Gitas for the Troops Featured on SastraDana.com

Aristide LaVey is a US Army soldier, a devotee of Sri Krishna. He first found out about the Bhagavad-gita as a child when he received a copy from a sankirtana devotee. Ever since he’s been a regular reader of Srila Prabhupada’s books and a visitor to the Iskcon Los Angeles temple. Recently he was called to active duty service in the Army and is based in Ft Bragg, North Carolina.

Aristide distributes Bhagavad-gitas to Army Chaplains and Chapplain assistants. He gives them a few copies to give to the soldiers who are looking to read the Bhagavad-gita. He also gives them out to anyone who sees him reading his and asks about it. “I try to be a good devotee through my service and example.” says Aristide.

Though the Department of Defense has authorized the recruitment of “Hindu” Chaplains since 1998, they have yet to attract any. It is Aristide’s dream to become the first.

Currently Aristide distributes the soft bound Bhagavad-gitas because that is what he can afford, but the vinyl Bhagavad-gitas would certainly be much better as they are more convientient and can fit in soldiers’ uniform pockets.

Please note that many Christian groups print and distribute to US soldiers vinyl Bibles of the same dimensions like our vinyl Bhagavad-gita. Certainly we can then distribute Bhagavad-gitas.


Aristide getting ready for parachute jumping


A Bhagavad-gita study session conducted at the army base by Aristide


Aristide distributes soft bound Bhagavad-gitas to an US Army Chaplain’s Assistant


Aristide distributes Bhagavad-gita to a soldier


Srila Prabhupada (SB 4.22.47):
“Knowledge of Krsna is such a great gift that it is impossible to repay the benefactor.”

To sponsor vinyl Bhagavad-gitas for distribution to soldiers by Aristide

go to DONATE page.

Please include a note that your donation is for Aristide. Thank you.

Bhagavad-gita Vinyl = $6.50

If you’re interested to help in any other way with the “Military Ministry” CONTACT US and we’ll put you in touch with Aristide.


Bhagavad-gita vinyl

http://www.sastradana.com/html/newsletterarchives/htmlarchive/09.13.htm

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Gitas for the Troops!

Gitas for the Troops (www.gitasforthetroops.org) is an organization that is making available copies of the Bhagavad-Gita to all soldiers/airmen/sailors/marines/coast guardsmen that request one.

Once I aquire the Gitas they are distributed to Chaplains and Chaplain’s Assitants/Religious Program Specialists to give/distribute to any one that desires one.

Seeking donations of pocket-size black vinyl Gitas (http://www.sastradana.com/html/catalogpages/bgvinyl.htm) to distribute to our soldiers.  The black vinyl version is nice because it fits in uniform pockets and one doesn’t have to worry about it bending or getting creased. Japa malas would be nice too.

I have been distributing them free of charge to soldiers and Army Chaplains locally (Ft Bragg/Pope AFB, NC).
I would like to increase the distribution, nationwide, to members of all the Armed Forces. We could use a Military “Ministry” and I am trying to get that going!

To donate Gitas (great price @ www.sastradana.com) or funds to purchase said Gitas, please contact me at director@gitasforthetroops.org

Thank you.

Gitas for the Troops!

Gitas for the Troops is an organization that is making available copies of the Bhagavad-Gita to all soldiers/airmen/sailors/marines/coast guardsmen that request one.

Once I aquire the Gitas they are distributed to Chaplains and Chaplain’s Assitants/Religious Program Specialists to give/distribute to any one that desires one.

Seeking donations of pocket-size black vinyl Gitas (http://www.sastradana.com/html/catalogpages/bgvinyl.htm) to distribute to our soldiers.  The black vinyl version is nice because it fits in uniform pockets and one doesn’t have to worry about it bending or getting creased. Japa malas would be nice too.

I have been distributing them free of charge to soldiers and Army Chaplains locally (Ft Bragg/Pope AFB, NC).
I would like to increase the distribution, nationwide, to members of all the Armed Forces. We could use a Military “Ministry” and I am trying to get that going!

To donate Gitas (great price @ www.sastradana.com) or funds to purchase said Gitas, please contact me at aml@massagewallah.com

Thank you.

Giant Cockroach In Bathroom ‘A Harrowing,Kafkaesque Experience,’ Grad Student Says

Feb 2000. 

NEW YORK–  A routine toothbrushing turned into a profound exercise in nightmarish, existential horror Monday, when poverty-stricken Columbia University graduate student Marc Edelstein, 24, came across “the most gigantic cockroach this side of Gregor Samsa” in the bathroom of his one-room, walk-up efficiency.

“It was terrifying,” Edelstein told colleagues at the Ivy League university’s English department shortly after the encounter with the giant cockroach. “Every day, I can’t believe I am living in that apartment. The humiliations society forces me to undergo, just to get my stupid Ph.D, defy all rational, intellectual thought. Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning and see the squalor in which I live, it feels as if I’ve somehow found myself on trial before a group of faceless, bureaucratic agents for some horrible crime I didn’t commit, and no one will even explain to me what my crime was.”

Edelstein, whose combined rent and tuition far exceed his meager earnings from work-study grants and a part-time job as a teaching assistant, has struggled with an insect problem ever since moving into the 108th Street and Broadway apartment in the fall of 1997.

Edelstein called the cockroach “a deeply disturbing symbol of the alienation and pain seemingly inherent in every aspect of modern grad-student life.” What’s worse, he said, the enormous insect so paralyzed him with “intense, soul-searing fear” that he was unable to kill it before it escaped down the drain.

“This wretched, prehistoric creature,” Edelstein said, “has survived to torment me anew another day–a day of reckoning that, although I know in my heart is soon to come, I am nonetheless powerless to prevent.”

The doctoral candidate is no stranger to hardship. In March 1999, Edelstein called his part-time job at the hot-dog eatery Gray’s Papaya “a vision of underpaid, overworked, meat-flinging degradation and brutality that I dare say would not be out of place within the pages of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.” Despite mounting student-loan debts, Edelstein quit the food-service job in August 1999 in “a vitriolic burst of invective and abuse rivaling the most impassioned deliverances of Alexander Pope.”

Edelstein has also suffered “innumerable indignities” at the hands of his landlord, Randy Bosio, whom the tortured scholar described to his dissertation advisor as “a fetid, shambling, coin-rattling wraith of a man who brings to mind one of the more unsavory, shadow-dwelling denizens of Dickensian London.” On other occasions, Edelstein has likened his landlord to one of the nightmarish “Mugwump” creatures from William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, claiming that Bosio’s sole directive is “to attach himself to the flesh of the innocent and suck them dry.”

Said Bosio: “Something about that kid just ain’t right. Once, I let myself into his apartment when he wasn’t home, just to fix the sink, and when he got back and found me there, he accused me of ‘an Orwellian invasion of individual privacy,’ whatever that meant.”

Edelstein’s woes were compounded last October, when his eight-month relationship with Meredith Astor, the 26-year-old daughter of prominent New York arts patrons James and Patricia Astor, ended in a devastating breakup, prompted by Meredith’s shame over Edelstein’s low social standing.

“It was your basic F. Scott Fitzgerald situation,” said Edelstein officemate Howard Underwood, who started dating Astor shortly after the split. “After Meredith left him, he plunged into a turbulent maelstrom of drink and despair. Every night was a nonstop party, a denial-fueled attempt to escape the inevitable collapse of the artificial world he had created for himself, masking his inner desperation and decay under a superficial veneer of false, empty revelry.”

“I had to start picking up some of his T.A. hours because he wasn’t showing up for discussion section,” said Underwood, who will marry Astor in June. “Pathetic, really, much like the eventual fall of the gilded, faux opulence of the Jazz Age.”

“Meredith’s WASP-y, socialite, upper-crust parents never approved of me,” Edelstein said. “Tight-lipped, goyish, Edith Wharton archetypes. I know she never would have left me if it weren’t for the mannered, insufferable manipulations of her high-society family. Hello? The novel of manners has long since been supplanted as a reflection of prevailing social mores, people!”

After enduring such “infernal, Dantean torments of the soul,” Edelstein said the cockroach incident was “the last straw,” prompting him to decide to leave Columbia.

“That’s it. After staring down at the writhing legs of that foul, accursed insect, I felt the horror of the void permeating my being to its deepest core, and I realized I cannot go on here at Columbia,” Edelstein told his mother during a long-distance collect call shortly after his run-in with the cockroach. “I’m transferring to the University of Mississippi. Flannery O’Connor says a good man is hard to find? Well, a good graduate program is hard to find! I know I said I’d never do it, and that if I had to live in a horrible redneck cesspool of a state like Mississippi, I’d become so estranged from my surroundings that I’d end up like that Eudora Welty character who lives at the post office, but I’ve had it with New York. I can’t go on.”

“I’m giving up. Do you hear me, O cold, unfeeling universe?” shouted Edelstein, standing atop his building’s roof. “You’ve won, you impenetrable void of utter meaninglessness! You have destroyed me at last!”

“The horror… the horror…” he added.

The Onion

چهار رویش / Four Springs, a poem of womanhood.

 چهار رویش

پرتو نوری علا

۱ –  بلوغ

بال وُ پَرِ پَروانگان وُ
پیله های زرد ابریشم۰
آشفته موی وُ برهنه پا، دخترک،
سر در پی نسیم می گذارد؛
بال وُ پَرِِ کودکان وُ
بازی های گمشده در غبار نور۰
کجاست دوازده سالگی
با عروسک ها وُ طنابِ بازی وُ
خانه ی مقوّایی ام
و یک لکّه خون؛
حجابِ کودکی وُ آفتابِ بلوغ۰

-۲ عشق

خو کرده به کودکی اش با شرم،
پستان های نورسیده اش را
در شبنم می شوید۰
بهاری شکفته را مانَد
در باغ نو ظهور
نگاه را از خواسته اش می دُزدد،
اما کوبشِِ قلب
حتی در توفان، شنیدنی است۰
شکوفه ی بادام
شانزده سالگی را نوازش کرده است
و بوسه ی بیدار عشق
زُلالِ پوستم را۰

-۳ زایمان

چه سوزشی دارد درد؛
تیزی گَزلیک وُ خار خارِِ پوست۰
بر استخوان ها می کوبند
هزار مُشت؛
نیمه ی جان وُ بند بندِ شکافته ی تن۰
فشار، فشار، فشار۰۰۰
ملافه ها را چنگ می زَنَد
 پرده ی نقره ای ابر تکان می خورَد؛
وهمِ سپیدِِ آب وُ زبانِ خشک
که به سَق می چسبد۰
فشار، درد، هلاکت۰۰۰
کودکی عجول
از تنگنای زُهدان می گریزد؛
هیجده سالگی ام را فریادم خط می اندازد۰
در دَمی نا غافل
مخلوقم دَردش را به جانم ریخته است۰

-۴ یائسگی

چهل وُ نُه سالگی را
پروای پچپچه ی پیر آدمیانِِِِِِِِِِِِِ
ترسخورده نیست۰
زمان سر گیجه می گیرد
از شیدایی افشانِِ گرته ها،
و پرتوِ نوری که می تابد از آینه ی روح
رهایم می کند
از فَربهی خرافه و خشم۰
با شوقِ سبزِ شکفتن
تا دانشِ زلال محبّت
 یائسگی، تلاش بی ٹمری دارد
 زیرا که بوته ی قدیمی قلبم
هرگز این چنین سرخ نروییده است

Four Springs

Partow Nooriala

Eruption

Yellow silk cocoon,
Butterfly flaps fluttering
Disheveled hair bare feet
The little girl
Sets out in the breeze.
Children flittering
And lost games linger in afternoon haze.
Where is that twelve-year-old girl?
With my dolls and jump ropes
And cardboard house.
And a drop of blood
A veil between childhood and puberty’s dawn.

Bursting

Bashful, clinging to childhood,
She bathes her breast-buds In morning dew.
She is a budding spring
A sudden pageantry of green.
She averts her eyes from her beloved
But the thumping of her heart Is audible even through a storm.
The almond blossom
Brushes the sixteen-year-old girl
As does the here and now of love
My lustrous skin.

Issuing

How it burns
Dagger gouging, skin pins and needles
A thousand
Blows on the bones
Half-conscious and torn asunder.
Push, push, push
She claws at the sheets,
Those mercurial clouds shift.
Bright wet hallucinations and dry
Tongue stuck to palate.
Pressure, pain, perishing…
An impatient child
Escapes the uterine strait.
My howls drown my nineteenth year.
In one instant
My creation assigns its pain to me.

Blossoming

Forty nine-year-old
Is not wary of phobic
Fuddy-duddy chitter-chatter.
Time spins In a frenzy of repollination
And the ray of light
Emanating from my soul
Releases me from
Decadent superstition
And wrath.
Ecstatic in yet-springing-anew
Finally wise to seasoned love
Menopause*, this Change of Life
Fights an uphill battle
For this old shrub of a heart
Has never before blossomed so red.

* In Persian, the word for Menopause also means annulment and/or despair.

From The Translation Project

Hafez Online

A number of Hafez’s poems are online in english, with the original persian – as well as the transliteration.  They are beautifully illuminated and available in persian/english mp3 format.

 http://www.mage.com/poetry/hafez_main.html

Naked

by Catherine @ peaceachday

Pending my massage

I am naked in a bed

Warm oil in your hands

My version, inspired by catherine’s naked.

                     naked

pending your massage

you are naked on a bed

warm oil in my hands