September 2011

It was at the lower edge of T shirt weather temperaturewise so the sun in a cloudless sky felt warm and reassuring.  A slight breeze softly  and slowly ebbed and flowed, like a caress from heaven.  The honks of geese passing over in a V about a 100 meters off the ground pleased my senses.

As the breeze reached its mild crests I could hear light thumps made by Chinese Chestnuts hitting the ground.  The odds  of being hit by one  was probably  thousands of times greater  than being hit by a piece of space junk last week but the prospect amused rather than scared me.

I was willing to take the “risk” because each of those chestnuts were  nutritious, edible and flavorful and I was gathering them.  Nuts were an important part of Paleolithic and Neanderthal cultures so I was feeling a resonance performing an activity that has gone on for thousands or millions of years, depending on whose version of history you prescribe to.

The act of picking nuts, the sensations of the sun and air, the sound of wildfowl were identical with experiences  Neanderthal man would have had.

One thing that was different was I was using a nut picker to get them off the ground which won’t have been available to a Neanderthal but on the back side of the Mound there was a fence where the nuts along with their fallen  burs had accumulated into a drift.  There the nut picker was useless so I grabbed a stick off the ground and was using that to brush aside the burs so I could pick up the chestnuts by hand.

That was the point I had the realization that I had gone totally Neanderthal, using a stick to gather food.

New Vrindaban is near Moundsville, West Virginia which got its name from the hundreds of small mounds that were on the rich bottom land near the Ohio River.  Most of those were leveled long ago but the highest  Mound in the US is still standing.

I was there dropping off some gourds for them to use for their 19th annual “Archaeology Weekend”with  events timed to coincide with West Virginia Archaeology Month. Gourds are the oldest known cultivated plant and an important part of prehistoric cultures.

I had previously gotten permission to pick chestnuts from under the trees on the grounds and had come prepared so that evening’s menu included roast chestnuts.  I have never seen Chinese Chestnuts available for sale in the market around here, but I find them far superior in taste to the Italian ones that importers sell.

They don’t store all that well like walnuts do so I look forward to this time of year when I can gather some to eat.

Me gather nut. Me roast on fire. Me eat. All good.


Stumbled across this in my blog archives while looking for something else. I posted it in 2008 but realize that many of my readers are new since then.  I hope you find it fascinating  too.

“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.


“A person in Krsna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krsna everywhere, and he sees everything in Krsna. Such a person may appear to see all separate manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he is conscious of Krsna, knowing that everything is a manifestation of Krsna’s energy. Nothing can exist without Krsna, and Krsna is the Lord of everything — this is the basic principle of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is the development of love of Krsna — a position transcendental even to material liberation.”

Bg 6.30

Why don’t we see Krishna everywhere? Take the test in this video to find out why (fully realized souls, go ahead and skip this exercise).


See comments for a purport.

If you want to know why this phenomenon works as it does, go to this website.

Which part of “kill” don’t you understand?
Doesn’t “Thou shall not” sound like a command?

Amidst the braying and crying
You only hear your greed
Drowning out the voices
Of those on which you feed

Hurting them to help yourself
Taking care of your own hide
You have dominion over them
And you feel justified

Which part of “kill” don’t you understand?
Doesn’t “Thou shall not” sound like a command?

Chewing flesh, saving souls
Portrait of a lie
Embodiment of contradiction
ever asking why

Give it up, walk away
Turn the other cheek
The Earth shall be inherited
By the humble and meek

Which part of “kill” don’t you understand?
Doesn’t “Thou shall not” sound like a command?

Meat is Murder, God is love
Where is the connection?
Docile stare, knife blade glare
Crime escapes detection

Words of truth interpreted
Ask your fellow man

Which part of “kill” don’t you understand?
Doesn’t “Thou shall not” sound like a command?

Yesterday my granddaughter had a close encounter with a rattlesnake but was saved by a dog which reminded my daughter of when her mother carjacked some tourists on their way to the Palace.

My daughter Vraja lives in Colorado.  Her husband’s grandmother owns a cabin in the mountains that the extended family all has access to. Vraja was there with her almost 8 year old daughter and two other families that also had some young girls for a total of 5 girls.

They wanted to go outside for a walk. Vraja was finishing something up and told them not to  go  by themselves and wait for her. They said they would wait by the car in the driveway which they did.

Suddenly there was a commotion and all the girls started screaming. Vraja heard “Rattlesnake!”  and immediately thought the worst. She also heard one of the girls yell “Sugar!” which was the name of the dog with the girls.

By the time Vraja got outside Sugar had rushed by the girls and attacked the rattlesnake and gotten bitten.  A neighbor happened to be passing by on an ATV and he drove over the snake and killed it.

It took an hour to get the dog to an emergency vet clinic but that was fast enough as they had called them so the staff was waiting with anti-venom serum and put the dog on an IV.  After an expensive few hours the dog was released with two weeks of medication and a good prognosis.

This reminded Vraja of an incident that happened when she was about 3 years old. Her mother Vidya was walking with her on the road just before you see the Palace.  She was late stage pregnant with Marken at the time.

What Vraja remembers was an animal being very aggressive and Vidya putting her up on her shoulders.

The full story as I remember Vidya telling me at the time was that a rabid fox came out on the road and started snarling at them. If she tried to move the fox would move closer to them. If she stood still it would get lost in its hallucinations, rolling its head and snapping at imaginary foes.

Being extremely pregnant and with a small child, Vidya felt she was unable to run fast enough to get away, given the short distance between them and the fox.  Her thought was to put Vraja on her shoulders so at least she wouldn’t get bitten.

In such a dilemma with a clear and present danger from a rabid fox but unable to move without it drawing closer, she tried to flag down a passing car but it didn’t stop.

The next car that came by was an elderly couple on their way for a tour of Prabhupada’s Palace. Vidya jumped in front of them so they either had to hit her or stop. Once they stopped Vidya quickly moved to the back door of the car, opened it, threw Vraja in and jumped in herself.

The couple was certainly startled but  grasped the situation and drove them to safety.

Circumstances aside, what Vidya effectively did was carjack them, hence my title, My Wife Is A Carjacker. :-) An example of a partial truth  giving an erroneous impression equivalent to a lie.

Once to safety she sent word to me and I came and dispatched the fox, burning the corpse so no raccoons would eat it and become infected themselves.

Seeing nocturnal animals during the day should always be cause for suspicion. If they are hallucination g and foaming at the mouth, all caution should be exercised. In 38 years of living in New Vrindaban I have only had a handful of incidents with rabid animals but it is a possibility and devotees need to be aware of the possibility.

Rabies can be transmitted by asymptomatic animals so any animal bite should be treated seriously and the animal tested.

Here was a case where Vidya was saved by her spiritual master,  because if the tourists weren’t on the way to visit his memorial, the Palace, the outcome could have been bad.

There once was a beetle which came upon a lump of cow dung. He worked himself into it and liking what he saw, he invited his friends to join him in building a city in it.

After working feverishly for a few days they built a magnificent `city´ in the dung and feeling very proud of their achievement they decided to elect the first beetle as their king. Now to honour their new `king´ they organised a grand parade through their `city´.

While these impressive proceedings were taking place,  an elephant happened to pass by and seeing the lump of cow dung he lifted his foot to avoid stepping on it. The king beetle saw the elephant and angrily shouted at the huge beast. `Hey you! Don´t you have any respect for royalty? Don´t you know it is rude to lift your leg over my majestic head? Apologies at once or I´ll have you punished.´

The elephant looked down and said, `Your most gracious majesty, I humbly crave your pardon.´ Thus saying he knelt down on the lump of cow dung and crushed king, city, citizens and pride in one act of obeisance.”

Ven. K Sri Dhammananda

By Louisa Shafia

The latest debate in the food world is over whether to choose organic or locally grown. Organic advocates feel you shouldn’t tolerate pesticide use under any circumstances, while locavores— people who favor locally grown food — say it’s more important to buy from local farms and conserve the fuel spent on transporting food long distances. To help you decide where you stand on the organic vs. local debate, here are some of the pros and cons of these two food philosophies.
Definition of Organic Food: Food grown without pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, irradiation, antibiotics, hormones, or fertilizer made from sewage sludge.Pros of organic food

  • Farm workers are not exposed to pesticides
  • Pesticides and fertilizers do not pollute soil and waterways
  • Some studies have shown that organic food is more nutritious and flavorful than conventionally grown food

Cons of organic food

  • Organic products can leave a big carbon footprint. Even if something was grown in China and exported to the United States, it can still be called “organic”
  • Many organic food products come from abroad, often Third World countries, where it’s difficult to ensure that US organic standards are truly met
  • The requirements for an organic label do not include the humane treatment of animals, fair labor practices, or ecologically conscious farming practices

Definition of Local Food: Food from local farms, gardens, or the wild. “Local” can mean 100 miles from your home to a day’s drive, depending on whom you ask.

Pros of locally grown food

  • Buying local helps to support small farms. More small farms means more genetic diversity of plants and animals, which makes the food system less vulnerable to disease
  • Supporting small farms keeps money within the local economy, saves local jobs, and preserves farmland and open space
  • Local food doesn’t contribute to air pollution and global warming to the same degree as food that travels long distances

Cons of locally grown food

  • Locally grown food is not necessarily pesticide-free
  • Many places are not suited to agriculture during certain times of year, like the Midwestern states in winter
  • Studies show that a diet of mostly plants, no matter where they’re from, is better for the environment than a meat-heavy local diet

For more things you will only see in India click here.

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