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<(previous issue's cover)>

INTRO

HARD WORK

From Castor Oil to Electricity Based on the notes taken from a conversation Srila Prabhupada had in June of 1976 at an organic farm in West Virginia.

By Srila Prabhupada

16Rounds to Samadhi 16Rounds is published: ● To propagate spiritual knowledge and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world. ● To bring people closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life. ● To expose the faults of materialism. ● To bring about the well-being of all living entities.

The modern

Western civilization is a nasty civilization that is artificially increasing the necessities of life. For example, take the electric light. The electric light requires a generator, and to run the generator you need petroleum. As soon as the pe-

troleum supply is stopped, everything will stop. But to get petroleum you have to painstakingly search it out and bore deep into the earth, sometimes in the middle of the ocean. This is ugra-karma or horrible work. The same purpose can be served by growing some castor seeds, pressing out the oil, and putting the oil into a pot with a wick. The modern system has improved the lighting

system with electricity, but to improve from the castor oil lamp to the electric lamp you have to work very hard. You have to go to the middle of the ocean and drill and then draw out the petroleum, and in this way the real goal of life is missed.

Just try to understand. The consequence of improving from the castor seed oil lamp to the electrical lamp is that you forget the real business of life, you lose yourself. This kind of civilization is going on. This is called maya or illusion. For some fictitious happiness you lose your whole purpose of life.

People are in a precarious position, constantly dying and taking birth in various species of life. Getting free of this cycle of birth and death is the real problem. This problem is meant to be solved in the human life. Humans have advanced intelligence for self-realization, but instead of using the advanced intelligence for self-realization, people are utilizing it to improve from the castor oil lamp to the electric lamp. �

16Rounds is an independent magazine compiled, written, and published by a few Hare Krishna monks. It is produced in an attempt to benefit its readers, for our own purification, and for the pleasure of our spiritual grandfather, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti­ vedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder and spiritual guide of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The first copy is free. Additional copies of the same issue are $10 each. © 2013 16 Rounds to Samadhi. All rights reserved.

16Rounds Staff:

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Editor: Mahat Tattva Dasa Mahat is a monk and the president of the ISKCON monastic community in San Diego. Layout: Bhismadeva Dasa Bhismadeva has been a monk since 2008 and is currently living in the ashram at the Hare Krishna temple in San Diego.

English editor: Matthew McManus Born and grew up in Los Angeles. Graduated from San Diego State University in 2011. Currently a monk at the ISKCON ashram in San Diego.

CONTACT: 16rounds@gmail.com www.16ROUNDS.com 1030 Grand Ave. San Diego, CA 92109 Call/text 858-405-5465 facebook.com/16roundstosamadhi ADVERTISE www.16rounds.com/advertise Call/text Mahat at 858-405-5465. SUBSCRIPTIONS 10 issues = $25 www.16rounds.com/subscribe DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors.

MEANING OF “16ROUNDS”

Photo Credits

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “union” or “linking.” Meditation is a process of yoga by which the spiritual practitioner achieves union with the Divine. The recommended process of meditation for the age we are currently living in is mantra meditation. This process involves chanting of mantras. The Upanishads, the classical spiritual texts of ancient India, say that the best mantra is the Hare Krishna mantra: hare krishna, hare krishna, krishna krishna, hare hare, hare rama, hare rama, rama rama, hare hare.

©1 flickr.com/cobalt ©2 flickr.com/draggin ©3 flickr.com/daedrius ©4 flickr.com/ara3xilos ©5 flickr.com/home_of_chaos ©6 flickr.com/soldiersmediacenter ©7 flickr.com/timypenburg ©8 Krishna.com ©9 flickr.com/pinkcotton ©10 Krishna.com ©12 Krishna.com ©13 flickr.com/77585593@NO5 ©14 flickr.com/buenosaurus ©15 flickr.com/thedreehay ©16 flickr.com/john ©17 flickr.com/derricksphotos ©18 flickr.com/mahat64

A “Mala” is a set of 108 beads strung on a thread, sort of like a rosary. The spiritual practitioner prayerfully and with great concentration recites/chants the whole mantra once for each bead of the mala. The mala or the string of beads is held in the fist of the right hand and is meant to help us count how many times we chanted the mantra. It also helps engage the sense of touch in the process of meditation. Once we have chanted the mantra 108 times, or once for each bead, we have completed “one round.” Serious practitioners of this spiritual discipline take a vow to chant at least sixteen times round the mala every day; thus the name “16 Rounds.”

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SOCIETY

GET MONSANTO OUT (GMO) Protection Against The Monsanto Protection Act life, provides, energy, and growth, but when this standard is applied to the majority of foodstuffs sold on the market today, it falls short when observed in longitudinal studies on consumer health.

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By Matthew McManus

Food.

The concept resonates with every man, woman, and child; however, what is food and what is not food? In today’s industrialized food culture, that which is now considered food would not be considered edible in pre-industrial times. Furthermore, food is defined as any nourishing substance that sustains

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So what has changed from the times of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and now? How has the food changed and how can one discriminate between ‘contemporary’ food and ‘traditional’ food? To get a truly comprehensive understanding of this issue, one must understand the history of food manipulation and its manipulators.

HISTORY

Since the time of George Mendel’s discovery of classic selection, whereby one plant species is cross-bred with a related species to produce desired characteristics, scientists have been working on manipulating organisms. Control over the organism’s characteristics was enhanced with the discovery of DNA in 1953 because scien-

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tists could splice individual genes of an organism’s helix to another organism. These events were the forerunner of the genetically modified (GMO), non-organic foods of today.

Modern corporations have since taken up the flagship of genetic modification as a means of economic development; and of the corporations that have been the most dynamic in influencing the genetic food culture, especially here in the United States, is Monsanto.

Monsanto has a history of seedy behavior that has been anti-humanitarian and grossly disingenuous. In the 1970s, Monsanto Corporation was a thriving chemical manufacturing company. The chemicals they engineered were highly toxic to animals and humans alike. One especially infamous chemical they manufactured was Agent Orange, which was used in the Vietnam War for chemical warfare purposes, and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the

injury of millions more.

In addition to manufacturing Agent Orange, Monsanto produced other deleterious chemicals like DDT, PCBs, and bovine growth hormone. DDT, which was commonly found in insecticides as prevention for malaria and typhus, was banned in the United States in 1972 when it was discovered to be carcinogenic. Similarly, PCBs were banned in 1979 by Congress for reasons akin to DDT, being reported by the EPA to cause a variety of carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic disorders. The peo-

ple of Anniston, Alabama are live testimonials of the dangers of PCBs because they were directly exposed to it when Monsanto Corporation covertly dumped these chemicals in the water system and buried them in residential neighborhoods. Bovine growth hormone, known as rBST, is a hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production. Studies have found that the

growth hormone increases the probability of developing mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue), and lameness in cows that receive regular rBST injections. These chemicals have a dismal history of causing health problems in thousands of people that came in contact with them; accordingly, their use today is highly controversial.

Despite clear research indicating the chemicals were highly dangerous, Monsanto willfully sold their products to the public under false pretenses. Lawsuits

REAL ORGANIC?

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SOCIETY ORGANIC FAMERS: AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

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were levied against the corporation in response to the false advertisements of their products being organic and biodegradable. Furthermore, numerous documents have been uncovered in recent years that detail insalubrious qualities found in their products when they were studied in research labs by the company’s own research team, even before it was made known to the public through the research of independent scientists. Therefore, despite knowing the dangers of their products, they still sold it to make profit. No longer a chemical manufacturing company, Monsanto Corporation is now the most lucrative biotech company in the world. They control 95 percent of the seed industry.

SUPERSEDE MOTHER NATURE BY ESTABLISHING IT AS PRIVATE PROPERTY. How did they become so successful? The same business practices that made it successful in the chemical sector were applied to agriculture. Intellectual property rights and patents were applied to GMOs in the 1980s through the legal phenomenon of ‘plant breeders rights,’ which gave the company exclusive privilege to the seeds they developed in the laboratory and set a legal precedent of corporations being able to patent life in the form of seeds. This law not only cements Monsanto’s monopoly, but gives the company perpetual control of their product. Farmers that use their seeds can only do so for one harvest instead of saving seeds for the next harvest, as is the traditional practice.

Organic farmers are being muscled out. The blitzkrieg against farmers by Monsanto is based on the initial fallacy of claiming nature to be private property. As a result of such a mentality, anyone who infringes on Monsanto’s property is considered a thief, and subject to prosecution, even if such ‘thievery’ was actually not the part of the farmer, but was done by Mother Nature (i.e. winds blow Monsanto seeds to another’s property).

Lawsuits brought against farmers mostly deal with these two subjects: reusing their seeds or having their seeds on the property. The mentality of owning life is a form of gross ignorance because it attempts to supersede Mother Nature by establishing it as private property. As we can see throughout the course of time, society has incrementally infringed on the path of Mother Nature and created more complex, artificial boundaries that simply create more complex problems.

chemical manipulation in farming has raised a vehement concern on the safety and future of food.

The process of making a GMO plant cannot be reversed. They are engineered through splicing a particular gene to the DNA of a plant via a pollen carrier. The virus gene infiltrates the DNA, changing the natural characteristics of the plant. Thereafter the original plant is forever changed and the hybrid plant is maintained through the genes in successive generations. In addition to being irreversible, GMOs affect the food in a number of important ways. It has shown to spur food allergies, create higher levels of toxicity in the food itself, lead to degenerative diseases, immune disorders, cancer, and o t h e r

maladies. All these findings come from case studies of consumers of GMO products; however, no official studies have been published, because despite the findings I mentioned above, food safety officials have presumptuously deemed GMOs to be equivalent to organic crops. To make matters more credulous, Monsanto is the only one with the legal right to study their own seeds!

BILL HR933: THE MONSANTO PROTECTION ACT

Bill HR933 is an act of violation against the Constitution and proper political

procedures. In the bill HR 933 that President Obama signed on March 26, 2013 was a section that was not originally part of the bill, but discreetly tacked on as it was undergoing review, which gave Monsanto’s GMOs protection from litigation. Because the bill gives Monsanto inviolability from government intervention, it is unconstitutional as it obviates the judiciary.

PREVENTION VS. DECEPTION

The sordid history of Monsanto is an ancillary issue because what was done is now in the past and unchangeable. However, the

Cont'd on pg. 17 ›››

FORCE FED

The permanent effects of GMOs on biology have created a momentous and longterm shift in agriculture in a short duration; combined with the effect of herbicides, which can be disastrous to health and biodiversity,

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ORGANIC FARMERS ARE BEING MUSCLED OUT. THE BLITZKRIEG AGAINST FARMERS BY MONSANTO IS BASED ON THE INITIAL FALLACY OF CLAIMING NATURE TO BE PRIVATE PROPERTY.

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PHILOSOPHY

FREEDOM Transcendental Personalism By Suhotra Swami

A person

i s an eternal being with limited freedom of choice. His awareness of what choices lie before him is shaped by time-bound material phenomena, which include experiences that are physical, emotional, and mental. The phenomena a person currently experiences are in reaction to his past actions. These reactions are plotted in accordance with three modes of work. Due to his past work within these modes, a person presently has good, mediocre, and bad physical, emotional, and mental experiences. All such experiences are temporary. In the midst of the matrix of my experience, what do

I, a person, ultimately seek? The answer is freedom. "What light is to the eyes," said a wise man, "what air is to the

But the experience of matter suppresses the experience of our original nature. Now

lungs, what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man." Everyone wants liberation. Srila Prabhupada, my spiritual teacher, explains that this is the constitutional position of the soul. Constitutionally, we are eternal, complete in knowledge, and full of happiness.

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HIS HABIT IS TO IDENTIFY HIS SELF WITH THE MATRIX INTO WHICH HIS PERSON IS POURED, AND TO IDENTIFY HIS SELFINTEREST WITH THE EXPERIENCES HE FINDS IN THAT MATRIX.

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we find ourselves subject to time, ignorance, and misery. Innately, we all yearn for freedom from that suppression.

THREE FALSE CONCEPTIONS OF FREEDOM

A liberated person is free to make real choices. Real choice is possible where there are options of real satisfaction. Unfortunately, the matrix of our experience may not permit us free choice. Why? The answer is quite simple: We are eternal, yet the options available to us in this world are not. We want the experience of unadulterated bliss, yet the options available to us in this world are mixed with distress. Choice as we know it now, within the matrix of our present experience, is insubstantial. We select shadows - of love, social life, recreation and so on - that appear and disappear in time. Yet within the confines of our experience, it seems very difficult for us to understand that we have no real freedom of choice. The matrix even supplies us with three notions of freedom: in goodness, in passion, and in ignorance. Unfortunately, they are not real.

"FREEDOM" IN THE MODE OF GOODNESS

Though it too is ultimately false, the goodness concep-

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EACH OF THE MODES IS A STRAND OF A ROPE THAT BINDS THE SOUL WITHIN THE MATRIX OF TEMPORAL EXPERIENCE. tion of freedom is superior to the others. Here, a person aspires for freedom by knowledge and morality, virtues that greatly boost the power of detachment. However, knowledge and morality do not grant us authority over our senses, namely the eyes, the tongue, the nose, the ear, and the sense of touch. Even in goodness, consciousness remains subjected to physical, emotional, and mental phenomena arising uncontrollably out of good, bad, and mixed

fortune. A learned, moral person experiences those phenomena in an analytical, self-composed manner. Being detached from his experience, he may think himself liberated. But he is not really liberated if, in the name of goodness, he remains habituated to a life of imprisonment within mundane sensation. In his book The King of Knowledge, chapter seven, Srila Prabhupada explains: “Goodness is also a kind of contamination. In goodness one becomes aware of


PHILOSOPHY his position and transcendental subjects, etc., but his defect is in thinking, ’Now I have understood everything. Now I am all right.’ He wants to stay here. In other words, the person in the mode of goodness becomes a first class prisoner and, becoming happy in the prison house, wants to stay there.”

OUR TWO NATURES

Our first nature, the substance of our person, is eternal spirit. Our second nature is habit. For example, we have the habit to rejoice or lament our change of fortune. In the language of the Bhagavad-gita, this habit is the duality of bewilderment, which captivates all creatures born in the material world. In a lecture, Srila Prabhupada gave the illustration of a man crying over the death of a son. Who in the world will not cry if his son dies? Even a man of learning and morality will cry at such a loss. "It is habitual," Srila Prabhupada said. But a person in the mode of goodness tries to be philosophical about it.

In the ancient world, philosophy meant primarily the intellectual method of distinguishing the spirit self from the habits of the body and the mind. Philosophers of the classical Mediterranean culture, which sired European civilization, knew that our first nature can be made well or unwell. The first nature (the spirt self) is

made well by the cultivation of virtue. Conversely, as one loses his virtue, his first nature sickens.

In the Latin language, like Sanskrit, the root vir means "strong;" hence, virtue is the quality of a strong, healthy spirit. In European culture there are four classical virtues, foremost of which is sophia, true knowledge of the self beyond time. The others are fortitude, justice, and temperance or selfrestraint. In Vedic culture too there are four similar virtues: truthfulness, austerity, mercy, and cleanliness. These are fostered when we refrain from gambling, intoxication, meat-eating (or lack of compassion towards animals and other creatures), and licentiousness. Attachment to truth is essential to detachment from matter. Above all, truth means the timeless truth beyond my temporal selfimage. The image of myself as a father of a son is "true" in a biological, psychological, and social sense, but in fact it is not true in the highest sense because my role as a father is only temporary. It takes real virtue to admit this.

As he laments the death of a son, the grief of a virtuous father is tempered by a sober insight into the deeper meaning of his change of fortune. He knows that what is given and taken away is not his own, for the eternal soul can possess nothing that is

temporary. Hence, misfortune for a good person is not really bad. It often serves a lesson healthier than good fortune can, since in socalled good times we tend to forget that nothing in this world can last. As Philosophia, goddess of Greek and Roman thought, declares in The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius: "But if you could see the plan of providence, you would not think there was evil anywhere." The world is so planned that misfortune follows good fortune. The childless King Citraketu felt himself greatly blessed by providence when at last his wife bore him a son. Shortly, in a palace intrigue, the baby was poisoned. The king was emotionally crushed. But the sage Narada showed Citraketu that this loss was the very same gain he had celebrated days before. Thus the son was "good" and "evil," "friend" and "enemy," the object of both the king's happiness and distress. When he understood this, the king really gained something - detachment.

For one detached from material gain and loss, "being" is far more important than "becoming" (becoming a father, for instance). No matter what good or ill fortune comes with time, the virtuous person chooses timeless being - his spiritual substance - over any material situation. On the other hand, a person of weak vir-

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IT IS LIKE GETTING RID OF A PERSISTENT HEADACHE BY CHOPPING OFF THE HEAD. tue is attached to the ebb and flow of his destiny. He sees the appearance and disappearance of pleasant and unpleasant experiences within time as good or evil. Because he is blind to his own karma under the wheel of fate, he supposes fate to be blind chance; or he supposes there is no fate at all, that success is tenacity of purpose, and failure the reward for laziness. In any case, his habit is to identify

his self with the matrix into which his person is poured, and to identify his self-interest with the experiences he finds in that matrix. Thus, he who is pure spirit, becomes dependent upon the shifting arrangements of matter. Such is his bad habit. When one becomes increasingly dependent upon and controlled by a bad habit, he is said to be addicted. That addiction is sin. Sin is persistent ignorance

of our first nature. Sin develops from meat-eating (or participation in unnecessary animal slaughter), licentiousness, gambling, and intoxication, four kinds of behavior that corrode virtue.

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PHILOSOPHY

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YOU LIVE JUST ONCE, TWICE, THRICE... Deja Vous At Every Moment By Abeer Saha

Reality is

structured; governed by laws. And that is evidenced by patterns. For instance, everywhere on earth that one may throw an object into the sky, it will return to the ground. Depending primarily on the mass of the object and the force that was exerted upon it, the height achieved by the object and the time taken for it to return will differ in a manner that is calculable. Scientists have similarly searched out patterns for countless phenomena that occur in the physical world and thus we have the subjects of physics, chemistry, biology, math-

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ematics, etc. and their corresponding laws. However, dogma of both a religious and a scientific kind have hindered an unbiased inquiry by modern scientists into the patterns of our own metaphysical reality. While we now have logically and philosophically comprehensible and cohesive answers to questions pertaining to our day-to-day survival and entertainment, science is yet to discover equally persuasive answers to the questions of life and death. Why are we born; some to a life of riches while others in the gallows of poverty? Why do we look the way we do, some beautiful and others ugly? Why do good things happen to bad people

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and the other way around? Why do the innocent suffer while the guilty roam free? Why do we die? Does it seem right that the above questions are categorically ordained to the realms of randomness by the same scientists who strive endlessly to see patterns and laws in the microscopic movements of subatomic molecules? This “scientific” attitude will seem rather nonsensical and counterintuitive to the unbiased observer and so herein are presented two laws that do in fact offer philosophically and logically sound alternatives to our presently prevailing paradigm. The current western worldview induces one to consider all the above situations of life

a result of randomness, totally devoid of reason, even though that is completely uncharacteristic of the rest of reality which functions like clockwork. But the Vedic perspective explained below is exactly the opposite and aligns completely with our observations of the rest of nature. It constitutes the laws of Karma and Samsara; two frequently misunderstood and hence easily misused concepts, that are accurately elucidated herein, as described in their original source, the ancient Vedic texts.

Karma is cosmic justice. It can be easily understood as a metaphysical extension of Newton’s 3rd law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Just as Newton’s laws apply to all objects, all over the planet, irrespective of our knowledge thereof; similarly, karma brings to all sentient beings the effects of their actions, in the course of time, irrespective of their acknowledgement. It is crucial to understand that time is the vehicle that carries our karma to us. In other words, the results of certain actions may occur within a short time from their cause, but the results of other actions may take many years to fructify. For instance, if I were to slap you now, and you were to slap me in return, I would have received the karmic reaction of my action within moments of the cause. However, if you had restrained yourself from slapping me in return, I would be due to

receive the karmic reaction of my action at some time in the future. A useful analogy to understand how we receive our karma is that of an attendant bagging our purchased items at a grocery store. The attendant will not always place our items in the bags according to the order in which we purchased them. Instead, the attendant will place the items in the order that is most convenient to carry and least likely to cause damage. For example, he or she probably won’t place the ice-cream along with some hot bread! Similarly, we won’t receive our karmic reactions in the order we performed our actions, but in the order that restores the cosmic balance.

However, karma fails to give answers until understood alongside reincarnation. The theory of reincarnation suggests that we, as embodied selves or souls, have been wandering around the universe since time immemorial; constantly changing bodies in a cycle of birth and death. Any honest person will admit that even within the confines of this one life, their body has never really been the same for more than a few years. In fact, every single body in existence is going through six different stages of birth, growth, reproduction, maintenance, dwindling and death. Who can claim that their body has always been the same and not seen the tremendous changes from babyhood to youth to adulthood to old age? The Vedic

teachings of reincarnation are only an extension of this very evident phenomenon. They suggest that since we’ve only ever known the change of bodies, that is exactly what happens at death. Just as we’ve been accepting new bodies at every stage of “life,” we accept another new body at “death”. This is the law of samsara or reincarnation in the cycle of life and death.

According to our karma, we receive birth in a particular family with a particular body type, having certain innate talents within a particular nation, of a particular planet, and in a particular universe. Nothing is left to randomness; everything has a reason. Even what seem to appear to us as accidents or coincidences, are the results of our actions from the past. So when someone ‘innocent’ faces turmoil in life, or when a ‘wrongdoer’ enjoys happiness, it is a result of their actions from previous lives. In fact, every single situation that we face in life is karmically bound to our past. In effect, that which we do now creates our own future. Indeed, we are the true architects of our lives and in many ways our destiny is in our hands. Professor Ian Stevenson, until his retirement in 2002, was the head of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. He investigated more than 2500 past life cases which he published in a series of technical books: Cases of the Reincarnation Type


PHILOSOPHY (1975-1983), Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation (1987), etc. He was internationally renowned for his research, which he called the “survival of personality after death” (Fox, NY Times, 2007). It revealed that many people do in fact have memories from their past lives and that these memories are fresh mostly in young children. But why do only some people remember and not everyone?

The Vedic literature explains that our subtle mind, the storehouse of all our memories, travels with us from one body to another in the cycle of samsara. And that a combination of our karma and our thoughts at the moment of death lead us to another body. Some people, especially those who die in traumatic ways, have very strong impressions from their previous lives on their subtle mind. This strong attachment to the previous body enables them to recall certain events, people and places from their past lives, even in their current body. However, just like most of us forget our childhoods by the time we’re in adult bodies, most people forget their past lives after birth. This is indeed desirable, as it saves us from chronic personality disorder! Reincarnation also provides an explanation for many psychological phenomena such as phobias. What modern science explains away as “irrational” phobias are simply strong impressions on our minds

from past lives still affecting the psyche in our current life. So it is likely that those people who’re afraid of heights or darkness without any apparent reason, in this life, have had a traumatic experience at a high place or in the darkness in a previous life. There are three kinds of actions: good actions, bad actions, and non-karmic actions. Good actions result in good karma such as getting a good job, having a healthy life, winning a lottery, etc. Bad actions, those that cause unnecessary suffering to other living beings, result in bad karma such as falling ill, meeting with an accident, having a poor relationship, etc. Bad karma is not as much punishment as it is an opportunity for learning. Just as there’s no better way to teach a thief not to steal than by having something dear stolen from him, bad karma offers every one of us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes. No action, good or bad, is ever overlooked in the cosmic scheme; karma is as infallible as gravity. However, those actions that are performed in transcendental consciousness, when the doer is not looking to selfishly enjoy the results of the activities but is offering them to God, do not incur any kind of karma and are thus called non-karmic or akarmic activities.

The nature of karma is to bind the performer to the material plane of existence. This is because anyone who

has some karma remaining at the moment of death must receive another body in order to enjoy or suffer the result of their karmic actions. Thus the only way to escape the endless cycle of birth and death is to cease all karmic activities and perform all work in transcendental consciousness. But why would anyone want to escape the cycle of samsara? To many it may be more appealing to simply accumulate good karma and enjoy the results in a worldly life of luxury. However, good karma -no matter how goodwill also bring one back to the material atmosphere, wherein it is impossible to escape the four unwanted conditions of life: birth, old age, disease and death. Irrespective of anyone’s karma, all must face the discomfort of gestation and birth, the inconvenience of old age, the pain of disease, and finally, the doom of separation at death. A truly happy exis-

tence must therefore be devoid of these four conditions and so, those who are convinced of this, seek respite from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Karma and reincarnation, correctly understood, do away with what theologians refer to as the problem of evil. In the Vedic paradigm, life is not unfair or out of our control; everyone deserves exactly what they are experiencing. This is a much more satisfying outlook than the commonly held belief that everyone is victim to randomness or that we’re at the whims of a heavenly screenwriter. Although this paradigm may seem deterministic at first glance, a deeper understanding of it reveals that it certainly allows for free will. Even though our present circumstanc-

es are predetermined by our own choices from the past, our future is dependent on our choices right now. The situations we find ourselves in life may for the time being be out of our control, but how we respond to those circumstances and in what consciousness, will determine our future; in that way we have free will. The purpose of understanding karma and reincarnation isn’t so that we can blame others for their ill-luck or fixate over the karmic consequences of our every action. The purpose is to understand that we’ve been here in the material world

a very long time and that we will continue to watch the same movie of life again and again, with only slight changes in the script, until we endeavor to gain release from the cycle of birth and death by understanding our essential nature as eternal spiritual beings in search for the absolute truth; the highest plane of existence devoid of birth, old age, disease and death. �

WHO CAN CLAIM THAT THEIR BODY HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME AND NOT SEEN THE TREMENDOUS CHANGES FROM BABYHOOD TO YOUTH TO ADULTHOOD TO OLD AGE?

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

IS BHUTAN SHOWING THE WAY? Wholly Organic & Happy Country By Mahat Tattva Dasa

Bhutan is a small country situated at the eastern end of the Himalayas. Its population is slightly over 700,000. On the north it borders China and on all other sides it borders India. WHOLLY ORGANIC

Dr. Pema

Gyamtsho, the country’s first democratically elected minister of Agriculture and Forests, announced earlier this year Bhutan’s plans to turn its agriculture completely organic. This plan

includes a ban on sales of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers. This should not be too difficult of a task, for Bhutan is an overwhelmingly agrarian nation that was closed to foreign influences until a mere 30 years ago, when they opened their borders. Thus for a long time evading

the contamination of what most modern people would consider progress, Bhutan managed to remain a pollution-free country where the cultivation of land is still largely done in traditional (read “organic”) ways. By modern standards, Bhutan is rather a poor country. However, it is rich

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COVER STORY (official name of the country) has, since 1971, rejected GDP as the way to measure progress. Instead they measure their country’s prosperity through formal principles of Gross National Happiness, GNH. GNH is determined by the country’s spiritual, physical, social, and environmental health. The belief that wellbeing should take preference over material growth is clearly at odds with the rest of the world. I can imagine that some may consider GNH naive and credulous and that others may even make fun of it. But in the face of global economic and environmental crises, Bhutan’s GNH is becoming an attractive idea. The principles of GNH are taught in Bhutan’s schools.

in natural goods: food, vegetation, and water, for example. Bhutan’s rivers help the country generate 2,000 megawatts of electrical energy, much of which is exported to India. Dr. Gyamtsho says that Bhutan has the potential to generate 10,000 megawatts of electrical energy. In response to the concern that by going completely organic Bhutan’s food production may reduce and thus place its citizens in general and farmers in particular in a difficult situation, Bhutan’s government says

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that is a misconception. In the modern world people generally think that the use of pesticides and herbicides is necessary, lest the size of crops get reduced due to becoming more susceptible to pests. This notion is now being challenged in Bhutan and by some farmers in Asia, including India, who are developing new, organic techniques to grow more without losing soil quality. Sustainable Root Intensification is one of the organic methods that can potentially double the crop yields. Other agrarian methods are not

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new. Using traditional crops and their organic seeds, which have pest resistance, can increase food production without the help of synthetic chemicals.

GNH VS. GDP

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product is the market value of final goods and services produced by a country within a given period of time. GDP is the modern indicator of a country’s standard of living and the wellbeing of its citizens. The Kingdom of Bhutan

In addition to regular secular subjects, students learn the basic techniques of agriculture and environmental protection; they engage in daily meditation sessions and have replaced the alarm-like sounding school bell with soothing traditional music, all due to following this paradigm of GNH. Choki Dukpa, the head teacher at a primary school in Thimphu, the country’s capital, said in an interview that education doesn’t just mean getting good grades. It means preparing students to be good people.

CHALLENGES

Things are not completely rosy in the country of Bhutan. There are challenges.

Bhutan’s government is aware that their green initiatives and the Gross National Happiness model may not survive the collision with the increasing environmental and social challenges of the rest of the world.

Bhutan shares the planet with the rest of the world’s population. If other countries are not carbon neutral, the abnormal climate changes will affect Bhutan as well. “Bhutan is a mountainous country, highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. We have a population that is highly dependent on the agricultural sector. We are banking on hydropower as the engine that will finance our development.” - said Thinley Namgyel, the head of Bhutan’s climate


COVER STORY change division. The erratic climate behavior is making it more and more difficult for farmers to successfully pro-

duce food. Sometimes there is no snow in the winter, the rains come at wrong times, thus plants get ruined. As

the temperatures get higher, there are more insects in the fruit and grain. In extreme circumstances, government

sometimes has to distribute fertilizers and pesticides to help people save their crops.

The other challenge for Bhutan is the seduction of their youth by the decadent modern world. The youth is losing interest in farming. Many are moving to the capital or other countries, leaving agriculture to their aging parents. More and more, especially youth, want to use modern facilities, such as cars. Since the country does not have its own oil, it has to import it from other countries, thus unbalancing the import-export scale and pressurizing the country into commercialization. Upon being interviewed, a group of teenagers in Paro, a town in Bhutan, said they want to be forest rangers, environmental scientists, and such, but at the same time they want to travel the world and enjoy its modern not-necessities such as cars, pop music, and watch movies such as Rambo.

Another teenager, 15-year-old Kunzang Jamso, thinks that “We need to keep the outside from coming here too much because we might lose our culture.”

Much of Bhutan’s healthy goals and attitudes, which seem to be conspicuous by their absence in the world of business and politics, are stemming from their history of spiritual thought and cul-

Cont'd on pg. 19 ›››

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SOCIETY

GOW! GOW!

From a lecture by Srila Prabhupada (London. March 1975)

If I ask him,

GOOGLE GLASS

"What is your next life?" he cannot answer. If I ask the dog, "What is your next life?" he cannot say. "Gow! gow!" That's all. So if I ask any human being, "What is your next life?" "I don't bother about that thing." (laughter) That is the same answer, "Gow! Gow!" That's all... You ask any M.A., Ph.D., "What is your next life, sir?" "Gow! Gow!" (laughter) That's all. "Gow! Gow!" means "Why you are bothering about these things?" This is the situation. ďż˝

cyber + organism = cyborg By Mahat Tattva Dasa

Google Glass is a

wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD) that is being developed by Google with the mission of producing a massmarket ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. (For example: "OK glass, record video." "OK glass, take a picture." "OK glass tell me about jellyfish.") Thus the wearer of the device can handsfree take a photo, record a video, or share, in real time, what one sees with others who wear the same device. One can ask for all sorts of information, such as driving or walking directions, and have the data displayed right in front of the wearer's eyes, precisely, in the upper right corner of the glasses. One can even ask for words to be translated into different languages. Comment by Mahat: Technology strives to integrate itself

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into the human body. I find this unnatural and even disturbing. Humans are continuing to center their lives around the physical body. People are not happy to be. They continue to try to become. First lesson a yogi learns is that there is no need to become because you already are.

Comment by Matthew McManus: The modern mindset, hopeful of the future, is such that because we have the internet and because we have technology, we do not ever need to feel like we are missing out on something. Youtube is our eyes and hears, Facebook is our society, and Google is our allknowing teacher. However, in the attempt to be omnipresent and omniscient and therefore maximize one's potential at actually 'living' life, people find themselves unable to concentrate on the present and unable to remember the past. So, what is the use?

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CONT'D FREEDOM,TRANSCENDENTAL PERSONALISM Cont'd from pg. 7

"FREEDOM" IN THE MODE OF PASSION In the world of time, the mind hunts for sensual delights that are in turn haunted by old age, disease, death, and rebirth. Yet it is our habit to cherish the restless mind and senses as the agents of our hope. From this habit a passionate philosophy of freedom develops, one that some thinkers call "instrumentalism." An instrumentalist is a person for whom the "instrument panel" of the mind and senses is the only valid source of knowledge. He believes the human being can find, with the help of these instruments, the answer to the complex problems of material existence. A human is distinguished from other creatures not by his virtues but by the complexity of his problems. Human questions of right and wrong, true and false, can be solved only on the basis of useful facts, for usefulness is a measure of truth. Theories of the soul and its virtues are useless in practical affairs. Therefore they are untrue. Theories are to be judged not by their "goodness" but by their consequences: what results they give us. The passionate instrumentalist uses his mind and senses like tools, to locate and dig up treasures buried deep within material nature - riches, rare pleasures,

sources of energy, cosmic secrets - that he hopes will serve the needs of the human race. His outlook is prospective, since his faith is invested in the future. Thus "becoming" is far more important than "being." But what will he become? He will certainly not become free. His future holds countless births and deaths, for the philosophy of instrumentalism is simply the philosophy of embodied existence. For example, aerospace technology has made it possible for humans to fly high in the sky. If in the human body I convince myself that the most important problems of life are those that flight can solve, I deserve no better than to become a bird in my next life.

"FREEDOM" IN THE MODE OF IGNORANCE

The person in the mode of goodness seeks freedom in being rather than becoming. The person in the mode of passion seeks freedom in becoming rather than being. The person in the mode of ignorance seeks freedom in non-being, or nihilism. He is retrospective in his outlook because in his heart he nurses unending dismay, anger, and frustration about his past experience. Thus he sees hope neither in the present nor future. He chooses to cancel out further

involvement in this world by negating his personal self. There are demanding, highly disciplined philosophical systems dedicated to losing one's self; but, in today's Western world, many people try it the easy way, through alcohol, drugs, and suicide. Now, there are other angry, frustrated individuals who are not content to passively extinguish themselves. They want to drag the world down with them. Through aggressive, violent behavior and the oppressive domination of others, they seek freedom from the trouble of having to think rationally about the purpose of life. Striking out at the world in blind hatred and trampling it underfoot is just a motif of self-annihilation, as is clear from the examples of history's famous tyrants like Caligula and Adolf Hitler. Thus, whether he takes the passive or aggressive path, the nihilist's goal is to eradicate all differences in his life, which means to eradicate life itself. A creed of voidism is, ex nihilo omne ens qua ens fit - "Every being in so far as it is being is made out of nothing." If my being is nothing, then neither my self who chooses nor the world of choices has real importance. For a person in goodness, it is important to always choose internal well-being over entanglement in external variety. For a person in

passion, it is important to entangle oneself in external variety; yes, more important even than internal well-being. But for a person in ignorance, all this is not worth the trouble.

Good people struggle to be free from the loss of the self to material attraction. Passionate people have no problem with losing themselves in that way. But they struggle to get free from the problems that result from their attraction to matter. The ignorant person claims freedom by disclaiming the importance of the struggles of goodness and passion. He thinks eternal life and worldly happiness are impossible, and the effort to attain them is a waste, an absurdity, nothingness. In Caligula, the French philosopher Albert Camus wrote, “Really this world of ours, this scheme of things as they call it, is quite intolerable. That's why I want the moon, or happiness, or eternal life - something, in fact, that may sound crazy, but which isn't this world...This world has no importance; once a man realizes that, he wins his freedom. And yet, I know that all I need is for the impossible to be the impossible!” On one side, Camus advocated the “ignorant” freedom gained by rejecting life in this world. But that freedom is negative. It is like getting rid of a persis-

tent headache by chopping off the head. On the other side, he admitted this is not what we positively want and need. We want and need positive freedom “to do the impossible.” And what is this impossibility, "Which isn't this world," which isn't the matrix of our present experience? As explained before, it is the freedom to choose among options of real satisfaction, options formed out of the nature of eternal existence, complete knowledge, and pure bliss. But to one in ignorance, because it seems impossible, it is crazy.

REAL FREEDOM

Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.25.15, explains how a person can be bound by and liberated from the three modes of nature:

“The stage in which the consciousness of the living entity is attracted by the three modes of material nature is called conditional life. But when that same consciousness is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is situated in the consciousness of liberation.”

Choice, the essential function of an individual's consciousness, is defined here. We have two options: to choose to associate with the three modes of nature, or to choose the divine association.

by them (the word ‘guna’ means "rope;" each of the modes is a strand of a rope that binds the soul within the matrix of temporal experience). Once so trapped, the soul's dynamic essence, his power of choice, alternates rapidly back and forth between material dualities: mind and matter, intelligence and foolishness, good and evil, light and darkness, male and female, young and old, sickness and health, heat and cold, pleasure and pain, happiness and distress, wealth and poverty, beauty and ugliness, excitement and boredom, sobriety and whimsy, sanity and insanity, honor and dishonor, fame and infamy, birth and death, up and down.

As long as the soul continues to choose between duality, his field of material activities is perpetuated life after life. Choosing the divine association unties the knot of bondage to material duality. As we shall see, liberation in spiritual association affords the soul unlimited opportunities for substantial choice.� (Excerpt from the book Transcendental Personalism by Suhotra Swami)

If we choose the modes of nature, we are entrapped

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LIFESTYLE

STRONG OJAS Vigor for a Healthy Body and Mind By Sara Bock

According

to Ayurveda, we each have a physical body (bones, tissues, blood, muscles, etc), and a subtle body (mind, intellect, and emotions). Our physical bodies contain a mix of elements categorized into three doshas (kapha earth and water, pitta - fire, and vata - air and ether). Keeping these elements balanced through diet, exercise, work, and lifestyle is essential for maintaining good health.

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Our subtle bodies similarly contain three vital forces which are also based on the elements. These forces are ojas (contentment and stability/water element), tejas (intelligence/fire element), and prana (breath and life force/air element). These subtle forces must also be kept in balance for optimal health and disease prevention.

The focus of this article will be on ojas. In a culture where we are accustomed to experience things through our senses, it may be hard to envision what exactly ojas is. It does not take an x-rayable shape like a bone, and we cannot feel it moving like a muscle. Rather, ojas is a subtle force; it is the strength behind our immune system a n d the stability that gives the mind feelings of peace and contentment. We cannot perŠ13 ceive it as easily as we perceive our hair and nails for example, but we can recognize symptoms within us of having strong or weak ojas. After healthy food is properly digested, absorbed, and assimilated, the pure es-

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sence of that food spreads throughout the subtle body, giving energy, strength, and vitality, and this subtle energy and vigor can be translated as ojas. Ojas is located in the heart, but circulates through the blood to all parts of the body. Physically, a person with strong ojas is resistant to disease and has strong immunity. A person with low ojas in comparison, may fall ill easily, and feel weak or fatigued. Mentally, a person with strong ojas feels peaceful, grounded, and able to handle day to day stress. Ojas also allows the mind to stay focused and at work for long periods of time. A person with low ojas on the other hand, may have mood swings, feel mentally unstable or ungrounded, and fatigue easily in the mind.

Prevention and treatment of most illnesses in Ayurveda involve the building up and maintenance of ojas. To maintain good health and be resistant to disease, it is essential to be able to recognize early warning signs of depleted ojas, and to know what you can do to rebuild your ojas. What builds ojas, and what depletes it? Following are examples of each. To build and maintain strong ojas, you need:

1) Healthy digestion - if food is not properly digested, it will not be correctly broken down and absorbed to give our cells, bodies, and minds sufficient ojas, or

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OJAS IS LOCATED IN THE HEART, BUT CIRCULATES THROUGH THE BLOOD TO ALL PARTS OF THE BODY. vigor. To maintain healthy digestion, use digestion promoting spices with your meals such as ginger, pepper, and fennel (depending on your constitution), follow Ayurvedic food combining rules, (fruits eaten alone for example), leave enough time in between meals for food to digest (4-5 hrs for a large meal), eat the biggest meal at noon when fire of digestion is strongest, avoid eating late at night, and avoid ice cold drinks which put out the fire of digestion.

2) Understand your unique mind-body Ayurvedic constitution - see an Ayurvedic practitioner, or familiarize yourself with the different constitutions. Once you know which elements tend to get out of balance within you, you can choose an appropriate diet, exercise regime, and lifestyle that serve to increase rather than deplete your energy. 3) Eat ojas building foods - fresh, unprocessed, organic foods build ojas in general, but certain specific foods are especially ojas building such as raisins, almonds, ghee,

raw honey, sesame oil, dates, figs, organic milk, saffron, pumpkin seeds, yams, mung beans and essential fatty acids as in flax seeds and walnuts. Some herbs that build ojas are ashwagandha, shatavari, ginseng, wild yam, aloe, and marshmallow root. A classic rejuvenative combination is Chavyanprash, an herbal jam made from ghee, honey, spices and tonic herbs, which can be purchased online or at many Indian spice stores. 4) Get sufficient mental and physical rest - overexertion depletes ojas. When tired, instead of grabbing the cup of caffeine for a quick fix, try listening to your body telling you it needs rest. The long term health results will pay off. 5) Meditate - meditation is essential to rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit, give mental clarity, decrease stress, and give the deep relaxation needed to build and maintain strong ojas. 6) Spend time in nature - especially if you live in a big city and are bombarded with ojas depleting traffic

lights, city noises, and fast paced lifestyle, spending quality time in nature on a regular basis can restore harmony and balance to the elements in your body.

When you already feel signs of weak ojas such as mental overwhelm, emotional instability, fatigue, and weakness, try to avoid the following which further deplete your energy:

1) Excess work - Of course we all need to work to maintain ourselves, but in our culture it has become commonplace for people to work 50 - 60 hour work weeks, or to work long days without taking sufficient breaks. Our culture rewards such hard work, but for long term health benefits and strong ojas, it is essential to take breaks, keep life in balance, and have time each day for rest and recreation. 2) Loud music, television, media, overuse of computer and other technology - the more we turn outside ourselves to the high-tech gadgets of modern life, the more our energy reserve gets depleted. Of course, using tech-


LIFESTYLE nology in moderation has benefits, but overuse should be avoided.

3) Poor Diet - See above section on foods that increase ojas. Foods that deplete ojas are canned and frozen foods, fast and processed foods, white sugar, white flour, sodas and sugary drinks, and anything without strong nutritional value. Eating on the go or while watching tv, rather than sitting down to a quiet meal while focusing on our food with gratitude, is also an ojas depleting activity. The simple formula is to eat as nature intended us to, from the earth’s natural resources. 4) Lack of sleep - Sleep is

a sacred activity when our body, organs, and mind restore themselves. We cannot expect ourselves to be like the Energizer Bunny and keep going without sufficient rest. Observe nature and learn from the animals who follow natural rhythms, resting when nature calls them to rest. When the sky is dark, it is time for the body to wind down and sleep. The deepest, most restorative sleep is had before midnight, and even deeper sleep before ten pm. 5) Mental stress - worry, fear, and anger also lower ojas, leaving us depleted, lethargic, and burnt out. Try to keep your life stressors to a minimum, and if you do

OJAS DRINK RECIPE

Take this delicious drink regularly to build and maintain strong ojas – can be taken in the morning as an energizer, or at night for restful sleep.

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup organic milk (if you don’t drink milk, substitute non dairy milk or water) 2 pitted dates (dried or fresh, and soaked if possible)

8-12 almonds (peeled and soaked overnight in warm and fresh water if possible) Pinches of at least one of the following spices: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, or saffron (cinnamon good in the morning; cardamom and nutmeg at night for restful sleep. Also pick spices based on your constitution)

1 Tsp Unsweetened Coconut flakes (optional) 1-2 Tsp Ghee (optional)

Ojas building herbs such as Shatavari or Ashwaganda (optional – only if you have some from an Ayurvedic practitioner who knows your constitution)

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TO MAKE: Place spices, herbs, coconut, and ghee (if using optional ingredients) and milk in a saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. (If you did not soak almonds and dates, also add them in saucepan, if soaked, keep them aside for later). After the milk and ingredients have come to a slow boil, remove from heat, add soaked almonds and dates if you did not already add them, and blend all ingredients together in blender or food processor.

GET MONSANTO OUT (GMO) Cont'd from pg. 5

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SPENDING QUALITY TIME IN NATURE ON A REGULAR BASIS CAN RESTORE HARMONY AND BALANCE TO THE ELEMENTS IN YOUR BODY. encounter stress, make time for healthy stress relieving activities.

6) Overindulgence in sexual activity – loss of semen equates massive loss of ojas, whereas retention of semen results in the building of strong ojas. Many spiritual paths therefore recommend celibacy or reduction of sexual activity, for by retaining sexual fluids, one increases About the author:

in determination, concentration, steady mind, and physical strength.

When you observe yourself in a low ojas state, feeling weak, fatigued, stressed or overwhelmed, take caution not to turn to the very substances that deplete ojas further just for a quick fix (caffeine, tv, alcohol, etc). Instead, empower yourself to choose actions which

wise look to the past for indications of what is to come and for the intelligent class of men whom are aware of the precarious position of agribusiness, there is a pressing need to engender change in government policy to prevent future injustices. For example, if a criminal has a history of stealing bread and a man knows of the criminal’s proclivities, then it is the fault, not of the criminal, but of the man, if he unconsciously leaves bread for the criminal to steal. Fool me once, fool me twice, and fool me again and again. Monsanto has been left to gradually rebuild and maintain strong ojas. When our cells are getting the nourishment they need, resulting in strong ojas, we feel joy and bliss. In such a state of excellent health, we don't need to look to outside entertainment for happiness, as we feel nourished from within.�

For information on yoga classes (group or private) in Los Angeles or via skype, taught by Sara Bock, please contact her at snbock@aol.com. Sara has a 500 hour yoga teacher certification, and currently teaches flow, foundations, and restorative classes. She also teaches yoga to children and people with special needs. You can also contact her for beginning children's piano or harmonium lessons.

its own devices when it has shown to be untrustworthy, and now those to blame are the regulators and the ignorant masses for failing to recognize the situation. The Monsanto Protection Act is a most barefaced indicator of the company’s future plans at avoiding regulation.

We cannot trust Monsanto nor can we trust the food regulators whom are as selfishly invested. In bygone times, if any person in a position of power was not performing his duties for the welfare of the people, they would be brought to swift justice. In stark contrast, what we find in today’s federal and civil authority is a patchwork system of inefficacy, duplicity, and equivocation bent towards economic development at the cost of rectitude. Monsanto’s continued growth despite their serial abuses are due evidence of a society that has lost its ability to discriminate. The Bhagavad-gita tells us that when attachment increases, intelligence is eventually lost; and how can one expect to make prudent decisions for oneself or on behalf of others when one’s intelligence is compromised? How can selfish motives ultimately be good for anyone? �

Optional – after blended, add 1 tsp of raw honey for additional sweetness, but do not add honey over flame as it can become toxic – only add after mix has already been heated. Pour into cup, give thanks, and enjoy the naturally sweet taste, as well as the immediate nourishing effects of this ojas drink.

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PHILOSOPHY

HAVE YOU SEEN THE SOUL? An Old-School Case of Peek-a-Boo By Sanatana Goswami Dasa

This

morning I sat on the balcony, observing the sunrise over the Tuscany hills. This time of year is beautiful, as a vibrant green returns to the trees and peacocks run around in excitement. Noticing that the fresh new leaves were gently swaying in the breeze, I pondered a challenge I recently received: "Have you seen the soul? Prove that there is such a thing." Good challenge. I responded with the basic philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita and the man was satisfied, yet still I felt as though I could have explained it more clearly. Now, we know that air

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exists and when moving is called wind, but have we actually seen this air or wind? As the leaves and branches of the tree gently sway in the breeze, we certainly know that wind is present, as also when the clouds move overhead, but have we actually seen the wind? Is it the air moving that we are seeing or just the effects of that movement, or we could say the symptoms of the wind? In fact we cannot see the wind but we can see how wind affects the environment.

Similarly, we cannot see the spiritual particle called soul, but we can see its symptoms. It is described that consciousness is the symptom of the soul; it is the soul's intrinsic quality. The soul is sat-cit-ananda; eter-

nal, fully conscious and full of blissful love, whereas this physical body is composed of unconscious elements in constant flux. Whilst the soul is within the body, it acts as a battery supply by keeping the body working, yet when it leaves at death, then the body quickly decays. Although the soul is said to be situated in the heart chakra, its symptoms are detected throughout the entire body. Even if a person looses a limb, they may still feel as though that limb were there, their consciousness still extending to the missing limb, producing a "phantom limb" phenomenon. There are many who say that consciousness is produced from chemical synthesis; however, although

they have a laboratory full of chemicals, such chemists still fail to produce consciousness. They say that life comes from matter, whereas ancient teachings declare that life comes only from life. Matter goes through constant change, but the conscious spirit soul is an energy beyond decay or change. In fact the soul, or in other words, ourselves, are in a foreign place. Someone living in a city may claim to see the air as it carries dust and pollution, or pollen in the country; yet again, this is not the air we see, but what it carries. Similarly, the soul carries layers of dirt in the form of false ego, bodily identification, lust, anger, and greed, to name but a few, but these


OPEN MIC can be removed by such a process as buddhi yoga or the yoga of spiritual devotion.

We can feel the wind as it caresses our skin, and so also we can feel the soul within a loved one when they touch our hearts. It is the soul who is the person we feel so much love for, not this temporary body. Although their body may lie before us, when a loved one dies, we still lament. We understand that someone has left us, just as they have left behind their body, their temporary residence. It may have been someone who physically attracted us, maybe sexually, yet now we are repulsed by the decaying form left behind. So, as the wind has great power and potential when harnessed, we also have incredible potential, if only we can understand our actual identity and true source. When we pray, like in the Hare Krishna chant, we can become infused with unlimited potential, so long as we know how to direct it properly towards our spiritual source. �

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RAIN By Mahat Tattva Dasa

My spiritual

grand teacher, the teacher of my teacher, numerous times pointed out that the modern humanity is to a large extent disconnected from nature.

Rain is nourishing all life, but because it may come in the way of sensual activities of a modern, sensualist fella, he thinks it to be a nuisance.

TIPS By Anonymous

If you can't afford a doctor, go to an airport - you'll get a free x-ray and a breast exam, and; if you mention Al Qaeda. you'll even get a free colonoscopy.

"The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." -Albert Einstein �

Similarly, being so distracted by the pursuit of sense pleasure, some people may not find spiritual goals worth their time. �

IS BHUTAN SHOWING THE WAY? Cont'd from pg. 13

ture.

Krishna teaches in the Bhagavad-gita (2.66) that one without spiritual connection can not have transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. “And how can there be any happiness without peace?” Krishna asks. However, for some bizarre reason most of the world seem to equate business victories

and economic gain with happiness. But the two have little in common. Bhutan appears to have understood it.

Bhutan is setting a good example for the rest of the world, but all of that could be undone if other countries don’t make a move in the right direction. Signing off. OM TAT SAT. Hare Krishna. �

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May 2013  

May issue of the 16 Rounds to Samadhi magazine.

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