Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Archive for September, 2013

Ishani makes Nepal proud like never before

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 29, 2013

Ishani makes Nepal proud like never before

Nepal for the first time in history has been able to come in Top 10 with a 5th position. Ishani Shrestha had already won a title “Beauty with purpose” and now by being able to make her a decent place in the Top 10 finalist she has undoubtedly craved a space for Nepal.

Though Ishani couldn’t make it to Top 5, she performed really well. The entire country is proud with her performance. She rocked Nepal’s identity with her grace, beauty, talent and dedication of course. It was indeed disappointing for everyone not to find her in Top 5 because she had become a semifinalist by capturing a 5th position in the countdown. Read the rest of this entry »

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Miss Philippines Wins Miss World In Indonesia

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 29, 2013


Miss world 2013

BALI, Indonesia — Miss Philippines, Megan Young, was crowned Miss World on Saturday amid tight security on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, where the contest’s final round was moved following protests by Muslim hardliner groups.

“I promise to be the best Miss World ever,” Young, 23, said after winning the 63rd annual event, as a large number of Filipino fans who traveled with her celebrated by jumping and waving the country’s flag. Read the rest of this entry »

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Asia Has Most Billionaires Of Any Continent, According To Hurun Survey

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 26, 2013

A Chinese wealth survey has found that Asia has more billionaires than any other continent, apparently surpassing North America for the first time.

China’s super-rich make their billions predominantly from real estate, manufacturing and investments, the report said. Photo: EPA

Asia has more billionaires than any other continent, followed by North America and Europe, according to a survey by a China-based wealth magazine released on Thursday.

There were 1,453 people around the world with a personal wealth of $1 billion or more as of January, said the Hurun Report, a luxury magazine publisher that compiled the list.

Asia had 608 billionaires, North America 440 and Europe 324, it said in a statement.

Among individual countries, the United States and China dominated with 408 and 317 citizens respectively on the list, followed by Russia, Germany and India.

Mexican telecoms czar Carlos Slim, 73, was ranked as the “Richest Man on the Planet” with a personal fortune of $66 billion. Slim also topped the Forbes magazine annual global rich list last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 23, 2013

[A recent Hindi language television serial, Buddha[1] launched by Zee Network, from September the 8th has added, already frustrated people by Indian over interference, both frustration and anger in Kathmandu. In reaction, on September 13, students staged demonstrations in the streets of Kathmandu against the serial and which prompted the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to post hastily the next day, September 14th, on its Facebook wall, “The question of where Lord Buddha was born was settled over 2000 years ago when Emperor Ashoka installed the pillar with his inscription in Lumbini. Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal.”(2)]
By B. K. Rana
Buddha born in Nepal rally
The Buddha was born in Lumbini, which now is in western Nepal Tarai. The 249 BC inscription on the Lumbini Ashokan pillar reading, “the Buddha was born here in Luminigame” is the evidence, which cannot be contravened otherwise. There are other historical and archaeological evidence that prove the Buddha being Lumbini born and now Lumbini, the Buddhist holy land, is in Nepal. The people of Nepal and others of Nepalese origin elsewhere in the world, regardless of their academic achievements, socio-economic standings and political orientations, believe the Buddha was born in Nepal but feel very offended outright when media publicize otherwise. The Buddha is considered one of the greatest historical personages or Bibhutis – so to say, one of the national heroes of Nepal.
A recent Hindi language television serial, Buddha[1] launched by Zee Network, from September the 8th has added, already frustrated people by Indian over interference, both frustration and anger in Kathmandu. In reaction, on September 13, students staged demonstrations in the streets of Kathmandu against the serial and which prompted the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to post hastily the next day, September 14th, on its Facebook wall, “The question of where Lord Buddha was born was settled over 2000 years ago when Emperor Ashoka installed the pillar with his inscription in Lumbini. Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal.”[2]
Few days later, on September 19 from Gorkha, a hilly township in west Nepal, the Indian envoy to Nepal, Ranjit Ray told that there was no controversy on the Buddha birthplace. He said, “Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini and Lumbini is in Nepal.” Expressing his discontent over the Kathmandu-media-hyped controversy, the ambassador is also reported to have further told that not all Indians may know his being born in Nepal’s Lumbini but ‘children in Indian schools are taught the Buddha was born in Lumbini which is in Nepal.’[3] Read the rest of this entry »

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What The Color Of Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 21, 2013

By Dr. Mehmet Oz

Your body has clever ways of signaling health trouble. Here’s a guide to what your hue says about you.

n-DR-OZ-WARNING-SIGNS-large300Few people get worked up over the occasional bruise. We know from experience that a purplish spot isn’t usually cause for alarm and, in time, will clear up on its own — a classic case of the wait-and-see approach making sound medical sense. But otherdiscolorations that may appear harmless can serve as warning signals for serious diseases, like diabetes, skin cancer, and autoimmune disorders. The sooner you pick up on the clues, the faster you can take the right steps to getting and staying healthier.


Pay attention to the color of your tongue. If it becomes a bright, beefy red (the change can be subtle, but it will be noticeable), you may be low on vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for making the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body and plays a vital role in maintaining brain function. While researchers aren’t sure why a B12 deficiency affects the tongue, you may develop neurological problems, including dementia, if your levels stay low for too long.

Protect Yourself: Meat and dairy products are rich in B12, so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may have a harder time reaching your daily allowance. Make sure to take a multivitamin, and consider eating fortified cereals for breakfast (some offer 100 percent of your recommended daily value of B12 in one serving). Read the rest of this entry »

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Google vs. Death

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 21, 2013

How CEO Larry Page has transformed the search giant into a factory for Our exclusive look at his boldest bet yet — to extend human life.

By Harry McCracken; Lev Grossman

Larry Page, 40, is the co-founder and CEO of one of the most successful, ubiquitous and increasingly strange companies on the planet. Google is, of course, in the search business, and, more important for its profitability, it is in the online-advertising business. But it’s also in the driverless-car business, the wearable-computing business, and the business of providing Internet access to remote areas via high-altitude balloons, among countless others.

Page prefers to refer to the search giant’s more out-there ventures as moon shots. At the moment Google is preparing an especially uncertain and distant shot. It is planning to launch Calico, a new company that will focus on health and aging in particular. “In some industries,” says Page, who spoke exclusively with TIME about the new venture, “it takes 10 or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Health care is certainly one of those areas. We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”

The unavoidable question this raises is why a company built on finding information and serving ads next to it is spending untold amounts on a project that flies in the face of the basic fact of the human condition, the existential certainty of aging and death? To which the unavoidable answer is another question: Who the hell else is going to do it?


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Lord Buddha’s Birth Place is Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 18, 2013

By Dirgha Raj Prasai

Buddha born in NepalDirgha Raj PrasaiThe Indian Zee TV is going to exercise that releasing the fake news- Lord Buddha’s birth place was India. But, it is 100% fallacious and wrong. Nepal is the birth land of Lord Buddha. This fake propaganda of Zee TV will invite confrontation between Nepal and India. Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini in the 6th century BC in mid Tarai, Nepal.. Lord Buddha is the asset of Nepal who was born in this pious land. A scholar Ram Kumar Shrestha writes- ‘Ashoka Pillar built in 300 BC by Indian Emperor Ashok during his pilgrimage to the birthplace of Buddha still stands Lumbini. A thorough excavation and investigation near the Ashok Pillar has found the Nativity Stone that was laid down to mark
the Buddha’s birthplace.

An international team of archaeologists has begun a three-year survey, coordinated by the UNESCO of the archaeological ruins of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal. The team of archaeologists, including experts from Nepal’s Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust, is directed by Robin Coningham, UNESCO Archaeological Expert and Professor of Archaeology, University of Durham. The UNESCO, after careful examination all facts and evidences, has already recognized Lumbini as the Buddha’s birthplace and a World Heritage Site’.

The descriptions of famous ancient Chinese pilgrims, Huian Tsang (who traveled through India between AD 629 & 645) and Fa Hein (who traveled between AD 400 & AD 414) indicate to this area, saying, ‘Lumbini, where the Lord was born, is a piece of heaven on earth where one could see the snowy mountains amidst a splendid garden embedded with Stupas and monasteries.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Buddha’s Birthplace: Nepal Or India? New Currency Sets The Record Straight

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 17, 2013

By Vishal Arora

buddha birthplace nepal india

(RNS) Quick: Where was the Buddha born?

To hear many Indians talk, you’d think it was India, where he attained enlightenment and gave his first sermon.

But the people of Nepal know better — and they are eager to correct misconceptions about the Awakened One, considered one of the world’s most revered figures.

Next month, Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The currency is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record.

It comes amid protests following a promotional video on the private Indian channel Zee TV, which claimed the Buddha was born in India.

Zee TV corrected the error, but Nepal Cable TV Association blocked the channel when the new series on the life of Buddha premiered on Sunday (Sept. 8). The association’s chairman described the move as a way to prevent possible unrest in the country, which is predominantly Hindu but proud of its Buddhist heritage. Read the rest of this entry »

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वुद्ध जन्मस्थल बिषयमा सिर्जित दिग्भ्रम निस्तेज पार्ने काम नयाँ चरणमा

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 15, 2013

सबैभन्दा महत्वपूर्ण उपलब्धी र भावी रणनीति: बिभिन्न देशको पाठ्य पुस्तकमा नै वुद्धको जन्मस्थल भारत लेखिएकोले करोडौं मानिसले त्यही पढ्ने हुनाले उनीहरुद्धारा सिर्जित कुनै पनि गतिबिधिमा त्यस्को प्रभाव पर्नु स्वाभाबिकै हो तापनि यो कुनियत भने होइन । जाकारीयालाई धेरै दबाब दिंदा पनि आत्मालोचना नगर्नु, ब्रिटिश म्युजियममा डा सोना दत्तको काम, नक्कली लुम्बिनी निर्माण आदि भने कुनियत हुन । यसरी ठूला ठूला बिभिन्न समस्या हुँदाहुँदै पनि समस्याको जरो भनेकै बिभिन्न देशको पाठ्य पुस्तकमा भएको गलत जानकारी भएकोले अभियानको तर्फबाट तात्कालिन प्रधानमन्त्री माधव कुमार नेपाललाई कुटनितिक नियोग मार्फत बिभिन्न देशको पाठ्य पुस्तकमा भएको वुद्ध जन्मस्थल बिषयमा भएको गल्ती सच्याउन पर्ने कुरामा जोड दिंदै ज्ञापन पत्र बुझाईएको थियो । त्यसैले कोरियाका लागि तात्कालिन राजदूत कमल प्रशाद कोइरालाले त्यहाँको राष्ट्रपतिलाई गर्नु भएको आग्रहपस्चात त्यहाँको सरकारले पाठ्य पुस्तकमा सच्याउने जुन निर्णय गरेको छ त्यो अभियानको लागि कोसेढुंगा हो र अब अन्य देशमा यही कार्यलाई निरन्तरता दिन सकियो भने यो विस्वब्यापी समस्या समाधान कार्य समस्या हुनेछैन ।   

प्रमाणित गर्ने नभएर सिर्जित दिग्भ्रम निस्तेज पार्ने हाम्रो दायित्व: “वुद्ध नेपालमा जन्मनु भएको प्रमाणित गर्ने काम कहाँ पुग्यो?” जस्तो प्रश्न यदाकदा आउने गर्छन् । वुद्धBuddh new logo नेपालमा जन्मनु भएको प्रमाणित भैसकेको छ । त्यसैले युनेस्कोले लुम्बिनीलाई विस्व संपदा सूचिमा पारेको र जापानले युनेस्को मार्फत पाँच बर्षे परियोजना शुरु गरेको हो भने प्रो केन्जो टांगे र प्रो क्वाकले लुम्बिनीको गुरु योजना तयार पारेका हुन वुद्ध जन्मस्थल बिकास गर्ने हेतुले र यी दुबै गुरु योजना राष्ट्र संघ आन्तर्गतकै काम हुन । हाम्रो मौनता र कम्जोरीको फायदा उठाएर शक्तिको भरमा वुद्धको बिस्वब्यापी महत्वका कारण त्यसबाट लालायितहरुले गलत कुरालाई सही जस्तो देखिने गरी वुद्ध भारतमा जन्मेको भन्ने किसिमले बिभिन्न देशको पाठ्य पुस्तक, ठूला ठूला संग्रहालयहरु, प्रभाबशाली अन्तरास्ट्रिय संस्थाहरु एबं पत्रिकाहरु, नक्कली लुम्बिनी र कपिलवस्तु आदि मार्फत दिग्भ्रमलाई विस्वब्यापी बनाउने जुन काम भएको छ यस्ले नेपालको राष्ट्रियता कम्जोर बनाउने र नतमस्तक हुनु पर्ने अवस्था मात्रै सिर्जना भएको छैन, यस्ले वुद्धप्रति आस्थाबानहरु बुद्ध जन्मस्थल जान चाहनेहरु कि त झुक्किएर कि त झुक्याइएर वर्षेनी हजारौंको संख्यामा नक्कली लुम्बिनी पुग्ने पुर्याइने कामले उनीहरुको मानबाधिकार हनन हुने र उनीहरुको आस्थामा कुठाराघात पुर्याइने काम जस्तो जघन्य आपराधिक काम बुद्धकै नाममा भैराखेकोले सिर्जित दिग्भ्रम निस्तेज पार्दै यी सबै आपराधिक काम रोकथाम गरी भैराखेको विस्व माबाधिकार हनन समाधान कार्यमा योगदान दिनु पनि हो हाम्रो अस्तित्व र प्रतिस्ठालाई धुमिल हुन नदिने काम गर्दै ।

 By रामकुमार श्रेष्ठ

बिशेष अनुरोध: ठूला ग्रुप मेलहरुका कारण यो मेल पाँच हजारभन्दा बढीमा पुग्ने भएको र यो जानकारी दिने प्रयोजनका लागि लेखिएकोले लेख्नै पर्ने नीतिगत कुरामा बाहेक “Reply all” नगरिदिनु हुन बिशेष अनुरोध । फर्किने केही मेलहरुका कारण संधै जस्तै “Reply” भन्दा पनि बरु छुट्टै मेल गर्नु भयो भने मेल प्राप्ती कार्य सहज हुनेछ । मूलत: लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानको पाँचौं वार्षिकी तयारी, र अहिलेसम्मका मूलभूत उपलब्धिहरुको समिक्षात्मक बिस्लेषण र भावी दिनका प्राथमिकतामा केन्द्रित यो ईमेल केही लामो भएको र यस्मा केही महत्वपूर्ण जानकारीका लिंकहरु समेत राखिएको पूर्व जानकारी गराइन्छ । (Target groups: Political leaders, Diplomatic missions, Movement activists, NRN activists, intellectuals, journalists and public)

१ अभियानको पाँचौं वार्षिकोत्सब का कार्यक्रमहरु: वुद्धको विस्वब्यापी महत्वका कारण लालायितहरुद्धारा नेपालको कम्जोरीको फायदा उठाएर शक्तिका भरमा वुद्ध जन्मस्थल बिषयमा सिर्जना गरिएको विस्वब्यापी दिग्भ्रमलाई निस्तेज पार्ने उद्धेस्यका साथ सूत्रपात भएको लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानले छोटो समयमा महत्वपूर्ण उपलब्धिहरु हासिल गर्दै पाँचौ बर्ष प्रबेषको अबसरमा आगामी डिसेम्बर १ मा बिभिन्न देशमा बिशेष रुपमा कार्यक्रम मनाउने तयारीमा छ तपसिलका कार्यक्रमहरुलाई समेटेर: Read the rest of this entry »

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When Einstein Met Tagore

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 10, 2013


Collision and convergence in Truth and Beauty at the intersection of science and spirituality.

On July 14, 1930, Albert Einstein welcomed into his home on the outskirts of Berlin the Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. The two proceeded to have one of the most stimulating, intellectually riveting conversations in history, exploring the age-old friction between science and religionScience and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore recounts the historic encounter, amidst a broader discussion of the intellectual renaissance that swept India in the early twentieth century, germinating a curious osmosis of Indian traditions and secular Western scientific doctrine.

The following excerpt from one of Einstein and Tagore’s conversations dances between previously examined definitions of sciencebeautyconsciousness, andphilosophy in a masterful meditation on the most fundamental questions of human existence.

EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?

TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.

I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid. Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world. The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indian Friends, Do Not Make Everyday April 1st

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 8, 2013

india tv show

We are in the 21st century, not stone age. This is epoch of internet, WikiLeaks, and Google. These days, even internet media is dominated by social media. Our deeds and words become our identity. Before acting and speaking, we must think. Otherwise minor mistakes could ruin our identity. As neighbours we always need to be close and for that we must respect each other. India faked Lumbini, Indian ambassador even said Mt. Everest is in India, duplicate Indian Pashmina spoiled our International market. Lots of rumours are frequently created by the Indian side on Buddha’s birthplace. They know this is wrong, yet they are doing it. Misinforming intentionally is a big crime. As neighbours we want everybody to respect India as a honest country. For this India must not make fool of the world through unnecessary rumours. Despite lots of apologies due to floods of voices against their wrong information, India is continuously launching Grand TV Shows misinforming Buddha’s birth place. Indian friends, do not make everyday April 1st.

  Read the rest of this entry »

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लुम्बिनी गेट अर्थ संकलनमा अस्ट्रेलियाका विद्यार्थीहरुको ऐक्यबद्धता

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 5, 2013

Lumbini Gate

Puja५ सेप्टेम्बर, २०१३ जिलोङ, अस्ट्रेलिया: भारतीय नाकाबाट नेपाल आएर लुम्बिनी भ्रमण गर्ने विदेशीPurak पर्यटकलाई यो नेपालको भुमी हो भन्ने ज्ञान दिने कुनै किसिमको संकेत सिमानादेखि लुम्बिनी परिसरसम्मै कुनै पनि निकायबाट व्यवस्था नगरिएको हुँदा ०६८ फाल्गुण ११ गते लुम्बिनी कपिलवस्तु दिवस विश्व अभियानका भ्रमण टोलीले लुम्बिनी परिसरको गेट नं ६ मा नेपाल हो भन्ने अनुभूति गराउने लुम्बिनी भ्रमण वर्षको फे्लक्स व्यानर टाँसेको थियो जसमा Welcome to Nepal the Birthplace of Lord Buddha भन्ने वाक्यांश अंकित थियो । तर यो अस्थाइ प्रकृतिको भएको हूँदा यसै अभियानका अभियन्ता स्काउट दूत किशोर कुइंकेलले भारतीय सीमायता स्पष्ट नेपाल प्रवेशको अनुभूति दिने स्थायी स्वागतद्वार बनाउन सरकारलाई सगाउने योजनासाथ स्थानीय बुद्ध आदर्श उच्च माविका विद्यार्थीहरु माझ खाजा रकमबाट रु को चन्दा आह्वान गरे । विद्यार्थीहरुले हार्दिकतासाथ सहयोग गरे र रु १००/- जति चन्दा संकलन भएको थियो । यो अभियान देशका अरु विद्यालयमा पनि निरन्तरित हुने घोषणा त्यसै बेला प्रस्तावक विद्यार्थीले गरेका थिए ।

सो अभियानमा काठमाण्डौंका बिभिन्न विद्यालय र कालेजहरुले पनि ऐक्यबद्धता जनाएका छन । प्रिसियस नेशनल कलेज, म्हैपीको प्राङ्गणमा विद्यार्थीहरुले लुम्बिनी गेट निर्माणको लागि सरकारलाई सहयोग पुर्याउने हेतुसाथ आफ्ना खाजा रकमबाट रु. ४१५/– र यस अघि काठमाडौँमै गोकर्णेश्वर महादेव मा.वि., सहयोगी उच्च मा.वि., वर्ल्ड युथ इन्टरनेशनल स्कूल र श्वर्ण शिक्षा इ. स्कूलका विद्यार्थीहरुबाट अन्दाजी थप १००० रुपैयाँ संकलन गरिएको थियो ।

संकलित रकम सरकारलार्इृ औपचारिक रुपमा हस्तान्तरण गर्ने योजना रहेको छ ।  Read the rest of this entry »

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‘The revival of the Japanese economy will lead to development of the global economy’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 5, 2013

In an exclusive interview with Global ahead of the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe describes how his Abenomics policy could not only kickstart Japan, but help reboot the world economy

Abe pictured with US Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos. Japan is keen to maintain a close relationship with the USA

Prime Minister, you have enjoyed a spectacular comeback in Japanese politics. Since you took office after the December election, the philosophy of ‘Abenomics’ has totally swept away any disappointment that arose during your first term as premier in 2006-07. A rapid series of political and economic manoeuvres aimed at lifting Japan out of its economic torpor has won you popularity at home and plaudits from abroad. You have launched dramatic initiatives towards Africa and attempted to repair long-neglected fences with ASEAN neighbours.

Now, in the lead-up to the G20 summit in St Petersburg, there is revived interest in Japan’s role as the world’s number three economy, as well as in the global lessons to be learned from Abenomics and its associated policies. It is a remarkable success in a very short time. But it raises many questions about where a reinvigorated, resurgent Japan might be heading. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement’s 18th National Committee, Norway formed

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 4, 2013

Dr. Krishna Aryal Bergen, 2 September 2013

With the ground reality that Lumbini in Nepal is the birth place of Gautam Buddha, aiming to clarify the confusion among world community and rectify wrong information printed about the Buddha’s birthplace in many text books and religious books wherever in the world, and be supportive to the development, expansion and protection of Lumbini in Nepal, the Lumbini – Kapilvastu global movement started from 1st December 2009, with a purpose to spread the real message that Buddha was born in Nepal by encouraging every Nepali to publicise the reality and rise the national dignity, the 18th National Committee Norway of Lumbini – Kapilvastu Day  Global Movement has been formed with a provision to include more advisors if necessary, for now with  2 advisors  and 11 coordinators in the presence of Europe advisor Mr. Damodar Prasad Acharya.

Norway committee

Opening the possibility as necessary to expand the committee later, the 11 member National Movement Committee in Norway consists of following coordinators: Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook is bad for you: Get a life!

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 2, 2013

Using the social network seems to make people more miserable

FacebookTHOSE who have resisted the urge to join Facebook will surely feel vindicated when they read the latest

research. A study just published by the Public Library of Science, conducted by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan and Philippe Verduyn of Leuven University in Belgium, has shown that the more someone uses Facebook, the less satisfied he is with life.

Past investigations have found that using Facebook is associated with jealousy, social tension, isolation and depression. But these studies have all been “cross-sectional”—in other words, snapshots in time. As such, they risk confusing correlation with causation: perhaps those who spend more time on social media are more prone to negative emotions in the first place. The study conducted by Dr Kross and Dr Verduyn is the first to follow Facebook users for an extended period, to track how their emotions change.

The researchers recruited 82 Facebookers for their study. These volunteers, in their late teens or early 20s, agreed to have their Facebook activity observed for two weeks and to report, five times a day, on their state of mind and their direct social contacts (phone calls and meetings in person with other people). These reports were prompted by text messages, sent between 10am and midnight, asking them to complete a short questionnaire.

When the researchers analysed the results, they found that the more a volunteer used Facebook in the period between two questionnaires, the worse he reported feeling the next time he filled in a questionnaire. Volunteers were also asked to rate their satisfaction with life at the start and the end of the study. Those who used Facebook a lot were more likely to report a decline in satisfaction than those who visited the site infrequently. In contrast, there was a positive association between the amount of direct social contact a volunteer had and how positive he felt. In other words, the more volunteers socialised in the real world, the more positive they reported feeling the next time they filled in the questionnaire.

A volunteer’s sex had no influence on these findings; nor did the size of his (or her) social network, his stated motivation for using Facebook, his level of loneliness or depression or his self-esteem. Dr Kross and Dr Verduyn therefore conclude that, rather than enhancing well-being, Facebook undermines it. Read the rest of this entry »

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