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THE VEDIC FRIENDS ASSOCIATION August 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stephen Knapp @ 4:05 am
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THE VEDIC FRIENDS ASSOCIATION

Sharing the Universal Dharma

The Vedic Friends Association is an expanding, global network of progressive people helping each other understand, practice and promote the Universal Truths found in Vedic Dharma, the ancient knowledge of India. In this way we explore its spiritual, social and scientific dimensions for the good of all, and become a powerful force for beneficial change in this troubled world.

        We are a group of people who were individually working in various ways to spread a greater understanding of what the Vedic culture and philosophy is and what it has to offer. We have been doing this for years separately but have now joined together. We also invite everyone else to join us to do the same–to act in ways to preserve, protect and share the universal Dharma with all others. 

        Vedic culture is the world’s most ancient and largest, continuous spiritual tradition. It is the most globally powerful indigenous civilization left on Earth, still practiced by over a billion people. The Vedic tradition is based on Universal Truths of Dharma or natural laws that are applicable for anyone, at any time in history and anywhere in the world. Much tradition and evidence indicates that Vedic culture, with Sanskrit as the primal language, was the original universal culture beyond the many other traditions that later developed throughout the world. It is a tradition that emphasizes individual freedom to investigate spiritual truth to its deepest level and provides the methods by which one can have personal experience of the spiritual dimension.

        The Vedic Friends Association (VFA) is a free organization with no fee required for joining. It provides contact for like-minded people of any background who want to reach a higher level of understanding and insight through the study and practice of the timeless Vedic wisdom. The VFA welcomes all people to learn and participate in whatever level of interest a person has in Vedic culture and its uplifting path. The VFA is based on Self-realization and a rational approach. Its activities are founded on voluntary service, a spiritual orientation, ethical principles, and are peaceful in nature as prescribed in the Vedic science. Please see Our Mission page for more information in this regard. 

        The VFA also aims to help unite those who are already practicing or teaching various aspects of the Vedic system in a new level of cooperation for helping spread the genuine knowledge that the Vedic culture has always provided, and to present solutions for many of the world’s problems. Be sure to check out our Affiliate Writers and Teachers. We are networking with a growing number of people from around the world in varied backgrounds or schools of thought, and who are experienced in various aspects of Vedic study. These include writers, authors, researchers, lecturers, musicians, artists, Vedic astrologers, Ayurvedic practitioners, vegetarian cooks, and more, all of whom make informative presentations in their fields. Many have years worth of experience and have done radio and television shows, or extensively traveled on lecture tours. They can give interviews, provide presentations, and teach people more about their field of Vedic study. Interested parties or groups can arrange to have teams of our members to make insightful presentations at their conferences or meetings. 

        The Vedic Friends Association invites everyone to participate with our network and gain access to new friends and contacts of a similar mind and interest. If you are spiritually inclined and looking for a deeper understanding of life, the universe, or your real identity and relation with the Supreme, then the VFA will be something of which you will want to be a part. If you are interested in studying the Vedic sciences or the history of Vedic culture, then the VFA can help provide you with assistance in this way. Feel free to read the pages of this website and get a better understanding of the purpose of the VFA and how you may benefit by adding yourself to this association. Then be sure to contact us for further participation. There is much that we hope to offer you.

 

Why We Use the Term “Vedic” in Our Name

Filed under: Why we Use the Term "Vedic" — Stephen Knapp @ 3:57 am
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Why We Use the Term

 “Vedic” in Our Name

 

The word Veda has its Sanskrit root vid, which means “to know”, or simply “knowledge”. The word Veda also has three root meanings, representing its connection with the power of God, namely; 1) that Vedic knowledge is eternal; 2) Veda is the essential knowledge itself, which means that it provides knowledge of God, or that we can know the Supreme through the Veda; and 3) Veda gives the most desirable thing to the souls, which is the Divine Bliss that comes from our connection with God.

As most scholars on Vedic philosophy know, when you say Vedas you refer to the original four Vedas: the Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Vedas. From the four main Vedas are branches or appendices called Brahmanas, which relate to rituals and ceremonies. From these are derived the Aranyakas. The Upanishads are the appendices (the secret and esoteric knowledge) of the Aranyakas. When you say Veda (without the s) you not only refer to the four Vedas, but also to the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads, or all the texts that are considered Shruti. Shruti is considered the original revealed knowledge, which was unveiled to self-realized sages. The remaining parts of Vedic literature consist of the Mahabharata and Bhagavad-gita, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. These are the Itihasas or histories and supplemental portions of the Vedic literature, which they call Smriti, or that which is remembered. When we say “Vedic literature”, it refers to both Shruti and Smriti in a general way. However, some scholars think that the Shruti is the genuine Vedic portions of this philosophy and more important than the Smriti. So some may object to the use of the word “Vedic” to refer to that which includes all of the Vedic texts, both Shruti and Smriti. However, this is not an accurate view according to the Vedic texts themselves.

For example, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.5.11) also relates: “The Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Vedas, the Itihasas, Puranas, Upanishads, verses and mantras, sutras, and the spiritual knowledge and explanations within, all emanate from the Supreme Being.” It not only says it once, but the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says it again (2.4.10) as follows: “As from a fire kindled with wet fuel, clouds of smoke issue forth, so, my dear, verily, from this glorious great God has been breathed forth the Rig-veda, the Yajur-veda, the Sama-veda, Atharvanagirasa, Itihasas, Puranas, science of knowledge, mystic doctrines or Upanishads, pithy verses, aphorisms, elucidations and commentaries. From Him, indeed, are all these breathed forth.” Thus, they all have importance in presenting Vedic information, and one should not be biased toward one set of shastra or scripture to exclude the other. Therefore, to leave out the supplemental portions of the Vedic literature would deprive the reader of an enormous amount of Vedic knowledge and elaborated explanations. In this way, if anyone feels the “Vedic” tradition includes only the four Vedas up to the Upanishads, the Vedic tradition itself shows this as a wrong view, and that all of the ancient texts which support the Vedic conclusion are also Vedic and should be considered as such.

The Mahabharata (Adi Parva 1.267) explains the necessity of understanding Vedic knowledge with the help of the Puranas: “One should expand and accept the meaning of the Vedas with the help of the Itihasas and Puranas. The Vedas are afraid of being mistreated by one who is ignorant of the Itihasas and Puranas.” This is quite similar to what is related in the Prabhasa-khanda (2.93) section of the Skanda Purana, where it is said, “I consider the Puranas equal to the Vedas. . . The Vedas feared that their purport would be distorted by inattentive listening, but their purport was established long ago by the Itihasas and Puranas. What is not found in the Vedas is found in the smritis. And what is not found in either is described in the Puranas. A person who knows the four Vedas along with the Upanishads but who does not know the Puranas is not very learned.” In this way, we should understand that one’s education in Vedic culture and science is not complete if one excludes the understanding and knowledge given in the Puranas and the Itihasas. It is the Puranas which more fully explain that which is found in the four Vedas.

To further verify this point, in the Naradiya Purana Lord Shiva is quoted as saying to his wife Parvati that, “I consider the message of the Puranas to be more important than that of the Vedas. All that is in the Vedas is in the Puranas without a doubt.” So I relate this simply for those who feel that there should be some further distinction between Shruti and Smriti and may object to the use of the term “Vedic” within our name–The Vedic Friends Association–although many parts of the Vedic literature point to the need for using the Puranas and other portions of the Smritis to more fully understand the depths of Vedic knowledge.

Furthermore, some of the greatest of spiritual authorities, like Shankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, and others, have presented Smriti as valid evidence of spiritual truths and wrote commentaries on Bhagavad-gita. In fact, Madhvacarya, in his commentary on the Vedanta-sutras (2.1.6), quotes the Bhavishya Purana, which states: “The Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharva-veda, Mahabharata, Pancaratra, and the original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature. The Vaishnava supplements, the Puranas, are also Vedic literature.” This would obviously mean that the knowledge within them is also Vedic. Even the Chandogya Upanishad (7.1.4) mentions the Puranas as the fifth Veda. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.4.20) also clearly agrees with this: “The four divisions of the original sources of knowledge (the Vedas) were made separately. But the historical facts and authentic stories mentioned in the Puranas are called the fifth Veda.” Therefore, why should we argue with these conclusions? Actually, when it comes to understanding the verdict of the Vedic tradition, we should understand it as presented by the Vedic authorities and the tradition itself rather than depending on other standards.

 

Stephen Knapp

 

The VFA Journal and Newsletter

Filed under: The VFA Journal and Newsletter — Stephen Knapp @ 3:45 am
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The VFA Journal

         The  Vedic Friends Association also offers an email Journal for all of our friends and associates. This will cover a variety of topics for your information and personal or spiritual development. Articles will include topics on spirituality, the origins of Vedic culture, the basis of Vedic spiritual knowledge, Vedic astrology, Ayurveda, as well as announcements of activities about its members, and much more. 

        The VFA aims to be an ongoing process by which everyone can get deeper insights into the purpose of life and the universe. The email Journal and Newsgroup will be part of that process.  

      Find out more about this at the VFa website, www.vedicfriends.org, or at and at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vfa_journal/.

 

Our Recommended Books by VFA Members

Filed under: Recommended Books by VFA Members — Stephen Knapp @ 3:40 am
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Recommended Books

        Often we get requests for a list of books that we would suggest for those who want to increase their  understanding of the Vedic and Hindu traditions, both spiritual and otherwise. What follows is a list that will help you. They are books that are especially written in a way that allows anyone to understand a variety of Vedic topics 

        Most of these are written by members of our Vedic Friends Association who are experienced in making presentations to a wide variety of both western or Indian audiences. So they will definitely have accurate views of Vedic culture without the general misunderstandings or misconceptions that are so prominent in many books that are out there. They will also be explained in a way that anyone can understand, for both those who are new or experienced in Vedic knowledge. 

        You can also see our Recommended Books list for Children and Young Adults. 

        More books will be added in time.


The First Book by the VFA Affiliate Writers Team

Vedic Culture: The Difference It Can Make In Your Life

             This new book by various writers in the VFA shows the advantages of the Vedic paths of improvement and self-discovery that you can use in your own life to attain personal spiritual awareness, happiness, and fulfillment. It also provides a new view of what these avenues have to offer from some of the most prominent writers on Vedic culture in the West, who discovered how it has affected and benefited their own lives.

            For the benefit of individuals and for social progress, the Vedic system is as relevant today as it was in ancient times. Discover why there is a growing renaissance in what the Vedic tradition has to offer in this new book. 

 


The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture, by Stephen Knapp.

        This reveals why the Dharma is presently enjoying a renaissance among an increasing number of people who want to explore its teachings and see what its many techniques of self-discovery have to offer. In “The Power of the Dharma”, you will find:

    Quotes by noteworthy people on the unique qualities of Hinduism; * essential principles of the Vedic spiritual path; * particular traits, customs, and explanations of Hindu worship; * descriptions of the main yoga systems; * significance and legends of the colorful Hindu festivals; * benefits of Ayurveda, Vastu, Vedic astrology, and gemology; * important insights of Dharmic life and how to begin practicing it.

        The Dharmic path can provide you the means for attaining your own spiritual realizations and experiences. In this way, it is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. This is the power of Dharma’s universal teachings which have something to offer everyone!

        Price: $15.95, Paperback, Size: 6″ x 9″, Pages: 170,  ISBN: 0-595-39352-7.

 

ORDERING INFORMATION

        You can order the paperback version straight from www.iUniverse.com through the following link: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-39352-7   European orders will be shipped out of England.

        The Adobe Ebook version ($6.00) can be ordered and downloaded through iUniverse.com at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-83748-4

        To order it from BarnesandNoble.com, use this link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0595393527&itm=2

        To get it from Amazon.com, use this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0595393527/qid=1150426714/sr=1-28/ref=sr_1_28/002-7784767-0343200?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

        The Vedic Ambassador Study Course, based on the book “The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture”. Now through this course, meant especially for Westerners everywhere, you can be certified for understanding the basics of the Vedic tradition and its philosophy, and achieve a beautiful certificate to show the dedication and knowledge you have worked to attain. You can also receive a membership card to carry with you. Copies of the certificate can be carried to India with you in case you need to show it to help be received more respectfully in the temples you visit. Click on the title for more details.

 


Books by Stephen Knapp

Be sure to see his website for book ordering information at http://www.stephen-knapp.com, which also has more elaborate descriptions on each book. The first book listed below is also available through Jaico Publishing House in Mumbai, India.

The Secret Teachings of the Vedas

This provides one of the best reviews of Vedic and Eastern philosophy, and summarizes some of the most elevated and important of all spiritual knowledge. This timeless and enlightening information on the Vedic philosophy is explained in a clear and concise way and is essential for all who want to increase their spiritual understanding and awareness. This is a book that can give you a new perspective of who you are and where you fit into the scheme of things. It provides hundreds of direct quotes from the Vedic texts that go into detail about the science of the soul, your real identity, life after death, reincarnation, karma, the nature of God, why we exist, and the importance and source of the Vedas. This book supplies straightforward information not explained in other religions or philosophies, and condenses information from a wide variety of Vedic texts. It is a must for all spiritual seekers. It also has a travel section on major holy sites and temples of South India with 85 photographs. 320 pages, ISBN:0-9617410-1-5, $14.95

 The Universal Path to Enlightenment

This presents a most interesting and revealing survey of the major spiritual paths of the world and describes their histories, philosophical basis, and goals. Providing information about all of the major world religions, the different yoga systems, and others, it shows the essential similarities of all religions that all people of any culture or tradition can practice, which could bring about a united world religion. It also details the various branches of Vedic knowledge and the ultimate goal and most effective spiritual path for the people of this age. Also includes a travel section to the important places of eastern and central India with explanations of their importance, the legends, and a number of photographs of temples, people, etc. 415 pages, ISBN: 0-9617410-2-3, $14.95

 The Vedic Prophecies: A New Look into the Future

This is the first book ever to present the unique predictions found in the ancient Vedic texts of India. These prophecies are like no others and will provide a very different view of the future and how things fit together in the plan for the universe. Now you can discover the amazing secrets that are hidden in the oldest spiritual writings on the planet. This book will reveal predictions of deteriorating social changes and how to avoid them; future droughts and famines; low-class rulers and evil governments; whether there will be another appearance (second coming) of God; and predictions of a new spiritual awareness and how it will spread around the world. The Vedic Prophecies carry an important message and warning for all of humanity. There is also a special travel section to the historical temples and holy sites of Western India. 240 pages, ISBN:0-9617410-4-X, $14.95

 How the Universe was Created and Our Purpose In It

This book presents answers and details about the process of creation that are not available in any other traditions, religions, or areas of science. It offers the oldest rendition of the creation as described in the ancient Vedic texts, and provides insights into the spiritual purpose of it and what we are really meant to do here. These descriptions often agree and sometimes disagree with the modern scientific theories of creation, and offer some factors that science has yet to consider. Now, with this book, we can get a clearer understanding of how this universe appears, how the material energy develops, what is its real purpose, from where we really came, and how we fit into the plan for the universe. This book will also give any theist more information about how the universe is indeed a creation of God. To add a little adventure, it also contains a travel section to the major holy places of northern India with over 70 photos of temples, Deities and holy sites. 310 pages, ISBN: 0-9617410-8-2, $14.95

Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence

Through this book you will see the history and traditional source of the Vedas and the Aryans, and how it was the parent of all other cultures. It shows how many scientific discoveries over the past several centuries are only rediscoveries of what was already known in the Vedic literature. How the origins of world language and literature are found in India and in Sanskrit. The Vedic influence and proof of its ancient existence found in such countries as Britain, France, Russia, Greece, China, Japan, Egypt, and in areas of Scandinavia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. How Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism were all influenced by the Vedic tradition and still contain many Vedic elements within them, even though these are often hidden or denied. It also includes the reasons way we need to work to preserve the Vedic culture. This book provides enough evidence about the ancient Vedic culture that it could quite possibly cause a major shift in the way we view religious history and traditions. 430 pages, ISBN: 978-1-4392-4648-1, $20.99

 Facing Death: Welcoming the Afterlife

This book is provided to relieve anyone of the fear of death, and to supply a means to more clearly understand the purpose of it and how we can use it for our higher good. It will also help survivors of the departed souls to better understand what has happened and how to cope with it. It shows how death is not a tragedy, but a natural course of events meant to help us reach our destiny. To assist you in preparing for your own death, or that of a loved one, you will find guidelines for making one’s final days as peaceful and as smooth as possible, both physically and spiritually. This book is easy to read with soothing and comforting wisdom, along with stories of people who have been with departing souls, and an incredible near-death-experience. It is written especially for those who have given death little thought before. 135 pages, ISBN: 978-1-4401-1344-4, $13.95

 Toward World Peace: Seeing the Unity Between Us All

This book points out the essential reasons why peace and cooperation among people, nations, and communities have been so difficult to establish, and advises the real way peace and harmony can be achieved. Short and to the point, it is thought provoking and provides inspiration for anyone. It can be especially useful for those working in politics, religion, interfaith, race relations, the media, or who have a position in leadership. It is also for those of us who simply want to spread the insights needed for bringing greater levels of peace, unity and equality between friends, neighbors, and communities. It will help us see the factors that keep us apart; how to break down cultural & religious differences; see through bodily designations; and see our real identity–the basis for common ground; and much more. 68 pages, ISBN: 0-9617410-5-8, $5.95

 The Key to Real Happiness

This is a short but revealing guide to one of the prime purposes of life, how to be really happy. It shows what keeps us from being happy, where suffering exists, how to uplift your consciousness, how your thoughts and views create your future, how to unveil that real, ever-existing and self-sufficient happiness within you. 95 pages, ISBN: 1-930627-04-1, $6.95

 NEW BOOKS

  Reincarnation and Karma: How They Really Affect Us.

       This book specializes in providing the Eastern explanation of our past and future lives and how we create our own good and bad experiences. Topics include: Reincarnation recognized throughout the world; The most ancient teachings on reincarnation; Reincarnation in Christianity; How we transmigrate from one body to another; Life between lives; Going to heaven or hell; The reason for reincarnation; Free will and choice; Karma of the nation; How we determine our own destiny; What our next life may be like; Becoming free from all karma, and How to prepare to make our next life the best possible. Numerous references and quotations from the Vedic texts are used to turn an introspective and complicated subject into an easily understood reference guide for all who wish to determine their own eternal destiny.

135 pages, $13.95. ISBN: 0-595-34199-3. It is available through the www.iuniverse.com/bookstore. Simply go directly to the book details page by using this link: www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-34199-3

 Destined for Infinity     This book offers a different way to understand spiritual knowledge through a story. It tells the mystical escapade of a man, Roman West, who entered deep into the secrets of India where few other Westerners have been able to penetrate. In what was originally a simple search to find himself after a series of personal upheavals, he journeys to India and gets involved with a prophecy that becomes his inescapable destiny. While living with a master in the Himalayan foothills and traveling the spiritual path that leads to the Infinite, he witnesses the amazing powers the great sages can achieve. He also undergoes some of the most unusual experiences of his life. Under the guidance of his master, and after contending with his own doubts and the limited perspective he has of himself, he gradually opens to new degrees of understanding and awareness, and acquires the power to develop his own supernatural abilities. He then attains the sacred vision of the enlightened sages and enters the amazing and unfathomable realm of Infinity and the vision of cosmic consciousness. Such a description has been provided in very few other places. It is now available through www.iuniverse.com/bookstore, 6″x9″, 255 pages, $16.95. It is also available as an adobe ebook (for $6.00) that can be downloaded and read anywhere while on your computer. To order, simply go directly to the book details page by using this link: www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-33959-X

 

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

        This is a definitive and easy to understand guide to the essential as well as devotional heart of the Vedic/Hindu philosophy. You will see the depths of wisdom and insights that are contained within this profound spiritual knowledge. This presentation contains numerous references from a variety of the ancient Vedic texts to provide a direct view of the spiritual knowledge that they hold. Thus, it is especially good for anyone who lacks the time to research the many topics that are contained within the numerous Vedic manuscripts and to see the advantages of knowing them. This also provides you with a complete process for progressing on the spiritual path, making way for individual empowerment, freedom, and spiritual illumination. All the information is now at your fingertips.

        It is now published as a paperback book, 6″x9″, 651 pages, $35.95. This can be ordered through stores (ISBN: 0-595-35075-5) or easily ordered directly through www.iuniverse.com/bookstore. Simply go directly to the book details page by using this link: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-35075-5. It is also available as an adobe ebook (for $6.00) that can be downloaded onto your computer and read anywhere. Also available through www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com.

        Book orders for bookstores or catalogs can also be placed through iUniverse by calling 1-402-323-7800 extension 501, or by emailing: book.orders@iuniverse.com. European orders will be shipped out of England.

 The Eleventh Commandment: The Next Step in Social Spiritual Development.  Based on the Universal Spiritual Truths, or the deeper levels of spiritual understanding, this book presents a new code in a completely nonsectarian way to bring humanity to a higher level of spiritual consciousness that can impact all aspects of our life, such as politics. It shows how we can bring some of the spiritual atmosphere into this earthly existence, especially if we expect to reach the higher domain after death. It also explains how to:   Identify our real Self and distinguish it from our false self;  Open our hearts to one another and view others with greater appreciation;  Utilize higher consciousness in everyday life; Find inner contentment and joy; Attain a higher spiritual awareness and perception; Manifest God’s plan for the world, Be a reflection of God’s love toward everyone; Attain the Great Realization of perceiving the Divine in all beings.

The world is in need of a new direction in its spiritual development, and this 11th Commandment is given as the next phase to manifest humanity’s most elevated potentials.

        PAPERBACK: $13.95, Size: 6″ x 9″, Pages: 128, ISBN: 0-595-46741-5,
        To purchase your hardcover copy from www.iUniverse.com, click on the following link: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46741-5   For international orders, call: 00-1-402-323-7800

        EBOOK: To get the Adobe ebook version for $6.00 from iUniverse.com, which can be downloaded onto your computer from anywhere, use this link: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-91036-X

 Seeing Spiritual India, A Guide to Temples, Holy Sites, Festivals and Traditions, is written especially for anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of the spiritual traditions of India and learn what is the importance and history of the many holy sites that you can visit while traveling within this country. It is written for both those who are new to India and those who are experienced. This book goes beyond the usual descriptions of the typical tourist attractions and opens up the spiritual venue waiting to be revealed for a far deeper experience on every level.

        PAPERBACK: $33.95,  Size: 6″ x 9″,  Pages: 592,  ISBN: 978-0-595-50291-2. To purchase your copy from www.iUniverse.com, click on the following link: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-50291-1 

        E-BOOK: It is also available as an adobe e-book (for $6.00) that can be downloaded onto your computer and read anywhere through iUniverse at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-61452-3.

For international orders, call: 00-1-402-323-7800.

        This will be available through other outlets and distributors, such as:

        FROM AMAZON.COM: http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Spiritual-India-Festivals-Traditions/dp/0595502911/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213113706&sr=1-1.

        FROM BARNES & NOBLE.COM: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Seeing-Spiritual-India/Stephen-M-Knapp/e/9780595502912/?itm=1.

  

        Crimes Against India: And the Need to Protect its Ancient Vedic Tradition. 1000 Years of Attackes Against Hinduism and What to do About it. This book shows and describes how there is presently a war against Hinduism and its yoga culture. The weaknesses of India that allowed invaders to conquer her. Lessons from India’s real history that should not be forgotten. The atrocities committed by the Muslim invaders, and how they tried to destroy Vedic culture and its many temples, and slaughtered thousands of Indian Hindus. How the British viciously exploited India and its people for its resources. How the cruelest of all Christian Inquisitions in Goa tortured and killed thousands of Hindus. Action plans for preserving and strengthening Vedic India today. How all Hindus and concerned people must stand up and be strong for protecting the universal spiritual traditions of Vedic culture.

        PAPERBACK: $24.95,  Size: 6″ x 9″,  Pages: 370,  ISBN: 978-1-4401-1158-7. To purchase your copy from www.iUniverse.com, do a search for Stephen Knapp to see all of his books presently at iUniverse, or click on the following link: http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000115147.

        E-BOOK: It is also available as an adobe e-book (for $6.00) that can be downloaded onto your computer and read anywhere through iUniverse at: http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000115148.

For international orders, call: 00-1-402-323-7800.

 

Some of the Books by Dr. David Frawley

The following are available through Lotus Press, P.O.Box 325, Twin Lakes, WI. 53181 Phone: 800-824-6396 / www.lotuspress.com. Many other books are also available by David Frawley, which can be viewed on the Lotus Press website.

 Yoga and the Sacred Fire, Paperback, List Price: $19.95

Yoga and the Sacred Fire explores the evolution of life and consciousness according to the cosmology and psychology of Fire, viewing Fire not only as a material but also as a spiritual principle. It shows how Yoga’s deeper fire wisdom can help us move forward to an enlightened planetary age, where humanity and nature can again be one in a higher awareness. ISBN: 0940985756.

        Yoga and the Sacred Fire is a monumental work, encapsulating the profound wisdom that David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) has accumulated over decades of deep study, meditation and spiritual experience. The reader will rediscover Yoga as a powerful means to inner awakening and to addressing our prevailing global crisis.  Frawley shares specific practices for contacting the inner fire and the “Divine Light of truth within us.”  In this book are both the blueprint and the essential tools for every seeker of Self-realization. Ved Nanda, Vice Provost and Evans University Professor, University of Denver; and Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law and Director, International Legal Studies Program, University of Denver College of Law

Gods, Sages and Kings

This presents serious evidence for a common spiritual culture that was the origin of an advanced civilization. This book is based on a new interpretation of the ancient Vedic teachings of India. It brings out many new insights of what has often been misinterpretations of archeological discoveries. It suggests that ancient Sumer, Egupt, China and even the Americas were related to the Vedic culture. 396 pages, ISBN: 0-910261-37-7, $19.95.

Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses

This is an excellent introduction to the essence of Hindu Tantrism. This book covers the major concepts of Tantric practice of meditation and use of mantras, the ten Wisdom Goddesses, and corrects many misconceptions of this tradition. 260 Pages, ISBN: 0-910261-39-3, $16.95

Wisdom of the Ancient Seers

This book offers select verses from the Rig Veda that show their composers were sages and seers who were aware of symbolic communication of a spiritual nature, reaching the highest dimension. This brings a clearer understanding of the early Vedic knowledge. 280 pages, ISBN: 0-910261-36-9, $14.95

From the River of Heaven, Hindu and Vedic Knowledge for the Modern Day

An excellent introduction to Vedic knowledge. This book presents an overview of India’s spiritual tradition, which is the roots of the world’s religions and mystical traditions. 180 pages, ISBN: 0-910261-38-5, $12.95

The Oracle of Rama

This oracle of India is simple but uses the insights of Tulsidas to gain access to the secrets of a higher intelligence. This is to assist us in making karmically appropriate choices for a life of joy and fulfillment. 204 pages, ISBN: 0-910261-35-0

 Ayurveda and Marma Therapy, by Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subhash Ranade and Dr. Avinash Lele.

Marmas are Ayurvedic energy points similar to acupuncture points. They are connected to the chakras and nadis of yoga and are used to balance body and mind. Therapy using these marmas can direct our prana or vital energy for health, well being and personal transformation. 272 pages, ISBN: 0-940985-59-4, $21.95

 The following books by David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) are published by Voice of India, 2/18, Ansari Road, New Delhi, 110 002. Many Voice of India books can also be found at the online bookstore at http://books.arshavidya.org

How I Became a Hindu, My Discovery of Vedic Dharma

This is his most interesting autobiography of his transition through Christianity and on to the process of Self discovery and the insights of the Vedic tradition of Sanatana-Dharma, as well as the many aspects of India. 208 pages, ISBN: 81-85990-60-3, Rs.120

The Myth of the Aryan Invasion Theory

A short and concise book on how the theory of the Aryan invasion into India developed. It also presents evidence on how false and misleading this theory is, and how we should more accurately view ancient but advanced Vedic culture. 74 pages, ISBN: 81-85990-20-4.

Vedic Aryans and The Origins of Civilization, by Navaratna S. Rajaram and David Frawley, Foreword by Klaus K. Klostermaier.

This book goes deeply into the false ideas of the Aryan Invasion theory and presents evidence for the real history and development in the advanced nature of Vedic Indian culture. 330 pages, ISBN: 81-85990-36-0, Rs. 450


Books by Additional VFA Member Authors:

In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, by Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak and David Frawley

Published by the Theosophical Publishing House, P.O.Box 270, Wheaton, IL, 60189-0270

This book challenges the conventional ideas on ancient India and shows that the Vedic culture was quite advanced for their time. They had a high spiritual culture, which influenced the rest of the world. This shows the depth of the Rig Veda and how Vedic culture still has much to offer the world. 340 pages, ISBN: 0-8356-0720-8, $24.95

 The Hidden History of the Human Race, by Michael Cremo and Richard L. Thompson.

This is the summary of their book, Forbidden Archeology. Originally published by Govardhan Hill Publishing, P.O.Box 52, Badger, CA 93603

This book presents evidence that the real archeological findings that show that the human race has been on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years have been covered up and concealed. This is called a “knowledge filter”. Outside that filter we find the conventional ideas of prehistory is largely incorrect. Herein we find a vast store of hidden knowledge about the real ancient age of humanity. 330 pages, ISBN: 0-9635309-6-8, $24.95.

 Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory by Michael Cremo. $35.00, 584 pages. Published by Torchlight Publishing, P.O.Box 52, Badger, CA 93603. Distribution by NBN/Biblio in USA. ISBN 0-89213-334-1, www.torchlight.com.

This contains solid scientific evidence showing how a subtle mind element and a conscious self that can exist apart from the body have been systematically eliminated from mainstream science by a process of knowledge filtration. “Any time knowledge filtration takes place you can expect a great deal of resistance, criticism, and ridicule when it is exposed and challenged,” says Cremo. 

He bases his response on modern science and the world’s great wisdom traditions, including the Vedic philosophy of ancient India.

 God Goddess The Astrologer, Soul, Karma and Reincarnation, How We Continually Create Our Own Destiny. By Jeffrey Armstrong. Published by Torchlight Publishing, Inc., P.O.Box 52, Badger, CA 93603

Based on Vedic astrology, this book reveals the lost links between religion, science, destiny, and free will. It is a clear guide to how the Divine actually manifests in the material world and how we can cooperate. It explains the true spiritual relevance of astrology in our lives and offers the profound revelation that God is the Original Astrologer.

  KARMA:  The Ancient Science of Cause & Effect  In this compelling description of the ancient science of karma, award-winning author Jeffrey Armstrong reveals the deeper mysteries of the soul, reincarnation, the laws of nature and how cause and effect rules our lives. What we usually call science and think of as mechanical cause and effect has long been viewed by Enlightened Masters as the purposeful action of countless devas or divine being, who surround us in all we do and constantly deliver the results of our actions.

     These long secret laws of karma, excavated from the Vedic wisdom of India, will inform your actions and encourage your spiritual vision to see how profoundly all that exists is interconnected in a sacred web of life. AVAILABLE JUNE, 2007.  To place an order for a  reserved autographed copy contact 1-866-872-6224 or email vasa108@telus.net USA clients: www.Mandala.org or www.amazon.com

   Vedic Astrology Deck by Jeffrey Armstrong

        Find Your Hidden Potential Using Ancient India’s Science of the Stars. Comes with a 648-page book, 5 x 6 inches, along with 56 color cards color. ISBN: 1-932771-30-1, $19.95. Available from Mandala Publishers, http://www.mandala.org.

 Mantras, Yantras and Fabulous Gems–Healing Secrets of the Ancient Vedas, by Howard Beckman (ISBN: 0-9525172-5-6) Hardback, published by Balaji Publishing. $21.99. Available through Howard Beckman’s website at www.vedicworld.org

        This book was written to enable people, especially from the West, to understand and appreciate the ancient healing techniques that have been passed down verbally for generations and finally put into verse by the great sages and seers of ancient Bharata-varsha (India). Just one part of the Vedas-mantras, yantras and gemstone therapy have been utilized with Vedic astrology and Ayurveda as a form of prescription for thousands of years. It is the author’s wish that the reader, once having tasted this knowledge, will feel excited at the prospect of delving further into the Vedas and all the secrets they contain. 

 Vibrational Healing with Gems by Howard Beckman (ISBN : 81-212-0704-5) (Hardback) is published by Gyan Publishing House– $18.99. Available through Howard Beckman's website at www.vedicworld.org. "I have written this book as a complement to my previous book entitled Mantras, Yantras, and Fabulous Gems-Healing Secrets of the Ancient Vedas. Certain sections in that book are extensive in explaining birthstone systems, gemological characteristics of stones, and accompanying ritualistic ceremonies, but it did not as completely encompass the whole science of gem therapy as does the present work. What I began to discuss in my previous book I have clarified and quantified in this one with the intention of providing a far more complete understanding of how gems distribute the cosmic colors of the rainbow, and what their effects are on the body and mind. Vedic astrologers of the West will undoubtedly gain a great deal of insight into the recommendation of gems to be worn as rings and talismans on the body gleaned from my thirty years of experience in this field. I feel certain that this book will be helpful in many ways toward making gem therapy more useful and practical for the practitioners of this ancient science." 

 An Introduction to Vedic Astrology by Howard Beckman (ISBN 0 9525172 0 5) (Paperback) is published by Balaji Publishing – $13.99. Available through Howard Beckman’s website at www.vedicworld.org

Highly acclaimed in the USA, this is the first book in the English language to bring the mysteries purpose and healing secrets within the science of Vedic astrology to the public. Easy to read, it is written for those wishing to understand and benefit from this ancient science without all the difficult symbols and jargon usually found in books on astrology yet a scholarly work also intended for those who have had horoscopes done to comprehend them in greater depth. Astrologers and laymen alike find this book an invaluable tool to gaining the keys to realization of not just Vedic astrology but it's inherent spiritual philosophy passed down by saints and sages of the ancient Indian civilization. For those having attended Howard's lectures or workshops it is a long awaited anthology of this timeless spiritual wisdom. 

 “Sacred Voices”. This is Andy Fraenkel’s CD: A joyful pilgrimage of storytelling into the world’s sacred traditions for lovers of the spoken word. This includes: 1) Intro & Rumi’s Request, 2) Native American Poem, 3) African Tales, 4) Heaven & Hell/Zen, 5) Tales of Hasidim, 6) Buddha’s Enlightenment, 7) Saint Francis’ Prayer, 8) Bhagavad-gita, 9) Don’t Criticize/Arab.

    For ordering info, you can contact him at story108@juno.com, or call 304-845-6840, and see his website at http://www.sacredvoices.com.  

   Agni! Meditation on the Sacred Fire, is from the meditations of David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), and features the reading from Yogi Harinam Baba Prem Tom Beal. It also features the music of Yogi Harinam Baba Prem Tom Beal.  The CD consists of two meditations: Track #1 The Fire of the Spiritual Heart. 8:03 minutes in length  Track #2 Meditation on the 7 Sacred Fire offerings. 23:00 minutes in length.  These meditations introduce the Vedic meditation and are excellent for beginner or intermediate students; or students that are not familiar with Vedic meditation.  Those that wish to order the CD should go to www.floridavedicinstitute.com/booksandcds.htm

     Understanding the Kundalini by Yogi Harinam Baba Prem. This is an important work on demystifying the kundalini energy. It is designed for students and provides a quality introduction to the kundalini energy, its role, and function from the traditional view.
    This book will dispel some common myths regarding the kundalini and provide a foundation for the aspiring student of spirituality. In addition, Ayurveda will be introduced and its importance touched upon as part of the spiritual path.

    Yogi Harinam Baba Prem Tom Beal approaches the kundalini from a positive attitude and not from a position of fear or secrecy. He observes: “The kundalini is our Shakti, it is not something to be feared, but a part of our being that should be respected. It is the power of divinity within each individual. It is a powerful catalyst for personal and world transformation.” If you want to understand the basics of the kundalini energy, then you must read this book to start with; you will be introduced to the chakra symbols, sexuality and spirituality, mantra, breathing exercises, as well as several meditations and much more. It is a concise handbook on kundalini yoga for students of all levels. Purchased through www.sundeepbooks.com, or www.floridavedicinstitute.com. 72 pages, $10, ISBN: 8189320025.

 Into the Mystical: Ancient Wisdom for Our Troubled Times, by Robert Taylor is an easy to read introduction into the important aspects of the Ancient Vedic teachings. These affect all aspects of our daily lives and can provide deep insights into what we need to do for ourselves and for our spiritual development. Covers such things as reincarnation, transcendental sound and mantras, spiritual solutions for political problems, vegetarianism, the spiritual world, becoming God realized, and much more. 

    It is 150 pages, $15, plus $4 for shipping and handling, and can be ordered from Robert Taylor, 842 Neff, Grosse Pointe, MI, 48230. ISBN: 10: 1-934851-03-5.

 

Our Affiliate Writers and Teachers

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.