Many Things Are Going On: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Quan Yin 0 Avalotiksvara

Luthar.com

The usual things are going on in many places.

War, hate, and killing of enemies

in order to love, protect, and nurture ones own.

Inflicting punishment on others

yet remaining free of consequences

is not possible for us

as human beings or nations;

for the revenge that brings joy

also brings grief.

This is the nature of our suffering,

that we believe our sorrows are more precious

than the tears of our enemies.

The story of life is written on the faces

of both the watching and the watched.

Paralysis provides the context

for the breaking news stories on the dinner table.

It does not help that our fingers

cannot touch across the television screens

and the eyes cannot meet to offer consolation.

Guilt serves as a buffer for one

for the other, hope underlies fear.

Closure is never at hand in this sphere of duality.

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Sita Sings The Blues — A phenomenal retelling of the epic Ramayana through animation, 1920s jazz songs, contemporary commentary and one woman’s inspiration

A few months ago, a friend of mine suggested I see an animated movie called Sita Sings The Blues — he even went so far as to bring a Netflix DVD over and leave it in the temple where I live.  “Just send it back once you’ve seen it,” he told me.

To be honest, I didn’t feel very attracted to watch the movie.  My friend had mumbled something about, “It’s really great, it’s the Ramayana with 1920s blues songs… and all the characters from the epic tale are there..!”  and somehow the description sounded lame, over all, so I passed on it.

I think we sent the DVD back to Netflix, unseen.

Sita, Rama, and Hanuman

A scene from Sita Sings The Blues

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The Quest_To Love Or To Be Loved: By Alx Uttermann

Giving Love To Get Love, Oh Dear!

In my early years, in life and in spiritual searching, my primary motivation in life was to be loved; there seemed to be such a lack of love, cumulatively, in my own experience, everywhere I turned. (Extreme heartbreak, depression, loss, family trauma and other factors had all contributed to this perception.) Continue reading

Call of the Conch-3-Not for Human Consumption: By Joyce Sweinberg

7516calf_nursing

Dairy products in our current industry, worldwide,
foster the very same adverse effects as meat production and consumption, and even worse,
torture the dairy cow and her offspring repeatedly over time prior to the final slaughter.
 

For years, I drank milk and consumed milk products, never realizing that I had milk allergies which were causing my facial rashes and breakouts.  Finally, someone suggested this to me and when I looked it up online, I was shocked to see how many allergies one can have to dairy products.  This was my first step in removing dairy from my diet, for my own benefit.  I was not always true to my vows and would often give in to pizza and on Halloween, would raid my sons’ candy for Snickers Bars, and on other holidays, eat the chocolate which was everywhere.  In the summer months, I sometimes gave into the soft ice cream cones at the corner ice cream stand. And, usually, I broke out but thought it was worth it.

Until I saw some of the videos posted in the earlier parts of this series. When I saw how the dairy cow and her offspring are abused, I could no longer seek out dairy products in any way.   But for some of us, we need to have other reasons than that, so I am including this part to highlight the unknown facts that dairy products really are not that healthy for us or our world, and can cause a multitude of environmental and physical problems.  Many of us operate under the false assumption that dairy products make for healthy bones and this is being proven to be untrue in studies.  The fact is that it is hard for people to give up their false belief systems if it would require them to remove dairy products from their diets.  I have reproduced some excerpts below from online websites along with the link to the actual site for further reading.

Many sites will address the adverse environmental and other effects of the meat industry while including dairy products as a viable alternative to meat.  An honest and  intelligent assessment of the available facts cannot support such a conclusion.  Dairy products in our current industry, worldwide, foster the very same adverse effects as meat production and consumption, and even worse, torture the dairy cow and her offspring repeatedly over time prior to the final slaughter.  The simple indisputable fact is that by consuming dairy products or using them in worship, one is promulgating torture of these defenseless animals, and in the process, violating the foremost principle of dharmic behavior, ahimsa.

Let me add this about myself.  While I now check the ingredients on everything I buy and I will not knowingly purchase anything which contains meat products or animal products or dairy products, I find it is still a challenge to determine whether there is dairy or animal product in what I eat when I am out, either in a restaurant or at a social event. If I am in doubt, and if the product is one which normally has dairy or eggs in it, I will politely decline.

When I am at temple, it is a more difficult position…I can refuse offers of yogurt or payasam or curd rice, or anything which is obviously milk based. But so many of the prasad offerings are laced with dairy or cooked in ghee that it is impossible to tell. I do still partake, asking His mercy and guidance in what I do. And I write this acknowledging that in co-writing this series, I am educating myself as I go along, making some decisions and deferring others as I ponder the solution that will work for me. I offer these writings to you, the reader, in the same spirit.

FROM  PETA…
“Environmental DestructionLarge dairy farms have an enormously detrimental effect on the environment. In California, America’s top milk-producing state, manure from dairy farms has poisoned hundreds of square miles of groundwater, rivers, and streams. Each of the more than 1 million cows on the state’s dairy farms excretes 120 pounds of waste daily.(22) Overall, animals in animal factories, including dairy farms, produce 1.65 billion tons of manure each year, much of which ends up in our waterways and drinking water.(23) The Environmental Protection Agency reports that agricultural runoff is the primary cause of polluted lakes, streams, and rivers. The dairy-products industry is the primary source of smog-forming pollutants in California; a single cow emits more of these harmful gases than a car does.(24)

Eighty percent of all agricultural land in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food or to grow grain to feed them—that’s almost half the total land mass of the contiguous 48 states.(25) Each cow raised by the dairy-products industry consumes as much as 50 gallons of water per day.(26)

Human Bodies Fight Cow’s Milk  Besides humans (and companion animals who are fed by humans), no species drinks milk beyond infancy or drinks the milk of another species. Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they are 2 years old.(27)

Cow’s milk is the number one cause of food allergies among infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association.(28) Most people begin to produce less lactase, the enzyme that helps with the digestion of milk, when they are as young as 2 years old. This reduction can lead to lactose intolerance.(29) Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and an estimated 90 percent of Asian-Americans and 75 percent of Native- and African-Americans suffer from the condition, which can cause bloating, gas, cramps, vomiting, headaches, rashes, and asthma.(30) Studies have also found that autism and schizophrenia in children may be linked to the body’s inability to digest casein, a milk protein; symptoms of these diseases diminished or disappeared in 80 percent of the children who switched to milk-free diets.(31)

A U.K. study showed that people who suffered from irregular heartbeats, asthma, headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems “showed marked and often complete improvements in their health after cutting milk from their diets.”(32)

Calcium and Protein Myths

Although American women consume tremendous amounts of calcium, their rates of osteoporosis are among the highest in the world. Conversely, Chinese people consume half as much calcium (most of it from plant sources) and have very low incidence of the bone disease.(33) Medical studies indicate that rather than preventing the disease, milk may actually increase women’s risk of getting osteoporosis. A Harvard Nurses’ Study of more than 77,000 women ages 34 to 59 found that those who consumed two or more glasses of milk per day had higher risks of broken hips and arms than those who drank one glass or less per day.(34) T. Colin Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, said, “The association between the intake of animal protein and fracture rates appears to be as strong as that between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.”(35)

Humans can get all the protein that they need from nuts, seeds, yeast, grains, beans, and other legumes. It’s very difficult not to get enough calories from protein when you eat a healthy diet; protein deficiency (also known as kwashiorkor) is very rare in the United States and is usually only a problem for people who live in famine-stricken countries.(36) Consumption of excessive protein from dairy products, eggs, and meat has been linked to the formation of kidney stones and has been associated with colon cancer and liver cancer.(37,38) It’s also suspected that consuming too much protein puts a strain on the kidneys, which compensate by leeching calcium from the bones.(39)”

http://www.peta.org/mc/factsheet_display.asp?ID=98

FROM A PETA SPONSORED WEBPAGEHarvard School of Public Health, on the Consumption of Dairy Products (2005):

“The recommendation to drink three glasses of low-fat milk or eat three servings of other dairy products per day to prevent osteoporosis is another step in the wrong direction. … Three glasses of low-fat milk add more than 300 calories a day. This is a real issue for the millions of Americans who are trying to control their weight. What’s more, millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and even small amounts of milk or dairy products give them stomachaches, gas, or other problems. This recommendation ignores the lack of evidence for a link between consumption of dairy products and prevention of osteoporosis. It also ignores the possible increases in risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer associated with dairy products.”

Cow’s milk is an inefficient food source. Cows, like humans, expend the majority of their food intake simply leading their lives. It takes a great deal of grain and other foodstuffs cycled through cows to produce a small amount of milk. And not only is milk a waste of energy and water, the production of milk is also a disastrous source of water pollution. A dairy cow produces 120 pounds of waste every day — equal to that of two dozen people, but with no toilets, sewers, or treatment plants.

In Lancaster County, Pa., manure from dairy cows is destroying the Chesapeake Bay, and in California, which produces one-fifth of the country’s total supply of milk, the manure from dairy farms has poisoned vast expanses of underground water, rivers, and streams. In the Central Valley of California, the cows produce as much excrement as a city of 21 million people, and even a smallish farm of 200 cows will produce as much nitrogen as in the sewage from a community of 5,000 to 10,000 people, according to a U.S. Senate report on animal waste.

FOR YOUR HEALTH:  Dairy products are a health hazard. They contain no fiber or complex carbohydrates and are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol. They are contaminated with cow’s blood and pus and are frequently contaminated with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Dairy products are linked to allergies, constipation, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America’s leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow’s milk to children, saying it can cause anemia, allergies, and insulin-dependent diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease, America’s number one cause of death.

And dairy products may actually cause osteoporosis, not prevent it, since their high-protein content leaches calcium from the body. Population studies, backed up by a groundbreaking Harvard study of more than 75,000 nurses, suggest that drinking milk can actually cause osteoporosis. Find out more by visiting our links page.”

http://www.milksucks.com/index2.asp    

Other resources:

https://luthar2.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/bookofcompassion2ed.doc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYpafipJyDE&feature=player_embedded

Nursing calf photo can be found at   http://www.faqs.org/photo-dict/phrase/5743/calf-nursing.html

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Patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyaa prayacchati;
Tadaham bhaktyupahritamashnaami prayataatmanah.

If one offers Me with love and devotion of a leaf,
a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it with joy. BG 9.26

b36

  https://luthar.com/call-of-the-conch-introduction/
https://luthar.com/call-of-the-conch-1/
https://luthar.com/call-of-the-conch-part-2/

Light From Eternal Lamps: By Swami Sadasivananda

image

“One must make the mind to bear on God”

ENTERING THE PALACE OF LIBERATION…

The One Thing Needful

“The eternal, unbroken, natural state of abiding in the Self is jnana. To abide in the Self you must love the Self. Since God is verily the Self, love of the Self is love of God; and that is bhakti. Jnana and bhakti are thus one and the same…. their purpose is to lead you to dhyana, to meditation, which ends in Self-realization.”  Maharshi’s Gospel I, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. p. 17-18.

Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained this ancient form of instruction. The answers he gave to questions represent what has evolved in our modern times as a uniquely universal spiritual teaching that can be taken up by anyone the world over without adopting the limiting constraints of any one religious tradition. It has been said that these teachings were indeed God-given, for they began with the words of grace flowing from Sri Ramakrishna and continued with the blessing of perfection that was embodied as Bhagavan.

As did his predecessor, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi stressed practice that produces purification (removal of that fog of ignorance, the obstacles and habits of the mercurial mind which diminish our pure vision) as well as the grace of the knowledge of the Self as the eternal companions of those who would be led:

From the unreal to the Real,
From darkness to Light,
From death to Immortality!

NOTES FROM ARUNACHALA…

Devotees present with Bhagavan on this day said that a most important spiritual lesson was transmitted through the actions of Bhagavan as he held Lakshmi’s head during her final moments.

As Bhagavan was stroking Lakshmi’s head, she was gasping for breath in the final moments prior to her passing. Bhagavan, who all knew was capable of removing her pain and causing her spirit to easily exit the body, rather whispered in Lakshmi’s ear to “Tolerate the pain!”.

At a later day, Bhagavan said that, “Suffering is the way to Self-realization.” Our training within meditation prepares us to remain “steady in wisdom” even during the final trial of separation from the body.

image

“Practice is necessary, Grace is there.”
Reprinted from Swami Sadsivananda’s July newsletter.
To subscribe to his newsletter, go to http://www.ramanateaching.org/contact.html
For more information on Swamiji, click here:   About Swami Sadasivananda
Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi web site: http://www.ramanateaching.org
Ask your question in relation to Bhagavan’s teachings, meditation and spirituality at:
http://www.ramanateaching.org/faq