Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thursday, December 31, 2009

illicit and illegal 'ex continued

In my previous post, I copied and pasted the purport to SB 3.30.28. There Prabhupada defines and reveals his mood on the concept of illegal and illicit sex. Please see that post if you dont understand what I am saying.

I would like to add some more of my thoughts from this purport. Here is the purport again.

Materialistic life is based on sex life. The existence of all the materialistic people, who are undergoing severe tribulation in the struggle for existence, is based on sex. Therefore, in the Vedic civilization sex life is allowed only in a restricted way; it is for the married couple AND ONLY for begetting children. But when sex life is indulged in for sense gratification illegally and illicitly, both the man and the woman await severe punishment in this world or after death. In this world also they are punished by virulent diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea, and in the next life, as we see in this passage of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, they are put into different kinds of hellish conditions to suffer. In Bhagavad-gītā, First Chapter, illicit sex life is also very much condemned, and it is said that one who produces children by illicit sex life is sent to hell. It is confirmed here in the Bhāgavatam that such offenders are put into hellish conditions of life in Tāmisra, Andha-tāmisra and Raurava. - SB 3.30.28

If we further read, following illegal and illicit we get further insights into the mood of the author. He says "punished by virulent diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea". This statement is followed after defining illicit and illegal sex. Syphillis and gonorrhea are two types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) apart from herpes, chlamydia and AIDS to name a few. STDs occur when a person has sex with multiple partners at mulitple times without restrictions.

The mood of the author is clear on sex in that he does not want us to have sex enough to suffer from STDs. Surely having regulated sex life with the spouse is much better than unrestricted sex with anyone.

I think that sex inside marriage but for gratification is much better than sex with anyone anytime. Even within marriage, if sex is conducted on a regulated fashion is much better than unrestricted sex within marriage. However, if one wants to cultivate pure love for Godhead, that standard, then, is sex within marriage and only for procreation purposes better yet is complete celibacy.

The author clearly starts from a pure standard and continues to immesurable suffering in the form of syphilis and gonorrhea. Not everyone who has sex ends up with syphilis and gonorrhea. Therefore from a Krishna Con standpoint, the mood of a spiritual aspirant should be towards the end of restricted sex to having children eventually leading to celibacy versus the other way. This is the essence I take from this purport.

Hare Krishna

illegal and illicit 'ex

Now...I dont mean to beat a dead horse or revive a sensitive subject matter. However, I thought these words are very pertinent to our previous discussion on illicit sex.

So here is the paste. In this purport, Prabhupada clearly uses the conjunction "and" and not "or" which means we have to satusfy both conditions for the function to be true. This purport is from SB 3.30.28. This is the entire purport for the text.

Materialistic life is based on sex life. The existence of all the materialistic people, who are undergoing severe tribulation in the struggle for existence, is based on sex. Therefore, in the Vedic civilization sex life is allowed only in a restricted way; it is for the married couple AND ONLY for begetting children. But when sex life is indulged in for sense gratification illegally and illicitly, both the man and the woman await severe punishment in this world or after death. In this world also they are punished by virulent diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea, and in the next life, as we see in this passage of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, they are put into different kinds of hellish conditions to suffer. In Bhagavad-gītā, First Chapter, illicit sex life is also very much condemned, and it is said that one who produces children by illicit sex life is sent to hell. It is confirmed here in the Bhāgavatam that such offenders are put into hellish conditions of life in Tāmisra, Andha-tāmisra and Raurava. - SB 3.30.28

So by using the conjunction "AND" and adverb "ONLY"...Prabhupada is clearly and categorically defining the criteria for what is considered licit sex. According to vedic civilisation, this is considered restrictive sex life. Now, if sex within marriage and not for procreation is defined licit (from KC standpoint), then Prabhupada does not have to use the word "only" as a stress as an adverb modifying the verb "beget". From the above sentence, the word beget is functional only for children and within marriage. In my opinion, the word "only" clearly reveals Prabhupada's definition of sex life.

To add, interestingly, after the highlighted sentence, Prabhupada follows with two words "illegal" and "illicit". If we study these two words in context to the previous statement, I intepret the words"illegal" as sex not among married couples and "illicit" as sex not for begetting children. If others have other opinions, please feel free to add.

Many times Prabhupada has either used sex within marriage or begetting children separately as definition for licit sex. This is the first time I am seeing both (marriage and children) in the same sentence. So I thought to paste it here.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

FRANKENSTEIN, Mo. – The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.

The boar gored Kremer in the knee with a razor-sharp tusk. The burly pig farmer shrugged it off, figuring: "You pour the blood out of your boot and go on."

But Kremer's red-hot leg ballooned to double its size. A strep infection spread, threatening his life and baffling doctors. Two months of multiple antibiotics did virtually nothing.

The answer was flowing in the veins of the boar. The animal had been fed low doses of penicillin, spawning a strain of strep that was resistant to other antibiotics. That drug-resistant germ passed to Kremer.

Like Kremer, more and more Americans — many of them living far from barns and pastures — are at risk from the widespread practice of feeding livestock antibiotics. These animals grow faster, but they can also develop drug-resistant infections that are passed on to people. The issue is now gaining attention because of interest from a new White House administration and a flurry of new research tying antibiotic use in animals to drug resistance in people.

Researchers say the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to a plague of drug-resistant infections that killed more than 65,000 people in the U.S. last year — more than prostate and breast cancer combined. And in a nation that used about 35 million pounds of antibiotics last year, 70 percent of the drugs went to pigs, chickens and cows. Worldwide, it's 50 percent.

"This is a living breathing problem, it's the big bad wolf and it's knocking at our door," said Dr. Vance Fowler, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University. "It's here. It's arrived."

The rise in the use of antibiotics is part of a growing problem of soaring drug resistance worldwide, The Associated Press found in a six-month look at the issue. As a result, killer diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and staph are resurging in new and more deadly forms.

In response, the pressure against the use of antibiotics in agriculture is rising. The World Health Organization concluded this year that surging antibiotic resistance is one of the leading threats to human health, and the White House last month said the problem is "urgent."

"If we're not careful with antibiotics and the programs to administer them, we're going to be in a post antibiotic era," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, who was tapped to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year.

Also this year, the three federal agencies tasked with protecting public health — the Food and Drug Administration, CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture — declared drug-resistant diseases stemming from antibiotic use in animals a "serious emerging concern." And FDA deputy commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein told Congress this summer that farmers need to stop feeding antibiotics to healthy farm animals.

Farm groups and pharmaceutical companies argue that drugs keep animals healthy and meat costs low, and have defeated a series of proposed limits on their use.

Read rest of the story here - link

Hare Krishna

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The culture of prescription drugs

Following up on my previous post of eat.sleep.walk. I stressed the necessity of proper living can solve most of our health problems. I also talked about prescription drug abuse. As a disclaimer, I would like to say I am no health nut who is in perfect shape. In fact, I dont follow any strict health regiment. These are just my thoughts on reducing so much difficulty financially and physically if we simply make a mental shift on health.

Currently, at least in the US, people in general are in a grave illusion that prescription drugs actually can eliminate health problems (whatever it may be). In fact, this notion is blatantly supported by the drug companies (obviously) and subtly supported by the medical industries including your neighbor friendly nurse and doctors. The minute you have a doctor's appointment, 9 out of 10 times, you will be asked to take medication. Rarely are patients advised to change their lifestyle habits. Head ache - there is a drug, cough - take a drug, stomach ache - take a drug etc. Because it has become a culture, younger generation think it is normal to drug up for every health blemish. This attitude is dangerous as chemicals are "unnatural" to the otherwise "natural" makeup of the human body.

I can share my own story. Once I was seriously ill I was put on large doses of steroids in relatively short time and my immune system completely shut down. Just one visit to the bathroom, I got urinary-tract infection and was urinating blood (most excruciating pain). Of course, the doctors knew about these side-effects only to be given another set of drugs to counteract the urinary-tract infection. This is a small incident, however. My point is, just as we are mechanizing the planet by man-made materials at the macro-level, we are chemicalizing our body at the micro-level.

Please don't get me wrong, medicine is important but just as anything else, it has to be given in proper amounts depending on individual patients. Today, doctors rarely spend time with patients trying to understand his/her body structure and lifestyle behavior. This time spent by the doctors is absolutely crucial to understand how much drug to administer and what, to a patient. If I remember correct (please correct me if I am wrong), there was a time when the doctor actually wrote down the actual formula of chemicals to make the drug and hand that medical prescription to the chemist. The chemist seeing the hand written formula of chemicals of the doctor made the exact amount with the exact dose suiting the need for an individual patient. In other words, the drug was especially customised for the patient. Therefore the position of the doctor and the chemist was very highly placed in society. Today doctors just recommend brands of drugs as they are tested by drug companies based on statistical research. This generalization assumes the bodies of all human beings are same, their lifestyle habits/culture is standard and ultimately the drug will react exactly the same on everyone. If there is an anomaly, another drug is prescribed and so the cycle continues till there is relief. As a result of this two things happen; over-dosage and addiction. Over dosage does not necessarily mean death but can also lead to chemical dependancy. The chemicals eventualy store up in the fine tissues of the body eventually causing long term irreversible damage. Today, I have cataract in both my eyes as a result of a treatement I took 10 years before and I am only 34.

Today, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (US government's National Center for disease control and prevention called CDC), more than 50% of Americans use at least one prescription drug. Most of them are related to obesity (cholesterol), diabetes, depression and heart disease. If we analyse the average American lifestyle, according to Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) a nationally funded CDC project, 55% of adults in the US have had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days in 2007. If one actually studies the average lifestyle, almost most of them drink alcohol. More than 75% of adults in the US (2007) consume fruits and vegetables less than 5 times per day. Obviously, most of them consume meat. Infact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, on average, every American consumes 222 lbs of meat (chicken, turkey, veal, lamb, beef, and pork) per year. This data is for 2007. This number has increased from 144 lbs per person per year in 1950 to 222 in 2007. An increase of 55%. Plus if we take into account the aspect of sedantary lifestyle (no physical activity), we end up with a rather obese population. Yes, according to 2007 BRFSS National data, approximately 2 out of every 3 American is either obese or overweight (technically definitions of obese and overweight are slightly different).

In spite of the glaring facts, neither the doctors nor the drug companies promote peventive measures such as healthy eating and lifestyle. I think the Obama administration spoke about preventive health care as better health care than access to health care. This destructive eating and living habits by common man has forced him/her to seek the "magic pill" only to increase and increasingly depend on the consumption of drugs to solve all sorts of minor/major health problems. Hence, today, I am convinced that prescription drugs causes more side-effects and harm to the human body than its original intent. Hence the only solution is to alter one's eating, sleeping and walking habits thus maintaining a vibrant and health lifestyle.

Ultimately, if we think about it, the choice is ours. The only way we will be motivated to go away from a glutonous lifestyle is if we understand there is a higher purpose than merely fulfilling bodily demands. In other words, I am not against fulfilling bodily demands. But when fulfilling bodily demand is made the goal of human life, then the tendancy is why not fulfill it in the best possible way...hence the unrestricted desire to satisfy (aka sense gratification). This mood of unrestricted sense-gratification is reflected in the statistics above. Therefore, the only way to reverse this chronic and dangerous trend is by instilling in people that there is more to life than just eating and sleeping nicely. That knowledge of higher purpose is comprehensively explained in the science of Krishna Consciousness.

By chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, one can invoke that higher purpose thus satisfying all gross and subtle demands. One need not resort to overdose of anything material - be it food or prescription drugs.

Please chant and be happy!

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eat. Sleep. Walk

In the USA, especially, I have noticed a culture that people “have” to take prescription drugs to solve their health problem. The advertisements on Tv are mostly from the Food and Drug Industry. There are myriad of drugs for headaches to heartburns to improve libido to cancer. People are convinced that by taking these chemicals, they will live healthier and happier. I am surprised at how most of them do not evaluate their own life style such as eating fatty foods and less mobility. We are trained to sit in the house, car, cubicle. Walking has become boredom or recreation. In other words, we either complain that we have to walk two blocks or we walk for recreational/fitness purposes. Walking in itself as a function is losing its value due to alternate modes of transportation. The only walking done today is within rooms or between cubicles.

More and more people care less about living a simple and healthy lifestyle. This concept seems “new age philosophy” something like practicing “yoga”. All we have to do is eat how much ever is necessary and sleep how much ever is necessary. The human body, for the most part, if it has a healthy lifestyle, will heal on its own. Therefore, people are under an illusion thinking that prescription drugs will alleviate their headache or stomachache. Well…perhaps they can care to reduce their coffee intake or eat little enough to propel through the day versus drinking “jugs” of coffee and umpteen sugar intake and what to speak about “pop” soda such as coke and pepsi. Anyways, my point is chemical drugs cause more harm than good. Yes, they can remove the problem temporarily but the permanent fix is only if we change the way we eat, sleep and walk. These are simple things to adapt.

Because of this overall culture of taking drugs to solve problems, we have umpteen cases of overdose. Of course…this issue comes into the limelight when celebrities are involved (ex Michael Jackson and may be Brittany Murphy) . The only way to solve this problem of drug abuse is to fundamentally educate people from very young age on the importance of proper eating, sleeping and walking.

Although this sounds simple, why don’t people see through it? - Because the purpose of human life is sense-gratification. Henceforth, its consequences are not so important. Doctors and drugs are seen as panacea to health problems. Today (just my gut feeling), I think that 95% of the health problems can be solved if we eat, sleep and walk properly and timely.

Hare Krishna

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Pleiadeans

Ever since I was young, I was fascinated by UFOs and ETs. Lately I have been reading the Billy Meier case and his contacts with the Pleiadians. Billy Meier an elderly Swiss farmer came into contact with the Pleiadians as early as 1942. Ever since, there have been numerous contacts and still continuing. Billy has taken numerous photographs and videos on Pleiadian space ships and all we need to do is google it to see the actual pictures. The pictures have been proven authentic through various scientific photograph testing techniques conducted by leading agencies.

Billy has studied under a swami in India also, for some years. The primary purpose as I understand is the contacts are going on to disseminate spiritual information which is fundamentally based on the fact “we are not this body but consciousness”. Sadly, however, the Pleiadians follow Impersonal philosophy. They do not accept a personal God but “creation” as the ultimate source of power and that this “creation - the supreme consciousness” is maintaining and destroying.

Pleiadeans come from a star cluster in the constellation of Taurus approximately 400 light years from earth. They are also known as the “seven sisters”. Anyone who has in- depth knowledge about Vedic astronomy perhaps can see if there is any relation to the “seven sister” Pleiadian star cluster with the “sapta rishi mandalam” (seven sages). Pleiadeans look like human beings who live for 1000 years and are very spiritual in their lifestyle.

As always, I try to see if the truth they speak has basis with Vedic truths. Surprisingly there are many relationships especially on the fundamental point of body and soul. Another stark relationship I discovered was on creation itself. According to Pleiadeans, this is what they have to say about creation

In order for us to perceive how it is possible that we are a part of Creation, we must first understand what Creation is. In the Pleiadian worlds, if you were to attend one of their schools or read their books you would find the following understanding of the concept of Creation. A Universe is a material thing created from an idea of Creation, which is the spiritual energy that contains the intelligence and knowledge to make it. It is necessary for Creation to make a Universe as part of its process of evolution. Our Universe is contained inside of a very large Universe called the Absolutum, by the Pleiadians. It is believed that we share this Absolutum along with 10 to the 49th power (10 with 49 zeros), number of other Universes,. Each one is separated by thick bands of spiritual energy called push belts.

Each Creation has a cycle of life which evolves continually. The current Creation that we live in is believed to be on a cycle of life that will last 311,040,000,000,000 years. We presently are in the 47 trillionth year of that cycle. This has been established through the technology of the Pleiadians by benefit of their ability to travel in time to research the facts. The cycle of the material Universe, is to expand outward and then to contract back into itself. The current cycle of the Creation will last 311 trillion, 40 billion years and then it will sleep an equal amount of time.

There is an original Creation that helps create all other Creations. Once a Creation has finished its cycle and has come back together in perfect harmony, it then creates the spiritual energy (thought) that becomes the next Creation. First, the new Creation is only a thought. It has reason and understanding. It reasons until it has cognition of its next step. Creation is already setting a pattern of spiritual growth through cognition. Creation then creates the space where the new Creation will exist

The age of creation (311.4 trillion years) according to their calculation amazingly matches exactly with the life of Brahma according to Vedic calculations. Also, the concepts of creation are very much in harmony with the concepts of creation as enunciated in the Vedas. Of course, the Vedas are eternal and does not deem mundane comparisons in one sense, but for people who are seeking, it is vital for their faith that through triangulation, we can see that data matches.

The Pleiadians also mention about Jmmanuel or Jesus Christ. They say that Jesus Christ’s real name is Jmmanuel and he was created through a combination of an earth mother and celestial father (some one from another planet, not earth). The Gospel of Talmud of Jmmanuel talks about the full teachings of Jmmanuel (the alleged real Jesus). I read most of it and Jmmanuel is a impersonal grihastha who finally settles in Kashmir. All his teachings echo our version of Impersonalism. Although Jmmaneul does not explicitly talk about maya, he stresses on the concepts of consciousness separate from bodily wants and that the goal of humans is to revive their pure spiritual consciousness.

Interestingly, the Talmud says that it is not Judas Iscariot who betrays Jmmanuel (Jesus) but someone from the Temple who has a similar name. In fact, Judas is one of the most faithful of the 12 apostles and actually meets Jmmanuel later in India. Later, the loyal Judas return west and pens the Talmud of Jmmanueal in Aramaic and hides it in secret location only to be revealed later to Billy through his ET contacts.

Back to the story, after crucifixion, Jmmanuel eventually goes to Kashmir, India. His mother Mary accompanies Jmmanuel in his journey to the east but dies on the way. Jmmanuel marries his wife Mary Magdalene and have children. Today, there is a tomb in Kashmir of Jmmanuel. In fact, Jmmanuel goes to Purushottam dham Jagannath Puri, visits Lord Jagannath. It is said he stayed there for 6 months.

Anyways…anyone who is interested in this can google some key words and surely you will have plenty of interesting information.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, December 10, 2009

sex within marriage = sex for procreation

Whenever I found time, I sparingly read GK das’s post on the subject matter of illicit sex. Below are my thoughts.

In India, at least where I grew up, one can find remnants of Vedic culture prominent even today in small towns and villages. What to speak of 60-70 years before; before the advent of globalization and technology. It was very much old school traditional lifestyle. So in India, when people marry, husband and wife had sex for children and not otherwise. In other words, the common practice, there was no question of contraceptives (any family planning methods), although, currently things are changing due to birth control measures adopted by the government. But generally, the culture was that people married and sex was common for ONLY begetting children.

Sex outside of marriage was considered a social stigma unless one pays a prostitute but not in the traditional sense. Boys and girls were never allowed to mix freely and this was the case for me also when growing up. One can say there were lots of restrictions for boys and girls to mix freely in public as it is practiced in western culture generally. The trend, although, is changing due to influx of cable and internet.

Therefore, when a reference is made by Srila Prabhupada to sex outside of marriage, it is spontaneously considered illicit but when a reference is made to sex inside of marriage, it spontaneously means to beget a child (b'cos the idea of contraceptives were not common). Therefore when Prabhupada refers to illicit sex such as the conversation with the reporter, he defines illicit sex as sex outside of marriage and does not mention about procreation. However, the concept of procreation is implicit when he mentions sex within marriage because culturally speaking; there was no question of contraceptives especially if one grew up in India in the early and mid 1900s. Of course, there are always anomalies…but by and large the generation that belonged to my grandparents never contemplated the use of contraceptives. Sex within marriage and sex for procreation were not two different things but meant the same thing for people from that time period and from India.

So whenever SP says sex within marriage or sex only for procreation actually means the same thing because sex within marriage in those days were meant only for procreation and never considered otherwise. There was never a need to explicitly state “for procreation” for all one needed to know is if one is married or not. That is why the average household size of a normal Indian family in the early and middle 1900s were 4 or 5 at least and people lived in “joint family” system which currently the system is completely gone. The only way one could maintain such big families is if one lived within a joint family system. Due to socio-economic reasons this concept has been completely eroded and hence families want to have sex but not children hence the idea of contraceptives became popular. With this shift in culture, all of a sudden a refinement in the definition of illicit sex is necessary. If it was in a joint family system, uncle, aunt, grandparents all will take care of the child while the biological parent can spend time otherwise.

My mother’s family I think is a family of 6 children and my father is 4. Families with 8 or 10 children were considered very common in India during the British Raj. Why this big size…that is because contraceptives were never used among married couples and hence the idea of illicit was never there within marriage but existed only out of it.

This is exactly why SP never explicitly distinguishes sex inside marriage as different from procreation purposes only…rather he uses them interchangeably simply because sex within marriage and sex for procreation colloquially means the same thing.

And this is what Krishna Himself says in the Gita 10.28

Personally…I don’t think there is any contradiction or confusion on the definition of illicit sex but if I cannot follow that standard then that is a different conversation!

Hare Krishna.