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.
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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.
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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.
I love hotel bibles! They keep me from having to leave to purchase rolling papers.
I had a friend who liked to poop a little bit in the Bible at hotels, and then smash them closed. He said it was like pressed flower art but with poop. The only reason I mention this is that you have no idea what other people have done with the objects left in Hotel rooms. I wouldn't touch any of it if I were you.
Nothing special, every hindu filthy does it with his cow mama's dung, after it dries, they eat it with their cow mamas urine as a holy candy.
There are sick people of all types in this world. Your friend is pretty high on the list though. That's not something a civil or rational person should do whether they disagree with the Bible or not.
So, high on the list we'd have r.apists, pederasts, murderers and Bible poopers? While it's not nice, I don't think being a Bible pooper is up high on the list of sick people.
Thank you, thank you for the very clever gift idea!
Gone with the wind
Oh no ... this story will bring out all the crazy Christians and folks who don't realize that all humans are 99.99% the same.
(In other words, expect a whole lot of TeaBillies, John Birchers and KKK).
Ya, all human are same and equal brothers and sisters, but what differentiated them, is the way of truth absolute, nothing can exist without or hindrance to truth absolute, a hindu denies as his faith in hindusim, denial of truth absolute.
A Pig name Mohammed violated a nine year girl name Aisha.
And now billions of illiterate Muslims name their children after the pig Mohammed and his victim Aisha.
But they do keep their books out of hotel rooms.
Now I only wish you Muslims keep terrorists out of our country because Muslim terrorists are doing a lot more damage than some books no one cares about.
I mean how unintelligent you have to be to name your children after a child molester, Mohammed and his victim Aisha!
Ya, all human are same and equal brothers and sisters, but what differentiated them, is the way of truth absolute, nothing can exist without or hindrance to truth absolute, a hindu denies as his faith in hindusim, denial of truth absolute. Difference is for them to be, by way of human or way of hinduism, incest.
muslims are kutta
If Mohammad and Jesus were an adorable couple, who would wear the pants in the relationship?
my son is an idiot. Jesus and Muhammed are both gay.
I personaly think they need to not allow any religious books to be placed in hotels like that. That is pushing another religion on someone. If someone is that religious, they will bring their own book with them.
Hotels are private businesses. If they want to have religious texts in their rooms, it's their decision.
Rational, did you not notice that after the Great Depression, the implementation of Glass-Steagall kept economic swings subdued because banks could not expose themselves to excessive risk, and that a major reason we are in this pesent economic crisis is that Glass-Steagall was repealed, and banks again went down the extreme risk hole?
Business cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Free market theories are proven wrong by their own disaster: greed will lead to risk, not pruudence. Greed will prefer profit to safe employment conditions, or sfae products, or fair wages, and so on. You literally have to shove laws down their throats to make them behave in a decent manner, and even then we still get the Enrons and LIBOR fixing.
Do you really not see that corporations are alternative forms of government, and if you pull theformal government away, they will act like that perfect example of free-market theory at work: the Drug Cartels?
Why not move to Venezuela if property rights are so abhorrent to you?
I believe the Bible is truth and the other book a lie, but I also think they have every right to put it there if they want. Hotels are private business and can chose to put or not put a Bible or any other book there. Also, if you consider the mere presence of any religious book as "pushing" religion on you then you seem to have a very weak will.
And I'm not an anarcho-libertarian/ anarcho-capitalist. I believe in the role of government to maximize its citizens' liberty. It's not like I'd abolish the government/ rule of law.
Where did I say anything about property rights? That was a massive cop-out.
Let me restate, as I am trying to have a serious discussion with you: do you really not see that without some power strong enough to force them to behave properly, businesses will revert to dangerous and predatory practices, and that the "market" never corrects that? Freeing banks of regulation resulted in extreme risk and dishonorable behavior, a collapse, and a return to the same risk techniques. It did not result in stable prosperity. Privatizing elements of warfare lead to atrocities (Blackwater) and massive fraud (halliburton).
Are you really unaware of how much of your life is limited by insurance companies as well as by government? Are you really unaware that government is in total servitude to corporate lobbying billions?
Not a big fan of government either, but if you have a way to keep corporations from pillaging like Mongol hordes, I'd love to hear it, because free-market isn't the way.
Well what is the way? Also, I mentioned property rights because you went on a rambling diatribe about the evils of the free market simply because I said hotels should be able to put whatever they like in their rooms.
it never hurts to have extra toilet paper or a surface to write on.
Many people who stay in hotel rooms are lonely and looking for God. It's a good thing...
I think we shoul start takeing care of our own childs
Make sure they get a better education than you did.
I never slam the religion of another person, tho' I am a Christian myself. We live in a country which allows people to believe as they wish. I believe the Bible is the Word of God to me – a plan, a path – but I never force it on anyone else. Our common
ground is love – almost everyone believes in love. The Bible says that God is love – well, we can almost all agree to be kind and loving, eh? I try to see good in people, and encourage them, not condemn. I try to live constructively, not destructively. I hope others in this forum will do the same.
great add a new BS book to one alerady full of BS
Rather a bible than bed bugs...............
Why does a hotel room need any religious texts at all? Shouldn't the faithful have their own?
They think they are recruiting by putting those there. It really is an intention attempt to shove Jesus down your throat.
And now consider what the response would be if Marriot and Hilton announced that Bibles had been removed from all rooms, and a new pamphlet called "Why there is no god" has replaced it. Think Christians would be as quiet about it as atheists have been?
There's nothing 'holy' about pagan idolatries! Remember, "God will not be mocked"!
God is a duck molester. Mocking enough for you?
@K from AZ,
Is not holding the Bible inerrant, idolatry?
Duck molesting: don't knock it until you've tried it, Rational!
I'll keep my eyes open for a vulnerable duck.
You must learn, Rational Grasshopper. Think like priest, find duck everywhere!
God gets mocked all the time. I think it's quite obvious why he can't do anything about it.
"God will not be mocked!" – but you just did mock him, K from AZ.
Holy Heffner! If a hotel has to supply your own holy book you can't be much of an adherent. "Please ask the front desk for any items you may have forgotten. We'll be happy to supply you with the TRUTH of the (insert name of your holy book here) self-flagellation gear and a complimentary inflatable doll. Have a blessed night."
So sad that many don't understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. He's very real and He loves us very much. Our world is a mess b/c so many try to live without Him. We live in a fallen world. He's God, but He's not going to make anyone "love" Him. So many have gone through horrible things in their life, and they come to the conclusion that God can't be real, and if He is, then He's a tyrant. Not true. He loves you. Ask Him and He'll make Himself known to you. Check out http://www.iamsecond.org Here's many who thought the same as you until He met them in a tangible way. As far as the Hindu book? Well, I wouldn't be surprised if 1 Samuel 5:2-4 come to pass.
No one ever existed by name as Jesus, but in hinduism crookedness of hindu Jew's, crook secular s to hind fool humanity in to hindrance to truth absolute human equality.
I wouldn't be surprised if fish farted on planes. But only on turkey days under stepping dew.
He loves me so much that he would see me suffer incomprehensible suffering for eternity because I didn't believe in him. Do you throw your children into a burning fireplace when they misbehave? No, because you love them. Think about that for a second please.
Ugh... I had a relationship with 'Jesus' my entire life until I hit my 40's. Then through reading everything I could get my hands on regarding religion and science I realized that I had not only been brainwashed but had wasted much of my life believing the con men (and women) of religion. The bible and all religion is the biggest scam ever and don't let comments like this keep you delusional. Live THIS LIFE in love that is innate in you and you alone. No man knows what death brings or does not bring.
So sad that many Christians cannot respect the deep and abiding faiths of others.
So sad that many Christians are so insecure in their faith that will not tolerate the deep and abiding faiths of others.
Hi, JeniB, thank you for your faith and plea. As expected on this liberal dominated news-site, it generally falls on deaf ears. Athiests, agnostics, and other assorted fools can't find our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, much like the thief cannot find the policeman. Keep on, keepin' on, sister, there will always be those who have the demonic compulsion to make irreverant and/or inaccurate responses.
It's amazing how many people believe in fairy tales.
Christians aren't insecure Barry, they just know the truth. And they will, therefore, take a stand against false religions. For those who claim Christianity false, or that there's no proof of God's existence, start with Evidence That Demands A Verdict and The Case For Christ. Maybe youy can be the first to refute them.
I'm sorry but just how good was the world when Jesus allegedly walked the earth? How good was it a thousand years ago? Five hundred? A hundred?
LaLaLisa goes calls others fools, then talks about demons.
"...Evidence That Demands A Verdict and The Case For Christ. Maybe youy can be the first to refute them."
These works have been rebutted several times. Here's a starter for you:
Jesus was not real. He was an amalgamation of several real messianic prophets. And the gods all those men worshiped were only ever men themselves. There is no cause to celebrate or trust in the words of Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any of the other thousand religions.
@heliocracy – You in your relationship with your children is not equal to God in His relationship to you. There are some parallels, but it is not an all encompassing analogy. God is holy and will not tolerate sin. He also is just and will not simply overlook sin. If He tolerates sin or does not punish it then He would not be holy or just. As a just God He also does not give any punishment beyond what is fair. What He offers is to give mercy and count what Jesus did as payment for your sin. If your child "acts up" it is not equivalent to you committing sin. You are not perfect nor are you perfectly just and you have plenty of sin yourself. As a parent you may punish your child, but nothing your child does is equivalent to the offense of sin against God. As a human you and I were made in God's image – that means we should be reflecting the qualities that He attributes. When we fail to do that it is sin and that sin is ultimately against God. God is patient and gives men time to repent if they chose to do so, but He does not give us forever. All men have the offer of grace and forgiveness. You say eternal separation from God is "too much" but you cannot know that for sure unless you were perfectly just and all knowing. I chose to believe God and what He says. I chose to believe He is just and I also chose to believe He offers forgiveness if anybody truly wants it and will admit where they really stand in relation to Him and acknowledge the free give He offers through Christ.
here is some fun look up Danu in both Druid culture and Hindu,... tells a tell of an ancient war between the Druids and Hindu,
also look a balor/Odin and Lugh Lamfada/Hati Hróðvitnisson tells of an ancient war between Nords and Druids
another words Ragnarok already happened it was called the battle of the plain of towers to us
with the exception of vishnu and maybe even father oak these "lesser" gods are likely to be ancestors and have existed
just for the atheist to check out, but i know having multiple view point mean nothing to the scientific world you want fiscal evidence
"Fiscal evidence". You mean tax returns?
Ha, that's pretty funny.
All hinduism, fabrication to hind fool humanity in to hinduism, cast system, way of hindu's crooks to impose hinduism, racism on humanity. hinduism, violation of human equality granted by consti tution of USA.
you seem to know too much and don't even know the difference between 'physical' and 'fiscal', you should start there otherwise you would have problems understanding the 'fiscal evidence' even if it hits in the head!
Only a hindu in hindrance to truth absolute can be proud of being hindu, denier of truth absolute in life, no different than hindu criminal Mafia boss proud of his hinduism, hindrance to truth absolute in hind, darkness of his hindered darkened soul desire.
100% guaranteed fake posing as Muslim.
my daddy gives 100% money back guarantee on ISLAM poster is a fake Muslim.
sorry,.. gezz hold it against a me: for English not being a first language...much
you Islamadude their is nothing wrong with being Hindu as fare as i'm concerned there is only something wrong with being a intolerant jack-in-hole
Hindu its a way of life not a religion.
If I ever see the bible (and now one of these) in my hotel room, I immediately throw it in the garbage can. I'm not paying for a hotel room to have this mythological bullcrap in my room.
I prefer to go through and write down the flaws and illogic right on the pages where they are found. Or write "There is no evidence" at the top of every page. Because the people who open it are not the ones questioning, but the zealots, and they deserve a bit of their own medicine of someone else's views on religion put in their room.
So glad to see the mature response from a religion hater. If you don't believe in it, then don't read it.
I wonder how religious people would respond to opening a drawer and finding not a Bible but a copy of Dawkins? I bet it would be something like the sign I saw in California, where the sponsor of keeping that section of road clean gets recognized. The sponsor was some atheist organization, and the sign had of course been vandalized. I have never seen any of the many religious signs vandalized, but the few atheist ones almost all had.
Yeah, nothing like some good old-fashioned petty vandalism to show how mature and intelligent you are.
Honestly? Indifference. I've already read it. Wasn't impressed.
Obviously I was not commenting on content but on reaction. Try to stay on topic.
Would most Christians just ignore it as I do the Bible, or would they be outraged? Considering the hatred that emerges every time an atheist sign goes up (despite there being thousands upon thousands of similar religious signs in America) really show the difference in approached. I have never seen a marred Bible in a hotel room, nor an absent one where it might have been thrown away.
Despite having read all the major texts of many of the world's religions, I have never read any atheist text. I don't need to. Dawkins was only noted for the reaction, not the content.
Not that I condone damaging any book, but if you want to see juvenile, just put a copy of 'The God Delusion' in every room.
I'm guessing there would hotels destroyed because of the book-burning going on.
The Gideons don't charge the hotels for the Bibles, they are donated to them through donations from individuals to put the Bibles there. Don't worry you are being charged. They are there IF you wish to read them. They are NOT forced on you that you MUST read them.
Retired, how would you feel about finding an atheist text in your room, and no bible? Do you feel you and your fellow Christians would not be bothered by it or find it an ideological intrusion into their private room?
Please do not throw any good literature away. That is freedom of expression. Just leave it in the drawer and don't bother it, please. Someone else may want to read it and it may help someone. I understand your not wanting to pay for a room with it in it, but you can always ask the desk clerk to hold it until you leave. Thank you.
Recycle the paper products, if possible; but in a pinch, I'm afraid we'd have to put more paper to use by inserting this warning slip into the front cover:
Warning: Someone has placed this book here in an attempt to recruit you for their religion. They want you to believe that this is literally a magic book; however, its contents are not based on reason, logic, or factual evidence. This book is a collection of selected Middle Eastern folk histories eventually written down by people who lived well after the time of Jesus, and has been selectively edited since that time. The stories originated from uneducated Iron-Age men who were likely prone to superst.itious explanations for everything in the world around them. Most of the themes, and many of the details, are clearly derived from earlier mythology in the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Nevertheless, this book is being presented to you not only as fact, but as inerrant words dictated by the one supreme supernatural force in the universe (the Christian God), and someone is attempting to convince you to reorient your entire life according to it. The reader is encouraged to take that seriously, to weigh the statements in this book against research and observations on the knowable world, and to consider them in relation to the thousands of other religions from throughout history that also profess with absolute certainty to be the one “Truth.”
Why the warning? Because this book indeed has been placed here to recruit you to join and serve a specific religious group, and because religious absolutism in all of its forms has been a significant impediment to rational thought, to advances in science and medicine, to social justice, and to world peace. Despite claims of loving benevolence, Christianity has also been used to justify war, slavery, se.xism, racism, h.omophobia, mutilations, intolerance, and oppression of minorities. There are many good reasons to question religion as a force for good among humanity. Please consider these issues as you reflect upon the claims made in this book.
I totally believe the Bible to be true, but I would not get upset at all if other religious texts or atheist books were in the drawers. I am not so weak willed to feel anything is being "forced" on me by the mere presence of a book of any faith or belief. I would also be mature enough to not vandalize the books of opposing views. Even though they were given for free to the hotels they are still hotel property. If someone give you a gift it still becomes your property. If you don't like it you can complain to the hotel or just not go to the ones that have a Bible, but vandalizing their property is not the right response.
how about some bill hicks in every hotel room?
He's about as funny as AIDS.
Only thing I thought about while reading this article.
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.