Start small – the story of Bec Hellouin Permaculture Farm

These people are not devotees of Krsna (unfortunately) but we have so much to learn from them… ~ AG Editor

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer decided to become low impact farmers in 2006. It was a long and difficult initiation. He had been a sailor, she an international lawyer; their efforts to grow food without mechanisation or chemicals were often ridiculed in the early years. But their farm in Normandy, Bec Hellouin, is now established as the premier permaculture farm in France. It is also the source of a number of scientific studies showing that it’s possible to make a living wage by growing food using permaculture techniques on just a quarter of an acre of land. Their book “Miraculous Abundance” was recently published in English. Alexis Rowell, a stalwart of the early Transition movement in the UK and author of the Transition book on local government, interviewed them on behalf of Transition Culture.

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The Chinese self-designation Hua and the root-word Ᾱrya

The essence of the article is that the word that the Chinese use to call themselves is derived from the Sanskrit word “Aryan.” The article explains how this conclusion is arrived at. Excerpt: ‘It is but rare that I take the trouble to write a mere summary of a paper I have read with increasing enthusiasm. Here is one occasion. It pertains to “The earliest Chinese words for ‘the Chinese’: the phonology, meaning and origin of the epithet Ḥarya — Ᾱrya in East Asia” by Christopher Beckwith, published in Journal Asiatique 304:2 (2016), p.231-248. Some comments and background data are mine, but for the factual frame, the entire credit goes to Beckwith.

I had never suspected that the Chinese word for “Chinese” has a foreign origin. But yes, it does. In fact, the same foreign word has been borrowed twice and yielded two different Chinese words, one of which is widely used as the ethnonym for “Chinese”.’

“At any rate, the same word, or etymologically a homophonous loanword which came to be written with the same character, came to serve as the name of “us, Chinese”. According to Beckwith, in this meaning the term does not predate the Warring States period, the final part of the Zhou age (-5th to -3rd). At that time, knowledge was extant about distantly neighbouring countries, including Daxia 大夏, meaning “Greater Bactria” or “the Bactrian Empire”, i.e. Central Asia, then firmly held by the Iranian-speaking Scythians. These were a predominant influence from Croatia to Mongolia, where they imparted their lucrative knowledge of metallurgy and horse-training (Scythian legends pertaining to these skills were interiorized even by the Japanese). Their ancestral heartland was Bactria, i.e. present-day northern Afghanistan and southeastern Uzbekistan around the Amu Darya river (Greek: Oxus), an oasis friendly to agriculture and habitation amidst a harsh and inhospitable region.

The later Chinese tended to identify themselves with their ruling class. The Qin 秦dynasty (-3rd) yielded the international name China, Sanskrit Cīnā; the Han 漢 dynasty (-3rd to +3rd) lent its name to the usual self-designation of the ethnic Chinese as distinct from the minorities within China as “the Han”. It might be that a Chinese elite for some reason had identified itself with the expanding Scythians.”

‘The origin of the words Xia 夏 and Hua 華 is the collective self-designation of the inhabitants of Bactria, a country of which the Greeks rendered the Iranian name as Ariana. This is still the name of Afghanistan’s air company. The Iranians called themselves Aiirya, corresponding to the form Ᾱrya in Sanskrit, Arus in Anatolian (Hittite). In each of these languages, it originally meant “us”, “one of us” (as against “them”), “fellow countryman”. Surrounding or subject nations, and finally the Iranians themselves, used the word as an ethnonym for the Iranians. Indeed, Iran comes from Aiiryānām Khšathra, “kingdom of the Iranians”. Whole article at  INDIAFACTS.ORG

The Impossible Dream: Don’t Bet on It

They were ordinary folks: he a 59-year-old retired steelworker, she a night waitress in a cheap restaurant for 36 years. They lived in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, in their mobile home, enjoying the seashore and an occasional visit from their granddaughter, Michelle. Then, last July 22, they became celebrities: Nicholas and Marvein Jorich hit the jackpot in the Pennsylvania State Lottery and were more than $8.8 million richer.

“I’ve dreamed of this for 36 years!” exclaimed Mr. Jorich. (That’s how long he’s been married, and how long he worked in the steel mill.)

Of course, he won’t get all the money right away. After taxes, he’ll net about $336,000 a year for 21 years—if he lives that long. Still, the Jorichs’ bonanza has given a lot of other ordinary folks something to dream about. The lines are much longer now at the lottery windows throughout the state, and the Bureau of State Lotteries couldn’t be happier. read more

Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas from Karnataka ended up in Bengal

I always wondered how the families of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, who were Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas from Karnataka ended up in Bengal. This article explains this mystery.

“Sena Dynasty  ruled Bengal for little over a century (c 1097-1225).The emergence of the dynasty, who supplanted the Palas in Bengal towards the close of the 11th century AD, is a very important chapter in the history of ancient Bengal. Taking advantage of the revolt of the Samantachakra in the varendra during the reign of Mahipala II, vijayasena, the founder of the Sena dynasty, gradually consolidated his position in Western Bengal and ultimately assumed an independent position during the reign of Madanapala. One important aspect of Sena rule in Bengal is that the whole of Bengal was
brought under a single rule for the first time in its history…” FULL ARTICLE

Say No to FDG

Dear Sriman/HH/Smt. _______________ Prabhu/Maharaj/Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Kindly allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is XYZ Das and I’m an
initiated devotee of ISKCON since —- . read more

Q&A: Once initiated, how does one further develops and maintains a strong and proper relationship as a disciple with the Guru?

Thank you for your question. However, it is not an easy question to answer but nevertheless I’ll try to offer some of sastric advice and some of my personal experience of whatever little value that may be. First of all here is an straightforward and excellent explanation which summons it all up by Srila Bhaktissidhanta Saraswati Thakur in his Amrita-vani “immortal instructions”:

33. Can one be attached to sense gratification even after taking initiation?

“The process of attaining transcendental knowledge is called initiation. We should know that the Supreme Lord is the transcendental Absolute Truth, we are His eternal servants, and we have no duty other than to serve Him. Knowing this is actual initiation. The absence of this understanding is ignorance. At present, there is a controversy about the word “initiation”. People proudly claim that they have taken initiation from a bona fide spiritual master, but how can they maintain material attachment even after taking initiation? How can they desire to make advancement in material life? If they don’t learn about their relationship with the Lord, independent and proud people uselessly brag about their initiations. Rather than treating their spiritual master as if he were as good as God, they treat him as their disciple, fit to be their order-supplier. Considering the guru an ordinary mortal being, these persons become offenders at his lotus feet. read more

Was Draupadi disrobed at all?

To read two interesting philosophical papers in defense of Srila
Prabhupada’s teachings in his books, please click the link below. Excerpt: Srila Prabhupada in his comments on Srimad Bhagavatam writes substantially that the attempted disrobing of Draupadi took place. In The Draupadi and Dharmaraja articles, we encounter a rather surprising statement, “I seriously wonder if this incident took place, based on evidence from the Bhagavatam . . . There is not a word about disrobing, nor about Yudhisthira gambling her.”

http://www.krishnaeastandwest.com/articles.html

Sri Andal- A Brief Life-Sketch

Sri Andal (a female) is  one of the twelve Alwars  who appeared on this earth in 3000  B.C.  at Srivilliputhur near Madurai. Andal was found in the Tulsi garden, in the premises of the temple of Sri Vatapatra Sai. Peri alwar, her father, found her while tending the garden.

From childhood she used to listen to the pastimes of Lord Krishna with rapt attention and developed a deep love for the Lord. Andal helped her father in weaving flower garlands to offer to the temple Deity every day. One morning, Peri-alwar observed her wearing and adorning herself with the flower-garland intended for the Deity and herself looking into a mirror and enjoying it. He considered this as an act of disrespect and, with great anguish, did not offer the garland to the Lord on that day. The Lord appeared in his dream and informed him that He relished only the garland worn by Godai (Andal) and that in future flower garlands worn by Godai alone be offered to Him.

Peri-alwar realized the divinity of Godai(Andal), and from then she was reputed as “Andal” (one who ruled Bhagvan) and “Choodi Kodutha Nachiar” (patroness who would offer flowers after adorning herself). It became a routine for Andal to wear the flower garland prior to offering to the Deity. As Andal grew up, day by day, her love for Krishna also increased and she resolved to marry Him. When Andal attained adolescence, Vishnuchittar (Peri-alwar) was amazed at her conviction to marry Krishna. She was advised to observe Margali –bath rituals, which was a custom of yore for marriageable girls to have choice husbands. read more