Friday, May 23, 2014


DANGEROUS THAN YOU THOUGHT - Bad news for seafood lovers: fish isn't quite as healthy as we've been led to believe. If you eat fish regularly, chances are you're getting too much mercury and too few omega-3s. That's the conclusion of a report released months ago from the Environmental Working Group. While US Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to eat up to 12 ounces of a seafood (about three servings) a week, the EWG has discovered that this may be dangerously high for some people.
EWG’s analysis of mercury and omega-3 concentrations in seafood finds that 10 of the most popular seafoods in the American market would pose an unacceptable mercury risk to an average-weight pregnant woman who ate amount recommended by the government each week.

Since safe mercury levels are based on body weight, lighter women are at greater risk from mercury in seafood. And for folks eating fish because they're hoping to get their omega-3 fats, which have been shown to lower cardiac risks, and boost infant brain development, there's more grim news. 
The EWG concluded that many people won't benefit as much as they hope, because 8 of the 10 most popular types of seafood, including shrimp and catfish, rank low for healthy omega-3 fats. EWG investigated mercury contamination and beneficial omega-3 levels in seafood in order to identify species that offer the greatest health benefit and lowest mercury risk.

Fish has always been associated with a healthy diet. It’s low in calories and rich in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. However,  due to pollution and other environmental factors, some fish contain unhealthy amounts of mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), and parasites, eating fish is not so healthy as it was thought. Eating fish from the rivers and oceans is not safe ... but, what about the farm-bred fish?  There are many bad news for the one who loves eating farm-bred fish because they have also been found to have high concentrations of antibiotics and pesticides. In AnitaStayHealthy's blog, we read: "Farmed salmon may have at least 10 times the amount of cancer causing organic pollutants compared to the wild variety – This can most likely be attributed to the feeds that are used on farm raised fish. If you knew what went into the feeds of farm raised fish you would be horrified. Apparently, chicken feces is one of the main ingredients that go into farm fish feed. Not only that, the transfer of pig and duck waste to fish farms is also a very common practice." It has been demostrated that pesticides in our food supply can cause cancer and other health risks, yet pesticides are often covering all of the fruits and vegetables that we eat, unless we buy organic or grow our own, and it is also very well known that mercury in fish causes developmental problems in babies, and also heart, kidney and brain problems in adults. Therefore, we must adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and become aware of what we eat to protect our health and stop the unnecessary killing of animals and the innumerable sufferings to which our small brothers are subjected on farms where they are bred, which are real concentration camps, of torture, misery and martyrdom. (Editor's note).

Pure and wholesome vegetarian foods are what is needed for our own refinement, health, strength, and happiness; while other kinds of food cause pain, suffering and disease.  Furthermore, we can see that the process of preparing and eating food is also a part of the Vedic system for making spiritual advancement. As the Vedic literature explains, what we eat is an important factor in the process of purifying ourselves and remaining free from accumulating bad karma. It actually is not so difficult to be vegetarian, and it gives one a much higher taste in eating and in one’s spiritual realizations. The level of our consciousness is also determined not only by what we think and do, but also by the vibrational level of what we put into our bodies as food. The more natural and peaceful the food, the more healthy and peaceful will be our consciousness.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Vegetarianism: Recommended in Vedic Scripture”

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

Sunday, May 18, 2014


BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF GAUTAMA BUDDHA - Buddha Purnima, reverentially, the most important day for the followers of Buddhism, commemorates Lord Buddha's enlightenment in 588 B.C and also his attainment of the highest of spiritual goals, 'Nirvana' in Bodh Gaya and 'Parinirvana' (or "final cessation") in Kushinagara. Alternatively called Buddha Jayanti,  (it was on Wednesday 14 May) or the day which consecratesthis day consecrates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. As the name itself suggests, Buddha Purnima is observed on a bright full moon in the Vaisakha month (April/May), a time especially suited for introspection, charity and puja. 
Historically, the importance of Buddha Purnima goes back to the era of Chinese scholarship where the day is mentioned in the works of the Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien. Buddha Purnima is known by different names in different countries. As per the native tongue of different countries, Nepal observes 'Swanyapunhi', Singapore upholds Lord Buddha's teachings on 'Vesak Day', Indonesia celebrates 'Hari Waisak', while Thailand commemorates this day as 'Visakha Bucha Day'.

Buddha Jayanti is celebrated across south-east Asian countries that have a recognizable Buddhist population. Countries that observe Buddha Purnima include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Korea, China, Cambodia, and Japan. Buddhists observe Buddha Purnima with great calmness and contemplation, reflecting on the moral precepts laid down by Lord Buddha, ruminating on the events of his exemplary life, visiting monasteries and listening to sermons and narratives/verses from Buddhist scriptures, offering food and donation to the monks and paying homage to the statue of Buddha by offering incense, flowers, candles, and fruits. Special religious programmes including 'bhajan' and 'aarti' are held.
As a part of rituals, devotees pour milk and scented waters on the Bodhi tree and place diyas around it. The most important and visual aspect of Buddha Purnima celebrations is the procession in Bodh Gaya that starts from the 80-ft tall Buddha statue up to the Mahabodhi tree, the fig tree, representative of Lord Buddha's Enlightenment. The Mahabodhi tree is worshipped in a ritualistic way with water, incense, flowers, diyas and candles.

Buddha Purnima during Vaishakha month is celebrated as birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha. Buddha Purnima is also known as Buddha Jayanti, Vesak, Vaishaka and Buddha’s Birthday, and this year it was celebrated on May 14. Gautama Buddha, whose birth name was Siddhartha Gautama, was a spiritual teacher on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. Most people consider Lumbini, Nepal as birth place of Buddha. Buddha died at the age of 80 at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important pilgrimage site related to the life of Gautama Buddha. The other three important pilgrimage sites are Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. It is believed that Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment at Bodhagaya and he first taught the Dharma at Sarnath. It is believed that Gautama Buddha obtained Enlightenment and passed away on the same day. The holy Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, which is the main shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha sees hordes of followers descending on the site on this day. Sarnath, near Varanasi, where the Buddha preached his first sermon is another important site for Buddha Purnima celebrations. In Orissa, Dhauligiri is a Buddhist site known for Buddha Purnima celebrations. Followers from Thailand, Tibet, Bhutan and various other places visit Sarnath on this day for blessings. As a symbolic gesture, on Buddha Purnima, Buddhists in India and other Buddhist countries make special efforts to light up their houses while streets are gloriously illumined with lights. Technically Lord Buddha’s philosophy is called atheistic because there is no acceptance of the Supreme Lord and because that system of philosophy denied the authority of the Vedas. But our spiritual masters have taught us that it was an act of camouflage by the Lord. Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Godhead. As such, he is the original propounder of Vedic knowledge. He therefore cannot reject Vedic philosophy. But he rejected it outwardly because before the advent of Lord Buddha the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures claimed that the killing of animals was indicated in the Vedas, and thus they justified the slaughter of animals. Therefore Lord Buddha wanted to stop firstly the habit of killing animals and consequently he superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. Lord Buddha adopted this rejection of the Vedas in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process. (Editor's note).

Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gayā (Bihar) as the son of Añjanā, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal-killing. Less intelligent men of the Age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda : 
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāna)
Canto 1: Creation 
Chapter 3: Krishna Is the Source of All Incarnations
Verse 24 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


TUESDAY, 13th May 2014
APPEARANCE DAY OF LORD NRSIMHADEVA Narasimha Jayanti celebrates the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha (half man – half lion) to save Prahlad from demon Hiranyakasipu. Narasimha is the fourth of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to Puranas, Lord Vishnu appeared as Narasimha on the Chaturdashi day in the month of Vaishakh.
Narasimha Story: Demon Hiranyakasipu had obtained a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed by man or beast, by day or by night and from inside or outside. And also he could not be killed by any weapon. After receiving such a powerful boon, Hiranyakasipu conquered heaven and earth and declared himself as God and asked people to worship him and not Vishnu. But Hiranyakasipu’s son, Prahlāda, was a staunch Vishnu devotee and disobeyed his father. The whole kingdom worshipped Hiranyakasipu; but in his own house his son worshipped Vishnu. Father tried all means to change his son, but he failed miserably. He then tried to kill but each time the young boy escaped from the clutches of death with the blessings of Vishnu. Fed up with his son, one day Hiranyakasipu challenged Prahlada and, looking to a stone pillar, asked, ‘If your god is omnipresent, is he in this pillar also?’

Prahlad answered, ‘HE is present in the pillar and even in the rust.’ Hearing this Hiranyakasipu slashed hard on the pillar with a sword. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu emerged from the pillar in the form of a Narasimha and slew the demon at dusk. Narasimha killed the demon by keeping him in his lap and tearing his heart with bare hands thus overcoming all the boons the demon had attained from Brahma. 
What to do on Narasimha Jayanti Day?: Devotees fast on Narasimha Jayanthi day and visit Lord Vishnu temples. Fasting is from sunrise to next day sunrise. Those opting for partial fast can consume milk, fruits and food items not made using rice and grains. Prayers dedicated to Narasimha are chanted on the day. The best prayer is to read about the avatar of Narasimha in the Bhagavad Purana. People also give alms on the day and perform Annadhanam (donate food to poor). Donating food to poor children is highly meritorious on the day. It is believed that those people who observe Narasimha Jayanti vratam will reach the ‘Vaikunta’ – abode of Vishnu. 

Today, 13 May, Hindus in India and all over the world celebrate Narasimha Jayanti with a lot of excitement. According to Hindu calendar, Narasimha Jayanti is celebrated on the day of Vaishakh Shukla Paksha’s Chaturdashi. Lord Narasimha has always been related to power and victory. According to beliefs and religious texts, Lord Narasimha was the 4th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On Narasimha Jayanti day Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narasimha, a half lion and half man, to kill Demon Hiranyakashipu and to establish dharma in this world. The rules and guidelines to observer Narasimha Jayanti fasting are similar to those of Ekadashi fasting. Devotees eat only single meal one day before Narasimha Jayanti. All type of grains and cereals are prohibited during Narasimha Jayanti fasting. Parana, which means breaking the fast, is done next day at an appropriate time. On Narasimha Jayanti day devotees take Sankalp (vows, resolutions) during Madhyana (Hindu afternoon period) and perform Lord Narasimha Pujan during Sanyakal (between dusk and light out) before sunset. Our spiritual masters have taught us that the Narasimha Kavacha - told by Prahlada himself - is a powerful prayer for protection against dangers of the mind, body, nature and other living beings. In this wonderful story, we learn about the importance of always depend on Krsna, and be surrendered to his will, as it did Prahlada Maharaja. When the Lord Narasimhadeva appears from the pillar to annihilate Hiranyakasipu, we can recognize the great truth in the words of Sri Krishna when he says: "For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me."(BG 6:30). Lord Narasimha is the giver of pleasure to the heart of Prahlada Maharaja, and the One who - due to his great compassion - removes all obstacles on the path of devotional service. I pray to Him to be completely surrendered to the service of our Guru parampara. (Editor's note).

“Father, He is everywhere,” said Prahlada.
“Then why do I not see Him in this pillar?” retorted Hiranyakasipu.
“I see Him even in this pillar,” replied Prahlada.
The very powerful Hiranyakasipu condemned Prahlada with extreme anger and harsh words. “May your Lord save you!” Saying these words, he picked up his sword, rose from his throne and violently struck the pillar with his fist. As the pillar was struck, it emitted a terrible sound as if the whole universe was being shattered. Brahma and the other demigods were afraid of this unique, terrifying sound and Hiranyakasipu himself began to search out its source. Then, in order to prove correct the words of both his devotee Prahlada and Lord Brahma, the Supreme Lord appeared in a wonderful half-human and half-lion form called Nrisimha. Even though the Lord appeared before his very eyes, Hiranyakasipu still could not understand Him as the Lord; he saw Him as a strange creature. Without pure devotional eyes, one cannot see the Lord.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Dasavatara - The Ten Manifestations of God”
Chapter 4: “Sri Nrisimha-avatara”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

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

Friday, May 9, 2014


DAY OF SRIMATI SITA DEVI On 8th May is a very important day in the Hindu calendar and on this day the 9th day of the bright moon in Vaisakha Month falls Sita Navami--the day when the Mother Earth (Dharti Ma) gave birth to Srimati Sita-devi.
We all celebrate Raam Navami (the birthday / appearance day of Shree Raam) in such great pomp and splendor yet this day of His wife goes by unrecognized. In my humble opinion I think that this day is as important or maybe even more important than Raam Navami.
One cannot go to the father without getting the blessings of the mother and in the same way we seek the divine blessings of Mother Sita to take us to Shree Raam. Without Mother Sita Lord Raam is incomplete and vice versa.

King Janaka in the Ramayana explains: "One day, when I was ploughing the fields, I found Her under the ploughshare and gave her the name Sita. Thus after emerging from the earth itself, She has grown up in my care."
Thus was born the most famous Devi in history.
The katha (narration) of Her birth, marriage, exile, abduction, (in) famous agni-pariksha (fire ordeal), and banishment is not only known and loved in Bharat (India), but throughout South and Southeast Asia and, indeed, in much of the rest of the world as well. 
Whether conveyed through music and mime, poetry, popular folk tales, dramatic performances, video, comic books, epic narrations, the katha of Sita has captured the hearts of billions of people. To this day She is India's most favourite Devi. Jai Shreeeee Sita-devi.

Yesterday, Hindus all over the world celebrated Sita-navami, the appearance day of Srimati Sitadevi, the eternal consort of Lord Ramacandra. This year Sitanavami falls on 08 May. Normally, devotees fast till noon and the devotional program usually includes Shobha yatra with Deities of Sri Sri Sita Rama. Srimati Sita Devi is the daughter of the Earth goddess, Bhumi Devi, and central figure of the Ramayana. In Maharishi Valmiki's own words, Ramayana is known as the noble story of Sita "Sita-ayah  Charitam Mahat". Her glories are sun by the poet-saint Thyagaraja in his "Sri Janakatayane", "Oh daughter of Janaka, the blessed souls of refugees!  Oh Consort of Sri Raghu Rama, bedecked with shining gem-ornaments! Pray, protect me always! You are the wind that destroys the clouds of demons like the hundreds-headed Ravana; You are the indweller in the hearts of the devotees; Your Feet shine with the lustre of gems set in the crown of Indra." Also, in the "Shri Ramashtakam" written by Shrila Murari Gupta, we read: "In Her upraised hand Sita Devi holds a thousand-petalled lotus flower, and Her five graceful fingers make it appear that the flower's hundred petals are covered by another five petals. I forever worship Rama, best of the Raghu dynasty, by whose side forever remains this Sita, whose radiance is like molten gold." Our spiritual masters have taught us that we should follow lots of teachings that Mother Sita Devi has given us. One is to be firmly attached to our bhajan and remains always bound to our Lord. When Rama's exile pastime came, Rama proceeded to Sita and asked her to stay behind, but Sita begged, "Have pity on me. A wife's position is always beside her husband. Don't leave me behind. I'll die without you." At last Rama permitted Sita to follow him. So, in this auspicious day, we pray to Mother Sita's for Her divine blessing in keeping strong our faith and reviving our desires to serve our Guru and the Vaishnavas. (Editor's note).

Srimati Sita Devi is an eternal consort of Lord Ramachandra. She is known to be the daughter of Bhumidevi, the goddess of earth. In Treta-yuga, she appeared to King Janaka in Mithila while he was ploughing the earth. She was later married to Lord Ramachandra and joined him when he was banished to the Dandakarnaya forest. Despite being kidnapped by the demon King Ravana, she remained faithful to Lord Rama, who eventually killed Ravana. She had two illustrious sons Luv and Kush. She is addressed by several names such as Maithili (princess of Mithila), Janaki (daughter of Janaka), Rama (wife of Lord Ram), etc. She is a central figure in the Ramayana and an embodiment of qualities such as chastity, forgiveness, self discipline, simplicity and gratitude. Srimati Sita Devi is also the manifestation of the goddess of fortune. On her auspicious appearance day, devotees can aspire for Their Lordships Sita Rama to bestow sincere devotional service and qualities upon them.

"Srimati Sita Devi Appearance Day"
Sri Sri Radharasabihari Temple

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

Saturday, May 3, 2014


AKSHAYA TRITIYA, 2014 - Two days ago, on 1st May, Thursday, Parshuram Jayanti was celebrated throughout India. Lord Parshuram was born on Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya which is why this day is celebrated as Lord Parshuram Jayanti. Parshuram is known to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was the son of Raja Prasenjit’s daughter Renuka and Bhrigu dynasty’s Jamdagni. Parshuram was devoted to Lord Shiva. 
The day of his birth is celebrated as Parshuram Jayanti all over India with a lot of zeal and excitement. A Parshuram Shobha Yatra is organized on this day along with other Havans, Pujas, Bhandaras, etc. Originally, his name was Ram. But, he came to be known as Parshuram because of the mystical weapon called Parshu which as given to him by Lord Shiva. Parshuram is believed to be Lord Vishnu’s sixth incarnation.

Observing fasts and other religious works have been the trademarks of this day for centuries. According to beliefs, he defeated Kshatriyas a number of times. He was born to free the world of Kshatriyas’ pride. Parshuram was taught by Dronacharya. He was the fifth son of Jamdagni and Renuka. He had four elder brothers : Rumanvant, Sushen, Vishwa and Vishwavasu. 
Parshuram has immense knowledge and was a great warrior. He wanted to live for the benefit of mankind. Parshuram had immense energy and was a great human being. Parshuram always helped the ones in need and was just in every decision he took. 
The day of Parshuram’s birth, i.e, Akshaya Tritiya is important in its own way. This day is considered to be auspicious, therefore any auspicious work done on this day gives fruitful results.

Parashurama Jayanti is celebrated as birth anniversary of sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Parasurama Jayanti usually falls on the same day as Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. The purpose of this sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is to relieve the Earth's burden by exterminating the sinful, destructive and irreligious monarchs that pillaged its resources and neglected their duties as kings. Parasurama, also known as the "axe-wielding Rama," was born into a Brahmin or priestly family but had the immense physical power and killer instinct than a Kshatriya or the warrior class. Subhamoy Das, who writes in " Hinduism", explains that the birthday of Parasurama or "Parasurama Jayanti" is an important festival for the Brahmins or the priest caste of the Hindus as he was born a Brahmin. On this day, people worship Parasurama and observe a ritual fast in his honor. Srila Prabhupada has taught us that the ksatriyas, or the ruling class, must govern the world in accordance with the rules and regulations enacted by great brāhmanas and saintly persons. If the government is not guided by conscious men of God in the people's unhappiness. As soon as the ruling class becomes irresponsible in regard to the religious principles, it becomes a burden on the earth; and as in previous eras the ruling class, who was degraded to the modes of passion and ignorance, was killed twenty-one consecutive times by the brāhmanas, headed by Paraśurāma, similarly, the Supreme Lord arbitrate the means to remove the pride and vanity of evil rulers and protect His devotees. (Editor's note).

Lord Parasurama is the sixth avatara of the Dasavatara. Of the twenty-five lila-avataras, Bhargava Parasurama is the nineteenth. In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 20.246 Anubhashya commentary of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Parasurama has been enumerated as one of the saktyavesa-avataras (a descent of the Lord’s extraordinary power). Parasurama is the manifested form of the power to suppress miscreants. ... The character and activities of Parasurama have been described in the Santi and Vana Parvas of the Mahabharata. … (and) in the Vishnu, Matsya and Kalika Puranas as well as Sahyadrikhanda. ... In the Bhakti-ratnakara of Sri Narahari Chakravarti Thakura, Parasurama’s residence is mentioned as being in Kamyakavana (one of the twelve forests of Vraja-mandala). It also mentions that Mahaprabhu set His lotus feet at the birthplace of Parasurama in Renuka village at Agravana, just before His arrival at Gokula (Vraja-mandala), during his travelling from Prayag.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Dasavatara - The Ten Manifestations of God”
Chapter 6: “Sri Parasurama-avatara”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

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