last updated  25th December 2008

Kazakhstani online petition

Kazakhstani online petition

By Radha Mohan Dasa

Please visit NOW and click the link to the new petition, or go straight to the petition webpage:

Please sign it soon as you can, and please tell as many people as you can about it.

Background: Workers and police arrived on 15th June at the village near Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the embattled Hare Krishna commune is based to demolish twelve more Hare Krishna-owned homes. “The houses were literally crushed into dust. By ten o’clock it was all over,” said ISKCON spokesperson Maksim Varfolomeyev.

The temple, which the devotees have been ordered to destroy, has not been touched but the devotees fear it could be the next target. Human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis is outraged at the continuing destruction. “The authorities are showing that they will do what they want, despite the international outrage at the earlier demolitions of Hare Krishna-owned homes.” He believes the local administration chief “doesn’t care about the political damage to Kazakhstan’s reputation – or to its desire to chair the OSCE.”

ys Radha Mohan das

Kazakh government withdraws the claim for demolition of the only Temple of the Krishna Society in Kazakhstan

by BB Govinda Swami

December 1, 2008

Press Release

Society for Krishna Consciousness

Kazakh government withdraws the claim for demolition of the only Temple of the Krishna Society in Kazakhstan.

On December 1, 2008 the Karasai district court Judge Shakirov informed the directors of the Krishna Society that the Karasai government had withdrawn its claim to invalidate the purpose of usage and demolition of the Temple and barn at the Krishna community in Kazakhstan.

From the beginning of the case the Kazakh government failed to produce documentation requested by the court and the Krishna Society. Judge Shakirov expressed that he did not wish to rule on this case and openly requested the Karasai government to withdraw its case and establish an amicable settlement.

Independent observers from OSCE and the United Nations attended the hearings.

The Krishna Society now fears that the Kazakh government will develop a stronger case to complete the systematic destruction of the Krishna community in the Karasai District.

The directors of the Krishna Society met the deputy Hakim of Almaty province, S. Mukanov and requested to use the land that they legally purchased in 2004.

Mukanov replied, “Three hundred percent we will never allow you to stay there. Developers have already made their plans for the area.” He suggested searching for 5 hectares of alternative land in the Iliysk district of Almaty province.

Since 2005 court procedures by the Kazakh government have resulted in the demolition of 26 homes of Hindu practitioners of the Krishna Society as well as the confiscation of the Society’s 116 acre scenic property on the edge of Almaty city.

The property was transferred to the national land reserve, for the purpose of resale, without any compensation given to the Society.

The Krishna Society is registered at the address of their Temple. The forced eviction of the Society from this property would most likely result in the loss of the legal registration of the Society.

The conflict surrounding the Krishna Society is an example of the Kazakh governments will and intent in honoring its commitments to OSCE standards of freedom of religion and belief in light of its OSCE Chairmanship in 2010.

Press service of the RO Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan,

Telephone +7 7272 969719,

Fax +7 7277134287

Mobile +7 701 7407943

By BB Govinda Swami

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This is a short letter to express my thanks for your response in sending letters to Kazakh Embassies and the Kazakh President’s Administration. Your efforts have seemed to slow the Kazakh government from another quick round of ruthless behaviour.

There have been 3 court hearings now regarding the demolition of the exisiting temple building and barn. From the evidence presented it appears that the government may have to withdraw it’s claim.

The next hearing is next Monday.

We have also been contacted from the government that they are willing to offer us something other than the garbage dump. Our society directors are looking at these sites today.

I am including a link to a report that was published on Al Jazeera.

We again thank you for you continuing prayers, support, and response to requests for letters and faxes.

I will keep you posted on any developments.

With affectionate regards.

Your servant,

BB Govinda Swami

Hare Krishna in Kazakstan:
Kazak Edition of Bhagavad-gita presented to Srila Prabhupada.
This is now the 55th language in which Bhagavad-gita has been printed.

Read HERE how the original issue began in Kazakstan

Read HERE what the previous articles from November 2006 were

Iskcon Kazakstan



Star of wonder

Star of wonder

By Rebecca Ellis

A comet, an eclipse, a supernova, an alignment of planets - was the Star of Bethlehem, said to have led the wise men to the Baby Jesus, a real astronomical event?

Some 2,000 years ago, wise men saw an incredible star shining over the Holy Land. It was their signal to embark on an epic journey to visit the new Messiah. But what exactly was the Star of Bethlehem?

Modern science is unravelling the mystery behind one of the most famous astronomical stories in history. New developments in technology allow astronomers to map the ancient night skies with extraordinary accuracy.

As they study the movements of the planets and stars, experts are challenging the traditional assumption that it was a blazing comet - instead there are several unusual astronomical events that the wise men could have seen in the skies.

The Bible tells us remarkably little about the star, with only the Gospel of St Matthew mentioning it. He records the wise men asking: "Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him."

No date or detailed description is given. Even the identity of the men is obscure. Rather than the kings of popular imagination, the wise men are thought to have been priests from Persia, known as Magi. Keen astrologers who looked to the stars for guidance, the Magi combined science with faith to predict the birth of a new Messiah.

So what prompted them to travel to Bethlehem? Most experts agree Jesus was born in 4BC or earlier, as King Herod, who ruled over Judea at the time, is recorded as dying in 4BC. Now astronomers have identified four celestial events in this period that could have been the Star of Bethlehem.


An ancient clay tablet, now in the British Museum, is a key part of one theory which says the star was a rare series of planetary meetings, known as a triple conjunction.

This happened between Jupiter and Saturn and occurred in the night sky in 7BC, says Dr David Hughes, emeritus professor of astronomy at the University of Sheffield.

Jupiter, the royal star, and Saturn came together three times over several months. Significantly, this happened during the constellation of Pisces, a sign associated with Israel.

There is evidence on the clay tablet that Persian astronomers predicted this. The tablet calculates solar, lunar and planetary activity for that year, and describes the conjunctions.


A 2,000-year-old coin, minted north of Judea, is part of the evidence behind another theory. Dr Mike Molnar of Rutgers University, New Jersey, believes the star could have been an occultation, or eclipse, of the moon with Jupiter on 17 April 6BC.

He argues the Magi saw the star in the constellation of Aries, not Pisces. The coin depicts Aries the ram leaping across the sky and looking back at a star.

According to astrological texts from the time, Aries ruled over Judea, with Jerusalem as the capital of the Near East, making it the sign of the Jews.

Dr Molnar believes the Magi saw this eclipse. Just before sunrise, Jupiter would have risen in the east, just as St Matthew describes their sighting of the Star. Then, as the moon passed directly between Earth and Jupiter, the kingmaker planet was hidden from view.


Some think the star could have been a much bigger celestial event. European Space Agency astronomer Dr Mark Kidger believes it would have taken more than unusual planetary movements to persuade such seasoned astronomical experts to travel to Judea.

The Magi could have seen a star entering its supernova phase, one of the most energetic and explosive events known to astronomers.

He has even identified a candidate - DO Aquilae - which erupted in 1927 and is likely to have erupted several times previously. If it had erupted 2,000 years ago, the Magi would have seen it just above the horizon, in the east.

He hopes radio telescopes in the future will be able to detect a faint bubble of expanding gas around Aquilae and calculate when exactly the bubble started to expand.


One theory has the most surprising twist. The date for celebrating Christmas was only fixed centuries after the event - and is questioned by many - but Texan law professor and astronomer Rick Larson believes Jesus really could have been born on 25 December. But on 25 December 2BC.

Unlike other astronomers, he has looked at later celestial events because he thinks the calculation of King Herod's death is inaccurate. The 4BC date is based on the writings of the historian Josephus, but every Josephus manuscript he has studied dating before 1544 is consistent with Herod having died in 1BC.

In 2BC Jupiter met up with one of the brightest stars in the sky, Regulus, known by the Magi as the "little king". Nine months later, Jupiter met Venus, known as the mother planet. These meetings would have been symbolically significant, as was the timescale involved.

The planets would have seemed so close they would have looked like one bright light in the sky. Professor Larson believes this light was what prompted the Magi to travel to the east. As they made their way, Jupiter continued to move across the sky until it appeared to stand still over Bethlehem.

Below is a selection of your comments.

Could anyone provide a simple text or explanation for young children? At school we have been looking out for the "Christmas Star" in the early evening and morning skies, but as a non-astronomer I don't really know how to explain it.
Catherine Vincer, Taunton, Somerset
Catherine, a lot of planetaria around the country will be running a Christmas Star show at the moment. There's a map of most sites in the UK at
Andy, Newcastle

Surely trying to find a factual explanation for a more than likely fictitious event is impossible. There are just as many interpretations for the story of the birth of Jesus as there are possibilities for notable cosmological events around the same time.
Mike Shawcross, London

Back in 2007 The Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend'. Even the heads of this religion don't believe a word of it. Nigel Martin, High Wycombe I think some of you need to brush up on your historical facts before making such bold statements. Anyway, if you take the viewpoint that God is real, which you must do in order to give this idea serious consideration rather than a passing thought, then you have to consider that God is all powerful by definition and can bring about events such as this in a manner that he chooses. From this viewpoint, He created science and can use it or he can "break the rules" and use supernatural methods ie angels etc. This being said, the reason why the star is not such a big issue and is merely mentioned in Matthew is because he is talking about the coming of the Messiah. At Christmas diner I will not spend much time noticing the sprouts but I will definitely relish the turkey.
Dave, High Wycombe

The star of Bethlehem was not any of the astronomical events listed here. It was a metaphor. Light is a common metaphor throughout the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and is almost universal in other religions too. We should not spend time searching for a historical event to explain this star; rather we should be contemplating what it means for a child born 2,000 years to be described as "the light of the world".
David Brown, London

Whatever the explanation for the star (and it's a question scientists could argue about for another 2000 years), the point is that this marked the arrival of God on earth in human form. The creator of the stars, planets and everything that exists had arrived in Bethlehem and He wasn't going to let that go unnoticed.
Julia, Birmingham

I thought that the more scholarly New Testament experts were generally agreed that the Nativity stories were made up out of whole cloth, so as to make ancient prophecies appear to be fulfilled. Moreover, if a star or planet is spotted in the east, it will be in the west a few hours later (unless it is only visible in the east just before dawn); and if the Magi came from the east, how could they have seen the star in the east and over
Tim Weakley, Dundee

One problem with working out what's meant by the passage in Matthew is the ambiguity of "in the east"; are the Magi in the east, or is the star? Persian Magi would have travelled west to Jerusalem, not east as Prof Larson's theory seems to require. And Aquilae is not (yet) a supernova, but has erupted as a nova (a different sort of event) several times - dating earlier novae is prohibitively difficult, though.
Alex Roberts, London, UK

A very appropriate signal from the Almighty, whatever the explanation.
Cdr David Aldrich, Exford, Somerset, UK

Interesting, but in the story of Jesus this was no ordinary star - it doesn't stay on high, but moves as a guide and comes to rest very near the infant Jesus (Matthew 2.9-10). In the NRSV translation it says "until it stopped". This links onto how the ancients and Jews viewed stars. The ancients believed stars to be animate beings and the Jews identified them with angels (look at Job 38.7). The prominent Greek medieval theologian Theophylact and the New Testament Apocryphal book the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy must be right in identifying the star with an angel, and you can compare this with the angelic guide of the Exodus (Ex 23.20,23, 32.34). The star was about confirming who Jesus was. Of course it depends on what you believe in as to whether you take this view. Ultimately though looking for a scientific explanation misses Matthew's point.
Mike Lowe, Burton on Trent

Since the story of the wise men is only mentioned in Matthew's gospel, which itself was not written until several decades after the time of Jesus, probably not even by Matthew, then why consider the story of the wise men to be at all reliable? A lot more needs to be explained than just the nature of the "star" - how they knew to go to Bethlehem, for instance, when Jerusalem would surely have been the more obvious target, and how they precisely located Jesus within that town. The most probable explanation is surely that this story is not true and was added later by Christian writers to support their case that Jesus was divine - after all, it wouldn't be the first instance where a story in the Bible has been exaggerated.
Peter, London

Another interesting possibility is a metaphysical explanation. When working with the energy system, known as the chakra system, one of the energy centres is known as the Christ centre, and this is felt on the forehead. When meditating on this energy point , a bright star of energy can be perceived and this fills you with joy and bliss. Reference to this has been around for several thousand years in the Hindu tradition. The wise men of the east followed their intuition or spiritual guidance to find Christ. The Star of the East is a synonym for the Christ energy point, something we all have access to within ourselves.
Cam, Congleton, UK

More likely the "star" was an invention of second century Christians to make their myths more closely follow Old Testament prophecies.
Paul Williams, London

Science cannot answer this. The star was not a naturally occurring heavenly body as the Bible clearly states that the star led the astrologers first to King Herod and then to Jesus, after Herod claimed he too wanted to worship the Christ. A naturally occurring celestial body would not stop above a specific location to identify the whereabouts of Jesus. The star also put the life of Jesus in jeopardy by its first leading the Magi to Herod who wanted to kill the Messiah who he saw as a threat to his reign. The result of this chain of events resulted in the murder of all male children in Bethlehem. Logically the origin of the "star" was evil and supernatural. If this was a naturally occurring event God would surely have foreseen it and would not have allowed the life of his son to be endangered by its presence.
Chris, Nottingham, UK

The "great northern star" is the star Sirius that appears to follow the sun (Jesus) at that time of year if you live in that part of the world. The 12 disciples represent the 12 signs of the zodiac and the reference to fishes is a reference to the movement into Pisces which according to the calendar was when the story of Christ came about. All religion is merely interpretation of astrological events. So the story of Christ did happen but only when you realise it was just the stars. No real man ever existed all historical evidence of the time proves this.

Sam, this is slightly incorrect as there is a wealth of supporting evidence for an individual called Jesus being alive and active at this time. Whether the star was a supernova, conjunction of planets or early alien spaceship it is hard to tell. One must look at the source of the original "story" and decide whether it can be verified at all
Jenny, Southampton

The great north star is not Sirius, but Polaris. Sirius is much brighter than Polaris and is often mistaken for the North Star, as people assume the North Star is the brightest. Which can be quite embarrassing if you're navigating by it as I don't think its ascension/declination ever approach that of Polaris.
David, Highworth

If we start going down the route of "metaphysics" and metaphors (Sun = Jesus?) then why discuss the physical possibilities of the Star at all? You have to accept that there is some historical accuracy in the New Testament otherwise why enter into the debate? I think the historical accuracy of the New Testament DOES stand up to scrutiny, otherwise all the atheists and other sceptics would have torn it apart by now, but they can't. So, what was the nature of the Star? Well, I think any one of the scientific explanations sounds good to me.
John Baharie, Sunderland

I am a Shia Muslim. I believer Jesus was born on 25th day of 11th month of the lunar calendar. We celebrated his birth last month. I think when you calculate it back, you get the date of Jesus' birth accurately. As to the star, it was Angel Gabriel coming down to Earth.
Ali, Manchester, UK

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/12/23 09:27:25 GMT


Students to be taught there's no God

From the Rupert Murdoch tabloid/news site:,27574,24797483-421,00.html

VICTORIAN state primary school students will soon be able to take religious education classes which teach there is no evidence God exists.
The Humanist Society of Victoria has developed a curriculum for primary pupils that the state government accreditation body says it intends to approve, The Sunday Age newspaper reported.

Accredited volunteers will be able to teach their philosophy in the class time allotted for religious instruction, the newspaper said.

As with lessons delivered by faith groups, parents will be able to request that their children do not participate.

"Atheistical parents will be pleased to hear that humanistic courses of ethics will soon be available in some state schools," Victorian Humanist Society president Stephen Stuart said.

The society does not consider itself to be a religious organisation and believes ethics have "no necessary connection with religion".

Humanists believe people are responsible for their own destiny and reject the notion of a supernatural force or God.

Music Therapy Gaining Ground in India

In a lecture Saturday, Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas of the Institute of Neurological Sciences said that India is starting to catch up with the West in the use of music for healing. He recommended establishing a music therapy clinic at every major hospital, though he cautioned against regarding it as a panacea. Dr. Srinivas drew from Western studies as well as his own research on neurology patients to reinforce the clinical utility of music. An interesting development is that although speech is commonly thought to represent the highest form of human expression, some neuroscientists are starting to think that silence may be a few levels higher as far as brainwaves as concerned.

For the full article, click the “Source” link above.

courtesy of Hinduism Today

Sacred Prayer Beads, A Common Denominator of Many Faiths

But few Hindus know that the use of prayer beads is common among various religious traditions, often as a means to keep count while reciting specific prayers. Buddhists use juzu beads, Muslims pray with misbaha beads and Roman Catholics recite prayers with rosary beads.

courtesy of Hinduism Today

Utah Governor Keeps Lights On For Diwali

UTAH, USA, November 7, 2008: The smells of paneer pakora and stuffed okra filled the Governor’s Mansion on Friday night as Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. invited many from Utah’s Indian community to celebrate Diwali with him and his family. It all happens because two years ago, the Huntsmans adopted a daughter, Asha, from India. He told the crowd gathered that he was proud to welcome the Indian community into the “house of the people.”

“In Hinduism, there is something beyond the physical body,” Huntsman told the crowd of about 125 seated around tables in the mansion’s ballroom. “Just as we celebrate the birth of the body, tonight, we celebrate the inner goodness of humanity.” This is the fourth year Huntsman has held a Diwali celebration in the mansion.

For Anima Varma, who lives in Ogden, the event was recognition of her cultural community. “This sets a very good example for our community, and it helps young kids get interested in participating,” she said. “It makes us feel, as minorities, that we belong in the community.” she said. Caru Das, a priest at (Iskcon's) Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, chanted part of the ritual blessing for the goddess Lakshmi and translated religious verses into English. He also led the group in a chant of “Om shanti,” which is meant to bring peace.

courtesy of Hinduism Today

The Young Long For A Spiritual Life, But Wonder How

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, November 16, 2008: A new survey in the United States finds that 55 percent of young people ages 12 to 25 say they are more spiritual now than two years ago. But nearly one-third of them said they don’t trust organized religion.

The survey, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, was conducted by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute. The first question was, “What does it mean to be spiritual?” There were nine choices, running from “believing in God” to “being true to one’s inner self.”

The good news for faith communities is that 93 percent of the young people surveyed believe there is a spiritual aspect to life. But the disconnect between spirituality and religion was clear. If the youth don’t feel spiritual in church, where do they? “Spending time in nature” topped the list of responses. “Listening to or playing music” was No. 2, and “helping other people or the community” was third. On the rise in the youth’s list are yoga and meditation, say the researchers. “Attending religious services” was ninth.

courtesy of Hinduism Today

India Facinates Europe’ Royalty

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, November 15, 2008:  It seems like there’s India fever with royals lately. Belgium’s King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium just got back from a 10 day tour of the country. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden also spent nearly two weeks there last month.

King Albert II, in his visit, made a point of meeting and honoring religious components of the country. With his wife, Queen Paola, the sovereign started by visiting a Hindu temple, where they received a tilak and garlands of flowers. They have also visited a Sikh temple, a Muslim masjid and a Jain temple.

Another European royal celebrated Indian culture this week, this time in her own country. Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands launched the Amsterdam-India festival on Wednesday, a two week event in Amsterdam. Until November 30th, the Amsterdam-India Festival will hold concerts, exhibitions and seminars to celebrate India’s unique culture. The event also includes world class dancers, musicians, photography, fashion, art and architecture. To know more about the Amsterdam India Festival, go to

courtesy of Hinduism Today

Indian Congressman Says Hanuman Helped Obama

NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 5, 2008: Indian congressman Brij Mohan Bhama credits Barack Obama’s election to Lord Hanuman. “It was the magic of Pawanputra Hanuman that did it all,” asserts a convinced Bhama, who is also an Obama fan. “It is the triumph of Lord Hanuman on the soils of America.” The president-elect of the US said earlier this year that he carries a “Monkey God” talisman.

In July this year, Bhama created waves of excitement when he organized a special puja by 12 priests at the Sankat Mochan Dham on Pusa Road for Obama’s victory. At the time, Obama was sent a two-foot high, gold-plated Deity of Hanuman.

courtesy of Hinduism Today

The power of the Holy Name

svasty astu vishvasya khalah prasidatäm
dhyäyantu bhütäni shivam mitho dhiyä
manash cha bhadram bhajatäd adhokshaje
aveshyatäm no matir apy ahaituki

"May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 5:18:9.)

Read more on Chanting Hare Krishna HERE:

K.C. in IRAQ

Please go visit and look for the two lectures by HG Partha Sarathi dasa, preaching in Iraq.

I think that you will find them very nectarean and inspiring.

Different strokes for different folks
18 December 2008

Here’s an interesting (to put it mildly) follow up on my posting about recognising strokes and taking early action.

This one is from Sriman Jayatirtha Caran prabhu (JTC) in NZ. He’s an expert purohit (priest) and runs the website

This is JTC conducting the pujas for the opening of the new Sri Sri Radha Giridhari temple, Bhakti Bhavan, in Auckland January 2004. As you can see, he’s a man of substance:

From JTC:

pamho., agtsp., agtsg&g.,

Thought you might like this after reading your thing on strokes, and yeah I did all those tests that you said.

About (Friday)(three weeks  ago now) I was doing the Salagram puja and pondered over how it would be nice if we could relieve Jayapataka swami of his stroke effects and restore him to good health much the same way as Vasudev Datta took the suffering of the people, obviouly a nice sentiment but way too much for an aspiring devotee like me rather than Vasudev Datta.

That day I had a cardiologist appointment at Tauranga hospital, and he was really pleased at my progress since the heart attack in March. The ECG was good, blood pressure was 136 over 85, kidney function was good, they did a diabetes check at the hospital also it was 7.9 which they said was good too. Now they are booking an appointment in a TIA clinic and CT scan later in the week to see if there is some blockage in the neck arteries which they say they may be able to fix in that be the case. Meantime I’d still been drinking Fenugreek tea morning noon and night hoping it will help clean the cobwebs out……

Then on the Monday I was out in the Lord’s garden trimming the edges with the whipper snipper and my wife called me and I went to answer and the words were muddled in my head to reply, and I struggled like anything to finally slur the words out, and she noticed a full right side facial droop. We called an ambulance and off I went to hospital where I was admitted for tests.

It was only a mild stroke and everything returned to normal (almost - face was a bit numb and droopy) I had all sorts of tests; brain scans CT scans, ECG and ultra sound. They couldn’t do an MRI as the contrast affects kidney function and as I have a blocked kidney artery and as such am running on one kidney it was best not to.

Anyway…..feeling somewhat purified and relieved of some parabdha karmas I’ve just got out of hospital where I’ve been for nearly two weeks. I have just undergone an experience of a lifetime; an operation on my Carotid (carota) arteries to remove a 76% occulation (blockage). After about 25 T.I.A’s (Transient Ischaemic Attack) in a short space of time, it was deemed necessary that I undergo the surgical operation ASAP. Most of the TIA strokes affected my right side so as there’s a cross over it meant the left side of the brain was being affected so that’s the side they focused on, by now I had facial droops on both sides of the face and most of the face was either paralysed or numb, and my right eye had difficulty opening. As well as that my right arm was heavy and weak, and the fingers of my left hand were numb and cold. My surgeon; Mr Mark Morgan, specialises in operating with patients who are under local anaesthetics ­ Yes. It means I was awake the whole time while they cut my throat and cleaned out the Carota artery in my neck. Which was a 5 hour operation.

Believe me.I’ve seen some horror movies, but this was the best one to date, and hey I was in the leading role.

The operation was scheduled for 07:30 am and then 09:30am, but at the last minute ­ another two operations were done. I took it that Krsna had a plan. Actually, it helped me just that little more to accept that I was going to be fully awake and conscious while someone was cutting my throat and operating on me and to mentally prepare for it by reading Bhagavad Gita and reflecting on the nature of the body and the nature of the soul. I was invited to sign the consent forms agreeing to allow the operation to go ahead and that I understood by doing so I accepted that there were going to be risks of stroke, deformity, heart attack or even death during the Op. Having done all that and surrendering my self into Krsna’s hands, they took me into the operating theatre and “prepared” me (which too a little over half an hour); then the fun began. On the consent form it said I could withdraw at any time but realistically if I didn’t have the operation it was just a matter of time until a massive stroke arrived, as the TIA’s were considered “Crescendo TIA” meaning leading to the big one and they gave me a 60% chance of this happening within the month, the risk factor for me for the op’ they said was about 3 ­ 4%, so really there was no choice.

I was put on an IV drip, and an Arterial drip (which hurts like they were drilling for oil) in each arm, blood pressure monitors and ECG pads stuck on my chest, and then a series of needles injected all around my throat and neck, and one HORRENDOUS injection where the anaesthetist said “Close yours eyes and open your mouth, you won’t want to see what I have to do now” and proceeded to force a monster needle into my mouth (with the help of two others holding my head in place). I lost count after 30 injections despite remaining awake to answer their questions; to count from 1 ­ 10 backwards and forwards and even in Hindi to keep me cognizant and to test my speech for possible impairment or the tongue becoming deformed, or arms and legs not working etc.

They asked about my priesthood, and about Krsna Consciousness, hahaha they ended up with my life story; my favourite uncle telling me tales of India as a small boy, my both grandfathers in the British Raj, my grandmother’s house in the East End of London with all the Indian artefacts, my love for my uncles stories and how it lead me to run of to India at 16-17 years old to the surprise of my parents, my searching for happiness as a hippy and eventual finding Krishna consciousness, how by the Lord’s mercy I met my wife and how we moved to India and Australia and eventually New Zealand and some of our services done there, articles and books I’ve written, web-sites created, we talked of so many things ­ For them it may have been routine as part of the procedure to see how my body was reacting, but for me it gave me the opportunity to preach KC for 4½ hours, while they operated on my arteries and neck with the clacking of metal instruments, electric buzzing saws, the call for “local” when they hit a sore spot…. A few times toward the end I was getting tired and drifted off with all the medications being pumped into my body, but as they wanted me awake and aware, they constantly helped me through. A very interesting experience believe me, and a good lesson in detachment from the body and dependency upon the Lord and His Holy name which when I wasn’t preaching was whispered under my breath constantly.

In The operating theatre, I said to Mr Mark Morgan “I’m accepting your skill as God given and that in that way you and your team are representing and acting as instruments of the Lord for me” He said “I’m humbled, Thank You for that, and I will do my best.” The whole team knew that I was a Devotee and were very respectful and courteous toward me. Afterward a couple of the team came to see me in ICU one in particular said it was the most interesting operation he’d encountered. I am convinced that Krishna will look after each and every one of them and further engage him in His loving service.

As we chatted and with my neck wide open, I thought to ask if someone could take a couple of pictures (I hope to get them soon from them). The team were so accommodating. I expected them to take photos with a cell phone, as I suggested, but one of the theatre staff ran off and got a digital camera.

Apparently the operation went well. They showed me three pieces of rubber like cholesterol/plaque ­ each an inch long and ¼ inch thick that were responsible for blocking my carotid artery ­ the ripened fruit of years and years of ghee and oil, curd steaks and all of rich fatty food stuffs.

From the theatre, I was taken to “recovery” before being taken to ICU (Intensive Care Unit) where I spent the night under the watchful care of some of the most amazing and caring nurses I’ve ever encountered. Actually all the doctors and nurses looked after me with great care and respect.

I’m still recovering as the wound heals leaving a five inch scar from ear to throat much like Jayapataka maharaj’s one from the knife attack. I’m expecting to have the staples taken out on Friday if all is well with the healing progress which it seems to be. I hope its not taken as my imitating him, but still isn’t that a form of flattery too hahaha

My wife has been doing the puja up until today, as I’m more or less strong enough to continue again, taking it easy….. I was still praying intensely to the Salagram, Govardhan sila and Dwarka sila that I took to hospital with me for maharaj’s speedy recovery and am continuing to do so.

2008 has been an interesting year eh, lots of excitement and holidays away from home.

Trusting this finds you well in every respect, have a great 2008 and a great 522 Gaurabda

(Sakabda 1928-1929 - Khristabda (A.D.) 2008-2009
- Vikram Samvat 2064 and 1415 of the Bangla Era. - 5111 th year of Kali yuga - so yeah, Happy New Year  )

I beg to remain, yours in the humble service of the Lord and His devotees.

Shubh dinam astu or Have a Nice Day

Shri Krishna-BalarAmArpanamAstu - in the service of Their Lordships, Shri Shri Krishna & Balaram

Shri Shri Radhika Raman arpanamAstu

Shri Swayamvyakta-Shaligram-silas arpanamAstu

ys, JTCd (Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa)
* Purohit JAya Tirtha ChAran dAsan
svasty astu vishvasya khalah prasidatäm
dhyäyantu bhütäni shivam mitho dhiyä
manash cha bhadram bhajatäd adhokshaje
aveshyatäm no matir apy ahaituki

“May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.”
(Srimad Bhagavatam 5:18:9.)

Vatican Solar Panels Installed

CathNews on 8 Nov 2008

As Pope Benedict again called on young people to defend nature from a "correct ecological perspective", the first solar panels have been installed on the Paul VI auditorium at the Vatican.

BBC News reports Pope Benedict has become the first pontiff to harness solar power to provide energy for the Vatican.

Roof tiles on the Paul VI auditorium, used in poor weather for the Pope's weekly audience with pilgrims, are being replaced by 2,700 solar panels.

The photovoltaic cells will convert sunlight into electricity, generating enough power to light, heat or cool the 6,000 seat hall, engineers say.

Working beneath a brilliantly clear Roman sky on Monday, a group of engineers in yellow T-shirts positioned the dark cells on the auditorium's roof.

The solar panels are replacing deteriorating cement roof tiles.

Andre Koekenhoff, one of the workers, said the initiative was an attempt to make the Vatican "a little bit greener".

"With this plant, if it is working, in about two weeks we avoid 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and this is the equivalent to 70 tonnes of oil," he told the Associated Press news agency.

When the hall is not in use, the surplus energy produced will reportedly be fed into the Vatican's power network.

The Paul VI auditorium was designed by architect Pier Luigi Nervi and built in 1969, but the cement panels on its roof were deteriorating and it was decided last year to replace them with solar panels.

The panels, reportedly worth $1.5m, were donated as a gift to the German born Pope by a Bonn-based company, Solar World, AP reported.

Vatican Climate Forest
Meanwhile, L'Osservatore Romano reports the first saplings of the Vatican Climate Forest, a reforestation project to offset the Vatican's carbon dioxide emissions, will be planted in November, Catholic News Service notes.

The US based Planktos Inc and its Hungarian partner, KlimaFa Ltd, are restoring more than 600 acres of forests in Hungary along the Tisza River to offset emissions of carbon dioxide, or CO2.

The two companies earn money by selling greenhouse gas mitigation credits to individuals and businesses. Whatever carbon dioxide emissions an individual or company cannot eliminate can be offset by planting trees or buying the carbon mitigation credits of a company that plants trees or takes other action to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Planktos and KlimaFa announced in 2007 that they would donate to the Vatican enough mitigation credits to offset the Vatican's annual CO2 production, estimated at 10,000 tons.

The monetary value of the gift is almost $250,000, said L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

The paper reported on September 28 that the planting of 125,600 oak, white willow, black poplar and wild fruit trees would begin in November after the existing trees in the area have finished losing their leaves and before the ground begins to freeze.

A 20 year management project is planned for the forest, which will become a permanent part of the Hungarian national forest system, the newspaper said.

The project, the paper said, deals only with compensating for the greenhouse gases emitted by heating and cooling Vatican buildings and driving Vatican cars.

"To fight pollution effectively, therefore, other kinds of interventions are necessary to save energy, reduce harmful emissions and use renewable energy," the paper said.

Tourism must be environmental: Pope
And in a message for World Tourism Day 2008, Pope Benedict pointed out that humanity has the duty to protect the resources of creation and "to commit itself against the indiscriminate use of the goods of the earth", because "without adequate ethical and moral limits, human behaviour can become a threat and a challenge.

"Experience shows that the responsible administration of creation is part, or should be part, of a healthy and sustainable tourist economy", Pope Benedict added.

"It is therefore necessary, especially in the field of tourism which depends so heavily on nature, that everyone should seek a well-balanced management of our habitat, in what is our common home. ... Environmental degradation can be stopped only by spreading an appropriate culture which includes more sober lifestyles. ... Hence the importance of educating people to an 'ethic of responsibility'".

The Holy Father told his audience that the Church shared their commitment "to what is known as social tourism, which promotes the participation of the weaker sectors of society and thus can be an important tool in the fight against poverty, ... creating work, protecting resources and promoting equality". Social tourism "represents a reason for hope in a world where differences between those who have everything and those who suffer hunger, want and drought have become more accentuated."

Finally, the Pope called on young people "to support and practice ways of behaviour that help to appreciate and defend nature from a correct ecological perspective, as I highlighted on a number of occasions during World Youth Day in Sydney in July."

READ MORE on Environmental Issues HERE

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By Stephen Knapp (Srinandanandana dasa ACBSP)

The reason why I call it  "The Prison of Religion"  is that religion, when used improperly or  without the real essence of spiritual truth, can also be a way of confining  and restricting people of their understanding of the universe and themselves  through the use of fear, guilt, violence, and the oppression of anything that  shows a different view than what is being indoctrinated into society through a  particular religion. It has been the most militant of religions that has  suppressed the ancient avenues of reaching higher levels of understanding our  multidimensional nature. Thus, by mere blind faith in whatever the church or priests are  giving us, or allowing us to know, we are kept in a lower consciousness than  what is really possible. In this way, higher realms of thought, wisdom, love,  and knowledge are kept away from the masses. After all, knowledge is power,  which means your ignorance is my strength. To keep power over others, the church  has systematically abolished a wide range of spiritual and esoteric knowledge  that would, otherwise, give mankind the ultimate freedom. And because people who  understand their true spiritual nature and the power that lies within them  become impossible to manipulate, it is necessary to keep this knowledge hidden.  So the idea would be to keep the truly spiritual knowledge concealed while  creating and perpetuating a religion, or a standard of "science," that keeps  people bound by the above mentioned factors: fear, guilt, violence, and  intimidation.

To tread outside the accepted  jurisdiction of knowledge or understanding, or outside the rules of the  institution, will bring fear. Questioning the present system, or doubting its  effectiveness, or desiring to know more about God or whatever else you would  like to understand than what the church provides, will bring guilt, at least for  those who consider themselves dedicated followers. In this way, some churches or  religions have tried to make such ancient sciences as astrology, yoga,  meditation, or the deepest understandings of the soul, and much more, to look  evil or even absurd, and, thus, be dismissed, or preferably even outlawed. We need to understand and recognize this  pattern, which is used in numerous places in the world.

In this regard, reports  have been given about how huge libraries and collections of ancient and esoteric  books have been destroyed or were kept out of circulation from the public. This  indicates the methodical removal of various levels of spiritual and metaphysical  knowledge from society, while claiming that anything other than the established  doctrine of the church is satanic, evil, and hell-bound. The Christian  Inquisition, for example, was a wonderful method of producing this effect. Even  today we can see how some people are so influenced by this tyrannical tendency  that they still are afraid of looking at anything other than what the Church  condones. However, most of these people are totally unaware of the "pagan"  heritage found in Christianity or Judaism, which makes it very similar to  pre-Christian ways, but with a different name. It is practically the same  medicine yet in a different bottle. To remove this understanding from public  knowledge, it became necessary that whenever Christianity or other militant  religions conquered a country or culture, the first thing that was done was to  capture or destroy all of the ancient sacred texts. However, any organization  that destroys the ancient knowledge and historical records of a civilization is  never going to present the true history of the world, or the spiritual wisdom of  any previous culture. Thus, the view of history is controlled and the population  is kept in ignorance and under subtle restraint. And the people who are allowed  to understand any of the truth are those of the elite or who are already in  power.

By taking a look at the  history of the conventional or western religions, for example, a person can see  to what extent such an institution will go to maintain power and control,  especially when it feels threatened by what it does not understand. Furthermore,  the dark history of Christianity, for example, represents the fanatically  narrow-minded side of it that has continued to the present day in the form of  fundamentalists thinking that if a religion or culture is not Christian, then it  must be of the devil. Or at least its followers will not go to heaven. Such  people are often ready to dismiss or criticize other spiritual paths and  cultures without understanding them. They may see a ceremony or ritual of  another religion and immediately say it is heathen or devil worship, without  realizing that it is the worship of the same Supreme Being that they worship.

The point is that all people have to have the freedom to  find themselves to the fullest extent on whatever path it takes, providing it is  a bona fide or genuine path. So how do we make sure we can continue to have this  freedom? By understanding each other and different cultures of the world and the  various paths of self-discovery. And by recognizing the value that they have to  offer, as we find in the Eastern traditions, such as Sanatana-dharma. We must  also bury our preconceived prejudices that are based on our immature feelings of  superiority because, spiritually speaking, we are all the same. We just have to  attain that spiritual vision to see the reality of it. And the path we take to  do that is the only difference among us.

One problem with the  religions that primarily are based on belief and faith is that they can become  an effective means of manipulating the masses who follow it. If you can convince  people to believe that by doing something they can go to heaven, then you can  get them to do almost anything. For example, Pope Urban II implied to the  soldiers who were going out on the first crusade that if they died in the name  of Christ, they would ascend to heaven and live in the association of God. Thus,  they rode out to fearlessly and mercilessly conquer the "heathens" or  non-believers, and were willing to die to reach heaven.

This is the same effect we  see with the Palestinian youth, that if they die in the name of Islam they will  immediately go to the seventh level of heaven and take pleasure in wondrous  gardens in the company of beautiful virgins.

The more fantastic the heaven, the  more hope and conviction will be seen in the followers.

Another problem with this  is that the beliefs that are given to you to accept often change with time, or  according to the needs of the church to keep a congregation. As explained in an  issue of Newsweek magazine (August 12, 2002), the concept of heaven has changed  with the ages. "Dante saw heaven as the universe, and Thomas Aquinas thought of  it as a brilliant place, full of light and knowledge. In the 18th  century, Emanuel Swedenborg imagined heaven as a tangible world, with public  gardens and parks." Nowadays you can imagine heaven to be whatever you need it  to be. This gives impetus for you to do whatever you feel you should do for your  beliefs, and have it justified by your religion. However, in actuality, in the  Bible, the Koran, or Torah, there is little in the way of specific information  of where or what is heaven. And this leaves much for the imagination.

Another problem with  religious processes that rely mostly on faith and belief is that peer pressure  and the need for conformity and acceptance or approval stifles and restricts one's ability to develop or inquire to one's fullest. We often see children  tolerated for their deep and thoughtful questions on spiritual themes, while the  adults fear to reveal their ignorance of the topics or even stifle a child's  inquisitiveness, or anybody else's if they seem to ask too many questions. So  such religions act like self-policing institutions wherein individuals are not  encouraged to develop their own spiritual realizations or ask too many  questions, or show any doubts or uncertainties regarding the teachings. They are  encouraged to leave it up to faith and the dictates of the institution. They are  told that we are not meant to know certain things, and that faith alone in a  particular savior or the power of the church is enough to take you to heaven.  But if you lack faith or question it, or do not follow the dictates of the  church or scripture, you will not go to heaven. You will not receive God's  grace. Thus, you must look good in the eyes of the church authorities and your  fellow members or there will be no room for you, and, thus, you will be sent to  hell.

The second kind of fear is  the fear that you may be wrong, or the church and its doctrines may be wrong, or  there may be weaknesses in its philosophy. So people become defensive of their  beliefs, defending it like life itself.

Thus, they condemn and criticize those  who are of other religions without trying to understand them. Sometimes you can  observe this amongst the sects in the same religion. We already see so many  divisions within Christianity, as well as Islam and Judaism. And each one often  feels they are the only ones that are true followers of Jesus or Mohammed, and  all others are going to hell. So it can become extremely divisive even within  the same faith.  In fact, some people of  particular religions may feel it is their God-given mandate that when someone is  a so-called non-believer, he should be converted and "œsaved" at whatever cost,  and then deprived of any freedom to follow an alternative view. A person in  another religion may brand "nonbelievers" as infidels, and thus feel it is his  duty to convert, destroy, or even kill such a person. In either case, they may  use coercion, manipulation, or simply take advantage of poor and vulnerable  people to bring them over to their faith. And in both cases, the people of these  religions feel they are doing God's work, and that they are justified in what  they do.

The premise that all  spiritual knowledge must be connected with one distinct or localized savior is  itself a stifling factor in allowing individuals to progress in spiritual  understanding. There is so much more that could be learned if they did not feel  that if something is not connected with their particular savior or scripture,  then it must be Satanic. In this way, if it is not in the Bible or Koran, for  example, they refuse to acknowledge the value of any additional spiritual  knowledge if it comes from a different culture or source. Thus, they act with  fear or contempt toward anything outside their own sphere of familiarity or  acceptability, or like people who are proud of their own ignorance and  narrow-mindedness.

The straightjacket of  Western theological dogma keeps a person from looking at additional resources  that could supply answers for questions not considered in western thought, or at  possibilities that are elementary in Eastern traditions. What is wrong with  learning newer ways of connecting with our higher selves, and with each other  and with God? What is wrong with allowing our hearts and minds to expand with  new vibrancy, new insights and confidence? Why not allow ourselves new hope and  understanding in regard to the purpose of the universe and the nature of God,  even if we look to different sources of knowledge? Who knows what additional  information we can add to what we already know, or newer ways to incorporate and  develop ourselves into people who are better and more aware and spiritually  developed. This is natural for those who participate in the Vedic system.

In light of this it is interesting to point out that in 1991 a letter was  released from the Vatican to the Bishops  which criticized zen and such spiritual practices as yoga and meditation. The  letter was written by Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now the Pope at the  time of this writing, but the document was also approved by Pope John Paul II.  The letter warned against the sensations of spiritual well-being that one gets  from practicing yoga or meditation, and said that this could lead to  schizophrenia, moral deviations, or even psychic disorders, and degenerate to a  cult of the body. Now on what basis do they make these claims? Are they simply  using fear tactics to dissuade people from investigating such paths? Of course,  if one improperly practices a complicated form of yoga, such as  kundalini-yoga, there may be some adverse affects without proper  training. But for the most part, yoga and real transcendental meditation means  to fix the mind and become absorbed, at least for certain lengths of time, on  that which is transcendent, which is God. This is real spirituality. So what is  wrong with this when this is the goal of any spiritual path?

Why would they  issue such a letter, unless they are once again simply trying to condemn every  other form of religion? If this is the case, this signifies that they are not  really interested in true spirituality or in helping people with spiritual  advancement. Yoga and meditation have existed for thousands of years before  Christianity ever came along. Why should people not look at other cultures to  get answers and experiences that are not found in conventional Western  religions? The reluctance to do so is merely a reflection of the fear and  misunderstanding that people have. Nonetheless, many Christians have risen to  new levels of understanding biblical teachings by studying and practicing  various aspects of the Vedic path.

We have to remember that a  true religion paves the way for everyone to become spiritually aware, and to  establish his or her own relationship with the Supreme. And the Vedic system is  an ideal means for supplying that. If a religion is not based on the higher  principles of self-realization, but is merely based on dogmatic rules and  regulations that it forces on others, then it becomes a trap based on fear,  guilt, oppression, and intimidation. One must not be afraid to break free from  such a trap. It is greater to see God's love manifested in many sages belonging  to different traditions at different times and places, among different people.  Thus, the Vedic spiritual knowledge is for everyone and can assist anyone in  their spiritual development. After all, if I, a Westerner can do it, then anyone  can do it.


It is refreshing to see  that you usually do not have the kind of divisiveness or criticism that is  described above in the Vedic system. It is much more open and provides  the individual the freedom to pursue the level of experience that he or she  needs for his or her own development and still be a part of the Vedic process.  You can especially see this at such huge gatherings as the Kumbha Mela festival  where millions of people come together from all aspects and schools of thought  within the Vedic fold. It shows that anyone can pursue their own level of  spiritual development and inquiry without being restricted from within an  institution or church. One can become a part of whatever line of spiritual  thought or practice one needs to be in and still be considered on the Vedic  path, though there are various systems that bring a person to different levels  of development, consciousness, and higher perception.

For these reasons, India must remain the homeland of a living and dynamic Vedic  culture. This will allow the world to retain some of the deepest knowledge and  methods of attaining the most profound spiritual insights that have been known  to mankind. Thus, India should defend itself from the risk of further partition  or divisions of its land. If India is divided up any more, and portions of the country are  taken by others, Vedic culture could dwindle or even be lost over the long-term,  except for small colonies of Vedic practitioners here and there. This may indeed  be what many people would like to see. Yet, if Vedic culture is lost, the world  will not even realize the treasure of human development that will disappear.  Then such deep spiritual knowledge and insights will begin to permanently fade  away from society.  Once India and Vedic culture is diluted or stamped out, along with  other decreasing numbers of indigenous traditions within it, then in time the  whole world will be fitted with the straightjacket of Western thought and  monotheistic religion. Thus, it will be more easily controlled by the  establishment, whether that be government or religious, etc. Then individual  freedom for the pursuit of higher understanding and spiritual happiness will be  limited to the constraints as dictated by whatever regional monotheistic views  reign in that area.

The Vedic culture and  philosophy offers deep insights into spiritual knowledge that can be found no  where else. It provides for levels of thought and knowledge of the soul and the  Supreme and the spiritual reality that are hardly matched elsewhere. I can  safely say this because I, having been raised a practicing Christian, also  seriously studied in depth all the major religions, and continue to do so,  before studying and then taking up the Vedic path. The Vedic philosophy clearly  outlines the processes by which a person can uplift or purify one's own  consciousness to perceive for themselves the spiritual strata and recognize  one's true spiritual identity, which is the essence of all spiritual progress,  and from which all further development grows. Many are those noteworthy sages  and saints of the past who have followed this path successfully, and left  profound teachings for the rest of us. For this reason, Vedic culture is the  last bastion of deep and genuine spiritual truth and freedom. It is a culture  that allows full liberty of investigation for the individual to practice and  reach the highest levels of spiritual perception known to humanity. This is also  why it should be clearly understood and preserved for the benefit of all.

Vedic World Heritage links:

See our pages supporting these views HERE: (Vedik World Heritage)
Western Indologists been exposed page:
How British Misguided the World on Vedic History

The Surprising History and Origin of Corn Flakes(r)
Copyright © 2006-2008, All Rights Reserved
Written by: Aaliyah Ferris

Corn Flakes(r), the quintessential American-born breakfast cereal complemented perfectly with strawberries, banana slices and, of course, milk, has surprising origins. Those tasty flakes of corn you serve for breakfast were actually invented by a group of 19th century Seventh Day Adventists to "aid sexual abstinence".

As part of their strict vegetarian diet, which excluded alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a strict Adventists and superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, served various meals, dull in taste, believing spicy, hot foods encouraged sexual appetites. Most meals consisted of wholesome wheat, rice, oat and corn dishes, Kellogg believing the greatest of human ills began in the bowels and that a strict vegetarian diet with a plethora of fiber and water worked to cleanse impurities and poisons from the body. He further believed that all sexual acts aside from those used for procreation, including masturbation, were sinful.

Tending to the inmates in his care, Kellogg accidentally overcooked a batch of wheat, making it stale. Nevertheless, the batch nor the money would not to be wasted. Dr. Kellogg and his brother, Will, processed the batch as usual. But the batch formed flakes instead of dough sheets as a result. The tasty cereal was quite the hit in the Sanitarium, propelling the two men into business shortly thereafter. Corn Flakes(r), named Granose at that time, was registered for a patent in April of 1894.

While today, nobody can imagine cereal boxes without the prize or gimmick, Corn Flakes(r) was the pioneer in this type of marketing. The company offered their popular box with a Funny Jungleland Moving Picture Booklet in the early 1900s to boost sales.

The brothers also began expanding into different products and experimenting with various grains and ingredients. But Will's decision to add sugar to the recipe to achieve mass appeal conflicted with his brother and ultimately caused a split. In 1929, the company introduced the next great hit, Rice Krispies, making a "Snap, crackle and pop" sound when combined with milk. Today, Kellogg's is known for everything from Raisin Bran(r) to Eggo(r) Waffles, Fruit Loops(r), Nutri-grain Bars(r), Pop Tarts(r) and Special K(r). The company is still headquartered in its original town of Battle Creek, Michigan, publicly traded (NYSE: K) and responsible for supporting the livelihood of more than 25,600 full-time employees.

Should Vegetarians Pay Less For Insurance Premiums?

VERMONT, UNITED STATES, November 14, 2008: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont to raise health insurance premiums for people who eat meat, and lower the premiums for vegetarians. In a letter sent Monday to Bill Milnes Jr., president of Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Vermont, PETA’s Executive Director Tracy Reiman urged Blue Cross to raise rates on meat eaters because, she claims, heart disease, diabetes and other leading killer diseases have been conclusively linked to the consumption of meat and other animal products. But it doesn’t appear that Blue Cross will be taking PETA’s suggestion any time soon.

“Under Vermont law, we would not be allowed to vary rates based on the dietary and nutritional habits of various members,” said Kevin Goddard, Blue Cross’s vice president of external affairs. He did, however, say that Blue Cross is always looking to have the healthiest members possible, but “we have no information one way or the other if vegetarians are more healthy.”

courtesy of Hinduism Today

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There was once a doctor visiting a house to diagnose two patients, a rich housewife and her maidservant.  The doctor said, "The maidservant's fever is 105, so there is some anxiety.  I will give her some medicine.  But the landlady of the house has practically no fever, 99, so there is no anxiety for her."  But when the landlady heard this, she became angry and said, "this doctor is useless.  I'm the landlady.  I've only got 99 and my maidservant has 105.  The maidservant should have 98, I should have 110!"

MORAL:  The modern civilization is inclined to increase the degree of it's fever up to 110.  As in the human body there is death as soon as the temperature reaches 107, so by the nuclear weapons, modern civilization will come to the point of 107 and over.  But devotees want to decrease the fever by living the highest, ideal life and decreasing the demands of the body.

See similar inspirational snippets HERE:

The phaomnneil pweor of the hmuan mnid: Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig!
Mybae the I can sotp slpel ckchenig?


Written by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami

Dear Maharaj/ Prabujis/ Matajis,

It is my great pleasure to inform all the devotees of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that a great service opportunity has been offered by the temple authorities of Gambhira, in Puri dham, where Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spent the final years of His manifested pastimes on this earthly planet. Kasi Mishra's house, also known as Gambhira, and the Radha Kanta math, were both under the care of the Orissa government due to 20 years of litigation. Finally, this litigation problem has been resolved and the management of the institution has been returned to the temple mahanta.

The temple has sustained much damage over the years due to lack of proper maintenance. The whole place is very dirty and the roofs and walls are falling down. The temple roof is also cracking. Additionally, the temple has a lack of proper income for the maintenance of the devotees and for deity puja—and, of course, the more the Gambhira is allowed to deteriorate, the fewer visitors it will have.

At this crucial point, the mahanta of Gambhira has requested ISKCON to extend kind assistence to him in order to protect and maintain this most holy place. Devotees from all over the world come to offer their prayers and obeisances at Gambhira. This is one of the most important places for the followers of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and must be maintained nicely.

Thus, this is a golden opportunity for devotees to render service to this most sacred cause. I request all devotees to kindly donate towards this purpose. There are many things to be fixed at the place. For the time being we have prepared a rough budget, for whatever the most urgent needs are, just to bring the situation up to  survival position. Later on, we will let you know about further opportunities for service in the development of the Gambhira.

For further information contact

Bhakti Purusottama Swami

Phone: ++ 91 9434506434

E mail:

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