In2-MeC

newly discovered entries of In2-DeepFreeze       First Generation Animations

IBSA (ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Sadhana Asrama), Govardhana, India
31 December 2003

What the Upanisads Teach
Part Two

The Bliss of Brahman

Yesterday we learned that Taittiriya Upanisad presents three characteristics that define Brahman: satyam, jnanam and anantam. The same Upanisad expounds the Vedantic doctrine of panca-kosa or five levels of Brahman realization. The fifth and ultimate level is anandamaya (abundantly blissful). For an explanation of all five, one may refer to Bhagavad-gita As it Is 13. 5p and Chapter 86 of Krsna, "Prayers by the Personified Vedas. " About anandamaya, Taittirya II. 6. 1 states, so akamayata bahusyam prajayeyeti. . . idam sarvam asrjata, "this willed to become many. . . and created everything. " Remembering the definition of Brahman that was discussed yesterday, we must conclude that ananda is intrinsic to Brahman that expands and causes everything else to expand.

In the entry to this journal of 2nd November I related the teaching of the Brahmavalli portion of Taittirya Upanisad. Here too the conclusion is that Brahman is the state of incomparable bliss, beyond even the happiness of Prajapati Brahma, what to speak of entities below him. Vedanta-sutra 1. 1. 12 makes reference to Brahmavalli in Vyasadeva's statement anandamayo abhyasat (V-s 1. 1. 12). Srila Prabhupada discusses this sutra in his introduction to Bhagavad-gita As it Is and in his purport to Bg 6. 20-23.

For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the message of Taittiriya II. 7. 1 is most pertinent: raso vai sah, "He is rasa. " The Upanisad explicates rasa thusly: esa hy eva anandayati, "this verily bestows bliss. " If rasa bestows ananda, and rasa is Brahman, then Brahman must be of the nature of bliss.

In Taittirya III. 6. 1, Brghu Maharsi declares, anando brahmeti vyajanat: "Brahman is bliss. " Yajnavalkya Muni, speaking in Brhadaranyaka Upanisad III. 9. 28, says vijnanam anandam brahma: "realization, bliss, Brahman. " The personified sacrificial fires tell Upakosala Kamalayana in Chandogya IV. 10. 4-5 that prana, which denotes Brahman, is of the nature of bliss.

Brahman is Pure

Since the material happiness of the fallen (ksara) living entities brings them into contact with many impurities which in turn cause suffering, we must know that the happiness of Brahman is pure. The Upanisads are emphatic that Brahman is aksara, infallible, and thus pure beyond reproach. This is discussed by Yajnavalkya Muni and the female sage Gargi, daughter of Vacaknava, in Brhadaranyaka Upanisad III. 8. Saunaka and Angirasas speak of the same pure nature of Brahman in Mundakopanisad I. The strong statements of these Upanisads on the infallibility of Brahman are summed up by Srila Vyasadeva in Vedanta-sutra I. 2. 21-24, in the adhikarana entitled "Brahman is aksara. "

Brahman is the Source of All

Varuna, speaking in Taittiriya III. 1. 1, says "That from which all these beings are born, that by which they live and that unto which they enter when they depart this world--seek to perceive that! That is Brahman. " Srila Vyasadeva composed V-s 1. 1. 2 (janmady-asya-yatah) in reference to this statement of Varuna to Brghu. This same Upanisad indicates that ether, air, fire, water, earth and purusa, the soul, are emanations of Brahman. Mundaka Upanisad employs the term bhutayoni, "the womb of all beings," as an appellation of Brahman and mentions the life airs, the sense organs and the five gross elements as taking birth from Brahman. Declaring that sat alone existed before creation, Chandogya says that by its will, sat generated the universe. Aitareya states that atman existed alone prior to creation; it thought, "Let me create the world. "

To be continued, starting with Brahman is Adhara, the Support of Everything.

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Srila Prabhupada told my Godbrother Brahmananda Prabhu that while HH Bon Maharaja, a sannyasi disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, was in Europe in the 1930s on the order of his guru maharaja, he was granted an audience with Adolf Hitler. Bon Maharaja was told to wait in a room in what I suppose was the Reich's Chancellery in Berlin. (In 1933 Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany. It was not clear to Brahmananda Prabhu when this meeting took place, but he assumes it was soon after Hitler assumed this post. )

From his seat in the waiting room Bon Maharaja saw Hitler emerge from a room down a hallway, and then enter another room on the opposite side of the hallway. But he did not see Hitler again. Someone came to Maharaja and informed him that Herr Hitler was occupied by some important matter that obliged him to break the appointment.

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The Tangible Result
of that Great Heroic Social Experiment
in Equal Rights and Social Welfare--
Late-lamented Communism

(O where are Marx and Lenin now that we need them more than ever before!)

Shortage of Women in East Germany Causes Turmoil

By Erik Kirschbaum

LIEBENTHAL, Germany (Reuters) - A steady exodus of educated women is worsening a gender gap among eastern Germany's young and could be sowing the seeds of social upheaval.

There are now more than 130 men for every 100 women in rural parts of the East and demographic researchers fear the surplus will widen as educated young women continue to leave the former communist region.

Depopulation has long been a problem for the East, but the disproportionate number of women leaving has caused concerns that a dearth of females of child-bearing age will speed the decline and worries about what will happen to the men left behind.

Sociologists and demographic experts studying the phenomenon of a "surplus of men" in the East, as some political leaders prefer to call it, say eastern women seem to find jobs or partners in the wealthier West more easily than eastern men.

"Eastern women seem to be more mobile than men, and tend to have more education and skills," said Harald Michel, director of the Institute for Applied Demography in Berlin that has long been studying the flight of the East's "best and the brightest. "

"Eastern women appear more successful in finding jobs or partners in the West. There are few jobs in the East, so large numbers of men and women go west. But the women tend to settle in the West and never come back while most of the men return. The surplus of men in the East is getting wider all the time. "

NO LOVE FOR 'LOVE VALLEY'

"Liebenthal" is the German word for "Love Valley," but there appears to be little affinity among young people for the town of 260 people that lies in a region with a 20 percent unemployment rate 50 miles north of Berlin.

"It's deads-ville here," said Dirk Arndt, 19, who grew up in Liebenthal and is training to become a welder in a nearby town. "It's a totally boring place. There's nothing to do and no place to go. Everyone I know is trying to leave. "

Apart from just one small restaurant on Main Street, there is little for Liebenthal youths to do other than plan their escape. Arndt said Liebenthal was dying and would become a ghost town.

He and his friend Tobias Seeger needed only a few seconds to name the three girls their age who still live in town.

"You never see girls hanging out in Liebenthal because there aren't many left," said 17-year-old Seeger.

For girls a good education is the most promising way to get out.

"I'm going to get out of here as soon as I'm finished with school," said Janine Heiner, 17, from nearby Liebenwalde. She plans to spend a year working as an au pair in the United States to learn English and better her chances of escape.

"There are no jobs here, no money to earn and no future. There's nothing left here. " Heiner hopes to end up in France, Russia or the United States -- anywhere but Liebenthal.

Tina Brotzeit, 16, said there were girls in her school but she rarely saw any of them in town.

"You hardly ever see girls hanging around outside," she said. "Only boys, nothing but boys. "

GENDER GAP MAY LEAD TO SOCIAL UNREST

A review of data from the Federal Statistics Office in Weisbaden shows that there are 279,626 more men than women between the ages of 15 and 50 in the five eastern German states -- with the biggest surplus of men (69,605) in the 20 to 25 age group, where there are 481,760 men and 412,165 women.

That is a ratio of nearly 120 men to 100 women for all of the east, but Michel said that the gap is 130 to 100 or even higher in depressed rural regions north of Berlin.

"Imagine the consequences of a third of the male population having no chance of finding a partner," said Michel. "Alcoholism, welfare dependency, poverty -- the ingredients are there for more social tension, extremism and even violence. "

Depopulation has plagued hundreds of towns and cities throughout the ex-communist east. Nearly 2 million people have left since German unification in 1990, mainly because there are no jobs. The East's population is now 15 million and there are more than a million vacant apartments.

The net loss slowed in the mid-1990s but has picked up to about 100,000 each year now. About 300,000 easterners leave the region each year, most in search of jobs, while about 200,000 return.

"The first to take off are young women with skills," said Ulf Matthiesen, researcher at the Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning in Erkner. He has published a controversial paper warning the East was turning into a region of "imbeciles" because of the brain drain.

Recent testing by the Defense Ministry of armed forces recruits aged 18 to 22 seemed to confirm his fears, finding that the language, mathematical and logical thinking skills of eastern men was well below the national average.

Matthiesen said there was a danger that rural regions would one day be occupied only by "village fools without a chance of having families or female partners. "

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A Timingila Fish?

Tuning in to a deep sea monster
June 13, 2002

The "monster" sound was heard on a U. S. Navy system to track Soviet subs

LONDON, England -- Scientists have revealed a mysterious recording that they say could be the sound of a giant beast lurking in the depths of the ocean.

Researchers have nicknamed the strange unidentified sound picked up by undersea microphones "Bloop. "

While it bears the varying frequency hallmark of marine animals, it is far more powerful than the calls made by any creature known on Earth, Britain's New Scientist reported on Thursday.

It is too big for a whale and one theory is that it is a deep sea monster, possibly a many-tentacled giant squid.

In 1997, Bloop was detected by U. S. Navy "spy" sensors 3,000 miles apart that had been put there to detect the movement of Soviet submarines, the magazine reports.

The frequency of the sound meant it had to be much louder than any recognized animal noise, including that produced by the largest whales.

So is it a huge octopus? Although dead giant squid have been washed up on beaches, and tell-tale sucker marks have been seen on whales, there has never been a confirmed sighting of one of the elusive cephalopods in the wild.

The largest dead squid on record measured about 60ft including the length of its tentacles, but no one knows how big the creatures might grow.

For years sailors have told tales of monsters of the deep including the huge, many-tentacled kraken that could reach as high as a ship's mainmast and sink the biggest ships.

However Phil Lobel, a marine biologist at Boston University, Massachusetts, doubts that giant squid are the source of Bloop.

"Cephalopods have no gas-filled sac, so they have no way to make that type of noise," he said. "Though you can never rule anything out completely, I doubt it. "

Scientists from the U. S. 's NOAA have been baffled by the "Bloop" sound Nevertheless he agrees that the sound is most likely to be biological in origin.

The system picking up Bloop and other strange noises from the deep is a military relic of the Cold War.

In the 1960s the U. S. Navy set up an array of underwater microphones, or hydrophones, around the globe to track Soviet submarines. The network was known as SOSUS, short for Sound Surveillance System.

The listening stations lie hundreds of yards below the ocean surface, at a depth where sound waves become trapped in a layer of water known as the "deep sound channel".

Here temperature and pressure cause sound waves to keep traveling without being scattered by the ocean surface or bottom.

Most of the sounds detected obviously emanate from whales, ships or earthquakes, but some very low frequency noises have proved baffling.

Scientist Christopher Fox of the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Acoustic Monitoring Project at Portland, Oregon, has given the signals names such as Train, Whistle, Slowdown, Upsweep and even Gregorian Chant.

He told New Scientist that most can be explained by ocean currents, volcanic activity -- Upsweep was tracked to an undersea South Pacific mountain that had not been identified as "live. "

"The sound waves are almost like voice prints. You're able to look at the characteristics of the sound and say: 'There's a blue whale, there's a fin whale, there's a boat, there's a humpback whale and here comes and earthquake," he says.

But some sounds remain a mystery he says. Like Bloop -- monster of the deep?

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8. 7. 18:

The fish, sharks, tortoises and snakes were most agitated and perturbed. The entire ocean became turbulent, and even the large aquatic animals like whales, water elephants, crocodiles and timingila fish [large whales that can swallow small whales] came to the surface. While the ocean was being churned in this way, it first produced a fiercely dangerous poison called halahala.

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