Riding with Strangers

Today walking home from dinner I was reminded of something that happened last(?) year.   I was new at Ft Bragg, so it must have been about two years ago, and was walking to the base minimall, and someone pulled over to offer me a ride.  I thought to myself that it must be someone in the company that I don’t know yet; also this was on post so I had that false sense of security that a gated community provides.  I hopped in the truck and said thanked the driver, a young man of about 20-5.  As we are driving along it become apparent that this is a soldier, but he is not in my company.  He asks me if I am new and if I like Ft Bragg so far.  I reply that I am and that I had not been very happy to PCS here.  He asks me what my hobbies are and what I like to do on the weekends.  I believe he is making small talk, but there is that itch on the back of my brain that is bothering me.  Then he pops the big question “Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your person saviour”?

I knew it!

Then things started to get unconfortable, as some of these Evangelical Christians creep me out.

I then tell him that I am good and really am not interested.  Then he starts to get upset, and I am happy that we are quickly approaching my destination.  However, instead of making the second left into the shopping center, he takes the first, pulling in back of the store where the loading docks are!

I think to myself, that he very may well kill me if I don’t except Jesus right then and there.  He stops the truck, and I look at the door, and it is locked.  Can I escape? No one is back here and we are all alone.  If I shout will someone hear me?  Probably not.

“I really think you should reconsider your position and join my and my church this Wednesday for some bible study and Men’s Ministry Group” he says to me.  Again I protest that I am well and good and am not actively searching for Jesus (truthfully, I didn’t even know he was missing!).  He gives me a card with his number on it, puts the truck into gear, and pulls around the front, dropping me off on the curb.  “So long brother, see you on Wednesday”.  “Whatever” I mumble and walk quickly into the shop.

Since then, I haven’t accepted rides from people on base, unless I know them.

Be careful, this could happen to you!

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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

Erin D.

Lotus, Kerala – India

from Erin’s Travelblog.

Soldier to Offer First Ratha Yatra in Iraq

Partha-sarathi dasa, a Sergeant First Class in the active duty US Army and is currently on hiscurrently on his fourth tour in Iraq.  He has received permission from his Commanding Officer to have 2 Ratha Yatra’s, on US Bases, one being Mosul then other being Talafar.  He passes along this word:

Last time I was deployed I was given facility to have Bhagavat Gita classes, and do book distribution to the soldiers. I am requesting the devotees to adopt a brahmacari and help facilitate my preaching. Our Ratha Yatra is scheduled for August 15th, I am expecting 200 – 900 soldiers to participate. Any help would be very much appreciated. Also devotees who would like to sponsor a soldier, please let me know. 15 months is along time in war, together we can make it the best experience the soldiers ever had.

your servant Partha-sarathi dasa

partha-sarathi.kks@pamho.net

Religious Bigots Attack Hindu Priest in U.S. Senate

Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.
President – International Sanatana Dharma Society
Press Release
July 12, 2007

Religious Bigots Attack Hindu Priest in U.S. Senate

History was made on Thursday, July 12th when a Hindu priest delivered
the opening prayer at the U.S. Senate for the first time ever. Mr.
Rajan Zed, a journalist and Hindu priest, delivered a minute and a
half prayer in which he offered God thanks and prayed for peace.

However, before Mr. Zed could offer his short prayer to God, three
Christian activists disrupted the ceremony with angry shouts and
denunciations of Hinduism to the shock of on-lookers. “This is an
abomination!” the Washington Post reports one of the disruptors as
screaming. “We are Christians and patriots!” yelled another before
being led away by police.

Shockingly, far from being an isolated and spontaneous incident of
hatred, it is reported that a large number of well-organized
fundamentalist Christian groups throughout the nation had been
clamoring against allowing a Hindu priest to lead a prayer in our
nation’s capital. The American Family Association has been on the
forefront of urging Christians to take direct action against
religious tolerance and asked their followers to contact the Senate
to ban a Hindu from leading prayer.

For further information on this dark and disturbing incident, please
review the following sites:

USA Today:
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/07/christian-prote.html

YouTube:

America has been celebrated throughout the world as a society that
cherishes religious tolerance, freedom of faith, and respect for
different cultures. Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is the most ancient
continuously practiced spiritual tradition on earth. Hinduism is a
dignified and highly respected religion that has always fostered
peace, respect of cultural diversity, and freedom of thought.

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.

Food for Life Global

Food for Life Global Goals:

  • To help co-ordinate and expand the distribution of pure vegan/vegetarian meals all over the world.
  • To produce promotional and training materials for the development of Food for Life projects worldwide.
  • To represent Food for Life to the government, media and public through public lectures, newspaper articles, the Internet, and through mail.
  • To promote the Vedic food culture and the art of hospitality based on spiritual equality
  • To raise funds on behalf of Food for Life projects worldwide
  • To coordinate and sponsor emergency relief efforts conducted by Food for Life volunteers

Background on the Food for Life Project:

The distribution of sanctified vegetarian meals has been and will continue to be an essential part of India’s Vedic culture of hospitality from which Food for Life was born.

Since its inception in the early 70’s, Food for Life has tried to liberally distribute pure vegetarian meals (prasadam) throughout the world with the aim of creating peace and prosperity. The Food for Life Global office, directed by Paul Turner, facilitates the expansion, co-ordination and promotion of prasadam distribution throughout the world.

Details:

FOOD FOR LIFE is a nonprofit organization, bringing food and life to the needy of the world through the liberal distribution of pure vegetarian meals. The project started in 1974 when an elderly Indian swami, Srila Prabhupada, implored his yoga students not to allow anyone within a ten mile radius of his ashram to go hungry. The program grew quickly, and today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries worldwide.

Over 700,000 meals daily!

With volunteers serving more than 700,000 free vegetarian meals daily from free food restaurants, mobile kitchens, to schools and to disaster areas, FOOD FOR LIFE is the largest vegetarian/vegan food relief in the world.

Community Based

Food for Life Global’s volunteers are made up of vegans, vegetarians, and the socially conscious public. Food for Life Global is a non-sectarian organization. Everyone is welcome to participate in our community projects.

Summary of Food for Life Global Achievements:

  • Produced Food for Life Friends Newsletter (Since 1991)
  • Provided grants of more than $400,000 to FFL projects worldwide since 1995
  • Published Food for Life Training manual (260 page instructional manual)
  • Designed and developed Food for Life Web site
  • Produced Prasadam Sevaya music CD
  • Produced Training/promotional supplements to FFL manual, guidelines, videos, music CD, flyers, prospectus, posters, etc.)
  • Conducted over 100 training seminars in 29 countries and regions of the world
  • Innaugurated Feed the World Week
  • Represented at world vegetarian conferences
  • Authored articles for vegetarian magazines and newspapers
  • Director, Paul Turner was elected a Council Member of IVU (International Vegetarian Union in 1999)
  • Coordinated numerous disaster relief projects, including the tsunami of 2004, Gujarat earthquake, and Katrina hurricane, etc.

 

Facebook users join my cause and/or donate @ http://apps.facebook.com/causes/view_cause/7059?recruiter_id=2242412

Others can dontate directly at the site http://www.ffl.og

Thanks!

Al-Mormon

What if Al-Qaeda used Mormon tactics of persuasion?

n.b. no personal offense meant to anyone.

Sikh Art

1.  Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab @ The Smithsonian, Washington, DC

Be sure to see it at the Natural History Museum when you are in town!  I am hoping that it will still be open in June when I go up.  http://sikhs.tulwar.com/smithsonian/

2. The Singh Twins: http://www.singhtwins.co.uk

I was able to see an exibition of theirs at an art museum in SoCal, back a few years ago, though I missed meeting the artists themselves.  Their art is certainly a pleasure to look at up close.  They describe their art as “Past-Modern”, and that is exactly what it is too.  Moderno-classic Indian art.  A fusion of the classical past blended with the  ‘pop culture’ of today.

Hilarious

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting 

Reb Shlomo on Itunes

Itunes finally has albums by the Reb available to download. Get them here, also with Neshama.  I picked up Ha Neshama shel Shlomo and Days are Coming.

Chronicle of Kashrut No.4: Rx Use of Pot is OK on Passover « Blogshul

Burnt Bread and Chutney

A nice memoir of a terrific young woman and her life as a Jewish Indian-American.  Not something you see or read about very often.  Most ppl prob dont even realize that there are Jews in India (the Bene Yisrael), but there most certainly is, though most have made aliyah, and the culture is in more trouble due to assimilation and intermarriage.

Ms Delman writes very well, conjering up such images that even I have yet to think about, as one doesnt normally think of kosher indian food. yum.  A delightful mixed childhood of bene israel and ashkanzi, roti and gelfilte.  Time telling of her youth as a temp kubutznik and universal trouble of trying to find onesself – as if it wasnt hard enough to deal with already, one has to tackle not being indian/jewish/american/israeli “enough”.

A pleasant read, I do recommend.

Currently reading :
Burnt Bread and Chutney : Growing Up Between Cultures-A Memoir of an Indian Jewish Girl
By Carmit Delman
Release date: By 27 August, 2002

Difference Between Judaism and Christianity

Posted from http://kashmiri-nomad.blogspot.com/ 

Yair Nitzani explains to a number of guest workers in Israel the difference between Christianity and Judaism:


Religious Hatred

I just don’t understand.  How can you hate another person, or a group of people just based on their faith alone?

Most organised religions have one thing in common; whether they be Christian, Parsi, Shinto, whatever; and that is the tennet of love/repect one another.

I know religious hatred happens all over the world, but it certainly prevelolent in American society. Sikh men in parks, get shot because of their turbans; muslim girls get shunned for wearing hijab to school, etc. Just today, I was waiting for the library to open, and a white man was pacing next to me, certainly getting on my nerves; then an older jewish gentleman (wearing a kipah) came into this guy’s view.  He was looking past me twards the older man, so I could see the whole change in his face as it went from blank to a sneer of disgust. Why? The older man didnt appear to do anything that would make someone snear in disgust.  He wasnt a smelly homeless person or anything, nor disturbing the peace at all.  Just waiting for the libary to open.  The white man, who I am assuming is Christian or nothing at all, followed this older man with his eyes, and I was starting to worry that there was going to be an incedent.  The younger man said something, but I could not hear him bc I was listening to Aal Eah by Maghribi singer Samira Saeid, but I can only assume it was a slur of sorts.

Christians (more then their current scapegoat, Muslims) have created more wars and violence in the name of their religon.  The crusades, the inquisition, N. Ireland, etc etc.  Not being a christian, I am no expert on their theology, but I do know their Jesus’ mantra was the same “love one another” as mentioned above.  Christians have justified slaves, the Shoah, apparteid, and many other acts of hatred, with their Christiananity.  Doesnt make sense.  I am sure that Jesus is rolling over in his grave.

Since when did Christians make themselves the model of ethical choice?  Who appointed them to be morally superior? Crushing our traditional values and religous beliefs?  Is it because “The West” is majorly Christian?  Not for much longer…

Something funny that bothers me a bit, the historical Jesus (Yeshoua/’Isha) was a semetic/middle eastern jew, a Rabbi of sorts, in fact.  He was probably of a olive complexion with short black hair and a beard.  So why is Jesus always pictured as white with long brown hair often w/blondish highlights?  And how can Christians hate Jews, when their own “Rabbi” and his earlier followers were Jewish? 

 I think these Christians need to learn a bit more about Christianity, because they are not living their lives according to  Christian values at all.

Addendum:  The younger man in question, to me, appeared to be of the uneducated sort; and this is more often the kind of person who is filled w/ religious hatred or bigotry.  It is true there are academic and well educated bigots who shape social thought, but more of the day-to-day haters are of the lower to middle class part of our society and tend to be non-college educated.

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