4,000 Year Old Vishnu Statue Discovered in Vietnam

A recent news report from Vietnam features an exquisite and very ancient sculpture of Lord Vishnu. According to a press release from the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee (CPVCC) the Vishnu sculpture is described as “Vishnu stone head from Oc Eo culture, dated back 4,000- 3,500 years.” Recently the Government of Vietnam, despite its official Communist doctrine, has developed many programs and projects highlighting Vietnam’s ancient religious heritage. Its scholarly and archeological research and investigations are legitimate and its conclusions are authoritative. This discovery of a 4,000 to 3,500 year old Vishnu sculpture is truly historic and it sheds new light upon our understanding of the history of not only Hinduism but of the entire world.

The fact is there are no other ‘officially’ recognized Vedic artifacts that have been dated back to such an early date. This would make Vietnam home to the world’s most ancient Vedic artifact. While there are indeed many other ancient artifacts that represent the same Deity, they are not presented in the ‘Indic’ tradition and cannot be directly recognized as the Vishnu of the Indic Vaishnava tradition.

The 4000-3500 year old Vietnamese Vishnu sculpture is part of an exhibit featuring some of Vietnam’s most ancient artifacts. It was discovered in the region of Southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The Mekong (Ma Ganga) River is named after the Ganges River of India. The entire region was once the home to several ancient and prosperous Vedic Kingdoms and many intriguing and unique Vedic artifacts have been discovered.

4000-year-old Vishnu statue discovered in Vietnam

The Vishnu sculpture was officially presented during the 5th Quang Nam Heritage Festival, which opened on June 21, 2013 in Hoi An City. The exhibition highlights many ancient objects dated from the Dong Son – Sa Huynh – Oc Eo eras of Vietnam’s ancient history.

“Entitled “Dong Son – Sa Huynh – Oc Eo cultures”, the exhibition put on display over 1,000 ancient objects which come from across the country and are made from diverse materials, from pottery to copper, including jewelry and farming tools, from the pre-ancient period belonging to the three cultures.

The significance of this discovery cannot be overestimated. The entire history of Hinduism and Vedic culture, as taught is the academic institutions of the world, has been built upon a false construct. According to mainstream academia Vedic ‘religion’ or Hinduism did not exist until the alleged ‘Aryans’ invaded India circa 1500 BC.

Source: indiadivine

9-min chant a day keeps doc away

By: Anvi Mehta

New mantra | Pune researchers claim recitation of God’s name improves heart function

A study by a Pune-based cardiac surgeon and a geopathologist has claimed that chanting God’s name keeps a person’s heart healthy. While the research aims to bring science and spirituality together, doctors say any form of meditation can benefit the body.

The researchers – Dr Avinash Inamdar, former head of cardiac surgery department at Pune’s Sassoon General Hospital and geopathologist Pandit Pramod Joshi – monitored heart functions of 30 individuals and energy levels of their heart ‘chakra’.

The team documented that heart parameters showed significant improvement when compared to results carried out before and after the chanting which continued for about ten minutes. The study was recently published in the Asiatic Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The researchers said they were greatly inspired by the Warkaris who walk kilometers chanting the Vitthal mantra on their way to Pandharpur.

Many cardiologists, however, refused to draw a direct link between chanting God’s name and a healthy heart. They said any form of meditation can improve a person’s heart rate and bring in positive outcome if done on a long-term basis.

Dr C N Makhale, head of cardiac cathlab at Ruby Hall Clinic said that such activities help control the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the functions of internal organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines. “For example, during a bad dream, a person gets palpitations. Similarly, by concentrating on a single object associated with a positive feeling can improve heart functions.”

Another cardiologist, Dr Rahul Patil, said when a person concentrates on a single point, it results in reduction of stress and benefits the heart. “I don’t believe that only God’s name will bring this effect. Any form of deep meditation helps one’s health,” he said.

Meanwhile, the researchers agreed that their sample size was small. The plan to conduct a larger clinical trial in the coming months to explore the role of chanting Vitthal on both healthy as well as cardiac patients.

“The tests were done before and after the individuals chanted Vitthal for nine minutes. The results showed an improvement of 20 per cent in the heart energy level,” said Inamdar. He said though the normal heart rate is between 70 and 80 beats a minute, half the patients in the study had a heart rate of above 85.

Source: dnasyndication

German scientists prove there is life after death

Berlin| A team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische Universität of Berlin, have announced this morning that they had proven by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death. This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.

This controversial process that was repeated on 944 volunteers over that last four years, necessitates a complex mixture of drugs including epinephrine and dimethyltryptamine, destined to allow the body to survive the state of clinical death and the reanimation process without damage. The body of the subject was then put into a temporary comatic state induced by a mixture of other drugs which had to be filtered by ozone from his blood during the reanimation process 18 minutes later.

The extremely long duration of the experience was only recently made possible by the development of a new cardiopulmonary recitation (CPR) machine called the AutoPulse. This type of equipment has already been used over the last few years, to reanimate people who had been dead for somewhere between 40 minutes to an hour.

Near-death experiences have been hypothesized in various medical journals in the past, as having the characteristics of hallucinations, but Dr Ackermann and his team, on the contrary, consider them as evidence for the existence of the afterlife and of a form of dualism between mind and body.

The team of scientists led by Dr Berthold Ackermann, has monitored the operations and have compiled the testimonies of the subjects. Although there are some slight variations from one individual to another, all of the subjects have some memories of their period of clinical death. and a vast majority of them described some very similar sensations.

Most common memories include a feeling of detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of an overwhelming light.

German Scientist

The scientists say that they are well aware the many of their conclusions could shock a lot of people, like the fact that the religious beliefs of the various subjects seems to have held no incidence at all, on the sensations and experiences that they described at the end of the experiment. Indeed, the volunteers counted in their ranks some members are a variety of Christian churches, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists.

“I know our results could disturb the beliefs of many people” says Mr Ackermann.

“But in a way, we have just answered one of the greatest questions in the history of mankind, so I hope these people will be able to forgive us. Yes, there is life after death and it looks like this applies to everyone.”

Source: worldnewsdailyreport

Love for God only through pure knowledge – Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Love for God only through pure knowledge – Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Compiled by: Dama Ghosha Dasa, (Seattle, USA)

What follows is a short excerpt from The Thakur’s book called Sri Chaitanya Siksamrta….

Iskcon Bangalore Nitai Gauranga Deity Daily Darshan

“On hearing or reading about Krishna and His sweet qualities, the living entities according to their nature understand Him in two different ways: understanding through true knowledge, and understanding without knowledge. Even when Krishna is personally present and can be seen with mortal eyes, the two types of people will see in these two different ways. If a person desires to learn more about these two types of perception, they may study the Sat Sandarbhas, Bhagavatamrita and Sri Krishna Samhita under a competent authority. It is impossible to elaborate on this subject here.

Briefly, realization through true knowledge (vidvat pratiti) may be described as realization under vidya sakti (the knowledge potency of the Lord), and understanding without knowledge (avidvat pratiti) may be described as an attempt at understanding of the Lord under ignorance.

If Krishna is understood through avidvat pratiti, many controversies arise. If He is understood through vidvat pratiti, there is no place for disagreements. Those interested in spiritual development should immediately obtain vidvat pratiti. What is the point in understanding through avidvat pratiti, falling into argument and confusion, and losing the goal of life?

Of all the conceptions of God existing in the world, the form of Krishna is the most suitable for developing pure love. The conception of Allah in the Koran is not suitable for developing pure love. Even the Lord’s dear prophet could not see Allah’s form, for although the Lord is friendly, He remains at a distance from the worshipper due to the conception of God as master. God as perceived in the Christian faith is also a distant entity, what to speak of the impersonalist’s concept of Brahman. Even Narayana (a personal form) is not the form by which the soul can most easily obtain pure love. Krishna alone, Who resides in the spiritual abode of Vraja, is the object of pure love.

The abode of Krishna is full of bliss. Majesty also resides there in fullness, but it does not predominate; rather sweetness and eternal bliss predominate. Its wealth is its fruit, flowers and twigs. Its citizens are the cows, Krishna’s friends are the cowherd boys and His associates are the gopis. His food is butter, yogurt and milk. All the groves and forests are filled with love of Krishna. The Yamuna River engages in Krishna’s service. Everything in nature serves Him. Elsewhere, He is worshipped and revered by all as the Supreme Lord, but here He is the very life of all the inhabitants. He sometime descends to the worshipper’s level, and sometimes becomes subordinate to His devotee.

If it were not like this, could the lowly living entity have a relation of love with God? The Supreme Lord is filled with the highest sport, endowed with free will, and eager for the love of the soul. Yet being the Lord, how can He hanker for human offerings, feel satisfied or become genuinely happy with them? Krishna, the reservoir of sweet pastimes, therefore covers His majestic aspect with sweetness, accepts equality with or subordination to qualified souls in transcendental Vrindavana, and feels bliss. Can anyone who accepts pure love or prema as the highest goal accept anyone other than Krishna as the object of love?”

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.48

The four principles of advancement in spiritual life — dharma [religiosity], artha, [economic development] kama [sense gratification] and moksa [liberation] — all depend on the disposition of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, my dear friends follow in the footsteps of devotees. Without desire, fully depend upon the

disposition of the Supreme Lord; worship Him, the Supersoul, in devotional service.

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.51-52

My dear friends, O sons of the demons, you cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning. None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord. Nor by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can

one satisfy the Lord. The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him. Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show.

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.53

My dear friends, O sons of the demons, in the same favorable way that one sees himself and takes care of himself, take to devotional service to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present everywhere as the Supersoul of all living entities.

Adi 4.17 [Lord Krishna thought:] “All the universe is filled with the conception of My majesty, but love weakened by that sense of majesty does not satisfy Me.

Hearing: The real tradition

Hearing: The real tradition

By: Vidura Das

In the article by Vraja Vilasa Dasa from the Sampradaya Sun Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, the author writes: “Real surrender to Srila Prabhupada means we should follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on accepting a physically manifest guru…” I would like focus this article especially on this statement because this seems to be the central point from which the author makes his assertions. First and foremost, Srila Prabhupada has never instructed anywhere that we should approach a “physically manifest guru”. Sure there are places where Srila Prabhupada says we must approach a spiritual master, hear from him, render service under him, and inquire from him – submissively. These are the general aspects of the guru-disciple relationship. However, these aspects do not necessitate the guru from whom one takes initiation being present in his physically manifest [spiritual] body. All of the above aspects of approaching a spiritual master can be done through Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books, as the following quotes by Srila Prabhupada prove:

HEARING FROM SRILA PRABHUPADA:

“The method by which the transcendental message is received is the method of submissive hearing.”
(Teachings of Lord Caitanya – 23, Why Study the Vedanta-sutra?)

“These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing.”
(Letter to: Rupanuga: — Mayapur 19 October, 1974)

RENDERING SERVICE:

“As long as the Spiritual Master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the Spiritual Master, and when the Spiritual Master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the Spiritual Master.” (S.B. 4:28:47, purport)

“As far as my blessing is concerned, it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there, and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krishna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya, whose mission I am humbly trying to push on.” (Letter to Bala Krishna, 30/6/74)

“Just like I am working, so my Guru Maharaja is there, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. Physically he may not be, but in every action he is there. To serve master’s word is more important than to serve physically.” (Room Conversation, Vrindavan, 2/5/77)

Devotee: …so sometimes the Spiritual Master is far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg Temple. He thinks “How will the Spiritual Master be pleased?”

Srila Prabhupada: Just follow his order, Spiritual Master is along with you by his words. Just like my Spiritual Master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words. (Lecture – 18/08/71)

“If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve him by remembering his instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual masters instructions and the spiritual master himself. In the absence therefore, his words of direction should be pride of the disciple.” (C.c. Adi 1.35, purport)

INQUIRY/RECIPROCATION:

Paramahaṁsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you are not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions, for example, on questions that may arise?

Prabhupāda: Well, the questions… Answers are there in my books.
(Morning Walk, Los Angeles, CA 13/5/73)

“Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice, in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered.” (Letter to Randhira, 24/01/70)

“So utilise whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered.”
(Letter to Upendra, 7/1/76)

Reporter: Who will succeed you when you die?

Srila Prabhupada: I will never die!

Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!

Srila Prabhupada: I will live forever from my books and you will utilize.
(Interview, Berkley, 17/7/75)

Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, there’s also a question of reciprocation. You have so many disciples, thousands, and one devotee was asking me yesterday, “How does… I want to please Srila Prabhupada. How does he know my progress and my service because I’m…, when I’m so far away from him and if I don’t write him?”

Prabhupada: So his representatives are there, the president, the GBC. They will see.

Madhavananda: The representatives.

Jayadvaita: The representative may be there, but what is my personal relationship?

Prabhupada: Hm? To obey your spiritual master. Whatever he has said, you follow strictly. Follow the regulative principles. Chant sixteen rounds. That’s all.
(Morning Walk — April 8, 1975, Mayapur)

Clearly, there is no difficulty in approaching Srila Prabhupada today since all of the above aspects can be satisfied with Srila Prabhupada’s books. We can hear from Him through His books, we can serve Him through the orders that He gives to us in His books, and we can reciprocate with Him through His books. We simply have to be determined in this approach:”My touch is simply a formality. It is your determination, that is initiation.”
(“The Search for the Divine”, Back To Godhead #49)

Srila Prabhupada’s books are His sound representation. It is Srila Prabhupada manifested through vibration – His vani. It is certainly possible to approach this manifestation of Srila Prabhupada. All of the aspects of the guru-disciple relationship can be present in this kind of approach, as shown above. It is this spiritual connection that we should be concerned with:

“So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the Spiritual Master, vibration. What we have heard from the Spiritual Master, that is living.”
(Letter, 13/01/69, Los Angeles)

“We are not separated actually. There are two – Vani or Vapuh – so Vapu is physical presence and Vani is presence by the vibration, but they are all the same.” (Letter to Hamsadutta, 22/6/70)

“Krishna and his representative are the same. Similarly, the spiritual master can be present wherever the disciple wants. A spiritual master is the principle, not the body. (Letter to Malati, 28/5/68)

“So we should give more stress on the sound vibration, either of Krishna or Spiritual Master. Never think that I am absent from you, presence by message (or hearing) is the real touch.” (Letter to students, 2/8/67)

“Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection.” (Letter to Gaurasundara, 13/11/69)

What has been the general pattern in our sampradaya does not in itself become a law. Whatever rules we abide by are strictly instructed to us by Srila Prabhupada. We cannot just independently look over Srila Prabhupada and into our history, observing apparent patterns in on lineage, and then whimsically derive a spiritual law based on our own observation. Srila Prabhupada never stated anywhere that tradition is automatically law. It is the acharyas who set new precedents and thereby new traditions to begin with. Why is there all of a sudden a problem with Srila Prabhupada establishing a new precedent? In fact Srila Prabhupada says: “Tradition is just temporary. You make your tradition; he makes your tradition. That is another thing. But the, fact is fact. That is not dependent on tradition.” (Room Conversation — February 13, 1975, Mexico)

(It is a fact that Srila Prabhupada ordered ritviks to act as His representatives in performing formal initiations from the time of His order onwards – new initiates being disciples of Srila Prabhupada.)

“That is called tradition. But that is not parampara. Parampara is different.” (Lectures – Philosophy Discussions with Syamasundara dasa and Carl Gustav Jung)

“Our only tradition is how to satisfy Viṣṇu.” (Lecture: Bhagavad-gita 1.43 — London, July 30, 1973)

“Vaisnava who is preaching, it may be in a different way, according to time and place and the party–they have to change something, desa-kala-patra–but we have to see the essence. ” (S.B. Lecture 10/18/74)

Srila prabhupada’s ritvik system does not change anything. Many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples were not formally initiated by him, nor had they even seen Him in person. But was there any question as to whose disciples they were? Of course not. So how come there is suddenly a problem with Srila Prabhupada remaining the current link in the disciplic succession today? Srila Prabhupada says that “The potency of transcendental sound is never minimized because the vibrator is apparently absent.” (SB 2.9.8 : Purport) and “Reception of spiritual knowledge is never checked by any material condition.” (SB 7.7.1 : Purport) Why, then, is there controversy over whether Srila Prabhupada can become one’s Diksa guru today? Srila Prabhupada says “Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination.” (C.c. Madhya, 4.111, Purport) It is very clear: Srila Prabhupada becoming one’s Diksa guru can never be checked just because He is apparently absent. Srila Prabhupada says:

“To become disciple means to surrender, voluntarily accepting the instruction, the advice, the order of the spiritual master.” (Lecture: Bhagavad-gita 2.10 — London, August 16, 1973)

“Who is my disciple? First of all let him follow strictly the disciplined rules. (Morning walk, June 13, 1976, Detroit)

Srila Prabhupada is available for everyone to approach in the form of His books. The system of initiations goes on with the ritviks performing the simple formalities, and Srila Prabhupada giving the real initiation: the transcendental knowledge, which has been recorded in and is being vibrated through His transcendental books. The disciplic succession goes on perfectly just as it always has: with the disciple hearing from His spiritual master and acting according to that instruction. Srila Prabhupada says:

“…disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion.” (Letter – 1/10/69)

This is what the real tradition is in our disciplic succession, and this is the essence of Srila Prabhupada’s representative system that we should all see.

He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaisnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the holy name around!

(Poem by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)