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Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The Vedic Ambassador Study Course

Presently there is a need for what could be called Vedic Ambassadors. These are people who are followers of Vedic Culture, or Sanatana-Dharma, and who are also knowledgeable enough to be able to explain the basics of Vedic culture to those who are sincerely inquisitive, or even critical, and show how their involvement in Vedic culture has helped them and how it can help others. The idea of being a Vedic Ambassador is more fully explained in my article, “A Call for Vedic Ambassadors” located on my website at http://www.stephen-knapp.com.
This course, which is especially meant for Westerners everywhere, is provided in connection with the international organization known as The Vedic Friends Association (VFA) (http://www.vedicfriends.org). It is designed to present the basic philosophy and principles of the Vedic culture and Hindu tradition. Since the test is based on the book, “The Power of the Dharma”, you will need to purchase a copy of the book so you can read and study it. The questions of the test are arranged in the order of the topics in the book to make it simple and easy to do.
The test is fairly simple and is an open book test. Some of the questions are fill in the blanks, so you merely fill in the words from the book. Others may require you to summarize some points. This is done simply by writing in the explanations from the book, or paraphrase the main points as best you can. You can acquire the test and send it back after you have filled in the answers through email.
Naturally, when you send in the test, the answers are checked for accurateness. However, you do not get a grade, you either pass, upon which you get your certificate along with the sheet with the correct answers so you can check over them, or you get to do it again. The one time cost of the test includes all correspondence and the processing and mailing of the certificate and membership card.
By going through the test and filling in the answers, it shows your dedication to understand and also learn and practice these principles, and thus be able to explain them to others. This is the object of the title “Vedic Ambassador”. This qualifies you through The Vedic Friends Association to receive the attractive certificate that we offer upon the completion of this course, along with a card that you can keep in your pocket or wallet.
The certificate is for your own personal display, but it is also meant to show others your dedication to the Vedic path, and that you are thus eligible to participate in various aspects of Vedic practices, such as going into various Hindu temples for darshan (seeing the deities) and puja (worship). This is not an issue in the United States, but this does occasionally become an issue in some temples in India. Naturally there are many temples in India that allow devoted Westerners into the temple sanctum, but some do not, or they want to see some sort of certificate to verify one’s devotion to and understanding of the Vedic principles before allowing just anyone to enter the main shrine. So this will help in this regard. Therefore, it is suggested that you make a copy of the certificate to carry with you if you travel to India, along with your pocket membership card that you can carry at any time.
The certificate is also a sign of your devotion to the Vedic path and is a way of recognizing you as a follower of the Vedic tradition. However, it does not replace the initiation process that you may want to take from a guru or spiritual teacher as when or if you decide to join a particular sampradaya, lineage or ashrama, or when you may get a spiritual name. That is another step if you decide to take it.
To get started, simply email me (at Srinandan@aol.com) your request and I will email you the test. Let me know what format works best for you. After you go through the book and fill in the answers on the test, you simply email or send back to me the answer sheet with a check for $25. This will cover all costs for checking the answers along with any further correspondence and sending you your certificate and membership card.
We thank you for your interest and encourage you in this learning process into the basics of the Vedic tradition.


'Radha Astami' celebrated with religious fervour

Mathura (UP), Sep 1: Thousands of devotees paid obeisance at temples in Barsana, Vrindaban and Rawal as the "Radha Astami" was celebrated with religious fervour today.No untoward incident has been reported from any place, Additional District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela said.The maximum rush was in Barsana since last evening where "Abhishek" (bathing ceremony) of principal deity of Sri Ji temple were held amidst vedic hymns.A processon, mainly comprising women carrying baskets full of dry fruits, clothes, sweets and fruits, passed through the main streets of Barsana before culminating at Sri Ji temple where all the articles were offered to the deity.In Rawal, where Radha was born according to legends, the bathing ceremony of principal deity was performed with mixture of curd, milk, honey and ghee in the wee hours of the day.Radha Astami was celebrated in all the major temples of Vrindaban, though the main attraction was the Radha Ballabh Mandir. "Raas Lila" was staged in Bankey Behari temple in the afternoon.


Largest Hindu Temple In Europe Consecrated

LONDON, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- Amid chanting of sacred Vedic hymns, the largest Hindu temple in Europe was consecrated Sunday in Tividale near the British city of Birmingham, Press Trust of India (PTI) reports.Fifteen priests were specially flown in from India to perform the "Kumbhabhishekam" of Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple in Sanskrit to sanctify the temple, the news report quoted NRI entrepreneur and hotelier Joginder Sangar, Trustee and Chief Treasurer of the temple as saying.The architecture of the temple is based on the famous Tirupati-Tirumala Temple, one of the holiest sites in South India which is visited by millions of people every year.The temple, built at the cost of millions, is situated on a 13-acre site in Dudley Road East in Tividale.Another one million pounds will be needed to complete the landscaping around the temple, which is dedicated to Lord Balaji, an incarnation of the God Vishnu.Scores of sculptors from India have worked on intricate carvings of Hindu deities which adorn the walls, pillars, ceilings and roof of the temple.V.P. Narayan Rao, founding chairman of the temple, said the funds were provided by donations from devotees and a grant from the Millennium Commission."This is the fulfillment of a long cherished dream, the end of a long road and the beginning of a new era," he said.An estimated 10,000 people from the United Kingdom and Europe visited the temple during the five-day religious festival which concluded Sunday with the installation of a 12-foot statue of Lord Krishna.Bimal Kishna Das, secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples (Britain), said: "The opening of this great temple will be a wonderful addition to the multi-religious society of Britain, especially in the West Midlands."The idea of the temple was conceived in the 1970s but it was not until 1987 that worshippers acquired the site.




Monday, September 04, 2006


Dalit leader buries the hatchet with RSS

The Secular-bastard, vatican-slave, anti-Hindu/India media has not mentioned about this meet.

Ideological chalk and cheese shared dais when firebrand Dalit poetNamdeo Dhasal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Sri K Sudarshancame together at a book release function in the Capital .The internationally renowned poet and Dalit leader is the founderpresident of Maharashtra's Dalit Panther that has traditionally beenat odds with the RSS. The Dalit Panther has for long looked upon theRSS as representing the Brahmanical order. Ironically, Dhasal releaseda RSS book on Dalit pain at the function.Dhasal, an outspoken literary figure and the first recipient of theSahitya Akademi Lifetime Achievement Award, said he was initiallyreluctant to share the dais with the RSS chief as "Leftist friendswould pounce upon me with abuses and accusations that I have shiftedcamp, but I don't care, because I have only one mission -- tostrengthen national unity and social integrity. This can't be achievedif we remain divided in thousands of castes and sub- castes and keeppouring venom against each other. Neither can politics help eradicatecastes, which rather thrive on casteist divisions."He had high hopes, he said, from the RSS, which should get into actionto remove the concept of untouchability and castiesm from the country."Mere speeches and books won't help. The work that RSS outfits likeSamarasta Manch are doing in Maharashtra has to be furtherstrengthened," he said.The Dalit leader narrated how he had lost his childhood to tyrannicalcaste-based hatred and had to face what he called a "death-likesituation" at the hands of "so-called high caste people just because Ihad dared to go near their house."He did not even spare the socialist movement and claimed that leadersof the movement had shielded castiesm and that even Communist leaderswere Brahmanical in their outlook and actions.Emphasizing that the fight against casteism needed a combined effort,Dhasal said: "Yes, I do feel that the fight to eradicate caste has tobe fought by Dalits and caste Hindus together carrying forward thetradition of Adi Sankara, which got broken somewhere in between."RSS chief Sri K Sudarshan said the pain and anguish of "our peoplehave to be understood honestly. The Dalits are our own flesh andblood, but because of some ill practices and social evils the practiceof untouchability has brought havoc on those who were an integral partand defenders of dharma. This has to be corrected through our deedsand actions."The RSS chief said had never accepted any kind of casteism among itscadres. He said the year of Shri Guruji, the second Sarsanghchalak ofthe RSS, had been devoted to working for social harmony and lakhs ofRSS workers had reached out to the Dalits.The RSS Sarsanghchalak ended his address by turning to Dhasal: "Ifully agree with what you have said here today".An unusual kinship was thus effected at the release of the bookSamaraste Ke Sutra (threads of harmony), which contains articles fromDalit writers and social activists working among Dalits and is editedby Tarun Vijay, Editor of the RSS weekly Panchjanya and RameshPatange, Editor of the Marathi weekly Vivek, also an RSS publication.

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