martes, 14 de junio de 2011

Akrura das, Gita Coaching: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE HAPPY?


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"Planet ISKCON" - 40 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 13 June 2011--Memories of Enlivening Mauritius--and--How to Surrender and Get Initiated?
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Vraja Krsna Prabhu
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  4. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Bhagavad-gita in one paragraph
  5. Japa Group: It Requires Great Determination
  6. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE HAPPY?
  8. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  9. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  10. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Three-word preaching, three-word guru
  17. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Live!
  18. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 339—Poem for June 12
  19. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  20. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Bhakti Yoga: In Search Of A Lost Love
  21. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: SIX PRINCIPLES FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS
  23. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Sunday 12 June 2011--Please Take Advantage of this Opportunity--and--How Can We Serve You?
  24. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Atmavan manyate jagat
  25. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Om Namo Shivaya!
  26. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Weekly Round-up!
  27. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: GITA COACH 4X4
  28. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: BHAGAVAD GITA CHAPTER SUMMARIES
  29. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: 52 WAYS TO STUDY SRILA PRABHUPADA'S BOOKS
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Abhishek Joshi inquires how it is – if it so – that Krsna fulfills all desires
  31. H.H. Sivarama Swami: After hearing about how separation nourishes attachment to Krsna
  32. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Jaya Jalshayi! The Story of Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi (Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi)
  33. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  34. Mayapur Online: Ganga Puja
  35. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The High Cost of Cheap Meat
  36. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  37. Gouranga TV: Mayapuris
  38. Pandu das: Which of these things doesn’t belong?
  39. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu
  40. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily class - Gopa-vrndesa Prabhu
  41. More Recent Articles
  42. Search Planet ISKCON
  43. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 13 June 2011--Memories of Enlivening Mauritius--and--How to Surrender and Get Initiated?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Monday 13 June 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. (Click on photo to see a larger image.) Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: Memories of Enlivening Mauritius Uploaded from Lenasia, South Africa 11 June 2011--We are flying now on a 2,000 mile flight from Mauritius to Johannesburg, South Africa. After leaving a place I like to recall the wonderful and enlightening Krishna conscious experiences I had at that place. No matter how much one grows in Krishna consciousness, there is always room to grow unlimitedly more, realizing even more about the transcendental Krishna science and how to present it more effectively to the suffering, illusioned souls of this world. One nice realization was that while the natural beauty of Mauritius with its clean air, comfortable climate and beautiful scenery was certainly enlivening, it was even more enlivening to have the association of so many wonderful devotees of Krishna who reside there. We look forward to our return this coming December for another ecstatic week of Krishna consciousness in Mauritius. Sankarshan Das Adhikari The Beautiful Scenery of Mauritius is Enlivening... But the Devotees Are Even More Enlivening Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: How to Surrender and Get Initiated? I am a regular reader of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. While reading the Dhyana Yoga chapter, we read the Lord describing about ways to attain Him via yoga. But personally, I found the purport where Arjuna says that he finds himself unworthy for meditation very similar to my condition. In reply the Lord says that even transcendental to all these methods to achieve Him was to completely surrender unto Him. I want to ask you how do we surrender to Lord Krishna? What are the steps involved? I wish to be initiated some years later under a spiritual master. Therefore, what should I be doing presently and also in the coming years before I get initiated? Your follower, M.N. Answer: Follow Theses Steps I am very pleased that you have understood the necessity of surrendering to Krishna. The first step in surrendering to Krishna is to take shelter of His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, through the process known as initiation. Then by inquiring submissively from the spiritual master and rendering service unto him, all the transcendental truths regarding the science of Krishna will gradually be revealed to you.. To get initiated you must be solidly situated in chanting at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads. And you must strictly avoid illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling, as well as only eating foods which have been offered to Krishna. If you will regularly associate with the initiated ISKCON devotees in your city, you will get inspiration and strength to follow these principles strictly. And then when you have proven to your local ISKCON authorities your ability and willingness to remain fixed in chanting at least 16 rounds daily and strictly following the regulative principles, they will recommend you to the ISKCON guru of your choice (myself or one of my Godbrothers) who will then initiate you as his disciple. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Sankarshan Das Adhikari on Facebook: Thought for the Day on Facebook: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Vraja Krsna Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.10.1-2 - Defeating Darwinism

Apologies for the quality of the recordings the past few days. I don't know what the problem is but it sounds like a fierce snowstorm. I will inform Nanda Mandir Prabhu.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Narottama Dasa Thakura sings in his 'Ista-deva Vijnapti: Prayer to one's Beloved Lord':


"Lord Krsna, who is the son of the King of Vraja, became the son of Saci (Lord Caitanya), and Balarama became Nitai. The holy name delivered all those souls who were lowly and wretched. The two sinners Jagai and Madhai are evidence of this."

Enthused by the merciful darsana of the Lord, many devotees are going out today to deliver many Jagais and Madhais, including ourselves, at the MCG.

We are giving them darsana of Their Lordships in the form of Their holy names through congregational chanting. Please join us.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Bhagavad-gita in one paragraph

Hey, here's a game: try to summarise the Bhagavad-gita in one paragraph. Include this part at the top, and tag me in your post.

Here's my take on Bhagavad-gita in one paragraph:

‎"You are not the body"; at the same time, for most intents and purposes - most people *are* the body in terms of their interactions with the environment. Very few know of their actual status beyond that, even fewer realize it to the point of acting on that platform. The best path for most people is to try to be whatever your body is as a servant of Krishna.

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Japa Group: It Requires Great Determination

Today I was chanting with our boys - normally I chant with them separately in my room (to avoid them distracting each other) but today we decided to chant together.

I have a good method on how to focus - it requires a spot to stare at and to not move your gaze from that place. It requires great determination, but when you see the effects and feel the benefits of total focus on the sound of the Maha mantra, it's all worth while.

Please try this and see for yourself - no matter what your mind tells you or the urges of the eyes to roam and wander, keep them firmly fixed there and just hear!
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE HAPPY?

We are related to the Supreme Lord in service.

The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are His servants.

We are created for His enjoyment, and if we participate in the eternal enjoyment of the Supreme Lord, we will become eternally happy.

We cannot become happy independently, just as no one part of the body can be happy without cooperating with the stomach, or as leaves and branches of a tree cannot be happy without watering the root.

It is not possible for us to be happy without offering transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.

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From time immemorial, the success principles and strategies had been the same, but if we want to benefit from them we must apply them.

With the support of your Gita Coach you will:
• Discover and apply the Bhagavad Gita Success Principles
• Discover and define your Personal Mission Statement
• Understand the power of the goal achievement process
• Learn to ask powerful questions that lead to great results
• Learn how to ask for needed resources to accelerate your results
• Learn and implement the keys of effective planning
• Develop key habits for continuing success
• Establish a compelling vision of success in each of the key areas
• Begin taking action and achieving measurable results
• Rewire your brain by creating a penetrating spiritual perception
• Develop and refine your personal time/life management system
• Implement reflection and evaluation processes for continuous improvement

Coaching highlights every area of our lives – not just one or two.

When you seriously take advantage of the coaching process, you will be living in a way that promotes positive growth and health in all key areas of your life.
Let the Gita Coaching help you maximize your inner strength, channel your energy and explore the true potential that you’ve always had inside you. Remember, the best time to become happy and successful is - right now!

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 June 12:
"Navami. Today the eating of the members took place. I cooked 12 different items and all present more than sixteen ladies and gentlemen ate with great pleasure. The introduction was alright. It was all Grace of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 June 12: "From India this paper has been brought to America, with this hope. I am waiting for the day when Back to Godhead will take the shape of Life Magazine in the matter of its popularity."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 June 12: "You write to say you are too much strained in various ways, but by your such activities, Krishna will be very much pleased. I think because Krishna is pleased, therefore you have got at last a very nice place."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 June 12: "So we have to adjust things. Everything is important. Not that we have to do something at the expense of something else. I cannot say from here what is to be given preference. That depends on your management capacity."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 12: "I want that the GBC leave the management of the centers to the local presidents and concentrate themselves upon preaching work. They should be constantly traveling to see how the students are learning."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 12: "In addition, the GBC men will open new centers, distribute literature, and they should always be traveling with a sankirtana party to accompany them. There is no difference between the Sannyasi duty and the GBC duty."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 June 12: "So, everything is going on so nicely there. So many books are being distributed. There are good prospects for a new temple. You are going to introduce three Rathas this year. This is all very pleasing to me."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 June 12: "It is better to stop. You say you plan to run for U.S. Congress. But for this, you can draw no money from the society. So your plan is utopian. Better concentrate on developing the brahminical qualities in the devotees there."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Three-word preaching, three-word guru

Caitanya Mahaprabhu... Yare dekha tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa: [Cc. Madhya 7.128] "You become guru. No qualification required. Simply you repeat what Krsna has said." Just see how simplified. Don't talk anything nonsense. Yare dekha tare kaha 'krsna'-bas. So who cannot do it? Anyone can do it, even a child. (laughs) Our Syamasundara's daughter. She was preaching, "Do you know Krsna?" They said, "No I have got no..." "The Supreme Personality." This is preaching, simply if you say that "Krsna is the Supreme Personality, supreme controller. Just be obedient to Him." Where is the difficulty? Anyone can preach. Chant Hare Krsna. Bas. Three words: Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; surrender unto Him; and chant Hare Krsna. Your life will be successful. What is the difficulty in preaching these three words? Hm? Is there any difficulty? Even a child like Sarasvati, she can preach. Then what to speak of others? Those who are educated, grown-up, advanced, they can put the matter more nicely, more convincingly, more philosophically. That is another thing. But these three words, that "Krsna is the Supreme Lord; you are servant; and chant Hare Krsna" -- bas, preaching complete. Very simple thing and the sublime instruction. Everyone can become guru by simply teaching these three words.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Evening Conversation -- January 25, 1977, Puri

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Live!

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 339—Poem for June 12 SDGonline Daily updates


A Writer of Pieces

I will begin with a poem written on the day of its printing. Then I will print random excerpts of books I have printed over the last 35 years. I hope this variety will be pleasing.

Poem for June 12

I began at 2:00 A.M.
and chanted slowly even though
I took some ginseng. It was
not topmost japa, but you
counted them forever all
syllables and the mind fixed
on nama. You finished

Lord Caitanya is speaking nectarean verses to Sanatana
in “Life’s Ultimate Goal.”
“O Govinda, this youthful
girl named Radhika is today
constantly pouring forth tears like
nectar from flowers as
She sings Your name in a
sweet voice.”

“O Krishna, O flute player, the
sweetness of Your early age is
wonderful. You know My unsteadiness
and I know Yours. No one else knows
about this. I want to see Your beautiful
attractive face somewhere in a solitary
place but how can this be accomplished?”
These are the apex of rasika slokas
between Radha and Krishna and to
hear them purifies the heart.

Narayana was polite and
gentlemanly while I chanted my
rounds. He applied eye drops and
massaged my head with lotion.
I told him yesterday was
New York City Ratha-yatra.
He said today is Pandava-
nirjala Ekadasi. We
don’t strictly follow all
the injunctions. In
Krishna-Balarama mandir they
don’t cook on this day.
A migraneur can’t do
severe fasting, and Prabhupada
never followed it.
Just observe a grainless
Ekadasi lunch and prepare for the autobiog.
I’m reading Journal and Poems
which is old-fashioned
preaching when I was a
frontline GBC-guru
defending the
ISKCON movement.

The poem rocks
and rolls with music
and sounds in an easy
way. It makes us
wake up to improvised
phrases and we want
to see Krishna there.
He is in the horns
and the free space
I contend, and
you can hear it from me.
It rolls sweet like surf on
the beach. The trees are
all lush green and the
flowers are in no danger
of frost. It’s all His
creation, and we can
see him in His
energies. He stands
in the clearing, and Radha
sees Him and chants
His holy name, stunned.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS SDGonline Daily updates

From Vandanam: A Krishna Conscious Handbook on Prayer

“What would be the most pleasing prayer to Lord Krishna? And what is the most pleasing prayer to Prabhupada?

“Again, we can learn this from them. They have phrased it in various ways, but the essence of the best prayer is, ‘Please let me love you. Please give me the strength to serve you.’ ‘O energy of the Lord, O Lord, please pick me up and engage me in Your service. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.’

“Lord Krishna says, ‘Surrender to Me.’ As Krishna’s pure devotee, Prabhupada is most pleased when he sees us surrender to Krishna. Prabhupada was once asked, ‘What would please you the most?’ He replied, ‘If you love Krishna.’

“Is it all right to pray for specific results as long as we are doing it for Krishna? Could a book distributor pray, ‘Please let me sell at least fifty books today?’

“It is better to pray to be fully engaged and surrendered in your service. Let Krishna decide on the results.

“‘In all activities just depend on me and work under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me.’ (Bg. 18.57) If we depend too much on Krishna to send us specific results, our prayer may become fruitive. We may think that something went ‘wrong’ if we get something less than what we asked for. Krishna has His own plan as to why He doesn’t allow us to do much on a particular day. He may want to instruct us in humility or increase our dependence on Him. Prabhupada states that our only goal should be to satisfy Krishna, and as we work for Him we may meditate, ‘I have been appointed to discharge this particular duty by Krishna.’

“The book distributor (or any servant of the Lord) may pray fervently, ‘Please let me serve You to the best of my capacity.’”


From  My Dear Lord Krishna: A Book of Prayers, Volume I

“I’m glad that You accept my service even though I’m not an all-star. As Lord Caitanya, You are happy to drink water from the broken iron pot of Kolaveca Sridhara. But Sridhara was an all-star in his devotion to You. He used to constantly sing Your holy names, so much that his neighbors complained that he kept them from sleeping at night. When Lord Caitanya was showing His divinity to His devotees at Srivasa Thakura’s house, He asked the devotees to go fetch Sridhara. The Lord was asking the devotees to express what was their hearts’ desire, and He awarded it to them. Sridhara expressed that he wished to remain a poor seller of banana leaves and engage in friendly quarrels with Nimai Pandita over the price of his commodities. These were purely affectionate exchanges of

Sridhara and he wishes to maintain them rather than accept any other boon the Lord might offer him.

“What do I want from You? I wish to love You with intense devotion. This is not something I have already attained, as Kolaveca Sridhara has already attained his friendly quarrels with the Lord. It is something I am aspiring for. My devotion is not so strong. I’m not willing to take daring preaching service on behalf of guru and Krishna. I do not engage in constant harinama as did Kolaveca Sridhara, who appeared like a madman to his neighbors. I pray, therefore, from a wish-list. I would like to attain Krishna-prema. This comes, however, only with great effort by the devotee. You see him serving and hear his cries of supplication. In the Bhagavad-gita You say, ‘As they approach Me, I award them accordingly.’

“I pray for enthusiasm and greed (laulyam). I’m like a weak-hitting baseball team facing a mighty pitcher. I have to change my ways and start hitting strongly. How can I do it? It doesn’t seem likely. But fortunes can change, and weak hitters can start a rally.

“My writing and my chanting are my big bats, my chance of scoring runs in the process of devotional service. I must work with my strengths and try to add new strengths. Krishna-prema doesn’t just drop in your lap by good luck.

“Nevertheless, I pray for the opportunity to increase my love. I am writing this piece with push and shove. I take time to hear and delight in Your pastimes in Brhad-bhagavatamrta and Srimad Bhagavatam. I rise early and chant the maha-mantra with all attention I can command. I continue to chant in the afternoon. I frankly petition You, knowing You are inclined to Your devotees. I associate with my devotee-friends and try to show my concern for their well-being.  I reach out to readers in my journal and books. My service is quiet, but I offer it sincerely and humbly.

“Will my devotional service accumulate to reach You and touch You? That You will decide. At least You know what I want. I don’t want wealth or education or power or beautiful women or fame. I want Your eternal devotional service, accepted in an intimate exchange of love. Please help me to gain the courage to do what I must do to earn it. Don’t leave me an outsider. Don’t give me a lesser boon.”


From Japa Reform Notebook

“Walking with devotees in the scenic Irish forests. We went to an overlook above the rapids. There were unusual depressions and holes in the rocks caused by the water’s pouring over them for centuries of time. Prthu said, ‘It’s like constant chanting, which—’ He paused to think of  a phrase, and I added, ‘Just as chanting wears away a stone heart.’ It was his metaphor, and it struck me as wonderful. Like Srila Prabhupada’s expression, ‘Little drops of water wear away the stone.’ As Prthu said it, while we beheld the beautiful water rapids—the white, sluicing foam coursing over the rocks, the ever-fresh, clear water gradually, imperceptibly boring holes in solid rocks—I saw what he said, that the chanting could eventually wear away our stone hearts, mine too.

“The name of Krishna is always Krishna, pure and uncontaminated. Even if you are alone and even if at first you do not find the taste, you have to chant Hare Krishna. There is a very relevant verse by Rupa Goswami in the Upadesamrta. He compares a person who is chanting without taste to a person who has jaundice. The jaundiced patient is given sugar candy for a cure, but he still tastes the candy as bitter. Similarly, the neophyte chants the holy name, the sweetest of all things, but he finds it dry and bitter. That is the proof of his material disease. But by going on chanting, just as the patient goes on eating the sugar candy, the cure comes.

“It is not that by strict pronunciation we attain love of God. But when we struggle to pay attention and chant, Krishna blesses us. We endeavor and Krishna blesses us. It is not by our endeavor that we conquer Krishna and He is forced to reveal the holy name. It is not like arm-wrestling. You can develop love for Krishna by chanting japa on the order of the spiritual master. If you have love for the order of the spiritual master, then that is the same as love for Krishna. Krishna will see you and say, ‘This devotee is so nicely struggling to chant because his spiritual master told him to chant.’ He will be pleased by that love for your spiritual master’s order. So do not minimize the importance of the holy name.

“In the Eighth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna asks, ‘What should one think of at the time of death?’ So Krishna says, ‘You should think of Krishna at the time of death.’ And then purport after purport, Srila Prabhupada recommends the Hare Krishna mantra, which he then prints in text after text. So this, he said, is the way to think of Krishna. Immediately, by the name of Krishna, it is the quickest way; it is the best way. Everything is there—His energy, His pastimes, His form. Everything is in His name. Nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah: The name of Krishna is not different from Krishna.”



From Prabhupada Meditations, Volume II

“A Prayer to Continue Remembering

“Srila Prabhupada is the one we have to turn to at the end of life. Some of his followers have done that: they’ve gone all the way to the end of life and crossed over into the next life while thinking of him. Each of us has to do that. It will be a very difficult time, and we will be tested. One way we may be tested is that doubts will arise, even dislike or envy of Prabhupada may come—and we have to overcome all this.
“When it gets very difficult, we will not be in full control. We don’t know what memories will come. But now we can prepare by cultivating memories, and by cultivating a simple meditation on our protector, our guru. By stating Prabhupada’s name and by the spiritual sentiment of turning to him, ‘Prabhupada, please protect me, please forgive me from my deviations. I feel sorry for my mistakes during this lifetime and sorry I did not fully surrender to you.’

“And then we will remember his mercy and his teachings of Krishna consciousness. We will ask his devotees to read to us from his books. We will regret that we did not read more, that we didn’t read attentively, and that we did not serve him fully. But we will stay in Prabhupada consciousness.

“We may also try to think of devotees who have passed over and what they did at the end. I was not there, but I heard that Hayagriva dasa, although he committed sinful activities and made many mistakes during his life, rose to the occasion of his own death. This was stated by devotees, including those who were not his friends and sympathizers at New Vrndavana. They said that he really became repentant at the end and was saying, ‘O God, I did not know how much we really needed Prabhupada at the time. And I still need him now!’ Hayagriva’s example is a hint to us that this kind of awakening will come, that we took Prabhupada for granted and that we really need him. But we should not wait until the end. This meditation should go on now.

“We think of Prabhupada as a person with various activities, just as we are persons who have active adventures. But it may be that at the end, the variety of activities, even those we can think of, will be diminished. Our vision may start to close down. At that time we can pray for sincerity to remember Prabhupada. He is like a rope that we hold on to.

“I sometimes fear that in my own ‘Prabhupada meditations’  I am becoming sensational or sentimental, just talking too much. Perhaps devotion to Prabhupada should be expressed more through activities. And yet I am begging Prabhupada to accept my service of verbalizing these things. I know that the right words can also push me into better action. Please let these words bring out my inadequacies, that show me that I’m puffed up, claiming that I love Prabhupada when I actually do not. But let these words ultimately purify me, rather than shut my mouth. One reason I am talking now is that I didn’t make sufficient praises in your presence. I am trying to make up for it. This disciple, who is so unsurrendered and uncourageous is trying to compensate by speaking as much as possible, taking it as a kind of service.

“And so Prabhupada meditation may serve the purpose of helping us to build up a stock of memories for the most difficult time. This can also be done by prayerfully reading his purports, sharing it with others, and sharing Prabhupada stories also—building the actual tangible connection by being his servant. For example, someone who went somewhere and underwent austerities for Prabhupada will always remember, ‘I did this for Prabhupada.’ The devotee who is working the oxen in the field will also think, ‘I’ve been asked to do this by Krishna and Prabhupada.’ And these memories are also service; they come from a fountain of praises and sincere worship. Use the voice, despite its imperfections, to praise Prabhupada and to remember him.”

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Bhakti Yoga: In Search Of A Lost Love

From Radhanath Swami at the Huffington Post

Mother Nature is always speaking. She speaks in a language understood within the peaceful mind of the sincere observer. Leopards, cobras, monkeys, rivers and trees; they all served as my teachers when I lived as a wanderer in the Himalayan foothills. They shared the kind of lessons that elevate the spirit.

One particularly illuminating lesson from the forest comes in the form of the Himalayan musk deer. The musk deer is referenced in Sanskrit poetry and philosophy owing to its peculiar behavior. Prized by the perfume industry for its exceptional aroma, musk is one of the world's most expensive natural products, fetching more than three times its weight in gold. The aroma of musk is so alluring that when the stag's sensitive nose catches wind of it he roams the forest day and night in pursuit of its source. He exhausts himself in a fruitless quest, never realizing the bitter irony: the sweet fragrance he was chasing resided nowhere but within himself. Musk, you see, is produced by a gland in the stag's very own navel: it was searching without for what was all along lying within.

The sages of India found in the musk deer an apt description of the human condition. We are all pleasure-seeking creatures wandering a forest of some sort -- replete with pleasures and perils alike. Moreover, we are prone to the same type of folly as the deer: we seek our happiness externally. Misconceiving our true needs, we wrongly equate our fulfillment and self-worth with possessions, positions, mental and sensual thrills. We are often drawn into superficial relationships which hold the promise of lasting satisfaction, yet leave us feeling empty.

The true treasure lies within. It is the underlying theme of the songs we sing, the shows we watch and the books we read. It is woven into the Psalms of the Bible, the ballads of the Beatles and practically every Bollywood film ever made. What is that treasure? Love. Love is the nature of the Divine. Beneath the covering of the false ego it lies hidden. The purpose of human life is to uncover that divine love. The fulfillment that we're all seeking is found in the sharing of this love.

The power of love is most profound. It has various levels. In its crudest sense, the word love refers to acts of physical intimacy, and its influence over society is obvious. But on a deeper, more emotional level, not simply of the body but of the heart, there is no greater power than love. For the sake of money and prestige, one may be willing to work long hours, weekends, even holidays. A mother's love, on the other hand, is selfless and unconditional. There's nothing she won't do for the well-being of her child, and she asks for nothing in return.

When love is pure it has the power to conquer. Lover and beloved conquer each other by their affection. The source, the essence, the fullest manifestation of love's conquering power is the love of the soul for the supreme soul, or God. The sages who authored India's sacred texts found that the most astonishing of all of God's wonders was His willingness and eagerness to not only be touched by our love, but to be conquered by it. The cultivation of that dormant love is called the path of bhakti (devotion). This love is within all of us. It is the greatest of all powers because it is the only power that can grant realization of the highest truths and the only power that can reveal the deepest inner fulfillment in our lives. On the strength of this love we can overcome envy, pride, lust, anger and greed. There is no other means of conquering these diseases within us.

One who loves God sees everything in relation to God. Therefore their love flows spontaneously toward everyone, at all times, everywhere. They even love those who wish them harm. If you love God, you can't hate anything or anyone. If the love one offers is met with hate, it doesn't die, rather it manifests in the form of compassion. That is universal love. It is not just a sentiment. It cannot be manifested merely by a shift in mental disposition. It can only come from inner cleaning, an inner awakening. Then that love becomes the reality of life.

This inner cleansing is the goal of all spiritual practice. Every prayer offered, mantra chante, or ritual performed should be for the purpose of removing the impurities which impede the full blossoming of unconditional love and compassion. This is the only way to peace, both individually and collectively. When our intrinsic love is awakened and our divine qualities shine through, we will not only find the pleasure we've been seeking but also become powerful agents of change in the world.

We are all searching, roaming the forest like the musk deer, seeking the pleasures without. When we recognize what we are really looking for and begin searching for the lost love within, at that point, the real journey of human life begins.
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1. Every living human beings has problems.
2. Every problem has a limited life span.
3. Every problem holds positive possibilities.
4. Every problem will change you.
5. You can choose what your problem will do to you.
6. There is a negative and a positive reaction to every problem.

Robert Schuller

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Gita Coaching helps you to get from where you are to where you want to be – faster and smarter than you would do it on your own!

Whether you call it coaching, mentoring, or training, having some kind of effective one-to-one assistance will help you accelerate your success.

Coaching and follow up is what sets outstanding individuals apart from others.

Gita Coaching will help you achieve the success you desire if you take the process seriously.

Your Gita Coach will provide you the personal support, objectivity and constructive feedback that you need to achieve success.

Your Gita Coach will help you discover the success principles and tools in the Bhagavad Gita, the ultimate success book, and apply them specifically and effectively to your situation.

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Sunday 12 June 2011--Please Take Advantage of this Opportunity--and--How Can We Serve You?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Sunday 12 June 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. (Click on photo to see a larger image.) Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: Please Take Advantage of this Opportunity Uploaded from Mauritius After transmigrating again and again through the 8,400,000 species of life you are now once again in the human form of life. Kindly take advantage of this greatest of all opportunities to awaken the dormant love of Godhead that is currently sleeping very soundly within your heart. This will liberate you from all the miseries of material existence, even the ultimate misery known as death, and enable you to regain your original position as an intimate associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His eternal pastimes in that boundless spiritual sky. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Teaching the Art of Deathlessness Flac, Mauritius--10 June 2011 Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: How Can We Serve You? How can we serve you? I.L. Answer: Assist Us in Delivering the World Our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, ordered us, Become guru and deliver the entire world. On our own it is not possible that we can successfully execute this order. But if many of you will kindly dedicate your lives for assisting us in making the world Krishna conscious, there is some hope that we can successfully carry out Srila Prabhupada's order. Therefore we are humbly begging you to adopt this mission as your very life and soul, that you fully dedicate your lives for assisting us in delivering the entire world by awakening the Krishna consciousness that is sleeping within the hearts of everyone. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Sankarshan Das Adhikari on Facebook: Thought for the Day on Facebook: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Atmavan manyate jagat

or, How to become a little less convinced of the absolute nature of your perception and interpretation:

When speaking one-on-one:

  • Instead of: "you should...", try: "I would like you to..."
  • Instead of: "you imply...", try: "I interpret..."
  • Instead of: "you are...", try: "I think / I feel..."
  • Instead of: ".", try: "?"
  • This will make your communication more honest. We have experience of our own mind and motivations, not of anyone else's.

    atmavan manyate jagat is Sanskrit for "we see the world reflected in and coloured by our own mind".

    This was something I learned practically in management, although I am far from perfect in practicing it.

    Stephen Covey, the author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" identifies it as the principle of "first seek to understand, then to be understood".

    So much miscommunication arises from differing frames of reference. When both parties are unaware that they have different frames of reference confusion and misunderstanding results. If one party consciously feels that their frame of reference has not been understood, they will be resistant to further communication.

    So the first step to effective communication is to clearly explore and map out the frames of reference involved. And if we don't understand our own assumptions, then we are going to have a hard job understanding anything.

    For this reason Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's presentation to an august assembly of Brahmanas, published as "Brahmana and Vaisnava", begins with a lengthy dissertation presenting the Brahmanas' point of view, before presenting his own unique perspective. It has been said that the Brahmanas were impressed that he had done a better job than they had of elucidating their position.

    Similarly, Baladeva Vidyabhusana was selected to travel to Jaipur to speak with the Ramanandi scholars, because he was trained as a Madhava-sampradaya Sannyasi and fully understood and could explain their position. His commentary on Vedanta-sutra, called Govinda-bhasya, demonstrates a deep and clear understanding of the positions that he refutes, before he refutes them.

    This is a principle of Vedic debate, that before refuting a position, you must be able to explain it to the satisfaction of the other party.

    It's a principle, not simply an arbitrary tradition. It's a principle because it's an essential element of all forms of effective communication.

    First seek to understand, then to be understood, or if you are more combatative, then: first seek to understand (and demonstrate that you understood), then to refute.

    And whatever you do: be very, very careful about imputing motives to other people. The most common result of doing that is to reveal something about how you think. Our assumptions say more about us than they do about the world. Another translation of atmavan manyate jagat is "I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?"

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Om Namo Shivaya!

Here is today's effort: a recording of Om Namo Shivaya. I've mashed up two different Jai Uttal melodies here. I'd like to have spent more time on recording the vocal, but it's gun and run in the lead-up to the Insync kirtan on Friday.

A little bit of the tattva of Shiva, for your entertainment and edification:

In today's modern scientific culture we treat mythology, history, and metaphysics as separate things. The Vedic culture, in contrast, sees these three things as inseparable aspects of the same thing - reality.

Shiva-tattva (the "truth" about Shiva), and in fact any Vedic tattva (understanding) is impossible to grasp using the Western approach. Very quickly one becomes overwhelmed by what seems like contradictory statements and frankly unrelated material.

Let us examine these different aspects of Shiva - historical, mythological, and metaphysical - in isolation, as the Western approach would have us; and then examine them in the integrated Vedic worldview.

Shiva - mythological

In Hindu mythology Shiva is the destroyer god. He is in charge of universal devastation as well as any principle of deterioration or disorder during the lifetime of the manifested universe. He is depicted as covered in crematorium ashes, carrying a trident and playing a drum, dancing the Tandava-nrtya - the dance of destruction.

He has two wives - his first Sati, immolated herself; and with his second wife, Parvati, he had a son Ganesh, whose head he severed and then replaced with an elephant head.

Shiva is worshiped by yogis and others who desire liberation (kaivalya) from samsara, the cycle of birth and death.

Shiva - historical

Presented by Bhaktivinoda Thakura as a western understanding of Shiva's history: as the Aryans drove down from the North of India they encountered many indigenous peoples with their own modes of worship. In one area Shiva was worshiped.

The cultural dynamic of the Aryans, which gave rise to the Vedic culture, was to assimilate other religions and cultures. We see the same thing in modern Western culture, much of it arising from the expansion of the Roman Empire. Think about it - what do the Crucifixion of Christ, bunny rabbits, and chocolate eggs have in common?

The story of the assimilation of Shiva worship into the Aryan culture is told in the Srimad Bhagavatam 4th Canto. Daksa is an Aryan noble who performs the regular Vedic sacrifices. The word has gone out: "Shiva is in". Daksa, as a light-skinned Aryan is a little racist and says: "We ain't having no black-faced fella here!"

According to the story, he has his head chopped off and replaced with the head of a goat as the result - a clear cautionary tale that Shiva is bona fide and discrimination against him will result in dire consequences. Around this time Shiva's black skin becomes covered with crematorium ash, conveniently making him white.

Shiva - metaphysical

Shiva the metaphysical principle is described as the aggregate consciousness of the living entities trapped in samsara. If you imagine a multi-faceted jewel, each of the individual faces is a jiva - an individual soul; that's you and me. The whole jewel, however, is Shiva.

In this way, metaphysically Shiva is a superset identity that includes all of us. Shiva is described in the Brahma-samhita as "Vishnu transformed in contact with the material nature". Just as milk turns to yoghurt when curdled with an appropriate agent, similarly when the jivas come into contact with the material energy, maya, their aggregated super-identity is transformed - from Vishnu to Shiva.

Shiva is therefore one aspect of brahman, the sum total of reality.

The idea that the soul exists and is separate from the body is an interesting one, and one that is easy to understand on reflection. My body and my mind are changing. The hands on the clock turn, the pages of the calendar turn; time passes, day follows night - and yet I remain somehow suspended in one eternally present moment watching all of this happening, just as someone may stand on a river bank and watch the water flow past, carrying so many things with it.

So it is with the soul - it is the witness, the observer.

The idea, however, that the individual souls have aggregated identity, Shiva - and further, Vishnu - is a novel one. In the Vedic culture it is explained by reference to introspection through the practice of mystic yoga and the experience of elevated states of consciousness, and to divine revelation. In the end both are one: Tattva-darsibhih, those who are seers of the truth become speakers of truth.

Reintegrating Shiva

These three different things seem like quite a mash-up, from a contemporary perspective. Allow me to show how these three things flow seamlessly together in the Vedic approach to reality:

In AD 820 a celibate monk who became known as Adi Shankaracarya [wikipedia] left his body at the age of 33. Historically his existence is certain, although the exact date is unclear. The Vedic approach to history doesn't fixate on, and hence record dates the same way the Western approach does.

In his short life he had established a powerful new religious philosophy, and a monastic order with centers across Southern India.

He was considered to be an incarnation of Shiva, whose appearance and mission were foretold in scripture. Shankara is a name of Shiva; acarya means teacher. In one Purana (metaphysics presented as historical/mythological stories) Shiva is recorded as telling his wife Parvati that he will appear as a teacher and present a confusing philosophy that will contain some elements of truth and some misdirection.

Shankaracarya taught that the soul is different from the body, and that there is ultimately an underlying reality of oneness between all souls.

One of the best-known songs that he wrote expands on the words of an Upanishad: "Shivo 'ham" - I am Shiva - pure, blissful consciousness (Click here to hear Dave Stringer singing this song).

A later song, Bhaja Govindam, advocates devotion to a transcendental personality, and Adi Shankara's statement "Narayano paro 'vyaktat" supports the idea of transcendental personality. However, he is best known for the "not this, not that" (neti neti) approach to establishing the difference between purusha (soul) and prakrti (matter). Also, in the philosophical system that has been propounded by his followers up to today involves the idea that contact with the material energy (maya) is not just the cause of the transformation of the aggregate identity of the jivas from Vishnu to Shiva, but is also the cause of the appearance of individuality.

The idea there is that upon liberation individual existence ceases, and the individual identity is merged back into the totality of transcendent consciousness. This doctrine bears a remarkable similarity to Buddhist doctrine of nirvana, where the individual existence ceases, and the individual identity is simply extinguished - "like a candle going out".

At the time that Shankaracarya presented his philosophy Buddhism was the dominant school of thought in India. After Shankaracarya, Buddhism spread to Asia, where it remains a significant force today, specifically because Shankaracarya's school of thought expelled its influence from India.

Some people say that this historical context is the cause of Sankaracarya's presentation of a post-liberated state that bears a remarkable similarity to the Buddhist idea, and that his songs such as Bhaja Govindam reveal his true stance on the matter. The Bhagavat Purana proclaims: "Vaisnavanam Shambhu" - (and) among Vaisnavas (devotees of Vishnu), Shiva is foremost.

So, hopefully that goes some way to showing how these things - mythology, history, and metaphysics - are all intertwined in a Vedic approach to reality.

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Weekly Round-up!

I’ve been on a blog vacation of sorts. Kids were finishing up school and with all the field trips and performances and graduation stuff, there was no sane time for you. But I’m back and so is the round-up. Hope you enjoy this week’s discoveries. Click the pic to journey back to the original posts.

While searching for ideas of how to repurpose produce crates, I found this inspiring image from Country Living via Poetic Home. Doesn't this picture just make you want to can? I am really looking forward to peach season! For more produce crate rustica, check out Poetic Home's inspired picture collection.


Add some kitsch to your kitchen with these cutesie fig salt and pepper shakers. Steal Street has a lot of dreck on their site but if you click through long enough, you will find some future thrift shop treasures like this shaker set.


More housewares. This time a little higher end. A collection of storage ceramics inspired by classic plastic-y Tupperware is available from Thorsten Van Elten. Worth a look and a swoon. Love the stackability of these. And the color variety!


Pomme de Jour is a great vintage site. I love everything in the shop and the prices are very reasonable for a selected collection shop. Unfortunately, the prices are in pounds. Yes, this is an English shop. Should I look into shipping costs? If I had some spending money I surely would.



The Naptime Chef has a great post about her time @ Blog & Bake at the King Arthur Headquarters. Her recipe for Tomato Pie is a tempting way to prepare your garden tomatoes.


Who knew grout could be so exciting? This Modwalls post on Starglass Grout has really captured my mind. I love the idea boards the Modwalls team created for the Dwell on Design event. Modwalls just keeps getting better and better ideas. Love them!


Have you been keeping up with my blogging buddy @ Scissors and Spice? She's had a terrific week! She got on Oprah, held a blog giveaway for a TofuXpress and also has a bunch of pretty pictures and tasty recipes on display. More giveaways from her in the future, so do bookmark her ass!











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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: GITA COACH 4X4

1. Example
2. Support
3. Guidance
4. Challenge

1. Belief in Gita
2. Best client's interest at heart
3. Belief in client
4. Curiosity

1. Listening
2. Inquiry
3. Expanding options
4. Promoting action

1. Goals
2. Ideas
3. Tests
4. Action

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Click title to read the chapter summaries and see how much Bhagavad Gita can help you solve your problems and achieve your goals.

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Click on the title.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Abhishek Joshi inquires how it is – if it so – that Krsna fulfills all desires

And if he does why does he not let us enjoy separately and as a controller?

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: After hearing about how separation nourishes attachment to Krsna

Varsana dd asks whether separation can also be a healer of relationships or even “out of sight out of mind”.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Jaya Jalshayi! The Story of Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi (Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi)

Yesterday we did a reminder post about Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi and as promised, the story can be found below. Today is meant for extra meditation on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna and what better way than to chant rounds. (So get off the net already :-)  ... after reading the below story of course. 

 The description of Nirajala Ekadasi, which occurs during the month of May/June, is found in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana in the conversation between Vyasadeva and Bhimasena.

Once Bhimasena, the younger brother of Maharaja Yudhisthira, asked the great sage Shrila Vyasadeva, the grandfather of the Pandavas, if it is possible to return to the spiritual world without having observed all the rules and regulations of the Ekadasi fasts.

Bhimasena then spoke as follows, "Oh greatly intelligent and learned grandfather, my brother Yudhisthira, my dear mother Kunti, and my beloved wife Draupadi, as well as Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, fast completely on each Ekadasi and strictly follow all the rules, guidelines and regulative injunctions of that sacred day. Bring very religious, they always tell me that I should also fast on that day too. But, Oh learned grandfather, I tell them that I cannot live without eating, because as the son of Vayudeva ' Samanaprana, (the digestive air) hunger is unbearable to me. I can give widely in charity and worship Lord Keshava properly with all manner of wonderful upacharas (items), but I cannot be asked to fast on Ekadasi. Please tell me how I can obtain the same merits result without fasting."

Hearing these words, the grandsire of Bhima, Srila Vyasadeva said, "If you want to go to the heavenly planets and avoid the hellish planets, you should indeed observe a fast on both the light and dark Ekadasis."

Bhima replied, "Oh great saintly intelligent grandfather, please listen to my plea. Oh greatest of munis, since I cannot live if I eat only once in a day, how can I possibly live if I fast completely? Within my stomach burns a special fire named Vrika, the fire of digestion. Agni the fire-god, descends from Lord Vishnu through Brahma, from Brahma to Angirasa, from Angirasa to Brihaspathi, and from Brihaspathi to Samyu, who was Agni'' father. He is the gatekeeper in charge of Nairritti, the south-eastern direction. He is one of the eight material elements, and Parikshit Maharaja, he is very expert at examining things. He examined Maharaja Shibi once by turning into a dove (for further information on this incident see Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's Srimad Bhagavatam commentary to 1:12:20. Purport.)

Agni is divided into three categories; Davagni, the fire in wood, JatharAgni, the fire in the digestion in the stomach, and Vadavagni, the fire that creates fog when hot and cold streams mix in for example the ocean. Another name for the fire of digestion is Vrika. It is this powerful fire that resided in Bhima's stomach.

Only when I eat to my full satisfaction does the fire in my stomach become satisfied. Oh great sage, I might possibly be able to fast only once, so I beg that you tell me of an Ekadasi that is worthy of my fasting and that includes all other Ekadasis. I shall faithfully observe that fast and hopefully still become eligible for liberation's release."

Shrila Vyasadeva replied, Oh king, you have heard from me about the various kinds of occupational duties, such as elaborate Vedik ceremonies and pujas. In the Kali-yuga, however, no one will be able to observe all these occupational, functional duties properly. I shall therefore tell you how, at practically no expense, one can endure some small austerity and achieve the greatest benefit and resultant happiness. The essence of what is written in the Vedic literatures known as the Puranas is that one should not eat on either the dark or light fortnight Ekadasis." As stated in Srimad Bhagavatam (Mahabhagavat Puranam) 12:13:12 and 15.) the Bhagavat Puranam is itself the essence or cream of all Vedanta philosophy (sara-vedanta-saram), and the Srimad Bhagavatam's unequivocal message is that of full surrender to Lord Sri Krishna and the rendering of loving devotional service to Him. Observing Ekadasi strictly is a great aid in that process, and here Shrila Vyasadeva is simply stressing to Bhima the importance of the Ekadasi vratam. "... One who fasts on Ekadasis saved from going to the hellish planets."

Hearing Shrila Vyasadeva's words, the son of Vayu, Bhimasena, the strongest of all warriors, became frightened and began to shake like a leaf on a banyan tree in a strong wind. The frightened Bhimasena then said, "Oh grandfather, what should I do? I am completely unable and ill equipped to fast twice in a month throughout the year! Please tell me of the one fasting day that will bestow the greatest benefit upon me!"

Vyasadeva replied, "Without drinking even water, you should fast on the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) when the sun travels in the sign of Taurus (Vrishabh) and Gemini (Mithun), According to learned personalities, on this day one may bathe and perform Achamana for pratiprokshana purification. But while performing Achamana one may drink only that amount of water equal to a drop of gold, or that amount it takes to immerse a single mustard seed. Only this amount of water should be placed in the right palm for sipping, which one should form to resemble a cow's ear. If one drinks more water than this, he might as well have drunk wine ' despite the soaring heat of summer (in the northern hemisphere and cold in the southern hemisphere).

"One must certainly not eat anything, for if he does so he breaks his fast. This rigid fast is in effect from sunrise on the Ekadasi day to sunrise on the Dwadashii day. If a person endeavours to observe this great fast very strictly, he easily achieves the result of observing all twenty-four other Ekadasi fasts throughout the entire year.

"On Dwadashii the devotee should bathe early in the morning. Then, according to the prescribed rules, guidelines and regulative injunctions, and of course depending on his ability, he should give some gold and water to worthy brahmanas. Finally, he should cheerfully honour prasadam with a brahmana.

"Oh Bhimasena, one who can fast on this special Ekadasi in this manner reaps the benefit of having fasted on every Ekadasi during the year. There is no doubt of this, nor should there be. Oh Bhima, now hear the specific merit one gets by fasting on this Ekadasi. The Supreme Lord Keshava, who holds a conch, discus, club and lotus, personally told me, 'Everyone should take shelter of Me and follow My instructions.' Then He told me that one who fasts on this Ekadasi, without taking even drinking water or eating, becomes free of all sinful reactions, and that one who observes the difficult nirjala fast on Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi truly reaps the benefit of all other Ekadasi fasts.

"Oh Bhimasena, in the Kali-yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, when all the principles of the Vedas will have been destroyed or greatly minimised, and when there will be no proper charity or observance of the ancient Vedik principles and ceremonies, how will there be any means of purifying the self? But there is the opportunity to fast on Ekadasi and become free of all one's past sins.

"Oh son of Vayu, what more can I say to you? You should not eat during the Ekadasis that occur during the dark and light fortnights, and you should even give up drinking water (nir = no jalaa= water) on the particularly auspicious Ekadasi day of Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi. Oh Vrikodara (veracious eater), whoever fasts on this Ekadasi receives the merits of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage, giving all kinds of charities to worthy persons, and fasting on all the dark and light Ekadasis throughout the year, in one go. Of this there is no doubt.

Oh tiger among men, whoever fasts on this Ekadasi truly becomes a great person and achieves all manner of opulence and wealth, grains, strength, and health. And at the fearful moment of death, the terrible Yamadutas, whose complexions are yellow and black and who brandish huge maces and twirl mystic pasha ropes in the air for binding their victims, will refuse to approach him. Rather, such a faithful soul will at once be taken to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu by the Vishnu-dutas, whose transcendentally beautiful forms are clothed in gorgeous yellowish garments and who each hold a disk, club, conch and lotus in their four hands, resembling Lord Vishnu. It is to gain all these benefits that one should certainly fast on this very auspicious and important Ekadasi, even from water."

When the other Pandavas heard about the benefits to be gained by following Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi, they resolved to observe it exactly as their grandfather Srila Vyasadeva had explained it to their brother, Bhimasena. All the Pandavas observed it by refraining from eating or drinking anything, and thus this day is also known as Pandava Nirjala Dvadashii (technically it is a Maha-Dvadashii).From that day onward Bhimasena began observing this Nirjala Ekadasi, which became famous as Pandava Nirjala, or Bhimseni Ekadasi.

Shrila Vyasadeva continued, Oh Bhimasen, therefore you should observe this important fast to remove all your past sinful reactions. You should pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna in this way making your sankalpa declaration, 'Oh Lord of all the devas (demigods), Oh Supreme Personality of Godhead, today I shall observe Ekadasi without taking any water. Oh unlimited Anantadev, I shall break fast on the next day, Dwadashii.' Thereafter, to remove all his sins, the devotee should honour this Ekadasi fast with full faith in the Lord and with full control over his senses. Whether his sins are equal in volume to Mount Sumeru or to Mandarachala Hill, if he or she observes this Ekadasi, the sins that have been accumulated all become nullified and are burned to ashes. Such is the great power of this Ekadasi.

"Oh best of human beings, although a person should also give water and cows in charity during this Ekadasi, if for some reason or other he cannot, then he should give a qualified brahmana some cloth or a pot filled with water. Indeed, the merit achieved by giving water alone equals that gained by giving gold ten million times a day.

"Oh Bhima, Lord Sri Krishna has said that whoever observes this Ekadasi should take a Holy bath, give charity to a worthy person, chant the Lord's Holy names on a japa-mala, and perform some kind of recommended sacrifice, for by doing these things on this day one receives imperishable benefits. There is no need to perform any other kind of religious duty. Observance of this Ekadasi fast alone promotes one to the supreme abode of Sri Vishnu. Oh best of the Kurus, if one donates gold, cloth, or anything else on this day, the merit one obtains is imperishable.

"Remember, whosoever eats any grains on Ekadasi becomes contaminated by sin and verily eats only sin. In effect, he has already become a dog-eater, and after death he suffers a hellish existence. But he who observes this sacred Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi and gives something in charity certainly achieves liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death and attains to the supreme abode. Observing this Ekadasi, which is merged with Dwadashii, frees one from the horrible sin of killing a brahmana, drinking liquor and wine, becoming envious of one's spiritual master and ignoring his instructions, and continually telling lies.

"Furthermore, Oh best of beings (Jivottama), any man or woman who observes this fast properly and worships the Supreme Lord Jalshayi (He who sleeps on the water), and who on the next day satisfies a qualified brahmana with nice sweets and a donation of cows and money ' such a person certainly pleases the Supreme Lord Vasudeva, so much so that one hundred previous generations in his family undoubtedly go to the Supreme Lord's abode, even though they may have been very sinful, of bad character, and guilty of suicide, etc. Indeed, one who observes this amazing Ekadasi rides on a glorious celestial airplane (vimana) to the Lord's abode.

"One who on this day gives a brahmana a waterpot, an umbrella, or shoes surely goes to the heavenly planets. Indeed, he who simply hears these glories also attains to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu. Whoever performs the Shraddha ceremony to the forefathers on the dark-moon day called amavasya, particularly if it occurs at the time of a solar eclipse undoubtedly achieves great merit, but this same merit is achieved by him who simply hears this sacred narration ' so powerful and so dear to the Lord is this Ekadasi.

"One should clean his teeth properly and, without eating or drinking, observe this Ekadasi to please the Supreme Lord, Keshava. On the day after Ekadasi one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form as Trivikrama by offering Him water, flowers, incense, and a brightly burning lamp. Then the devotee should pray from the heart, 'Oh God of gods, Oh deliverer of everyone, Oh Hrishikesha, master of the senses, kindly bestow upon me the gift of liberation, though I can offer you nothing greater than this humble pot filled with water.' Then the devotee should donate the waterpot to a brahmana.

"Oh Bhimasena, after this Ekadasi fast and donating the recommended items according to his ability, the devotee should feed brahmanas and thereafter honour prasadam silently."

Shrila Vyasadeva concluded, "I strongly urge you to fast on this auspicious, purifying, sin-devouring Dwadashii in just the way I have outlined. Thus you will be completely freed of all sins and reach the supreme abode."

{Thus ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadasi or Bhimaseni-nirjala Ekadasi, from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana. These stories have been summarised as they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press. pages 87-91}
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Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group

Please share your realisations with other devotees from around the world...simply send me an introduction email and I will be happy to make you a member:


Rasa Rasika dasa
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Mayapur Online: Ganga Puja

Sri Ganga-puja, also known as Sri Ganga-dushara (she who removes inauspiciousness), appears in the month of Jyestha (May/June) on the 10th day of Sukla-paksa, or the waxing fortnight of the full moon. On this day, Maharaja Bhagiratha’s desire of bringing Ganga to this mortal world was finally fulfilled as the sacred river descended from Lord Siva’s blessed head at Mount Kailasa.

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The High Cost of Cheap Meat

From the editorial board of the New York Times

The point of factory farming is cheap meat, made possible by confining large numbers of animals in small spaces. Perhaps the greatest hidden cost is its potential effect on human health.

Small doses of antibiotics — too small to kill bacteria — are fed to factory farm animals as part of their regular diet to promote growth and offset the risks of overcrowding. What factory farms are really raising is antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which means that several classes of antibiotics no longer work the way they should in humans. We pay for cheap meat by sacrificing some of the most important drugs ever developed.

Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council, joined by other advocacy groups, sued the Food and Drug Administration to compel it to end the nontherapeutic use of penicillin and tetracycline in farm animals. Veterinarians would still be able to treat sick animals with these drugs but could not routinely add the drugs to their diets.

For years, the F.D.A. has had the scientific studies and the authority to ban these drugs. But it has always bowed to pressure from the pharmaceutical and farm lobbies, despite the well-founded objections of groups like the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, which support an antibiotic ban.

It is time for the F.D.A. to stop corporate factory farms from squandering valuable drugs just to promote growth among animals confined in conditions that inherently create the risk of disease. According to recent estimates, 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in this country end up in farm animals. The F.D.A. can change that by honoring its own scientific conclusions and its statutory obligation to end its approval of unsafe drug uses.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


"Please arise, please arise in the temple of my heart, O Madhava! O Krsna! O Gopal!

Please arise, glowing radiantly in my heart like the new sunrise, O beautiful one! O darling Giridhari-lal!"

(Antara Mandire Jago Jago - Arise, Arise in the Temple of My Heart)

Please behold the smile of Giridhari-lal who has risen in our Melbourne Temple to give His wondrous darsana .


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Gouranga TV: Mayapuris


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Pandu das: Which of these things doesn’t belong?

BG 2.24: “This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”

Yesterday I happened upon a list compiled by Time Magazine of its selection of the top 50 web sites from last year, and on it was the Sesame Street web site. I hadn’t thought about Sesame Street in a while, maybe because I haven’t lived with a television since I was a kid. Maybe they don’t have the “which of these things doesn’t belong” segments anymore, but it was pretty common when I was a kid. There would be a square divided into quarters, with a different image in each one. Three of the pictures would share some distinct trait the the other one lacked.

That little game reminds me of Srila Prabhupada’s translation of Bhagavad-gita 2.24.

The verse begins by identifying the subject as “This individual soul.” Clicking on the Sanskrit for this phrase (“ayam”), seems to indicate that the word normally just means “this,” but it seems quite common for Srila Prabhupada to elaborate on the meaning of words when he translates.

Krishna then goes on to list various qualities, which Srila Prabhupada has indicated are describing the individual soul. They are:

can’t be burned
can’t be dried
present everywhere
eternally the same

Immediately I see one of these is different. I noticed this very early in my Bhagavad-gita study, but tried not to think about it.

So… “Present everywhere” is different. Srila Prabupada taught that the individual soul is localized and has a diameter of 1/10,000 of the tip of a hair. I guess that means a hair of about average size, but I guess it could relate to the diameter of Krishna’s hair or of Vyasa’s hair. It seems to be anybody’s guess. The problem with th is is that Srila Prabhupada says in the purport that the all-pervasiveness of the soul is not due to its numerical strength, because there are “living entities are all over God’s creation.”

We have seven adjective phrases describing the soul, except that one of them does not describe the “individual soul,” which Srila Prabhupada said was the subject, but rather all the souls together, which many years ago I heard was a definition of the name “Narayana.”

Why would Krishna include this adjective indicating omnipresence that we are told applies to infinite numbers of souls together, when we are also told it refers to the individual soul? It seems like very sloppy grammar, not exactly what I would expect from Krishna. On the other hand, if the grammar is understood in a way that makes logical sense, it would seem that all the qualities Krishna gives describing the “individual soul” actually refer the soul in a way that does not make sense to think of numerically, something leaning more toward nonduality than the Hare Krishnas’ idea of bhakti.

One little piece of trivia I’d like to add… If one takes a look at the Devanagari for this verse in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, either the 1983 original printing or the 1994 reprint (I don’t have any in between to check, but I presume it’s in all the printings in between), a wrong word is used. Instead of saying acchedyo ‘yam adhayo ‘yam, the Devanagari reads acchedhyo ‘yam acintyo ‘yam. I wonder how that happened. At some point the error was fixed though. I’m not sure when, but I think it was after I wrote to the BBT about it. I don’t suppose many people read the Devanagari, but I have and first noticed this myself.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.9.26-34 - The spiritual master is not meant for removing obstacles to living on the animal platform of material sense enjoyment.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily class - Gopa-vrndesa Prabhu

Saturday 11th June, 2011.

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.9.13-25
- The nature of material existence makes us think we are enjoying, but we are suffering- "They are not surfing, they are suffering." - Srila Prabhupada.

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