domingo, 16 de octubre de 2011

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Reflection on the tragic death of Jayananda Prabhu’s son in the UK


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"Planet ISKCON" - 48 new articles

  1. Australian News: Mayapuris COME ALIVE in Sydney Australia
  2. ISKCON Brampton, Canada: His Grace Uttama Sloka Prabhu
  3. Australian News: Kuli Catch Up – New Zealand – get ready to crank it up
  4. Australian News: The Mayapuris ALIVE in Sydney Australia – The Video
  5. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for October 15
  6. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings
  7. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for October 14
  8. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings
  9. Japa Group: Bring The Mind To The Chanting
  10. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Clearing the mind
  11. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Appreciation is the first step
  12. David Haslam, UK: Helping others, the highest welfare work
  13. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Two years later we meet again
  14. Spiritual Scientist: Synthesis of Science and Spirituality
  15. Spiritual Scientist: Aren’t Yajnas a Waste of Money?
  16. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: GREECE JAZZ
  17. Spiritual Scientist: Can Science Discover Spirituality?
  18. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: 30 year later
  19. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7.16: Czech Woodstock, Czech Festival, Polish Tour, and Kirtan Mela
  20. Spiritual Scientist: A fresh Worldview
  21. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  22. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  23. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  24. Spiritual Scientist: Is factual not actual?
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. New Vrndavan, USA: Kartika 24 Hour Kirtan 2011
  27. Spiritual Scientist: Isn’t That Unscientific ?
  28. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  29. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  30. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  31. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  32. Spiritual Scientist: Why not play God?
  33. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Computer Problems
  34. Shalagram das, Dallas, TX, USA: Garden Wish List
  35. Spiritual Scientist: Artificial Life
  36. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Reflection on the tragic death of Jayananda Prabhu’s son in the UK
  37. New Vrindavan, USA: Kartika 24 Hour Kirtan 2011
  38. Spiritual Scientist: Let’s Become Spiritual Detectives
  39. ISKCON Malaysia: Reaching Out To Children In More Tamil Schools
  40. Japa Group: This Is The Test
  41. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Next Live Broadcast - Morning Class - Sunday, October 16th - 7:30am
  42. The Loft, Auckland, NZ: Kirtan Explosion
  43. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Survival of the fittest
  44. Spiritual Scientist: Proof of Reincarnation
  45. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Fastest Selling Song Of The Beatles
  46. Gouranga TV: Kirtan in Villaggio Hare Krishna with Mahavishnu Maharaja,Dayanidhi prabhu and friends!!
  47. Spiritual Scientist: Proof of Soul’s Existence
  48. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 15 October 2011--Nectar in Klaipeda, Lithuania--and--How to See Good and Bad Equally?
  49. More Recent Articles
  50. Search Planet ISKCON
  51. Prior Mailing Archive

Australian News: Mayapuris COME ALIVE in Sydney Australia

This is The Mayapuri’s Kirtan at Manly in Sydney Australia, they really kicked Asana and the crowd did the needful. Their in no audience at a Mayapuris Kirtan. Have look at the photo’s below and chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare HAre Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare as you do so and you will feel the freight train bliss of the names of Krishna pouring through your heart and out into the world. Things will never be the same again.

From Mayapuris COME ALIVE at Manly, Australia, posted by Antony Brennan on 10/16/2011 (123 items)

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ISKCON Brampton, Canada: His Grace Uttama Sloka Prabhu

October 16th 2011 Sunday Love Feast @ 11:00am

We are pleased to invite you for this Sunday Feast with His Grace Uttama Sloka Prabhu. H.G. Uttama Sloka Das is a disciple of HH Indradyumna Swami and serves part time as Maharaja's traveling assistant, secretary and translator. Apart from his personal services to Indradyumna Swami, he spends his time conducting educational and training courses covering 20 countries on four continents. He is qualified as a Bhakti Sastri teacher, mediator and counselor.
Program Schedule:
11:00am - 11:30am Guru Puja
11:30am - 12:00pm Arati & Kirtan
12:00pm – 12:05pm Narasingadev Prayers
12:05pm - 1:00pm Discourse by His Grace Uttama Sloka Prabhu
1:15 pm - 1:30pm Tulasi Puja

1:30 pm - 1:45pm Prasadam (Vegetarian feast)

Upcoming Events:

Youth Program @ ISKCON Brampton on Friday, October 21, 2o11

Sukhavak Prabhu would be facilitating a Youth Group - youth get together. Their goal is to engage and encourage teens and young adults in their Krishna Consciousness. The meetings would be at the temple on a Friday evening 1 x month to discuss Vaishnava culture, songs, mantras and do some kirtan where they can practice and learn songs and instruments.

Govardhana Puja @ ISKCON Brampton on October 27th 2011
The day
after Deepawali is celebrated as Govadhan Puja when Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, is worshipped. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook fifty-six (or 108) different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food) to Krishna. This ceremony is called ankut which means a mountain of food. Various types of food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads – are offered to the Deity and then distributed as prasada to devotees. This festival is in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan by Krishna.

Classical Odissi Dance Classes at Iskcon Brampton

Classes have started!! Register yourself or your children to learn one of the oldest classical dance forms of India.Classes are for 6 years and up.To register, please contact Enakshi at 519-736-8895 or
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Australian News: Kuli Catch Up – New Zealand – get ready to crank it up

Announcing “Kuli Catch Up – New Zealand” to be held in Auckland on the 16-18th of December 2011.

The HIGHLIGHTS will be Harinama in the city on Friday, RathaYatra on the Saturday and Finish the Festival with a 12hr Kirtan on Sunday…

This will be a big event for everyone in New Zealand especially the youth. The aim is to bring everyone together toward the ultimate goal ~ Krishna through KIRTAN !!!

Everyone please invite all the people you know, more details will follow.

Thank you,

Your Friend & Servant,
Nitai Canda Das

Kuli Catch Up - New Zealand (Auckland)
By Nitai Canda Dasa  |  View on Facebook
When: Dec 16 1:30am - Dec 18 11:30pm

Where: Auckland New Varshana Farm
1229 Coatesville-Riverhead Hwy (Hwy 28)

» View map

...More info coming soon

Click here to see more from

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Australian News: The Mayapuris ALIVE in Sydney Australia – The Video

Here is a small taste of giant feast which is The Mayapuris who are currently blazing their way across Australia. Click on the video below to start it.

Tonight they will take part in the 12 hour Kirtan at Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir. Here’s the roster

Sunday’s 12hour Kirtan roster!!!! Please come and join us at 180 Falcon street North Sydney!!! Jai Jai Sri Radheeeeeee Shyam!!

10:00-10:30 Pavitram confirmed
10:30-11:30 Kishori Mohan confirmed
12:00-12:30 Vamsi confirmed
12:30-1:00 Dhruva confirmed
1:00-1:30 Vijay Gauranga confirmed
1:30-2:30 Giridhar confirmed
2:30-3:00 Pavitram confirmed
3:00-3:30 Karthik confirmed
3:30-4:00 Tina confirmed
4:00-5:00 Janardan confirmed
5:00-6:00 Gitanjali confirmed
6:00-7:00 Sri Prahlada confirmed
7:00 – 10:00 The Mayapuris confirmed

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for October 15

4:24  A.M.   Poem for October 15   Before Lord Caitanya left for His southern tour, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya asked Him to meet with Ramananda Raya. The Lord met him at the Godavari River and they embraced in ecstatic love. They met in a secluded place and the Lord asked the questions and Ramananda Raya gave [...]

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings

From Churning the Milk Ocean Letters from a Sannyasi “My dear Lord Krishna, “Please accept my obeisances at Your lotus feet and the lotus feet of all Your pure devotees. “I wish to praise You as Rasaraja, the King of all rasas, the Enjoyer of all mellows. I wish to make a tiny offering of [...]

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for October 14

4:35  A.M.   Poem for October 14   Lord Caitanya asked His devotees’ permission to go alone on a tour of South India. Lord Nityananda insisted He take a brahmacari assistant. Almost like a mad lion Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu set out on His tour chanting “Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! He!” In each village He implored the [...]

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings

From Niti-sastras: Sayings of Canakya and Hitopadesa as Quoted by Srila Prabhupada “Translation:Work succeeds by endeavor, not by wishing. The sleeping lion does not have animals walking into his mouth. “Commentary: “In the material world, the world of avidya, ignorance, everyone has to work. Prabhupada explained, ‘It is said that the lion is supposed [...]

Selected Writings is a post from: EVERY DAY

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Japa Group: Bring The Mind To The Chanting

Today I read a very nice quote from Sacinandana Swami about how the mind is always running away from the Mantra....this happens to most of us during Japa - the solution is very simple.
"The mind always wants to run away from the holy name, and thus we have to practice again and again to bring the mind to the chanting." Sacinandana Swami
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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Clearing the mind

I met a guy who was in a rush running towards the subway but somehow he agreed to stop and talk. I asked him if he had any experience with Yoga and Meditation and he said meditation but not yoga. So I handed him the Chant and Be Happy and showed him a picture of Srila Prbahupada. We discussed the book for a bit but then he said that his wife was more into meditation but he wasn't. Then he told me he can't read this book as right now he was suffering from inability to calm his mind. Noticing the rudraksh beads hidden under his jacket, I insisted that because he can't calm his mind, it is more of a reason that she should read the book. I told him how he can't solve the clutter in his mind by using his mind as he was proposing but instead he had to go to a higher level and the book would help him. He now started to understand and then unzipped his jacket to show me the beads. I tried to look surprised and asked him if he knew ho to use them. As he did not know I ask him to give me the beads and started to show him how to chant. He repeated the Mahamantra and took the book. He told me he lived far from the city and would tell his wife about our meeting and she may contact me.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Appreciation is the first step

I met a couple today as they were walking into the bank and surprisingly they stopped to talk with me despite the cold. The lady told me that a few years ago she had met me here and we had talked. I frankly admitted that I did not remember but was glad to meet her. As she expressed her interests in meditation, I showed her and her partner the Bhagavad Gita. She looked at me in disbelief that I was presenting her with the Bhagavad Gita. I requested a small donation and she pulled out some laxmi from her bag and gladly gave it to me. They were appreciative of Philosophy and said they would come back for a class.

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David Haslam, UK: Helping others, the highest welfare work


Sat in the car at a local supermarket whilst engaging in a long and protracted phone call I couldn’t but notice an old man struggling with the flattest of flat tyre’s; many people passed but not one even acknowledged or asked if he needed help, I guess in modern society were all too busy.

Being moved by his plight having finished the call I walked over, the compressor I had didn’t do the job so cracking on to the more time consuming changing of a tyre; the locking nut had sheared and the wheel had fixed on so didn’t come away easily. But we managed it the spare was put on and he was moved by what he thought was exceptional generosity.

In society we have become more used to being served rather than seeing the need to serve, we serve in work only because it is a term of employment and we need the money; helping others is limited to a few friends and family or so it appears as me move more in this age of kali.

But it reminded me so much of the devotees, there compassion and willingness to take as much time to help fix the spirit soul.

Being moved by compassion seeing the suffering brought on by material life the time is taken to share Krishna with those who realizing they are suffering stop, even if for a short period, to see if they can fix it or find a solution to the suffering they are experiencing.

But then the devotee realizing the attachment to material life knows it will take much tussling and convincing through many up’s and downs before there is any surrender.

This is true compassion, to see the suffering and then acting in a way that relives the suffering being felt; who cannot be moved by the love of the devotee; and the realization of how big the debt we owe.

But as I waved the 72 year old off on his journey and the feeling of happiness that comes from helping others, I smiled as how much more joy and happiness is there for those we have saved from material suffering.

As my own Guru Maharaja reminds us “this is the highest welfare work anyone can enter into”

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Two years later we meet again

I was standing on Sankirtan completely unable to grab anyone's attention when a young Indian girl walked up to me and said Hi. Even though I recognised her at first I could not place our last conversation. Then she reminded me that two years ago we had met in the temple when I was trying to organise a program at my home. That's when I remembered that I had seen her one Saturday sitting in the temple and asked her to join me for Prashadam. After prashad I had explained to her how I was organising a program at my place and would be nice if she could come. She was in high school then and could not come on her own but now two years later we met again. She told me her parents volunteer at the temple sometimes but she had not read any of Srila Prabhupada’s books ever. She was now at University of Toronto and started to appreciate the Science of Self realisation. She had some laxmi left over from lunch and gave that to me for the book. I pray that she tries to read it.

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Spiritual Scientist: Synthesis of Science and Spirituality

Question: Thinkers all over the world are striving to synthesize science and spirituality. What can the Indian wisdom-tradition contribute to this attempted synthesis?

Answer: India is renowned globally as the land of profound and peerless spiritual wisdom. Here are a few quotes of eminent Western thinkers:

“Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climbs, and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge”- Henry David Thoreau (American Thinker)

“The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion” - Hermann Hesse, German poet and novelist, Nobel Prize for literature in 1946

Lesser known are the contributions of Vedic India to the field of science. Here are a few quotes from famous Western scientists acknowledging the scientific glory of Vedic India:

Not only does the Vedic wisdom-tradition present profound, detailed knowledge about the spiritual realm, but it also delineates systematic, time-tested and unique techniques and technologies to experience that non-material realm which is otherwise out of the reach of Western science. Thus, the Vedic tradition offers a well-developed science of consciousness study and transformation, a science that that has no parallels in any wisdom-tradition. The potential of Vedic wisdom to bridge the yawning chasm that separates science and spirituality today is expressed by many leading thinkers, among whom is the world’s youngest Noble Laureate scientist:

“The Vedanta and the Sankhya hold the key to the laws of mind and thought process which are co-related to the Quantum Field, i.e. the operation and distribution of particles at atomic and molecular levels.” - Prof. Brian David Josephson Welsh physicist

Indeed, by uniting reason and faith in a higher-dimensional paradigm, Vedic-wisdom can heal the wound that has torn the human brain and the human heart far apart, and thus usher a new era of integrated, holistic development in world history.

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Spiritual Scientist: Aren’t Yajnas a Waste of Money?

Question: Aren’t yajnas (fire sacrifices) in which grains and ghee is poured into fire to be reduced to ashes a foolish waste of money?

Answer: They will appear to be a waste only as long as we are uninformed.

The Vedic texts that talk about yajnas assert that, just as while living in a country the citizens are duty-bound to pay taxes for the utilities provided by the national government, similarly, while living in the universe, we are expected to pay cosmic taxes for the utilities provided through nature by the cosmic government headed by God. The utilities of food, water, air, lumber, rocks, metals, jewels, oil and so forth lead to a staggering “bill to nature” for $16 trillion to $54 trillion US dollars per annum, as described in Nature, 15 May, 1997.

The medium of economic exchange is known to vary greatly in accordance with the prevailing socio-cultural setting. For example, if an ancient from the Vedic age is transported through time into our society, he will be aghast to see the amount of value we ascribe to the pieces of paper that we call currency notes. Just as our medium of exchange – currency notes – is unintelligible to an ancient, the Vedic medium of intra-universal exchange – sanctified fire and sound – is incomprehensible to us. An intelligent person focuses not on the medium of exchange, but the principle. We moderns give valuable things – our time and energy – to get money, and we get important things – the necessities of life – by giving money. Similarly, Vedic followers offer oblations into the sacred fire to satisfy the Cosmic Controller and in return receive profusely all the gifts of nature.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating; the proof of the authenticity of the yajnas is in the resulting prosperity. The prosperity of ancient India is well-known, as described both in the Vedic literatures themselves such as the Shrimad Bhagavatam as well as by many historians including A L Basham in his The Wonder That Was India. Indeed, the present world’s most prosperous nation, USA, was discovered when explorers were searching for new navigational routes to tap the prosperity of India! The principle of cosmic governance is also negatively evident through the present erratic supply of natural resources due to our non-remittance of our cosmic tax.

Of course, in the present age, yajnas are not practical due to the prohibitive costs of the required oblations as well as due to non-availability of competent priests to precisely chant the intricate mantras. Therefore, the Vedic texts recommend a method more pragmatic than fire sacrifices: sonic technology activated through mantra chanting. But the principle remains the same: harmonization with the cosmic state for sustainable prosperity. Applying this principle is by no means a waste of money; rather neglect of this principle will reduce our earth to a wasteland, as is increasingly happening nowadays.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: GREECE JAZZ

This evening have a kirtan and talk program in Athens entitled "How to be happy in difficult times?"

It is in the Avocado vegetarian restaurant in the center of Athens.

People are planning a great protest on the streets of Athens this evening.
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Spiritual Scientist: Can Science Discover Spirituality?

Question: Can science by its future progress discover spiritual truths?

Answer: Yes and no.

The spiritual philosophy, explained in the Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic texts, is a science in its own right, for it is systematic, coherent, verifiable and repeatable – all characteristics of any good scientific theory. Unfortunately, many modern scientists define science as the study of matter alone, thus rejecting spiritual truths as “unscientific” right from the beginning without any proof whatsoever. This a priori restriction of the scope of science is evident from geneticist Richard Lewontin’s remark:

Such dogmatic rejection of a Divine Foot militates against the scientific spirit of free enquiry. As stated by pioneering atomic physicist Robert Oppenheimer, "[In science] there must be no barriers for freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science." Only after science breaks free from its anti-spiritual dogma can it start discovering spiritual truths. In fact, already a good number of scientists have individually shaken off the dogma and have come up with convincing evidences for the existence of God and the soul.

Still, science will at best discover only preliminary spiritual truths, not advanced. Here’s why. Every field of knowledge has its own distinctive methods. To gain advanced knowledge of that field without adopting its methods is often impossible. To illustrate, let’s consider different scientific instruments of increasing complexity:

  1. We can measure our bodily weight quickly using a weighing machine. However, to measure the weight without using the machine, we have to adopt the cumbersome process of standing on one side of a weighing scale and stacking one kg weights on the other side until the two sides balance.
  2. We can measure the distance from the earth of a particular star in a distant galaxy with a telescope. However, to measure that distance without using the telescope, we have to adopt the expensive and impractical process of boarding a spacecraft and flying until there while keeping an eye on the distance meter – assuming of course that we stay alive until then.
  3. We can measure the speed of a fundamental particle using a particle accelerator. However, if we wish to measure that speed without the accelerator, it’s impossible.

Just as science has its distinctive methodology, so does spirituality. So, scientific methodology can discover basic spiritual principles like the existence of soul and God. However, spiritual methods like devotional mantra meditation alone will enable us to verify experientially advanced spiritual principles like the identity and the personality of God.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: 30 year later

It was a rainy day and from under my umbrella I spoke with a man who stopped to discuss Srila Prabhupada's book. He told me hew knew all about the Hare Krishna and had our books. When I inquired further he explained that he had received a book with small globes on it at Union station in the 70s. From his description I could understand he was describing the Srimad Bhagvatam that he had associated with years ago. He started to ask me questions about some News about ISKCON he had heard in the 90s about the movement and we discussed his questions. I then presented to him a Bhakti Yoga as he already had most other books. Seeing Krishna on the cover he said he wanted to be like Krishna. I urged him to start from gaining knowledge about Krishna and once again he left with a book. Let us pray that this time he actually decides to visit us.

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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7.16: Czech Woodstock, Czech Festival, Polish Tour, and Kirtan Mela

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 7, No. 16
By Krishna-kripa das
(August 2011, part two)
Trutnov (Czech Woodstock), Czech Festivals, Polish Tour, Kirtan Mela
(Sent from New York City on October 14, 2011)

Where I Went and What I Did

The second half of August was particularly intense with four powerful experiences, Trutnov (the Czech Woodstock), Janmastami and Vyasa Puja at the Czech farm, the final four days of Indradyumna Swami's Polish festival tour, and the first annual Kirtan Mela, near Leipzig, Germany. In addition, between the Czech farm and the Polish coast, I had the adventure of walking 12 km across the border of the two countries and sleeping at a Polish train station. On the bright side, I had the rewarding experience of being instrumental in some high school students chanting Hare Krishna and dancing on a train in Poland.

There is an ocean of nectar in terms of lecture notes this time. Lots from the swamis at Kirtan Mela: Indradyumna Swami, Jayadvaita Swami, Lokanath Swami, Sacinandana Swami, and Bhakti Vijnana Swami. Madhava Prabhu also said a few things. Then there are great Prabhupada stories from Caruhasa and Jaya Gurudeva Prabhus from Vyasa Puja in Czech Republic. Nila Madhava Prabhu from Prague tells a bit of the history of the movement there. I put in a link to the nice realizations shared by Gopiparanadhana Prabhu on the Polish festival tour which I previously posted, in case you did not read them yet.

Trutnov Open Air Festival (The Czech Woodstock)

Trutnov Open Air Music Festival, also known as the Czech Woodstock, is a three and a half-day music concert, attended by around 20,000 people who pay about 40 euros to get in. It is in Trutnov, a small city in the mountainous area of Czech, about 20 kilometers south of the Polish border. The organizer, Martin, is friends with the devotees, and thus the Czech Hare Krishnas have their own area and stage, and usually two or three venues where prasadam (spiritual food) is distributed.

Martin has a fascination for Lord Jagannatha, whose smiling face appears on the arm bands of the attendees, the main stage for the whole event, and even on the numerous plastic beer mugs.

I like to talk to the people who seem to really like to sing and dance with the devotees, and tell them of temples and gatherings their area so they develop their attraction to this all-auspicious spiritual activity after the Trutnov festival is over.

Linda, a student from Brno, the first person I talked to, remembered me from last year, although I did not remember her. She was eager to get contact information for the temple in Brno, where she goes to college. She loves to chant Hare Krishna and dance in the kirtana. Later she mentioned she had friends who became vegan and who gave up smoking, and who said they were happier as a result. I mentioned to her that if she continues to chant Hare Krishna, she will find that that the mantra gives one the strength to give up self-destructive habits in a natural way. She came and chanted in the kirtanas many times.

Punya Palaka Prabhu, Krishna camp organizer (left).
Monika, a spiritual seeker who studies in Liberec (right).

I was happy to see Monika, who wrote me eleven months after last year's Trutnov to tell me that she appreciated the Czech version of Coming Back she purchased there and liked the idea of reincarnation. Since coming to our Krishna camp last year, she got a First Canto, Part One of Srimad-Bhagavatam and a volume of Krishna book. Once she met the devotees chanting in Liberec, where she goes to school, and she enjoyed talking to them, but she never saw them again. Concluding her letter she said, “I collect knowledge from lots of things. But Krishna consciousness is my favorite and gives me the most now. So I just wanted you to know, that I've never been so happy. [The] few days at Trutnov completely changed my life and I will be grateful forever. And I'm really looking forward Trutnov festival this year.” She knows a lots of spiritually minded people in Liberec who she thinks will be interested in Krishna consciousness, and she knows a venue where Nila Madhava Prabhu, the Czech
nama-hatta leader I introduced her to, can do a program. I also introduced her to Madhusudana Prabhu, the brahmacari leader of the party that regularly chants and distributes books in Liberec and other different Czech cities and whose parents live in the Liberec area. This year at Trutnov she enjoyed Trilokatma Prabhu's lecture on the Krishna philosophy, and she spent hours a day in our Krishna camp. I am so happy to see her expanding spiritual good fortune, and glad to play a little role in it.

Gabriela, who lives in Regentsberg, Germany, was interested enough to take from me the beautiful card the Germany devotees have listing all the German temples and regular Krishna gatherings in Germany, and her sister and friend from Prague took the invitation to Govinda's Restaurant and its spiritual program on Wednesday evenings.

Barbora, from near Ostrava, who met the devotees chanting on several occasions in Brno, where she would sometimes talk with them, took down the Brno nama-hatta web page address. Seeing her singing constantly whenever she visited our camp the first two days of the festival, I thought I might investigate her interest. She said, “If I did not want to hear a few bands, I would spend all my time in your camp. This is so nice it seems like something you could do for your whole life!” I smiled and agreed with her, saying that I met the Krishnas when I was twenty and now I am fifty-one. I explained unlike material pleasures, the happiness of devotional service increases with time. I saw her chanting with us several more times. The last day she seemed more subdued, and I figured she was just tired like the rest of us. Turned out she had done something she really regretted and was feeling really bad. A friend then said not to feel bad about it but to go to the Krishna camp because people always feel better after going there. She went and did feel a lot better. Because I knew she liked to chant and dance, I suggested she do that and get her mind off her problems, but she was so wiped out, she said she would chant and dance in her mind. I accepted that as her actual condition but found to my surprise in just five or ten minutes she came up front, and began to dance and then began to chant, which she did for the next two or three hours, just taking a few breaks from the dancing. She even asked the devotees for a tambourine and played it while dancing or sometimes sitting on the edge of the stage facing the devotee singers. It was inspiring for me to see how her consciousness really transformed just by hearing the kirtana. Many, like Barbora, have such appreciation for the spiritual atmosphere the devotees created there at their Trutnov Krishna camp, and in her case, she even felt that the chanting was something she could do for one's whole life, and she lamented having to return to her drab life as a student.

Last year when Dhruva and I left the Trutnov festival, the trains were so crowded, they were delayed, and I could see we would not make our connection. All the conductors spoke only Czech, so I asked one young man to translate for us. This year he introduced himself to me, and I thanked him again for his service. He joined the kirtanas a few times, even late in the final evening.

There were two students from Prague who chanted “Hare Krishna” and danced without interruption in a very amazing way. There only connection with chanting Hare Krishna was Trutnov, and they were glad to get the invitation to the Wednesday program at the restaurant. They came by other times for prasadam and to dance in the final kirtana.

Girl wearing 'Party Till You Puke' T-shirt

One girl had a T-shirt with the message “Party Till You Puke” written on it. That so much seemed to capture the foolishness of unrestricted sense enjoyment it made me smile, and I even took a picture of it. Surprising me, during the kirtana, the girl chanted along, as did her boyfriend. She pointed to the devotees and then her nose, as she talked to her friend, and I figured she was asking him about the devotees’ tilaka. After they left the kirtana tent, I talked to the boy, an inquisitive person, about Krishna consciousness, while she was visiting our face painter. I was surprised when her face painting was done. Instead of having patterns of colorful decorations on her forehead as most girls get, she had beautiful Vaishnava tilaka.

Katalina, who lives in Trutnov, a mere two minutes from our camp, was in great anxiety seeing us stop our kirtana at 3 a.m. the final evening. She was worried we would not continue, and her worry was well founded as we had to stop to break down the festival. One friend of the devotees, who played contemporary music, then took over our stage, as his friends were expecting him to sing his songs again and were not satisfied merely hearing him playing Hare Krishna guitar with us. I told Katalina that I would play her a Hare Krishna tune after the other singer finished. He sang six or seven tunes, including “My Sweet Lord,” which I requested upon hearing him sing another George Harrison song. Then he played a few more songs from other singers. Katalina told me she felt it was not good that our program end with anything but Hare Krishna, and I smiled in agreement, appreciating her realization. As the other singer finished and our crew dismantled the sound system, I played the portable harmonium and sang for her and five or six others, a popular Village of Peace Hare Krishna tune. They were very enthusiastic and sang both the lead and response for most of the time. Another girl took up the tambourine and played along. One boy enjoyed loudly chanting and danced. I must have at played least twenty minutes. Katalina said that each year she always comes to our camp at the end of the Trutnov festival to chant Hare Krishna with us.

This year was special for us as a couple Prabhupada disciples visited the event, Janananda Goswami, who chanted in the Ratha-yatra, and Caruhasa Prabhu, who chanted on our stage. They appear in the movies I made of the event:

Ratha-yatra Video:

Krishna Camp Video, Part 1:

To learn when Part 2 of my Krishna camp video is complete, subscribe to my YouTube videos:

To see a very beautiful video clip another devotee posted on Facebook, click below:

Krishna is all-attractive, and so is His name. It is inspiring to see at these festivals the people in general becoming more and more attracted. And so I come to the festivals and try to help the people to have more regular experience of Krishna
kirtana so they can become more attracted, and more happy in spiritual consciousness.

Thanks to Punya Palaka Prabhu and the very cooperative team of Czech devotees who put on our Krishna camp at Trutnov, and who share a lot of spiritual pleasure with a lot of people. All glories to Srila Prabhupada who is engaging us all in activities of spiritual welfare work.

Czech Janmastami and Vyasa Puja Festivals

I am glad Punya Palaka Prabhu invited me to the Janmastami and Vyasa Puja festivals at the Czech farm. I have been coming to Czech Republic since 2004, when Lokanath Swami told me Prague was the best city for harinama. Over the years, I have done harinamas, Ratha-yatras, and Trutnov festivals with the devotees there, and I have a lot of admiration and affection for many of them.

They had a tent set up as the temple room is too small to hold the devotees. On Janmastami, in addition to kirtana, there was a puppet show of Krishna pastimes, and a couple devotee kids, dressed like Radha Krishna observed the Jhulan Yatra, and the others pushed Them on a swing and offered Them flowers, and other worship. I had some doubts about this, but Caruhasa Prabhu told of a Prabhupada pastime in which Prabhupada encouraged to the devotees to offer full respects to the devotees playing Krishna in a drama on the consideration that Krishna’s form is not different from Krishna, and Caruhasa asked me to take pictures of Them. Jaya Gurudeva, a Prabhupada disciple I knew from Trutnov, where he plays folk and other styles of Hare Krishna with a guitar, shared nice realizations and helped accommodate Caruhasa and me, who know only English. The Janmastami feast was very nice, thank God, because I had to leave before the Vyasa Puja feast to catch a train to the Polish coast for the festivals. I lost the chance talk about Prabhupada myself on Vyasa Puja day, looking on the Internet for a better rail connection so I wouldn't miss the feast.

Adventures from Czech Republic to the Baltic Sea

Missing the chance to glorify Prabhupada and missing the feast, were a frustration, but then I also missed one of the trains, as I didn't realize a train station had tracks on both sides of it. Thus I missed the last train to Poland that day and walked 12 km to the first Polish city with a train station, only to find there were no more trains to Wroclaw that day. The train employees, hearing my predicament allowed me to sleep in the train station, amazingly enough, and they locked me inside, with my permission, and thus I was undisturbed and warm. They even offered me tea and coffee, which I declined. I was impressed with their hospitality. I was wondering the whole time what Krishna's plan to protect me was. As it turned out, although missing a harinama, I got to visit the Wroclaw temple, bow down to the deities, hear a Prabhupada lecture, take a shower, see a few friends, give a donation, and grab some prasadam to go and catch a train that was considerable cheaper than the one evening before. Later I found out the harinama I missed was only one hour instead of the usual three because of the rain.

Polish Kids Chant Hare Krishna and Dance on Train

The best part of the rescheduled journey was that a group of high school kids on the train to the coast chanted Hare Krishna and danced with me on the train. I think that was really Krishna's mercy upon me. I am introverted and not a leader by nature. Neither am I a good singer, yet somehow the kids chanted along.

The train in Wroclaw was so crowded, I took shelter of the bicycle car, which was less so. At Poznan everyone left, and this group of kids boarded, and so we were alone together in the bicycle car most of the rest of the journey. In the course of our travel, I told them about the Krishna camp at Woodstock and the festivals of India's spiritual culture on the Baltic coast, including one in the town that was our train's destination that very night and the following one. They had a guitar, and asked if I could play it. I said no, but that if they could place the chord progression “F C G C” I could sing. So they played, and I sang the simple and popular Hare Krishna tune that Prabhupada introduced. Then I gave them Polish mantra cards and got them singing. Then I added the dancing. They had a good time, and I was amazed that we could get away with all that on a Polish train. After some time I decided I needed to take a nap, so I left the kids for a quieter and more comfortable part of the train. I was touched and surprised that to say goodbye to me, they chanted Hare Krishna again, just like the devotees do when a saintly person leaves.

Polish Tour

Five things made an impression on my mind on the Polish tour this year: the happiness of the devotees to see me, the enthusiasm of a Vaisnava youth friend to go on our last three harinamas, two girls liking Hare Krishna so much they followed our harinama party back to our site and took lunch with the devotees and took down the nama-hatta contact for their town, Indradyumna Swami's expert lectures at the festivals, and Gopipiparanadhana Prabhu's wisdom and saintly qualities.

Kirtan Mela

I was the navigator from Kolobrzeg on the Polish coast to the Kirtan Mela, and my party made the journey for just 19 euros per person, 11 euros cheaper than the bus that many devotees took, and which was too full for us.

I did not have enough money for even the minimum accommodation, but I had a friend in the festival organization and other friends who were cooking for themselves, so I got a place to stay and some prasadam. Hearing the urgent heartfelt pleas of GBC Mother Dina Sharana for help in the kitchen, I helped out for 2 hours a day, mostly serving lunch.

I found it hard to chant for twelve hours a day although I like chanting very much. I had to figure out where I was going for the Radhastami and how I was getting to America, as well as my usual service of proofreading Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami's journal. I also got involved in helping people travel by train to their next destinations, so in reality I chanted between six and eight hours a day, if you count my kitchen kirtana as part of it. In the future, I am going to have to plan ahead to avoid having important obligations to do while a Kirtan Mela is going on.

Still it was wonderful having the best kirtana leaders in ISKCON to hear from and to dance to. Especially striking to me were B. B. Govinda Swami, Indradyumna Swami, Lokanath Swami, Niranjana Swami, Sacinandana Swami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, Bada Hari Prabhu, and Madhava Prabhu. Some of my friends impressed me with their ability to dance for hours on end. Occasionally the kirtana was so fired up, several sannyasis danced, running back and forth, and that was truly wonderful to see.

From this video, with its joyous singing and exuberant dancing, you can get a feel for how ecstatic it was:

The amazing Leipzig Ratha-yatra, with hundreds of devotees, after we had chanted twelve hours for the previous four days, I tell about in my next journal.

My siksa guru, Niranjana Swami, was there and we talked about my program. He said that I had proved I can live simply and that I can travel and do harinamas and give lectures, but I have not demonstrated the ability to gradually bring people to a higher level of devotional commitment, and to do that should spend more time in fewer places. So for the fall and winter I will focus on Gainesville and in the spring and summer, the UK outside of London. Janananda Swami wanted me to make The North of England my base, Kadamba Kanana Swami encouraged me to go to the UK outside of London, as London itself gets lots of attention already, Caitanya-candradaya Prabhu encouraged me to make Belfast my base, and Jai Nitai Prabhu encouraged me to go to the nama-hattas surrounding London, and so I will spend time in this area. I will still travel to my favorite festivals, Queen's Day harinama, the Polish Woodstock and tour, Trutnov (the Czech Woodstock), the Croatian harinama tour, and the Ukraine festival, which takes about six weeks, August and the first two weeks of September.

I told Niranjana Swami about the beautiful verse by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati on kirtana:

Srinama-sankirtana [congregational chanting of the holy name] is the best sadhana [spiritual practice]. If other sadhanas help us in Krishna-sankirtana, then they deserve to be called sadhana; otherwise they are simply impediments to sadhana. Sri-Krishna-nama-sankirtana is the emperor of sadhanas. It is the only infallible sadhana capable of bringing us to siddhi [perfection].

He liked it and asked me to include it with the other inspirational holy name quotes displayed on the big screen in the kirtana hall, which I did with great pleasure.

Insights from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada:

Fear exists as long as there is identification with material existence, therefore we must purify our existence. Prahlada Maharaja was never afraid despite all the tribulations created by his father because he was pure.

When we understand that we have no connection with material existence, there is no more fearfulness.

In spiritual existence there is only present, no past or future. That you cannot realize now, but you can take the knowledge from the Vedic literature.

By the time factor the existence of the Supreme Lord can be felt, as the presence of the government can be felt by a prisoner when he is arrested. As the prisoner is put under the laws of the prison, the rebellious living entity is put under the control of the material nature.

When we understand we are the servant of Krishna, there is no fear. By engaging in devotional service to the Supreme Lord our existence is purified and we become free from fear.

A little deviation may cause great havoc, and Bharata had to take three births to attain perfection due to attachment to a deer.

Theoretically we know we are not the body, yet we experience fear based on the situation of the body.

The whole political atmosphere is one of fear. The Americans and Russians are afraid of each other. The Indians and the Pakistanis are afraid of each other.

If you kindly hear sri-krishna-sankirtana, so much benefit is there. It is so nice. There is no expenditure.

I am for human beings or I am for America. All are based on a limited conception.

Indradyumna Swami:

God loves all the species of life because He created them.

Birds can fly without an airplane. Butterflies are always beautiful without makeup. The gift God has given humans is intelligence. That intelligence is meant to understand the soul. This knowledge of the soul is not meant just for the people of India. If we do not know who we are, we cannot attain full satisfaction. Not any of us. Bhagavad-gita is meant for everyone.

Intuitively we understand the soul is in the heart. If we point to ourselves, we point to our chest.

The husband and wife do not create life. Only God can create life. They build a little house for the soul to enter.

If we go to the temple, church, synagogue, we learn God creates life, but when we go to school we learn that life comes from matter. If life can be created from matter, then why can't the scientists create life from chemicals by putting them in suitable conditions? Actually they never will, because God creates life.

Vedic culture has never accepted abortion because it is understood the embryo is alive since the soul entered the body at the time of conception.

You know where you are going exactly after you leave the festival tonight. You also know where you will go when your vacation is over. But we do not know exactly where we are going when we leave the body at death. That is a big problem.

As we always have some car, bus, or airplane to travel in, the soul always has a vehicle, a body, to travel in.

One person was telling me that the bad helps him to appreciate the good that much more. I replied that he deserved better than that. The soul wants pure happiness.

Just because there is not perfect happiness here, does not mean there is not a world of happiness somewhere else.

The greatest happiness is love. Even if one has everything but no one to share it with, he will not be happy. And the greatest love is love of God. We cannot allow ourselves to be so absorbed materially that we miss the opportunity for reawakening our love of God.

From a lecture at Kirtan Mela:

Prayer reveals the deep feelings the devotee has in his heart for Krishna.

If we do not yet have love for the Lord or His devotees, we can practice offering the prayers of exalted personalities, and by that practice our devotional sentiments will awaken. Just as a child learns speak by imitating his parents speaking, we can do the same with prayers.

I saw someone with a T-shirt that said on the front “Always remember Lord Krishna...” and on the back “and never forget Him.”

The key to always remember the Lord is to love Him. Actually there are two ways to remember someone, if you love them or if you hate them. Kamsa was always remembering Krishna because he hated Him. But real Krishna consciousness means to think of Krishna favorably.

Every day Kamsa sent a different demon to Krishna to kill Krishna. We just hear of the principle ones in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Every day before lunch Kamsa would send a different demon, and Krishna or Balarama would kill him, and His friends would talk about how wonderful Krishna was a lunch.

Kunti's love for Krishna is glorious because it did not waver throughout so many difficulties. There is Canakya verse, “Test a servant in his duty, a relative in times of difficulty, and wife in misfortune [and one more].” The fire of ordeal purifies one's devotion.

Krishna felt closer to the Lord Krishna in the times of ordeal when she reached out to Krishna.

Kunti is so exalted Krishna would leave His dhama to visit Kunti and the Pandavas and see to their welfare.

When Akrura came to visit Kunti according to Krishna's request, as soon as he mentioned Krishna's name, symptoms of ecstatic love of Godhead manifested in her body.

When Prabhupada was greeting the devotees from all over the world who came to Mayapur, according to the prediction of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada went into an ecstatic trance and could not speak.

When I am giving a public lecture, I focus on the few who seem to be paying attention, and I try to speak to their hearts.

Srila Prabhupada told us in France, “Never there was a time I forgot the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.”

Srila Prabhupada once said, “The gopis never ask Krishna for anything, they just want to know what will please Krishna.”

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says bhakti is imbibed from another devotee. It is a mystical thing.

Krishna demonstrates that association with the devotees is better than His own association by sending Uddhava to Vrndavana. Krishna sent messages to His friends, the gopis, and His parents. Uddhava was surprised by the reactions of Krishna's parents. When Krishna said, “Do not worry, I am the supreme truth, the supreme pure, and the original person, and therefore I am never separated from you.” Nanda said, “What is this supreme pure? He is always covered with dust. What is this supreme truth? He is always stealing butter.” Yasoda said, “What is this eternal person, He took birth from my womb.”

We do not need to go to Vrndavana to get the association of the vrajavasis, for we have the ultimate vrajavasi, Srila Prabhupada. By serving him by sharing the chanting of Hare Krishna with everyone, we gain his association.

Once in Paris Srila Prabhupada asked me how the preaching was going. Because people in Paris had thrown garbage on us during harinama, I said it was difficult. And Srila Prabhupada replied, “When did I ever say it was easy?”

There was one woman who had her fingers in both ears and stuck out her tongue in response to the harinama. I reported that to Srila Prabhupada, and he asked, “What did you do?” “I just kept playing the mrdanga.” I said. “No.” said Srila Prabhupada, “You should have pulled her fingers out of her ears, and loudly chanted, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna . . .”

Sri Nama is a person, and He is very merciful. If we take Him out to the cities and the towns to benefit others, He becomes very, very merciful to us.

Jayadvaita Swami:

Materialists are fools because they are after that which will cause them suffer, while thinking they will enjoy. And the more they try to increase their enjoyment, the more they increase their suffering. This is illusion, maya.

The bhukti, mukti, siddhi kamis [those desiring sense enjoyment, liberation, and mystic perfections] cannot be happy because they seek a situation other than their constitution position.

In response to an imitator, who set up a kutir and chanted all day, Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja said, “One [who is not pregnant] cannot give birth to a child simply by entering the labor room.”

When the San Francisco Ratha-yatra was one of the main Ratha-yatras in ISKCON, the press workers had this idea of getting everyone in a van and driving to San Francisco, three days each way, to see Srila Prabhupada and the Ratha-yatra. When Srila Prabhupada heard about the plan, he rejected it saying, “They should stay and do their service.”

Other ways of glorifying Krishna are also kirtana, but that does not mean we do everything else in the name of kirtana and neglect the chanting of Hare Krishna.

One should hear the holy name from devotees of the holy name and devotees of Krishna.

At any stage of spiritual development, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is recommended.

The Lord tolerates offenses to Himself but not to His devotees.

Anyone who is engaged in the service of the Lord is great. Not that we glorify devotees we consider great and vilify devotees we consider small. That is a foolish, even suicidal, policy.

Anyone who chants the holy name of Krishna should be respected within the mind. Those engaged in devotional service, we should offer obeisances to. Those who are pure and free from the propensity to criticize others, we should hear from and render service to. Even to offend a neophyte devotee will get us in trouble with the Supreme Lord.

Q: If a devotee has taste for service, how can he misbehave?

A: By maya's tricks. Maya is very powerful. Although King Bharata gave up everything, he became attached to a dear. See how tricky maya is? Sometimes because of our conditioned life, unless we are completely free from maya, we may do something completely against devotional service principles.

The effect of inattentive chanting is that we can end up doing more inattentive chanting.

Krishna recommends that: “Wherever the mind wanders . . . we should bring it back.”

Inattention to the holy name means inattention to Krishna.

Inattentive chanting leads to inattentive service.

Focusing the sunlight you can start a fire otherwise you just get a little warmth and illumination. Similarly, chanting with attention has great power.

The grass never protests, “You are walking on me. Don't you know who I am? The grass also has rights.” It allows you to walk on it.

The tree never protests, “I will not give you shade because of what you did to me.”

Srila Prabhupada was asked, “What is the position of the disciple?” Prabhupada told a disciple to answer. “Servant, Srila Prabhupada,” the servant said. Prabhupada elaborated, “Menial servant.”

Lokanath Swami:

On the western calendar, Srila Prabhupada appeared on September 1, 1896.

The famous verse beginning krishna-varnam about Lord Caitanya was spoken in a conversation between Karabhajana Rsi and King Nimi of Mathila, the place of Sita, near Ayodhya, in response to the King's inquiry about the complexions, names, and processes to worship the Lord's avatars in the different ages.

Lord Caitanya's weapon, according to Jiva Goswami, is His great beauty. By His beautiful humility, form, and effulgence, He subdued the demoniac Mayavadi philosophers headed by Prakasananda Swami.

Krishna says in the middle of the battlefield to Arjuna, “yajnanam japa yajno 'smi,” of all sacrifices, I am japa, the chanting of the holy names. Here the Bhagavatam confirms the same thing, “yajnaih sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedasah,” intelligent people worship the Lord chiefly by the chanting of the holy names.

Lord Caitanya is the most magnanimous because he gave sankirtana and radha-krishna-prema.

Lord Caitanya's arms are always upraised. He is always ready for action.

When we chant “Hare,” the name of Radha, Krishna is very pleased, and when we chant “Krishna” Radha is very pleased.

Srila Prabhupada said the perfection of human form of life is to join the dancing party of Radha and Krishna.

Lord Caitanya was very tall, the size of Lord Caitanya in the Panca-tattva Deities in Mayapur.

Mahaprabhu is the cause of our chanting and dancing.

Sacinandana Swami:

Make a conscious effort to chant for Krishna's pleasure.

Translating a German newspaper article: “For twelve long hours each day, one thousand members of Hare Krishna, which is not at all a sect but a deeply spiritual movement, are chanting to send positive vibrations all over the world.”

May Krishna give you exactly the realizations you need to continue on your journey back to Godhead.

In separation we call out for Krishna and to Krishna, as one who has not attained Krishna, saying, “Please accept me.”

The mind always wants to run away from the holy name, and thus we have to practice again and again to bring the mind to the chanting.

There is one Ayurvedic tonic that will bring an almost dead man back to life. To make you have to combine mercury and sulfur. You have to use a mortal and pestle. Because the mercury tends to run away from the sulfur, it takes two weeks of grinding to make it bind. We have to bind our mind to the holy name, and to do that we have to keep bringing the mind back.

People come up to me and say Maharaja, “I feel so dry within.” I tell them, “It is good that you realize it. Now you can do something about it.”

Locana dasa Thakura likens sankirtana-yajna to a pujari that causes that Lord to appear in a sacrificial fire. The ear is the fire pit, the tongue is the spoon, and the ghee is the holy name, and with the successful sacrifice, Krishna will be appear in the heart of the devotee chanter.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura asks the question, “Whose prayer does Krishna listen to?” It is not the one who chants “Rama” to indicate the German brand of margarine but the one who prays with connectedness to the Lord.

B. B. Govinda Swami [who left the Kirtan Mela this morning] sent me an SMS: “I am chanting and dancing like an intoxicated man in my hotel room in Moscow.”

I suggest you take the kirtana home and create kirtana parties, and learn how to play the instruments. There is much instruction online. Kirtan Mela Part II can take place anywhere.

The Gauranga Band once played in Warsaw to a crowd of 7,000. The people learned a new dance step—running back and forth. They did this on the tram on the way home from the concert. The result was the trams became unbalanced, and one of them fell over on its side, and this was reported in the papers, with a picture of the overturned tram.

The influence of Kali, this age of darkness, is present everywhere, just as the air is present everywhere. Only Krishna is powerful enough to conquer over the darkness of Kali. Because the holy name is Krishna Himself, the chanting of the holy name can drive out Kali's influence.

Srila Prabhupada explains that the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is special because it is in “transcendental position beyond material contamination,” being nondifferent from Krishna Himself.

By chanting the holy name you become a member of Vaikuntha, the anxiety-free world.

Members of the most prestigious yoga school, training 130,000 people a year, came to our Kirtan Mela and had a wonderful time. They said, “How can we leave this experience? This is the best.”

If you chant with offenses, the chanting will turn against you.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes that a glimpse of the holy name rising on the horizon of the sky of our hearts destroys the darkness of ignorance and gives divine knowledge.

When the sun of the holy name prevails, all kinds of attachments are vanquished.

Without love Krishna our life is so embarrassingly materialistic.

How long can we do our spiritual practice out of duty (kathavya-buddhi)? There must be some taste.

Spiritual life can be motivated by fear, hope, duty, and attachment.

There is a story about Emerson. He was unable to get a calf to go into the barn by pushing. The one Polish maid came out with a bowl of milk and lured the calf back into the barn, saying to Emerson, “You are a big philosopher, but you do not know these simple things.”

Confront the emptiness for the first time in your life. Do not run away and fill the emptiness with materialistic activities. Stay in the kirtana, and you will become sometime able to taste the nectar of the holy name.

Do not stop the Kirtan Mela now, go on singing.

[Sacinandana Swami was inspired by the success of the Kirtan Mela and wants to organize them all over the world.]

Bhakti Vijnana Goswami:

Yamaraja says in effect to his servant, “You fools. You do not know what dharma is. Dharma is directly connected to the Supreme Lord. Very few people know this dharma, but anyone who knows it becomes immortal. He explained the devotional service of the Lord is this dharma, and it begins with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.

It is a trick of this age that we are always looking for tricks or a methodology by which we can quickly attain success.

One devotee told me I read Govinda Lilamrita. I know I should not have, but I did anyway. And my chanting became so wonderful. It was like the Lord was there with me while I chanted. And it lasted about two days.

Without a loving feeling for the Lord, no trick will work.

Jiva Goswami explains the verse where Krishna is praising the good fortune of the gopis and their special devotion by saying by performing kevala-bhakti, devotion not mixed with anything else or any false motivation, you will attain the spiritual world, but if you perform bhakti with sneha, affection, then Krishna Himself is drawn to you.

To chant sincerely means to chant with an ardent desire to attain the Lord. We do not have this desire because our life does not feel empty without the Supreme Lord. We do not feel empty without the Supreme Lord because we are filling the emptiness with insignificant happiness of the material world. We have not realized the pettiness of material pleasure so we do not look beyond it. Because you are “alright,” there is no Krishna in your life.

If you have faith that by bhakti you will attain perfection and indeed anything else that is required. Then you will be able to perform bhakti with a sincere desire to serve Krishna. Faith is the complete conviction that by serving the Lord, one will attain all things.

Devotees who have a desire to serve have no desire for sadhana nor desire for perfection because that service is to satisfying.

One verse by Sanatana Goswami that says that nama-sankirtana will definitely bring prema. There is no doubt about it. You just have to have the genuine seed of faith in the devotional service of the Lord.

The devotee only wants to serve Krishna, and that service can be done in any circumstance.

You can get the pure desire to serve the Lord if you get the seed of pure faith from the heart of a pure devotee.

Gopiparanadhana Prabhu:

[Gopiparanadhana Prabhu gave morning lectures to the devotees on the Polish festival tour and answered questions in the evenings at the festivals. He shared so many nice realizations which I already posted as a tribute in honor of his unexpected disappearance for this world just less than three weeks later. Click here to read them:]

Caruhasa Prabhu [Prabhupada disciple from America visiting Trutnov, Prague, and the Czech farm]:

My first time celebrating Janmastami was like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time.

In Vrindavan on Janmastami it is wonderful because everyone is a devotee of Krishna or trying to be. Everyone is really into it.

[He asked if anyone else had been in Vrindavan and for them to describe it. One person had, and said it was like the spiritual world.]

I am really attracted to Krishna in his form as a baby because He puts Himself in a helpless position so you can care for Him. He is stealing butter and getting into trouble, like the kids around here. But this is to attract His devotee to Him. The villagers just thought he was a normal kid with a few extra powers, like a demigod. We can learn to love Him because He is very sweet, not to serve Him out of fear. He didn't have to come as a baby, but He comes to show His love.

We will never understand God. He is so wonderful His wonder is unlimited.

Q [by me]: How did you come to accept Krishna as God?

A: When I first came to the temple, and I saw the Bhagavad-gita glowing that did it for me. It was a supernatural glow. I had started to hitchhike to San Francisco temple, and as soon as I stuck up my thumb I got a ride. When I got to the temple, a ray of light was shining from the sky right on the door. Jayananda Prabhu answered the door. He turned to the devotees and said, “Jimmy Hendricks wants to join the Hare Krishnas.” I looked like Jimmy Hendricks, and people thought I was his younger brother. I would carry an electric guitar and dress like him. Because I was brought up as a Roman Catholic, I wanted to be a Franciscan monk, but when I went to the Franciscan monastery they were playing pool, so I became disillusioned. But Krishna consciousness was real. There was someone at the temple who whenever they would tell stories of Krishna, the room would get brighter and brighter. When I saw Srila Prabhupada the first time, he was glowing a bit too. I felt like a little kid around him. He was like my daddy. He would give me cookies. He had me sit with him sometimes, on his cushion, practically on his lap.

I did a painting of Radha and Krishna meeting once, and I thought Srila Prabhupada would really like it, but he said it was too intimate. It was just Radha coming up to Krishna, and I did not see what was so intimate about it. Later I decided he just said that to humble me.

Once I was working on some scaffolding to paint Lord Caitanya's pastimes on the ceiling, and Srila Prabhupada spoke to me, saying, “This is wonderful.” I practically fell off the scaffolding. He continued, “Lord Caitanya will bless you for this.” That sort of made up for his rejection of the painting. Prabhupada was like that.

Srila Prabhupada inspired faith, so much so, I was burning up with faith. I had a lot of mystical experiences. Because of these experiences, I thought I was special. But it is not good to see yourself as special so Krishna has to make you humble in some way. When some brahmacari would ask me to clean the floor, I would resent it, but whenever I had any negative thoughts, I would literally see hell. It was not a flashback from a drug experience but a reality. I called to the devotees, and they appeared to be helpless. Then I saw Jayananda. Jayananda started to read a Krishna story to me, and the room got brighter and brighter, and the hell around me dissolved. As a result I developed faith that Krishna was God, and that if I am humble and chant Hare Krishna everything will be alright.

At an airport reception, it had been raining and when Prabhupada arrived, the rain stopped. A light from the heavens came down and was shining on Srila Prabhupada's head and body, and that light followed him down the stairs. Devotees were talking about that for weeks afterwards.

Jaya Gurudeva Prabhu [Prabhupada disciple from Prague who sings at Trutnov]:

from a Vyasa Puja day lecture:

Srila Prabhupada spoke more on Bhagavad-gita 7.1 than any other verse. The five Srimad-Bhagavatam verses quoted in that purport are also in the poem he wrote on the boat, in which he prayed to Krishna for empowerment to do his mission.

Most people at 70 are looking to rest, but Srila Prabhupada launched a prime attack on maya, material illusion. The lady who he asked for a ticket on her cargo ship to America did not permit him to go. Only by seeing his incredible determination, she relented. Only one acquaintance was there when he made his historical voyage. It took over a month to make the journey, and he had two heart attacks.

These five Srimad-Bhagavatam verses (1.2.17–21) describe Srila Prabhupada's whole mission.

In this verse, Bg. 7.1, asamsayam, without doubt is very important. Without being without doubt, one cannot keep the mind attached to Krishna.

One scholar asked Srila Prabhupada about Aurobindu. Prabhupada said because he knew Krishna he did not need to know Aurobindo and his philosophy.

In western philosophical traditions doubts are important. In Christianity, Thomas had doubts about Jesus' resurrection and Jesus asked him to touch his wounds, and he again became faithful. Doubt in the extreme case leads to skepticism and nihilism.

When I came to Krishna consciousness, by hearing from Srila Prabhupada, I came to the stage of having no doubts about Krishna. Prabhupada had no doubts about Krishna. He did not see Krishna as one of the Hindu pantheon but rather that Krishna was in the heart of everyone. Because Prabhupada saw Krishna in everyone's heart he could awaken Krishna consciousness in the hearts of others.

If we met an extraordinary person, we would share knowledge of that person with others. And so it is with Srila Prabhuapda.

By the grace of Srila Prabhupada, we do not have doubts about Krishna.

When we are in a dangerous situation, we see how the devotees take shelter of Krishna. One devotee who was driving 160 mph in the fog and a truck hit him. He cried out Krishna, Krishna. He died, but he remembered Krishna at the end.

We have doubts about the organization or the character of someone in the organization.

I saw someone who, in the 1990s, had an interest in Krishna but forgot about it for twenty years. He is now again interested.

Krishna consciousness makes us peaceful because we have no doubts. Often people take books from the sankirtana devotees because their conviction inspires them.

The pure devotee can give Krishna like one gives a piece of property. We do not get Krishna by knowledge or philosophy, but the pure devotee spiritual master gives Krishna.

Everyone who could see Srila Prabhupada could understand he was very wealthy like that [being someone who could give Krishna] although he was poor.

Some think we have to do the bhajana in such a way as to attract the public, but everyone else is acting in that consciousness of trying to attract others. In reality, when people chant with devotion to Krishna, people can see there is a difference and then they are attracted.

Srila Prabhupada considered he was successful by the grace of his spiritual master, because he endeavored to please him.

from his Vyasa Puja offering:

Srila Prabhupada had a twist on Christians. They always asked what we do for the poor. Prabhupada would often counter with the argument that welfare work was a way of becoming popular. He stressed that animals are also our brothers and sisters, and we should not kill them.

In the conversation between Srila Prabhupada and Cardinal Danilou, the cardinal had a glass of wine in his hand, as he tried to convince Prabhupada that animals have no souls. Prabhupada was concerned to see the ignorance that a cardinal could not understand that he animals have souls. Danilou said, “The cow has no soul [Jaya Gurudeva said it with a perfect French accent, making everyone laugh.]” I saw Prabhupada's expression and felt that Prabhupada would strike him. This point that animals have souls is an important part of our philosophy that Prabhupada would stress. [Caruhasa Prabhu stressed that every living creature has a soul and there are all as dear to Krishna as we are. After the meeting with the cardinal, devotees suggested they arrange a meeting with the pope, and Srila Prabhupada, disgusted by the ignorance of the cardinal, said, “That will not be necessary.”]

Some people challenged, “Do you believe in the second coming of Jesus? Srila Prabhupada said, “Of course, we will be very happy if he comes.”

One nun Srila Prabhupada talked with said she found so much inspiration for her devotion to Christ in the devotees' association.

Everyone felt satisfied in Srila Prabhupada's presence.

One professor doubted the need for the four regulative principles [no meat eating, no intoxication, no gambling, and no illicit sex], but Srila Prabhupada presented the case so expertly he was convinced. Then he inquired about love of God, and Srila Prabhupada satisfied him by his expert presentation.

Nila Madhava Prabhu [a devotee from 1986, during communist times]:

I was a member of the underground during the communist times, fighting for freedom for the people, and for me, the underground was a means of self-realization, and I became like a warrior in the underground.

But in reality, I saw that freedom led to getting drunk, getting stoned, and having sex with the nearest mate. But after that, still I was looking for a real cause.

I went to a weekend underground meeting in 1987, and everyone was chanting Hare Krishna without taking drugs and alcohol, and people were blissful afterward, not suffering from a hangover. I decided that those people could help me move in a better direction, and I decided to continue in their association, although regular meetings were not possible in those days. People had to get on wait lists to get Srila Prabhupada's books. I was happy when Bhagavad-gita and Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita finally arrived.

One time got the association of senior devotees (B. B. Govinda Swami and Indradyumna Swami, I think it was), and we chanted and took prasadam exclusively for three days straight.

Bhaktivaibhava Swami arrived at our new center purchased in 1988 on Christmas, and for us, it was like for Srila Prabhupada or Krishna arriving. He was a very humble, unpretentious personality, but he lead us to Krishna consciousness. We worked for three days straight to get the house ready, doing kirtana with banging pots to stay awake.

I am convinced that the success of the revolution against communism was meant to facilitate the spreading of Krishna consciousness.

The present Ratha-yatra in Prague gets 6,000 to 7,000 attendees including 200 devotees. This year a total of 260 kilograms of prasadam was distributed during the parade and 211 books, and 750 plates of prasadam afterwards. The public and the city council appreciated it.

Twenty-two devotees Czech devotees went out distributing books for a week before Janmastami distributing 49 maha-big books, 1049 big books, 5 medium, 263 small books, and 288 magazines, and 2,195 pieces of prasadam.

Madhava Prabhu:

Aindra Prabhu always used to tell us to cry out to the Lord for His mercy like a child crying for his mother. And if you cannot cry like that, then cry out to the Lord for the ability to cry like that.

Haridasa Thakura said, “My body may be cut to pieces, but I will not stop chanting the holy names.”


satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah

taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani

sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati

In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge a person gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.25)

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Spiritual Scientist: A fresh Worldview

Question: Does spirituality provide anything that science cannot provide?

Answer: Yes. Spirituality provides us a fresh worldview with purpose and meaning that is missing in the atheism which is currently dominating modern science.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there,” sang Beatle George Harrison in one his popular songs. The life’s journey of most modern people is often characterized by ultra-high speed and ultra-low clarity of purpose. This peculiar, even dangerous, combination is like a car-driver going superfast without knowing his destination.

Our impressive progress in technology is like providing the car-driver a faster car and a smoother expressway. Most modern people delight in driving as fast as they can, as luxuriously as they can and as long as they can. They are almost fanatical in claiming that anyone who doesn’t “progress” their way is  primitive, regressive and unscientific.

But why does their “progress” make them addicted to sleeping pills, anti-depressant medicines, even cigarettes, liquor, drugs? Why has their “progress" brought our world on the brink of ecological breakdown?

Insightful thinkers have already seen through the façade of “progress”. Nobel Laureate physicist Erwin Schrodinger pointed out, “I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” Martin Luther King, Jr, stated, "The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

To help us guide men, the Vedic texts offer a delightfully different understanding of progress. Real progress comes not by finding newer ways to manipulate matter, but by finding ways to realize the spiritual essence of life. Spiritual realization makes us aware that we are not destructible lumps of matter, but are indestructible sparks of consciousness; that we are not lonely survivors in an impersonal, cold cosmos, but are beloved children of a benevolent almighty in a purposeful cosmos; that we are not doomed to mortality, but are destined for immortality. By thus liberating us from the bleak worldview of scientific atheism, spirituality brings clarity, purpose, meaning, joy and love into our lives.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 15: "So many rascals and fools employed in the government service deride Krishna. They think He was black and therefore low-born. In this way, how much they have become degraded. If you try to criticize, do it very carefully. But we must speak the right thing."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 15: "They keep some spiritual master as pet dog or cat. He is misguided and without any knowledge in our line neither he is ready to accept any bona fide instructor. But our mission is to preach Krishna Consciousness so let us try to help him as far as possible."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 15: "We sincerely serve Krishna, we are sincere servants, and we present things as presented by Krishna, and that is the test of our bona fide position and our bona fide presentation."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Spiritual Scientist: Is factual not actual?

Question: Why should we bother about some other world that spiritualists often talk about? Shouldn’t our actual life be based on the factual world – the world that we see around us?

Answer: The word “factual” comes from the Latin facio, “to make or do.” Thus a fact is what has been made or done. It is a product of the work of our senses—our seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. ISKCON scholar Suhotra Swami explains in his remarkable book, Dimensions of Good and Evil:

“Factual knowledge can only be knowledge of the past. When we look up at the night sky, we do not see the stars as they are but as they were. It takes time for their light to reach our eyes. According to modern cosmology, the light of many of the stars we see now may be several thousand years old. Some of them may have exploded centuries ago…The ‘factual’ sun that brightens our eyes is always eight minutes in the past. No one on earth has ever seen the ‘actual’ sun. A slight time lag divides us from even the nearest objects of our perception. This ‘factual’ world of human sensory experience is the phenomenal world—a world that has already changed by the time we know it. Thus the phenomenal world, the world of facts, is a world of secondary, dead information. The world that is, the primary living reality, we never know. Facts, far from being ‘the whole truth’, are just signals conveyed by the network of our senses.”

Science can only explain the factual world, the world of the senses, whereas the actual world, the world of life, remains forever beyond the reach of science. That’s why factual science is silent about the fundamental questions of existence – origin, value and purpose. And yet knowledge of these directs our actual lives consciously and subconsciously.

The claim that science can explain all of reality, that the factual world is the actual world, is pseudoscientific and is called scientism.  From the viewpoint of the Bhagavad-gita (18.22), scientism is knowledge in the mode of ignorance: “That knowledge by which one is attached to one kind of work as the all in all, without knowledge of the truth, and which is very meager, is said to be in the mode of ignorance.” Factual knowledge makes us attached to one kind of work: material progress. It is ‘knowledge in ignorance’ because it increases our knowledge of the factual world, while keeping us in ignorance of the actual world.

Because we mistakenly call this dead world as “factual”, spiritualists remind us of the actual world of life and love where we originally belong and where we need to return to attain the immortality and ecstasy that is our destiny.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 15: "My other godbrothers they are concerned with litigations, politics, and diplomacy, so what is the pracara? I have the blessings of my Guru Maharaj. I do not need anything else. This is how I went to your country and by his blessings it has come out successful."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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New Vrndavan, USA: Kartika 24 Hour Kirtan 2011

Please tune in for Kartika 24 Hour Kirtan Live from New Vrindaban, WV USA. The broadcast will begin at 12:00 pm EST, Saturday, October 15th.

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Spiritual Scientist: Isn’t That Unscientific ?

Question: When I talk about God, soul, rebirth, people often question: why discuss such unscientific things in this modern age of science?

Answer: Their question originates not from their scientific thinking, but from their belief in scientism, the peculiar school of thought that places around science a halo of “omniscience.”

The reputed physicist Fritjof Capra in his well-known book “The Tao of Physics” explains how scientific knowledge is like a map. Just as a map helps in navigating the mapped territory, science helps in manipulating the physical world. However, a map, no matter how exhaustive, is neither the territory, nor a complete description of the territory. Similarly, scientific knowledge, no matter how exhaustive, is neither the reality, nor a complete description of the reality. If the map helps us to precisely reach a particular house in a city, where we meet the owner of the house, will we decide that the owner of the house is non-existent and imaginary because he is not shown in our map? Obviously not. Similarly, scientific knowledge may efficiently guide us in our exploration of the physical world, but when we encounter essential features of our world that are not found in the world of science – emotions, consciousness, free will, the quest for meaning and purpose, should we reject these features as unscientific and so unreal? Obviously not. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt warned eloquently about the consequences of scientism: “There is superstition in science quite as much as there is superstition in theology, and it is all the more dangerous because those suffering from it are profoundly convinced that they are freeing themselves from all superstition. No grotesque repulsiveness of medieval superstition, even as it survived into nineteenth-century Spain and Naples, could be much more intolerant, much more destructive of all that is fine in morality, in the spiritual sense, and indeed in civilization itself, than that hard dogmatic materialism of today which often not merely calls itself scientific but arrogates to itself the sole right to use the term. If these pretensions affected only scientific men themselves, it would be a matter of small moment, but unfortunately they tend gradually to affect the whole people, and to establish a very dangerous standard of private and public conduct in the public mind.”

In his remarkable book “Mechanistic and Non-Mechanistic Science”, Cornell-educated Dr Richard L Thompson explains how the path of Bhakti-yoga explained in the Bhagavad-gita constitutes a higher-dimensional science that incorporates God, soul and rebirth, and coherently explains the essential features of life that modern science can’t explain. Most importantly, the path of bhakti-yoga offers each one of us the opportunity to experientially verify its truths. Thus this path incorporates both a theoretical and an experimental sense and so is entirely scientific.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 15: "Let us grow slowly but surely. Let us try our best to spread this Krishna Consciousness movement with sincerity. And Krishna will give us all facilities. After all, it is Krishna's business. We are simply servitors. Our sincere desire is to serve Him and this is our bona fide position."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 October 15: "You have been in charge and now you have taken it as your personal property and you have demanded the temple? Please do not make this mistake. Please do not leave Krishna. You will not be happy. That is my request."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 15: "How long do I have to bring devotees from abroad for preaching? You must recruit local devotees. That is wanted. So you cannot create? One experienced man must go and create local man anywhere; that is real preaching."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 15: "So work diligently. It is a good place, organize it nicely. You are an old, experienced worker, and I have full confidence in you. Krishna will bless you in this attempt. Next time I return that way I may go there, so please arrange."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Spiritual Scientist: Why not play God?

Question: The recent scientific attempts to create artificial life have been glamorized as man “playing God” through science. Why are religionists fearful of such scientific breakthroughs?

Answer: The history of science shows that, when man “plays God”, what is initially hailed as a breakthrough eventually causes a breakdown.

In new fields of research, scientists almost invariably promise beneficial, often sensational, future results. However, the past track record of such promises shows counterproductive, often devastating, consequences.  For example, genetically-modified (GM) food was advertised as the solution to world hunger, but it ended up causing hunger-deaths of hundreds of farmers in Maharashtra, India. These farmers were captivated by promises of pest-resistant seeds and high yields, but when the pests developed resistance to the seeds, the yields failed utterly. Moreover, as the GM seeds are designed to not give seeds for the next sowing, the farmers had no chance of a yield in the next season either. Afflicted by poverty, hunger and hopelessness, multitudes of them committed suicide. Alarmed by the possible adverse consequences of GM food, the European Union has outright banned their use and concerned NGOs worldwide are striving for similar curbs.

What are the possible dangers in “artificial life” research? Genome manipulation of the kind done by Dr Venter can lead to the development of medicine-resistant variants of disease-producing microbes, which could trigger a pandemic. The genome Dr. Venter synthesized was copied from a natural bacterium that infects goats. Before copying the DNA, he claims to have excised fourteen genes likely to be pathogenic, so that the new bacterium, even if it escaped, would be unlikely to cause goats harm. But such measures may not be incorporated in future similar researches – either unintentionally or intentionally. Will we then see headlines of artificial deaths – deaths caused by attempts at artificial life – in the papers? While some may consider such a scenario unlikely and unduly pessimistic, it is certainly a possibility. And perhaps contemplation on the worst-case possibility is necessary to prevent it from becoming a reality.

On a positive note, the “artificial life” news, by bringing to the forefront the age-old question of what life actually is, may prompt some soul-searching – at least figuratively and maybe even literally. For such soul-searching, the Bhagavad-gita can act as a reliable, time-tested guidebook of higher dimensional science. If the energy spent on creating artificial life were directed to cultivating spiritual knowledge and practice as outlined in the Gita, humanity would take quantum leaps in its understanding of life. The scientific establishment may or may not do this, but each of us individually can. If we choose to become courageous soul-searchers, we will no longer be taken in by overhyped reports about artificial life, for we will be constantly experiencing and relishing the meaning of real life.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Computer Problems

From xkcd

Filed under: Jokes
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Shalagram das, Dallas, TX, USA: Garden Wish List

Kalachandji’s Community Garden was established in January 2010. It is located at 1018 Graham Ave in Dallas, Texas, across the street from Kalachandji’s Restaurant, on a vacant lot that is owned by the church.

We approached the temple council in late 2009 and they liked the idea. There was originally an old house on the property [...]

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Spiritual Scientist: Artificial Life

Question: What is the Vedic comment on recent news report that the genome pioneer Craig Venter has created artificial life?

Answer: Let's see what Venter actually did:

  1. Determined the sequence of the DNA in one of the world's simplest bacteria,
  2. Synthesized a copy of that DNA from components sold by a biological supply company,
  3. Replaced the natural DNA in a living bacterial cell with this synthetic DNA.

Now we need to remember that DNA is not life. It is simply a sequence of biological codes storing the instructions for building proteins.

So, speaking analogically, Venter has certainly not created the complete computer; he has just replaced one chip with another in a pre-existing computer. That’s why Caltech biologist and Nobel laureate David Baltimore stated that Venter has "overplayed the importance" of his results; he "has not created life, only mimicked it."

What if scientists someday use the biochemical components to create the entire cell? Would that amount to creating life? No, because that would just be like making the computer, not the person who would use the computer. Although reductionist scientists would have us believe that there is no such “person” and that life is just a product of bio-chemicals, living systems behave in ways fundamentally and inexplicably different from nonliving objects. Nonliving objects are created, deteriorate over time and eventually meet with destruction. Living systems exhibits three additional features: maintenance, growth and reproduction. A living human hand, if cut, can clot and heal itself; the most state-of-the-art artificial hand, if cut, cannot clot or heal itself. The simplest unicellular organism can grow; the most sophisticated computer cannot. The most primitive living systems can reproduce; even the most advanced robots can’t.

No wonder Boston University bioengineer James Collins candidly admitted the scientific ground reality: “Scientists don't know enough about biology to create life.”

What do scientists not know about life? What gives living systems their remarkable properties of maintenance, growth and reproduction? The soul, which the Bhagavad-gita explains, is the source of life. The soul is eternal and can never be created. The Gita (13.33-34) also points out that the soul remains distinct from the body it animates, as does sunlight illuminating the universe or air pervading space. So, when a part of the body is changed, the soul remains unchanged, just as when a component in a computer is changed, the computer-user remains unchanged. Thus, in Venter’s experiment, the soul animating the bacteria remained unchanged when the DNA within that bacteria was changed.

To summarize, Venter’s attempt at creating artificial life is a failure – both in practice (he did not create life) and in principle (the soul, the actual source of life, can never be created).

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Reflection on the tragic death of Jayananda Prabhu’s son in the UK

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New Vrindavan, USA: Kartika 24 Hour Kirtan 2011

Download Kirtan Schedule

Kartika 24 Hour Kirtan Live from New Vrindaban, WV USA.

Please donate generously to support the festival webcast.

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Spiritual Scientist: Let’s Become Spiritual Detectives

Question: We need food for energy. So isn't the claim that the soul is the source of energy in the body disproved by everyday experience?

Answer: In the Bhagavad-gita (18.34) Lord Krishna explains the relationship between the soul and the body with an insightful analogy: "As the sun illuminates the universe, so does the soul illuminate the body by consciousness." The sun's illumination is necessary for vegetation to grow on the earth, as is the supply of water. For the growth of the vegetation, the sunlight is the remote cause and the water, the immediate cause. An uninformed gardener may think that the plant needs water alone, because that is what he or she has to provide. But a wise gardener knows that sunlight plays an equally indispensable role. Similarly, for bodily energy, food is the immediate cause and the soul, the remote cause. An uninformed person may think that the body needs food alone, because that is what he or she has to provide. But a wise person knows that food alone is not enough for energy; food cannot energize a dead person.

Nor can food – or the matter that constitutes it – account for the essential characteristic of life, consciousness: the ability to be aware of and to experience our surroundings, and to respond with thoughts, feelings, intentions and actions. For example, a sweet is made of matter and so is the tongue. The sweet does not experience itself as delicious. But when we place the sweet on our tongue, we experience it as delicious. Who is experiencing that taste? The tongue? Or some part of the brain? But both the tongue and the brain are essentially made of the same material components as the sweet: molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, quantum wave patterns. Nothing in these material components even remotely resembles consciousness. Modern science has utterly failed to even theoretically explain how matter can experience matter, leave alone experimentally demonstrate it. That's why in the book, Biology Today, Nobel Laureate chemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi admitted, “In my search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms and electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line, life ran out through my fingers. So, in my old age, I am now retracing my steps....”

Why should we too have to retrace our steps in old age? Let us instead be bold and adventurous enough to become spiritual detectives. If we investigate the mystery of life by the process of philosophical contemplation and devotional meditation outlined in the Gita, all one of us can experientially verify our real identities as souls.

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ISKCON Malaysia: Reaching Out To Children In More Tamil Schools



14th October 2011


Today's free prasadam distribution and book distribution was at a very old Tamil school at Sentul located just behind the La Salle Sentul. This school even has an altar room for kids to daily make prayers before attending classes. We distributed 26 Krishna Story hard bound and 309 small and medium size literatures and served out prasadam vegetarian meals to 350 students, teachers and staffs of the school. The headmistress requested us to come back and conduct the Damodara programme.



Coming up next is in November for a maha programme at the Vivekananda School Jalan 222 just after Assunta Hospital on the same road where 1000 kids are waiting for the mercy of Lord Krishna in the form of books and prasadam. And there is good chance they will even get the merciful darshan of His pure devotees HH Jayapataka Maharaj & HH Bhakti Vrajendra Nandana Maharaj on the same day.


Thanks to our volunteer crew of Rasa Parayana, Mayapur Candra, Kasi Misra, Raja Sham, Pandian, Balakrishnan, Nandalala, Sri Kantha, Sharuben, Guna Niddhi, Tirtha Gauranga, Mulakaranam, Santi Vardana Caitanya and Siva Caitanya prabhus & Vallabhi, Gaurangi, Malini Priti, Jay Sri, Sanglisha and Kavita. And of course the Gauranga Bramachari Sankirtan team of Hari Gaura, Gokul Damodara, Ganesh & Seva Niddhi prabhus.


12th October 2011




After the massive Sastra dana and Anna dana programme at the SJK (T) Wawasan Tun Sambanthan Subang Jaya on 30 September serving prasadam to more than 750 students and teachers and giving out about 700 literatures, the programme today at the HICOM Tamil school at section 27 Shah Alam was an easy go for our cooks and all congregation assistants. Mayapur Candra, Kasi Misra  and Rasa Parayana prabhus took the lead again to prepare prasadam for 300 children. Vallabhi mataji as usual did all the ground work coordination for the congregation volunteers and approval from the school. Six years old little Ramacharan son of Goloka Candra prabhu was with the FFL team for the 3rd time to show his mrdanga playing talents to school children. We always welcome more volunteers to come and experience the pleasure of serving prasadam and handing out literatures to the kids.

We thank  Gauranga Brahmacari Sankirtan team, Rasa Parayana, Kasi Misra, Mayapur Candra, Bhakta Ruben, Goloka Candra, Santi Vardhana Caitanya, Mulakaranam prabhus, Vallabhi & Subadatri mataji for volunteering for these services.




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Japa Group: This Is The Test

" must certainly be eager to render service to the Lord. This is the test. When one engages enthusiastically in the Lord's service, it is to be understood that he is reaping the results of chanting the names of Krsna and Hari."

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmrta Madhya 16.188 purport
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Next Live Broadcast - Morning Class - Sunday, October 16th - 7:30am

During the month of Kartik, the Toronto Hare Krishna temple has been having special morning classes with a wide range of topics and speakers!  We've been broadcasting these classes every morning.  Our next live broadcast will be tomorrow morning Sunday, October 16th at 7:30am.  We hope you can join us then!

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The Loft, Auckland, NZ: Kirtan Explosion

This Saturday 22nd October, Shabda will be playing at the SOUL CENTRE in Titirangi @7pm til 9ish. So come and experience a night of sacred sounds that will soothe the heart and energize the spirit.18 Huia rd, Titirangi, Auckland. $10 minimum koha, kids for free.

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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Survival of the fittest

According to Darwin's definition of natural selection ( a synonym for survival of the fittest) any organism that reproduces is "fit" enough to contribute to the survival of its species. This opposite of which means the death of the physical body.

Srila Prabhupada in his commentary on the Bhagavatam (SB 8.5.23) says "survival of the fittest is a well-known principle, but the poor souls of this material world do not know what is survival and who is fit. Survival does not mean that one should die; survival means that one should not die, but should enjoy an everlastingly blissful life of knowledge. This is survival. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant to make every person fit for survival."

Two definitions of fit and survival, one is on the physical plane and hence temporary which then makes the word "survival" an oxymoron as nothing in essence survives in this world. We die either now or in 100 years. Therefore "survival" is an apt jargon fit within the spiritual domain and that is very nicely described by Srila Prabhupada.

Hare Krishna
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Spiritual Scientist: Proof of Reincarnation

Question: Is there any proof of reincarnation?

Answer: Certainly; there’s lot. But before we can understand the proof of reincarnation, we need to understand how reincarnation takes place. The Bhagavad-gita explains that our current existence is three-dimensional: physical (related with the gross material body that we can see and touch), mental (related with the subtle material body centered on the mind) and spiritual (related with the soul). At the time of death, the soul, along with the subtle body, goes to the next gross body, leaving the present gross body behind. As the same subtle body carries on to the next life, aspects related to the subtle body – skills, fears and memories – are carried on from this life to the next, along with, of course, the devotional experiences associated with the soul. Whether the aspects related with the subtle body – skills, fears and memories – will be remembered in the next life or not will depend on, among other factors, the extent of impressions that have been created in the mind by the activities related to them.

Here are examples of phenomenon that persuasively point to reincarnation:

  • Precocious children who have abilities far greater than their age are a medical mystery. How does a child of five solve complex calculus problems that graduate level students struggle with? Because he has cultivated math skills in his previous life.
  • Many people with mental problems – especially phobias – that are incurable by normal psychotherapy have been cured by Dr. Brian Weiss of the Sinai Medical Research Center, USA. He traces, through hypnotically-induced past life regression, that these phobias originate in a traumatic previous-life death caused by the very object toward which one has phobia in this life. For example, he found that several patients having hydrophobia had died due to drowning in a previous life. When the patients understand the cause of the phobia, then their phobia disappears or at least decreases dramatically. Those who don’t consider reincarnation real have no explanation for the real healing that has taken place.
  • Numerous cases of past-life memories are documented by rigorous researchers like Dr. Ian Stevenson in his books, especially Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. Dr Stevenson’s research quality was acknowledged in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association: “[Dr Stevenson had] painstakingly and unemotionally collected a detailed series of cases in which the evidence for reincarnation is difficult to understand on any other grounds….He has placed on record a large amount of data that cannot be ignored.”

Considering these multiple proofs, no wonder author Collin Watson asserted, “The sheer volume of evidence for survival after death is so immense, that to ignore it is like standing at the foot of Mt. Everest and insisting that you cannot see the mountain.”

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Fastest Selling Song Of The Beatles

His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami once mentioned :  “After Srila Prabhupada George Harisson did the most to spread Krishna Consciousness” Please click on the picture to see the enlarged picture

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Gouranga TV: Kirtan in Villaggio Hare Krishna with Mahavishnu Maharaja,Dayanidhi prabhu and friends!!

Kirtan in Villaggio Hare Krishna with Mahavishnu Maharaja,Dayanidhi prabhu and friends!!

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Spiritual Scientist: Proof of Soul’s Existence

Question: Is there any scientific proof for the soul’s existence?

Answer: There’s plenty.

One of the most striking proofs is documented by the renowned father of modern neurosurgery, Dr Wilder Penfield, in his book The Mystery of the Mind.  Let’s consider one of his many experiments, paraphrased here without the technical jargon for easy understanding.

Dr Penfield set up a high-tech system to observe the brain activity of a subject, who was told to do simple activities like raising his hand. When he raised his arm, a certain part of the brain was activated and the subject described the event as: “I raised my arm.” When he brought his arm down, that part of the brain was seen to be deactivated and the subject described the event as: “I put my arm down.”

Then Dr Penfield, using state-of-the-art technology, artificially activated that part of the brain and the arm rose up. The subject described the event as: “My arm went up.” Dr Penfield specifically asked: “Did you raise your arm?” The subject replied with full certainty: “I didn’t raise my hand. My arm rose up by itself.” When Dr Penfield deactivated the brain and the arm went down, the patient described: “My arm fell down; I did not bring it down.”

This simple experiment had profound implications: in both cases, the brain was activated to raise and lower the arm. But in the second case, Dr Penfield, an external agent, was activating the brain.  Who was the agent activating it in the first case? In both cases, the brain was serving as a machine to transmit the intention of an agent. In the second case, it transmitted Dr Penfield’s intention. In the first case, whose intention did it transmit? Could the mysterious agent be the soul? Dr Penfield had started his brain research with the explicit intention of disproving the existence of the soul, but after conducting experiments like the above one for forty years, he came to an unambiguous conclusion: “The brain is a computer, but it is programmed by something outside of itself.”

The Bhagavad-gita explains what that “something outside of itself” is: the soul, or, more specifically, the consciousness, which is the intrinsic energy of the soul temporarily projected into the body. Modern science offers us strong proof for the existence of the soul. And if we want to personally experience ourselves as souls distinct from our bodies, the Gita offers us the higher-dimensional science of bhakti-yoga. This science, by tapping the power of divine sound, uncovers our latent spiritual consciousness, gives us direct perception of the soul and ultimately helps us reclaim our spiritual birthright to an eternal life of knowledge and bliss.

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 15 October 2011--Nectar in Klaipeda, Lithuania--and--How to See Good and Bad Equally?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Saturday 15 October 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. For Transcendental Association Connect With Other Members of this Course. Join this Conference: Help Popularize Our Message By Liking Today's Thought on Facebook: Today's Thought: Nectar in Klaipeda, Lithuania Uploaded from Klaipeda, Lithuania Our short stop in Klaipeda, Lithuania on our way to Russia was another fantastic opportunity to share the sublime nectar of Krishna consciousness. After an enlivening kirtan I was very inspired to describe the glories of chanting Hare Krishna in great detail. There were so many questions coming from the enthusiastic audience that we did not have time to answer all of them. My greatest happiness was to see that so many people were inspired to purchase our transcendental literatures at the conclusion of the program. This ecstatic evening was another proof of the unlimited causeless mercy of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Revealing the Mystical Power of the Mahamantra 13 October 2011--Klaipeda, Lithuania Making a Strong Philosophical Point Many People Purchased our Books Answers by Citing the Vedic Version: Question: How to See Good and Bad Equally? How can a person remain indifferent to both good and bad at the same time? I mean how is it possible that a man can neither like something good nor hate it. It may look true theoretically, but how can it be possible practically? Deeksha Sharma Answer: Both as Krishna's Mercy You have to see the good and bad as both being equal manifestations of the mercy of Krishna. 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: 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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