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Going Vegan is the New Way Of Life: Find out why!

Slaughtering animals and harming them are wrong deeds and not only affects the one who kills animals but also the one who consumes them.

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Image Source: Wikipedia Common
  • Vegetarianism is based on the ideals of ahimsa (non-violence) and the sacredness of life
  • People from foreign countries like U.S. are adapting to the vegetarian lifestyle adhering to the age-old belief of a pure and healthy living
  • The number of vegans in the U.S. has doubled since 2009 from 2.5 percent of the population

Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism have one thing in common, these religions that are being practiced in India and across the globe for thousands of years have always believed in the benefits of vegetarianism. The concept of being Vegan has now become popular in the west as well and people from several foreign countries including U.S. are adapting to the vegetarian lifestyle adhering to the age-old belief of a pure and healthy living.

Hinduism’s vast scriptures contain thousands of verses or hymns recommending vegetarianism and stating its merits. Vegetarianism is based on the ideals of ahimsa (nonviolence) and the sacredness of life. The Yajur Veda says, “You must not use your God-given body for killing God’s creatures, whether they be human, animals, or whatever.” (12.32)  And Manusmriti, asks men to abstain from eating flesh.

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Slaughtering animals and harming them are wrong deeds and not only affects the one who kills animals but also the one who consumes them. According to the Law of Karma which is a central idea in Hinduism, causing unnecessary pain and death produces bad karma.

Jain traditions respect ahimsa (non-violence), aparigraha (non-acquisition), asteya (respect for other’s rights) and satya (truth). Therefore vegetarianism is an expected practice among Jains.

Image Source: abcnews.com

According to the Indiatimes.com report, Mary, a member of the foreign delegation that had come to Indore as a part of a special program organized by the International School of Jain Studies has been following Hinduism for the past 25 years. The six member delegation had attended a four-day seminar on Jainism in Indore, which was initiated at Kundakunda Gyanpeeth.

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Ole Martin Moen, a scholar from Norway says to The Times Of India, “I have studied Jainism and I have been deeply inspired by their ideology of saving animals and reducing their suffering. This has led me to give up meat completely and my changed food habits have also affected my health in a positive.”

The number of vegetarians is growing worldwide. According to a onegreenplanet.org report, the number of vegans in the U.S. has doubled since 2009 from 2.5 percent of the population. So, five percent of the U.S. population that is close to 16 million people are vegetarians. And half of these vegetarians are vegan which means that 7.5 million people in the U.S. now eat diets that do not include any animal products. Also, the Harris Interactive study commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group has stated in the report that 33 percent of Americans are eating vegan/vegetarian meals more often, though they are not vegan or vegetarian.

-This article is compiled by a Staff-writer at NewsGram.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Choosing Vegan Diet, Why it is not Successful in India?

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Vegan Diet Food Items
Vegan Diet Food Items. Pixabay
  • How Vegan Diet helps you healthy body functioning
  • It has some nutritional shortfalls

5 Reasons To Choose Vegan Diet

Being vegan helps in a lot of ways –gives you a healthy body, disease protection, and an overall healthy lifestyle. Vegans choose to eat plant-based products and eliminate animal-based products, dairy products like milk, honey, meat, fish, eggs from their diet. The reason can be to stay healthy, religious beliefs or Ethical values. A vegan diet is nutritionally balanced and is highly beneficial for the healthy lifestyle. Some of its advantages are –

Weight Reduction

A large number of population opt for this diet to do excessive weight loss. The reason behind this is there is less intake of fats which come from animal-based products and high intake of fiber. Vegan Diet includes consumption of healthy food products like fruits, vegetables, nut and other plant-based products which maintain nutritional balance in your body.

Reduces Diabetes and Hypertension

People following Vegan Diet are often able to reduce their blood pressure and sugar level than compared to Non – vegans. Intake of plant-based products helps in reducing the need of insulin for the diabetic patients. As mentioned in various researchs, meat and fish eaters tend to have high blood pressure which is eliminated in the vegan diet.

Avoids Heart and Kidney Diseases

Vegan Diet helps reducing cholesterol in your body. Healthy food intake avoids risky heart diseases and helps in proper functioning of the heart. Plant proteins reduce the risk of the poor kidney function than meat proteins.

Helps to Maintain Healthy Bones

The diet is rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin K which contributes to the bone health significantly. Calcium Fortified plant milk and yogurts can help in achieving recommended calcium dietary intake which keeps the bones healthy and prevents various bone and dental diseases.

Overall healthy lifestyle

It keeps your mind and body relaxed and stress-free. Prevents you from common body ailments like a frequent headache, body pain etc. Eating healthy food like fruits, vegetables and less intake of fats makes you feel active and energized whole day. It makes you feel good and confident about your body.

Disadvantages

Although Vegan Diet has proved to be beneficial to many it has some nutritional shortfalls as well. Vegans often tend to have various nutrient deficiencies like –

Vitamin B12: Deficiency of Vitamin B12 occurs due to the elimination of dairy products and meat from the diet, for vegans, it can be prevented by taking B12 supplements or B12 fortified foods.

Calcium: Vegan should eat more tofu, tahini, and green leafy vegetables to intake the required amount of calcium in the body.

Iron: Iron is essential to transport oxygen to the blood cells. Eat dried beans and use a cast-iron skillet to prepare the meal to have an iron-rich diet.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: It is important for cardiovascular health, eyes and brain function. Eating walnuts, soy products, and flaxseed can prevent the deficiency.

Although, It is hard to be a vegan in India as Indians love to eat dairy and poultry products.The most indulgent foods in India consists of milk, cheese, fish, eggs, and meat. But when it comes to healthy living, veganism is one of the best options you can opt for and every non-vegan food in your diet can be replaced by a vegan food.

-prepared by Pragya Mittal of NewsGram | Twitter @PragyaMittal05

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Hinduism is Not an Official or Preferred Religion in Any Country of The World, Says a New Report

Though Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world, it is not the official state religion of any country according to a Pew Research Center Report

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Hinduism
Hinduism is not an official religion of any country in the world. Instagram.
  • No country has declared Hinduism as its official state religion – despite India being an influential Hindu political party
  • Hinduism is not an official or preferred religion in any country of the world, according to a Pew Research Center report.
  • 53% of 199 nations considered in the study don’t have an official religion
  • 80 countries are assigned either an “official religion” or “preferred religion”

Nevada, USA, October 16: Hinduism is the primeval and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion followers of moksh (liberation) being its utmost desire of life. India is among the category of nations where the government do not have an official or preferred religion.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank headquartered in Washington DC that aims to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The report states that a country’s official religion is regarded as a legacy of its past and present privileges granted by the state. And a few other countries fall on the other side of the gamut, and propagate their religion as the ‘official religion’, making it a compulsion for all citizens.

It adds up on the context of allocation that more than eight-in-ten countries (86%) provide financial support or resources for religious education programs and religious schools that tend to benefit the official religion.

Hinduism
Islam is the most practiced official religion of the world. Instagram.

Commenting on Hinduism, the report states:

In 2015, Nepal came close to enshrining Hinduism, but got rejected of a constitutional amendment due to a conflict between pro-Hindu protesters and state police.

Although India has no official or preferred religion as mentioned in the Constitution,it was found by PEW that in India the intensity of government constraints and social antagonism involving religion was at a peak. “Nigeria, India, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion among the 25 most populous countries in 2015. All fell into the “very high” hostilities category,” the report added.

As per the 2011 census, it was found that 79.8% of the Indian population idealizes Hinduism and 14.2% practices to Islam, while the rest 6% pursuit other religions.

While Hinduism stands up with the majority, Article 25 of the Constitution of India contributes secularism allowing for religious freedom and allows every Indian to practice his/her religion, without any intervention by the community or the government.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded the Hindu community for their benefaction to the society and advised Hindus to concentrate on inner purity, attract spirituality towards youth and children, stay far from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

According to Pew, these are “places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana

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Paintings Which Beautifully Depict Scenes From Ramayana

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Ramayana
Ram lifting the bow during Sita Swayambar. Wikimedia Commons.

Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic which describes the narrative of Ayodhya Prince lord Rama’s struggles. The struggles include- exile of 14 years, abduction of his wife Sita, reaching Lanka, destruction of the evil. It is strongly ingrained in the Indian culture, especially, the Hindu culture since a long time. Hindus celebrate Diwali based on the narratives of Ramayana.

The story of Ramayana gives out the beautiful message that humanity and service to the mankind is way more important than kingdom and wealth. Below are five paintings describing the scenes from Ramayana:

1. Agni Pariksha in Ramayana

Ramayana
Agni Pariksha. Wikimedia.

When Lord Rama questions Sita’s chastity, she undergoes Agni Pariksha, wherein, she enters a burning pyre, declaring that if she has been faithful to her husband then the fire would harm her. She gets through the test without any injuries or pain. The fire God, Agni, was the proof of her purity. Lord Rama accepts Sita and they return to Ayodhya. 

2. Scene From The Panchavati Forest

Ramayana
scene from the panchavati forest. wikimedia.

The picture describes a scene from the Panchavati forest. It is believed that Lord Rama built his forest by residing in the woods of Panchavati, near the sources of the river Godavari, a few miles from the modern city of Mumbai. He lived in peace with his wife and brother in the forest.

3. Hanuman Visits Sita

Ramayana
Hanuman meets Sita. Wikimedia.

Hanuman reaches Lanka in search of Sita. At first, he was unable to find Sita. He later saw a woman sitting in Ashok Vatika, drowned in her sorrows, looked extremely pale. He recognized her. After seeing the evil king, Ravana making her regular visit to Sita, he hid somewhere in the Vatika. After Ravana left, Hanuman proved Sita that he is Rama’s messenger by showing her his ring. He assured her that Rama would soon come to rescue her. Before leaving Lanka, he heckled Ravana. Agitated by Hanuman’s actions, Ravana ordered to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. With the burning tail, Hanuman set the entire city on fire.