    2. Hank Paulson

    If Dick Fuld is responsible for the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Henry Paulson, the former US Treasury Secretary, is the man who let it happen. Anatole Kaletsky, of The Times, says: “The global banking collapse could perhaps be described as a bullet in the head, since its proximate cause was a conscious decision by the US Treasury to jeopardise the stability of the world economy in pursuit of an essentially political objective - to show that the Bush Administration was willing to act ruthlessly against at least one big Wall Street investment bank. Until that point, savers and investors around the world had assumed that financial institutions such as Lehman were “too big to fail” and would always be supported by their governments. By shattering this belief Henry Paulson triggered a run on every important bank in the world and caused the sudden implosion of consumer and business confidence seen in the past two months.”

    Hank didn’t just let Lehmans fail. He made a series of mistakes in the run up to the Lehmans collapse. He also proposed a £700 billion package to boost the US banking system. And how did Hank come up with a figure of £700 billion? “It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com, the US financial website. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”


    3. Alan Greenspan

    Alan Greenspan was feted for his management of the US economy while he stood in charge of the US Treasury, but has since been put under the spotlight. He was responsible for cutting interest rates to near zero in the US in the aftermath of September 11, flooding the world with cheap and easily available money. Did this pave the way for a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami"? In October last year he said: “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organisations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.”

    Allan Meltzer is a professor of political economy at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said: “Alan Greenspan was much too afraid of a slowdown or other recession…he allowed the credit to expand too rapidly."


    4. John Tiner/Hector Sants

    John Tiner was in charge of the Financial Services Authority, the watchdog that polices the UK ’s complex financial services industry until 2007, when it was taken over by Hector Sants. The FSA failed to keep a close eye on Northern Rock, the Newcastle-based ex-mutual which gorged on wholesale mortgage securitisation and came a cropper as a result. A key parliamentary committee has said that the FSA was guilty of a "systematic failure". Mr Sants accepted that the organisation under Mr Tiner failed to stress-test the business model of Northern Rock and spot signs that the bank was dangerously dependent on interbank funding to remain in business. "We should have been in more intense dialogue earlier", he has said.


    5. Fred “the shred” Goodwin

    The "world's worst banker" has brought the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Britain's second biggest bank, to its knees. Last week it announced humiliating losses of £28 billion, the biggest in British corporate history, and economists and analysts have concluded that it could soon be fully-nationalised. In mid-January, taxpayers saw their stake in the banking giant increase from 58 per cent to 70 per cent.

    Sir Fred joined RBS in 2000 and promptly embarked on a spending spree, acquiring 26 banks in seven years for more than £35 billion. These included NatWest and stakes in America and the Bank of China. In 2006, its share price stood at £13. But at the close of trading on January 28, RBS shares were trading at a near-worthless 15.9p.

    In 2000, after the takeover of NatWest, RBS’s board rewarded Sir with a £2.1 million annual salary, including a bonus of £814,000 for the takeover — more than any other UK bank chief received that year. It paled in comparison with his £2.86 million bonus in 2007. Three months ago, in October, Sir Fred left the bank under a dark cloud that has now mushroomed into a thunderstorm. On the day his departure was announced, Sir Fred said he was "sad", adding: "Nobody will ever tell you that they feel good the day they have to step down.” The Prince's Trust recently dumped Fred The Shred and the campaign to strip him of his knighthood is gathering pace.


    6. Gordon Brown

    Apparently Gordon Brown predicted the global financial crisis ten years ago, in a speech he made to Harvard students. Sadly he did little to prevent it. James Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer during “the longest period of growth” in the UK ’s history, but economists blame Mr Brown for encouraging soaring house price inflation and the spread of credit which fuelled the years of boom and led eventually to the current bust.

    In a recent speech to the London School of Economics, George Osbourne, the Shadow Chancellor, said: "Our competitors used the fat years to prepare for the lean years. Britain did not. We are the least prepared country in the developed world to cope with the current financial turbulence. Our financial reputation has been badly damaged by the only run on a retail bank in the world. Our double deficits - external and fiscal - are worse than any other European economy. Taken together, they are worse than the United States." The blame "lies squarely and fairly with Gordon Brown", he concluded.


    7. George Bush

    The former President was in charge during the boom years when the seeds of the sub-prime implosion were sown, but has failed to take any responsibility for the financial disaster which occurred on his watch. In a speech last year he blamed the bankers in New York for the problems facing his country's economy. “Wall Street got drunk…The question is, how long will it [take to] sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments?”


    8. Kathleen Corbet

    The credit rating agencies have been blamed for failing to ask tough questions about the collateralised debt products containing so many toxic sub-prime mortgages, which investors traded for millions of dollars during the booming housing years. The three biggest agencies have been accused of taking the word of investors and not properly assessing the risks involved in securitisation. Mrs Corbet was head of the biggest credit rating agency, Standard & Poors, before she quit amidst heavy criticism in 2007. Critics argue that S&P and its main rival Moody's, as well as other agencies, face an inherent conflict of interest, in that many of their clients issue securities that are rated by its analysts.



    9. "Hank" Greenberg

    Another Hank. This one was head of AIG, the insurance giant that had to be rescued in an £47 billion US government bailout just days after Lehman Brothers was allowed to go bust. Hank was in charge between 1967 until 2005, during which time the insurer got heavily involved in the murky world of credit default swaps. Mr Greenberg appealed to the US Government to save the company last September, saying: "It's a healthy company financially except for liquidity. No organisation around the world has the spread of risk that AIG does. It's a company that opens markets - letting it go down would be a dramatic mistake."


    10. Angelo Mozilo

    Mr Mozilo was head of the largest sub-prime mortgage lender in the US, Countrywide, until July 2008. Sub-prime lenders in the US have been accused of using misleading marketing to push unsuitable mortgages on sub-prime homeowners who could not afford to service the debt, the root cause of the credit crunch. During the housing boom, Mr Mozilo reportedly earned $470 million in salary and other income. Mr Mozilo has also been under the spotlight for a VIP programme in which politicians and senior officials in the Government were offered favourable mortgage deals. Earlier this month Bank of America agreed to buy Countrywide for about $4 billion (£2 billion). Meanwhile, Mozilo unloaded $141m in stock options before the company's share price collapsed.


    From this you extrapolate that abortion is somehow permissable in a situation where the woman's life is not at stake?


    One problem with using this story as an example of today's situation on Earth..... no devas to make the decision.

    Sorry, yes, went too far. Right, kalau sudra sambhava, too many demons/sudras/asuras/raksasas/ naradhamas/pasandis take birth in this age to use this logic.

  7. Thanks for providing the quotes. The very term "Moon" could be also used by the Vedas to describe a category of planet and not a specific Moon. There are millions of planets and many of them have at least one Moon, Jupiter for example has four Moons. So in the same way there're millions of planets, there're also millions of Moons. Since in the Vedas everything is described as personal, Chandraloka, Chandra, the demigod who rules the Moon could be the ruler of all the Moons. In other words, Chandraloka is the original Moon, but every planet has its own Moon, which is an expansion of the original Chandraloka.


    Jupiter and its four Moons



    Yes, Prahlada was aloud to take birth. Then the devas could kill him. But again we are talking very exhaulted personallities making the discision to kill. Not common men.



    No, the devas thought it is another demon, they did not know that Prahlada Maharaja is in the womb. Only when Narada Muni told them it is a Vaishnava about to take birth, they agreed to not kill the newborn baby. In other words, the devas draw the conclusion that the child is a demon from the fact that his father is a demon. Because the devas were right, Narada Muni went there and told them, in this particular case, to not kill the child.

  9. A Fable


    nuremberg-chronicles-danceofdeath.jpg?w=500&h=425<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]-->

    January 27, 2009


    News reaches the world that the troubled inhabitants of Lokastan have begun to perish in steadily increasing numbers from a contagion. The disease organism is reportedly so virulent that all exposed fall ill and nearly all the ill die.

    By rare good fortune, researchers quickly hit upon a cure. This compound, taken regularly, also promises to render the uninfected immune. Soon, brave rescue workers enter Lokastan in force to treat as many as possible as quickly as possible.

    High hopes for a prompt end to the plague are swiftly dashed. The disease turns out to have an unusual feature that trumps all favorable factors.

    The organism begins its systematic destruction of the body almost immediately upon infection. At the same time, passing unchecked through the blood-brain barrier, it takes possession of the mind of the afflicted. The victims, now mortally ill, develop a delusional mentality: They become convinced that their disease is nature’s own remedy for all that troubles body, mind, and spirit.

    (Pathogens that manipulate the mind of hosts are known to the researchers. They think of Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that alters the brains of rodents so that they are attracted to—rather than repelled by—the cats that eat them.)

    In the infected brains of the Lokastanis, a remarkably altered chemistry masks their disintegration with a sense of profound well-being. In this way the very agent of their destruction makes the victims certain that they are becoming, for the first time, deeply sound and healthy. They come to cherish the pathogen itself, for they are sure it transmutes them to an unprecedented level of well-being. To the doomed, their future is bright.

    In their delusion, they deliberately—even systematically—infect others.

    For this reason, their rescuers are greeted with hostility and suspicion. In rare moments of lucidity, the afflicted may believe the truth their deliverers reveal to them, but such moments are short lived. For the most part, the healers find themselves locked in a contest—even combat—with those who most need their help.

    In the end stage of the disease, the afflicted often return to a terminal lucidity. The reason for this cruel disenchantment is in dispute. Some researchers argue it takes place simply because sheer reality overwhelms delusion; others believe that the pathogen itself efficiently cuts off production of the masking agents. And in many cases delusion goes on increasing until the end.

    The medical workers and researchers work hard at developing ways of dispelling the delusions of the afflicted, but it has proven to be slow and difficult work.

    The cure must be taken in graduated doses over a period of time, and those under treatment are for some time susceptible to relapse.

    It remains an arduous touch-and-go effort.


    Good points, Krsna! your so patient. I'm looking for a stick!!! LOL.



    When the devas captured Hiranyakasipu's wife, they decided to keep her imprisoned and wait till the child is born and then kill him. This decision by the devas is surely in full accordance with Manu-samhita and vedic knowledge.

    Narada Muni would have never told the devas to not kill the child when the child would have been a similar demon like his father Hiranyakasipu.



    King Indra said: In the womb of this woman, the wife of the demon Hiraṇyakasipu, is the seed of that great demon. Therefore, let her remain in our custody until her child is delivered, and then we shall release her.



    Indra, the King of heaven, decided to arrest Prahlada Maharaja’s mother because he thought that another demon, another Hiraṇyakasipu, was within her womb. The best course, he thought, was to kill the child when the child was born, and then the woman could be released.


    SB 7.7.10

  11. Even some of the little peons inside of ISKCON are appalled at Hrdayananda's idiocy. This is good: "the king has no clothes," and its increasingly apparent even to the littlest peanut sized pin-heads in ISKCON. All this just after Hrdayananda made some obnoxious comments about Srila Prabhupada's purports which created a previous manure storm, and his previous letter to galva devotees which created another manure storm etc.

  12. Letter From Hridayananda Maharaja

    by Hridayananda das Goswami

    Posted February 6, 2009 [via facebook]

    Dear Devotees,

    Jaya Srila Prabhupada. A letter of blessings that I sent to a gay couple has caused an extraordinary amount of controversy, and so I am writing here to clarify my understanding of this issue, and the intention of my letter.

    In the Bhagavad-gita 17.15, Lord Krishna states that "Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others..."

    I have clearly failed to some extent in this duty as prescribed by Lord Krishna, given the bitter and insulting nature of some responses. I sincerely apologize to the devotees for this evident failure.

    I have been accused of harboring thinly veiled political motives, or of seeking to impose upon ISKCON a new and de facto social reality regarding homosexual relations. To the devotees, even to the incredulous, I state here that none of this was my intention. In my letter, as I will later explain in detail, I sought, and apparently failed, to strike a balance that would not convulse ISKCON. The great agitation produced by my letter shows that I failed in my intent, for which I again apologize.

    I am keenly aware that I do not have the right within ISKCON to unilaterally establish policy on this matter, and my intention was not to preempt, nor to pressure or coerce, a GBC decision on the issue.

    Ironically, my own views on homosexuality are seen by the world in general as rather conservative and indeed those views often disappoint gay rights activists. As stated in an earlier paper I wrote on this topic:

    1. I do not advocate, nor perform, gay marriage. I accept the view of Srila Prabhupada, (and, by the way, of the well-known gay musician, Elton John) that marriage historically has been, and should remain, a heterosexual institution.

    2. Although science proves that a segment of the population is born with a homosexual orientation, and although homosexuality is thus natural for that group, I do not believe that what is natural for an individual or a group of individuals, is necessarily natural for society. Therefore I seek a balance that respects the genetically, unavoidably homosexual nature of an individual, as well as the natural right of society as a whole to privilege heterosexuality as its social norm.

    In my letter, which was addressed to educated non-devotees, I began by saying:

    "Our love for each other is a reflection of God's love for us. Thus, the perfection of every relationship is to see God in each other."

    Since Krishna's love for us is pure, I believed that serious devotees would understand, from the beginning of my statement, that I was speaking of spiritual love, rather than mundane, bodily lust. I believed they would see that I was encouraging the persons involved to see Krishna within each other, and thus fully transcend the bodily concept of life. I then stated:

    "May God bless [these] devoted souls, as they commit themselves to each other in the spirit of God's love for them. May [they] always please God through true love for each other."

    Clearly we please Krishna by renouncing all sinful activities and selfish desires, and I made this very clear to both parties in private conversations. In other words I offered blessings not for their sense gratification, but for the exact opposite: the giving up of any activity not pleasing to Krishna. I referred to them as "devoted souls" because I do not believe that a person genetically wired for homosexuality is necessarily "bestial" or "demonic" as some apparently feel.

    Irrefutable history shows us that many sincere souls born with a homosexual orientation have struggled sincerely to serve Srila Prabhupada's mission, and to awaken their dormant love for Krishna, despite an often heavy private and social burden. I cannot see such souls, as some apparently do, as disgusting freaks, willfully and obscenely offending God and nature by their genetic makeup. I am well aware of Srila Prabhupada's statements on this matter and I am confident that a mature, thorough knowledge of Prabhupada's preaching content and style makes possible a more moderate interpretation of those statements. I feel that I am well prepared to logically defend this view though I will not belabor it here.

    I also do not go to the other extreme of denying that homosexuality, in some ways, is problematic within a spiritual society. The special burden of devotees born with this condition can only be fully eliminated by their own spiritual enlightenment.

    In the last paragraph of my letter, I said: "By such true spiritual love, may they always be, each for the other, a source of spiritual inspiration and happiness. May their relationship lead them, patiently and steadily, back to our real home in the spiritual world, where all relationships become eternal and perfect."

    I believed that devotees would recognize the language of true spiritual love as referring to pure Krishna consciousness, far beyond the bodily concept of life, far above any form of sexuality. And clearly a relationship that leads people back to the spiritual world must be a relationship which, through genuine devotion and sacrifice, has become fully pleasing to Krishna.

    Not a word in my letter addresses current social or political issues related to homosexuality. Not a word in my letter claims a legal status for homosexual couples, be it marriage or civil union. As a Vaishnava teacher, not as a political operative, nor as a renegade policy maker, I prayed to Krishna that He guide two sincere souls to His lotus feet.

    That I expressed this sincere wish in a manner that was not sufficiently sensitive to the concerns of other sincere Vaishnavas, I admit. I truly regret this failing on my part. However, that I acted with political motives, I vehemently deny.

    Let us take this situation as an opportunity to earnestly discuss how we may best preserve our sacred principles: both our moral rigor as well as our deep compassion.

    With best wishes,

    Your servant,

    Hridayananda das Goswami

  13. <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td valign="top" width="100%"><arttitle>Know God through the prism of science</arttitle>

    7 Feb 2009, 0000 hrs IST, G S TRIPATHI

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    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Speaking_Tree/Know_god_through_the_prism_of_science/articleshow/4088345.cms

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="7">

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left"> <!-- google_ad_section_start --> Some people raise doubts as to whether Newton's third law of motion - that every action has an equal and opposite reaction - is violated by M K <table style="margin-top: 3px; margin-right: 6px;" width="205" align="left" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td id="bellyad" style="padding-left: 3px;">thumb.cms?msid=4088365&width=200&resizemode=4photo.cms?msid=3000949

    There is no fallacy in the definition of man. But the definition of God is not mathematically correct. (Getty Images)

    </td></tr></tbody></table> Gandhi's principle that if you were slapped on the right cheek show the other to facilitate another similar action.


    This is an example of misinterpreted science. The validity of Newton's law is restricted only to physical bodies.


    Sometimes God is compared with a circle. An anonymous quote in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and Proverbs says: "The nature of God is a circle of which the centre is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere." French philosopher Voltaire and Swami Vivekananda also said some thing like this. Swamiji took one step further and defined the nature of man in the following variant: "Man is an infinite circle whose circumference is nowhere, but the centre is at one place."


    There is no fallacy in the definition of man. But the definition of God is not mathematically correct. There could not be a circle with its centre everywhere. A given circle, whether finite or infinite, cannot have more than one centre. However, there may be infinite number of circles with a given centre when the the circles are concentric.


    God is beyond human imagination. God is the ultimate. Maybe, we can visualise God in our own ways. Since God is assumed to be Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient, and manifest in all forms, shapes and representations the believer is free to worship, revere or adore one or more manifestations from among the infinite choices available. This is real freedom.


    With reference to the likening of God to a circle, the following modification might be necessary: God may be an infinite circle with the probability of finding its centre, in a super space spanned by infinite space and time, is unity anywhere. The inclusion of time emphasises the dynamic nature of God. Therefore, the centre changes with time. In other words, God may be an infinite circle with a centre, and since the centre is a function of time, has infinite configurations.


    The circle is a wonderful shape. It is the most symmetric of all shapes in two dimensions. Perhaps this symmetry is what makes it appealing to all. Any break in the symmetry introduces tilting in the nature of God, which is unacceptable since God is the manifestation of perfect symmetry in all aspects.


    In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna could not comprehend the beginning and end of God. A circle, likewise, has neither a beginning nor an end. Any point on it can be a beginning or an end. Thus it has infinite beginnings and endings; the circle is a manifestation of the endless form of God.


    Another interesting thing about the circle is that if we would start from any point on the circle and make infinite rotations about its centre, we would once again reach the starting point. This is equivalent to saying that an infinite action can be comprehended within the finiteness of a given point.


    The Bhagavad Gita says: "Cherish gods with this (Yagna) and may these the gods reciprocate; thus cherishing one another, you will reap the supreme good". Do you not see an imprint of the law of action and reaction here?




  14. Thursday, 5 February 2009


    Who Will Share Fruits Of Our Sins?



    Once there lived a hunter called Ratnakara, who used to loot and harm the people passing through the jungle. The merciful sage, Sri Narada Muni met him and asked him why he was comitting the sinful act of robbery. Ratnakara justified that he had to do this for the sake of feeding his family members and so there is nothing wrong in doing the same. Narada Muni informed him that whatever he was doing was definitely a sinful activity and that he would have to face the reactions for the same all alone. Ratnakar was claiming that he was performing these activities out of love for his family and so his family members would definitely support him in sharing the reactions for these sinful acts. Narada Muni asked him to go and check with his family members whether they would share the fruits of his sins - just like the way they had been enjoying the fruits of his robbery. But to his surprise when Ratnakar went home and checked with his family members, neither his wife, nor his children, or parents were ready to share his sins.


    Then Ratnakar went back to Narada Muni and humbly inquired from him as to how he could be relieved of the sinful reactions. Narada Muni taught him the sacred name of 'Rama' and asked him to sit in meditation, chanting the name of Rama, till the time Narada came back. Ratnakara followed the instructions and kept sitting in a meditative posture for years, during which his body got completely covered by an anthill. At last, Narada came to see him and removed all the anthills from his body. Then, he told Ratnakara that his tapasya (meditation) paid off and that the Lord was pleased with him. Ratnakara was bestowed with the honor of a Brahmarshi and given the name of Valmiki, since he was reborn from the Valmika (the ant-hill).


    Just like the hunter Ratnakar in the above story, many a times in our life, we also involve ourselves in various kinds of sinful activities in the name of doing it for the sake of our family and friends. But we should remember that the we alone are going to be the sufferers for whatever sins we do. In Srimad Bhagavatam Akrura while advising Dhrtarashtra says in verse 10.49.21


    ekah prasuyate jantur / eka eva praliyate

    eko 'nubhuńkte sukrtam / eka eva ca dushkrtam



    "Every creature is born alone and dies alone, and alone one experiences the just rewards of his good and evil deeds."


    So for the sake of pleasing our senses or the senses of family members and friends, we should not engage in sinful activities. For whatever activity we are doing here is noted in our account of good and bad deeds and we alone have to experience the rewards of those actions. No other living entity will be ready to share the reward for our sinful actions. Even if people are willing to help, it is practically impossible for them to share our sins as confirmed in the above verse. As taught by Sri Narada Muni, chanting of Lord's holy names alone can save us from this vicious cycles of action and reactions, birth and death etc. Remembering the eternal truth that we would be travelling all alone in our final journey, let us intensify our devotional service, by practising to chant the Lord's names sincerely, so that we can blissfully reach the supreme destination without any fear.


    I meant how can you be sure that if you abort a child then you are destined to be aborted in a future life? Yes it makes some bad karma but how much? is the circumstances of the kill not important? I have never understood the law of karma as you present it i have thought it as more like a combination of negative and positive factors.

    Good point, there must be a difference. The vedas say that the mental situation of a child is determined by the mental situation of the parents at the time when they make the child. In other words, if a young woman is raped by a convicted murderer who escaped from prison, the child will later on also become like his father. On the other hand, if Paris Hilton has a lover and gets pregnant, to abort in this case creates surely a totally different karma.

  16. Since the karmi's desire is nothing but to live forever in a material body and enjoy sensual/mental pleasures, they feel horrofied when Bhagavad-gita says:


    'Taken' 'Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.' -- The Bhagavad Gita




    Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a man with two sides -- a retired veteran after 24 years with the CIA, a deep black ops expert so skilled that he was on every president's speed dial. The other is that of a hypersensitive father who adores his daughter and sweetly shows up for her 17th birthday with a Karaoke box because she still dreams of becoming a singer. We know at once that a mensch lives here.Mills has moved back to Los Angeles, which he hates, from years of "disappearing" into the smoke, just to be near his daughter, Kim (played by a sweet and convincing Maggie Grace) who now lives with his ex-wife Lenore (a dark, syrupy Famke Janssen.)

    Lenore is remarried to a business world mover, a good man of generous excess with twice the money of Warren Buffet (Xander Berkeley). Mills' world now seems to have shrunken to weekly barbecues and card nights with old op buddies, and the occasional personal protection gig.

    The rest of his time he seems to spend worrying obsessively about his daughter's safety, even as she lives in a gated world of expensive protection. He is a man who knows the true power of seemingly safe shadows.

    When Kim announces her upcoming trip to Paris, a high school graduation gift from rich step-daddy, Mills is against it, and she needs his permission to leave the country. Reluctantly, he gives it, and off she goes with a less stable ditzy friend, Amanda (Katie Cassidy).

    Hours after arriving and moving into the entire fifth floor of a posh Paris hotel, the cute young man who shared a cab with them from the airport turns up with a band of Albanian buddies who are into abducting young women for a high scale billion-dollar white slavery market. Kim makes a desperate last second cell call to Mills before they come for her and knowing what will happen next, he calmly gives her instructions to save her life. Then she is gone and the movie begins.

    Using rich new daddy's wealth and private jet, and the inside CIA help of his friends, Mills is off to Europe to find her. He is told he has a 95-hour window, after which time she will be sold and will disappear into the Middle East forever. Pierre Morel and his writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen give us a fun, bumpy, scary Jason Bourne/James Bond trip through the City Of Lights. This is the new-world Paris of Albanian slave traders, Russian gangsters and wealthy mideastern potentates. It is a Paris Gene Kelly never danced in, that "Gigi" never knew and bears no resemblance to any Lautrec poster. All the agencies of the world nest here, like dormant scorpions in various states of bipartisan cooperation and ruthless corruption. It is a world Mills knows well.

    As things thicken and the plot seeps out like smoke from under a door, we learn just how good Mills was at being bad. Mills is Jason Bourne as middle-aged warrior. He is a dark Wyatt Earp, and around every corner there is an OK Coral. Mills knows how to kill with a pencil or the corner of a rug. He can cripple and torture, hot wire cars and deal death like a card sharp. He is who the great physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer once spoke of when he said, "Both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it."

    On the day his daughter is taken, Mills promises her he will find her, and to her abductors, who have her phone, he warns: "I have a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career in the shadows; skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you."

    He keeps his promise. Morel asks us to take "Taken" for what it is, both an action thriller of the highest caliber and a fairy tale for popcorn dreams. It is full of predictable lurches and seemingly impossible leaps into the absurd. But somehow we buy it. We buy it, and Mills, because since 9/11, we find ourselves in a nightmare world where the footing is shaky; a world where we go through our days holding on, afraid to look down. Mills, like Bourne and Bond, give us a feeling, even for an hour or two, that they or someone very much like them is out there in the dark watching our back.

    Neeson, a good actor who rarely gets to play such a character, walks the walk with confidence. Despite the fragility of super hero tomes like this, with all of their gloss, Neeson exudes that mysterious fragrance of complete control. There will be no Oscars for "Taken," just money.

    J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.

  17. Thursday, 5 February 2009


    Free Tasters of Spiritual Bliss



    Bhava Bhakti devi dasi, Thursday, 5 February 2009: When we first come to Krsna Consciousness we see all the devotees as pure devotees, the holy names are sweet, the capacity to serve is unlimited, the future is bright...!



    Give it a couple of years and what happens?


    We start to discriminate amongst the devotees, the good, the bad and the down right ugly!


    The holy names taste rough like sandpaper.


    Someone is always bugging us to do some work .... sorry I meant "devotional service".....


    The future seems bleak.... got to compensate with a little dip in the material ocean in order to keep some variety in life...


    So why is this?


    Because when we first come to Krsna Consciousness, Krsna gives us some freebies. Like when we go to Boots or Superdrug and we get a free tester perfume or cream. We can use this cream once or twice... but if you keep coming back to use it the security guard will grab you!


    You either pay for the large version of the cream or you get out!


    Same in spiritual life... Krsna gives you free tasters ... here is a glimpse of the nectar of the holy names, here is what it feels like to see all devotees as servants of God, here is what the bliss of engaging in My eternal devotional service is like...


    And when we keep grabbing at the freebies .... Krsna comes and swipes the carpet from under our feet.


    "So you want Me? (Krsna says) "You gotta pay the price .... you willing to do that??"

  18. Christian nuns invite Hindu leader Zed to pray together


    <small>6. Februar 2009 | Von BR | Kategorie: News


    </small><!-- isPostPurchased ,postID 5027, userID 0, combination 1 -->image-thumb12.png


    In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Carmelite nuns in Reno (USA) invited acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed for dialogue and praying together yesterday.

    Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, prayed from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE, with lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. The nuns prayed from Psalms and Hymnal, and read from Romans in New Testament.

    According to Sr. Susan Weber, Prioress of Carmel of Our Lady of the Mountains Monastery, it was a joy to meet and share conversation and prayer together. They have decided to make this interfaith dialogue and prayer an annual feature. Zed presented nuns with copies of Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord).

    Rajan Zed started and ended his prayer with "OM", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

    Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed said, "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", which he then translated as "Lead us from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from death to Immortality." Nuns repeated after Zed– "Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti" (Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all).

    Rajan Zed points out that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we can learn from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. As dialogue brings us reciprocal enrichment, we shall be spiritually richer than before the contact.

    Carmelites, a Roman Catholic religious order now spread worldwide, was founded as a community of hermits in 12<sup>th</sup> century in what is now northern Israel, and was joined by nuns in 1432. The life of a Carmelite nun is completely contemplative, consisting of prayer, meditation, manual labor, and silence/solitude. Carmel of Our Lady of the Mountains Monastery, spread over 19 acres on a hill overlooking city of Reno in Nevada, was founded in 1954. Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

  19. Researchers Find Earliest Evidence for Animal Life



    News Media Contact:

    Name: Iqbal Pittalwala

    Phone: (951) 827-6050

    Email: iqbal@ucr.edu



    Researchers Find Earliest Evidence for Animal Life

    Discovered fossil animal steroids date back to more than 635 million years ago, says UC Riverside’s Gordon Love

    (February 4, 2009)


    Print Quality Image: Right click image and select "Save Target As." 2016_0.jpg Sponges are one of the simplest forms of multicellular animals. Image credit: Love lab, UC Riverside.

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. – An international team of scientists from UC Riverside, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions has found the oldest evidence for animals in the fossil record.


    The researchers examined sedimentary rocks in south Oman, and found an anomalously high amount of distinctive steroids that date back to 635 million years ago, to around the end of the last immense ice age. The steroids are produced by sponges – one of the simplest forms of multicellular animals.


    The researchers argue that the discovery of the sponges is evidence for multicellular animal life beginning 100 million years before the Cambrian explosion, a well-studied and unique episode in Earth history that began about 530 million years ago when, as indicated by the fossil record, animal life diversified rapidly.


    The discovery can help scientists reconstruct Earth’s early ecosystems and explain how animal life may have first evolved on the planet.


    “Our findings suggest that the evolution of multicellular animals began earlier than has been thought,” said Gordon Love, an assistant professor of Earth sciences, who led the research group. Love began working on the project while he was a postdoctoral researcher at MIT. “Moreover, sponges live on the seafloor, growing initially in shallow waters and spreading, over time, into deeper waters, implying the existence of oceanic environments which contained dissolved oxygen near the shallow seafloor around 635 million years ago.”


    Study results appear in the Feb. 5 issue of Nature.


    According to Love, the climatic shock of the extensive glacial episodes of the Neoproterozoic era (1000-542 million years ago) likely caused a major reorganization of marine ecosystems, perhaps by irrevocably altering ocean chemistry.


    “This paved the way for the evolution of animal feeders living on the seafloor,” he said. “We believe we are converging on the correct date for the divergence of complex multicellular animal life, on the shallow ocean floor between 635 and 750 million years ago.”


    The steroids that Love and his colleagues observed in the Omani rocks are essential biochemicals present in the cell membranes of the sponges, and help provide the membranes with structural support. The sponges are a few millimeters in size, immobile, and were filter feeders existing on the seafloor.


    The sponge findings emerged from a project Love was working on at MIT (with Roger Summons, a professor of geobiology) in collaboration with Petroleum Development Oman. Using state-of–the-art techniques, he and his colleagues analyzed 64 Neoproterozoic-Cambrian sedimentary rock samples from the South Oman Salt Basin (SOSB), a region known for some of the best preserved rocks in the world. The researchers also established a robust stratigraphic and temporal framework for the SOSB rocks as part of their analysis.


    Next, Love and his colleagues plan to screen other Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks for animal steroids just before and through the Sturtian and Marinoan glaciations, the greatest ice ages known to have occurred on Earth during 850 to 635 million years ago.


    “We aim to investigate the environmental context by which multicellular animal life became viable and flourished,” he said.


    Love obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). He was a recipient of the prestigious Natural Environment Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to carry out organic geochemical research at the University of Newcastle (England). He joined UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences in January 2007 after his postdoctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


    Love has co-authored 50 research papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals on petroleum geochemistry, geobiology, cosmochemistry, solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and analytical chemistry.


    Besides researchers at MIT, Love was joined in the study by colleagues at Geoscience Australia; the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; the California Institute of Technology; and the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.


    The four-year study was funded by Petroleum Development Oman; the NASA Exobiology Program; the National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences; the Agouron Institute; and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.


    Photo Caption: Gordon Love is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at UC Riverside. Image credit: Love lab, UC Riverside.


    Photo Caption: UC Riverside's Gordon Love examining rock strata in northern Oman. Image credit: David Fike, Caltech.


    Photo Caption: Boxes of sediment core laid out in the core shed at Petroleum Development Oman headquarters. Total drillcore is cut into pieces of a few meters length, archived, covered and stored for later sampling. Image credit: David Fike, Caltech.

    Related Links:

    <li class="newsroominfo"> More about Gordon Love <li class="newsroominfo"> Department of Earth Sciences <li class="newsroominfo"> More about Oman (source: BBC) <li class="newsroominfo"> MIT news release <li class="newsroominfo"> National Science Foundation news release Additional Contacts:

    <li class="newsroominfo"> Gordon Love The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment of about 17,000 is expected to grow to 21,000 students by 2020. The campus is planning a medical school and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. To learn more, visit www.ucr.edu or call (951) UCR-NEWS.


    Actually I always admired Prabhupada's ability to cultivate people and use them in his mission. For example, he would take common thieves and engage them in raising money for his projects. Even though they stole part of what they raised for their own maya, they allowed Prabhupada to build many important projects, like Mayapur or New Vrindavan. This tactic got many things accomplished, even as it generated bad press for Iskcon and a serious backlash with the society in general.

    Prabhupada didn't allow anything - he also said no.




    Srila Prabhupada Letter to Ramaraya 22 October 1971


    "I am so glad to learn that you are eager to preach but we should know it that we cannot preach without being solid in our standing as devotee. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that "apani acari prabhu jivare sikhaya.'' This means that Lord Caitanya wanted that one should preach by behaving himself exactly what he preaches.

    So our Krsna consciousness movement, preaching, depends on personal behavior. If you want to preach the gospel of Lord Jesus Christ on the principles of Bhagavad-gita you will find so many differences. Those who are following Jesus Christ, let them follow strictly to the principles of the Bible. "Thou shalt not kill'' is now being misinterpreted by Christian priests. Now they say "Thou shall not murder.'' This means trying to save themselves from the crime of animal killing. So you cannot teach such unscrupled followers the message of Bhagavad-gita. If you want to preach Bible you can tell them why there will be misinterpretation. In N.Y. there is a big press that prints "Watchtower.'' They are forcefully criticizing Christian behavior.

    I read that one Christian priest allowed a marriage between two men— homosex. So these things are going on. So your proposal for preaching the gospel on the basis of Bhagavad-gita will not be successful. If you want to do that I cannot check you but I cannot allow you to do such things from within our society. You have to understand our philosophy perfectly, follow the regulative principles, and then in fact you can edit our books and papers."


    Letter to: Lalitananda Hawaii 26 May, 1975 75-05-26


    My Dear Lalitananda dasa,

    Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very sorry that you have taken to homosex. It will not help you advance in your attempt for spiritual life. In fact, it will only hamper your advancement. I do not know why you have taken to such abominable activities. What can I say? Anyway, try to render whatever service you can to Krishna. Even though you are in a very degraded condition Krishna, being pleased with your service attitude, can pick you up from your fallen state. You should stop this homosex immediately. It is illicit sex, otherwise, your chances of advancing in spiritual life are nil. Show Krishna you are serious, if you are. I hope this meets you in good health.

    Your ever well-wisher, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


    The logic is that all these crooked activities blew up in our face even before SP passed away. And the fall out was severe. We were no longer seen even by the hippies as the 'good guys'. It was proof positive that our society was at least just as corrupt as the one outside..





    Let's not kidd ourselves... They were passed off as diksa gurus just like the sannyasis were passed off as the real McCoy swamis. It was a work in progress, cooks and crooks dressed in pretty uniforms and shipped out to the battlefield after a crash course training in bhakti yoga...


    These are heavy words of someone who has the details from hearsay. If we look more close and listen what realy happened things might look different.


    The reason I brought it all up is the issue of Gurukripa's personal character and credibility.


    What people don't know is that Gurukripa made the most ecstatic kirtans, all the devotees went mad in ecstasy when he led the mangal arotika. In fact during such mangal arotikas the whole universe became ecstatic. Next day you saw him in white suit, white shoes and black sunglasses on his way back to Japan. He was so much focused to reach this goal of financing Krishna Balaram Mandir and taking so much risk.


    LOL @ "Gurukripa was using some very risky fundraising practices" ...that is a true 'euphemism' ;)


    Dude... he was robbing jewelry stores like a common criminal, on top of typical Iskcon street scams... another example of the 'end justifies the means' doctrine imported from Talmud...


    If not getting caught this is another category, cannot be compared with what we daily read in the newspaper. Ok later he got caught but this was when not doing things for Krishna.


    We know what Srila prabhupada says on the matter. I personally do not care if someone disagrees with that. I have to take the conclusions Prabhupada took. Homosex is outside of the four varnas and there by untouchable. Just like the cobbler.


    Yes, Yes, what ever you say is good for you. I go with Prabhupada and we do not need to take any more lazies or crazy in the name of doing the best with a bad bargan as Srila Prabhupada abviously had to do and willingly did. Time to grow!


    We aren't Prabhupada and it is not 1965/66 in the village.




    Good point Prabhupada knew about the high risk he was taking. But was there any other choice except returning to Vrindavan? Since there wasn't any other choice Prabhupada did it that way and prayed that things ultimately may work out. Agreed, since none of us is starting a world movement at the age of 70 this cannot happen anymore.

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