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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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!

Regarding the Mahamantra and Menstration

Ladies,
The other day I was teaching a wonderful young girl from the 10th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, about the life and pasttimes of Lord Krsna, and was testing her about her knowledge of sankirtaning the harinam aka the mahamantra.

When asked to chant the mantra, she did refuse, upon further questioning, it came out the she had been told that she is not allowed to chant the harinam when she is in the bleeding-out phase of her menses.

I told her that to my knowledge this was not correct practice, but I would indeed research it for her.

I spoke with a vedic authority, of the Caitanya Vaisnavism line of our Hindu faith and was answered this way: “No .. this is not true .. chanting can be done at any time , under any circumstances” So says I ” that is what i told her, so do you think that this is just a popular misconception masking as popular practice…[and] what would be a good sastric verse to quote to get her to [understand?] ” Yes .. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says in the Shikshatakam: “niyamitah smarane na kalah” … There are no hard and fast rules for chanting”

So there we go, for Caitanya vaisnavs there is not this restriction. I personally believe it is a popular practice that has grown from popular belive, but is indeed errant and not sastrically sound.

While many faiths do have a sort of distaste, if you will, for menstrating women, believing that women become ritually impure from their menstation, I beleive that is an imposistion brought upon women by men to again, control them in everypart of their lives. Now these men think they can tell women even how to pray and serve their God?

Women are women and will remain as such. You are just as beautiful, smart, and talented during your ‘off weeks’ as during your red days. Love and be strong in your faith at all times, and do not restrict yourselves from God during your bleeding period. Menstrual flow is a cleansing gift from God, not a punishment. Your womb, during this time is preping itself to bring another divine gift into the world. What could be more worth your prayers?

Do not let this foul, misgynistic, Judeo-christian belief of womanly impurity influence our Indian culture and our faith.

Dear ladies, as always continue to pray without ceasing…

aml.