jueves, 23 de junio de 2011

Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: 72 hours of chanting and dancing! Gauranga! The appearance of Sri Vakresvara Pandita


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"Planet ISKCON" - 38 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 23 June 2011--When, Oh When Will That Day Be Mine?--and--Request: Information of Your Itinerary
  2. ISKCON News.com: Blueberries Faked in Cereals, Muffins, Bagels and Other Food Products
  3. ISKCON News.com: Vatican Lending iPods to Pilgrims in Bid to Lower Noise Level in Rome Basilica
  4. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Recipe : Spicy Tomato Jam
  5. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Yesterday's Darsana
  6. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  7. ISKCON News.com: Draft Religion Law in Hungary Would Constitute the Most Oppressive Religion Law in the OSCE Region
  8. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: 72 hours of chanting and dancing! Gauranga! The appearance of Sri Vakresvara Pandita
  9. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: fasting to death
  10. Kurma dasa, AU: Panir Fest
  11. Mukunda Charan das, SA: Transcendence
  12. Japa Group: We Should Show Our Grat­i­tude
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  17. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  19. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  20. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  21. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  22. ISKCON News.com: Kirtan Mela in Germany
  23. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Interlude” By Amy Lowell
  24. Mayapur Online: Ekalavya Das and The Bhaktivedanta Band
  25. New Vrndavan, USA: Wanted: Surplus Building Materials
  26. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Book Review: Task Force Black
  27. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Free Seminar on Vastu Energy Management
  28. Sita-pati dasa, AU: ISKCON Economics: Fundamentally broken for a "society"
  29. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Review : Savannah Bee Company
  30. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, June 20th, 2011
  31. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, June 19th, 2011
  32. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, June 18th, 2011
  33. Kurma dasa, AU: Homemade Baked Ricotta Dessert
  34. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Janmastami FOLK News Online
  35. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Bhakta Anonymous inquires into the reasons why “high level” or “advanced” devotees are seen to be acting in less than ideal ways
  36. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Param Satya and Prahlad at the Canberra 24 hour kirtan
  37. Japa Group: Attentive Japa Opens One's Heart
  38. Gouranga TV: Rathayatra Kirtan on a Wet & Windy Sunday in London 2011.
  39. More Recent Articles
  40. Search Planet ISKCON
  41. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 23 June 2011--When, Oh When Will That Day Be Mine?--and--Request: Information of Your Itinerary

bb A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Thursday 23 June 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. (Click on photo to see a larger image.) Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: When, Oh When Will That Day Be Mine? Uploaded from Khasadesh Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur has written the most inspiring devotional song, Kabe Ha'be Bolo Se-Dina Amar--When, Oh When Will That Day Be Mine? By hearing or singing this song with love, one will awaken the dormant feelings of love of God within the heart. For the easy understanding of those who do not understand the Bengali language I have sung it in English. The song can be heard and downloaded at the link given below. Everyone has permission to copy, distribute, and post it freely. (The song is presented with modern instrumentation; so if you find such music distasteful, kindly do not listen to the song.) www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Songs/andromeda.php The lyrics are as follows: kabe ha'be bolo se-dina amar apardha ghuci', uddha nme ruci, krp-bale ha'be hrdoye sañcr When, oh when will that day be mine? When my offenses ceasing, taste for the name increasing, when in my heart will your mercy shine, when, oh when will that day be mine? Lower than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree. When will my mind attain this quality? Respectful to all, not expecting their honor, then shall I taste the name's nectar sublime. When, oh when will that day be mine? Great wealth or followers, feminine beauty, I won't care for them or the comforts of my body. Birth after birth give me, Oh Lord Caitanya, causeless devotion to Your feet divine, when, oh when will that day be mine? When will I utter Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, with words choked up and shivering body? When will I be trembling all over, lose bodily color, tears pouring from my eyes, when, oh when will that day be mine? When in Navadvipa along the Ganges bank, shouting 'Gaura-Nitynanda' as a surrendered soul, dancing, chanting, running everywhere, when will I become half mad of mind? When, oh when will that day be mine? When will Lord Nitynanda show mercy upon me, when will I reject the world of my? Bestow unto me the shade of Your lotus feet, let the right to preach the name be mine. When, oh when will that day be mine? I will beg, borrow, or steal the nectar of the name. By the name's effect I will feel paralyzed. Oh! Enjoyer of the nectar of the name, When will I touch your lotus feet till the end of time? When, oh when will that day be mine? When kindness to all beings will be appearing, with free heart forget myself comforting, Bhaktivinode in all humility prays, Now I will set out to preach Your order sublime. When, oh when will that day be mine? --end of song lyrics----------- We are eternally and unlimitedly indebted to Bhaktivinode Thakur for giving us this most powerful song of devotion. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Answers According to the Vedic Version: Request: Information of Your Itinerary Gurudeva, I have been following your discourses for quite some time. Before starting my work I take inspirations from your holy words. I feel we should have some way to join your discourses overseas for which prior intimation of your itinerary and invitation would be required. This would generate goodwill and positive interaction too. with greetings and regards. Shiv Shankar Singh Answer: It Is Always Posted Kindly consult the Transcendental Resources section of our Thought for the Day. There you will find a link, which will give you my lecture schedule for the entire year. This is the link: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule If you see a place where you would like to attend my lectures, simply write me for an exact lecture schedule at that city. No invitation is required. You are welcome to attend any of my lectures without an invitation. 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 Sankarshan Das Adhikari on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SDASITE Thought for the Day on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ultimate.Self.Realization 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 News.com: Blueberries Faked in Cereals, Muffins, Bagels and Other Food Products

Pictures of blueberries are prominently displayed on the front of many food packages. Here they are on boxes of muffins, cereals and breads. But turn the packages around, and suddenly the blueberries disappear. They're gone, replaced in the ingredients list with sugars, oils and artificial colors derived from petrochemicals.

If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
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ISKCON News.com: Vatican Lending iPods to Pilgrims in Bid to Lower Noise Level in Rome Basilica

By Gregorio Borgia for The Washington Post / AP on 23 Jun 2011

From a tiny booth in the back of St. John in Lateran, the Holy See’s pilgrim agency has been quietly asking tourists if they want to tour Rome’s oldest basilica with an iPod in hand loaded with an app specially designed to access the place’s art, architecture and Christian history.

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Recipe : Spicy Tomato Jam


A sweet & savory jam suited for tofu + cheese sandwiches!



Happy summer solstice! Hope your garden is treating you right. Ours is more like a novelty patch, but it’s still fun. I know some of you are super serious about your raised beds and it should be paying off right about now. Tomatoes tomatoes tomatoes. What are you going to do with them all?

If you kids are sick of eating them right off the vine and your freezer is full from blueberry season, try this simple tomato jam recipe. The result is a mildly hot, tangy treat that pairs well with your favorite breads, mozz and tofu!

This recipe is terrific for people new to canning. Very simple. Plus, the acid of the tomato + the sugar for the jam makes this stuff pretty foolproof in the botulism department. That’s a relief!

You can really fiddle with the recipe–it won’t bite!

Can your ‘maters now by cooking up this spicy tomato jam. Having jam on hand always takes the pressure off having to figure out a gift for your child’s teacher come school time. I’m telling you, teachers just love homemade jam. Gift it with a jar of homemade mustard and you are set! Quite literally.

This recipe calls for Pomona’s Pectin which is available anywhere that has a good organics section. If you are local to the Gainesville area, Ward’s carries it. It’s located on the top shelf opposite the bulk bins, right hand side-ish and is just a few dollars a pack. Also, Ball is supposed to be coming out with a low sugar/naturally derived pectin. I imagine that would be in every grocery store.

Recipe : Spicy Tomato Jam


  • 3 pounds tomatoes / 8 cups diced tomatoes
  • 3 jalapeno chilis, seeded & minced
  • 1.5 inch of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon hing or onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water (calcium powder comes with pectin)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona’s Natural Pectin
  • 5 cups evaporated cane juice



  1. Heat olive oil in a pot. Add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds pop, add cumin. Brown and then add chili and ginger. Finally, add hing or onion powder.
  2. Add tomatoes, salt, calcium water, vinegar.
  3. Mix pectin powder into a bowl of sugar. When contents of pot come to a boil, slowly incorporate sugar mixture into pot, stirring frequently.
  4. When jam reaches gelling point, pour into jars that have been sterilized in oven at 200 degrees fahrenheit. Work quickly so that you are working with hot jam. Screw lid on and wait for them to pop. Will make approximately 8-10 half pints.



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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Yesterday's Darsana

And here is yesterday's darsana for those who missed it on our Facebook page: ISKCON Melbourne.

Today's verse beautifully describes:


"This is the representation of the Supreme Lord as the universal person, the earth is His feet, the sky His navel, the sun His eyes, the wind His nostrils, the demigod of procreation His genitals, death His anus and the moon His mind. The heavenly planets are His head, the directions His ears, and the demigods protecting the various planets His many arms.

The god of death is His eyebrows, shame His lower lip, greed His upper lip, delusion His smile, and moonshine His teeth, while the trees are the almighty Purusa's bodily hairs, and the clouds the hair on His head."

May we have darsana of the Lord's intricate creation by taking darsana of His exquisite personal form.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Srila Sanatana Goswami glorifies Lord Krsna:


"Your beauty brings great astonishment, and Your charm defeats the attractiveness of the ornament You wear. You always glance about with affection to spread Your mercy. Victory to You, ornament of Your own ornaments!"

(Sri Krsna Lila Stava)

Oh Sri Sri Radha Ballabha, and Your darsana brings solace to our burning hearts.

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ISKCON News.com: Draft Religion Law in Hungary Would Constitute the Most Oppressive Religion Law in the OSCE Region

By HRWF for HRWF.com on 22 Jun 2011

Over a hundred religious organizations will be retroactively stripped of their status as religious communities and "de-registered" as religious organizations if these provisions become law.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: 72 hours of chanting and dancing! Gauranga! The appearance of Sri Vakresvara Pandita

Sri Sri Radha Kanta. The same deities worshipped by Sri Vakresvara Pandita
Monday was the appearance day of Sri Vakresvara Pandita. (the post is a bit tardy)
Sri Vakresvara Pandita represents the 5th branch of the Caitanya tree. How important is this branch? When Mahaprabu was in Nadia he stated "...Vakreshwar is fully imbued with the Lord's transcendental energy, and whoever becomes devoted to him, attains to the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. His heart is the personal abode of Sri Krsna and as Sri Krsna dances, so Vakreshwar also dances. Wherever one can get the association of Vakreshwar, that place is the sum total of all Holy places and is as good as Sri Vaikuntha."

As we have done in previous posts glorifying the branches of Caitanya Mahaprabu's tree, we turn to Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-lila chapter 10 which specifically lays out the trunk, branches and sub-branches of the Caitanya tree. 

Verse 17 states Vakresvara Pandita, the fifth branch of the tree, was a very dear servant of Lord Caitanya's. He could dance with constant ecstasy for seventy-two hours.

In Srila Prabhupada's purport he states "In the
Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (71) it is stated that VakresvaraPandita was an incarnation of Aniruddha, one of the quadruple expansions of Visnu (Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Aniruddha and Pradyumna). He could dance wonderfully for seventy-two continuous hours. When Lord CaitanyaMahaprabhu played in dramatic performances in the house of SrivasaPandita, VakresvaraPandita was one of the chief dancers, and he danced continuously for that length of time..."

Imagine that...72 continuous hours of dancing in ecstasy! Gauranga!

Verse 18 to 20 contiunes as follows:
SriCaitanyaMahaprabhu personally sang while VakresvaraPandita danced, and thus VakresvaraPandita fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and spoke as follows.
"O Candramukha! Please give me ten thousand Gandharvas. Let them sing as I dance, and then I will be greatly happy."
Caitanya replied, "I have only one wing like you, but if I had another, certainly I would fly in the sky!" So the benediction from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is clear with his statement in Nadia and His great pleasure with the performance of Vakresvara Prabhu. In a similar way, when I watch the young ones dance for the Lord, you can see Mahaprabhu's pleasure and feel the wave of ecstasy in temple. Gauranga!

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in Puri he stayed at Kasi Misra's house. Later, Sri Vakresvara Pandita also stayed there and to add to this nectar he worshipped the beautiful forms of Sri Sri Radha Kanta. To this day these deities continue to be worshipped and a picture of Them is above.

Jaya Sri Sri Radha Kanta!
Jaya Sri Vakresvara Pandita!

[Editor's note: Dandavats to all the readers who take the time to share this nectar with us. Apologies for posts being a bit off schedule so far this month. Subhavilasa Prabhu (my dad) has a couple of notebooks full of notes and nectar and I am trying to keep up.  I am a bit off track in transcribing them and hope to be back on track with daily posts soon...]

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: fasting to death

Aksayananda: So one question I wanted to ask you in this connection, is that this Vinobha, fasting until death, until cow slaughter is stopped. So if he dies then he is guilty of murder. Is it correct. And if he's a brahmana, he is guilty of brahma-hatya. So by this fasting he is committing a greater sin than the actual killing of the cows. Prabhupada: You are right. Aksayananda: And what is the gain? Prabhupada: And what he'll get it? Does he think that by his dying of starvation this cow-killing will be stopped? That is his foolishness. Aksayananda: He will die and it will go on. Prabhupada: Yes, that is his foolishness. Aksayananda: And he does not know where he will go next. Prabhupada: Just see, he is (Hindi), very big man, and he's such a rascal. He has no sense what he is doing.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation -- September 6, 1976, Vrndavana

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Kurma dasa, AU: Panir Fest

panir fest:

If you had 10kg of first class organic panir cheese in your freezer, you'd probably be tempted to make more panir dishes than usual. I'm sure that's the culinary version of the term "burning a hole in your pocket", if you get my inference.

Honestly, when you taste panir cooked in this context, you naturally think 'why would anyone want to eat meat when you have this succulent alternative?' My Spritual Master called it 'a meat-eater's delight'. Instead of killing all the cows for their flesh, you can keep them alive and utilise their milk to make panir cheese, which is also rich in protein. You'll be happy, and so will the cows and their grateful descendants.

So yes, I did use some. To be precise, I pan-fried large batons of panir cheese until golden-brown, folded in fresh tomatoes, peas, green chili, and pieces of zucchini (remember, I like zucchini).

I cooked it all together very slowly - I guess you could describe it as a 'braise' - and towards the end I added a spoonful of homemade garam masala, and a smidge of raw sugar and sea salt. That's fresh from the garden flat-leaf parsley on top.

It tasted as good as it looks.

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Mukunda Charan das, SA: Transcendence

‘One may argue that His relation with the goddesses of fortune may be transcendental, but what about His relation with the Yadu dynasty, being born in that family, or His killing nonbelievers like Jarasandha and other asuras directly in contact with the modes of material nature?  The answer is that the divinity of the Personality of Godhead is never in contact with the qualities of the material nature in any circumstances.  Actually He is in contact with such qualities because He is the ultimate source of everything, yet He is above the actions of such qualities.  He is known, therefore, as Yogesvara, or the master of mystic power, or in other words the all-powerful.  Even His learned devotees are not affected by the influence of the material modes.  The great six Goswamis of Vrndavana all came from greatly rich and aristocratic families, but when they adopted the life of mendicants at Vrndavana, superficially they appeared  to be in wretched conditions of life, but factually they were the richest of all in spiritual values.  Such maha-bhagavatas, or first-grade devotees, although moving amongst men, are not contaminated by honour or insult, hunger or satisfaction, sleep or wakefulness, which are all rsultant actions of the three modes of material nature.  Similarly, some of them are engaged in worldly dealings, yet are unaffected.  Unless these neutralities of life are there, one cannot be considered situated in transcendence.  The Divinity and His associates are on the same transcendental plane, and their glories are  always sanctified by the action of yogamaya, or the internal potency of the Lord.  The devotees of the Lord are always transcendental, even if they are sometimes found to have fallen in their behaviour’

[A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.38 Purport]

Filed under: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Realizations, Spiritual Life, Srimad Bhagavatam Tagged: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, devotees of the Lord, material nature, postaweek2011, six goswamis of vrndavana, srila prabhupada, srimad bhagavatam purport, the modes of material nature, the personality of godhead, transcendence, vrndavana
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Japa Group: We Should Show Our Grat­i­tude

We should always be very grate­ful to Krishna for giv­ing us the Hare Krishna mantra, and we should show our grat­i­tude by chant­ing it as much as pos­si­ble. That way, we will bond with Him, which is our heart’s great­est desire. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

From Japa Transformations
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 June 22: "The Rathayatra day feast should consist of bhuni kitchri which you make by first frying the dahl and rice in ghee. Also fry the vegetable with little ghee and masala. Other preparations may be a fruit salad, sweet rice, puris, a chutney, and a vegetable which is neither wet nor dry."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 June 22: "Because we are engaged in warfare with the forces of Maya there will be casualties. We should be prepared to protect the Deities and always expect Krishna's Mercy, because we are always dependent on Him and we cannot do anything on our own without Him."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 June 22: "In a motion picture it looks like the body is moving but the viewers cannot see there are so many thousands of little pictures in the spool. Similarly every moment the spirit soul is changing the body. Those who are not sober cannot understand."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Krsna’s first business is to give all comfort to the cows and the brahmanas. In fact, comfort for the brahmanas is secondary, and comfort for the cows is His first concern.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 June 22: "Panchami. Theosophical Lodge at 72nd kept one set of books on approval. My phone number was given to them. Social Studies at Broadway invited to see me with books. In the evening there was meeting, the attendance was eleven, the Collection was only $7.50."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 June 22: "Nnaturally, your children being well educated in jada-vidya, are reluctant to receive enlightenment in Krishna Consciousness. But there is nothing to be disappointed, because they are your children; they have got the initiative seeds in them, and someday it will fructify. Don't worry."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 22: "It is a unique temple in all the world. I always think of our Juhu place, and I want that it shall be the model for all the world to emulate and respect as the perfect example of a Krishna Conscious community."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 22: "If all of the mill-owners and officers become our members from Ahmedabad and other cities you can collect millions of Rs. In Gujarat we can open a Center in every city because by nature the people are so much dedicated to Krishna."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 June 22: "There are two kinds of men, dhira and adhira. Modern education is producing only the adhira class who are neither sober nor educated. Therefore out of so many scientists only you and a few others are understanding the importance of this subject matter"
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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ISKCON News.com: Kirtan Mela in Germany

By Kunti Dasi for ISKCON News on 22 Jun 2011

ISKCON Germany wishes to take the world of kirtan to the first international, 6-day, all-kirtan Mela, the biggest international kirtan event ever. Many expert kirtaniyas have been invited. Among many others Sacinandana Swami, Niranjana Swami and Govinda Swami have confirmed their participation.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Interlude” By Amy Lowell

When I have baked white cakes
And grated green almonds to spread upon them;
When I have picked the green crowns from the strawberries
And piled them, cone-pointed, in a blue and yellow platter;
When I have smoothed the seam of the linen I have been working;
What then?
To-morrow it will be the same:
Cakes and strawberries,
And needles in and out of cloth.
If the sun is beautiful on bricks and pewter,
How much more beautiful is the moon,
Slanting down the gauffered branches of a plum-tree;
The moon,
Wavering across a bed of tulips;
The moon,
Upon your face.
You shine, Beloved,
You and the moon.
But which is the reflection?
The clock is striking eleven.
I think, when we have shut and barred the door,
The night will be dark

Filed under: Poetry
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Mayapur Online: Ekalavya Das and The Bhaktivedanta Band

Tomorrow June 23, we will be graced with the presence of the world famous trumpeter, Ekalavya Das, and The Bhaktivedanata Band. They will be performing along with the famous keyboard artist Pradyumna Singh Manot. The performance with consist of kirtan and bhajans, along with a special mix of Gaura lila katha mixed in between.

read more

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New Vrndavan, USA: Wanted: Surplus Building Materials

Dear Devotees and friends,

I am continuing in the process of finishing constructing a house and I am wondering if anyone has any material laying around that they no longer have use for. I am specifically looking for some:

1. Cinder blocks
2. Drywall nails and joint compound and any extra 5/8″ drywall that may be around.
Also cement screws for attaching Hardi Board.
3. Any pieces of cement board
4. Metal screws that are 3″ long.
5. Triple wall pipe for a wood stove
6. Any other building supplies.

If you have anything that you aren’t going to use, please give me a call at 917-495-3646 and let me know.

Thank you very much for your consideration. Your servant,
Sukhavaha dasi

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Book Review: Task Force Black

I briefly browsed the book store at the airport on the way back from the Canberra 24 hour kirtan, and saw this book: "Task Force Black: The Explosive True Story of the SAS and the Secret War in Iraq".

When asking my workmates about the Amazon Kindle ereader, one of them told me: "It's great, you can go to a bookstore at an airport, see a book you like, then download it on your Kindle and read it on the plane."

And indeed you can. I had it downloaded before we boarded, but didn't have a chance to read it on the plane, as Krishnapada and I spent the time discussing the Canberra 24 hour kirtan and our kirtan and harinam plans for the year between now and the next one.

I got a chance to read Task Force Black today, and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable and educational book.

It's no "Inside Delta Force" or "SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper", the two previous Special Forces book I read. Those two books were written by members of Special Forces units, and focused on tactics, training, and missions, from the perspective of an individual who took part in them.

Task Force Black is written by a journalist - one who was in Iraq as an embedded journalist, but one who was there as an observer rather than a participant. Mark Urban brings a reporter's perspective to the task of documenting the operations of Task Force Black, the joint US - UK special forces operation in Iraq. As well, he builds his picture through interviews with soldiers from the field as well as the commanders who made the decisions. The result is the "big picture".

If you are looking for blow-by-blow accounts of missions, then this book may disappoint. In the Forward to the book, Urban explains his motivation as being historical documentation, and as a result he addresses the strategic dimension, and tactical details feature as details within that, rather than center stage as the primary narrative. I was surprised by this. I thought I was going to get more gritty personal narrative, and when I discovered on starting that the book that it was written by a reporter, rather than by a participant I worried that it would read like a clinical dissection. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find what is essentially a cogent strategic analysis of the military and political developments in Iraq since the US-UK lead invasion, up to 2009.

While recounting history, Urban is wary of the distorting perspective of hindsight, at one point cautioning against identifying what now seems clearly to be a "tipping point". He quotes one commander as saying: "It was never clear to us at any point". Our history was in fact someone else's future, just as this present moment now represents someone else's past.

Apart from putting all the familiar names such as Fallujah, Ramadi, Basra, and Al-Ansar into perspective in a narrative, Urban also fleshed out my knowledge of General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal's revolutionary ideas of "building a network to fight a network", and "industrial counter-terrorism" seem to be practical demonstrations of Network-centric warfare (see here for the 2005 Australian report, and here for the original 1999 US DoD presentation). McChrystal has seen past the shallow technology idea of NCW and internalised the concept of Network-centricity as a deep metaphor for constructing an organisation and its operations. His JSOC (Joint Special Forces Operation Command) in Iraq demonstrates that it takes more than just networked technology to achieve battle space superiority through information superiority. It takes an understanding of how to drive the network-centric metaphor through the whole organisation.

McChrystal's struggles and successes, as documented in Task Force Black, demonstrate that network-centric warfare doesn't do away with the fundamentals of war - friction and unity of command remain decisive factors, and their effects are also detailed in Urban's work.

The book also contrasts and clarifies the different outcomes from the British and US approaches in Iraq, something that was novel information for me.

I don't recommend this book if you're after a gripping story of individual courage and heroism in the face of overwhelming adversity. Try Andy McNabb's Bravo Two Zero: The Harrowing True Story of a Special Forces Patrol Behind the Lines in Iraq or Marcus Luttrell's
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 for that. If you want a historical military and political understanding of post-invasion Iraq, and a grasp of modern developments in network-centric warfare and the strategic use of special forces in counter-insurgency, "Task Force Black" is the book is for you.

If you enjoy Task Force Black, then you might also enjoy "Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice". I'm currently reading it, and will post a review once I finish.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Free Seminar on Vastu Energy Management

In today's times with the massive urbanization, growth in population and nuclear families – single-family units, condominiums & high-rise apartments have become very popular.

For the architects and builders the challenge is to ensure that these projects are commercially viable while optimizing utilization of space, meeting various government regulations and city/state building codes. If along with all that, Vastu Energy Management is also addressed the occupants will be able to enjoy the best of space utilization and high positive energy in their dwellings resulting in better health, wealth and harmony.

Vastu Shastra is an environmental and architectural science, which is over five thousand years old. Vastu is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘vasati’ which means dwelling. It can be any type of space where human beings spend time. Vastu helps in proper orientation of buildings to create positive energy.

Vastu Expert Mr. Abhinav Mehta is visiting Toronto and will be hosting a free seminar at Toronto's Hare Krishna temple on Saturday, June 25th at 4:00 PM. The seminar will be followed by Dinner at Govinda’s.

To book your seat, pls call Viresh Varma on 647 588 0460 or send an email: vireshvarma@gmail.com

It’s a wonderful opportunity for those who either owns a property or plans to own one.

Abhinav Mehta is a successful professional with over 25 years of management experience in the fields of Engineering, Agriculture, Precious stones & Jewelry, etc. He has been helping people with a common sense approach & simple solutions to "Live in Bliss" by resolving their inner & outer conflicts. Bliss Solutions, Inc. was launched to create awareness about the different aspects of the Vedic culture namely Vastu Energy Management, Yoga, Astrology, & Ayurveda to experience bliss, harmony and wellbeing in our everyday lives.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: ISKCON Economics: Fundamentally broken for a "society"

Krishna Kesava writes an interesting article on Dandavats.com that examines some of the social aspects of ISKCON, especially related to the role of the temple.

In relation to the elderly, he writes:

More of our soft-hearted devotees are entering an elderly state. They won’t want to spend the rest of their days at home, but to preach somehow. They may not have disciples to care for them, but would like to stay in a temple. In Vedic family tradition, the elders are honoured.

Have we matured yet as an Iskcon family to allow our grandfather or grandmother figure devotees to live in a temple? Think of the sobriety they can lend to young asrama residents. Think of the welcome hospitality they can extend to all guests. Think of the wisdom they can impart. Are we ready for them? Of course, they will need separate amenities. Since this a family matter, does financial expediency come first?

If financial concerns are a priority over devotee needs, we are not ready to implement noble concepts of devotee care and welfare. Elderly people can cost a lot. Will the cost of caring for an elderly vaisnava be too much? Would it be sensible to have separate temples for the elderly who are still active? This scenario will materialise sooner or later.

A significant problem with ISKCON's pretension to being an alternative society is that it is fundamentally broken economically.

In an agrarian society, elderly members of the family are supported by the younger members of their family. They have children, invest their economic energy into those children during their productive life, and those children in turn provide economic support for them later in life.

In post-agrarian industrial societies, the government mandates that a portion of the economic output of each person is extracted and invested in a pension / superannuation scheme. Later in life that money is used to provide an economic support for the elderly.

ISKCON has neither of these. In their youth, full-time members give their economic energy to ISKCON. ISKCON typically does not contribute on their behalf to government mandated superannuation schemes, and does not maintain its own superannuation scheme.

Most of ISKCON exists within societies where children do not bear the same economic responsibility toward their parents as they do in agrarian societies. The children of ISKCON devotees are for the most part socialised within these societies, despite the wistful notion they will subscribe to the same agrarian utopia their parents might.

ISKCON has no economic plan for the elderly.

Personally I think that it is very irresponsible to extract economic energy from people over an extended period of time without one.

Typically, full-time members of the society are few in number, and their tenure of full-time service is typically less than 10 years. Certainly there is no possibility of ISKCON becoming a full life-cycle replacement society for any significant number of people any time in the near future. It is economically dependent on its host society.

For those members of the society whose full-time service extends over more than 10 years, such as career temple presidents and GBCs - the lack of a superannuation fund makes retirement practically impossible.

The only way they can continue to be maintained by the society is by continuing in a management role. Neither have they contributed to a government-mandated superannuation scheme, nor does ISKCON have one for them. The result is a pressure to remain in a management role long past the point of optimal return for the individual or the organisation. Since legitimate means of support are limited, most sources of financial support that do exist are illegitimate by definition.

Without facing up to economic realities, ISKCON cannot be a society.

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Review : Savannah Bee Company

From packaging to shop design, the flagship store of the Savannah Bee Company is a sweet taste of genius.

Last weekend’s trip to Savannah was oh so sweet!

Most of our family vacations involve the other woman: Mother Nature. We tend to hit up a lot of beaches and trails. My husband did live in Alaska for a year and my son has definitely inherited his love of the great outdoors. My daughter also likes being outside, but when she comes indoors she wants air conditioning and television. Me? I want  to walk around, visit a coffee shop and see people. So Savannah was a total win win for everyone.

Saturday morning we spent strolling around town. I had a list of a few shops I knew I wanted to hit up before we headed out to Tybee Island for some natural frolic.

Savannah Bee Company wasn’t on my list.

I heard about it from people and have seen their honey in Whole Foods, but I had my priorities. Along with 3 kids non-plussed for shopping. And a husband who came with a time limit. 


A honeycomb door welcomes you to the flagship store of the Savannah Bee Company.

While walking on West Broughton Street, we just so happened to pass by it. I wanted to pop in for a purchase or two, Christmas being right around the 6 month corner. Once inside the shop, the whole family was won over by this little store. It really is a genius marketing in action. Well designed inside with golden jars of honey decorating the walls, the shop is a happy place. With air conditioning. But the really smart thing is that it is a destination shop. I mean, come on. They just sell honey! But they’ve managed to brand themselves as a site to see in Savannah. Excellent.


Jars of honey create a wonderfully amber visual throughout the shop.


Sampling honey at the honey bar.

When you first enter the shop there is a long wooden bar adorned with honey in pump topped bottles to sample. A honey-ologist (was she really called that?) stood by to give you the profile of each honey and answer any honey-related questions. Mid-way through the store is another tasting station. My children usually don’t like honey but they were psyched to get samples and try and hone the subtleties of their tongues.

Into the hive...

But what my children really loved was the chance to take their shoes off and enter the padded room of a beehive. Inside there is seating so you can comfortably nurse your baby. There is also a television with video of bees making honey. Cute.


Golden delights.


Honey pumps.


Savannah Bee Company has a total of 4 locations in little ol’ Savannah. We just visited the one, which just so happens to be the flagship store. It was a nice diversion from the heat and the kids really enjoyed it. And seriously, that honey was good.

Savannah Bee Company

104 West Broughton Street

Savannah, GA 31401


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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, June 20th, 2011

The Cart

Halifax, Nova Scotia

I dared the drizzle at an early hour. Walking by residential habitats and up along Quinnpool and north completing blocks and blocks of this boxes I finally landed my laurels on a porch-swing at the home of Manu and Satarupa. I swung and listened to my whispering mantra when in the stillness I heard an increasingly common sound of these times. It started with a rattle, obviously the wheels of a rickety shopping cart, grating over uneven pavement. I stopped swinging. I didn't want to disturb the oncoming man's business, referring to the fellow pulling the cart.

Bottles were inside a hefty plastic bag that was shaped to settle into the rectangular metal box. The street-light allowed me to see the operation of the man and his conveyance and goods (or bads) moving across the street at Willow and Clifton. He crossed the street, then passed by not noticing me. I must admit I was eyeing his paraphernalia more than the person who appeared hidden in his coat.

I then wondered what the man's rest-of-the-day would look like. Would he be making reversal trips like this during the night to early morning? Will he do his own recycling? Will he be getting coins/peanuts for all his endeavours and sort through that too?

I've seen this type of passing person before. I remember in Dallas while on an early morning trek seeing a wheel-chaired man pop out of a wrecker's yard carrying on his lap whatever little scrap he could.

A sigh of empathy came to visit me then, as I sat on the swing a little longer, now swinging again, and with some deliberation on my mind. Where will destiny take the man with the cart? And as I thought like this the clatter of the cart's contents became less pronounced as he moved further away from the ear's distance.

10 Km

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, June 19th, 2011

People in Progression

Halifax, Novia Scotia

December 12th of 2010 was the last time I spent time in Halifax with our community. Im thrilled to see the spiritual progress being made with certain individuals. Corey, 23, is one of them. As a walking partner on past occasion I got to know him somewhat. He's maturing. His mum, Denise, came to partake in our evening program. What a lovely soul.

Heidi, is a special person. Employed in a dental lab, she gives equal or more importance to her spiritual life. She commits herself to two hours of mantra meditation everyday. Recently she sold her stockpile inherited LP's but held onto George Harrison's "Living In the Material World." With genuine sentiment she broguht with her the LP to let me see.

Joseph, is also getting results from chanting daily on his beads, but he also wanted to let everyond know that he has a passion for guitar, so he brought that along to our evening gathering to back up our kirtan. With Father's Day on his mind he left our program at some point to do the dutiful thing, to see his dad.

I won't forget to mention Savitri, who turned 65 not long ago, and who received her initiation on that day in December. She resides in a home next to the commons where she conducts the regular Sunday program. What I gather from hearing her is that she was very much a free spirit when she immigrated to Canada years ago from Holland. She'll be the first to admit that she's been more free now that she is practicing Krishna Devotionalism.

My major impression of the day was to see these folks move on with their spiritual developement. Oh! Let me add on Hemant and Askwat who trekked with me near the Commons, as the sunset. And there were two more people whom I came upon in my morning walking session. Having come out of a party two young women with streaked purple hair were lost on the street seeking direction. They were intoxicated when I led them through several street blocks to the Commons where they wanted to go. They didn't exactly join me in mantra meditation but perhaps in the future they will consider the power of this extraordinary sound vibration. Perhaps they will consider the spiritual path.

13 Km

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Back At the Atlantic

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Coming down the escalator to the airport baggage pick-up level I could see a handful of happy greeters. Once reaching the group it was a spontaneous all-at-once-hit-the-head-to-the-floor gesture, a custom upon seeing a monk or sadhu of some sort. I also bent over in reciprocation after receiving a garland of greeting. Those outside our little bhakti circle were entertained to see us robed folks, uninhibited, doing our thing.

I’m here to spend the weekend, in Halifax. Delivering some classes in the science of devotion and leading some kirtans is what is on the agenda. Rain became a deterrent for walking and with the lowly temperature it’s hard to envision the actual soon to arrive summer solstice. Of course, where we are here in Canada’s Atlantic coast line. Anything can happen weather-wise.

A young couple asked for some coaching in the home of Manu and Satarupa, my hosts. Asking for advice on the topic of relationships does have some space in the portfolio of a monk. Unless you are a hermit type of monastic person you do have some obligation to counsel your students. The main emphasis behind any advice is to keep the spiritual component in the centre. Never sway from that.

The request for some advice is also a reminder that I’m to review a draft to a new book “Heart and Soul Connection”, a guide to marriage service and love. This valuable publication is the work of a Grihastha Vision Team who’s asked that I critique it.

So, let the rain come for this weekend while I will read, teach, chant and have some healthy food. And if I’m lucky I can trek a trail during a dry period.

0 Km

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Kurma dasa, AU: Homemade Baked Ricotta Dessert


I've been feeling a bit inventive lately, at least in the kitchen. Last week I purchased a tub of organic animal-rennet free ricotta cheese. I used a little on fresh bread and then decided to bake the rest. Having no exact idea of how to do it, I went with my kitchen intuition.

I wrapped the cheese in a cheese cloth bundle and pressed it under a heavy weight for 4 hours. Then I splashed on a little mild olive oil and baked it slowly in a moderate oven for a few hours.

It came out firm and plump, golden and delicious looking.

baked ricotta:

So what to do with it? In the mood of trying to use whatever I could find in the cupboard and fridge, I decided to slice it and serve it with banana wedges and drizzle it with homemade syrup. 'What's that syrup?', I hear you ask.

A few weeks ago I poached some peeled, whole beurre bosc pears in a one part sugar one part water syrup, flavoured with saffron thread, large strips of mandarin peel, star anise and cinnamon stick. After the pears had been removed and dispatched, I further reduced the syrup until it had the consistency of honey. The flavour and fragrance was astoundingly good.

baked ricotta with banana and syrup:

So here's the dessert of the day, a one-off, extemporaneous event of great culinary significance, at least for me, who savoured it alone, with a smile.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Janmastami FOLK News Online

Your FOLK News Janmastami edition magazine should appear in your mailbox in early July. In the meantime, here is your online edition.

2011JanmastamiFolk.jpg In a few weeks we will be celebrating Jhulana Yatra, Baladeva Purnima, then Janmastami, Vyasa-puja and Radhastami.

Take a peek behind these festivals, coming up in August and September. Read about the transformational quality of Srila Prabhupada's devotional life, of the gopis' activities in making a swing festival in Goloka Vrindavana, and how Sri Krishna Himself celebrates Janmastami.

You can also see a photo essay of this year's momentous Ratha Yatra in St. Kilda.

As you browse, please spare a thought for any stories you may like to share with everyone in our Diwali edition.

I hope you enjoy the magazine.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Bhakta Anonymous inquires into the reasons why “high level” or “advanced” devotees are seen to be acting in less than ideal ways

And how he as an aspiring servant of ISKCON should digest such visible anomalies.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Param Satya and Prahlad at the Canberra 24 hour kirtan

Here are some photos of Param Satya from the recent Canberra 24 hour kirtan:

Here's one of Prahlad. He played mrdanga for four hours on Sunday, and lead a kirtan on Sunday morning at 8:45am.

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Japa Group: Attentive Japa Opens One's Heart

Chanting attentive japa opens one's heart to higher and higher stages of loving God, just as natural forces make a lotus unfold or the moon seem to wax.

We japa chanters often begin a japa session dull, anxious, or bewildered. We leave it strong and focused. Why? Not because our breath becomes regulated or our minds numb; we change during japa because, however awkwardly, we are associating with Krsna by chanting His name.

From Japa And The Opening Heart
by Kalakantha dasa
BTG Magazine #42 2008

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Gouranga TV: Rathayatra Kirtan on a Wet & Windy Sunday in London 2011.

Rathayatra Kirtan on a Wet & Windy Sunday in London 2011.

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