jueves, 16 de junio de 2011

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Devamrita Swami


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"Planet ISKCON" - 39 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 17 March 2011--How to Get Out of the Dream?--and--Why the Supreme Personality?
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: St Kilda Festival 2012
  3. Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: New Friday Evening Nidra Yoga Class
  4. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes : VEGAN / Zucchini Muffins & Sugar Cookies
  5. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Devamrita Swami
  6. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Up Close and Personal: Madhava Live
  7. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  8. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  9. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  10. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Sita-pati dasa, AU: German Power!
  16. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  17. Sita-pati dasa, AU: The Origin of the word "Chant"
  18. Japa Group: Krsna Is Present In His Name
  19. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  20. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: STRAWS
  21. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement is simply transcendentally pleasing
  22. Jaya Kesava das, Denton, Texas: Off track a bit
  23. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: The Chosen and The Choosers
  24. ISKCON News.com: ISKCON Organizes “ENVIRO 2011” Conference
  25. New Vrndavan, USA: The Rule of Capture
  26. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Much Obliged
  27. Dandavats.com: Lessons from Madhavendra Puri
  28. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Mahananda: He is abdorbed in the greatest bliss! Gauranga is coming! Gauranga! {Part 6 of 11}
  29. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 251—Poem for March 16
  30. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  31. Jaya Kesava Das, USA: Intermission
  32. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Madhavendra Puri Disappearance in complete mood of seperation from Krishna
  33. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today, Class on S.B. 1.13.31 “…the materialistic person may take lessons from a sadhu like Vidura and thus be cleansed of the effects of modern life.”
  34. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana for Radha-Syama on this ekadasi morning
  35. Dandavats.com: Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Jagajivan Prabhu
  36. Gouranga TV: indradyumna swami hare krishna
  37. Japa Group: Chanting Should Be In The Forefront
  38. Vraja Kishor, JP: Sexism, Prejudice, and Vedic Culture
  39. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Gaura Purnima 2011
  40. More Recent Articles
  41. Search Planet ISKCON
  42. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 17 March 2011--How to Get Out of the Dream?--and--Why the Supreme Personality?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(tm) Thursday 17 March 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. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: How to Get Out of the Dream? Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA The unreality of this material existence becomes so complicated that it is very difficult to get out of it. It is something like having a dream within a dream, within a dream, within a dream, within a dream. In other words, even if you realize you are dreaming, it becomes inextricably confusing when you realize that you are dreaming that you are dreaming that you are dreaming, that you are dreaming. How to wake up and get out? This is why a bona fide spiritual master is required. With one full swoop he immediately cuts completely through the hard knot of the million-layered phantasmagoria and brings you back to the reality of who you really are. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Srila Prabhupada Cuts Through Illusion http://www.backtohome.com/images/Prabhupada/sp_defeats_illusion.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Why the Supreme Personality? Please advise why you refer to Lord Krishna as the "Supreme Personality" of Godhead. We could just say Lord Krishna or the Supreme Lord Krishna. So why is it that many ISKCON books and devotees refer to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Jay Answer: He's Not the Impersonal Oneness This is to make it very clear that God is a person. He's not the impersonal oneness as the Mayavadis claim. 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 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: sda@backtohome.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714185709 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: http://www.backtohome.com Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: St Kilda Festival 2012


We are definitely IN for St Kilda Festival 2012: it's confirmed!

As you can see from the letter attached, the Producer of the Festival was really impressed with our Festival of the Chariots and our presence itself in the Vedic Village.

Well, let's start to prepare as from now itself.
See you all there again next year; can't wait!

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Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: New Friday Evening Nidra Yoga Class

Starting Friday 25th March, and every Friday from then on, there will be a Nidra Yoga class starting at 6pm at Atma Yoga. Unwind from the week and get a relaxing start to your weekend with a gentle, restorative and introspective yoga class.

Nidra Yoga ~ 6pm to 7:30pm every Friday

Includes vegetarian dinner.

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes : VEGAN / Zucchini Muffins & Sugar Cookies

  Not all holidays are created equal. Like, Thanksgiving is a big holiday. The potential is there for it to be big on meaning, but even if you are a total ungrateful zombie, Thanksgiving is still big because people are … Continue reading

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Devamrita Swami

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.2.34 - Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone. But people under the influence of intoxication & television cannot understand this (ayur harati vai pumsam...).

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Up Close and Personal: Madhava Live

This Saturday 19th March, from 10am AEST (GMT +10), broadcasting live over the Kirtan Australia video channel:

10am - 10:30am: Kirtan with Radhika
10:30am - 11:30am: Madhava Interview with Sita-pati (broadcast live over the internet)
11:30am - 12:30pm: "Kirtan Etiquette" workshop by Madhava & Radhika / Audience Q&A's
12:30pm - 1pm: Kirtan with Madhava
1pm onwards: Prasadam & Association

If you have questions that you would like to have answered, send them to me: sitapati (a) worldsankirtan.net, or leave them as a comment on Facebook.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 16: "When India was divided into Hindustan and Pakistan there was good opportunity for the Hindus and the state religion should have been declared Krishna Consciousness. In the name of secular state, the leaders are deliberately violating all the principles of India's original spiritual culture."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 16: "My Guru Maharaja put more stress on publishing books and magazines, and temple opening as a secondary consideration. It is more important to create devotees than to construct temples. Unless you have devotees, the temples will remain vacant."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 16: "So there is no more scarcity of anything - let us begin the job. We shall print at least four books yearly, and 50,000 magazines every month. We have now staff, editorial, printers, binders, and managers - and Krishna will be financier."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 March 16:
"Dashami. No letter received. In the evening there was meeting. The attendance was three. Joan was kind enough to get my books sixteen sets from Paragon Book Gallery. The books are brought and kept in stock. No expenditure. Income $3.00 by contribution."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 16: "When the large Deities are installed, the small Deities should be worshiped as Vijaya Vigraha which means this pair of Deities may go outside the Temple with sankirtan party in a small car, not always, but conveniently. In due course of time, I shall let you know the details."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 March 16: "I am very glad you are carrying on your programs for spreading Krsna consciousness with great enthusiasm and good response. But we must not lose our own status of advancement in Krsna consciousness. Everything must be done very intelligently."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 March 16: "I am pleased you have been preaching and people are sympathetic. Our movement is unique, from all countries they are joining and becoming Vaisnavas by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, and refraining from the pillars of sinful activities. This was Lord Caitanya's desire."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 March 16: "Due to the mismanagement of the demon class, food is not available. The people are very disturbed. If we distribute prasadam to the hungry people of India, at our centers as well as in the villages, we will win over the whole country and the whole world."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: German Power!

English is the bastard child of German and Latin, and it has a hybrid powerz.

Compare the following:

Tenemos que preguntarnos: ¿Qué queremos?

We have to ask ourselves: What do we want?

Spanish: 5 words
English: 9 words

As an inflected language, Spanish sentences will tend to have less words. English accomplishes the effect of inflection through the use of prepositions, pronouns and word ordering. The first two increase the word count.

However, look at this:

Spanish syllables by word: 3, 1, 4, 1, 3
English syllables by word: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1

English is speaking "frankly" (from the Franks, a Germanic tribe who gave their name to France through invasion); whereas Spanish is speaking "eloquently" (from loqui, Latin for "speak")

The word for war in English and Spanish ("guerra") comes from the German werra, rather than the Latin bellum. The reason we use the German word for it is because they were so good at it.

Compare with the English term bellicose, meaning aggressive. Bellicose is intellectual talk - "war" is as close to a grunt as you can get. German power!

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


Srimati Radharani is the embodiment of all beauty and in that domain She can be compared with Herself only. Indeed, Sri Radha looks absolutely remarkable today.

Here's the
darsana of She who attracts the Attractor of Cupid, Madana-mohana-mohini, in all Her splendour.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: The Origin of the word "Chant"

The Origin of the English word "Chant"

The word chant in English comes from Latin cantare. Cantare is a frequentative verb. A verb is a "doing word" - a word that signifies an action. Latin has the concept of frequentative verbs - words that signify an action along with a sense of repetition.

To form the frequentative version of a verb you take the passive past participle - in this case cantus ("was sung"), the passive past participle of canere ("to sing"), and turn it into a regular first declension verb - so: cantare - "repeatedly singing".

Cantare became the ancestor for the word "to sing" in Romance languages, losing its sense of repetition along the way. Spanish cantar and canciónero, and French chanter and chanteuse are the equivalent of English sing and singer.

The English word for cantare, cantar, and chanter is "sing" - a word of German origin (note the single syllable "frank" nature of the word).

In English the word "chant" entered English in the Middle Ages through religious Latin and the practice of Gregorian chant - Gregorian plainsong.

So "chant" in English, carries with it the idea of repetition, monotony, and a religious overtone.

In Spanish, Hare Krishna devotees say "cantamos las rondas" - literally "we sing rounds", referring to the repetition of prayers with a rosary. In English it is "we chant rounds". In Spanish, they say: "Cantamos kirtan" - "we sing kirtan". In English either "singing kirtan" or "chanting kirtan" are used, but when I discussed chanting with a classical singing teacher, her conception was that it was something like Gregorian plainsong, until I played her a recording of kirtan.

How Cantare lost its sense of "repetition" in Romance languages

Cantare, the verb that carries the idea of repeated singing, became the ancestor of the word for singing in Romance languages - cantar in Spanish, chanter in French. Why did cantare become the ancestor of the word for "sing" in the Romance languages, rather than canere? And how did it lose its sense of repetition along the way?

Cantare replaced Classical Latin's canere in daily usage in Vulgar Latin (Latin of the people - vulgaris) because it is easier to conjugate than canere.


The frequentative verb is always first declension. Latin is an inflected language, which means that verbs take different forms depending on who is performing and when they are performed. English, in contrast, generally uses the same form of the verb (with a bunch of exceptions), modifying it with prepositions and pronouns.

For example:

To sing
I sing
You sing
He sings
We sing
You all sing
They sing

yo canto
tu cantas
el canta
nosotros cantamos
ustedes cantan / vosotros cantáis
ellos cantan

You can see that in Spanish the verb takes a different form depending on who is performing it - so much so that you could drop the pronoun and still understand what was being said (compare: "canto, cantas, cantamos" with "sing, sing, sing"). In English there are only two forms - an inflected (modified) form for the third person singular ("he sings"), and just one form for everyone else. English is so weakly inflected that it is for all intents and purposes uninflected. Some verbs retain stronger inflection, a holdover from Old English, which was a inflected Germanic language - take "to be" for example:

To be
I am
You are
He is
We are
You are
They are

Here there are four forms of the verb in the present tense.

Languages tend toward laziness over time. I'm not sure how they get to be so complicated in the first place, unless it points to a massive energy event at some point in the past (aliens teaching humans to speak?). Anyway, leaving that aside:

Because canere is more work (memorisation) to conjugate, and cantare on the other hand is regular and belongs to the most commonly occurring class of verbs, it naturally became the word of choice.

Look at it like this: looking back at the examples of "to sing" and "to be"; do you think it would be easier to learn and use "to sing" or "to be"? To sing, of course - it's much more regular. Now, given two words that mean roughly the same thing - one regular, one irregular, which will become the word of choice? The path of least resistance, of course.

So cantare became the word of popular choice (Vulgar). As it did that, it lost its repetitive sense as a frequentative version of canere, and instead became a standalone verb meaning simply "to sing", at least in the Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, French, etc). As a late import into English via the church, which as an artificial language environment is more conservative, it retained its frequentative sense and gained a religious overtone.

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Japa Group: Krsna Is Present In His Name

Today I read a nice quote from Srila Prabhupada....it reminded me of how important it is to remember that the Lord is present in His names 100% - therefore we need to always give 100% full respect to our chanting and to always depend fully on the Lord by this effort.

The names of the Lord and the Lord are nondifferent. So Lord Krsna's instruction to Arjuna to "remember Me" and Lord Caitanya's injunction to "always chant the names of Lord Krsna" are the same instruction. There is no difference, because Krsna and Krsna's name are nondifferent. In the absolute status there is no difference between reference and referent. Therefore we have to practice remembering the Lord always, twenty-four hours a day, by chanting His names and molding our life's activities in such a way that we can remember Him always.
Srila Prabhupada - Bhagavad Gita Introduction
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H.H. Sivarama Swami

They simply say, “yogi.” But the real yogi means they have got siddhis, asta-siddhi: anima, laghima, mahima, prapti, isita, vasita. These are siddhis. Yogis, if they are real yogi, then I can put you into the room, lock it, and you can come out. That is yogi, not by simply showing some posture.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: STRAWS

In the material world a so-called family is a combination of several persons in one home to fulfill the terms of their imprisonment. As criminal prisoners scatter as soon as their terms are over and they are released, all of us who have temporarily assembled as family members will continue to our respective destinations.

As water passes down a river, many straws and grasses are carried from the shore. These straws and grasses come together in the river's current, but when the waves toss this way and that, they are separated and carried somewhere else and float alone in the water.

Similarly, the innumerable living entities within this material world are being carried by the waves of material nature. Sometimes the waves bring them together, and they form friendships and relate to one another on a bodily basis of family, community or nationality. Eventually they are thrown out of association by the waves of material nature, and they are inevitably separated by the waves.

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement is simply transcendentally pleasing

Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends "You chant Hare Krsna, dance nicely, and when you feel tired, just take rest and eat Krsna prasadam." So His formula is very pleasing. Kevala ananda-kanda. While He was present in Jagannatha Puri, every day in the evening, the chanting and dancing continued. And after the dancing was finished, He used to distribute prasadam of Jagannatha sumptuously. So many thousands of people used to assemble every night. So this movement is simply transcendentally pleasing.

Purport to Parama Koruna

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Jaya Kesava das, Denton, Texas: Off track a bit

I posted this two years ago on my older blog, and for some reason it still gets a huge hit count. Thought I’d share it on this blog. *********Be Happy With Your Underwear****************************** For my next series of blogs I’ll … Continue reading

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: The Chosen and The Choosers

The Youth.

The Future of the Movement.

Descendants of the Demigods.

kuli (n.) [abbr. gurukuli] non-joiners; inborn members who do drum wailing (see play mridanga) and have smart philosophical answers for everything. (definition by Madi)


I don't play the mridanga and I never went to gurukul. Nevertheless, all my life I have considered myself a gurukuli. But a curious thing happened to me last year - I had an identity crisis.

Last May I took a profound step in my spiritual life when I received initiation by His Holiness Radhanath Swami. But when I introduced myself to new people, I realized that because I had received initiation many assumed that I had come to the Hare Krishna movement as a newcomer.

It was unnerving. Alas, it was like I had been voided of my seniority and the cool factor of being a kuli. My pride stung.

So for several months last year when I met a new person, I used to add a disclaimer to my introduction: "I received initiation last year, but really I've been in this movement since birth."

I began to cringe at my own words. I realized that when I tagged on that little line, I simultaneously boosted my pride and invalidated the mercy of my spiritual master.

So when I flew to India last December, I decided to conduct an experiment: never mention that I've been in this movement since birth in any way, shape, or form. I revealed my plan to my friend Balaram, but he laughed. "Bhakti, people will know you're a kuli just by the way you dress, the way you talk, who you hang out with... you can't escape!"

I was determined to prove him wrong. For once, I wanted to blend with the crowd. I wanted to ask for no special treatment or recognition (which, sadly to say, I have felt entitled to my entire life).

I tried hard to not wave around my entitlement, but I failed rather miserably in the beginning of my trip. I kept striving, though, to shut up and blend. By the time I flew down to South India to join a yatra with 5,000 other people, I was getting better at shutting up and blending and swallowing my pride.

Actually, I found the humility refreshing to my spirit.

On the first morning of the South India Yatra, a thousand of us poured out onto the streets of Kanyakumari. I ended up walking next to a young woman by the name of Arati and we struck up a conversation. I asked her how she had come to Krishna Consciousness. She told me her beautiful story, but that sadly her parents were inimical to the devotees and to her choice.

Then she asked me the inevitable question: "So how long have you been around Krishna Consciousness?"

I paused.

"Well..." I stalled, trying to find the words. "Well... when, um... when I was 13, I decided to open up a... Vaishnava songbook. Does that make sense?"

She nodded.

"So I read the translations, and they were so beautiful! Then I read Illuminations from the Bhagavad Gita, which is a book of illustrated verses from Prabhupad's Gita. I was obsessed with those verses - I would type them up on the computer with some cool graphic designs, then tack them up all over the house."

Arati exclaimed, "It was like you found the meaning of life!"

"Yes!! Exactly! I had found the meaning of life!" We both laughed. "That is exactly it!"

Then came the whammy question: "May I ask, are your parents favorable to you being a devotee?"

I paused.

There was no way around this one. "Well, uh... actually... my parents are devotees,"

It took a moment for this to register. Then she said, "So you are a... gurukuli?"

I sighed. "I guess."

"Oooohhh..." she said.

I became a tad indignant. "But we must all make a choice, yes? We all make a choice to devote our lives to the Lord, no matter what walk of life we come from... even if we are born into this movement."

She smiled and nodded. "Yes. Absolutely. I was born into this Indian culture, but I have found the essence here."

"You see? The essence is that we both want to love God, whether we're Indian or gurukuli." I said. "So we are the same."

That wasn't just a smart philosophical answer. The words came from my heart. No mridanga required. 
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ISKCON News.com: ISKCON Organizes “ENVIRO 2011” Conference

By Gopal Gaura Guru Das for ISKCON News on 11 Mar 2011

The Bhaktivedanta Academy, the educational wing of ISKCON Coimbatore organized “ENVIRO 2011”, a Conference on Youth and Environment as a pioneering effort to draw the attention of young people to one of the most critical issue we face today - the rapid climate changes and its consequences.

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New Vrndavan, USA: The Rule of Capture

The following is a brief excerpt from a more in depth article published by the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization:

“Currently, for most oil and gas wells drilled in West Virginia, the laws regarding who owns the gas that comes out of oil or gas wells, and what this means about how many wells are drilled how close together, are based on a common-law principle stemming from hunting rights adopted by courts in England during the Middle Ages. This principle, the Rule of Capture, does not recognize the fact that the boundaries of oil and gas reservoirs (pools) do not follow property lines designated in deeds of mineral interests.

“Oil and gas reservoirs are extensive pools that may extend under hundreds or even thousands of acres of land. Under the Rule of Capture, the first person to drill a well that taps into a pool of oil or gas has the ability to use, and possibly deplete, the oil or gas under not only their own property, but also under the property of neighboring mineral owners, and without paying anything to the neighbors for doing so!”

There is a longer explanation of the Rule of Capture and the abuses it can lead to here.

What we are referencing specifically in this article is found at Slide 24a.

“As part of our third “example” in this slide show, here is another example of a different abuse of the rule of capture. The owner of the surface and minerals labeled the “FOREMAN” land in the middle of the image did not want to lease at all really, and especially not to the driller who was drilling gas wells around him. So the driller drilled six statutory “shallow” gas wells all around him, right across his boundaries. The result was that the driller legally stole the gas out from under the landowner without paying him anything for it.”

In our previous article titled, “Signing Gas Leases to Help Protect Our Water Supply”, we explained how the nonprofit corporations managing land in what is known as New Vrindaban only own 25% of the net mineral acres on the ridge where New Vrindaban is located. It is not in one block, but rather scattered amongst the other 75% not controlled by New Vrindaban. At the time New Vrindaban managers were contemplating whether or not to sign gas leases 55% of the mineral rights on the ridge had already been leased to gas drilling companies, and of the other 20% not owned by New Vrindaban, many of the private land owners were on the verge of signing leases with Chesapeake. As of this writing at least 95% of the ridge is known to be leased to drilling companies, less than 1% percent is known to have not leased, and the other 4% (absentee landowners) is unknown but likely to have leased.

The stark reality was that because of the geography of New Vrindaban properties and the Rule of Capture, a significant amount of the natural gas that New Vrindaban had claim to was going to be taken regardless if we signed a lease or not. The only question was who was going to get the royalties — New Vrindaban or other local landowners.

As drilling was already active on neighboring ridges, drilling near New Vrindaban’s lands was imminent. As a matter of fact, within a year of New Vrindaban signing, the first well, Snyder 1H, was drilled on a neighboring property less than 200 yards (200 m) from the Bahulaban property line.

The managers of New Vrindaban’s non-profit corporations decided it would be better if we proactively signed a lease with a more environmentally responsible company, AB Resources, accept the funds and use them in Krishna’s service by making capital improvements in and around the New Vrindaban Community.

The next article will talk about how the principle of yukta-vairagya, true renunciation, was applied in the decision making process.

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Much Obliged

excerpt from lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.20, Los Angeles, November 30, 1973

Having something not the same as wanting it

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Whatever we want to enjoy. KRISHNA has given us full facility within this material world. But because we do not know what is actual enjoyment, therefore the so-called enjoyment is turning to be distressed condition. Just like a child, if he’s given full freedom, “All right, my dear child, whatever you like to do.” So he cannot stay in one kind of engagement. Sometimes this, sometimes that, sometimes this, sometimes that. He’s not happy.

But if he follows the instruction of the parents, “My dear child, you do like this, you eat like,” then he’s happy. If he takes the freedom in his own hand, it is not possible to become happy.more

So this is the instance, that we may be very powerful so long Krishna keeps us powerful.

We are not independently powerful, even in the case of Arjuna. We are very much proudof our janmaishvarya-shruta-shrih [SB 1.8.26]. The material world, everyone is very much proud of his birth, riches, education and beauty. Beauty.

These four things are obtained as result of pious activities. And as a result of impious activities, the opposite number. Not birth in a very nice family or nation, no wealth, poverty, no education and no beauty. But one should know that these assets, material assets… Just like you American people. You have got nice assets. You are born of a very respectful nation-American nations are still honored all over the world. So that’s a good opportunity for you. Janma [birth]. You are born in… Every American is… In comparison to India, every American is rich man, because any ordinary man earns here at least four thousand, five thousand rupees. And in India, even the high-court judge, he cannot earn so. Utmost four thousand.

So you should be conscious that by the grace of Krishna, you have got all these things.

There is no poverty, there is no scarcity, there is good chance of education, and you are wealthy, beautiful, everything. Janmaishvarya-shruta-shrih.

But if you do not become Krishna conscious, if you misuse these assets, then again punar mushiko bhava.

You know the story, punar mushiko bhava? Anyone knows? Punar mushiko bhava means “Again you become a mouse.” [laughter]

A mouse came to a saintly person: “Sir, I am very much troubled.”

“What is that?”

People generally go to saintly persons for some material profit. That is the nature, animalistic nature. Why you should go to a saintly person for some material benefit? No. You go there to learn what is God. That is real business. Anyway, saintly persons sometimes receive.

“So what do you want?”

Just like Lord Shiva, his devotees are all like that mouse, want something.

“Sir, this cat troubles me very much.”

“So what you want?”

“Let me become a cat.”

“All right, you become a cat.”

So he became a cat. Then after few days, he came back.

“Sir, still I am in trouble.”

“What is that?” “The dogs, [laughter] they trouble us very much.”

“So what you want?”

“Now I want to become a dog.”

“All right, you become.”

Then after few days… One after…, there is nature’s arrangement. One is weak, one is strong. That is nature’s arrangement. So after all, he wanted to become a tiger. So by the grace of the saintly person, he became a tiger. And when he became a tiger, he was staring on the saintly person like, oh… So the saintly person asked him, “You want to eat me?”


“Oh, then you may again become a mouse. [laughter] If by my grace, by my favor, you have become tiger, so I will again condemn you to become a mouse.”

So you American people, you have become tiger now. But if you don’t behave obligely, if you don’t feel obliged to GOD, if the tiger feels obliged that “By the grace of the saintly person, I have come to the stage of becoming a tiger, I must be very much obliged to him…” But instead of becoming obliged, if you want to eat, then again become a mouse. If the saintly person has got the power to make you from mouse to tiger, then he can convert you again from tiger to mouse. You must always remember this.

So by the grace of God, Krishna, you have become so powerful nation, rich, beautiful, educated. By grace of Krishna you have become, but if you forget Krishna, then you are again going to be mouse. Remember that. Nobody will care for you. Just like Englishmen. Englishmen, they established the British Empire, great, powerful, most powerful nation in the world. Now they are not so. Because they misused their power. So you get power, opulence, by the grace of Lord, Krishna. And if you misuse it, then you become again… That is happening. That is the nature’s law. Nature’s law.

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Dandavats.com: Lessons from Madhavendra Puri

By Giriraj Swami

This is a very deep topic--feeling separation from Krsna in the mood of Srimati Radharani and the gopis. We are certainly not qualified to discuss it. Still, following our acaryas, we shall try to say something to glorify Sri Madhavendra Puri on his disappearance day

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Mahananda: He is abdorbed in the greatest bliss! Gauranga is coming! Gauranga! {Part 6 of 11}

Here is verse 11 & 12 from the Sri Gauranga Ashtottara Shata Nama Stotram composed by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.

Including today's post we will have taken 74 of the 108 different names of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That means we have had the oppurtunity to meditate on 74 of His benevolent qualities and take in 74 nectarean pictures of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Gauranga! Gauranga! 

That also means that Gaura Purnima is very close with only 34 Names to go. Gauranga is coming! Gauranga is coming!   

In today's first verse (the 11th verse of the stotram) Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is referred to as Mahananda, He is absorbed in the greatest BLISS. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtan movement is full of bliss and He has given us the oppurtunity to share in this BLISS. In a material world that is constantly trying to chase bliss with bogus how to books, intoxicants, temporary "highs" and even "Bliss bars" on retail shelfs, our guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has given us a direct link to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's TRUE BLISS which can be achieved by simply chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

Gauranga bol! Gauranga bol! Gauranga! Gauranga!

11) mahanando nato nritya-gita-nama-priyah kavihi arti-priyah shuchih shuddho bhavado bhagavat-priyaha

Mahananda--He is absorbed in the greatest bliss
Nata--He behaves as a dramatic actor
Nritya-gita-nama-priya--He is fond of dancing, singing & chanting the holy names
Kavi--He is a learned scholar and poet
Arti-priya--He is dear to those who are suffering
Shuchi--He is meticulously clean
Shuddha--He is spotlessly pure
Bhavada--He confers ecstatic loving emotions
Bhagavat-priya--He is intimate with the great devotees
12) indradi-sarva-lokesha-vandita-shri-padambujaha nyasi-chudamanih krishnah sannyasashrama-pavanaha

Indradi-sarva-lokesha-vandita-shri-padambuja--His divine lotus feet are worshiped by Lord Indra and all the rulers of various heavenly planets
Nyasi-chudamani--He is the crest jewel of renunciates
Krishna--He is the all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead
Sannyasashrama-pavana--He is the purifier of the renounced order
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 251—Poem for March 16

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

5:21 A.M.

A Writer of Pieces
New format—I will begin with a poem written on the day of its printing. Then I will print random excerpts of books I have printed over the last 30 years. I hope this variety will be pleasing.

Poem for March 16

Murdering the rhyme in favor
of free verse. The main point
is reaching Krishna’s feet.
By a roundabout or direct
way. Do not be afraid, if
we surrender to Him, He will
protect us, and we shall give
up all of the forms of
religion and surrender unto
Him. That was His order.

HOW to do it He showed
five hundred years ago as Mahaprabhu
in the chanting rhythm
of the holy names with
mrdanga and karatalas and
His leading the kirtana
with love of God.

Follow Him and His devotees,
the acaryas in parampara.
Prabhupada is a prominent one in the
twentieth century. He did come
on the Jaladuta, risking two
heart attacks, yet he made it
to New York City, his town
for breaking the silence
with harinama.

Three nights a week,
then every morning
his movement grew.
In San Francisco he
planted the seed in the
same way with affectionate
enthusiastic young followers.

This is the history of disciplic
succession coming down
around the world in
every town and village.
Its power is still growing.
The prediction will take place:
in every town and
village, His name
shall be sung.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

From The Week Before Gaura Purnima (1994)

Chapter Eight

“Maria had gone to her mother’s. When the devotees who went to her house asked her how come she had left the temple, she said maybe she wasn’t cut out to be a devotee, maybe it was too austere for her in the women’s dorm. She would be a devotee living at home. But she agreed to go in the morning to speak with the visiting sannyasi and that quiet devotee, the author.

“She arrived for mangala arotika. Her mother, of course, stayed home sleeping. That feast they’d eaten at the hovel caused Maria some belching. She subdued it.

“‘Why not have a meeting right away while she’s here?’ the author suggested.

“The visiting sannyasi didn’t like to disrupt his schedule. Early morning after mangala-arotika was reserved for japa, but he had already completed most of his rounds, so he agreed. They met in the guest room.

“This is being reported by a scribe, in case you care to know. He will act as an official amanuensis.

“Maria was wearing a sweater and a long skirt. She is not a sex object primarily, but a spirit soul in a woman’s body. That spirit soul is as good as the sannyasi’s spirit soul or the authors, even though these two last mentioned tend to get puffed up by the male ego association with the soul. The soul is neither male nor female, but is female in the sense of being dominated property by Lord Krishna (the Purusha), so ‘Maria’ is a designation for a soul . . . They wished each other well, and knew they were capable, by God’s grace, of solving the so-called fictive problems of Maria.

“They smiled and even joked a little about the elusive nature and the realities of life in the material world and the aesthetic problem which they weren’t really  called up to solve. They realize that if they attempted to solve questions like that, it would be impossible for the frail girl and the reclusive sannyasi and the amateur author to get very far.

“They were smiling about the fact that Maria had been neglected by the two because of their practicing brahmacarya.“She said, “I didn’t expect to associate with you in any wrong way. But I did want to meet with you. The Srimad-Bhagavatam says that it’s good to associate with sadhus.”

“‘Maria, why did you leave the temple? How can we help you?’

“Maria realized she needed to get married, but she wasn’t overanxious. She had some advanced symptoms of spiritual yearning. Wanted to practice Krishna consciousness. Wasn’t sure she could live in a room with three other women. They spoke of this. Hmmm. There was a room she could use in the gurukula, a private room. Why not? ‘I like working in the gurukula with children,’ she said, ‘but I also like a little privacy and time to read and pray.’”

From In Praise of the Mahajanas and Other Poems (1983)

2. Narada Muni

“Always calm and devoted to Krishna,
he comes to the ignorant,
to hunters and demons,
and to bewildered family men,
to tell them the truth—
birth and death come and go forever,
but we are meant for severing it
and going back to Godhead.

“He never gets marries,
never gets dependent on a plush situation,
guru of Maharaja Prahlada and Dhruva Maharaja,
he is the sage among the gods,
and he delivers bhakti-sutras.
Naradeva, please allow me to drink
your nectarean words.

“I love to hear of his blessed boyhood,
his sudden arrival in tense scenes.
His long philosophical narrations
prove he is as good as Krishna and Vyasa;
all the Seventh Canto is his words,
part of the Fourth and First and the Pancaratra.

“All glories to Narada
who helps us remember Srila Prabhupada,
who came to us in the nick of time.
All glories to Sri Narada
whom we worship
as a preacher-servant who fearlessly travels
to the dens of the jackals
and to the cities of forgetful men.”

From Prabhupada Meditations, Volume II

Prabhupada in Dallas“Our business is to save ourselves by remembering Srila Prabhupada at the time of death. All his activities are worth remembering and passing on to others, at least for the next ten thousand years of Kali-yuga. It is distasteful to us if someone says, ‘Prabhupada is just one guru, and eventually he will be forgotten. There will be other gurus with other pastimes, and the main thing is the message, not this person.’ We don’t want to hear that. If we persist in being attached to Srila Prabhupada, it can’t be inauspicious. Even if aspects of his pastimes were temporary scenes, nevertheless, being attached to Prabhupada in a particular setting will not go in vain. Krishna will recognize it, and He will transform our devotion into eternal benefit. Krishna will say, ‘Because you were attached to Prabhupada there, now you can be attached to Radha and Krishna and Prabhupada.’ Somehow Krishna can make it all satisfactory. It’s not wrong to remember our teacher, how he taught us, when he taught us, and who he was.”

From Journal and Poems, Book I (1985)

“I think I could become a more serious student of the holy name. I should also read and hear better.

“An encouraging Srimad-Bhagavatam verse advises hearing for a long time. Kapiladeva tells His mother, ‘One can get liberated by seriously discharging devotional service unto Me and thereby hearing for a long time about Me or from Me.’ (Bhagavatam 3.27.21) Devahuti had been asking how is it really possible for the conditioned soul to be free of matter and become liberated. She doubted that theoretical knowledge on the subject could bring actual release. She also doubted that the spirit soul could stand unaffected by matter as long as the seed cause of the material connection—enviousness of God—remained. So Kapiladeva replied to her questions.

“In the purport, Prabhupada emphasizes that we must hear about Krishna or from Lord Krishna ‘by hearing for long periods of time.’ He also states, ‘By continuous regular hearing, the effects of the contamination of lust and greed will diminish.’ I have a neglectful habit of accepting the Bhagavatam statements in a merely theoretical way. In other words, I do not practice the philosophy seriously enough. If I grant that I am suffering due to contact with the modes of material nature, and if I accept that chanting the Lord’s holy names and hearing His instructions and lila will purify me and release me from material infection, then why don’t I take up chanting and hearing more regularly, carefully, seriously? Whatever the reason for my failure, the failure itself means I have allowed the Vedic knowledge to remain theoretical.

“This verse by Kapiladeva reminds me that becoming Krishna conscious is a relatively long process. Similarly, I am advised that cure of my physical health can only be achieved by faithfully following the slow but thoroughly healing processes of Ayurvedic and naturopathic remedies. And now I have this inkling—which I pray will develop into determination in actual practice—to improve the state of my sadhana. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could improve my chanting so that it was not merely a mechanical exercise that I drag myself through but a real session of prayer in devotional service? Now I chant out of duty, and yes, there is some spiritual relish and consolation involved. It is also true that it is hard for me to chant out loud when I am physically weak. But if I take advantage of the imposed rest and recuperation and I could improve my japa, wouldn’t it be a great personal gain?”

“Keeping myself in one place and reducing other concerns for reasons of health may also be compatible with a regular reading program. In this way I can make the best use of the bad bargain of my confinement by improving my sadhana.“I have strong urges to write to the end of my days. Yet logically the urge to improve my japa and hear Srimad-Bhagavatam should be even stronger because my time is limited and I have a long way to go.

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Jaya Kesava Das, USA: Intermission

cetasā sarva-karmāṇi

mayi sannyasya mat-paraḥ

buddhi-yogam upāśritya

mac-cittaḥ satataḿ bhava

In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me. (Bhagavad-Gita 18:57)

Blessings come in disguise, in situations where one might wonder what the h3ll am I doing here, of whats the purpose of all this. I came to a conclusion in my young life that I would like to be a part of a deeper change; a healing change. What's been done's been done, can't change it, but with proper consciousness and action, the future can manifest wonderful things.

As spiritual beings we are part of a greater whole who has a massive plan for reclaiming our love for him. I've learned to bow my head and say ok a lot lately, as bullets from the material energy fly my way. Tapping into spiritual vibrations means tapping into something bigger, beyond our control and surrender means to sit back and let the driver drive. Easier to write, talk about or think about; when the actual event occurs, theory must be forced into action. Thats the fun part. Sometimes you win, sometimes you fail, sometimes you're meant to just not do anything.

I meet people along the way on my trip and have interactions with them, then I leave hoping they were somehow impacted positively. Whatever my actions are, represent that greater whole- I'm an employee now, so to speak, using my facilities to connect others.

Like Arjuna, when Krsna asks him to just be an instrument in the fight and win glory, since all the warriors had already been put to death by Krsna's time factor. So thats what we are; instruments marching in a common band. Marching back to home.

just some thoughts for the day...
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Madhavendra Puri Disappearance in complete mood of seperation from Krishna

To mark today the disappearance day of Sri Madhavendra Puri... 

ayi dina-dayardra
natha he
mathura-natha kadavalokyase
hridayam tvad-aloka-kataram
dayitabhramyatikim karomy aham

O My Lord! O most merciful master! O master of Mathura!
When shall I see You again?
Because of My not seeing You, My agitated heart has become unsteady.
O most beloved one, what shall I do now?

~ Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta Madhya-lila  4.197

At the time of his departure from this material world, Madhavendra Puri was completely absorbed in separation from Krsna and constantly repeated this sloka again and again. He demonstrated the pure mood of seperation from his Lord.

How great of a devotee was Madhavendra Puri? Lord Nityananda once exclaimed, "Today I have received the fruit of all my travels to the holy places. In seeing the feet of Madhavendra Puri, I have received the treasure of love of God, and thus my life has become blessed."  

We hear of Krishna prema but Madhavendra Puri embodied love of God as demonstrated by this quote. "Simply upon seeing a dark raincloud he would fall down unconscious. Day and night he imbibed the spirituous liquor of Krsna-prema, and thus remained intoxicated, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes raising a tumultuous hue and cry. Nityananda also behaved just like a madman, falling down on the ground, his body agitated by waves of ecstasy. As lava belches forth from avolcano, loud laughter erupted from his mouth while his whole body, as if in the throes of a great earthquake, trembled violently."

Of course, Madhavendra Puri's famous interaction with Krishna Himself is one of the sweetest stories of Krishna's unlimited mercy, however we will save that story for the appearance day of Madhavendra Puri.

When in Remuna Dham you can take the pilgramage oppurtunity to see Madhavendra Puri's Samadhi and Sandals.

Jaya Nitai!
Jaya Gopala!
Jaya Gopinatha!
Jaya Sri Madhavenda Puri!  
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today, Class on S.B. 1.13.31 “…the materialistic person may take lessons from a sadhu like Vidura and thus be cleansed of the effects of modern life.”

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today, Class on S.B. 1.13.31 “…the materialistic person may take lessons from a sadhu like Vidura and thus be cleansed of the effects of modern life.”

March 16th, 2011

[ 10:24 ]

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today, Class on S.B. 1.13.31 “…the materialistic person may take lessons from a sadhu like Vidura and thus be cleansed of the effects of modern life.”

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana for Radha-Syama on this ekadasi morning

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana for Radha-Syama on this ekadasi morning

March 16th, 2011

[ 14:28 ]

2 Responses to “Kirtana for Radha-Syama on this ekadasi morning”

Bhakta París says:

March 17, 2011 at 3:59 am

Thank you very much Maharaj, I do really appreciate this, that with it all.

Hare Krsna

Bhakta París says:

March 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Glory to Srila Prabhupada

Hare Krsna

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana for Radha-Syama on this ekadasi morning

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Dandavats.com: Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Jagajivan Prabhu

By Jagajivan dasa

I was explaining and emphasizing in the class, respect, amanina manadena. Respect is one of the most important aspects of a gentleman. Ladies know that because they open the door for you. That is respect. Our mothers know that we respect them so they feel more protective. If someone is respectful he will become honored

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Gouranga TV: indradyumna swami hare krishna

Gouranga TV: Indradyumna Swami Hare Krishna

Este video ha sido suprimido por el Usuario

Chandan Yatra 2011 ISKCON Vrindavan, Mayapur and other locations

Canal de radhashyamasundar
Chandan Yatra pictures from May 6, 2011 from ISKCON Vrindavan and other locations including Mayapur. Presented at ISKCON Toronto, New Remuna Dham on May 8, 2011 (Mother's Day) lecture by Subhavilasa das.

Ashalata devi dasi (ACBSP) chanting at ISKCON Toronto's Ramnavami festival

Canal de radhashyamasundar
Subido por radhashyamasundar el 11/04/2011
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Subhavilasa das' wife, Ashalata devi dasi, also a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada chants the maha mantra during Ramnavami celebrations celebrating the appearance of Lord Rama

Jaya Radha Shyamasundar. Sri Syamananda Prabhu's Appearance Day

Canal de radhashyamasundar
Subido por radhashyamasundar el 18/04/2011
Celebrating Sri Syamananda Prabhu's Apperance Day at ISKCON Toronto
April 17, 2011
Glories of Sri Radha Shyamasundar presented by Subhavilasa das
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada Quotes - All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Canal de radhashyamasundar
Subido por radhashyamasundar el 16/12/2010
Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
Srila Prabhupada Book distribution
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Prabhupada's books

indradyumna swami hare krishna

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Japa Group: Chanting Should Be In The Forefront

Chanting should be enough in the forefront that we don’t chant our rounds while driving. It should be enough in the forefront that it gets prime time in the morning. If that’s what he meant by forefront, then yes, chanting should be in the forefront.

Japa Walks, Japa Talks
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
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Vraja Kishor, JP: Sexism, Prejudice, and Vedic Culture


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“Those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth — women, vaiśyas [merchants] and śūdras [workers] — can attain the supreme destination.”

- Krsna in Bhagavad Gita (9.32)

This text supplies arguments for and against sexism and prejudice in Vedic culture. Here are the two very most important points overall:

  • In Bhakti Yoga, the highness or lowness of ones social status is not a factor
  • By Bhakti Yoga, the person of lowest social rank becomes higher than the person of highest social rank.

I have not really been intimately “in” ISKCON (etc) for about a decade. I noticed that significant improvements have been made regarding sexism since then, though I am sure more improvements can always be made. Last time I was significantly on the inside of ISKCON there were still rather severe problems with sexism. So it is not only that people who are upset with Hare Krsna’s for being sexist have problems and need to be educated. We Hare Krsna’s also have problems and we need to be educated.

The same things which educate us will also educate those upset with us. I think the two bullet points above would solve all the social mistakes within ISKCON (etc) and also correctly educate onlookers and peripheral persons about what we are really trying to be all about, and they wouldn’t mistake us as a “sexist” group.

Difficult Points
There are some points about Vedic society brought out by this text of Gita, which are difficult to swallow in this regard:

  • There does exist social distinctions between women and men
  • There are no such thing as women being of the four varnas and ashramas, it is only for men. Women obtain varna practically as a result of who they marry.
    • This point is not entirely true – as we will find that when a brahman lady marries a kshatriya, the child is considered a hybrid. Therefore the caste of the woman does have some independant status.
  • There does exist social distinctions between various types of men.

Different Roles for Men and Women
It would just be lying to ourselves to say that men and women are not given social roles in Vedic society that our modern standards identify as “stereotypical.” The first counterargument to this is:

  • Modern society sucks. The majority of people in it are miserable and constantly stressed out. So, who really cares if modern society identifies something as being negative or backwards. Modern society is no role model against which other societies should have to measure up.

The second reply is:

  • Women and men are vastly different. Of course they should play different roles. There should also be some escape valve for individuals who do not fit the normal gender role to express themselves.

Believe it or not, in my opinion, ancient Vedic society was sensitive to this and did provide outlets for persons who did not fit the normal mold. I think that since Vedic society became mixed with Moghul and Victorian British society that has crumbled and disappeared from the India we know today.

Do Women Have Varna?
There are technicalities about Varnas and Ashramas and then there are essential facts about it. Elsewhere in the Gita and throughout all the Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas the statement is highly clear that every human being regardless of gender is permeated by the three modes of nature in varying combinations and thus acts in habitual ways that can be classified into four broad groups: shudra (employees), vaishya (bosses, money-makers), kshatriya (leaders, governers), brahmana (thinkers). In this sense both men and women belong to the four varnas.

Then there is the technicality of varna, the practicality of it. The first part of this practicality is that women raise children. I know this may not tally with modern society’s view of what is politically correct, but it does tally with common sense. Women have breasts, men do not. Therefore by physiological nature women raise young children, men do not. You can replace breasts with a milk bottle, but physiology affects mentality. This is why hormones affect both the way you feel and the way you look. Women do not just have breasts, they have distinctly profound emotional bosoms as well. They have inner natures that are better suited than men for raising children.

Does this mean that dads ignore children? No! I am a dad, and I really, really love my kids and am very, very motherly towards them. Still even at my most motherly I would hardly think to make nice sandwhiches for them, wake up in the middle of the night to check their blankets, etc. etc. all sorts of things that my wife naturally thinks about constantly even without trying to be “motherly.”

Are there some men who are even more motherly than me!? Yes, I hope so! I am not trying to define everyone. As I said, society always has to provide routes for people who do not fit the majority status quo. This does not mean however, that we must ignore or denigrate what is true for the vast majority. Of course individuals vary significantly. The point here, however, is that what is difficult for men to achieve even when they are particularly feminine is difficult for women to avoid even when they are particularly masculine. A case in point is the talent for raising young children well.

Since women as a group are extremely more qualified to raise children, that is primarily what they do, regardless of what varna they are. Therefore they are not branded as brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras, etc. Why? Because they do not do the practical work of brahmanas, kshatriyas, etc. The men do the practical activities of their varnas. The women – regardless of their varna – educate and raise their children.

When varna is is said to apply to everyone, regardless of gender, the context is the essential internal effect of varna. When varna is said to be only a distinction among men (as the case with this text) the context is the practical external expression of varna. The former is a psychological and spiritual context, the later is a practical and social context.

All Men are Created Different
All men are created equal, certainly! Vedic culture certainly fully embraces that. But it is also true that all men are created different. Some are thinkers, some are managers, some are money makers, some are workers. Therefore men are differentiated in Vedic society by their varna.

The Important Social Role of Bhakti (Devotion)
Bhakti-Yoga is one among three primary spiritual paths in Vedic culture, but it is not normally rarefied and extracted as a pure entity except in very unusual cases of practitioners who are extremely elevated in bhakti – such as the Rupanuga Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. Normally, bhakti, jnana and karma are like three strands of a single braid. They are interwoven into every aspect of Vedic culture and become blended.

The point of mentioning that is to say that Bhakti permeates all aspects of Vedic culture; therefore discussing the implications of Bhakti Yoga on the social roles of Vedic culture is not pertinent only discussing only to rare and specialized applications of Vedic culture (as would be the case in a modern Rupanuga social organization such as ISKCON or similar groups). Since bhakti is integral to all parts of Vedic culture, discussing the social implication of bhakti is pertinent to Vedic culture in total; and absolutely essential for bhakti-centric social groups.

As we began by saying, there are two important points about the social impact of bhakti:

  • In Bhakti Yoga, the highness or lowness of ones social status is not a factor
  • By Bhakti Yoga, the person of lowest social rank becomes higher than the person of highest social rank.

Without deference to bhakti yoga, therefore, Vedic society becomes a prison for its citizens, with a few citizens sitting on top exploiting and denigrating the rest. Vedic culture keeps at the forefront of its consideration the truth that love is more important than anything. “Bhakti” means love. Those who possess love are therefore regarded highly in Vedic society, regardless of what their social status is. (Again, by “Vedic” I am pointing to pre-British and pre-Moghul India at least).

Those who posses love for the Supreme are held in supreme regard, again, regardless of their social status. Thus a person with strongly developed pure love for Godhead will always be recognized by the vast majority of “vedic” citizens as being eminently worthy of respect and even worship – a “guru” regardless of this person’s caste, gender, race, etc!

To forbid a person from being a guru based on a social consideration such as caste or gender is a mistake. To forbid persons of certain castes or races from entering temples is also a big mistake. There is no simpler or plainer way to put it.

Now, I have to finish up the topic – by referring to the MOST IMPORTANT thing.

A person who really does have love, is humble by their very nature! Love is always humble because love always makes oneself less important than ones beloved. Thus humility is a pre-requisite for love, and this cannot be circumvented or altered.

Let’s say there is a person from a “lower” social rung, who is clamoring that “hey, I deserve your respect! you are mistreating me for considering me lower than you! I love god!!! Therefore you should respect me!” – Is that person being humble?

Since they are not being humble, is their any substance in their claim to be worthy of respect? Since they are not being humble is there any validity to their claim that they are full of love for the divine? No, a person who clamors for respect is the least deserving of all to receive it! The person who avoids respect is actually the one whom we should worship and revere.

Therefore we should welcome evaluations of ourselves that make us appear lower than others. This improves our humility. If we improve our humility we improve our love, and if we improve our love we can improve our love of the divine. Only this makes a person truly satisfied and happy.

Respect is a bread made of styrofoam and devoid of nutrition. Divine love, on the other hand, is a sumptuous feast of nourishment and bliss.



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In addition or response to what I wrote previously, one may ask: “OK, people have different roles, I can accept that. But what makes one role ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than another? Why is raising children a ‘lower’ social role?”

I believe the answer spells itself out like this: The more primarily important to the correct outcome, the ‘higher’ is the role of that component. Brahmanas are thinkers so they are most important (‘highest’), they establish philosophical understanding and educate adults. Lower than brahmanas are kshatriyas, the rulers. They are high up in society because the enforce the moral codes passed down by the brahmanas. They enforce these upon adults. The adults, specifically the women, then pass on knowledge and morality to children. They are the next highest in the Vedic social ladder. All three are “higher” than vaishyas and shudras, because these two groups are just concerned with carrying out the practical affairs of society – not in directing those affairs in a meaningful and fulfilling way. The vaishyas just manage the fuel of society (money, food, economy) and the shudras just work for the vaishyas to to physically create the fuel.

So Brahmanas and Vaishyas are socially “higher” than women, Vaishyas and Shudras because they are the ones who educate the adults who educate the children.

This, of course is a consideration of practical social roles, nothing to do with personal merit – which is measured not by social role by by (1) selflessness – karma, (2) learning – jnana, and (3) devotion – bhakti.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Gaura Purnima 2011


Dear Devotees,
a kind reminder that the Gaura Purnima Festival is fast approaching; it's this weekend!

If you haven't chosen a gift yet for Lord Gauranga and His eternal companion Nityananda Rama, please feel free to contact Bhakti Mataji via email: bhaktidd@optusnet.com.au; she already has some presents ready.

So... we'll see you on Sunday then...

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