By Jordan Hultine, CNN
CNN–It’s about to get crowded in your hotel room nightstand. The newest addition could soon be a sacred Hindu text called the Bhagavad-Gita.
The Bhagavad-Gita is literally translated as “song of God” and is a discussion between Lord Krishna and his student, Arjuna, on revealing one’s spiritual identity and a relationship with God, says Vaisesika Dasa, founder and president of the Motel Gita project, the group behind the effort.
Motel Gita, with the help of a Hindu nonprofit, has distributed approximately 150,000 copies of the Bhagavad-Gita to 1,100 hotels and motels. Dasa said their goal is to place at least 1 million books to, “provide solace to traveling souls by giving them spiritual knowledge.”
The idea for the project came to Dasa after seeing the positive effect the Bible has had on hotel guests for many years he said. Dasa partnered with Milan Doshi and Dilip Patel, who has been involved in the hotel industry for more than three decades. They started by distributing Bhagavad-Gitas to hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
At first they worried guests and hotel owners wouldn’t accept the books, but Dasa said, “we quickly found that prominent motel owners whole-heartedly welcomed and supported this program and that their guests were appreciating finding the Gita.”
Support grew from there with the help of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKC) around the United States, Canada and Britain. ISKC is a nonprofit network of more than 500 temples, schools and communities whose members donate money for numerous outreach programs, including the Motel Gita. The group also recruited their members to help deliver the Gitas to interested hotels.
There are an estimated 1.79 million Hindus in the United States, according to The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. More than 1 billion around the world, making Hinduism the world's third-largest faith after Christianity and Islam.
The Asian-American Hotel Owners Association reports their 11,000 members, predominantly Indian-American, own more than 20,000 hotels in the United States. Dasa said that definitely helps their cause. Hindus make up roughly 80 percent of the population in India with an estimated 974 million believers, according to the The Pew Forum.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Manu Patel is the owner of a Days Inn hotel in Salem, Oregon. He requested the Gitas for his hotel and says the response has been very positive. “We have many customers come to the front desk and ask for a copy to take home,” he told CNN.
Jitu Ishwar owns four hotels in Ukiah, California. He said he often sees guests reading the Gitas they found in their rooms while eating breakfast in the lobby.
Ishwar said God has given him a lot and this is his way of saying thank you.
“Bhagavad-Gita provides depth of knowledge not easily accessible to people in the Western countries. The concept of spiritualism, nature and God described in this holy book should be shared for the benefit of all humanity,” he said.
The Gita’s nightstand companion, the Bible, is usually placed in a hotel by The Gideons International. Their members are identify as evangelicals, and according to their mission statement they are “dedicated to saving the lost through personal witnessing and the distribution of God’s Word in more than 190 countries around the world.”
The Gideons report they have handed out more than 1.7 billion Bibles around the world since 1908.
Dear Members of Congress (new and old),
A religious update:
1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482
“New Torah For Modern Minds
Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.
2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.
The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".
Current RCC problems:
Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!
2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).
Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,
3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.
This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.
And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.
The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.
4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."
The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."
The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.
5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
"However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"
Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.
Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.
Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!
Not sure it is a good sign that "modern minds" are supposed to ignore the gross unlikelihood of quite -that- much being made up to suit the religions? "Reality" is organic.
While your final point is well taken, most of the supporting literature and research that you presented is not credible or scholarly...just propaganda material.
AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD
Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)
"Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."
Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;
Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).
Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)
The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.
Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
Some added references to "tink-erbells".
"The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:
"TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:
"In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
"The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "
"The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "
For added information see the review at:
"The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."
For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm
Caste system is not a religous problem linked to Hinduism. In fact it is a social problem. If you read Hindu scriptures CASTE is defined by Karma bot birth. This is a social practice that has been put in place through corruption of the Brahmins and others who wanted to have power in position. Nothing else. You will find even muslims christians sikhs etc.... all follow similar caste issues even today. So it is not linked to Hindu religion.
About COW worship. Cow is divine and anything that is divine is worth of respect and worship. In Hindu Scriptures it clearly states that essence of all demi gods and god himself is in the COW. Even if you take out the religious meaning befind the cow worship. You cannot not deny that COW is a divine being. For example, the cow gives milk, ghee, butter etc... all these things are used today in many of the things we eat. One who gives us nutrition and health doesnt deserve to be killed for its meat. If you say its good your body as it gives you iron. Many other things including plants give you iron so you dont need to kill the cow for iron or protein reasons. Further more the cow urine is used for medication and treating health and skin problems. Sounds weird but think about what is used many modern medications. Parts and chemical extracted from animals and pets etc.... so there is no harm in this. For agriculture you can use the dung for making fire and building floors of the home. The cow gives so much back to man. It is respected and compared to a mother as it gives us so much like a mother does for her children. Every child worships the mother and father. So why not the cow who does much of the same thing for mankind.
Many people choose to attack Hinduism because the lack of there knowledge and I do agree it is not simple religion but the truth is there.
I was born and then Baptized a catholic, did my first communion and my confirmation, and still didn't like the idea of someone standing at the front of the church doing a few readings, doing the sacrament,and a message for the week and the peace be with you, which I found to be the greatest thing about going to church. I still attend once in awhile, but it remains the same, no discussion about god, just being told about him. The people with the most cash bend the priest's ear the most and seem to set the stage and agenda at any given church. After the peace be with you, people all pile out of church and by the time their behind the wheels in the parking lot trying to get out, they are ready to kill each other. So much for peace be with you. At 52 I raised my boys without the indoctrination of the church and at 21 and 23 they are very good young men, they now right from wrong, they not to let people be bullied, and to do something about it even if its just to call the police. I wanted free thinkers and I don't believe religion aloows for that, I always incouraged reading and listening to points of view, I just told them never to drink the koolaid, there are enough people following blindly in this world today without the need for more. As for the books in the motels, to each their own, respect of each other believes and right to believe is the only way to avoid the intolerance I've read so much of on this sight today. Believe in who you will as long as no one is hurt by your believes then okay, but the second you start with hatred and wanting to destroy others then your faith has no place on this planet.
Thank you for shielding your children from the disease that is religion.
The garbage cans in any hotel I stay at that have this and any other so-called holy book in them will be fuller. . .
I always set the bible out in the hallway. Soon there will be a stack of literature outside of my hotel rooms.
Silly hindus. Everyone knows god is a white male. Thank you, come again!
Silly White People..It is black people who came first, moved to India and became brown and then finally populated Europe where they became White.
White people are Albino Black people.
Devil wont make me say omm or do yoga.
SoldierOfConscience eehh!!! ya right, goon
no to devil worshippers
SOC....but yes to alien worship? amazing you have zero proof your god exists yet "loads" to disprove others. This is the core of religious silliness.
Great, more religious propaganda!
Why should the Gideons have all the space in that hotel drawer all to themselves?
Great. More fodders for the delusional minds !
And printed using lower caste slave labor!!!
You do realize that the Hindu majority Indian government bans all caste prejudices? Not all forms of Hinduism support the notion of caste, and even in those that do it is not always seen as a birth right system. No, I'm not Hindu or even theist...just saying this isn't a major deal in the religion, more the culture. That's why even Muslims in India often behave in a caste system.
stop recycling your crap, you don't a damn thing about religion, goon
Only for the those interested in a religious update:
Caste system in India is not linked to Hinduism, It is a social problem that has grown over the years through corruption of those who wanted to stay at the top based on there caste. Caste according to Hinduism is based on KARMA not birth. The social caste problem today is also followed by christians muslims sikhs and other religious groups. Its also against the law in many places in India. So the problem is getting smaller but it is there.
I don't know much about Krsna but I'm open to hearing about him, I think his pictures are beautiful, I think the Hindu books would be interesting.
I fully support all of humanity in their ability to speak freely on any topic they see fit, religious and otherwise.
Those drawers are going to get awfully full, though, if everyone adds their book. I've already seen all sorts of different holy books at hotels...it could get a bit crazy. I'd rather have a lending library at my hotel where I could pick up what I wanted.
You wouldn't be disappointed. Its more of a metaphysical book than religion. It exhorts you to focus on the aspects we ignore most. Who we are, what is our purpose of existence. Unfortunately most of the times we focus on the things outside of us. Any Hindu text will never ask you to follow any particular religion. It's more a quest for self than a religion. If you get a chance to hear any good Hindu religious preacher, they would include stories and lessons from all the religions of the world. Welcome to enlightenment
what if we are all wrong, you die you end up in front of the Golden Goddesses Din, Nayru, and Farore
That is the only heaven I will accept.
YOUR HINDU DAD
SORRY WRONG PLACE GUYS. IT WAS FOR HINDU-BOT
I think it's a good thing. Perhaps they should also add the Torah and Koran so people have a better understanding of all religions. However, Hinduism is not a true religion; it does not tells you to convert. Gita tells people to do good karma, surrender attachment; in success and failure be the same and then get busy with your work.
The Gita is cool. How can you not like, "Fill with God are the things we see. Filled with God are the things we see not. From out of God flows all that is... from God all, yet is God still the same." OM Shanti, Shanti, Shantidi...Peace, Peace, Peace.
more garbage, garbage, garbage
why is it garbage? Because you have taken an irrational stance against all kind of religious things? This is a book about yourself. You seem to portray yourself a rationalist, so there must be a rational of your being born. The book just asks you to focus on that, find out your duty and do it. What is wrong with doing your duty? Don't you expect all the people to do just that?
two books of fairy tales! wow! you would think one book of complete and utter bullsh.it would be enough...
Oooh – you're so provocative. I think I'd like to get into an argument with you.
Why don't you start with how stupid I am. . . . .GO!
Garaldine, Jersey stinks like yesterday's diapers. Oh, and you are a big poopyhead.
@Gerry.......okay bud, let me go first...do you know how stupid I was? Back in days, I slept with some women in Bayonne and forgot to put cond.om. Do you have red hair?
ALWAYS wear protection when sleeping with a girl from NJ
There are teachings in those fairytales. Teachings which would make the world a better place for all. They are myths or reality, that's immaterial. What matters is what we learn from them
I've always wondered what was in the Bhagavad-Gita, I don't think I've ever seen one.
It's all abut separating what is real and permanent from that which is temporary and often simply distracting. Not unlike a lot of things Jesus was recorded saying.
Bhagavad-Gita??? Didn't Iron Butterfly record that in '68? Great song.
I was born in Hindu faith, now I don't subscribe to any particular belief. I always found it ridiculous to have a bible in every hotel room, and now this! Have people lost their minds completely? Religion is personal, leave it home when you leave home. If you are so religious bring your own religious book with you.
Applying the same standard – why don't you keep your personal opinions to yourself!
Nothing worse than Hindus and idiot New Yorkers.
@Gerry: Try leaving Bayonne once in a while. It will clear up your head. By the way, personal opinion is not counted as religion.
Like I said – keep your opinions to yourself. Leave them in your noisy head
MUHAMMED KHAN FROM PAKISTAN, UMMM NO GERRY FROM BAYONNE
if you were born Hindu faith, that was all your mother's fault, didn't she have opportunity to conceive you with Muslim, Christian, or Jew, or dogs?
Ignore Gerry... Brain damage sustained from one of his many seizure-like fits.
Being born into Christianity myself, finding science and existing with no faith required (I'm "good" without fear of what would happen to me for not being such) I personally don't see the harm in putting religious reading materials in the nightstand for those people who've compulsions to do wrong but the fear of brimstone keep those impulses under control.
Wouldn't mind them throwing in greene's "the elegant universe", singh's "big bang" and Darwin's "Origins of species" for good measure.
Honestly I agree that faith is personal and if someone is going to travel they'll likely bring along required materials but if they are going to have these in the drawers regardless then they might as well put additional faiths in.
Incidentally I think the only book that might actually have its spine broken would be "kama sutra"... Perhaps they should stick that in there and lay it next to the bible (I of course would never touch it as I have my own copy and that's just not sanitary!!)
@Gerry –shouldn't the same apply to your own opinions as well? And what is the purpose of a comments forum if one does not submit opinions?
@Mohammad: Do they make suicide vests in X-Large size, or it always a custom order?
@Ash – fat ass like you don't need vest, just fart, goon
how many wives did this guy have?
Krishna is God. Not god-like but God Himself. That is the belief of Hindus.
Let me ask you this: The nuns in the world consider themselves to be married to God. It is a part of the vows they take. So, Tell me, how many wives does the Christian God have?
Set aside your small mindedness. Instead of working so hard on being right, work on doing good with an open heart.
May God bless you.
They did dig up the place where he was supposed to be, and found close to a million condoms, so the figure must be right, give or take a few.
@Sunny Speaking of being right, could you specify what you mean when you say "Krishna is God. Not god-like but God Himself."
@ Larry...What he meant was that even God like Jesus bowed to Krishna.
Good, now if the toilet paper runs out people would have emergency backup supply
oh dear I always enjoyed you licking my ass !!
The reality, however, is that if they are stuck in a hotel room, even the Christians will choose the porn over the Bible.
Hey, if you're looking for biblical po'rn, I suggest a thorough reading of the Song of Solomon. Let's just say that it's fairly descriptive in its intent.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.