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Our Affiliate Writers and Teachers August 16, 2009

Filed under: VFA Affiliate Writers and Teachers — Stephen Knapp @ 3:25 am
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Our Affiliate writers, researchers and lecturers in the Vedic Friends Association

        The following is a partial list of our affiliate writers, lecturers and associates who are recognized as authorities in their respective fields, and who may guide others in their fields of interest.  So they can be contacted for training or for giving presentations and lectures. Many of them have written important books or can make presentations or provide insightful information and interviews on various aspects of Vedic culture. Some of them specialize in Jyotish (Vedic Astrology), Ayurveda, Yoga practice, Vedic philosophy, Vedic history and archeology. If you need any information, or are looking for someone to make a presentation on a particular topic on the Vedic knowledge or arts in your area, or for correspondence, we hope that you will find the list below helpful. Check the “VFA News and Activities” page for events that have already taken place.

        Also, if you have an event taking place and want a group of people to make a variety of presentations, contact us at Srinandan@aol.com for booking a team of people from the list below. 

        Be sure to check out their websites for many additional articles and information that you may like to read.

        Also see some of the many books our writers have to offer on the “Recommended Books” page.

       


        Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana) is the President and Treasurer of the Vedic Friends Association. He has been researching Vedic spirituality and comparative religious study for over 30 years in a variety of settings. He has directly engaged in those spiritual disciplines that have been recommended for hundreds of years. He continued his study of Vedic knowledge and practice under the guidance of a spiritual master to get the insights and realizations that are normally absent from the ordinary academic atmosphere. Through this process he has been initiated into the genuine and authorized spiritual line of the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya, or disciplic succession, under the sanction of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. He has also extensively traveled throughout India to most of the major holy sights and more, and is known for his slide shows on his travels to the holy places and spiritual festivals of India (even nicknamed “the slide show acharya”), and for his lectures on the Vedic and Indian philosophy. He has written over twenty books and booklets, and numerous articles on the science and spiritual practice of Vedic culture and Eastern philosophy, which include: 

The Secret Teachings of the Vedas

The Universal Path to Enlightenment

The Vedic Prophecies: A New Look into the Future

How the Universe was Created and Our Purpose In It

Toward World Peace: Seeing the Unity Between Us All

Facing Death: Welcoming the Afterlife

The Key to Real Happiness,

Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence,

Destined for Infinity (a spiritual adventure),

Reincarnation and Karma: How They Really Affect Us,

The Heart of Hinduism: The Eastern Path to Freedom, Empowerment and Illumination,

The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture

Vedic Culture: The Difference It Can Make In Your Life (Editor).

Seeing Spiritual India, A Guide to Temples, Holy Sites, Festivals and Traditions.

Crimes Against India: And the Need to Protect its Ancient Vedic Traditions

 

        Additional free and concise ebook are also available on his website made for distribution through email, such as:

Why Be A Hindu: The Advantages of the Vedic Path,

Mediation: A Short Course to Higher Consciousness,

Vedic Culture / Hinduism: A Short Introduction,

Thirty-one Days to Salvation on the Vedic Path,

A Complete Review of Vedic Literature,

Sri Krishna,

Shiva and Durga: Their Real Identity,

Yoga and How to Get Started,

Manifestation of Souls and Where They Go,

Death of the Aryan Invasion Theory.

        He has also worked in the field of home health care, and has experience in Hospice work. He can help assist in a person’s transition into the next life, for which his book Facing Death was written. 

        Much more information about Stephen, his books, along with over 100 articles, numerous photographs of India, controversy of the origins of the Taj Mahal, a large collection of prints of Krishna and the Vedic Deities, and many additional resources are supplied on his website, at– http://www.stephen-knapp.com. You can email him at: Srinandan@aol.com.  

 

 

        Jeffrey Armstrong is the Vice President and Secretary and communications director and spokesperson for the VFA. He has degrees in psychology, literature, history and comparative religions. He also has been practicing Vedic astrology since 1973. He has received initiation into the Vedic traditions by renown masters. He has also been a corporate speaker for several years and now offers insightful and dynamic presentations into the ancient Vedic texts and traditions for all students of the East. His goal is to revive that lost knowledge and present it as tools of empowerment that can be used everyday to create balance in the midst of modern problems and pressures, and to open new venues of possibilities for personal development.

        He has a private astrology practice and offers regular lectures and talks on Vedic knowledge to students. He has written various articles and is the author of the book “God the Astrologer” on the soul, karma, reincarnation, and how we continually create our own destiny. He is available for private consultation and for giving lectures and talks around the country. He is based in Vancouver, Canada and his web site is: www.jeffreyarmstrong.com

 

 

 

   

       Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is the Chairman of the VFA. He is one of the foremost western experts on Vedic Science. His work in various Vedic fields is widely respected in India. His prolific writings for over twenty years includes books on the Vedas, ancient India, Hinduism, modern India, Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta and Vedic astrology. Currently he is the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Santa Fe New Mexico, USA, which offers information, training and resources on a number of Vedic topics. More information about him and some of his articles can be found on his website at —  http://www.vedanet.com, His email is: vedicinst@aol.com
Books by David Frawley  (*available on line)
        On Ayurveda and Yoga:

Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice (Frawley and Kozak)

Vedantic Meditation: Lighting the Flame of Awareness

Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide

Yoga of Herbs (Frawley and Lad)

Ayurveda, Nature’s Medicine (Frawley and Ranade)

Yoga and Ayurveda: Self-healing and Self-realization

Ayurveda and the Mind: The Healing of Consciousness

Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses: Spiritual Secrets of Ayurveda
        On Vedic Astrology:

Astrology of the Seers: A Guide to Vedic/ Hindu Astrology

Oracle of Rama – Practical oracle based on the Ramayana
        On Vedas and Ancient History:

*Rig Veda and the History of India (Rig Veda Bharata Itihasa)

In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (Feuerstein, Kak and Frawley)

Vedic Aryans and Origins of Civilization (Frawley and Rajaram)

*Myth of the Aryan Invasion

Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization

Wisdom of Ancient Seers:Selected Mantras from the Rig Veda
        On Hindu Dharma and India Today:

*Hinduism and the Clash of Civilizations

*How I Became a Hindu: My Discovery of Vedic Dharma

*From the River of Heaven: Hindu and Vedic Knowledge for the Modern Age

*Hinduism, The Eternal Tradition: Sanatana Dharma

*Arise Arjuna: Hinduism and the Modern World

*Awaken Bharata: A Call for India’s Rebirth

 

 

 

       Vrindavana Parker is the head of our Promotion Department. He has attended Vedic Gurukula schools from 1971 until 1981, in the USA and in Vrndavan, India. Studied Sanskrit, Hindi,  Vedic  literature as well as English, Math, Indian History and the Vedic tradition of Cow protection. Initiated into Vaishnavism by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Bhakti-Sundar Govinda Maharaj. Has been researching and publicly presenting Vedic Historical and Cross-cultural connections since 1996. A Founding Member of WAVES, World association for Vedic Studies. Owner and Founder of Vedic Empire Productions, a multi-media cultural production company. Former Candidate for Hawaii State Senate in 1996. Publicly elected to the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, in Honolulu, HI, 1997. A Founding member and former Vice-President of the Vedic Friends Association. Former Executive Board Member of Community Television of Lane County, Oregon, CTVLC. Served for 2 years as Head of the publicity and programming committees. Currently, Vrndavan Parker is working full time for the Dharmic cause and continues to air Vedic/Hindu TV shows, organize events and research the World’s Ancient Vedic Heritage. website is http://www.vedicempire.com,  email vrnparker@vedicempire.com
 


 

        Ishmael Adebisi (Isvara das) (42) was born in Africa. He came from a very religious family with background in Islamic religion. He also investigated Christianity while in college. Some 25 years ago he became very interested in eastern thoughts and mysticism, and found his first Bhagavad-Gita in the college library. He was deeply moved by its pure philosophy and then understood the true purpose of existence. He never knew that it would be a turning point in his life. Ever since then he has been practicing Hinduism in the Gaudiya-Vaishanava sampradaya of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu which was strongly and thoroughly propagated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada in the west with great success. In his own words “I have been traveling all over the world, especially in the Indian, African and Arabic communities, lecturing on the varied Vedic principles, as well as compiling and publishing Vedic scriptures for the upliftment of Human consciousness. I strongly believe that the Vedic-Hindu-dharma and culture are the only cure for society’s problems.”

        Some of the current books that he has produced include:

1. Gita Mahatmya, The Glories of Bhagavad-gita,

2. Hari Bhakti Kalpa Latika, The Desire Creeper of Loving Service to Lord Hari,

3. Sri Nityananda-caritamrta, Life and Pastimes of Lord Nityananda,

4. Sarvabhauma sataka, 100 Prayers in Glorification of Lord Caitanya by Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya,

5. Prathana, Devotional Songs and Prayers of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura,

7. Pada-sevana, Meditation on the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord,

8. Pastimes of Lord Damodara, a children’s story book., along with other books.

        He presently lives in Vrindavan, Bharat with his family. His wife is Indian and they have two young sons. He has brought out 8 books on Vedic subjects to his credit in the past 2 years. His books are read internationally. He is interested to help the Vedic-Hindu cause where ever and whenever it requires. He will be working with the VFA in a few areas including the Cultural Studies and Media departments. He can be reached by email at:  isvara.ggs@pamho.net.

 

 

        Masahide Deepak Aoyama is a Japanese scholar in scientific and Asian studies, and has done much research in Ayurveda. His teaching experience includes: California State University Fullerton, Visiting Professor (1997 summer), The Institute of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Japan, Tokyo, Vice President/ Professor (1994-to the present), College of Medicine, Toho University, Lecturer (1990-1994). His working experience includes: Radio Talkshow “The Aquarius” FM Yokohama, Japan, Talkshow Host (1998-1999); Asahi Shimbun (Newspaper) “Ronza”, Tokyo, Japan, U.S. based correspondent (1994-1995). In his education he has earned his Ph.D. at Toho University, Tokyo in Medical Science, 1992; D.Sc. at Tokyo University, Tokyo in Quantum Physics, 1989; M.Sc. at Tokyo University, Tokyo in Bio-Physics, 1986; B.Sc. at Tokyo University, Tokyo in Pure and Applied Sciences, 1984.

        His publications include:

1) “Risei no Yuragi (Fluctuation of Intellect)” Tokyo: Sango-kan. 1993: introducing the vast field of Veda (Ancient Indian Science), especially Ayurveda (Indian traditional Medicine). It also makes comparison between Japanese and Indian cultures and between modern and ancient science.

2) “Agasthya no Ha (Secret Leaves of Agasthya)” Tokyo: Sango-kan. 1994. Agasthya is an Indian sage who wrote on palm leaves an enormous number of descriptions on Medicine (Siddha Medicine) and Astrology.

3) “Shinjitsu no Sai Baba (Sai Baba -His True Story-)” Tokyo: Sango-kan. 1994.

4) “Sankarupa (God’s will and human will)” Tokyo: Sango-kan. 1995.

5) “Science of Life and Human Consciousness” in Fukai kawa wo Saguru (Exploration to Human Consciousness). Tokyo: Bungei-Shunjusha. 1994. A Colloquy with internationally noted man of literary, Shusaku Endo, on Asian culture and religion.

6) “Multimedia and Culture of the Next Century” in Gaizaika suru Nou (Cosmic Brain). Tokyo: The Culture-Design Forum in Japan. 1994.

7) “Ooinaru Seimeigaku (Science of Life) -The Essence of Ayurveda-” Tokyo: Sangokan. 1997.

8) “Ai to Fukushu no Daichi (Love and Revenge)” Tokyo: Sangokan. 1998. The book introduces the reader to the Asian culture and its people.

9) “Saigo no Kiseki (The Last Miracle)” Tokyo: Gentosha. 2000.

10)”Inori no Kotoba (Words of Prayer)” Tokyo: Gentosha. 2003.

        He has also written many professional papers and given scientific presentations at numerous academic conferences, two of which include: “Philosophical Relationship Between Ayurveda and Yoga” at the 20th Congress of Research Society for Ayurveda in Japan, Fukui, November, 1998; and “Oriental Medicine and Philosophy of Science-The World View of Indian Traditional Medicine” at the 9th Conference of Comprehensive Medicine in Japan, Tokyo, May, 2003. He is based in Tokyo, Japan and can be reached through e-mail: maria@lightfield.co.jp. His website in Japanese is http://www.lightfield.co.jp

 

 

        Dr. Shantaram Parashuram Apte (78) was born in village Khed in Pune district of Maharashtra, Bharat in a family with a strong Vedic lineage. Though the family was involved in legal

 profession for nearly seven generations, Dr. Apte chose to pursue medical profession. He was a superintendent for almost 16 years of a 2,000-bed hospital in Mumbai and is the founder of Thane District Tuberculosis Prevention Society. He also ran his own hospital for over two decades and practices medicine even today in Thane, Maharashtra, where he currently resides. Due to the strong Vedic tradition in the family, he got interested in the study of Sanskrit & Vedas at a very young age, which has continued till today. With his familiarity with recitation of Vedas and other ‘stotras’ and ‘sooktas’ as well as with deep knowledge of Vedas, Vedangas, Upanishads & Puranas, he has given numerous talks (including in the United States) & has written several articles in Marathi on Vedic themes. He is the founder of ‘Sulona Samskritasthanam’ as well as ‘Spiritual Science Centre.’ He is the President of ‘Suravani Dnyanamandiram’ at Thane and has been teaching Vedic recitations there for last 15 years.   His 1100-page book titled ‘Vaidik Ahnic’ in Marathi is about to be published. This book provides a detailed description of the daily routines that a Vaidik should follow, the related ‘sooktas’ and the entire philosophy behind that. 

Dr. Shantaram Parashuram Apte, Apte Rugnalaya (Hospital),  Off Ram Maruti Road, Thane West, Bharat (India) PIN 400 602.  (+91 22) 2542 2756. abhijitaishwarya@gmail.com.

 

 

        Howard Beckman (Hamsavatar Das) was born in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania and became a student of eastern mysticism and Vedic philosophy in the 1960’s. His love affair with India and her culture began in his childhood when he visited India with his grand uncle, a very prominent international gem importer. After attending university majoring in philosophy and religion and psychology, he also gained a degree as a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and recognition as a senior appraiser from the prestigious National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. He is also one of only a handful of gemologists world-wide recognized and awarded the degree of Planetary Gemologist by the Planetary Gemologists Association in Thailand . A student of yoga, jyotish, ayurveda and Vedantic philosophy for over 30 years now,  Howard was also initiated as a Vaishnava Brahmin priest by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in 1972. He has authored 3 very popular books entitled “An Introduction to Vedic Astrology”, “Mantras, Yantras & Fabulous Gems…” and “Vibrational Healing with Gems” and is considered one of the world’s top experts in both Ayurvedic clinical gem therapy and planetary gemology as used in Jyotish. He is currently director of the Vedic Cultural Fellowship in Pecos, New Mexico, as well as the Pecos Yoga and Ayurveda Center where he teaches and maintains a busy practice as a Vedic astrologer and ayurvedic gem therapist. More information is available on the web site www.vedicworld.org and he may be reached by e-mail at balaji@vedicworld.org or balaji@newmexico.com, telephone 505-757-6194.

 
        Michael A. Cremo is an internationally known expert on the history of archaeology and anomalous archaeological evidence for extreme human antiquity, consistent with the Puranic literature of ancient India. He is research associate in history of science for the Bhaktivedanta Institute (the science studies branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness), and is a member of the History of Science Society, the Philosophy of Science Association, and the European Association of Archaeologists. His most recent scientific publication is “Puranic Time and the Archaeological Record,” presented at the World Archaeological Congress 3, 1994, and now included in the proceedings volume Time and Archaeology, edited by archaeologist Tim Murray for Routledge (1999). On Amazon.com, world’s largest internet bookseller, Cremo’s book Forbidden Archeology (1993), coauthored with Richard Thompson, has been a bestseller in the archeology and evolution categories. Dr. K.N. Prasada, former president of the Archaeological Society of India, said about this book: “I find the entire gamut of human origins and prehistory has been brought out in one single comprehensive volume, a task few people can achieve. I congratulate you for writing this excellent reference book, which will act as a catalyst for further research on a subject of immense interest, not only to scholars and students but also laymen.” Cremo is also investigating anthropological and archaeological evidence for Vedic cultural contacts and influences around the world. Ecology and the environment are also among his interests. He wrote with Mukunda Goswami the book Divine Nature: A Spiritual Perspective on the Environmental Crisis. Another book by Mr. Cremo is The Hidden History of the Human Race. He has done numerous lectures,  and radio and television presentations. His main departments of activity in the VFA are Vedic Ecology and Environmentalism, Cultural Studies, Scientists and Academicians. He is located in Los Angeles. You can find out more about him at: http://www.mcremo.com, and his email is: mcremo@cs.com

 

        Andrew Foss (Harishchandra) is the editor of the journal Gochara and President and co-founder of the British Association for Vedic Astrology, faculty member of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a board member of the American Council of Vedic Astrology. He is adjunct Professor of Jyotish at the Hindu University of America. He worked for the Royal Greenwich Observatory (UK) where he co-authored a research report in the leading scientific journal “Nature” on the question “Is there a 10th Planet?” He has received BA (Physics) and MA from Oxford University, UK and is completing a PhD in computer science at the University of Alberta and has published a number of papers in data mining. He has worked on the relationship of fundamental physics and consciousness. He established a research centre in Hong Kong and studied Yoga, Jyotish and Ayurveda in India and has lectured on Jyotish and Vedic Science throughout the world. He did a critical assessment of scientific papers on meditation resulting in the production of 3,000 pages of collected papers. Over the last 20 years he has developed the leading Vedic Astrology software “Shri Jyoti Star”, which is widely used in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Holland, India, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, UK, USA, and other countries. He developed an automatic clustering algorithm that may prove useful in, amongst other things, helping process the large numbers of palm-leaf manuscripts held by Indian universities and institutions. He has been greatly touched by the teachings and Grace of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi of Arunachala. Andrew will be working with the VFA especially in the departments of Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda. You can visit his website at: http://www.vedicsoftware.com. Email: andrew@vedicsoftware.com or shrisource@yahoo.ca. Telephone 1-780-486-0765. 

        Andy Fraenkel is the founder of The Center For Sacred Storytelling, located near Wheeling, WV. He travels extensively offering multicultural and sacred storytelling programs at schools, colleges,  churches, temples, conferences and other special events, including  NYU’s Center for Near Eastern  Studies,  The New School For Social Research, Religious Communications Congress 2000, Centennial Event for Parliament of World Religions, and Indianapolis’ Spirit & Place Festival. He also conducts the Vedic Storytelling Institute. Fraenkel  explains that “it would be impossible to consider the philosophy and spirituality of the Vedic tradition without entering into story.  Actually, the epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata are a vital part of the sacred heritage of all humankind. These epics have endured for millennia because they reflect the longings of the human spirit. They are considered the ‘fifth Veda’ and expound the timeless teaching of Sanatana Dharma.”  Fraenkel is also a member of the National Storytelling Network and brings his dramatic storytelling from world cultures to over twenty thousand school children each year.  He is the author of  The Fish Who Wouldn’t Stop Growing And Other Wisdom Stories From Ancient India. He has recently released a CD entitled Sacred Voices – a pilgrimage of storytelling into various sacred traditions. For more information contact him at: story108@juno.com  or  visit www.sacredvoices.com

 

 

 

       Michael J. Gressett graduated from U. C. Berkeley in 2000 with a degree in Religious Studies.  He holds an M. A. in Hinduism from the University of  Florida, and has completed his course work for the Ph D.   He will write his dissertation on the New Raman Reti Community of North Florida with emphasis on the laity formation of a new religious movement in America.  Gressett currently teaches Sanskrit at the University of Florida in the Department of Religion.  See http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/gressett/

 

 

 

 

    Yogi Harinam Baba Prem Tom Beal has almost 20 years of study in Yoga and Meditation. He also has study in Sanskrit and the Vedas; in addition to a diploma in Yoga studies focusing on Karma, Bhakti, Hatha, Raja, and Kundalini yoga systems. He primarily teaches Kundalini yoga, in addition he previously published a newsletter entitled “Living Conscious”. “Living Conscious” enjoyed thousands of readers worldwide with its electronic edition. His Vedic study is directed by Pandit Vamadeva Shastry (Dr. David Frawley). Harinam has lived in Orlando, Florida for over a decade and has been a guest lecturer at Rollins College, and Seminole Community College. In addition, Harinam has 800 hours of credit combined in the study of Ayurveda and Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) and he has received the Hindu “sacred thread”. Harinam has produced numerous CD’s on mantra and meditation, and he has written several books on related systems. He is the founder and director of Universal Yoga. He currently offers private instruction in yoga and meditation. Private sessions in living Ayurvedic philosophy, and Vedic astrology consultations.

        Books by Yogi Harinam Baba Prem Tom Beal:

Mantra: Inner Transformation through the power of Sound.

How to Meditate.

Understanding the Kundalini.

Universal Yoga: A path to enlightenment

My Journey to Consciousness…so far.

The Guru/Disciple relationship.

        In addition he has two home study programs:

Yoga Philosophy Level 1.

Yoga teacher training Level 1.

        More information can be found at: www.floridavedicinstitute.com, or e-mail: universalyoga@netzero.net. 

 

       

        Horacio Francisco Arganis Juárez is our scholar from Mexico. He graduated in Literature and Linguistics in the U A de C (Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila). He also earned his M. A. in  Philosophy and Theology of Religión Gaudiya Vaisnavism of India by  IBCH (Instituto Bhaktivedanta de Ciencias y Humanidades A.C.). He attained a Bhakti-sastri degree from ISKCON. He is also the author of multiple essays in magazines and the journal of Humanities, and has written three books of his specialty  that have been mentioned in thesis and investigations. He is a Professor and lecturer in several universities and has lectured at international and national congresses in Mexico and  USA. He is also Investigador of IBCH and IEFAC (Instituto de Estudios Filosoficos A. C.), both of which are official colleges in Mexico. He can be reached at ramayana@todito.com.  

 

 

 

        Subhash Kak is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Louisiana State University, the New Orleans area. He is also a Sanskrit scholar and has also written numerous academic papers on Vedic science and culture, along with several books which include, The Nature of Physical Reality, The Astronomical Code of the Rig-Veda, India at Century’s End, and In Search of the Cradle of Civilization with Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., and David Frawley. He regularly gives lectures and attends conferences on varied Vedic topics. More information about him can be found on his website at — http://www.ee.lsu.edu/kak/home.html. Also see http://www.ee.lsu.edu/kak/books.html  for the listing of his books. He can be reached through his email: kak@sol.ee.lsu.edu,  kak@ece.lsu.edu, or subhashkak@gmail.com
 

 

            Pratichi Mathur hails from a 900-year lineage of Vedic healers from India . Pratichi represents classical and tradition based Ayurvedic medicine. In 2002 Pratichi was prominently featured by the San Francisco Chronicle for her work in Ayurveda. In 1998 Pratichi was awarded the title of “Ayurveda Shiromani” by the Ayodhya Nath Ayurveda Samiti ( India ) and in 1999 Pratichi was awarded the “Vaidehi Puruskar” by the Ayurveda Prachar Sanstha ( India ). Pratichi was healer to many politicians and celebrities in India and also loved by the poorest of the poor. Since her arrival in America in 1998 Pratichi established the Ganesha Institute for Ayurveda and Vedic Studies in California to help promote the Vedic sciences in their purest form and practice.

          Pratichi received her classical Ayurvedic training under Dr. P.H. Kulkarmi, India ’s top Ayurvedic doctor and an authority on Ayurveda (ex-Dean, Department of Ayurveda, Pune  University). In addition, she completed post-graduate studies in Ayurveda and Pancha Karma in Pune, India. Pratichi has extensive experience in Ayurvedic medicine, acquired over several years of clinical practice.

          Pratichi is an active member on several Ayurvedic research and advisory committees and boards, in both India and in the United States . Pratichi served as a Director on the Board of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (CAAM). She is also a member of the Academic Council and the International Propagation Committee of the Ayurveda Academy Pune, India; the Research Advisory Committee of the Ayurveda Research Institute, India.

            For Pratichi, Ayurveda is not just a passion sprung from her heritage, it is her very life. Having grown up sickly with Asthma and Ankylosing Spondylitis, a genetic, progressively disabling, painful condition… Ayurveda is her savior. Pratichi stands tall and dignified, spreading the message of healing, as Ayurveda heals and nurtures her. Therefore, Pratichi Mathur offers traditional Ayurvedic therapy and education. Her style of treatment remains classic, based upon Ayurvedic texts and ancient modalities. The Ganesha Institute was created to offer a full range of authentic services in Ayurveda. It is Pratichi’s vision that her clients be able to access true and classic Ayurveda. Pratichi resides in Sunnyvale, California. pratichi@vedikaglobal.org. More information about her and her practice can be found at her website at–http://www.healingmission.com  and www.vedikaglobal.org

 

 

        Dr. Mukesh Paneri is a graduate of the Gujarat Ayurveda University, a leading institute of Ayurveda learning in India. Dr. Paneri is a third generation practitioner from a well known family of Rajvaidyas and has been practicing with the Sharma Ayurvedic Clinic since 1977. The Sharma Ayurvedic Clinic, located in Ahmedabad, India was founded by two brothers – Surajmal and Khubilal – in 1916 and has been operated by successive generations of Sharmas. Presently, it is being run by the father-son team of Bhavani Shanker and Mukesh Paneri. Rajvaidya Bhavani Shanker is a distinguished vaidya and a well-known practitioner of Ayurveda in Gujarat. He is editor of NIRAMAYA, journal of Ayurvedic Medicine. He also is president of Ayurvedic Sahayaknidhi, an academy dedicated to propagation of Ayurveda. He is a preserver of many time-tested formulas, which promote health and longevity.

        The current incharge of the clinic, Mukesh Paneri, has integrated the research and knowledge of his predecessors, his grandfathers – the Sharma brothers – and father, into a modern context and has expanded his family’s ayurveda practice beyond the Indian shores. Besides the treatment of the normal, routine diseases, Dr. Paneri has focused on developing specialty Ayurvedic treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Herpes and Multiple Sclerosis stroke, Asthma, prostate, through the ancient method of nadi-reading (diagnosis). 
        He has treated patients in India, North America, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia. He supervises the clinic’s farm where Ayurvedic herbs are grown and processed, and also writes a weekly column on health issues in CHAUPAL, a Hindi daily published from Ahmedabad. 

        Dr. Paneri’s clinical practice is dedicated to the principles of Ayurvedic remedies. Ayurveda relies on natural soil for the growth of herbs, is free of chemical agents, does not involve experimental procedures or tests on animals and deals with the human body as a whole. Please visit www.drpaneri.com  for more information. You can contact him through E mail at: drpaneri@icenet.net,  or phone and regular mail at: Dr. Mukesh Paneri, Sharma Ayurvedic Clinic, 469 Sankdi Sheri, Ahmedabad – 380 001 (Gujarat), India, Tel: 91-79-214-0207 / 214-0446

 

 

 

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        Ramesh N. Rao was a professor of communication at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri.  He is presently professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. He writes regularly  for  a variety  of newspapers and magazines.  He is the author of a few books including (Secular ‘Gods’ Blame Hindu ‘Demons’ & Coalition Conundrum), has co-authored “IDRF: Let the Facts Speak”, and has co-edited a volume on the Gujarat riots of 2002 titled “Gujarat after Godhra: Real Violence, Selective Outrage”.  His interests range from Indian politics and history to Hindu philosophy and Carnatic classical music.  Ramesh Rao lives with his wife Sujaya, son Sudhanva, and cat Subba.  His personal website is http://www.rameshnrao.com/index.html

 

 

 

        Yvette Rosser (Ram Rani) first visited India in 1970 where she met her Guru-ji, Shri Neem Karoli  Baba Maharaj. After spending several formative years of her life in India, she nurtured a life-long appreciation for the culture and history of the Indian Subcontinent. Since her youth, her respect and admiration of India’s religious traditions, spiritual inheritance, and rich historical legacy has continued to grow as her knowledge of the region increased along with her professional development. She is an American citizen who genuinely appreciates India and whose focus transcends economic and strategic interests. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Asian Studies in 1981 (with honors) and teaching certifications in Social Studies and English, she taught high school for several years, while raising three children. She returned to graduate school in hopes of contributing to the field of Asian Studies. She received her M.A. in Asian Studies in 1997, and a Ph.D. in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her Master’s Thesis topic was Global Education: India in the U.S. Secondary Social Studies Curriculum, and her Doctoral Dissertation topic was Curricula as Destiny: Forging National Identities in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It includes a study of the negative impact that the standard essentialized presentation of India, in American classrooms, has on the identity formation of American high school students of Hindu descent. Her Ph.D. dissertation, in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is a study of the politics of history in South Asia and looks at social studies textbooks in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, with a particular focus on the rewriting of history in India. She has designed and led several workshops for high school teachers to help them better understand and teach about India. She is the co-creator and sponsor of the International Day without Violence, held annually on April 4th, designed to promote peace, non-violence, and conflict resolution, by encouraging autonomous events in communities and schools around the world. All three of her children have visited Mother India… and are always eager to return, as is she. Jai Hind!

         Currently, she is a Research Associate with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi, while residing in Austin, Texas. She has published many papers and articles. Her publications include topics that discuss common stereotypes found in teaching about India and suggests corrective strategies for Hindus to strengthen the positive aspects of their religion, culture, and heritage so that it flourishes in America. 

        She will be working with a number of departments with the VFA, including Women’s Groups, Academic Studies. She is also the president of the VFA’s sister organization, Indigenous Voices International.  She can be reached by phone (512) 928-9557. Email: y.r.rani@mail.utexas.edu

 

 

 

        Dhan Rousse (Dhanesvara Das) has received a MS degree in engineering from the University of Florida in 1973 but since that time has focused his attention on the study and practice of Vedic philosophy as a student and disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. His interests involve the understanding and application of Vedic Dharma, particularly in relationship to current cultural and social issues, and economic activity. He currently (2005-6) lives near Kiev, Ukraine where he has established the Abhidheya Cultural Academy for teaching the Vedic concepts of Varna and Ashrama as the basis for establishing of an alternative Vedic culture. He travels and teaches in the CIS countries. Dhan has written a variety of articles on Vedic philosophy, many of which have been translated to Russian, and is author of the book Demonstrations of Love, which explains the economics according to the Bhagavad-gita.  He can be reached at integr8ted@pamho.net.
 

          Niranjan Shah At the age of 75, from Vestal, New York, Niranjan travels 500 to 1000 miles every week participating in activities contributing to society like a young man with strength and vigor. He is a learned and versatile scholar on India’s heritage. By profession he is a civil engineer. Between 1991 and 2000 he wrote ten books, between 2001 and 2006, he wrote more than 300 articles, addressed universities, conventions, temples, institutions and clubs. By his popular articles, and impressive talks he is trying to present greatness of India’s culture to younger generation also.
        Even though he is a civil engineer, he is a scholar of Dharma, religions, culture, history and philosophy of India. He saw gross misunderstanding about recent religions and Vedic Dharma in our own community. Inspiration came from Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj of Swaminarayan Sanstha BAPS, when Cultural Festival of India sponsored his first book “This is India” in 1991 and was released by him at the festival. Encouraged by this support he wrote ten books including “Historicity of Ramayana”, “Historicity of Shri Krishna”, “Vegetarianism”, “Vegetarian Way of Life”, “Spice Trade Story”, “Welcome Death” and others with encouragement from Pujya Morari Bapu, Pujya Rameshbhai Oza, Goswami Indira Betiji, Acharya Sushilkumarji, Dr. Neil Wilson, Charles McCormick Jr., R.R. Sheth and Co. Mumbai, publishers, and others.         In 2001 he wrote first article on Afghanistan in India Tribune and since then it has become a weekly column under “Letters From Grandpa”. His articles appear in India Abroad, India-Post, Voice of Asia, IndiaweeklyUSA, Gujarat Times and Gujarat Darpan in USA and in Bhavan’s Journals, Sandesh and Janmabhumi in India. Because of his column, and articles, he is being invited to speak at Conventions, Universities, Institutions, Temple and various Rotary Clubs. In beginning he wrote about Vedic literature and then turned to history and pre-history of each country of the world and was convinced about the whole world being a Vedic legacy. He traveled Egypt, Greece, all Europe, Israel, Japan, and China, Far East, Australia and saw everywhere Vedic influence of ancient India. He was deputed to Pravasi Bharatiya Divas of Government of India, Vibrant Gujarat of Gujarat Government, and came in contact with various Dharmic and religious leaders, political leaders, social leaders, artists, singers, and film-personalities. He worked with Salvation Army, United Way, Rotary Clubs and other institutions for homeless people in USA.
        During 1954, in final year of Engineering, he was elected Secretary General of M.S. University Students Representative Council, member of executive committee of Baroda Students Council and worked with Chimanbhai Patel, former chief minister. Until 1978 in India, he contributed to education, social, and cultural activities. He was president of Sagar Education Trust, Vice-President of Sagar Publication Trust, patron of Premanand Literary Society, presented plays and movies, and got involved in social services through Rotary and other Clubs. He worked on large irrigation projects in India and pioneered high-rise development in city of Baroda, to which he belongs. Last year (2005) he was invited as a Guest of Honor by Institute of Engineers (India) and was felicitated by members, which included Mayor of Baroda. (By Senior editor Ramesh Jadav in “Gujarat Times” of June 2, 2006)

 

 

        Dr. Rita D. Sherma holds a M.A. in Religion, and a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Claremont Graduate University. She is an accomplished artist who has received many prestigious awards for her oil portraits of indigenous peoples of Asia and has served as the President of the Himalayan Arts Council. She has presented and published numerous academic papers and scholarly works on Hinduism, and has lectured widely on Hindu philosophy and art. Dr. Sherma is a professor at Binghamton University and she serves as the Chair of the Council for Hindu Studies at Claremont; Executive Vice President for the Foundation for Indic Philosophy and Culture; and as Chair of the Board of Distinguished Visiting Scholars for Dharma Association of North America (DANAM). 

        She has long worked with the environmental movement and is a pioneer in the field of constructive Hindu ecotheology. Active in promoting Hindu Studies in the American Academy through many different forums, her areas of publication, and/or research interest include Women and Religion; the Feminine Divine; Science and Hindu Dharma; Constructive Dharma, and spiritual practices of the world’s Indigenous Traditions. She can be reached at: rita.sherma@cgu.edu

 

 

        Robert Taylor (Bhoumadeva dasa) has been a student and teacher of Vedic philosophy for over thirty years. He has lived in an assortment of monasteries and ashrams in some of India’s holiest places. He has been initiated as a Brahmin priest by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, one of India’s foremost Vedic authors and proponents of Bhakti-yoga. Robert is known internationally for his discourses and presentations on Vedic culture. He frequently teaches through lectures and includes such diverse topics as reincarnation, astrology, self-realization, etc., all from the Vedic perspective. He has also directed, produced and hosted metaphysical radio and television shows for over 20 years in the Detroit area. He is also an accomplished astrologer and palmist, and is initiated into an ancient Vedic predictive technique known as the Bhrigu Yantra. Robert is available for consultations in person or by phone. His greatest joy is to give presentations to groups on the vast wisdom of the Vedas, which he can be scheduled to do. Contact: Robert Taylor, 842 Neff St., Grosse Pointe, MI 48230. Phone: 313-640-5792.  

 

 

 

        Chakrapani Ullal is a world-renowned Vedic Astrologer from Kerala, South India .  He was born into a family of illustrious astrologers and has had continuous contact with many of the most revered spiritual teachers of India. The Ullal family has been keepers of that knowledge for many generations, and, as was the custom, Chakrapani began to receive training from his father while still a young boy. Because the application of astrological principals is deeply embedded in the customs and rituals of village life, education in the subject was as much a way of life as a focus of study. He later came to take his degree in business studies and law and subsequently traveled extensively in his capacity as an advisor to the companies he represented. – Phone: (310) 476-9942 – Fax: (310) 471-3205. E-mail:  info@vedicastrology.com,   web site: www.chakrapani.com. .  His culinary teaching credits include Northwestern University , Columbia University , Montgomery County, Maryland Adult Education, Barnes & Noble demonstrations and numerous TV programs.  

      In 1979 he was invited by Swami Muktananda to come to America as an astrological advisor and consultant.  He now resides in the Los Angeles area and travels throughout the world to teach and consult with his diverse international clientele. Beyond his Astrology practice Chakrapani sits on the boards of several organizations; the “International Journal of Humanities and Peace,” which publishes a Journal for scholars in the Humanities, the Ganesha Foundation which promotes Vedic Sciences and the  American College of Vedic Astrology which teaches and sponsors conferences on Vedic Astrology.

      He has been at the forefront of the cultural exchange between India and America for decades, which bears witness to a revival of knowledge from the Vedic Tradition including yoga, ayurveda and astrology.  He has been awarded the titles of Jyotish Kovid, Jyotish Vachaspati, and Jyotish Sagan by the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences. You can contact him at: 12044 Kearsarge Street.  Los Angeles, CA 90049

 

 

        George Vutetakis (Gopati das). A prominent vegetarian chef in America , George began his culinary career as a student of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. During this time he cooked for thousands, ran a restaurant in Manhattan , helped feed Bangladesh refugees and catered dinners for diplomats in Washington , D.C. He also studied with saddhus, temple cooks and in personal homes during his four stays in India

        In 1981 he became founding chef of the Inn Season Café.  After taking over in 1985, he brought the café national recognition before selling the award winning restaurant in 2002. Chef George integrates spiritual focus with the practical functions of this world.  He prepares world class healthy vegetarian cuisine, beautifully presented and bursting with flavorful rich textures.  The influence of the years spent in India learning his craft is evident in the exquisite flavors imparted to all of his dishes.  Traditional methods of preparation from all parts of the globe are used in his cuisine. The relationship of food with the earth and the inhabitants upon it is the basis of George’s culinary endeavors.  With the Vedic approach, the appreciation and consumption of foodstuffs is a process for self realization.  George’s work also includes sustainable agriculture, candle making, soap making, organic body care, herbal remedies and other pre-industrial traditions.  He is now focusing on sharing his experiences and expertise with the public through writing, teaching and consulting. George is in the Detroit, Michigan area, and can be reached at 248-613-3394.  Email: gopatidas@aol.com

 

 

 

        SD Youngwolf is an award winning artist, teacher, and storyteller of Cherokee descent. He is presently the Vice President of Indigenous Voices International (IVI). His work as an artist and teacher focuses on Cherokee and Native American culture as well as Indigenous cultures of the world. He has also studied Hinduism and Buddhism in depth and traveled throughout India as a teacher and speaker. He has met and spent time with numerous teachers and saints in India, most notably Neem Karoli Baba. SD has a strong conviction that the Indigenous cultures have a great wealth of wisdom teachings that offer solutions to many of the problems that confront the modern world, and that building bridges of respect and understanding between cultures is an important goal. He can be reached at sdyoungwolf@hotmail.com.

 

The Vedic Friends Association Mission

Filed under: Vedic Friends Association Mission — Stephen Knapp @ 3:18 am
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THE VFA MISSION

 

         The Vedic Friends Association (VFA) is an international body of people who have embraced the Vedic culture or deeply respect the Vedic vision and way of life, including its systems of yoga, meditation, pranayama, languages and literature, Ayurveda, astrology, vegetarianism, forms of worship and spiritual knowledge.

        The VFA is committed to the promotion and preservation of Vedic heritage, civilization and culture.

 

PROCLAMATION

        We invite all people who appreciate or practice yoga, meditation, Eastern philosophy, and other aspects of India’s religious spiritual culture to please join us in our support in preserving and protecting India as the homeland of a dynamic and thriving Vedic tradition.

 

THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE VEDIC FRIENDS ASSOCIATION

    Briefly, here is what we are doing in the Vedic Friends Association:

  1. The main interest of the VFA is to bring together and unite people from all around the world who practice or want to know more about the Vedic path, and, thus, be a part of a global association.
  2. To especially involve and support Western Hindus and help spread an accurate understanding of Vedic culture and its traditions, and its individual and social benefits.
  3. Network and unite with other writers, authors, lecturers and those learned practitioners in the Vedic arts & sciences who may already be working in a similar way, and provide a list of them who are available for public speaking on Vedic topics.
  4. Develop educational material and new publications for sharing with others the Vedic traditions and philosophy of all areas of interest, and promote the books by our VFA authors.
  5. Assist in preserving Vedic culture and in enlivening people by various means on the real values of Vedic culture, in both America as well as in India. In this way, we can help keep India the homeland of a dynamic and thriving Vedic culture.
  6. Help create a unifying Dharmic social family with respect among all Hindus, Western or Indian.
  7. Develop and have cultural programs or conferences that people can attend to enhance their understanding and participation in the Vedic tradition.

          In this way, we are creating an internet community that can expand with time into local communities of people who can share and value Hindu Dharma, and become knowledgeable so that they can also become Vedic Ambassadors in the sense of being not only participants, but also those who can explain and share the Dharma with others.

 

STRATEGIES

 

            To do the above, the VFA plans to: 

    1. Update and inform members on news, recent discoveries and findings of ancient Vedic culture relative to archeology, astronomy, astrology, vastu, and other branches.

    2. Update members on events and Vedic conferences that they may find interesting, and issues confronting the global Vedic community and suggestions recommended for dealing with them.

    3. Encourage people to understand their real spiritual identity and connection to God and His nature through the systems of Karma Yoga (selfless action), Jnana Yoga (Self-knowledge), Dhyana (meditation), and Bhakti Yoga (devotion), which are the core of spirituality and essence of all spiritual paths.

    4. Help provide Vedic guidance according to the individual’s needs for spiritual, social and personal development, including connecting them to spiritual teachers who can further them along their path. 

    5. Encourage good ethical conduct according to Vedic standards of respect for all life.

    6. Emphasize the inviolable relationship between Self, humanity, God and nature. In this way, we can adjust our vision of who we are, and refresh and give new meaning to our purpose and value in life, and the resources we all share.

    7. Help unify society and the multiversity of cultures and world views with the sacredness that comes from understanding and perceiving our inherent spiritual and social oneness, by showing the similarities of all cultures and their common roots in the Vedic tradition. 

    8. To provide a platform for voicing our concerns and issues regarding Vedic culture, and exchanging ideas for the means to increase the spread of genuine understanding of the deep Vedic knowledge. Serious VFA members and supporters could go into action in order to move a particular issue along in a more concerted effort. 

    9. To be a voice for spiritual freedom and advocate individual rights of choice for the process that is chosen for one’s own spiritual development. To support the rights and freedoms as outlined in the 1st Amendment of the United States constitution. 

    10. To be an inspiration to other Hindus and Dharmists by the work we do and have done, as well as by our seriousness, sincerity and dedication we have for the Vedic path.

       


 

A FAMILY OF FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES

 

      The VFA is primarily meant to be a family with input from all members. Our focus is on simplicity, voluntary service, and mutual support. Unfortunately, we often see that the larger an organization, the greater the opportunities for the seeds of corruption and dishonesty to take root. Therefore, the VFA is meant to be part of a growing trend toward the non-institutionalized spiritualization of society. The VFA is a network of friends who come together through meetings, gatherings, or the internet, with the interest of staying informed and enhancing respect for God and the higher Self within each of us. Thus, our journey in life becomes an adventure made easier by the encouragement and assistance that comes from such Vedic connections, and through the use of the universal nature of the Vedic teachings. 

      Anyone can become a friend of the VFA, regardless of race, sex, cultural background, religion, or social status. These are merely temporary labels with which we decorate the body, not our true identity. They should play no serious part in our spiritual journey, or in the minds of the VFA friends and associates. Such distinctions often hinder our ability to understand our true potential, or to assist in seeing each other as equal spiritual children of the same Supreme Being.

      In this and other ways, the VFA will help fulfill the basic needs shared by all humanity. These include the need to be appreciated for what one does; for developing oneself into something more than one may be at present; the fulfillment that comes from belonging to a worthy group in which one can participate; and a need to feel that one is complete and whole, and is fulfilling or on the way to fulfilling one’s destiny. The VFA will work to fulfill these needs in all its friends and associates.

     The points listed in this document are subject to change as more people become involved and add their input, as our facilities expand, and as we face new issues or challenges. An important consideration to bear in mind is that we are starting this association from the ground up. It may take some time to develop, and we want to make sure that the mistakes of other organizations can be avoided or minimized in this one.