Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Excerpted from a post by Hare Krsna dasi to the Cow discussion group on PAMHO.

“There was an interesting documentary on the PBS show "Nature" on Sunday night, called "Holy Cow." It looked at different aspects of cows in different cultures around the world. It looked at both positive and negative things. It talked about the pollution caused by industrial cattle raising, and the environmentally preferable methods of modern grass pasture management…”

“I did not agree with all of it, and was disappointed that there wasn't more about the value of ox power -- and that no great civilization on earth has ever been established without the engine of ox power, whether China, India or Rennaisance Europe...”

Here is a link to the website about the show. It is possible to buy a copy of the video. Sometimes these shows rotate back thru so check local schedules.

PBS special on the Holy Cow

About 8,000 years ago, the relationship between cows and man began with the revolutionary advent of domestication in Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, and Africa. There were many possible candidates for the job but only the cow fit the specific criteria humankind needed: not too flighty, breeds well in captivity, grows at a good pace, not aggressive, requires a low maintenance diet. Our ancestors chose wisely: Cows provide just about all of our basic needs, from milk and meat to muscle.

Today there are about 1.5 billion cows in the world. In many different countries humans and cows have formed close relationships. In England, dairy farmer Mark Evans spends all of his waking time with his cows, milking, feeding, and otherwise nurturing them. The African Masai tribe believes that all cattle were given to them from the great god N'gai at the beginning of time -- a belief which today remains at the heart of their culture. India is home to a quarter of the world's cow population. One major reason for this is that India's majority Hindu community reveres cows and considers them to be "second mothers."

NATURE explores how we've changed the cow and how the cow has changed us.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cow Protection; Enjoying Milk

Okay, so maybe I AM obsessing a little with the comic strip generator. I have no technical skills so when an easy way to do something comes along, I can't help playing with it. My daughter advised me on how to capture the content from the Strip Generator. I clicked on the Print Screen key (just to the right of F12) then pasted it into Word. From there, thru a contorted series of programs and saving and copying to, I eventually got it into a .jpg format. Has to be an easier way. Will try something different tomorrow, but at least I know it can be done.

Click on cartoon to see it full size.


I think what this movement needs is a good cartoonist. It won't be me. I found this Strip Generator today so I had to play around, naturally. Unfortunately, I was unable to figure how to get the content off the website so I have to link to what I did.

Gosh's First Comic Strip

Monday, August 29, 2005

Welcome Chakra Surfers

Welcome anyone surfing in from Chakra. The piece of mine that was published there is actually a poem, with line breaks. I have brought to their attention that the line breaks had been stripped out. Perhaps by the time you read this it will be corrected. If not, it can be found in this blog by scrolling down (may have to open August Archives) or clicking "Dedication."

Just copying and pasting from an e mail will drop line breaks. I am grateful for having it published, with or without line breaks.

Why would I care if the line breaks were included? The following link would serve as an answer better than anything I could say: Easy Intro to Line Breaks

For anyone with a real intensity to learn: Denise Levertov "On the Function of the Line" A much denser read.

Good Example of Use of Line Beaks

To A Poor Old Woman

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

(William Carlos Williams)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Simplify Life: Eat. Sleep. Play Soccer.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me

by Delmore Schwartz

"the withness of the body" --Whitehead

The heavy bear who goes with me,
A manifold honey to smear his face,
Clumsy and lumbering here and there,
The central ton of every place,
The hungry beating brutish one
In love with candy, anger, and sleep,
Crazy factotum, disheveling all,
Climbs the building, kicks the football,
Boxes his brother in the hate-ridden city.

Breathing at my side, that heavy animal,
That heavy bear who sleeps with me,
Howls in his sleep for a world of sugar,
A sweetness intimate as the water's clasp,
Howls in his sleep because the tight-rope
Trembles and shows the darkness beneath.
--The strutting show-off is terrified,
Dressed in his dress-suit, bulging his pants,
Trembles to think that his quivering meat
Must finally wince to nothing at all.

That inescapable animal walks with me,
Has followed me since the black womb held,
Moves where I move, distorting my gesture,
A caricature, a swollen shadow,
A stupid clown of the spirit's motive,
Perplexes and affronts with his own darkness,
The secret life of belly and bone,
Opaque, too near, my private, yet unknown,
Stretches to embrace the very dear
With whom I would walk without him near,
Touches her grossly, although a word
Would bare my heart and make me clear,
Stumbles, flounders, and strives to be fed
Dragging me with him in his mouthing care,
Amid the hundred million of his kind,
the scrimmage of appetite everywhere.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Kulimela 2006 to be Held In NV

Here is the website for an event being planned next June in New Vrindaban by the worldwide network of second generation devotees. The site gives the basics of when and where, and seems also to be serving as a hub for pre-event planning. They need help and donations.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rudy's Address in Bolivia

Rudy grew up in New Vrindaban. I had the privilege of coaching him in spring league soccer, as he was close to my middle son’s age. After he graduated from high school, the three of us played on the same team in a summer adult league. He went on to college and is now on a break. The following is from an email sent out by his sister.

Hari bol! I just wanted to let all the devotees know, in case any don't, what's happening with Aniruddha (Rudy). He's finished his 2 month Peace Corp training in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and is now at his post in Okinawa, Bolivia, where he will be for 2 years!

If anyone wants to write him, his address is:

Aniruddha Logan
Cuerpo de Paz (Santa Cruz Field Office)
Casilla # 3998
Santa Cruz
South America

Also, I want to send him a DVD of his friends and family back here in NV, so if anyone wants to say anything to him on the DVD, please let me know. My phone # is (note from blogger: leave a comment and I will get you the phone #).

Hari bol!
Have a great day!
Ys, Rati Manjari dasi

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Who is the Name ISKCON Associated With?

Got an email from my daughter today. She was watching the syndicated show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" during her lunch hour. The contestant had already correctly answered the $32,000 question and was going for $64,000. At that level, the questions are really hard, and not too many people get them right, or even get to that level to have the chance to answer. The show is a multiple choice format, each question having 4 possible answers. The contestant can choose to not answer the question and walk away with the money they have already won.

The $64,000 question today was, "Who is the name ISKCON associated with?". The 4 choices were: Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, Scientologists, and (hold your breath) Hare Krishna.

The guy without hesitation answered "Hare Krishna". When the host asked him how he knew, he said he had some Indian friends and they talked about an ISKCON place in West Virginia.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Highlander

Monday, August 22, 2005

Twenty-Nine Years Later

We, that is to say my wife and I, entered the child rearing stage of our life 29 years ago. That calmly came to an end this past weekend as I dropped off our youngest son, Tulasi, at his dormitory at West Virginia University. While we remain parents, a significant milestone has passed. We are now considered empty nesters. Not that this will change much how we live except in subtle ways.

After I helped him get settled into his room, he had a couple of hours before a scheduled dorm meeting so we decided to go get something to eat. Traffic was heavy all over Morgantown as 4,600 freshmen moved into their dorms prior to the upperclassmen’s scheduled arrival later. We took the back roads to avoid the traffic but as we crossed University Ave and pulled into the parking lot of the Mountain People’s Co-op we saw someone waving out their window at us from the front car of a long line waiting at the red light. It was Tilok, another entering freshman, and his parents, who live down the ridge from us. What were the odds? Then, we noticed they was talking to someone in the car next to them also waiting for the red light. It was the son of a devotee who keeps a second home in New Vrindaban. Thousands of extra cars in town, and all we see are devotees!

It only got strangerer and strangerer. We walked into The Co-op, and there on the chalkboard was the Special of the Day – Gauranga Potatoes on Basmati Rice. Naturally we had to try that, and sure enough, it was the same taste we would have expected if we were at the temple. I found out when I got home, and was telling the story, that Meckela, Advaita’s daughter, works there as a cook. She is a sophomore at WVU. All in all there are a dozen or more devotee kids attending WVU, so Tulasi won’t be without some association. Or without a place to get a good meal.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mundane Scientists Smashed

Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory



“I am surrounded by the radiance,
glory and richness of the Creator”
Sankara 1946-1985

A child points at the foot
of a wife of thirty years.
The wife is speaking to a friend
who was six years old back
when she married her husband.

The friend was fifteen, the eldest
of five, when his mother died
without her husband or a funeral.
It has taken him twenty years
to organize her memorial service.

Under a newly wrought trellis
a granite bench, engraved
with her own words,
sits on fresh concrete.

Strewn marigold petals,
vases of gardenias and sunflowers,
and a rose garlanded frame
surround a photograph of a smile,
Sankara’s smile, from decades ago.

“A butterfly landed on your toe”
says her seven year old granddaughter
as she points at her father’s friend.

The husband of thirty years,
glancing in his wife’s direction,
sees bluish-gray inch high
wings on her foot.

The dull wings casually unfold,
revealing brilliantly iridescent
blue upper sides; the kind of blue
that can’t be captured in a photo.

Conversation dies off as all watch
an Eastern Tailed Blue’s low fluttering flight
to the white clover and yellow bird’s foot trefoil
that will sustain its offspring
after the crowd
fades away.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Stuck in an Untruncated Box

Found a way in Help menus to truncate (cut short) posts. Unfortunately, it is all or nothing. So on short posts it was still saying "Read Me" for getting to the rest of the article. After navigating, multiple times, in and out of the foreign (to me) land of HTML in my template, pasting in as instructed, and then changing the "ReadMe" visible text on the link that will display in the post, I can now truncate posts. This took hours of trial and error.

Have to tolerate useless link at bottom of post, even if not needed,when the post is short. I will write "(continued)" on posts that have begining on Home Page with whole article somewhere else. Hopefully all y'all readers will figure out when to click it and when not. Clicking when not needed won't hurt anything, just a waste of time because there will be nothing more somewhere else. Maybe in the future I will find a better way to truncate. Maybe I will also find a better way to explain it, but if you are confused, so was I.

In any case, it makes it possible to ask a question on the Home Page, and not reveal the answer until clicked thru to the full post. For instance: Draw 9 dots in three rows. Like this:

Yes, I mean you - please get a piece of paper and a pencil and do it. Assuming you have done that, now put the pencil on the paper and, without picking the pencil up, in one continuous motion, draw four lines that go thru all the dots.

It can be done, but, tah dah, you must "think outside the box". here is how:

New Vrindaban Should Depend On Agriculture

My idea of developing New Vrindaban is to create an atmosphere of spiritual life where people in bona fide order of social division, namely, Brahmacaris, Grhasthas, Vanaprastha, Sannyasis, or specifically Brahmacaris and Sannyasis, and Vanaprasthas, will live there independently, completely depending on agricultural produce and milk from the cows. The life should be simplified without being hampered by laboring day and night for economic development, without any spiritual understanding.

Click to see entire August 17, 1968 letter to Hayagriva

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Roads without Cars

Your civilization depending, your motor car civilization is depending on that ocean of oil. You are getting oil and lavishly spending it. Stock is supplied by God. Your material advancement will be finished if the stock is not supplied by the Lord. So these foolish men, they do not know. They think that "Without God we can live." Who has created the ocean of petroleum within the earth? Is it possible for human being? (laughter)

Room Conversation -- April 11, 1969, New York

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rationalizing Nonattainment of Goal

Had a second session with Sakya Rasa and finished the first publishable version of the Great Wheel metaphor. He really did a great job with it, IMHO. I have the file saved on my hard drive, and want to show it, but I can’t figure out how to get it into my blog yet. I can’t find a way to have only a portion of a post on the opening page, linking to the balance on its own page. If you go to the Archives, and click on an older post, you will see that it does come up as a separate page, so that side is there, but don’t know how to only use a portion of the post to link to that separate page. The jpg is too big to fit on the opening page and still be able to read the text.

So I had been trying to do a quick study about creating a website and putting it up somewhere else and then link to it that site. That was an interesting side trip, but not a quick fix. I can see I need to spend some time learning how to make a web site. I do have Front Page and had a bit of a tutorial on it a year or more ago and remember thinking I had grasped the general idea and the basics of creating one, but soon found this time round I have forgotten everything. I imagine it will come back when I get deeper into it, but that won’t happen fast enough.

The issue of where to have the website hosted on no budget came up. So I abandoned how to make a website and started to think about where. Amongst other options I checked out Geocities but the ads are so annoying I gave up on that. the other places cost money.

Today, I followed a lead to a site that allegedly offers free photo hosting. The problem was instead of figuring out how to register and upload the Great Wheel .jpg, I went off on a tangent viewing pictures of rural decay. Which I ended up downloading a lot of photos for a new idea but that didn’t help with my current challenge of showing the Great Wheel, which is why all I have to post today is this boring ramble. Sorry.

Potential Picture Hosting Site with Lots of Photos

Monday, August 15, 2005

Superbugs Found in Chicken -- Survey

Most devotees know why we don't eat chicken (for those who have forgotten, see end of this post) but here is yet another reason:

"Significant numbers of chickens on sale in UK shops are contaminated with superbugs, a scientific survey commissioned by BBC One's Real Story suggests. Of the British-grown chickens analysed, over half were contaminated with multi-drug resistant E.coli which is immune to the effects of three or more antibiotics. More than a third of the 147 samples, which included overseas and UK produced chicken, had E.coli germs resistant to the important antibiotic Trimethaprim which is used to treat bladder infections. The Health Protection Agency scientists testing the meat also found 12 chickens had antibiotic resistant Campylobacter. And VRE, or Vancomycin Resistant Enteroccci, were in 1 in 25 of the samples, although more tests would be needed to confirm the exact type of the bug found. "

Full Story on Antibiotic Resistance in Chickens

And of course the main reason devotees don't eat chicken ...........

It has eggs in it!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Do Not Confuse the Map With the Territory

". . . Authentic spiritual language about God does not confuse the map with the territory, the symbol with the thing. Literalism concentrates on the letter and misses the spirit; it gets the words but never the music, creates a spiritual tone-deafness. You can starve to death trying to eat a cookbook."

Here is a link to an interesting article on why religions seem to disagree:

Spirituality: Metaphors and Symbols for Religious and Spiritual Experiences

I am not advocating 100% the views expressed there, nor have I followed the links included in the article and evaluated them, but the basic premise of the article itself is sound.

Bhagavad-gita 18.67 Lecture -- Ahmedabad, December 10, 1972:

“One may come to the bottle filled with honey, but simply by licking the bottle, what taste he will get? The honey must be opened. Then if you taste, you will know what is honey. Similarly, simply by taking Bhagavad-gita and trying to understand it by so-called scholarship is licking up the honey bottle. That's all. There will be no taste”

Saturday, August 13, 2005



by A.R. Ammons

I’m stuck with the infinity thing
again this morning: a skinny
inexpressible syrup, finer than light,
everywhere present: the cobweb becoming
visible with dust and the tumblelint
stalled in the corner seem worthy

Friday, August 12, 2005

Strict diet program may help prostate cancer (study)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A strict vegetarian diet combined with relaxation therapy and exercise may be able to control slow-growing prostate cancer, researchers said on Thursday. Diet guru Dr. Dean Ornish said his vegan diet program, which some studies have suggested can reverse heart disease, also seemed to halt the progression of prostate cancer.

Tests on middle-aged and elderly men who had opted to watch indolent prostate tumors rather than treat them suggested the program slowed the growth of their cancers, Ornish said. "This is not the definitive study, but it certainly advances the field and it adds new information about how powerful these simple changes can be," Ornish said in a telephone interview.

See complete article at:§ion=news&src=rss/uk/healthNews

Comment : Talk about subject drift. Devotees are starting to get old enough that a whole new range of topics becomes of interest by necessity. Problems that seemed insurmountable in our twenties have faded into memory, replaced with new ones. I know devotees with prostate cancer and enlarged prostate. Yeah, I know, we are not our bodies, but our bodies are our bodies and do need some attention. Hopefully the younger devotees will take better care of themselves. Chant, dance, and cut back on the opulent prasadam.

"I do not know what you are eating, but the eating program should be nutritious and simple, not luxurious. That means capatis, dahl, vegetables, some butter, some fruits and milk. This is necessary for keeping good health. But we should not indulge in sweetballs or halevah or like that daily. Too much first-class eating may stimulate our sex desires, especially sweet preparations. Anyway, eat Krishna Prasadam, but be careful that we may not indulge in luxury. For Krishna we can offer the most beautiful preparations, but for us Prasadam should be very simple."

Letter to: Gargamuni -- London 20 November, 1969

Early years, worry about stimulation, later years worry about prostate, same diet for both problems :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Thinkers Anonymous

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then - to loosen up, I guess. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. Gradually, I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - though deep inside I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me. After a while, I was thinking all the time. I began thinking at work too. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime. I would sneak off and read Kafka and Thoreau. I would return to the office noticeably confused and asking things like "what is it, exactly, we are doing here??"


Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. Needless to say, she spent that night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me into his office. "I like you," he said "and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, I'll have to let you go."

This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed "I have been thinking."

"I know you have been thinking," she said "and I want a divorce!"

"But honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious" she said, her low lip aquiver. "You think as much as a college professor, and college professors don't make any money! If you don't stop thinking we are sure to wind up in the poor-house!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently. She began to cry. I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library!" I snarled as I stomped out of the house. I headed straight for the library with my appetite whetted for some Nietzsche. I almost hit a pedestrian as I franticly roared into the parking lot. I ran up to the glass doors, but to my horror, they didn't open. I sank to the ground, cursing the uncaring glass entrance, and whimpering for Zarathustra. Just then a poster caught my eye. It read: "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?"

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.
Which is why I am what I am today - a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was a Vin Diesel film. Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job. And things are a lot better at home. Life just seems easier, somehow, ever since I quit thinking.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bhima and Jennifer's NV Wedding

This summer Bhima and Jennifer got married in New Vrindaban. Click link below to see some photos from the event.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Artist to Re-create Destroyed Buddhas

AP: Artist to re-create destroyed Buddhas

Posted 8/8/2005 6:25 PM

By Solvej Schou, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES — When the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan destroyed two 1,600-year-old Buddha statues lining Bamiyan Valley's soaring cliffs, the world shook with shock at the demise of such huge archaeological treasures. Now, artist Hiro Yamagata plans to commemorate the towering Buddhas by projecting multicolored laser images onto the clay cliffsides where the figures once stood.

So Krsna has given us the facility to worship Him in the way as we can understand. It is not that Krsna.... Krsna is stone, because Krsna says bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh. He can take service from this, any form. There are eight kinds of forms. Either you paint, either you make a form from wood, from stone, from jewels, and according to Vedic system there are so many different types of Deities.

Bhagavad-gita 9.4 -- Calcutta, March 9, 1972 (new98)

Regarding your questions about the difference between the picture of Krsna and the Deity, Krsna is equally there in both these forms. Krsna is so kind that he agrees to appear, for the benefit of the conditioned soul, in eight different kinds of forms. Such form is called arca or the form of the Lord manifested through material agency as metal, earth, wood, painting, stone, jewel, drawing, and mind.

Letter to: Linda -- Los Angeles 19 February, 1970

Monday, August 08, 2005

Srila Prabhupada Cites Cowper

1969 June 24 : "I am always thinking of your New Vrindaban. The milk which we are taking here is not at all comparable with New Vrindaban milk. As poet Cowper said, 'Country is made by God, and city is made by man.' Therefore, my special request is that you should try to maintain as many cows as possible in your New Vrindaban."Prabhupada Letters: 1969

The key thing is a rational understanding of what is “possible”, something that was sadly lacking back in the day in NV. Despite any past misapplication of the above suggestion, the underlying thought is solid, and should be followed.

Link to Cowper poem cited by SP

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Power of Illusion


Do you notice anything unusual in this paragraph?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Working On the Great Wheel

Yesterday I went to the temple late in the afternoon and met with Sakya Rasa. He had just finished a newsletter for the temple and I was taking him up on an offer to help me with a little project I was working on. The working title is The Great Wheel Metaphor (coming soon to a blog near you). In a nutshell*, it is going to end up as a .jpg I want to use as a visual aid to explain my realization of what transcendence is. Hint: I believe transcending has to do with expanding levels of awareness, rather than transforming or replacing existing ones.

I had my written notes of what I want the image to be with me in order to systematically explain it to Sakya. These notes are like oral instructions of how to draw a map. I see the completed image as being like a map to understand a new territory. I can see the map in my head, but lack the technical skills to make it manifest, so was limited to giving a written description.

Watching Sakya work was amazing. He was clicking on icons and things were popping up, selections made, boxes appeared and disappeared, things were dragged, sized and resized, all so fast I was almost getting dizzy watching it. I am sure if you had knowledge of the programs he used, it would all make sense, but to me it looked like magic. In what seemed like no time he had whipped out the 8 concentric circles I wanted and pasted the text into the appropriate places. The rest of our time we spent cruising thru clip art volumes and Googling to find the pictures I want to have in the completed image.

At the end of our first session, he printed out for me what we have so far, and I will have to get back with him to complete it the next time he has some spare time. Even with what I have, it makes it much easier to show it to devotees and discuss what I am trying to do and get feedback.

* ”In a nutshell” take this as either a cliché, or a tribute to Stephen Hawking :-)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

16 Oxen Hitch

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

No Grains for Babies Before 6 Months

Here is a reason to observe the no grains for babies until 6 months recommendation. Essentially, introducing gluten into a baby's system before the gut barrier is developed seems to increase the likelihood of a life long allergic reaction to grains.

"Babies had a lower chance of developing the digestive disorder coeliac disease if they were not fed grains until aged four to six months, they found. This condition is caused by proteins in grains, which damage the gut and make it difficult to digest foods."

"Children not exposed until they were older than seven months were also more likely to develop coeliac disease than infants exposed when they were aged between four and six months. "

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplicaton of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.

(by Theodore Roethke)