Monday, February 28, 2011

Buddhists in Bangladesh find Peace

Ven. Karunananda Ph.D. in Los Angeles for Wisdom Quarterly


Virtual Bangladesh - In a country more famous for its annual flooding and connection to Rabindranath Tagore (before partition) than its indigenous Buddhist population and saint Dipa Ma, Bangladeshi Buddhism is experiencing a resurgence.

Just as Buddhism is making a comeback in India as Indian dalits convert, so Bangladesh's own form of Buddhism -- true to the original teachings of the historical Sage of the Shakyas -- is growing in Southern California.

Bangladeshi Buddhists in are concentrated in Chittagong and the Hill Tracks. In California there are two new temples, one in Long Beach and the other in San Bernardino, representing each group respectively.

[Picture7.gif]
The approximate extent of Magadha in the 5th century BC. As an empire between 684 BC-550 AD, it formed one of the 16 great regions in ancient India that included modern Bangladesh at the top of the Bay of Bengal (Sat...).

Not long ago the Ganges River Delta region was part of Buddhist-India, in the ancient territory the Buddha lived in, Magadha. "Pakistan" west and east was created by the exiting British colonial rulers to provide a separate country for India's massive Muslim population. It was more successful in destabilizing India by sinking it into perpetual conflict. Islamists did not appreciate being under Hindu rule, and an entrenched war over Kashmir has even involved interference and land seizures by China.

Bangladesh then broke away from (West) Pakistan to become an independent country, sometimes still referred to as the Indian state of East Bengal. Since then fanatic elements in the newly-born (1971) country have attempted to displace the indigenous Buddhist and Hindu inhabitants, sometimes to tragic effect.

Shakira joins cyclone recovery effort

Bangladesh invites peace with Buddha statue
DHAKA, Bangladesh (TDS) - Prime Minister Mrs. Sheikh Hasina has urged people of all faiths and communities to work shoulder to shoulder to build Bangladesh as the most peaceful and prosperous nation in South Asia.

She gave the call while speaking as chief guest at a function marking the unveiling of 48-foot high statue of Lord Buddha at the Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery campus in the city's Kamlapur yesterday morning.

Addressing the function, Hasina renewed her vow to eliminate corruption, terrorism, and militancy from Bangladesh and said the ongoing drives against all evil deeds would continue.

Mentioning that the welfare of mankind is the essence of all religions, she requested people from all walks of life to devote themselves for the welfare of the humanity.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister (center) after unveiling 48-foot statue of the Buddha (PID).

The prime minister said brotherly and peaceful relations among the people of all religions are essential for national, regional, and international development. “To attain our cherished economic emancipation, peace, and stability are indispensable.”

She said Bangladesh's constitution upholds people's right to live in peace and comfort in the society. “Our constitution also preserves the people's right to live in a secular society where people of all religions will have full dignity and freedom.”

Hasina said people of various community, religion, caste, and creed are living peacefully in Bangladesh. “Such harmony and peaceful co-existence is rare in the world history.”

She assured the Buddhist community of ensuring all facilities for them to live in peace in Bangladesh. More>>

Ethnic violence continues in Bangladesh
DHAKA (Feb. 25, 2011) - Curfew was reimposed as ethnic violence in Khagrachhari resumed late on Wednesday night after a day long calm. It's now been six days since the clashes began between Muslim settlers and the Buddhist tribals in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). More>>

Islam is not to blame
Conflicts in Southern Thailand or Bangladesh’s Chittagong division are frequently portrayed as religious conflicts where Muslims are launching a jihad against Buddhists. In reality, the issues lie along much deeper socio-economic fault lines upon which religion has simply been overlaid. To this end, Angry Asian Buddhist was pleased to find an article in AsiaNews, a Christian news service, emphasizing that the land conflict in Chittagong is primarily NOT a religious issue. More>>

Parallels Between Middle East and Burma


(Reuters, Feb. 24, 2011) Nobel Laureate and pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi says the people of Burma are closely following events in the Middle East, where largely peaceful protests have forced governments out of office in Tunisia and Egypt.

Aung San Suu Kyi says Burma’s military government has attempted to block coverage of events in the Middle East from reaching ordinary people without much success. She spoke to foreign correspondents in Kuala Lumpur through an audio link from Rangoon.

The 65-year-old Nobel Laureate said the ousting of governments in Tunisia and Egypt -- as well as the confrontation between supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and anti-government protestors -- were followed closely by the Burmese people.

"They are comparing what’s happening there with what happened in Burma [in] 1988 and one of the things they have noticed is that in Tunisia and in Egypt the army did not fire on its people, whereas in Libya it is different," she said. "The outcome also seems to be much more complicated and much worse in Libya than in Tunisia and Egypt. More>>

Bohemian, Bilderberg, Freemason (cartoon)

(DK555) Ivy League secret fraternities like Skull & Bones and Scroll & Key and Wolf's Head fast-track their initiates and members into mainstream political, social, cultural, and economic life. Admission to such groups is a virtual lifetime-guarantee of special opportunities and connections associated to the fraternity.

These connections can and are used throughout one's career; they are also convenient when conspiratorial meetings need to be called into session. These groups are often patrilineal. They prepare and cultivate supposedly the "best and brightest" in American society. The goal is inclusion in other esoteric business groups such as The Bohemian Club.

In many ways these Western quasi-secret or clandestine societies, business groups, charitable foundations, and fraternities mimic Eastern ideals of guanxi in terms of ethics. So they can be understood culturally through the cartoon media of the very popular post-modernist program "The Simpsons."


Part of Montgomery Burns' fast-track secret to wealth and success was first becoming a Yale "Bonesman." Interestingly, the real-life voice actor for mythical "Burns'" voice, Harry Shearer, was himself fast-tracked into the Bohemian Club. (See below). This was due to the show's unprecedented global success. (Success breeds advantage to co-opt that success).

The Bohemian Club or Grove (according to the Staff Editor, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, 1991) is one of the highest quasi-clandestine business associations one can aspire to join. Along with the Bilderberg Society, the Trilateral Commission, or Freemasons, it constitutes a class of social "think tanks" and exclusive meeting clubs that are never meant to come to the public's attention. (Once they do, it is generally too late, like Area 51 or the School of the Americas; one club closes only for a more secretive organization to form). Therefore, to mention them will generally draw a complete blank.

  • Bohemian who? The Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre (1,100 ha) compound situated at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California, which is the property of a private San Francisco-based men's art club known as the Bohemian Club. In mid-July each year, the Bohemian Club hosts a three-week camp for some of the most powerful men on the planet (Weiss, 1989).
The Bohemian Club or Grove was established as an artists' colony in California outside San Francisco in 1872. However, a power struggle with the financial and banking members of the Grove soon ousted most of the power that had been held by the artists by the beginning of the 20th century.

Since that time many US presidents and "movers and shakers" have become members despite long waiting lists, which can be expedited through large membership contributions paid in installments over a member's life depending on their relative importance to the Grove (Turner, 1981).

What is the ethnicity of groups such as the Bohemian Club? Jewish or "Aryan," arms dealers (a species unto itself) or weapons manufacturers, Nazis or Republicans, Democrats or media moguls... all of the above? Such clubs were rumored to be discussion areas for the Manhattan Project (that developed the atomic bomb) as well as for its use on a civilian (innocent, noncombatant) population over two Japanese cities, war crimes for which the U.S. was never pursued in international court...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Viewing the Academy Awards

Wisdom Quarterly

HIM: The crime of vicarious viewing weighs on me. Would that I were a star player. I want to tackle and mow down the competition and earn for the mantle a golden Lombardi and ring.

But the pop, popcorn, pop tarts and chips, the brown swill and dip all keep me from it in my frumpy college tee as I angrily yell at the referee.

The cheerleaders cheer on. They're not cheering for me, except that I seem to recognize some from Owlers and the Crimson Hippopotamus.

HER: The crime of vicarious viewing grows in intensity. Would that I were playing a star. I want to tackle and mow down the competition and earn for the mantle a golden Oscar hood ornament and tiara.

But the flip and the flop, the overnight curlers that do up my locks, the cream and cleansers that mask my imperfections -- my facial character flaws trumpeted in smile lines and crows feet -- my sagging that and drooping that and this tum-tum belly I dare not call loose "fat," but love handles or muffin top... all keep me from it in my frumpy, overstretched mini-tee as I angrily yell at the Academy.

The cheerleaders cheer on. They're not cheering with me. They wouldn't let me hold a flag on their team except that I seem to recognize some from the laundry and the Charles Edward Cheese.

The crime of vicarious viewing on a large screen TV with Tivo and a DVR and screen-in-screen for a running commentary that I'll never pay off -- unless the collection agency is really nice about it. And I'm offered my star in some Hall or Walk of Fame. I'll settle for a Universal City simulation. It needn't be Grauman's Chinese or a Hollywood Chamber of Commerce-approved street.

EW&F said we could shine like stars, no matter who we are, shining bright to see what we can truly be.

I guess I (we) want the whole world to love me or remember me or call and fall to my feet like so much paparazzi so I could be what others seem to be on the half-time screen with the boom-boom pow and all these people jacking my style.

HOW TO WIN AT EVERYTHING
Wisdom Quarterly (Numerical Discourses, V.43)
The Buddha once explained achieving worldly and heavenly success to the multi-millionaire Anathapindika:

"O householder, there are five things that are wished for, loved, and agreeable yet rarely gained in the world.

"What are they? (1) Long life, (2) beauty, (3) happiness, (4) fame, and (5) rebirth in a higher world. But, householder, I do not teach that they are to be obtained by prayer or by making vows [cutting deals with Gods, devils, angels, demons, gurus, lucky charms, or the like].

"If one could obtain such things by praying or making vows, who would not have them?

"Householder, for a noble disciple [a good Buddhist] who wishes to have long life, it is not fitting to pray for it or to take delight in doing so. Instead, one should follow a path-of-life* that is conducive to longevity.

"By following such a path one will obtain long life, be it human or divine [both being temporary states, not ultimate salvation from rebirth and unhappiness].

"Householder, for a noble disciple who wishes to have beauty, happiness, fame, or rebirth in a higher state of existence, it is not fitting to pray for them or take delight in doing so.

"Instead, one should follow a path-of-life conducive to beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in a higher state of existence.

"By following such a path one will obtain beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in a higher state of existence" (AN, V.43).

  • *What is the way? Karma is the way: a path of "meritorious conduct" practicing generosity, virtue, and meditation. This is according to the commentary to the Numerical Discourses (the Anguttara Atthakatha). Even if what one wants is bad, it is only because of past good karma ripening that one will obtain it and be able to hold on to it. See The Workings of Kamma by Pa Auk Sayadaw for an exhaustive treatment of this profound Buddhist teaching.

Related stories

Rebuilding Afghanistan's Buddha (video)


In 2001 the Taliban [perhaps motivated by Asuras, Nagas, and American or Russian soldiers] swept through Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley. Their target was the colossal stone Buddha statues that had stood on the side of a mountain, which was once a monastic cave complex, for over 1500 years. The world watched powerless as one of its true wonders was lost -- the tallest Buddha statue in the world. In "Rebuilding Bamiyan," Al Jazeera's Nadene Ghouri travels to Bamiyan City to explore the restoration work being done on the site and to talk to those planning to rebuild the statues (Al Jazeera English).

Afghan Buddha reconstruction

Afghans herd sheep in the city of Bamiyan [quite possibly the Buddha's real birthplace], near the ruins of the ancient Buddha statues and monastic cave complex that once stood in the city, in central Afghanistan in 2010 (AFP file/Shah Marai).

German scientists eye Afghan Buddha reconstruction
AFP South Asian Edition
German scientists said Friday they believed it possible to reconstruct one of the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas dynamited by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, prompting worldwide condemnation.

Scientists from the University of Munich, in southern Germany, have examined fragments of the statues -- the world's largest Buddhas -- and concluded that the smaller one could be pieced together.

The two sculptures, 173 feet and 114 feet tall, had stood sentinel for 1,500 years in Bamiyan province before they were blown up by Islamists who believed them to be idolatrous.

Erwin Emmerling, the leader of the team sifting through hundreds of fragments, "considers a reconstruction of the smaller Buddha to be fundamentally possible," the university said in a statement.

"As far as the larger Buddha is concerned, in view of its depth (thickness) of around 12 meters, Professor Emmerling is more sceptical," it said.

Nevertheless, the university cited "political and practical" obstacles to rebuilding the precious statues.

Either a small factory would have to be built in the Bamiyan valley or some 1,400 rocks weighing up to two tonnes each would have to be transported to Germany. Japanese funding could reportedly be used to rebuild the sculptures.

They were once painted a variety of colors, the scientists said, including dark blue, pink, orange, red, and white. "The Buddhas once had an intensely colorful appearance," Emmerling said.
Based on their investigation, the scientists also dated the smaller Buddha to between 544 and 595 AD. The bigger Buddha was built between 591 and 644, they said.

A conference in Paris to debate the future of the Buddhas is expected to take place next week, the statement said. The niches where they once stood overlooking Bamiyan city, the eponymous capital of the province, are being restored as a UN World Heritage site.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What to do about the Flu

Wisdom Quarterly


Los Angeles is experiencing a wave of "flu like symptoms." It can hardly be avoided. The whole country is. Have we forgotten the Swine Flu farce? Did you know that the government has been proven to "experiment" on unknowing civilian populations? It will put biological agents then test the radius of hospital admissions to see how effectively it spreads. Just imagine what the military and shadow government is up to. There are now aerosol dispersant (chemtrail) protocols spraying heavy metals, red blood cells, and unknown agents for reasons as different as the programs and departments sponsoring them. The pharmaceutical industry keeps a tight lid, with government backing, on any "natural" cures and healing methods, no matter how long they have been in use by humans. Instead, they want to sell known toxic products whether over-the-counter or preferably by prescription. These agents operate by disrupting enzymatic processes, and most simply aim at suppressing the uncomfortable symptoms the body is using to cleanse itself. What to do if you start feeling sick?
  1. (1) Clear your bowels. (This is why our Grammys gave us Castor oil, but lots of things do the exact same thing).
  2. (2) Eat lots of fresh fruit rich in Vitamin C, which has the same cleansing effect.
  3. (3) Fast or reduce intake of food that does not digest itself the way fruit does, which is why it does not tax the system.
  4. (4) Drink lots and lots of water, preferably filtered or distilled, to flush out toxins so that you're urinating about once every hour or two.
  5. (5) Breathe slowly, deeply, and exhale longer than the inhale.
  6. (6) Eat berries, fresh or dried, which bolster immunity.
  7. (7) Take herbs and natural remedies, such as Oxy-Powder, that increase the number of bowel movements (which should equal the number of times you eat or consider yourself chronically constipated and building up toxins) and develop immunity. Two very cleansing and chelating substances are raw chia seeds soaked in water as are nutritive water soluble fibers such as seaweed, spirulina, chlorella, or pectin. If it is microbe based, very effective natural agents are whole Clove, Mace, green walnut hulls (juglans nigra), common wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), colloidal silver, onions, garlic, ginger, and so much more.

"The Government Flu" (video)


WARNING: Sexual images, strong language, and controversial information (DK555).

The U.S. government experiments on civilians (not just healthy ones but hospitalized and imprisoned ones as well). It also deploys deadly biological agents (called weapons of mass destruction) in war. War is one thing, but the government spreads illness to debilitate citizens as a means of social control as well. One famous case is the Tuskegee Experiment.

Does anyone doubt that experiments are carried out on military personnel owned by the government (G.I. = "government issue")? Gulf War Syndrome, according to Dr. Gary Null, was caused by depleted uranium in forced vaccinations imposed on American soldiers by the American government. But they wouldn't do such things to noncombatants or protesters back home?

Elements in the shadow government and the military-industrial-pharmaceutical complex are fighting other nations and us, not for America's benefit but their own. Because they do not, or believe they do not, have to experience the detrimental effects of their undertaking (in subterranean complexes and with advanced medical care techniques), they do things simplistic logic dictates would have to be against their own self-interest.

We are the ones assuming that we are all Americans united against the world, that whatever happens to the least of us happens to all of us. In fact, we are so deluded that many of us are willing and eager to accept jobs in policing, homeland spying, and propaganda (now called marketing and public relations) with the hope and expectation that we will be protected while those who hired us only harm our fellow citizens. The government made a flu and gav it to its citizens on purpose? This was known years ago and made into a song by the brilliant Dead Kennedys.

In the Malaria ward at Illinois penitentiary on June 25, 1945, army doctors expose patients to infected mosquitoes. The mosquitoes bite through gauze-covered opening in a glass cage. (AP Photo) Ugly U.S. history of human medical testing

A commission examines dozens of cases where healthy people were made sick. One famous experiment - Travelers' measles risk - Soft drink stroke concern

Friday, February 25, 2011

Decoding Mythology: Defining "God"

Decoding Mythology: Brahma in Bangkok
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik (author, speaker, illustrator, mythologist)
A form of [Vedic Brahmanism] exists in South East Asia. Fifty years ago, the construction of the Erawan Hotel in Thailand was in trouble.

Every stage of the construction was delayed, and it seemed as if everything was going wrong. The construction up country workers had an uncanny knack for sensing when something was wrong; they refused to work until something was done to appease the guardian spirits.

A distinguished local astrologer discovered that the foundation stone for the hotel was not laid at an auspicious time. To undo the damage, a shrine had to be constructed to the land spirit [bhumi deva]. This was done and the image installed in the shrine was that of the four faced Than Tao Mahaprom ("Great God") as it was the most auspicious and would counter the oversight with the foundation stone. With the shrine in place, the rest of the construction of the hotel was completed without a hitch.

Than Tao Mahaprom is believed to be a "god" [powerful extraterrestrial entity] full of kindness, mercy, sympathy, and impartiality [the four Brahma Viharas in Buddhism, so named because the Buddha said this is how the brahmas abide]. Each virtue is represented in the four faces of the image, radiating serene grace.

His name for most foreign visitors was too hard to remember let alone pronounce. So with time he came to be known as Erawan Shrine [vimana, or a platform, mouth, spacecraft, flying ship], named after his personal vehicle, the three-headed Erawan Elephant, who served as the mount of the Buddha after his enlightenment. In time, this shrine became famous for fulfilling the wishes of people. It became, and still is, a tourist magnet. More>>


Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand (Michael LaPalme/Flickr)

Defining "God": Brahmas in Buddhism
Wisdom Quarterly (ANALYSIS)
There is no ultimate "creator god" in Buddhism. People imagine that this means the Buddha did not talk about creative brahmas. These well-born beings are sometimes described in translation as divinities, deities, even glorious "gods."

In the sense of being powerful, wise, and creative (sometimes wielding power over the creations of others), there are "creator gods." What there is not -- and this is emphatic -- is a God who created the cosmos, who stands outside of karma, who is controlling everything, who is omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent.

While there is no such being, that is not to say there is no such state-of-consciousness. There is a non-dual state that gives rise to a sense of connectedness and Oneness, intuition, bliss, and even procreative power. There is "magic" and mysterious physics that trump our mundane theories.

We are linked, interacting, and completely interdependent even in our deluded sense of isolation.

The Buddha often (e.g., Metta Sutra) advised meditators to develop the four Brahma Viharas -- the "Divine Abidings," Sublime Attitudes, Immeasurable Expressions, or Universal Outlooks -- which we conjecture relate to Brahma's four faces. The Buddha explained that this is how the brahmas abide all the time, in the bliss and equanimity of absorption:

  1. Universal loving-kindness (metta)
  2. Unlimited compassion (karuna)
  3. Infinite joy in the joy of others (mudita)
  4. Immeasurable impartiality (upekkha)

Even a superficial practice is helpful. But the real benefits he described are attained by entering the meditative absorptions (jhanas) through the four portals. Learning these meditations is very good karma, and much merit (punya) is made by frequently practicing them. The Buddha was hard pressed to give a simile of how much merit was produced and what was to be gained from adopting these exalted and unbounded heart/mind states.

Furthermore, the Buddha described one being called Maha Brahma or "Great Brahma." This being, by virtue of good karma, is the first to be born at the beginning of a world system. This being -- who is not a "he" since the brahma world transcends sexual dimorphism and gender differentiation -- This being is in fact a station more than an individual; anyone may be born in this position given that one masters the absorptions and becomes able to enter these states through various means.

Ordinary good karma (keeping the Five Precepts) leads to rebirth as a human being in fortunate circumstances, not necessarily immediately after this life but when such karma has the opportunity to ripen and serve as death-proximate or rebirth-linking karma. It may also lead to "heavenly" states as a lower deva. Extraordinary good karma (keeping the Eight or Ten Precepts) leads to rebirth as a higher deva.

To become a brahma, it is essential to master at least the first absorption. A weak or unsteady attainment is sufficient -- if held at the time of passing -- to be reborn in the retinue of Maha Brahma. Interestingly, brahma means "supreme," and was widely used in the Buddha's time when the "religion," or pervasive dharma, in India was Vedic "Brahman-ism." (Brahman, the ultimate reality, is related but different from brahma, which is a kind of being).


Extraterrestrial devas honoring the more powerful Brahma (sanatansociety.org)

Lack of Brahma worship in India
Wisdom Quarterly Brahma Wikipedia edit
Although Brahmā is one of the three major gods or aspects of God in Hinduism, few Hindus actually worship this great being. India today has very few temples dedicated to Brahma, as opposed to the tens of thousands dedicated to the other two deities in the Trinity (Trimurti) that includes Vishnu and Shiva.

Among the few that exist today, the most famous is the temple in Pushkar in Rajasthan. The idol of Lord Brahma is often fully covered with turmeric every morning.

Various stories in Hindu mythology talk about curses that have supposedly prevented Brahma from being worshiped on Earth. Interestingly, the Bhavishya Purana states that, certain demons (daityas) had begun to worship Brahma.

Therefore, the celestial devas could not defeat them. In order to lead the demons away from such worship, Vishnu is said to have appeared on Earth as the Buddha and Jainism's Mahavira, who were contemporaries who rejected the Vedas and Vedic Brahmanism.

With various arguments Vishnu convinced the demons to abandon the practice. Having done so, they lost power and were hence defeated.

  • One way to "worship" Brahma
    Paramahansa Yogananda, the founder of the Self Realization Fellowship, seems to indicate one way to invoke or honor Brahma through a Sanskrit hymn:

Brahm-ā-nan-dam
Pa-ra-ma su-kha-dam,
Ke-va-lam gyān-a murtim;
Dwan-dwā ti-tam,
Ga-ga-na sa-dri-sham,
Tat-twa ma-syā-di lak-shyam
E-kam ni-tyam
Vi-ma-lam a-cha-lam,
Sar-va-dhi -kshi bhu-tam;
Bhā- ti-tam tri-gu-na ra-hi-tam,
Sad-gu-rum-tam na-mā-mi.

  • The translation of this mantra is: "Full of bliss, giving joy transcendent, of higher knowledge the abode; dual no more, clear as the heavens, known to all as 'Thou art That.' [Brahmā] is pure, permanent, unmoving, the everlasting seer of all; far, far beyond qualities and thought, guru, I bow to thee."

The Bhavishya Purana lays out that altogether giving up the worship of Brahma was unacceptable in Hinduism. This is because Brahma signifies a personification or manifestation of Brahman (GOD or godhood).

According to a story in the Shiva Purana, at the beginning of [yet another cycle of] cosmic time, Vishnu and Brahma approached a huge Shiva linga and set out to find its beginning and end.

Vishnu was appointed to seek the end, Brahma the beginning. Taking the form of a boar, Vishnu began digging downwards into the Earth, while Brahma took the form of a swan and began flying upwards.

However, neither could find what they sought. Vishnu, satisfied, came up to Shiva and bowed to him as a true form (svarupa) of Brahman. Brahma did not give up so easily. As he was going up, he saw a ketaki flower dear to Shiva. His ego forced him to ask the flower to bear false witness about the discovery of Shiva's beginning. When Brahma told his tale, Shiva the "all-knowing," was angered by this display of ego and thus cursed him that no being in the three worlds will worship him.

According to another legend, Brahma is not worshipped due to a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. It is said that the high priest Bhrigu was organizing a great fire sacrifice (yajna) on Earth. It was decided that the greatest among all gods would be made the presiding deity.

Bhrigu then set off into space to find the greatest among the Trinity. When he went to Brahma, the god was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahma that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.

In the Brahma Purana and Hindu cosmology, Brahma is regarded as the creator but not necessarily as God. Rather, he is regarded as a creation of Brahman.

The lifespan of Brahma is 100 brahmā years, equivalent to 311,040,000,000,000 solar years (311 trillion and 40 billion Earth years). At the end of his lifespan, there is a gap of 100 brahmā years, after which another Brahma or creator [since it a just a station not a unique individual] begins the process of creation anew. This cycle is thought to repeat without end.

Buddhism and the God-idea

Nyanaponika Thera (Buddhist Publication Society) Wisdom Quarterly version
    Quite contradictory views have been expressed in Western literature on the attitude of Buddhism toward the concept of God and gods [Maha Brahma and devas].

    From a study of the discourses of the Buddha preserved in the Pali canon, it will be seen that the idea of a personal deity, a creator god conceived to be eternal and omnipotent, is incompatible with the Buddha's teachings.

    On the other hand, conceptions of an impersonal godhead of any description, such as world-soul, and so on, are excluded by the Buddha's teachings on anatta, non-self or unsubstantiality.

    In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world: for instance, world-soul, time, nature, and so on.

    God-belief, however, is placed in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views that deny the karmic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of humans and nature, or teach absolute determinism. These views are said to be altogether pernicious, having definite bad results due to their effect on ethical conduct.

    Theism, however, is regarded as a kind of karma-teaching insofar as it upholds the moral efficacy of actions (karma). Hence a theist who leads a moral life may, like anyone else doing so, expect a favorable rebirth.


    Is God all in our minds, or is it our misconceptions about divinity?

    One may possibly even be reborn in a heavenly world that resembles that person's own conception of it, though it will not be of eternal duration as one may have expected.

    If, however, fanaticism induces one to persecute those who do not share the same beliefs, this will have grave consequences for the persecutor's future destiny. For fanatical attitudes, intolerance, and violence against others create unwholesome karma leading to moral degeneration and to an unhappy rebirth.

    Although belief in God does not exclude a favorable rebirth, it is a variety of Eternalism, a false affirmation of permanence rooted in the craving for continued existence, and as such an obstacle to final deliverance.

    Among the fetters (samyojana) that one bind to birth and death, theism is particularly subject to those of personality-belief, attachment to rites and rituals, and desire for fine-material existence or for a "heaven of the sense sphere," as the case may be.

    As an attempt at explaining the universe, its origin, and the human situation, the God-idea was found entirely unconvincing by the Buddhist thinkers of old. Through the centuries, Buddhist philosophers have formulated detailed arguments refuting the doctrine of [an ultimate] creator god.

    It should be of interest to compare these with the ways in which Western philosophers have refuted the theological proofs of the existence of God.

    But for an earnest believer, the God-idea is more than a mere device for explaining external facts like the origin of the world. For that person it is an object of faith that can bestow a strong feeling of certainty, not only as to God's existence "somewhere out there," but as to God's consoling presence and closeness.

    This feeling of certainty requires close scrutiny. Such scrutiny will reveal that in most cases the God-idea is only the devotee's projection of one's ideal -- generally a noble one -- and of the fervent wish and deeply felt need to believe.

    These projections are largely conditioned by external influences, such as childhood impressions, education, tradition, and social environment. Charged with a strong emotional emphasis, brought to life by mankind's powerful capacity for image-formation, visualization, and the creation of myth, they then come to be identified with the images and concepts of whatever religion the devotee follows.

    Sakka is Indra and Rudra, the King of Kings (in Catumaharajika) and Lord of Lords (in Tavatimsa). From these ancient beginnings, Sakka became Zeus, Thor, YHWH, and many others in many religions.

    In the case of many of the most sincere believers, a searching analysis would show that their "God-experience" has no more specific content than this.

    Yet the range and significance of God-belief and God-experience are not fully exhausted by the preceding remarks. The lives and writings of the mystics of all great religions bear witness to religious experiences of great intensity, in which considerable changes are effected in the quality of consciousness.

    Profound absorption in prayer or meditation can bring about a deepening and widening, a brightening and intensifying of consciousness, accompanied by a transporting feeling of rapture and bliss.

    The contrast between these states and normal conscious awareness is so great that the mystic believes the experience to be manifestations of the divine. And given the contrast, this assumption is quite understandable.

    Mystical experiences are also characterized by a marked reduction or temporary exclusion of the multiplicity of sense-perceptions and restless thoughts. And this relative unification of mind is then interpreted as a union or communion with the One God.

    All these deeply moving impressions and the first spontaneous interpretations the mystic subsequently identifies with a particular theology.

    It is interesting to note, however, that the attempts of most great Western mystics to relate their mystical experiences to the official dogmas of their respective churches often resulted in teachings which were often looked upon askance by the orthodox, if not considered downright heretical. More>>

    NASA warns of "huge space storm" by 2013

    Andrew Hough (The Daily Telegraph)

    NASA is currently studying the effects of the Sun's power on the Earth (NASA).

    Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation “space storm,” NASA has warned.

    National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years.



    Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Full story

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Report: "Mind control" on U.S. Senators

    Pauline Jelinek and Lolita C. Baldor (AP), Feb. 24, 2011

    The Bush-Cheney-Obama administration's pretext for wars is blind patriotism.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is ordering an investigation into charges that an army unit trained in psychological operations [PsyOps] was improperly told to manipulate American senators. The reason? To get more money and troops for the war [just as the military did during US "conflicts" in Central America and Vietnam, according to former CIA station-chief-turned-whistleblower Philip Agee].

    A senator allegedly targeted said Thursday that he's confident there will be a review of the facts, but played down the idea that he was manipulated.

    Carefully orchestrated manipulation of media makes us all victims of US war (glossynews.com).

    The staff of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, head of the effort to train Afghan security forces, ordered the information operations unit to compile profiles, voting records, and other information on visiting lawmakers to leverage in a campaign to get more assistance, said a story Thursday on Rolling Stone's website.

    It says the campaign also improperly targeted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, and others. Caldwell's office denied that the command used information operations cell to influence distinguished visitors. More>>

    US, Pakistan commanders in 'candid' talks on war
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen, Jan. 2011 (AFP/AP)

    U.S. probes if senators targeted by Afghan psy-ops unit
    (Reuters) The military said on today it will investigate accusations that a psychological operations unit was used in Afghanistan to try to persuade visiting senators to increase war funding. The accusations... quot[ed] the leader of the [PsyOps] Army unit, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Holmes, who objected to what he saw as an illegal use of his team's skills on American citizens.

    The need for mundane "enlightenment"
    Deprogramming: Political and Religious Mind Control
    "Deprogramming" refers to actions that attempt to force a person to abandon allegiance to a religious or political group. Methods and practices typically involve violent kidnapping and coercion. Ted Patrick, one of the pioneers of deprogramming, used a confrontational method: “When you deprogram people, you force them to think… But I keep them off balance and this forces them to begin questioning, to open their minds. When the mind gets to a certain point, they can see through all the lies that they’ve been programmed to believe. They realize that they’ve been duped and they come out of it. Their minds start working again.” More>>

    "WikiRebels" and Wisconsin (full movie)


    The full-length Wikileaks documentary "WikiRebels"
    DharmaCafe.com
    [Prof. Gene Sharp, author Waging Nonviolent Revolution, explains how groups can successfully bring about change.] Whereas most pundits have focused on the role of social media in Egypt’s revolution... one of the most powerful, entrenched regimes in the world was toppled by a nonviolent uprising. Does anyone doubt that if the protestors had resorted to violence, they would have been violently crushed by Mubarak? Scientific American article

    Wisconsin protesters intent on standing up. Ohio and Indiana have followed their example.

    Wis. Governor duped by blogger posing as Koch brother
    MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, believing he was talking to prominent financial backer David Koch, revealed to a Buffalo, NY, blogger... [his willingness to insert "troublemakers" into the Madison protest crowds to stir trouble and thereby serve as a pretext for a severe violent crack down by Wisconsin police and paramilitary forces.] More>>

    WikiLeaks: new cables contain UFO details

    Andrew Hough (Telegraph.co.uk, Dec. 2010)

    Julian Assange confirmed there were references to extraterrestrial life in "yet-to-be-published" confidential files obtained from the American government (ALAMY).

    New leaked diplomatic cables set to be published by Wikileaks will contain fresh details on UFOs, according to Julian Assange.

    [Assange] said there were some references to extraterrestrial life in yet-to-be-published confidential files obtained from the American government.

    He did not disclose what information was contained in the diplomatic memos obtained by the whistleblowing website. It also remains unclear when they will be published.

    Mr. Assange said his website, under considerable strain in recent days over its "Cablegate" series of leaks, received emails from “weirdos” claiming to have seen UFOs:

    “Many weirdos email us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot-plant,” he wrote when asked if any of the documents he had received referred to extraterrestrial life.

    “However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules. (1) that the documents not be self-authored; (2) that they be original."

    “It is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the cablegate archive there are indeed references to UFOs.” More>>