jueves, 16 de junio de 2011

Sri Nandanandana dasa: Sanatana-Dharma / Hinduism in a Nutshell, By Stephen Knapp


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  1. Dandavats.com: GBC AGM- Final Day of 2011 AGM
  2. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Sunday 13 March 2011--Attaining Immunity from Death--and--How We Fell from the Spiritual World?
  3. Sri Nandanandana dasa: Sanatana-Dharma / Hinduism in a Nutshell, By Stephen Knapp
  4. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 247–Poem for March 12
  5. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  6. Australian News: Govindas at The Woodford Folk Festival: The Video
  7. Australian News: Warning: Reading this story may attract you to Kirtan
  8. ISKCON News.com: New Mombasa Temple to Be One of the Most Opulent in Africa
  9. ISKCON News.com: Kirtan Artists to Play at SXSW Rock Festival in Austin, Texas
  10. ISKCON News.com: Spiritual Performers Keep Mayapur Festival-Goers Entertained
  11. ISKCON News.com: GBC Annual General Meetings- Final Day
  12. Australian News: How to stop certain types of spam from being posted to your wall and shared with you friends
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  14. Sutapa das, BV Manor, UK: Root of the problem
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  27. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Cold Spring” by Lawrence Raab
  28. H.H. Sivarama Swami: The earthquake/tsunami in Japan warns us not to mess around with material nature
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  33. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: The Holy Names of Krishna will be sung in every town and village...
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  40. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  41. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  42. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: The Holy Names of Krishna will be sung in every town and village...
  43. Deva Gaura Hari, AU: Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.14 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  44. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Tipster : No-Sift Way To De-Lump Hardened Powdered Sugar
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  46. Japa Group: We Control The Mind By Two Senses
  47. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – BG 17.17-19 – The Top Ten Brahmas
  48. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 246–Poem for March 11
  49. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
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Dandavats.com: GBC AGM- Final Day of 2011 AGM

By Sraddhadevi dasi

Friday, March 3rd marked the final day of the 2011 Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Along with discussing sannyasa candidates, the day involved a presentation on the Midday Meal project in India and a special visit by the students of the Sri Mayapur International School

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Sunday 13 March 2011--Attaining Immunity from Death--and--How We Fell from the Spiritual World?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(tm) Sunday 13 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: Attaining Immunity from Death Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA On Friday March 11, 2011 one of the the most ferocious earthquakes in recorded history slammed Japan triggering a 30 foot high tsunami wreaking inconceivable devastation on many Japanese towns and villages and sweeping all the way across the Pacific causing substantial damage and even death on the west coast of the USA. Where is the security in this world? There is none. This is why there is a saying, As sure as death. Therefore the only way to obtain true and lasting peace of mind is become immune from death by awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Earthquake Triggered Tsunami Devastates Japan http://www.backtohome.com/images/japan-earthquake-2011.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: How We Fell from the Spiritual World? I find it hard to understand the fact that we are originally part and parcel of Krishna but we have fallen from the spiritual world. My question is: Who would get distracted or attracted towards material world when Krishna is all-attractive, all powerful and the source of all happiness? One can only think of leaving Krishna when there is something better and more powerful than Him. Also, even if there is a slightest chance of returning to this material world, what is the point in trying to reach the spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavana? Please help me understand this better. Thanks. Narayanan Answer: Incomprehensible Free Will Abuse You are finding it hard to understand how we fell from the spiritual world because it is incomprehensible. Why would a child stick his hand in the fire after his parents warned him not to? A foolish child out of curiosity may stick his hand in the fire once, but he will not do it a second time. Therefore, now after you have foolishly burned yourself in this material existence, if you will make your determination to go back to Godhead, once achieving that most sublime deathless realm, you will not stick your hand in the fire again. 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 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: Hig

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Sri Nandanandana dasa: Sanatana-Dharma / Hinduism in a Nutshell, By Stephen Knapp

Some people think that Hinduism or Vedic culture is difficult to understand, but if you look at it succinctly, it is not very difficult at all. So this presents the essential principles in a concise way. Hinduism is also more correctly called by its Sanskrit name: Sanatana-Dharma. This, essentially, means to follow one’s eternal duty, which is to search for and understand our spiritual identity, and then to learn to live according to those eternal and spiritual characteristics, especially by one’s own spiritual realizations. This is also the purpose and mission of the Vedic philosophy and culture.  

The Vedic philosophy, or that which is based on the ancient Vedas and its supporting literature of India, is to help humanity understand who we really are, and the purpose of life. It is like the manual you get when you buy an appliance and need to understand exactly how it works. The Vedic literature is there to help all of us.

The essence of it comes down to 10 basic principles. These are the ones most accepted by the majority of people who follow Sanatana-dharma, and are also referenced in the Vedic texts. Beyond these, there are various schools of thought, which have further developments in their own outlook and philosophy, such as the Shaivites, Vaishnavas, Shaktas, Brahmanandis, Tantrics, and so on. These we can discuss at another time or you can read more about them in my books or website for further information.

In any case, the first code is: There is one Supreme Being, Bhagavan or God, with no beginning or end, the all in all, the unlimited Absolute Truth, who can expand into many forms. In this regard, the RigVeda (1:164:45) says: Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti. Though sages may call Him by different names, such as Krishna, Rama, Vishnu, etc., there is but one Absolute Truth, or one source and foundation of everything. God is considered Sat-chit-ananda vigraha, the form of eternal knowledge and bliss. He is supreme, full of beauty, knowledge, is all-powerful and all-pervading. He is also known by His three main features: namely Brahman, the all-pervading, impersonal spiritual force or effulgence; the Paramatma, the localized expansion known as the Supersoul which accompanies every individual soul in the heart of everyone; and then Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality and form of God.

The other principles are: (2) The Vedas are Divine knowledge and are the basis or foundation of the Vedic philosophy. Some of these texts have been given or spoken by God, and others were composed by sages in their deepest super conscious state in which they were able to give revelations of Universal Truths while in meditation on the Supreme. This Vedic literature, including, among other texts, the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, the Upa-Vedas, Vedangas, Shadarshanas, Upanishads, the Vedanta-Sutras, Yoga Sutras, Agamas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and Bhagavad-gita, and all Puranic literature and the practices congruent with them, contain the basis of the Vedic or Sanatana-dharma spiritual culture.

(3) God can and has appeared throughout history in the form of personal appearances (avataras) within the realm of matter, and even in the sound vibration of scriptures (the Vedic literature), and there are ten basic avataras of God, with numerous other expansions. (4) Our real identity is being a spirit soul, or jiva. (5) The soul undergoes it’s own karma, the law of cause and effect, by which each person must experience the results or consequences of his activities and creates his own destiny based on his thought, words and deeds. (6) There is also rebirth or reincarnation, wherein our next birth is directed by our karma. The soul incarnates through different forms until, by its own spiritual development, it reaches liberation (moksha) from the repetition of birth and death, when it attains its natural position in the spiritual domain. (7) We can elevate ourselves spiritually by also engaging in worship of the Divine, such as in His forms as deities in the temple. (8) We can receive proper instruction on how to follow the teachings of the Vedic philosophy from an authorized guru who is in line with a genuine parampara, or line of gurus. (9) We should also follow particular principles for our spiritual development, such as ahimsa or non-violence. (10) In our life there are four main goals, as indicated by the four ashramas of life, such as brahmacharya (the student’s life), the grihasta or the householder stage of life, the vanaprastha or retired stage of life in which we take our spiritual goals more seriously, and then the renounced or sannyasa stage of life in which our spiritual purpose is the main focus, culminating in attaining moksha or liberation from any further material existence.  

These ten principles expand to include several other additional points:

            1. The Vedic Tradition is more than a religion, but a way of life, a complete philosophy for the foundation and direction for one’s existence.

            2. It is based on Universal Spiritual Truths that can be applied by anyone at anytime.

            3. The Vedic tradition recognizes that the individual soul is eternal, beyond the limitations of the body, and that one soul is no different than another.

            4. All living entities, both human and otherwise, are the same in their essential and divine spiritual being. All of them are parts of the eternal truth, and have appeared in this world to express their nature and also to gather experience in the realms of matter.

            5. For this reason, Vedic followers accept the premise of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, that all living beings in the universe comprise one family, and that as such all beings are spiritually equal and should be respected as members within that family of the Supreme.

            6. The ultimate purpose of human life is to shed all attachments to matter and attain moksha (liberation from material existence) and return to the transcendental realm which is not only our true nature but also our real home.

            7. Every person’s capacity to progress spiritually depends upon their personal qualities, choices and abilities, and is not limited by the circumstances of one’s color, caste, class, or any other circumstance of birth or temporary material limitations or designations.

            8. The Vedic path is based on regaining our natural spiritual identity. To pursue this goal, all human beings have the eternal right to choose their personal form of spiritual practice, as well as the right to reject any form of religious activity, and that coercion, forced conversion, or commercial inducement to adopt one religion over another should never be used or tolerated to present, propagate, or enforce one’s spiritual beliefs on others.

9. The Vedic path offers personal freedom for one to make his or her own choice of how he or she wants to pursue their spiritual approach, and what level of the Absolute Truth he or she wishes to understand. This is the height of spiritual democracy and freedom from tyranny.

            10. Recognizing the value and sanctity of all forms of life, as well as the Eternal Divine Being that is their true Self, the Vedic principle is that we should therefore strive in every possible way to peacefully co-exist with all other species of living entities.

            11. The Vedic path consists of ten general rules of moral conduct. There are five for inner purity, called the yamaswhich include satya or truthfulness, ahimsa or non-injury to others and treating all beings with respect, asteya or no cheating or stealing, brahmacharya or celibacy, and aparighara or no unnecessarily selfish accumulation of resources for one’s own purpose. The five rules of conduct for external purification are the niyamas—such as shaucha or cleanliness and purity of mind and body, tapas or austerity and perseverance, swadhyaya or study of the Vedas and self-analysis, and santosh or contentment, as well as Ishwara-pranidhana, or acceptance of the Supreme.

            12. There are also ten qualities that are the basis of dharmic (righteous) life. These are dhriti (firmness or fortitude), kshama (forgiveness), dama (self-control), asteya (refraining from stealing or dishonesty), shauch (purity), indriya nigraha (control over the senses), dhih (intellect), vidya (knowledge), satyam (truth) and akrodhah (absence of anger).

             These principles are part of the eternal, universal truths that apply equally to all living entities who can use them for progress regardless of class, caste, nationality, gender, or any other temporary qualifications. These basic principles, as we can see, are not so difficult to understand and are the basis of the Vedic spiritual life.

[This is available at www.stephen-knapp.com]

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 247–Poem for March 12

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

6:36 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 12th

I woke earlier than
usual with no pain
and said my silent
prayers swiftly aimed
vaguely at Him. It
could have been better.

You kept awake and
kept counting and chanting.
It seemed extra long
as if I had cheated myself
a round, but I gave the
benefit to Krishna and did
the extra japa.

The names cut deep like
the Colorado River, even when
you are not aware. Have
faith in namabhasa
to deliver you from sins.

You’re awake past six A.M.
no one has come to
see me. I will call for
them and ask them
how they feel.
Be considerate of your friends.

I am not so good
but I counted and
paid attention
not drifting to other
things, staying on
the surface of the
count and pronunciation.
There’s something to be
said for that.

But you have to do better
before you die. You have to cry
to Krishna: “Please
let me serve You.”
You did all right
but you can do much better.
I let you go today with a passing grade.

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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 Five

“A phone call came from India. The annual meeting of devotees had been controversial. The sannyasi (the one in Italy) was linked to a ring who were accused of rasika Vaisnava leanings. A diary of his had been produced as evidence.

“Hearing this, the visiting sannyasi became worried that an even more intimate diary of his not be discovered. They had broken into someone’s drawer to find the one they now had as evidence. So the sannyasi ordered his trusted secretary to go at once to India to a room on top of a tenement building in New Delhi where the sannyasi had a cache of his writings.

“‘You must do this before they do and burn my writings,’ said the sannyasi. The secretary said, ‘Yes.’ He was not like Kafka’s friend, Max Brod, but thought that his friend’s writings should be burned as he requested, to protect him. So he set out quickly to catch the first available plane of Alitalia to New Delhi.

“What happened in India shall be narrated by the Omnipotent Narrator.

“The secretary’s name was Narahari. He’d been active as an Irish Republican in his youth, sympathetic to the cause, if not the tactics, of the IRA. On the plane he worried that he might not be allowed entry because the government of India (he’d learned this only when he bought his ticket at the airport, or so it was rumored) now required visas from those with Irish passports. Narahari got into a discussion with an Indian man who sat beside him about the nature of the atma. The man said the atma was One and that we conceive of it as two—as God and the individual soul—only because of our defective material vision, which is like the eye disease whereby a man sees one as two.

“‘No,’ said Narahari, and he reddened as he spoke. ‘You cannot attribute that disease to Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna says in the Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita that “yourself, Myself, and all the persons on this battlefield have always existed.” If Krishna is mistaken, then the whole Bhagavad-gita has no meaning.’

“‘That’s your interpretation of the verse,’ said the man. To make matters worse, he ordered a non-vegetarian meal when the stewardess asked his preference.

“Narahari got his Bhagavad-gita from his book bag and showed the man the Sanskrit word-for-word: ‘na; tu; eva; aham; jatu; na; asam.’

“The man said that Narahari could not know Sanskrit because he was newly interested in Indian culture. One had to be a Hindu to know the actual tradition, ‘which is that atma is one. The gods, including Lord Krishna, are manifestations of ignorance.’

“Narahari said, ‘Since when does a Hindu eat meat?’

“Finally they decided not to talk about it. They exchanged only occasional words for the rest of the nine-hour journey.

“‘Damned Mayavadis,’ thought Narahari, but he felt good that at least he didn’t let the man get away with his nonsense. ‘Maybe he’ll think next time before he uses those arguments.’

“The week before, Narahari got through immigration all right. He took the first taxi and told him to go to Canakya Puri. Once out of range of the airport, the driver, who had two friends with him in the front seat, stopped the car. He turned on the rear seat light and leered at Narahari. ‘Is this your first time in India?’

“‘No,’ said Narahari. ‘Why have you stopped?’

“‘I want Rs. 50 charge for late night driving.’ The driver’s friends frowned, looking tough.

“‘That’s ridiculous,’ said Narahari. ‘No. Drive on!’ Narahari shouted, ‘Drive on!’ and looked mean. ‘Drive or I’ll call the police.’

“‘India is a mischievous place,’ said the driver, who looked less than thirty years old. ‘If you call the police, we will tell him it’s you who accosted us. They will put you in jail and take your watch.’

“Seeing the tightness of the situation, Narahari went to open the back door. One of the men grabbed his wrist. Narahari hit him in the side of the face and broke free. He exited from the car and ran away.

“Meanwhile, back in Italy, the Polizia came and abducted Maria from the temple. It was the work of Maria’s mother, who had consulted an anti-cult group through a church contact. She’d arranged a complex deprogramming maneuver and gotten the Polizia to cooperate on the plea that the daughter was being abused by the devotees.

“Maria had been peacefully chanting japa in the temple room when they entered and grabbed her.

“‘Nrsimhadeva!’ her friend cried. The Polizia grunted, and when she resisted, they resorted to twisting her arm and finally handcuffing her. The men protested but didn’t dare fight with the Polizia, who wore pistols in holsters.

“They took Maria to a hovel on the edge of town and threw her in a locked room. The Italian deprogrammer was new on the job. He had a few anti-cult books which he hadn’t yet read. He spoke to Maria through the door because she was too wild to sit and hear.

“‘This Krishna cult is from the devil,’ the man said.

“‘What is the devil?’ asked Maria. ‘Do you know? I think you are from the devil.’

“‘He tried a few more lines, but each time, she hurled back something saucy and logical.

“‘Bene,’ he said. ‘I’ll leave you alone for a few days without food and water and see if your Krishna comes to help. Then we’ll talk again.’ He and the Polizia left her alone in the hovel. They thought no devotees had followed them, but a boy on the street saw what was happening. He had visited the temple and liked the devotees. He got on his motorbike and rode to the temple to tell the devotees Maria’s whereabouts and predicament.

“Meanwhile, the sannyasi was alone in his room in the temple building, preparing for his evening meeting with his disciples. His mind was in Delhi, wondering how Narahari was doing. Now devotees were asking him what to do about Maria. This was before they knew her whereabouts. The sannyasi wanted to be aloof from it. He thought of the time the friends of Gopinatha Pattanayaka came to Lord Caitanya and told Him that Gopi P. was going to be killed by the government and Lord Caitanya should do something to save him. Lord Caitanya said, ‘I’m a sannyasi and shouldn’t be troubled by the affairs of materialistic people,’ but this was different, wasn’t it?

“Still, the sannyasi was expected to give his nightly class as usual. He picked out some bhajanas to sing. It would not be the same without Narahari playing the mrdanga. But the routine must go on, the peaceful sadhana must be prosecuted, despite the unsteadiness of the times.”

From Guru Reform Notebook (1986)

A Meeting With Godbrothers

“The especially valuable part of this morning’s meeting was when they spoke about my personal shortcomings. I had been expressing in different ways my inability to feel actual regret for the mistakes of the G.B.C. and gurus. Jagadisa Goswami then began speaking his realization about this. He said Prabhupada discusses the godly and ungodly qualities in Bhagavad-gita as daivi-sampat and asuri-sampat. The asuri-sampat, or ungodly qualities, are described as anger, conceit, harshness, etc. Jagadisa Goswami said that since I didn’t manifest these symptoms to the degree that other leaders have manifested them, perhaps I am therefore not so guilty, and that is why I do not feel regret. When he said this, I could not accept such a complimentary viewpoint. This prompted the others, and they began to point out my personal involvement in perpetuating mistakes.
“Even though I am quieter than most, nevertheless I have been an apologist for the system which we now see as defective and want to change. Prabhupada has sometimes described the G.B.C. as the ‘watchdog’ of the Krishna conscious society. But if the watchdog does not bark when there is danger, then that is his fault.

“As these shortcomings were pointed out, they sounded very familiar to me. I know well my weakness in being influenced by others and not asserting the truth. When one does this repeatedly, he loses the instinct to ascertain and assert the truth, and he goes along with the crowd. In this case the ‘crowd’ is an elite of which I am an intimate member.

“Aside from these personal faults, I am a member of the G.B. C. and therefore I have to share faults, such as the neglect in completing Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi.

“Jayadvaita Swami also encouraged me to gain realization and preach for the cause of reform through writing. He said that I have a power to express myself in this way, and so I should use it. I am already thinking of a letter that I would like to write to a guru-Godbrother, and I am sure Krishna will give me more opportunities to write in an attempt to bring about the change—although it is already very late, and our credibility is low.

“Before Sesa left for America, we walked for an hour together by ourselves. I confided to him my anticipation, but also my fear, at the prospect of apologizing to the devotees for wrongs. Sesa advised that I surrender to it since the Vaisnavas are asking for it. Even if I don’t as yet have complete intellectual conviction, once I start surrendering, it will come.”

From Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service

Tactics: The Broom and the Shoe

“The Vaisnava acaryas offer various tactics to help us in controlling the wayward mind so that we may place it in service of the higher self. One technique is to ignore the mind. Visvanatha Cakravarti states that this can be done by making prior vows or fixing our determination for Krishna consciousness. He gives the example of the vow a devotee takes for fasting on Janmasthami day. During the day hunger will come, and the mind will demand food. But because the intelligence has become fixed in its decision for fasting, one can ignore the mind’s clamoring.

“Another tactic offered by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati is that ‘as soon as you wake in the morning you should beat your mind 100 times with a broom, and at night, before taking rest, beat it another hundred times with a shoe.’ When this example is spoken it usually draws smiles. But it is a serious proposal. Does it mean we should actually strike our head with a stiff broom? Yes, it can be obeyed in that literal way. It also means figuratively beating some sense into yourself as soon as you wake. Our minds are filled with dictations based on the desires of the senses, but rather than submissively obeying these proposals, which are often nonsensical, we should take hold of the mind and ‘beat it’ by intelligent decisionmaking followed by determined action.”

From Niti-Sastras: Sayings of Canakya and Hitopadesa as Quoted by Srila Prabhupada (1995)

“Translation: The Goddess of Fortune, Laksmidevi, personally resides in that place where fools and rascals are not worshiped, where food grains are kept in abundance, and there is no quarrel between husband and wife.

“Commentary: If one wants worldly happiness, then the things mentioned in this sloka are required. Does it mean, therefore, that when Srila Prabhupada quotes this sloka he is recommending worldly happiness? No, but a peaceful foundation in family life makes us more able to prosecute Krishna consciousness. If we are completely distracted and harassed, then all our energies will be wasted in the material struggle. Ideally, a householder should raise his own food and maintain himself in that way. Srila Prabhupada explains, ‘Not that for your foodstuff or earning your livelihood you have to go a hundred miles, or fifty miles, no. At home, you produce the food grains and stock it.’ In a village economy, which Srila Prabhupada says still exists in India today, a person can work for only a few months a year and get his basic food requirements for the whole year. ‘Save your time and chant Hare Krishna,’ Prabhupada used to advise his disciples on ISKCON farms. According to the Vedic economic system, keeping cows and stocking food grains is the basis for wealth. Thus everyone should own at least a little land for agriculture and have a few cows to produce milk.

“With our minimum material requirements satisfied, we can take care of our spiritual life by worshiping the guru and the Vaisnavas. This is the positive application of the injunction that one should not worship fools and rascals. Getting back to village life is one of ISKCON’s goals. It is a revolutionary proposal in the Western setting. In the West, people worship the greatest fools and rascals—Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson—yet the Goddess of Fortune seems to reside here in the form of prosperity. When Srila Prabhupada was asked about this point, he answered it in various ways. One time he said, ‘Just wait.’ The Goddess of Fortune seems to be residing in the West despite the sinful nature of Western culture, but by the Westerners’ sinful mismanagement of her bounty, soon she will depart.”

From Life With the Perfect Master

“Later that morning we went for a walk on a steep, wind-swept peak overlooking a bay and skyscrapers (in Hong Kong). Prabhupada said it reminded him of Darjeeling, a mountainous area of India. The weather was windy-cold, and Prabhupada noticed that Panditji had no warm clothes. Prabhupada therefore asked Bhurijana to please buy Panditji a jacket or coat.

“Several interested Hong Kong Chinese boys accompanied us, and they inquired submissively from Srila Prabhupada. He very patiently and enthusiastically answered all their basic questions about the body, the soul, the next life, and God, discussing in depth the answer to each question.”

“While criticizing the foolish man who works hard with no knowledge of the soul, Srila Prabhupada pointed to the clusters of tall buildings across the bay. ‘What is the purpose of these skyscrapers?’ he asked. ‘They build them with such sturdy foundations, but those who build them will have to leave.’

“As we spoke the wind gusts made it hard to hear, and everyone but Prabhupada was visibly shivering. For the sake of debate, I argued with Prabhupada, ‘These buildings are being built so that the owners will be able to enjoy them,’ I said.

“‘No,’ said Prabhupada, ‘they will be kicked out of these buildings by death when they try to live in them:’

“‘Well then,’ I said, “they can build these skyscrapers for the en-joyment of posterity. Their own family will enjoy them in the future, and they will get satisfaction from that.’

‘That is ridiculous!’ laughed Prabhupada. ‘What about oneself? One builds these skyscrapers actually to enjoy oneself, but he is not able to because he is kicked out by death. This is illusion, this building of skyscrapers for enjoyment. The skyscraper’s foundation is firm, but the man’s foundation is very flimsy.’

From Talking Freely to My Lords (1991)

In the Shadow of the Names
“Sighting the fawn,
watching clouds pass overhead,
and you tromp and tromp
on the hardening ground.
Can’t pay attention to
the Lord in His names.
Outdoors is helpful,
but will I have to wait
many future births?

“As the deer stands frozen,
looks at me but can’t see me,
so I am dumb to the sweetness
of Harinama:
Yet He’s with me as I walk.”

We’ve Come for Love

“Those who showed up at mangala-drati:
me and Mathuresa, a little kid in an orange
Baladeva who cruised in overnight
in his Iveco truck;
Janaka returned from Atlanta, (the flower business
he was planning didn’t work out);
Strong Steve was there in his
long underwear shirt, and Acarya dasa, Bhubhrt,

“The main Persons are Radha and Govinda,
and Tulasi-devi who is growing to the left
searching after sunlight.
As we serve her, we gain love of Krishna,
and therefore we’ve come.”

Going to Damodara

“Photos can’t catch Him,
you have to go and see Him.
Walk the road in moonlight enter the
building, hang up your coat.
Inside in the dark,
as the Deity doors open—
light pours from the altar,
flowery patterns of blue, red, yellow, white—
the gopis and Radha wear aprons—
I can’t describe it. Pujaris call it
‘Their razzle-dazzle outfit.’
Damodara, beyond my words.”

Last Look

“I took a last look
before they closed the doors.
Now until tomorrow, I won’t see You,
but I’ll be back to see You then.”

From Prabhupada Appreciation (1990)

Appreciating Srila Prabhupada’s Lectures on Tape

“Srila Prabhupada and the Vedic sastras both stress sravanam, hearing. By hearing the word ‘milk,’ one can immediately gain all the other qualities of milk which one could not normally gain only through the other senses. This is the special potency of hearing. In the same way, by hearing about Krishna in devotional service, one can know Krishna and begin to serve Him. The Srimad Bhagavatam states that ‘as soon as one hears the message of the Bhagavatam by culture of knowledge, the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.’ Although hearing includes reading, Vedic knowledge is traditionally received through the faculty of the ear. Prabhupada often used words like ‘submissive aural reception,’ ‘ability to hear’ sound vibration, and ‘receiving the message through the ear.’

“Prabhupada also stated in one purport that hearing is more important than thinking in this age because one’s thinking may become disturbed by mental agitation. If one is concentrated on hearing he will be forced to associate with the sound vibration of Krishna.

“In America Srila Prabhupada took great care to tape record himself. Prabhupada wrote a letter to Tirtha Maharaja describing this:

“‘I may cite herewith one incidence which happened yesterday evening. I have prepared some Tape record of my personal Kirtana.When one of these Tape recordings was played the audience became practically charmed by that although not a single word of my language was understandable by them. So I am confident of the statement of Srila Haridasa Thakura that the transcendental sound of Lord Caitanya’s Harinama can do good even to the birds and the beasts.’

“Prabhupada saw the use of tape recorders as an example of Rupa Goswami’s yukta-vairagya, using the material energy for the service of the Lord although some of his early visitors doubted him for possessing such a ‘material’ amenity as a tape recorder.

“He often used the analogy of a tape recorder to explain Krishna and His separated material energy. The voice on the tape was simultaneously one with the person and yet different; it is the speaker, but removed from him. In this way, we can appreciate that Srila Prabhupada is pleasant in the absolute sense in his recorded speeches and bhajanas.

“Prabhupada himself stressed the importance of hearing from him. He did not consider it enough that his disciples had his books to read. If he was available speaking personally, even when he was speaking in Hindi–a language few of his disciples understood–he expected them to listen attentively. The sound vibration was purifying.”

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Australian News: Govindas at The Woodford Folk Festival: The Video

Every year the devotees from New Govardhana set up for catering at the Woodford Festival, one of Australia’s largest events. In 2010, Prananatha Prabhu from Christchurch, New Zealand weathered the week of floods and mud to make this video:

Woodford Folk Festival 2010/11 from Paul Tuffery. The Video Guys on Vimeo.

Click here to Visit ISKCON New Govardhana

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Australian News: Warning: Reading this story may attract you to Kirtan

You can feel the effect of Kirtan, it is palpable. Music and chanting has a powerful effect on us and some have to get up and dance when the rhythm is really humming along.

Sri Prahlada and the Bhaki Band took off like a rocket on Saturday at Govindas Lotus Room. With the chants displayed on the wall the Bhakti band tore a hole in the material world and let the spiritual sky pour in as we levitated from our seats.

During the Kirtan everyone became uplifted and had a smile on their face. Before we knew it the waves of bliss were flowing out of our very beings. Many people felt the strong urge to dance, some of us couldn’t resist it.

They say there are no “hard and fast” rules for participating in a Kirtan. Clap, sing, rock, smile, dance, and you wil love it. You will feel elated.

Music and chanting has a powerful effect on us, and Sri Prahlada told us that Kirtan would revive and awaken our sleeping spirit souls. So we all gave it our best shot. Everyone found themselves singing out at the top of their voice and clapping along.

Check out the web site for Govindas Lotus Room to see what else is coming up
Click here to visit kirtanAustralia.com
Click here to visit Sri Prahlada’s web site

And then the feast

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ISKCON News.com: New Mombasa Temple to Be One of the Most Opulent in Africa

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 12 Mar 2011

An incredible 4,000 devotees—hailing from India, England, Uganda, and across Kenya—are expected to attend the opening of the New Dwarikadham complex in Mombasa, Kenya from April 9th to 13th this year.

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ISKCON News.com: Kirtan Artists to Play at SXSW Rock Festival in Austin, Texas

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 12 Mar 2011

Artists from Mantralogy, the ISKCON second-generation-run ‘Mantra Music’ imprint of rock label Equal Vision Records, will be adding a more soothing option for music fans at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest music festival this March.

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ISKCON News.com: Spiritual Performers Keep Mayapur Festival-Goers Entertained

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 12 Mar 2011

The annual Mayapur Festival at ISKCON’s headquarters in West Bengal, India—first held in 1972 when ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada was still present—hosts a number of wonderful events to “recharge the spiritual batteries” of the 10,000 ISKCON devotees that flock to it from around the world every year.

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ISKCON News.com: GBC Annual General Meetings- Final Day

By Shraddhadevi Dasi for ISKCON News on 12 Mar 2011

Friday, March 3rd marked the final day of the 2011 Annual General Meeting for the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON. Along with discussing sannyasa candidates, the day involved a presentation on the Midday Meal project in India and a special visit by the students of the Sri Mayapur International School.

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Australian News: How to stop certain types of spam from being posted to your wall and shared with you friends

image from shinyshiny.tv

When you sign up for a Facebook App you may unwittingly allow it to have a level of access so it can write things on your wall.

Some have signed up for an Astology App that every day posts their horoscope to their wall. This is a benign App.

Some devious people have found that they can lure you to sign up for a Facebook App that promises things that dont work, or an App that doesn’t do much but they get you to agree to let them access your Account. Often it will only allow you to use the App if you agree to this.

What can happen is the App maker can then post advertisements and other rubbish to you wall and you may not even notice it is happening. Often the posts they make lure your freinds to do the same thing and give acces to their accounts.

Here is how to remove the ability for an App to post to your wall or remove it all-together

Click on Account at the top right of the page, click on privacy settings

At the bottom of the page on the left it says “Apps and websites” click on ‘edit your ‘settings’ just below that. On the next page there is a section called “Apps you use” and to the right there is a button called “edit settings” click on that.

You should now see a list of the Facebook apps that you have signed up for. To the right of each name there is an ‘edit settings’ link, click on that for each one and you can choose whether you allow that app to access your details or post to your wall.

You will see that some say ‘required’ that they post to your wall. I consider deleting them unless you are happy using them. You will see a link on the right near the top that says ‘Delete App’

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Their Lordships sport Their arati set today, with Sri Sri Gaura Nitai exhibiting an outstanding blue-studded fern on Their lavish turbans.

Also, Lord Gauranga is liberally giving the mercy of an unobstructed darsana of His transcendental feet. We are currently on the 12th Canto in Bhagavatam class and perceiving the symptoms of the age of Kali justifies more and more that Those lotus feet are our only hope of salvation in this ever-degrading yuga.

So let us take full shelter of today's

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Sutapa das, BV Manor, UK: Root of the problem

The devastating tsunami in Japan is yet another reminder of the unpredictable might of Mother Nature. Immediate estimates report nearly 2000 deaths and 300,000 homeless, with thousands of troops being mobilized in the area to minimize further chaos. We all react differently to such stories of suffering. Some try to shut it out and avoid thinking about it too much – out of sight, out of mind. Some will see it, but remain unmoved. After years of devastating news headlines, they become desensitized to such disasters. Some may watch the scenes and begin counting their lucky stars. Their personal issues are put into perspective and such news helps them develop the attitude of gratitude. Some will see the acute suffering of others and compare that to their own comfortable and cozy life. The subsequent feelings of guilt and shame impel them to offer help in some way, shape or form.

Vedic scriptures, however, describe the true spiritualist as para-dukha-dukhi – one who feels others’ sufferings to be his own. Think about how naturally we act to solve our own problems – it’s just an instinct that doesn’t take a second thought. The spiritualist acts that naturally to solve the problems of everyone around him. Natural disasters like the tsunami in Japan remind the spiritualist of the dire need for spiritual wisdom in the world. All maladies in the world can be traced back to a severe lack of genuine spirituality.

Thus, to share wisdom with others is the very cornerstone of our spiritual movement. It is not that we have a master-plan to expand our influence, usurp the upper echelons of society, and then manipulate and exploit economic and political positions for the purpose of world domination. We are simply interested in offering spiritual solutions to material problems. Solutions which will actually make a difference. Thus, to work selflessly for the upliftment of others is the very hallmark of a spiritualist. They ultimately find themselves, by forgetting about themselves.

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Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group

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



Rasa Rasika dasa

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ISKCON News.com: Teenagers Promote Dialogue on Peace and Conflict in KidSpirit Magazine

By Marika Josephson for Religion News Service on 10 Mar 2011

In response to the tumultuous political struggles unfolding around the globe, KidSpirit Online, the award-winning online magazine and forum for teenagers, launched its spring issue Monday on the topic of Conflict and Peacemakers in New York.

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Practical application

If you study my books very carefully, then I am sure you will find out the means for applying this Krsna Consciousness philosophy in all spheres of life. There is no limitation. Simply it requires a little common sense practicality. The main point is that Krsna is the center of all activities, whatever is going on. Whatever the activity may be, if Krsna is the center, that is all right. The details simply require a little common sense.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Amarendra das - Calcutta January 31, 1972

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ISKCON News.com: March 26: Ratha Yatra Saint Augustine, Florida

By Nartaka Gopala Dasi for ISKCON News on 12 Mar 2011

The Parade begins at 1 PM at the Plaza at St. George and Cathedral and returns there by 2:30 PM at which time the cultural program and free feast begin. The festival continues till 5 PM.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.

- Jim Stovall

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ISKCON News.com: Historic Earthquake and Tsunami Hits Japan

By ISKCON News Staff for ISKCON News on 11 Mar 2011

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northeast Japan spawned a ferocious tsunami that's caused massive destruction; flattening whole cities, starting raging fires, and killing hundreds. The Tokyo ISKCON Center and Govinda`s Restaurant did not get impacted.

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ISKCON News.com: ISKCON GBC Member Malati Dasi On The Wikipedia Front Page

By ISKCON News Staff for ISKCON News on 9 Mar 2011

ISKCON Governing Commission Member Malati Dasi was on the front page of Wikipedia on the International Women`s Day, March 8th, 2011.

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ISKCON News.com: GBC Members Renew Oath of Loyalty

By Shraddhadevi Dasi for ISKCON News on 11 Mar 2011

Every year during the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission, GBC members reaffirm their Oath of Loyalty. This year GBC members gathered in Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi in Sridham Mayapur for the event, and Bhakti Marga Swami led the recitation of the Oath.

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ISKCON News.com: Eat Spinach For Bigger Muscles, Better Cell Performance

By Ethan A. Huff for Natural News on 12 Mar 2011

Popeye was right; eating spinach really does help build muscle strength and improve cellular function, according to a new study released by the Swedish medical school Karolinska Institutet.

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ISKCON News.com: Twelve Unsustainable Things That Will Soon Come To A Disastrous End

By Mike Adams for Natural News on 11 Mar 2011

If you look around what's really happening in our world today, there's an inescapable pattern that curiously emerges: Much of what's going on is simply unsustainable. It can't go on for much longer, in other words. And it must collapse due to the laws of economics or physics.

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David Haslam, UK: Failing ISKCON?

Over the past few weeks I’ve read some interesting blog postings and articles not only on book distribution but also on if or if not ISKCON is growing or protracting or indeed failing as an organization which will ultimately lead to it’s extinction (indeed some of who profess to love Srila Prabhupada or speaking out [...]

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ISKCON News.com: Celestial Sales For Boy’s Tale Of Heaven

By Julie Bosman for The New York Times on 12 Mar 2011

Just two months shy of his fourth birthday, Colton Burpo was rushed into emergency surgery with a burst appendix. He woke up with an astonishing story: He had died and gone to heaven, where he met his great-grandfather; the biblical figure Samson; John the Baptist; and Jesus” Colton, now 11 years old, recalled.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Cold Spring” by Lawrence Raab

The last few gray sheets of snow are gone,
winter’s scraps and leavings lowered
to a common level. A sudden jolt
of weather pushed us outside, and now
this larger world once again belongs to us.
I stand at the edge of it, beside the house,
listening to the stream we haven’t heard
since fall, and I imagine one day thinking
back to this hour and blaming myself
for my worries, my foolishness, today’s choices
having become the accomplished
facts of change, accepted
or forgotten. The woods are a mangle
of lines, yet delicate, yet precise,
when I take the time to look closely.
If I’m not happy it must be my own fault.
At the edge of the lawn my wife
bends down to uncover a flower, then another.
The first splurge of crocuses.
And for a moment the sweep and shudder
of the wind seems indistinguishable
from the steady furl of water
just beyond her.

Filed under: Poetry
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: The earthquake/tsunami in Japan warns us not to mess around with material nature

H.H. Sivarama Swami: The earthquake/tsunami in Japan warns us not to mess around with material nature

March 12th, 2011


4 Responses to “The earthquake/tsunami in Japan warns us not to mess around with material nature”

Pusta Krishna das says:

March 15, 2011 at 4:31 am

Respected Maharaj, I listened to your brief comments on the tsunami and earthquake in Japan last week. Interestingly, that tsunami travelled across the entire Pacific Ocean and stuck the West Coast of the US in California. In Santa Cruz, the ocean actually receded about 100 yards and then was filled in quickly. A 3 to 4 foot tsunami wave of energy destroyed over 100 boats in the yacht harbor there, and up the coast in Crescent City, even more widespread damage was done.

The reason I was writing here however is to give a little better insight into the use of the English language when saying “don’t mess around with nature” as you have done. On the one hand, we are dealing with nature all the time. The difficulty is that we fail to recognize the energy and things of this world belong to Krishna. It is not so much a problem of “messing around with nature” as it is ignorance of the nature of things. We cannot stop action in this world, and so we have to be prepared to explain that with such knowledge, there is possibility of devotional service, using the so-called material nature in the service of Krishna. If we give the problem, we are obliged to offer a solution as well. I do not think that we can stop with simply expressing: “don’t mess around with nature”. I sometimes think of the verse in the Srimad Bhagavatam when expressing how the Yadu dynasty was removed from the world. It is said that one can use a thorn to remove another thorn that is imbedded in the skin. It is an interesting concept, and I have sometimes used that example to explain how the material nature, when used properly, can also help to extricate us from our entanglement in material nature. Hare Krishna.

Pusta Krishna das

Kishor das says:

March 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm


Please accept my humble obeisances.

All gories to Srila Prabhupada.

I found your comments on the recent events in Japan telling, sobering and, essentially, without judgement. Such a massively shocking scenario requires the preacher to remain both bold and super-sensitive. All credit to your message to ‘not mess with nature’.

Your servant,

Kishor das

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Jiva Pavana Dasa says:

March 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Daivi esa guna mayi……

Dhira Bhakta Dasa says:

March 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Dear Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I’m just catching up on your pod-casts and am humbled by your insight into current events both in New Zealand and Japan.

But I was wondering don’t we mess around with material nature all the time, after all we rape the land of resources even depriving others of it, so how can we as devotees avoid such things as by our consuming these things we are contributing.

Thanks as always for the insight

Your Servant

Dhira Bhakta Dasa

H.H. Sivarama Swami: The earthquake/tsunami in Japan warns us not to mess around with material nature

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Vrindavan Experience

Vrindavan Experience

SRS: This is a blog on a wonderful documentary about Vrndavana, Govinda Swami and two of his disciples are working on: http://www.vrindavanexperience.com/


Radhastami at Varsana, Part I

The festival of Radhastami, the appearance of Radharani, is being celebrated at Varsana for almost a week. Crowds of people join to circumambulate the holy place and participate in the...

Radhastami at Varsana, Part II

On one of the days of Radhastami festivities, the residents of Varsana run throughout the village, with young boys dressed as Radha and Krishna on their shoulders. This tradition originates...

The Rainy Season

The rainy season in Vrindavan. This video is available on Glimpses of Vraja DVD: http://www.vrindavanexperience.com/shop/

SRS: This is a blog on a wonderful documentary about Vrndavana, Govinda Swami and two of his disciples are working on: http://www.vrindavanexperience.com/

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ISKCON News.com: The Adjustment Bureau: Does God Change Our Minds, or Do We Change God's?

By Cathleen Falsani for The Huffington Post on 8 Mar 2011

In an intriguing new film that explores themes of fate, destiny, divine and human (free) will, that same idea is called "The Adjustment Bureau" -- an otherworldly bureaucratic organization controlled by an unseen entity (or, perhaps, deity) known as "the Chairman."

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Mayapur Online: Few opportunities available!

With the joyful walking around on nine islands of Navadvipa Mandala, absorbed in the nectarean pastimes of the Lord, Gaura Purnima festival is coming more closer to the highlight of the festival, celebrating the appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Festivities will begin from 14th onwards and continue unitl 19th, the Gaura Purnima day.

read more

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtan at Govinda’s in Istanbul

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtan at Govinda’s in Istanbul

March 12th, 2011


H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtan at Govinda’s in Istanbul

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: The Holy Names of Krishna will be sung in every town and village...

Iskcon temple in Ravet to open on March 22

Sri Govind Dham, the new temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), is being readied for a grand opening on March 22. This will be the first Iskcon temple in Pimpri-Chinchwad area. The temple authorities told media persons that 50,000 people are expected to attend the event on the opening day.

“Iskcon leaders like Radhanath Swami, Loknath Swami and Gopal Krishna Maharaj are expected to attend the function,” saidtemple manager, Gopati Das.

The temple is 50-foot high and is decorated with wooden carvings. The ceiling is fitted with Mangalore tiles, which will help to keep the interior cool.

Please see rest of article at:

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 March 12: "I am very pleased to hear about Krishna's new throne. I am anxious to come there and see it as well as you and all my students there who are carrying on so nicely even in my absence. Always remember I am always with you all so long you are executing Krishna Consciousness."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 March 12: "Householders may wear dhotis in the Temple. Outside the Temple they may wear American gentleman's dress, with Tilaka, flag, and beads. If they so desire, for ceremony, they can dress in dhotis for Kirtana."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 March 12: "This is willful violation of our rules and regulations. She cannot take charge. She may execute nicely wherever she is, I have all blessings for her, the door of Krishna Consciousness is always open. But to be in charge one must be completely above suspicion."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 12: "By the Divine Will of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura we are now combined together, although born in different parts of the world, unknown to one another. This is the way of Krsna transaction. So follow the path chalked out by our predecessors, and success is sure."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 12: "Krishna will give you timely a suitable place, don't worry. Our leader, Sanatana Goswami, was living underneath a tree, keeping His Deity hanging on the branch of a tree and still He was always engaged in the service of the Lord. So place or no place, we must go on with our preaching work."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 March 12: "If self-realized souls write something song about Krishna, that is perfectly from the transcendental platform, without any tinge of mundane influence or nonsense imagination. Unless someone comes from this category, his manufacturing some songs about Krishna will be misleading to himself and others."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 March 12: "Become determined to fix all your attention for seeing Krishna face to face by the Krishna Consciousness process and chant always this Hare Krishna mantra - than you shall qualify yourself for writing songs about Krishna."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 March 12: "Yes, you are right - all qualifications come if you simply surrender to the bona fide Spiritual Master. To take shelter of the Spiritual Master means to follow his instructions. So, you should be very careful to not deviate even a little bit from the order of the Spiritual Master."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: The Holy Names of Krishna will be sung in every town and village...

Coastweek-- State of the art temple made on Links Road, Nyali a sight to behold and soothing to the soul.
ISKCON’S New Dwarikadham Temple In Nyali, Mombasa

Marble-tiled floors, magnificent pillars, and massive
rooms for deities just some of the highlights of the temple

Coastweek-- The Dwarikadham temple complex set to open on 12th April 2011 , is ISKCON’s newest and perhaps most opulent of gems.

Situated on an expansive plot on Links Road , Nyali, this most magnificent of monuments is a sight to behold.

The modern yet simple architectural design is not only pleasing to the eye but also
soothing to the soul.

The rest of the article can be found at:

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his followers who are actively fulfilling Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's precept.
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Deva Gaura Hari, AU: Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.14 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Tipster : No-Sift Way To De-Lump Hardened Powdered Sugar

  There is a hazard to buying groceries in bulk. Dry goods such as flour can turn sour. Bugs can get in  your oats. And powdered sugar can coalesce into hardened sweet lumps. Proper storage can mitigate these ills. Flour … Continue reading

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Perfect Words

I attended my first 24 Hour Kirtan over the radio.

In 2008 I was in Hawaii at my parent's, where I had just undergone foot surgery. I was bedridden. So I tuned into a rather thin online broadcast of the 24 Hour Kirtan in New Vrindavan; I expected a bunch of fancy melodies and fancy drum beats, and I was ready to tune out again.

But what came out of my speakers was the first time I ever heard a kirtan by Madhava. Goosebumps ran down my arms. The holy name was for real.

As I lay there in my bed, I wondered when I would attend a 24 Hour Kirtan. What would I do? I cringed at the thought of only going to socialize, like any other festival. I wanted to absorb myself completely in the holy name because after all, it IS a festival of the holy name.

I decided that I would take a vow of silence, mauna vrata, and speak only the holy name.

Over the past two years I have attended half a dozen 24 or 12 hour kirtans, and each time I have taken a vow of silence. Each festival, my experience of the holy name becomes more profound.

It has always been my dream, though, to share the beauty of this experience with others. But it's kind of a hard sell, if you know what I mean - silence for 24 hours at a major festival?? Impossible!

But last October, my friend Nanda Priya finally decided to take the vow with me at a 24 Hour Kirtan. Our experience was beautiful, and I felt so amazed to share this depth of the holy name with another person.


Last weekend, 30 youth boarded the Youth Ministry bus to head down to Miami for Rathayatra and the 12 Hour Kirtan. A bunch of us girls gathered around our bunkbeds and discussed the upcoming kirtan festival. I didn't even bring up the vow of silence - Nanda did.

"Mauna vrata is amazing," she said. "Someone asked me last October if I had had fun, but I just thought, 'No!' I didn't have fun. It was deep and profound,"

"I agree," I said thoughtfully. "It's not fun, it's deep."

We all engaged in lively discussion and suddenly - everyone decided to do it.

So when Sunday morning rolled around, six of us tied on our little wristbands that said, "Vow of Silence."

In all of my experiences of mauna vrata, the vow has been austere, deep, profound, and it has moved my soul. But suddenly, the vow DID become fun.

I had the time of my life!

Whenever the six of us would convene after hours and hours of kirtan, we would all just call out, "Krishna, Krishna! Radhe Radhe!" in varying tones of question or exclamation. We would laugh and gesture and say the Lord's name some more. At one point, it truly struck me how this is the spiritual world - everyone only wants to talk about Krishna.

And it never gets old.

On the bus ride back that evening after the festival, the six of us gathered around our bunkbeds to share our realizations. Everyone had had their own challenges, but we all drew a unanimous conclusion: We had not wanted the Festival to end. We had all wanted to keep saying only the Lord's name...

...if just for a while longer.

So, my dear reader, maybe the next time I see you at a festival of the holy name, feel free to come up to me and show me your wristband. I'm sure our conversation will be perfect.    
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Japa Group: We Control The Mind By Two Senses

Our yoga also controls the senses; we control the mind by two senses. So one sense is vibrating, speaking with the tongue, and the other sense is hearing. If these two senses are fixed, then you can control your mind. We speak Hare Krsna mantra and we hear.

Japa Reform Notebook
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – BG 17.17-19 – The Top Ten Brahmas

Gouranga TV: Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – BG 17.17-19 – The Top Ten Brahmas

Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – BG 17.17-19 – The Top Ten Brahmas

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 246–Poem for March 11

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

6:28 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 11th

I woke at 4:00 A.M. with
an ache across my brow,
took the usual medicines
but it didn’t go down, it
developed into a right-eye
twinge: migraine. I took
migraine medicine but it
still didn’t go down.

Meanwhile, I chanted my rounds,
rapidly, silently, attentively,
listening to the syllables and
accumulating the rounds.
Rain tinkled loudly on
the streets and on the
roof. I worried about floods.
By past 6:00 I finished my
sixteen rounds and the crows
started cawing to signify
a dark dawn. “Krishna”
and the pain vied for
my attention.

“That’s rare,” said Baladeva,
hearing that I couldn’t subdue it,
as he woke up the Deities,
filled The water cups and
gave me new water bottles.
Narayana Kavaca is in the house,
returned last night from
India, but I haven’t seen
him yet. He’s brought me
a book by Mukunda Maharaja,
a memoir,
Miracle on Second
which Syamasundara
writes is “the best description
yet of those fine days of
endless horizons when
everything was possible . . .”
I’ll be glad to read it,
but not just yet. I
have to finish this poem
and dictate the book excerpts
despite this twinge.

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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 Four

“I went to hear the sannyasi speak to his disciples last night. He spoke on japa. They smiled when he said that japa would be his topic because they all want to improve. One asked, ‘You wrote in your book about a japa breakthrough. What is that?’ He said, ‘You keep banging against a wall and finally you break through, but not by your own endeavor. Krishna’s mercy descends.’

“They all chanted a round together. Japa is funny because you can’t read people’s minds while they chant, so all you can observe is the outer appearance, like the tip of an iceberg.

“Who knows the evil
that lurks in the hearts of men?
The Shadow knows.

“Yeah, they sat with him and chanted. He said, “Let’s be cheerful.” The translator turned that into, “allegro.” The sannyasi said, ‘Hmm, cheerful implies that things may be going against you, but you keep up your spirits.

“Dhama dasa then translated it as “optimismo.” Dhama was getting a pain in his back and he had to stand and try to adjust it. He was cheerful.

“The sannyasi said, “Let’s think positive and think good about whatever little beginner’s progress we have made.” He listed the things to feel good about: 1. You chant sixteen rounds a day; 2.you have discovered the open secret of early morning japa; 3. you stay awake and alert; 4. you begin to control your mind; 5. even if you can’t control your mind or be alert, you are chanting and you’re sure that Krishna will appreciate your attempt—the effort you make without the reward of higher taste.

“The sannyasi said he usually tells audiences that the first step in chanting reform is to notice you are inattentive and to feel regret. But he thinks now that regret is too advanced a stage for us to really know at the present moment. It will come, probably mixed in with tears of joy, when that stage arrives naturally. “Oh, when will the day come when by chanting Hare Krishna mantra, tears will flow from my eyes?” He read to them from Begging For the Nectar of the Holy Name, and finally they chanted another round—again the faces not revealing the inner thoughts, but you can be sure there was plenty of distraction and some sincerity to be cheerful about. Then he gave out what they called biscuits, but in America, we call them cookies. The sannyasi said that every night until Gaura-Purnima, he would hold an evening class like this. Then I saw him go to his room to prepare notes for the Caitanya-caritamrta class.

“This week has reached Wednesday, which is Ekadasi. There is an article on Ekadasi in the BTG magazine that just arrived. It was nice and encouraging in that cheerful mood of optimismo. The writer suggested that you should think a day in advance what you will do on Ekadasi.

“‘Who is in charge of this story?

“The author is. Why do you ask? Also, the author doesn’t want to be a big dictator. He’s trying to be a humble scribe and let the events flow. He’s trying to find out what the events are.

“‘Okay, but what’s the story?

“Who are you who is asking?

“’I’m a story investigator from the bureau of responsible Authors, Editors, and School Teachers. I am the tradition headed by great story-writers.

“Oh. Well, Sir, there’s nobody here except us devotees. What you say, Sir, that is all right. We will try to follow your recommendation, but we are not attempting to publish anything or compete. We figure we have a right to write.

“‘Yeah, well, don’t think that I’m like the Nazi Gestapo. I’m just trying to help you upgrade your efforts. A story has to have a plot and characters. It all follows from some basic conflict.’

“Yes, Sir, what you say, that is all right.

“‘For example, Chekov says that if in your opening sentence you describe a shotgun hanging over the fireplace, that shot gun has to be fired before the story is over. Edgar Allen Poe and Henry James made every single element in a story work to contribute to the whole. You see? It has to be a work of art. Not shoddy. And use symbols like in Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann. So what about this Mary? She seems to be just a stick figure. Where is she?’

“She’s not here right now. She went home. But I don’t think you need to be so concerned with our characters. This is a religious movement…

“‘That doesn’t excuse you from following the rules.’

“I mean to say, this isn’t even a story. For your story standards, you need ambitious characters and an upright story. As you can see, these are just young people mostly, and we are interested in chanting Hare Krishna. You need people who are into sex and love affairs and who are capable of violence and all that.

“’You are just trying to avoid me,’ said the investigator. “Don’t think you are exempt. But I’ll take you at your word. It’s a pity, though. You could write a story if you were serious enough to work it out under our tutelage. We could send representatives to teach you. But you have to be willing to rewrite everything at least ten or twenty times.’

“Well, I don’t think I have time or inclination for that. I also don’t like to put characters into conflict. I want to offer them respect. Our writing is mostly just a front to praise Krishna and the pro-cess of bhakti.

“’I see.’ The investigator took out his notebook and wrote, “Fatally parochial” next to the name Satsvarupa dasa. Then he tried to shield what he wrote, but I saw it, ‘Author appears to be a slouch.’

“I gave him a prasadam cookie and he left. Whew.

“All hands on deck. This is a square dance for Italians. Ring the monastery bell at 4:00 A.M. Everyone please attend mangala-arati. Be up and chant your japa. It’s another blessed day of Krishna consciousness on the way. Be quietly joyous, or loudly joyous, in kirtana. Think of Lord Caitanya’s mission and how you can serve. A Vaisnava is in the spirit of Advaita Acarya, who was aggrieved to see the suffering in the world. He wants to help people by giving them Krishna consciousness.

“‘Wake up, sleeping souls. The night has ended, almost. (let up early. How long will you stay on the lap of the witch Maya? Tamasi ma jyotir gamah.

“Let’s be hopeful of this day and banish fear that the karmis or the blues or the lows will get us. No one can get us because we are spirit souls. The soul can’t be cut or dried. Even Yamaraja cannot punish him. He’s aloof from all suffering. Spirit souls, devotees, let us cry out for shelter to the holy names: ‘I simply wish to serve You. All glories to the holy names of Krishna.’”

From Prabhupada Meditations, Volume II

“Moments alone with Srila Prabhupada were rare, and I cherished them. Sometimes I daydream that I might always remain alone with him, but I would soon be awakened to the reality that Prabhupada was meant for everyone. If it came about that Prabhupada was alone with a particular devotee for some time, he accepted that, but when other devotees came into his  association, he showed he was not attached to being with one over the other. If you began to think that you had a special relationship with Prabhupada, that maybe Prabhupada liked to be with you alone, that feeling would be shattered—as it was for me when our quiet air flight ended on arrival into San Francisco, where hundreds of people loved him and wanted his attention, and when he responded fully to them. After all, Prabhupada is not meant to spend all his time flying on the plane with one servant. When he met his many devotees he moved right into their center and exchanged with as many devotees as possible.

“It was interesting to see how Prabhupada responded to mass worship, either at the airport, or in the temple or at a festival. He liked it! Seeing many devotees surrounding him meant that the preaching was alive and that the Krishna consciousness movement was vital. It meant that Krishna was being glorified. It meant that kirtana was being conducted with great enthusiasm and that Prabhupada would be able to speak to many people about Krishna. On occasions like that, Prabhupada could think, ‘I am fulfilling my Guru Maharaja’s order. Look at these devotees who have changed  from hippies into happies!’

“An envious person would misunderstand and think, ‘Oh, this man is being worshiped, and that’s what he likes.’ But Prabhupada was surcharged with a different emotion. He rose to these occasions with waves of blissful Krishna consciousness. It was a far cry from the days when no one cared for him.  He saw it as suitable that Krishna’s representative was well-received.

“The servant’s role would then change radically from being the sole companion of Prabhupada sitting in the Singapore Airport to suddenly being a menial who had to fight to keep up with Prabhupada and who had to make many arrangements to see that things went smoothly. The servant had to collect the gifts that Prabhupada was given and carry them in a big heap, and try to get in the car with him. Both modes of service—alone and then mass worship—were bliss, but they were quite different. I was not able to make the changes so gracefully, but Prabhupada moved smoothly from one service to another with uninterrupted, unmotivated devotional dservice to Lord Krishna. It is not wrong to think of Srila Prabhupada in moods that appeal to us.  Since I tend to be quiet, I like to see Prabhupada when he was like that, to see him alone, translating Srimad Bhagavatam. I would even advocate to other devotes that Srila Prabhupada should be “allowed” to do this. I said, “It’s good that Prabhupada is translating so much, we should encourage him. It’s even better that he does this rather than to give a lecture.” He’s able to stay alone and get a lot of Srimad Bhagavatam done. It was true that I also wanted to be with him when he was alone, but I was also happy, even if I was not with him, that a simple servitor was there, someone I was not jealous of, and that Prabhupada was peaceful and producing Srimad Bhagavatam. Many devotees received great personal satisfaction just knowing that Prabhupada was producing his purports. It eased the pain of my envy to think that he was doing something from which everyone would benefit and not that only a few people would monopolize his attention.”

From Dear Sky, Letters From a Sannyasi

February 17, Stroudsburg, PA

“Dear day, February 17, 1992,

“Our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, once said that a particular day, March 2, 1973, will never come again. Time moves on, and you too will be gone, just like a cloud moving across the sky.
“Day, you are given to me by Krishna. I bow down to you. I embrace you. I have you for just a little while and then you will leave me. I can make the most of your presence in my life or I can waste you.

“Speaking in the mood of Radharani and the gopis, Lord Caitanya said that if ever He got the chance to be with Krishna again, He would worship the minutes and the hours of that time. He would offer arati to the moments; He would decorate them. That time in which we can meet Krishna or become Krishna conscious is very precious. We worship that time.

“I wish I could attain Krishna consciousness today, February 17, 1992.

“Every Sunday here in Stroudsburg, I remark to Samika Rsi Prabhu, ‘Well, now it’s another Sunday. What will you do today?’ It seems that only a minute goes by and I’m saying it again. ‘Now it’s Sunday.’ A week goes by so fast, and a month, and a year. But still this day is here. This precious day. As you fly by, I salute you. Now you will go, to wherever past days go, and you will gather with the rest. Since you are an expansion of Krishna-kala—maybe I will meet with you when I become spiritually fit and free of time’s shackles. Maybe I’ll meet with you in the spiritual world in spiritual time where we’re not bothered by past, present, and future. What that is like I don’t know. Probably my urge to speak to you and to love you is a shadow of my desire to enter into that spiritual day where early morning means going to make arrangements for the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. It’s that day I want to see. And you, February 17, 1992, are its representative. You are a little spot on the bhakti-marga. By Prabhupada’s grace, this day is not wasted, but engaged in Krishna’s service.”

“Thank you for being. As you leave, please remember me to Krishna.”

From Reading Reform: Srila Prabhupada’s Plan for the Daily Reading of His Books

“‘Yes, as a sannyasi and GBC, your first duty is to read my books. Otherwise, how will you preach? In order to remain steady and fixed in Krishna consciousness, there must be a sound philosophical understanding. Otherwise it will become only sentiment. Whenever you find the time, please read my books.’  (Letter to Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, January 5,1976)

“Commentary: I received this letter in January 1976 while traveling with the Library Party distributing sets of Prabhupada’s books to the universities. By the time I received this letter, the administrative organization of the party had become very stable, and my schedule allowed for several hours of reading every day. Because I didn’t want to become a kind of false babaji or reject the preaching, I had written to Srila Prabhupada asking if he approved my reading so much. In his answer to my letter, Prabhupada indicates that as a sannyasi and a member of the GBC my first duty is to read his books, and he indicates that this is the practical basis for all preaching work. Sannyasis and others cannot preach unless they acquire philosophical strength from reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. Some may be motivated by sentiment to take up Krishna consciousness in a temporary way, but if one wants to make a commitment to this movement, then he must make a permanent commitment to regularly reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

“While managing Back to Godhead magazine in Los Angeles, I made a sign and hung in on the bookshelf above my desk. The sign said, ‘WHENEVER YOU GET TIME, PLEASE READ MY BOOKS,’ and it reminded me of my duty to read as much as possible every day. Sometimes we hear of expert executive consultants who give advice how managers should organize their time. They say that between seeing clients, one should cram books about how to succeed. Similarly, devotees should read Prabhupada’s books in-between their other tasks.

“We are serving Krishna and by always remaining in touch with Him by reading Prabhupada’s books, our service will improve. But if we do not read regularly, we will forget who we are really working for and will lose the inspiration and courage to serve Krishna under any circumstance.”

From Begging for the Nectar of the Holy Name

“You will have lots of time—at least it will seem like that. Even if thirty-two rounds takes six hours, you still have time. Throughout the day, these three activities: chanting japa, writing, and reading (or hearing a tape). After about a week, then perhaps you can add other activities: preparing for the seminar or proofreading Remembering Srila Prabhupada. But don’t do too many things and don’t abandon the ‘vow.’ When you think of doing less chanting, remember the purport about being tolerant in order to chant:

“There may be so many impediments for a person who is chanting Hare Krishna. Nonetheless, tolerating all these impediments, one should continue to chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, so that at the end of one’s life one can have the full benefit of Krishnaconsciousness” (Bg. 8.5, purport).

“The verse trnad api also states that one has to be more tolerant than a tree in order to go on chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. This includes tolerating dryness and inability to make a prayer from the heart.

“Have faith in the process. Simply work as a servant of the name and the diary. Be also in a quiet, yet celebrative mood. I am not here to punish myself.

“From Harinama-cintamani, p. 33: “One who humbly says he is a poor soul surrendered to Lord Krishna, who constantly chants Krishna’s name, is a real sadhu.”

“The purity of a Vaisnava is judged by how much attraction or rati he has for the holy name. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his official status as a Vaisnava, or his wealth, erudition, youth, pleasing appearance, strength or following” (pp. 34-35).

From Vaisnava Behavior (1983)

“The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food (analyzed as that which is licked, chewed, drunk and sucked). When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasada, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful  obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.”

“Honoring Krishna’s prasadam is a very important part of Krishna consciousness. The spiritual master guides us here also, by accepting our prayers to Krishna and by offering us from his own hand the Lord’s remnants. The exchange of blessed foodstuffs is another loving reciprocation between the spiritual master and the disciple.

“The spiritual master’s duty is to engage his disciples in        preparing varieties of nice food to offer to the Deity. After being offered, this food is distributed as prasada to the devotees. These activities satisfy the spiritual master, although he himself does not require such a variety of prasada. By seeing the offering and distribution of prasada, he himself is encouraged in devotional service.

“I personally feel I was saved by Srila Prabhupada’s liberal distribution of prasada, just as a wretched homeless dog is saved by the charity of a kind person who feeds him. I have recorded this in my memoirs of Srila Prabhupada’s Sunday feasts at 26 Second Avenue in New York City, 1966:

“Eating the feast was an intense experience. We were supposed to be subduing our senses all week, following strict regulations, controlling the tongue. And the feast was a kind of reward. Swamiji and Krishna were giving us a taste of full spiritual ecstasy, even though we were still beginners and still in the material world. Before taking my plateful I would pray, “Please let me remain in Krishna consciousness because it is so nice and I am so fallen. Let me serve Swamiji, and let me enjoy this feast in transcendental bliss.” (Planting the Seed, p. 245)

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