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Everything posted by Sarasvati

  1. These have been interesting posts to read. I was wondering how many writers here actually have woman's bodies? Just curious.
  2. Thanks! So, Dvapara-yuga? I assume it was a different cycle of yugas than the one we are living now?
  3. Anybody! Which yuga did Maharaja Prithu appear? Treta or Dvapara?
  4. Originally by Ram: "But a woman has to be protected by a man. Today as the woman has to protect herself at school and work, she needs to act like a man. Thus she has to have two personalities. We are making life hard for a woman" Yes, indeed, life is made hard for a woman. I'd like to elaborate on the protection point. It is not that men must protect women to keep them confined or something - this is a point often misunderstood by many - but rather to render them the service of protection. Everyone, including the feminist, is happy with that understanding. It is not that women cannot fight, etc. if there is a need. 150 years ago Rani of Jhansi fought the British with her son wrapped on her back, the reins of her horse in her mouth, and both hands yielding the sword. But this was because of the extraordinary situation (and definitely most shocking and indecent in the eyes of the Victorian Englishmen). Normally, she had bodyguards. Normally, women like to have bodyguard(s). And men like to show their chivalry by accepting that role.
  5. Special feminine traits, you mean? I think they are every bit as important today as in ancient times.
  6. "all i see is men, and women trying to be men. " Hmm, maybe, yet the fact remains that women cannot totally ignore their biological side even in Kali-yuga. An example (not connected to Manu-Samhita, though) is that many women want to build up their career before building up their family, but by the time they finally try to have children, it is too late. Did you know that female fertility starts declining at the age of 27? I'm not trying to preach here, just stating interesting, less-known, scientific facts. So how much ever we try to be man-like, we still have our feminine bodies. I think it is good to remind ourselves that these woman's bodies are not all evil, but made in the image of Goddess. As for women being special - well, I think we are pretty special (and men are special in their own wonderful way, too). Yes-yes, our bodies are perverted reflections of those in the spiritual world; that's one way of looking at it. But our bodies are also temples, and therefore they are special. For the past 5,000 years, the feminine temple has been ignored or ridiculed, taken advantage of or blamed for all the sins of the mankind. So it is good to remind ourselves that it's not always been like that. People (especially those from Judeo-Xtian or Islamic background) view female bodies as somehow lesser in importance. What to speak of respecting an ordinary woman, they don't even respect Goddess. So, respecting all the glorious women - that's my point here.
  7. More info on http://www.atributetohinduism.com/Women_in_Hinduism.htm
  8. "Where women are honored there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored no sacred rite yields rewards," declares Manu Smriti (III.56) a text on social conduct. "Women must be honored and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire their own welfare." (Manu Smriti III, 55) " Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers." (Manu Smriti III, 57). "The houses on which female relations, not being duly honored, pronounce a curse, perish completely as if destroyed by magic." (Manu Smriti III, 58) " Hence men who seek their own welfare, should always honor women on holidays and festivals with gifts of ornaments, clothes, and dainty food." (Manu Smriti III, 59) Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1860-1888) Indologist and head of the Oxford's Boden Chair, wrote: "Indian wives often possess greater influence than wives of Europeans." He is not a true Hindu who does not regard a woman's body as sacred as the temple of God. He is an outcast who touches a woman's body with irreverence, hatred or anger." "A woman's body," says Manu the law giver, "must not be struck hard, even with a flower, because it is sacred." It is for this reason that the Hindus do not allow capital punishment for women. The idea of equality was most forcibly expressed in the Rig Veda (Book 5, hymn 61. verse 8). The commentator explains this passage thus: "The wife and husband, being the equal halves of one substance, are equal in every respect; therefore both should join and take equal parts in all work, religious and secular." No other Scripture of the world have ever given to the woman such equality with the man as the Vedas of the Hindus. The Old Testament, the Zend-Avesta and others, have made woman the scapegoat for all the crimes committed by man. The Old Testament, in describing the creation of woman and the fall of man, has established the idea that woman was created for man's pleasure; consequently her duty was to obey him implicitly. It makes her an instrument in the hands of Satan for the temptation and fall of the holy man with whom she was first enjoying the felicity of paradise. The 126th hymn of the first book of the Rig Veda was revealed by a Hindu woman whose name was Romasha; the 179 hymn of the same book was by Lopamudra, another inspired Hindu woman. There are a dozen name of woman revealers of the Vedic wisdom, such as Visvavara, Shashvati, Gargi, Maitreyi, Apala, Ghosha, and Aditi, who instructed Indra, one of the Devas, in the higher knowledge of Brahman, the Universal Spirit. Everyone of them lived the ideal life of spirituality, being untouched by the things of the world. They are called in Sanskrit Brahmavadinis, the speakers and revealers of Brahman. When Sankaracharya, the great commentator of the Vedanta, was discussing this philosophy with another philosopher, a Hindu lady, well versed in all the Scriptures, was requested to act as umpire. It is the special injuction of the Vedas that no married man shall perform any religious rite, ceremony, or sacrifice without being joined in by his wife; the wife is considered a partaker and partner in the spiritual life of her husband; she is called, in Sanskrit, Sahadharmini, "spiritual helpmate." This idea is very old, as old as the Hindu nation. In the whole religious history of the world a second Sita will not be found. Her life was unique. She is worshipped as an Incarnation of God. India is the only country where prevails a belief that God incarnates in the form of a woman as well as in that of a man. In the Mahabharata we read the account of Sulabha, the great woman Yogi, who came to the court of King Janaka and showed wonderful powers and wisdom, which she had acquired through the practice of Yoga. This shows that women were allowed to practice Yoga. As in religion, Hindu woman of ancient times enjoyed equal rights and privileges with men, so in secular matters she had equal share and equal power with them. From the Vedic age women in India have had the same right to possess property as men; they could go to the courts of justice, plead their own cases, and ask for the protection of the law. Those who have read the famous Hindu drama called Shakuntala, know that Shakuntala pleaded her own case and claimed her rights in the court of King Dushyanata. Similar instance are mentioned in the 10th book of the Rig Veda. As early as 2000 B.C. Hindu women were allowed to go to the battle fields to fight against enemies. Sarama, one of the most powerful women of her day, was sent by her husband in search of robbers. She discovered their hiding place and then destroyed them. (source: India And Her People - By Swami Abhedananda - p. 255-267). Women must be honored and adorned by their father, brothers, husbands, and brother-in-law who desire great good fortune. Where women, verily are honored, there the gods rejoice; where, however, they are not honored, there all sacred rites prove fruitless. Where the female relations live in grief -- that family soon perishes completely; where, however, they do not suffer from any grievance -- that family always prospers. .. Her father protects her in childhood, her husband protects her in youth, her sons protect her in old age. The father who does not give away his daughter in marriage at the proper time is censurable; censurable is the husband who does not approach his wife in due season; and after the husband is dead, the son, verily is censurable, who does not protect his mother. Even against the slightest provocations should women be particularly guarded; for unguarded they would bring grief to both the families. (My own understanding is that protection is also a form of service.)
  9. Well, it is always nice to be part of the community you're living in, and being part means also helping those in need. There are so many things one can do (apart from the obvious ones of giving out books/knowledge and prasadam). Helping to clean up the local river is one. Taking part in keeping the streets clean of litter is another. People will feel warm toward us if they see that we like helping others.
  10. "Krishna, that blue God". well, at least they are chanting Krishna's name, and that's a good thing. Besides, Krishna is blue and He is God. so there is ultimately no offence - Mother Sarasvati seems to be turning their offences into glorification
  11. I was reading a book called Pencil Dancing, when the following caught my eye: Ordering someone to be spontaneous is a bit like yelling at someone to relax.
  12. There are several "bona fide" ways to deal with anger and insults: kill the offender (a bit extreme), philosophically conquer the offender (that is, if you're smart enough to do it), or walk away from the offender (the method I usually adopt).
  13. The biggest recognized number. (of course, numbers go on and on unlimitedly, but google is the largest "they" have named)
  14. I don't think so. He expanded Himself to be with each of them simultaneously. He acted slightly differently with each of them, as They were all individuals, but he had the same, dashingly handsome looks. What to speak of 16,000, He could marry even 16 googles.
  15. "watch television, act like sentimentalists, or are uncultured in so many other ways. To me, this is really embarassing in our sampradaaya, especially when it is seen by non-Vaishnava Hindus." As if "non-Vaishnava Hindus" didn't watch TV, or act like sentimentalists every now and then. Duh. Anyway, I undertsnad that you wish to learn from devotees who are more advanced than you and can guide you. Association is very important. You could also consider temples in Europe. I heard that the devotees in Russia are very fixed up. Or what about India? So many Indian gentleman come to the US and then find it difficult to cope with the fact that the society is so materialistic. Yet, they came to the States with material motives in the first place (ie. to make money). Unless one is preaching, there is really no point in staying in America, the stalwart devotees (you are seeking) would tell you.
  16. Is freedom more important than happiness? Some people would say so. The black slaves in the American past might have had nice masters (well, some of them) but they still longed to be free. The main thing is, love cannot be forced. It HAS to grow out of freedom. If we were forced by Krishna to accept him, we would be like unhappy wives who do everything to their husband, but don't really love him. Anyway, this is off my point, but Gaurachandra: who wants to look like Cindy Crawford, anyway? She's got a mole on her face.
  17. If Lord intervened, then it wouldn't really be freedom. It would be something like fundamentalist Islam. Beauty of vaishnavism is that we are truly free. We acknowledge that we (yes, we - not Jesus or some profet) is responsible for our own actions. Of course, it is sad that the world is going in a bad way, but we do what we can. We do care about Mother Earth, and don't claim that it is all an illusion, yet at the same time our goal is our home, the spiritual world. We quest for the perfect world because we come from the perfect world.
  18. Sarasvati


    In former ages, the guru would see if the disciple possessed the potential to become a qualified brahmana, kshatriya or whatever. Nowadays, the guru (impersonal educational institution) will not accept such qualified student if he/she doesn't have enough money. Sure, scholarships exist, but a rich man's son gets in even if he is less qualified than the scholarship student.
  19. Sarasvati


    Yes, we want to serve Radha-Krishna, and that's all that should matter. Thank you.
  20. Sarasvati


    I read an article in Hinduism Today about an Indian priest who was in favour of by-birth system. But even he was ready to install Deities in Fiji and appoint some local non-brahmana-born people to become priests there. Those Fijian brahmanas would then start a brahmana-lineage in Fiji. It seems to me that in ancient times(and even nowadays in traditional Indian setting) the influence of the family was so strong that the children got nicely trained in their parents' varna. What we have to understand is that in modern setting (even in India or Fiji) children often choose a path very different from that of their parents. We have seen it happen in Iskcon. Also many brahminically inclined non-Iskcon parents (East-Indian) have seen their children turn to non-brahminical activities. Some long-standing ksatriya-families (such as the royal family of England)have given birth to people who would rather work in some other capacity, possessing neither desire nor skills to execute ksatriya's duties. This is how things go as Kali-yuga progresses. it is nice to discuss about things proper and non-proper, but one must not forget that we are living in a very different society than our foremothers and -fathers.
  21. Sorry, the link correctly here: http://inet-rendezvous.com/MGNOC/para.html#KARMA
  22. You can buy them for your motorbike. I think it's funny and kind of cute. Check it out: http://inet.rendezvous.com/MGNOC/para.html#KARMA
  23. Sounds from the deep baffle scientists Mysterious giant beasts may lurk in the darkest depths of the ocean, making whale-like noises that are baffling scientists. Researchers have nicknamed the strange unidentified sound picked up by undersea microphones "Bloop". While it bears the varying frequency hallmark of marine animals, it is far more powerful than the calls made by any creature known on Earth. In 1997, Bloop was detected by sensors up to 3,000 miles apart, New Scientist magazine reports. One suggestion is that the sound is coming from giant squid, which live at extreme depths of up to two and a half miles. However Phil Lobel, a marine biologist at Boston University in Massachusetts, US, doubts that giant squid are the source of Bloop. "Cephalopods have no gas-filled sac, so they have no way to make that type of noise," he said. "Though you can never rule anything out completely, I doubt it." The system picking up Bloop and other strange noises from the deep is a military relic of the Cold War. In the 1960s the US Navy set up an array of underwater microphones, or hydrophones, around the globe to track Soviet submarines. The listening stations lie at a depth where sound waves become trapped in a layer of water known as the "deep sound channel". Here temperature and pressure cause sound waves to keep travelling without being scattered. Scientists believe most very low frequency noises - given names such as Train, Whistle, Slowdown and Upsweep - can be explained by ocean currents, volcanic activity , or the movement of Antarctic ice. But Bloop remains a tantalising mystery. Story filed: 03:47 Thursday 13th June 2002 2002 Ananova Ltd Terms and conditions of use - Privacy policy - Corrections
  24. As I mentioned, the story of Rati's and Pradyumna's meeting again is told in the Krishna book - available in any Hare Krishna temple. Rati has taken birth as a woman on earth, and is working in a kitchen of a demon. A fish has swallowed Pradyumna (Kamadev appearing as the baby-son of Krishna and Rukmini). The fish finds its way to the demon's kitchen, and as the cook opens it, the baby comes out. Rati agrees to take care of him. Very quickly, he grows into a man, and is surprised when Rati shows her amorous love toward him. she explains that she is not really his mother but wife. He had to take birth on Earth, and she wanted to follow him. For deeper meaning of the story, and for more spiritual explanation, I would recommend the book itself. As for Rati disturbing Buddha - could she be a symbolic representation of love called rati. Someone more well-versed in Sanskrit can tell exactly what kind of love the word rati refers to - affection, deep attachment, infatuation, of what. I have The Puranic Encyclopedia. When I get a little more time, I'll check out more details/stories for you.
  25. Krishna book, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: chapter 55/ Pradyumna Born to Krishna and Rukmini. Rati is the consort of Pradyumna (Kamadev).
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