Religion News: Group distributes Hindu holy book to hotels

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Week in Religion

Guests in some hotels are finding a copy of the Bhagavad Gita next to the Bible in their night stand, CNN reports. The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred HIndu text whose name tranlates to "song of God." The books are distributed by the group Motel Gita, with help from a Hinud nonprofit and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. 

Vaisesika Dasa, founder and president of Motel Gita, told CNN that the group originally worried the books would be rejected but that motel owners and guests had welcomed the books and were interested in reading them.

Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, after Christianity and Islam. There are 1.79 million Hindus living in the United States.

Motel Gita has distributed approximately 150,000 copies of the Bhagavad Gita to 1,100 hotels around the country.

Survey Says

According to a Jan. 10 Gallup survey, 17.8 percent of Americans asked in 2012 had "no explicit religious identification." This includes those who said they have no preferred religion, those who said they didn't know, and those who declined to answer. The number is up from 14.6 percent in 2008, and a slight increase from 17.5 percent in 2011.

Good Book?

"The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling," by Stephen Cope

Yoga master Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must, in fact, discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. In "The Great Work of Your Life," Cope describes the process of unlocking the unique possibility harbored within every human soul. The secret, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita — an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna.

Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale, and in order to make it relevant to contemporary readers, he highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles — including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, whose life trajectory shows us the power of honoring The Gift; Walt Whitman, who listened for the call of the times; Susan B. Anthony, whose example demonstrates the power of focused energy; John Keats, who was able to let his desire give birth to aspiration; and Harriet Tubman, whose life was nothing if not a lesson in learning to walk by faith. This essential guide also includes everyday stories about following the path to dharma, which illustrate the astonishingly contemporary relevance and practicality of this classic yogic story.


Quote of the Week

"Worship means reverence and humility; it means revering your real self and humbling delusions." - Bodhidharma

The Word

Hare Krishna: Pronounced “HA-rey KRISH-na.” This Hindu term can refer to a worshipper of Krishna or a mantra to him. It also can refer to a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which was founded in 1966 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and is a sect that focuses on the worship and understanding of God as Krishna.


Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Sri Lanka, according to CIA World Factbook:

69.1 percent: Buddhist

7.6 percent: Muslim

7.1 percent: Hindu

6.2 percent: Christian

10 percent: Unspecified

GateHouse News Service